May 17


I sometimes think that there’s been a coup in the USA but it’s not a military coup or a “right wing coup” (per se). It’s a fossil fuels industry take over, first in congress, and now complete with Trump’s election. “It’s been like that for years,” some glib person is going to claim, probably citing too much Obama/Clinton etc friendliness to fracking. The thought was, fracking was associated with more natural gas, natural gas was associated with “clean” energy, as it burnt fairly clean, so more natural gas instead of coal, say, would reduce greenhouse gases; hence, despite some problems, it seemed a net win. But actually it’s heavily polluting and may well cause earthquakes.

So supporting fracking was an error. But on the whole, Obama kept the oil companies in check. It is Trump who’s initiated their true coup.

May 17

Stand up for Wonder Woman! And Use the term Zionist Correctly!

WONDER WOMAN’S GAL GADOT as well as MAYIM BIALIK are getting anti-semitic tweets and comments because they support Israel as a Jewish Homeland; Gadot, an Israeli, gets abuse because she served in the Israel Defense Forces as a combat trainer. The dictionary defines Zionism as “a movement for (originally) the re-establishment and (now) the development and protection of a Jewish nation in what is now Israel.” Zionism should be kept in context with the natural and rightful determination of Jewish people to *remember the Holocaust*. The Jewish homeland, Israel, is a place that militates, literally, against a new Holocaust. This doesn’t mean that Israel doesn’t currently have bad leadership, that it doesn’t harbor some prejudicial people–some of the settlers in disputed territories and the ultra-Orthodox for example are excessive, perhaps racist, and disrespectful of human rights. So is the current Israeli Prime Minister. So challenge those people. Do you dispute America’s right to exist, to be defended, just because we happen to have an idiot for a President right now? No. Extend the same courtesy to Israel.

I believe there should be a freeze on territorial expansion of Israel, and a broad recognition of Palestine as a nation. But Israelis being slow to get to that point does not mean they are wrong to serve in the IDF; it does not mean they’re wrong to want to protect Israel. Same goes for American Jews who are pro-Israel–if they’re Zionist, it’s in the original meaning of the word, not in some code usage spread by anti-semites and intolerant people on the left who have unreasonably equated the concept of Zionism with the right-wing.

Mayim Bialik is too intelligent to be prejudiced against Arabic peoples. “Zionism is the belief in the right of the Jewish people to have an autonomous state in Israel,” Bialik — a star in the CBS comedy series “The Big Bang Theory” and a distant relative of the late famous Hebrew poet Hayim Nahman Bialik — wrote on her GrokNation website. “I am a Zionist. Feminism is the belief that a woman-driven movement can bring about race, class and gender equality and that women deserve all of the rights and privileges afforded to men. I am a feminist.”

We need to stand up to those who blurt anti-semitism in social media and elsewhere. I stand with Mayim–and with Wonder Woman!

May 17

Cussing Dude and Staring Robin

Three encounters with wildlife in my neighborhood. I was walking the dogs yesterday morn, blustery but pleasant day, and saw a chubby robin tugging a truly enormous wriggling earthworm clamped in its beak, dragging it along the sidewalk like a fireman pulling a hose. The robin spotted me, about ten feet away; it froze, then, and–looking as bereft and resigned as a bird can look–dropped the worm and fluttered over into a lawn. There it alit and froze again, staring at me, its head cocked. I said, “Robin dude, you can have your worm, it’s cool.” (I did say that. My neighbors often witness me talking to animals like this and stare at me almost like the bird did.) Then I drew the dogs off the walk into the street, way over to one side, circling around the writhing worm and the watching bird. The bird’s head turned to watch me–then when I’d gone far enough away, it hopped over to the worm, and took it up again in just the same way. It had thought this out, it seems. And we were cool.

I was washing dishes and heard a thump on a nearby window–and it was a particular soft but emphatic thump that I know too well. The sound of a bird accidentally flying headlong into glass. As many as 900 million birds a year are thought to die that way. But they don’t always perish. I went out to see, and saw a lark half flopped on the ground, one wing extended–and this bird too was staring at me, in fear. I went to it and gathered it up in my two hands as gently as possible, and took it to a gardening shed out back, set it on a shelf on an old folded up rug. Then I left the shed, the door cracked open, but not too much, so it could recover, if it did, in the dark. I went back a little later–it was in the same spot, but when it saw me it fluttered into a corner. Did not seem to have a broken wing. I left the door open wider. Came back an hour later, it was gone, and I saw no signs of it, no feathers from a cat attack, nothing, and I think it recovered from, perhaps, a concussion of sorts, and flew off.

Walking the dogs that night, I saw a car pull up rather abruptly in front of a small house, a guy with silky looking athletic shorts and a sleeveless shirt and a short beard, his head shaved close, got out of the driver’s side, cussing, and a young woman who, I felt, was likely his wife, got out on the other side. The guy snarled at her, “You fucking dog cunt!” and threw the keys in his hand furiously at the lawn. He stomped up to the front door, as behind his back she grabbed the keys from the lawn, yelled something at him, got in the car as he turned back to her from the porch. “You’re fucking leaving? Good!” She drove off, he turned and tried the door. Then yelled. “Fuck!” The door was locked. Ah, wildlife.

May 17


It’s not going to be like Nixon–there’s no way to force Trump to resign. Not without Comey. This is not your old man’s Republican Party. They are going to keep Trump as long as they can, because he’s giving them everything they want. He’s given them Gorsuch. He’s given them an interior dept secretary who is trying to undo Obama’s national monument declarations, so they can take the wilderness and tribal land that the Obama admin protected, and give it to the oil and coal and mining and real estate developers. He’s letting Pruitt gut the EPA, so the GOP’s owners can pollute as they please. He’s getting rid of scientific advisors. He’s doing his damnedest to get rid of “Obamacare”. He’s got three people associated with Goldman Sachs at the top of his administration and he’s working with the GOP to try to get rid of what few regulations constrain Wall Street. He’s going to say yes to the whole right-wing corporate agenda. He’s sounding more and more religious right. He’s going all out to weaken the objective news media. So they’re NOT going to get rid of him.

No investigation is going to go forward in any way that will hurt Trump–not without someone at the top who’s not a puppet at the Justice Dept.

Hence the only hope is voting. But Trump is going to do what he can to suppress votes. He can be stopped if enough people fight for voter’s rights, and *if enough people vote* in 2018 congressional elections, and if enough people vote in the Presidential election of 2020.

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.*


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”.

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.”

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!

Mar 17


“…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…”

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.