Uncategorized


24
Apr 17

It’s not only Immoral–it’s Illegal.

The Environmental Protection Agency is taking public comments on its proposed “review” (read, reduction or elimination) of pollution regulations under the stewardship of Scott Pruitt. Below is a link to the page where you can comment. Here is my comment:

*Not only is any diminishing of the existing regulations for the protection of clean water and air immoral, it illegal. It will increase asthma, lung cancer risks, other kinds of cancer risks, as well as damaging crops and putting wildlife at risk–that’s immoral. And it would run counter to the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water act, which is illegal. Likely the proposed review and planned deregulation can be traced to conflicts of interest, and excessive influence of industry–that is unethical and immoral in itself.*

https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=EPA-HQ-OA-2017-0190-0042


14
Apr 17

Kirk–Stop Insulting Spock!

I saw Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan again tonight because my youngest son hadn’t seen it. It still holds up well. I like the end over all, but a funeral remark by Kirk about Spock (if that is a spoiler you have no right seeing Star Trek films) still annoys me after all these years. He says Spock’s soul was the most human he’d ever known. As if that was a *compliment*? Vulcans are far superior to humans (yes I know Spock was half human), apart from that troublesome Amok Time issue, and in fact I think most any non-human intelligent being from anywhere in the interstellar cosmos would be insulted by the comparison. Hell, Kirk, your final remark about Spock at his funeral is an outright insult to the guy!

Star Trek–I’ve bitched about this before–has always had that stupid recurrent “but the best thing is to be human” theme. Amorphous floating aliens want to be human, as if that would be so much better; the android, Data, later on wants to be more human, have emotions, and so on. Poor deluded chump.

Sure there’s the humane side of humanity–which occasionally appears–and there is the idea of a deep more perfect “humanness” that some people supposedly embody. But that’s scarcely to be found if ever and in Star Trek that’s not what’s meant. Kirk/McCoy-like emotional humanness–hunches, instincts, and so on–is what’s endorsed here. Yet humans destroy most of what they touch. They’re primitives with powerful toys; one slick part of the human brain makes the powerful toys and the primitive remainder misuses them instantly. Invent roller skates and use them to knock down the first old lady you see; invent cell phones and use them to turn most users into zombies. The human capacity for empathy is like a guttering candle, always about to be smothered by molten wax or an errant draft from a doorway. Spock liked Kirk, was his devoted friend, but he knew that his Vulcan side held the key to inner freedom, to betterment for everyone. Don’t insult Spock by saying he was the “most human”.


17
Mar 17

“What Completely Random Harm Can We Do Today?”

“What completely random harm can we do today, Mr President?”

“I don’t know. What do broke old people need?”

“Meals on Wheels?”

“Yeah! You got those old losers freeloading on the rest of us. Defund Meals on Wheels! Oh, and something else–there’s something about trying to get hunters to stop using lead bullets, because it poisons eagles or something.”

“Yes sir, the eagles die slowly and horribly from lead poisoning from eating game with lead bullets.”

“You remember when that eagle attacked me in the video? We gotta stop this ‘protect the eagles’ shit too. We need more lead, not less!”

“Any other harm you wish to do today?”

“I’ll think of something. We starving black kids yet?”

“We’re working on it, sir.”


16
Mar 17

Children Are Still Allowed to Play Outside?! Madness!

Watching some children playing silly fun games in a pasture behind their house today; big blowsy spring clouds, intermittent sun, mild temperatures, fir trees and horses looking on–what do those kids’ parents think they’re doing? Those kids had…no cellphones! They weren’t playing on little pre-school computer play-screens. You’ve gotta train kids to use cell phones otherwise they develop real social skills, they get sunshine and oxygenation and exercise, and they’re going to be trouble.

Get a clue, if you screen train them then you can sit around staring like a fucking zombie into your own fucking cell phone without the kids asking you for attention. They don’t care if they’re being spoken to or played with or taken somewhere out in the world, because you have the screen-based babysitter. Their brains will shrink to an appropriate size so they will lose the capacity for critical thinking, making them good citizens for the new America!


6
Mar 17

THE MESSAGE (I wish we were getting) FROM INTER-GALACTIC ALIENS

“…please understand that we really did not have to make this speech to your United Nations today. But we are certainly not without compassion. It’s only fair that you know why we have come to your planet, and, more urgently, why we have caused all your industry to stop, worldwide, today, your weapons to freeze up, and what our plans for you are. The crux of the matter is this: in the known universe there are surprisingly few planets where life can evolve to a *significant* degree, and where an extensive, multi-leveled biosphere is possible. When we find such a world, it must be protected and cultivated. On locating a world which is being hopelessly polluted, the oceans utterly ruined, animal species extinguished at a rate which is not normal–barring of course, a major asteroid collision event–we feel an obligation to interfere and return the planet to a healthy state for the use of rational creatures.

“This is why we’re going to be going to be quite painlessly putting about two thirds of the human race into a state of unconscious paralysis. The other third will be neurologically superseded and directed to remove those in a cataleptic state to open areas, where our thinking-capable-devices…I apologize if this translation is inadequate, our schedule is quite crowded…our “robots” will remove them to the waiting orbit-shunts. Once that is accomplished, neurologically-directed humanity will be …oh, I’m sorry, those of you who are shouting now, are hereby paralyzed…ah, that’s much quieter. As I was saying, neurologically-directed humanity will then take their own places on the orbit-shunts.

“The entirety of humanity will be transferred, through a synthetic wormhole, in eight groups to eight lifeless methane-atmospheric planets where no real harm can be done, and where humanity can be of use in chemical conversion programs. Comfortable pressurized suits will be made available. You will live underground in moderately pleasant quarters, and provided plenty of food and water. Virtual reality chambers will provide psychological relief. Your capacity to reproduce will come to an end, however you may engage in sexual acts in your spare time. You will be monitored by unseen but infinitely powerful nano-clouds. Weapons and violence of any sort will not be permitted.

“I must tell you, it would’ve been so much less taxing on our time and resources to simply exterminate humanity, but due to the fact that our drones report a minority of humans expressing some concern for the damage being done here, we were moved to a more…ironically, I’m told that the word is “humane”…a more humane solution…You have a few hours to come to terms with this…Meanwhile we’ll begin to disassemble your factories and vehicles and we’ll be cleansing your biosphere of major pollutants…apart from those which seep out, at a reasonable rate, from volcanic substructures. Also we…I do apologize, I am quite out of time…Our schedule is truly pressing…Enjoy your new lives…”


16
Feb 17

We’re stuck with Trump UNLESS…

“High-level advisers close to then-presidential nominee Donald Trump were in constant communication during the campaign with Russians known to US intelligence, multiple current and former intelligence, law enforcement and administration officials tell CNN.”

But…nothing will come of this because Republicans in Congress are closing ranks around Trump, they’re defending him, they’re saying he didn’t know, they’re saying it was really nothing and so on. So Congress will do nothing real about it, whatever congressional Democrats may want. How about the Justice Department? Run by Jeff Sessions. Trump’s man. He will not investigate this connection to treason. The news will be spun, managed, inverted, or just ignored amongst Trump followers. So what will be done about it?

Probably nothing. The GOP’s handlers are happy with Donald J Trump. President Absurdity is giving corporate power and evangelicals and the gun lobby and the 1% everything they want. They are not going to impeach Santa Claus.

The only hope is to change Congress in the next Congressional election. Which will require more voter registration and voter empowerment and voter enthusiasm than has ever been seen before, in order to counteract voter suppression.


3
Feb 17

You Say You Find Yourself in an “Alternate Universe”?

It’s a fact that some physicists are investigating the idea of alternate time-lines, multiple universes, and so on, and doubtless are quietly experimenting with penetrating these cosmic options. Clearly some experiment somewhere nudged us into an alternate universe where Trump is President. The Absurdity becoming President of the USA–quite impossible in the universe I lived in last summer. (Could the scientist have been…Russian?)

I would like to offer myself and my family to be part of the crew, in the experiment that sends a group of people back into their proper, original universe. Me and my family volunteer to go. These boffins, as the British call scientists, have bungled, and they owe it to us. I call dibs, I was first to volunteer. Send me back to the real world. This one is the offspring of a perverse imagination. I reject it.


29
Jan 17

The Only Way to Get Rid of Trump Before Next Election

There are only two ways to get Trump out of the White House before the next election. (Only two ways I would advocate.) *One* is of course impeachment, which sadly won’t work unless we can overwhelmingly change congress in the next election and that’s unlikely. *Two* is a real possibility: He’s found to have broken an important law in an egregious fashion, something that can be definitively proven (claims of treason etc, are hard to prove in court; claims of fraud re the university, easy for him to wriggle out of). For example, it might be proven he literally raped a young girl–he has been accused of it by someone who was too frightened to pursue her lawsuit–or, perhaps we could prove in court he’s engaged in a serious malfeasance forbidden by the espionage act…Or he could be clearly proven to be guilty another major crime. It must be something definitively provable and clear-cut…

If you can expose that degree of evidence-supported criminality, and indict him (it’s hard to convict a sitting president but he can be indicted) then you can force Trump into resigning in return for a pardon; think of Richard Nixon. This threatens impeachment but would be a way of avoiding the actual long and doubtful process of impeachment…President Absurdity knows this and it’s why he’s rushing to replace the head of the CIA, so he can end their investigation of his pre-election relationship with Russia. However, he will of course set up his own version of the Department of Justice, which–unless he accidentally appoints someone with a conscience–will undermine any prosecution of him.

If you succeed, then you’ve got Pence. But I doubt Pence would be elected for the following term.


27
Jan 17

Voter Fraud Fantasy: Not just Trump’s Vanity…Also: CIA Appointee

Why Trump is harping on investigating voter fraud though he knows the claim of widespread voter fraud is a falsehood: it’s not just his vanity, it’s actually because his handlers, and the GOP far-right hardcore, are prepping to make national laws of the kind we’ve seen on a local level, making it harder for minorities and young people to vote, and easier to control the vote count. They are thinking ahead to congressional elections and the next Presidential election.

Why the Trump administration and Republicans are trying to rush through a new CIA appointee: because they want to stop the ongoing CIA investigation of links between Russia and Trump.


21
Jan 17

Will My Faith in America Return?

I used to have faith in America, as a whole. I too believed in the long arc of justice, of the trend in history toward general betterment, toward a functional liberality–a kind of orthogenesis of history, in a sense (orthogenesis: a theory that evolution follows a particular direction and is not merely sporadic and fortuitous.)

Faith in America fled from me on November 8, 2016. Even considering the usual poor voter turnout, gerrymandering and voter suppression, it should not have been possible for Trump to be elected. I believe that several factors weakened America, to the extent that the electorate now cannot be trusted; one important factor was the death of newspapers and decent TV news, the corrosion of real reportage; another was the acceptance of the dark side of the internet, eg fake news and twitchy superficiality: “I get my news from social media”; essentially, a succumbing to a mental laziness slopping like an endless mudslide down over the most simple capacity to parse real from unreal information. And a deciding factor was the opportunistic manipulation of that informational collapse by Trump, his crypto-racist alt-right following–and by Ayn-Rand-stupefied rightists.

I suppose some decent working class people voted for Trump because (they said) at least he was some kind of clear-cut change, and they hoped he was going to get them out of their economic doldrums and back into the American dream.

But what’s the left’s excuse for not voting *against* Trump? Many on the left, both Sanders hardcore and Stein voters, succumbed, in their stubborn, kneejerk emotionality, to a massive disinformation campaign launched against Hillary Clinton–a campaign originating, ironically, with right wing propaganda. They seemed to unconsciously desire a Trump victory, perhaps blindly hoping he would bring down the system by exposing its greed and criminality; or it may be that they simply hoped a Trump election would punish liberals who supported Obama, and who were willing to support Hillary Clinton. Unconsciously, it may well be that voting for Stein was a passive-aggressive punishing of those “not left enough”.

What condemns supporters of the unelectable Jill Stein most, to me, is that *they KNEW that Stein could not win.* Oh yes they definitely knew! But making a point, scoring us off, was worth anything Trump might do as President! It was worth risking a far more extreme climate change disaster; it was worth the early deaths of tens of thousands that will likely come over time after he signs the bill effectively repealing the ACA (“Obamacare”); it was worth the destruction of wild animal habitat that will increase the rate of extinction; it was worth the inexorable smothering of women’s rights, and gay rights; it was worth the multigenerational damage–and increasing corporatocracy–that will result from his appointment of radical-right Supreme Court Justices; it was worth the end of public schools; it was worth the end of environmental regulations; it was worth the severe weakening (at least) of Medicare and Social Security; it was worth permitting a racist, neo-fascist axis linking congress and the White House that will continue gerrymandering and restrict access to voting; it was worth the egregious diminishing of respect for America when illiterate, sexual harassing, Russian-puppet President Pussy Grabber takes over; it was worth a return to the use of torture; it was even worth risking World War III since Trump has asked why we can’t use nuclear weapons.

It was all worth it–because it gave them a nice warm bath of smug self righteousness to wallow in for a time. It gave them nothing else–it did not establish a meaningful precedent; it did not help the Green Party. Really, it just felt good, deliciously good, to punish those who disagreed with them.

Perhaps my faith in America will return in a few years. But I doubt it.