UPDATED – One thing we can be sure of in the 4 awful years since Trump announced his candidacy – the guy hates work.
It’s beyond obvious he’s delegated (through inaction) all responsibilities to the least qualified and most inept people to handle any given thing. That’s how you get so many failed ideas on things like the Southern Border and the infamous, repeated ‘INFRASTRUCTURE WEEK’ Meltdowns.
During the campaign he was able to show up for a lot of rallies and puff out a lot of anger and it sort of looked like he was able to work. But it turns out boasting in front of an all white crowd of angry, intolerant people is actually Trump’s preferred form of recreation. So let’s not call campaigning “Work”.
He despises work and you can tell. When forced to go through the motions he’s always visibly bored or angry.
He came prepared with a host of methods to avoid doing his job, but now this is the White House and the schemes to avoid work become obvious.
Essentially, Trump’s faking it. It’s not like he’s all that good at it, but he doesn’t really care how it plays. Laziness is at the core of the “Trump Leadership Style”, if you can call it that.
Let’s look at a few of his “Go-To” ways to dodge things; like reading (CAN he read?) or working in any way.
A Major Announcement is Coming…
There’s a MAJOR policy announcement coming on whatever he’s been asked about; and really any and all topics. When? In about 2 weeks. It never ends up happening.
As the president has stonewalled off all transparency and minimized his exposure to the press there’s been no way to really follow this up.
Busy Looking Meetings and Confusing Outright Lies
The president likes to look like a work-a-holic who also has the time to develop and keep a very deep tan. These two at odds traits make it hard to look all that busy, but he goes through the motions anyway.
The meetings traditionally have gone one of two ways. Either the president will sit back and drinks in praise from whoever he’s invited to a meeting, and it could be anyone, from Mitch McConnell to Kanye. It looks so Banana Republic because it is.
Another track these meetings and brief press availabilities often go is that Trump will take exception to a question and have a tantrum. But he’s standing in front of his helicopter so he has sort of an excuse to shout. Its when I feel he looks most like a dictator. No helicopter needs that long to warm up! See “Showing off his toys” later on in this post.
When forced to work he hates it and it shows. The busy looking moments come with a price. He usually undermines whatever he did musing on Twitter later the same day.
G7 Work Slowdown
More recently he managed to get in some busy looking moments in scattered attendance at meetings while lying about skipping a few of them, tomake up for this he went on a spate of lies throughout the conference, where people say he was an adverserial jerk. He didnt understand what was going on so he either co-opted, tuned out or skipped a few conferences because he just doesnt want to work.
Soon after we got more work avoidance of a slightly different nature related to ‘kicking the can: for two weeks’ thing. Its designed to stave off critical questions or things he just dosn’t know. This would be lying about getting a couple of calls from the Chinese and how they were going to cave to him in his preposterous trade war, which in itself is a work-avoidance scam. Of course, as the Chinese let us know, it never happened.
The G7 is where he dropped some a couple of weird statements and tweets and the lightened schedule of meetings still took its toll on him. He rambled incoherently at times. The bizarre statement that his wife had gotten to know Kim Jung-Un somehow was just weird. For the record theyve never met. The bottom line is he probably doesnt remember they never met because he cant remember much in general. Like for instance what a Category 5 Hurricane is, even the fifth time around since he took office.
Either way the meeting gets on TV and the Dear Leader looks busy. And again, he just doesn’t care how bad it looks. He leaves any meeting of world leaders with a flurry of erratic tweets. Just to look busy.
Create A Crisis
Instead of getting down to the brass tacks of Trade or Infrastructure the president will start tweeting something crazy and draconian that he may or may not do. Insulting a world leader, screaming about a perceived Trade Injustice or just attacking some random person are all possible when he goes this route.
We just saw the perfect illustration of this with Trump showing he’s not working. realizing it, and lies to cover it up when he claimed Hurricane Dorian was heading towards Alabama. This was only true for a tiny sliver of Alabama on models that had been out of date for about 4 days at the time of his announcement.
In fact all parts of Alabama were out of danger when he gave his web announcement. He later needlessly lied to cover his laziness. Since he had to pretend to be busy and informed he couldn’t look four days behind! So he faked it like a fourth grader, apparently scribbling in what we can only call “The Executive Storm Track” of the storm, with a sharpie, over other, legitimate models he displayed on a map. The map didn’t have the marking on it when they gave it to him. He literally extended into the storm track with a pen on his own…. or possibly had a aide do it, but he knew he was showing altered, inaccurate information.
Thats right, the president put a fake storm track that included Alabama rather than admit he was wrong. The only good news is like everything ls else he does it was obvious and badly done. I guess we’re left to wonder how bad things might be were he to get better at the lying. Maybe the problem is the lies are spontaneous and unplanned. Maybe its because they’re so huge and sloppily done to this point, but the president created the impression of danger anyone believing was real probably spends like 200 dollars preparing for. In the case of Alabama, you just had a needless financial burden thrust on you by Trump’s ego.
‘Solving’ the Created Crisis
One great thing about inventing a fake hurricane is being able to make it goins away! That Dorian Non-Strike on Alabama will be seen as a win by Trump. The other places where the storm could cause a problem can;t be seeing this delusion as a good sign though.
When a tweet goes sour or an idea goes viral in the wrong way the president will use the aforementioned “A Major Announcement is coming very soon” stall.
We’ve seen him claim credit for stuff he’s had nothing to do with over and over, or that were in the works for years if not decades , stealing the credit or blame from whoever really tried to legislate the issue. Problem solved. He feels he looked engaged and busy.
Then, a day or so later, an aide or cabinet member will say on the record the president wasn’t serious about the crisis he created or the horrible things he was ‘forced to say’.
Sometimes we find out that he’s simply bitching about something that was settled months ago. It’s just done for it to be on TV anyway. Again, he could care less how it plays. He considers it a win.
We just saw this in the Mexico Tariff Shell Game. At the last minute he pretended he had issues with Mexico and would impose tariffs. Then nothing happened and BLOTUS tweets he’s made a major deal. The Mexicans, for their part, were rightly confused and a little annoyed that an issue from a deal previously signed and settled is coming up again.
The media usually notes the deal is weeks or months old and there was never much chance Trump was going to do any of the things he threatened. It doesn’t matter, he looked busy. Mission Accomplished.
The Kremlin loves this too, by the way.
The president will make threats and spitball policy ideas on Twitter at 4:56 am and then not show up anywhere until like 1 pm. When the rest of America wakes up hes passed back out but it looks like he was working.
This is part of a deeper theory I have. It’s that Trump doesn’t fall asleep and wake up like a normal person. In fact I think he’s like 2 days of sleep behind all the time. This would explain his constant confusion and brittle disposition. He can’t ‘sleep’, he only passes out from being awake too long for say 4 hours about every 20 to 30 hours. 12 Diet Cokes a day will do that to you.
So in a nutshell; my theory is he passes out from sheer exhaustion (and a caffeine crash) after 20 to 30 hours of ‘wakefulness.” Less than 5 hours later he wakes up in a cold sweat screaming the moment his body has been in stasis long enough for his mind to start to panic again. Then he ‘wakes up’ and starts the cycle again. He’s never anything but overtired, grumpy and scared.
Most of the time in he’s just in a torpor half out of it half watching Fox News Opinion shows that tell him he’s great. This is so his ego never has to stop grazing.
This is maybe the Kremlin’s very favorite thing Trump reliably does.
The ‘president’ will just go somewhere and be completely inappropriate. Time and again we’ve seen him showing absolute contempt for his surroundings. He hates to work at all but has to make it look like he must be doing his job. Whether he looks like he’s doing it badly just doesn’t matter to him.
Be it standing in front of the CIA Wall of the Fallen while just lying about the size of the crowd and weather at his inauguration, saluting a murderous North Korean General, accepting Putin’s offer to investigate the 2016 Election, or sitting in front of the graves of 9,300 Americans who were killed storming the beach at Normandy; he says and does the wrong thing every time.
Remember last year when he shoved the Prime Minister of Montenegro out of the way? Or early in his presidency when he scared the shit out of thousands of Boy Scouts and angered their adult leaders with a crazy militaristic speech? That last disgraceful move has the president BANNED from any Boy Scout function. There’s a presidential first! The guy’s plain old inappropriate and he doesn’t care.
The president will act badly, provably lie and say completely inappropriate things in places you would consider sacred or at High Stakes Summits.
He has no idea about protocol and disgracefully supplicates himself to Putin and other nefarious figures regularly. He just wants the Photo Op to make it seem like he’s working.
He then dominates the news cycle with whatever disgraceful move he made, every crazy lie he told and/or bizarre threat he made.
Since getting on TV and getting things accomplished are pretty much the same thing to Trump, he considers it a win. At least no one’s talking about his terrible poll numbers or the multiple failed dictator moves like the Travel Ban, right?
Some people seem to buy it.
Fighting With Dead People
Death isn’t the end of Trump having a nonstop problem with you. No one is dead enough to escape his perma-rage.
One thing this president has shown is a boiler-plate pattern of being highly inappropriate and crude, especially about things that scare him. For instance – Military Heroes and the whole concept of death.
Usually it’s a beloved or revered Military hero that he focuses on. It’s the sheer insecurity of a Draft Dodger who didn’t even have the courage to say he was against the War. He just invented a disability and when the war ended he was magically cured. I’m sure most of the people with Incurable Bone Spurs would love him to share how he made them go away. No such luck.
Since dead people cant really fight back and he could care less how his words affect their families, he does it all the time. Be it refusing to lower the White House flag when John McCain died or mocking the parents of a soldier whose made the ultimate sacrifice, Trump feels like this makes him look on task and in charge.
Again, some people buy it.
Showing Off His Toys
Informal and insane statements while walking to his helicopter, with engine roaring, are a great way to look busy. So this is how we usually see Trump. The fact he usually yells when he talks anyway is slightly less out of place, but he makes up for it by being extra caustic in these moments.
So what if he’s flying to his own club to play golf or to one of his “Show-Rallies”? Any guy getting into helicopters that much must be working. Same thing with Air Force 1. He makes a few scathing comments in front of the plane, engines warming up, and he’s off.
Way to go, he just looked like he was working!
Why would anyone act so stupidly? The short answer is “Donald Trump is LAZY and BAD AT EVERYTHING.” This extends to, well, everything. Be it what he tweets or who he hires and even to what information he takes in. He’s not an able Chief Executive.
In fact, were Articles of Impeachment built around an inability to fulfill his Oath of Office as such it would be hard for anyone to argue it wasn’t valid and would probably pass the House of Representatives.
Ever since his unexpected win Trump’s shown he’s unable to fulfill the Oath of Office. Nonetheless, he’s the president. Could it be that the Russians were punking all of us AND Trump too ? Like maybe he never thought he was going to win? It’s pretty easy to make the case he wasn’t trying to win with insane ad hoc policies and actions we saw on the trail. He was on the Low Road the whole time.
He’s never spent 10 seconds considering the importance of his job or shown any reverence to the office he holds.
And those are some of the ways Trump avoids doing any work.
President Trump is so bad and so hard to take that he’s a one man case that we should fire our entire government and return to British Empire. If given our own parliament and a several party system maybe this fascist craze will just blow over?
After an apparently sleepless trip across the pond where Air Force 1 sadly didn’t crash into the sea Trump blew out a bunch of insults and went to go visit the Brit Royals.
While the entire idea of having Royalty is completely stupid, the two princes seem to sort of be painfully aware of this. They do what they have to do with some humility. Quiet, gracious and compassionate, they couldn’t be more opposite Trump. Seeming to be always trying to earn the high degree of admiration they were born into, there’s no not liking them. And some of the Royals are really easy to not like. I was born into it from my Irish heritage. I had some relatives who HATED the Royal family. Those were different royals though and a much different time.
Prince Chuck, The Queen, crazy old Prince Philip? Take your pick. You could go to town on them, but then again they are all possessed of a great deal more dignity than Trump.
I guess I just think of my old Uncle Paddy who fought in Easter Rising bashing the Royals and it’s a little hard for me to admit they’re titular heads of a better government than ours. But it’s a mental hurdle I’ve now jumped.
Mostly because of the Princes. They’re simply nice guys. They were even nice to Trump. The princes are polar opposites from the scamming lowlife Trump clan; whose patriarch bashed prince Ginger’s wife, Meaghan Markle for no real reason and then just lied about it.
Watching Trump around the Queen is way too close to watching ‘The Naked Gun; from the Files of Police Squad’! Always inappropriate, dressed like shit in an off the rack suit, the president looks bad all the time and is an un-funny Frank Drebin.
He’s been there 3 hours, lets see what happens when they stop praising him and he opens his blowhole.
Meanwhile, would you not trade congress for an immediate parliamentary election with direct representation on all levels? Then they can do things like just remove Kavanaugh from the Bench.
The people have proven they can be lied to and there’s been a few presidents, like Trump, Reagan and Nixon, who colluded with Enemy Powers to win their bids. Maybe the people here in America are just like the people of Westeros and deserve self determination? Make the president a figurehead and super-ambassador with no power and no pardon power, and no nuclear football! It’s not like Cocaine Mitch McConnell isn’t calling most of the plays anyway.
Why NOT a Prime Minister who could quickly be removed? The Trump nightmare would have been a six week footnote rather than a protracted time of intolerance and bad governance. Plus we get all the screaming and yelling of a parliament, which also makes lots of sense for America. Imagine 4 parties. Maybe more, but there’s a mandate to cooperate. Like we wouldn’t benefit from more cooperation?
I could easily foresee the GOP and Democratic party enduring, and maybe a moderate party from the right and the left in the mix may better represent us. The more moderates would have a greater ability to influence more policy. Maybe the other two parties would be the Progressives and the Libertarians? It probably wouldn’t be worse.
Maybe, just maybe, George Washington was wrong. Or perhap just took it too far. The Chief Executive Office has by all definitions grown beyond its original mandate and is prone to tampering. There’s a whole bunch of arguments about why congress is a mess. Why not a bicameral parliament?
Then there the Electoral College Choke-Point leftover from making room in the Constitution for slavery. It didn’t come out of anything good and lead to the Civil War and so many bad chief executives its can only be called bad. It’s purpose is long past. When it’s been successfully tampered with we usually get a terrible president. It needs to go.
The wave of protests against trump will surely be BFD when we see them eclipse him accepting accolades in the coverage of this humiliating trip.
Perhaps New York could petition to renew it’s Royal Charter and just join Canada?
Well it was only 10 minutes and delivered without emotion, but we finally heard directly from Robert Mueller. The full video is at the end of the post.
It’s hard to sum up how he really feels, he did provide some cover for Barr and say he wasn’t going to speak to congress. Here’s what went down
Mueller walked on and said he wasn’t taking questions and hoped to never speak in public about this again.
Then he basically disgorged his opinion of his legal mandate and goals. He cleared up who he was responsible to (mostly the Acting Deputy Attorney General) and what his mandate was. He stressed he could ONLY investigate. In other words – Mueller’s opinion of his mandate could be summed up as – He had investigative authority, but no legal teeth. The president is un-Indictable, at least by him, merely because he’s president and that’s all there is to that.
So after again thanking his team Mueller sort of underscored what he thought was the most important things in his report. It would seem to have a disregard for the present circumstance. At best it could be called forward looking.
We’re Under Attack
He stressed that there was a coordinated and elaborate attack on our 2016 Election by Russia. Both the Kremlin and some kind of private entities were involved. Wikileaks was used to launder the information and get the Russians some deniability.
He said it was done with the aim of ‘influencing” opinions and ‘to damage a candidate.’ That candidate can only have been Hillary Clinton. He didn’t speak her name, but really, who else could it have been? He repeated the interference was ‘extensive’. It seems pretty clear we saw Putin’s hand here.
Then he went to his report and specified Volume 1, which is about the Russian efforts and whether Trump coordinated with them. It was inconclusive as to direct conspiracy, but maybe not because he didn’t think Trump had tried something. He would refer to the limits of his mandate, that you can’t charge a sitting president, was the governing philosophy of why no charges were filed.
Then he specified Volume 2, which dealt with Presidential Obstruction and obstruction of the Investigation. Again he referred to his mandate and said there was no Indicting the president under seal either. So Mueller’s view is hands were tied.
With confidence he said in so many words “It’s UnConstitutional” for the Special Counsel to Indict a sitting president. He alluded to Justice Department policy as the reason that he could do nothing about Obstruction as far as charges and Indictments. He again alluded to his limited mandate as the big reason there was no charging Trump.
More than anything else he spoke of how very limited his legal mandate really was.
Over and over Mueller deferred to his mandate about not being able to Indict rather than cleared the president. He said plainly he had ‘no confidence’ the president had NOT committed a crime.
Mueller made it very clear he could not clear the president. This is about the strongest thing he could say under his interpretation of his mandate. He seemed to be saying that anyone else would be looking at getting arrested over this and confirming the broken nature of our Justice System. He seemed more concerned about the coming election than anything President Trump may have done to this point, despite saying he was prosecutable outside of Office.
It seems Mueller really wanted us to be aware he NEVER had authority to indict the president. He stated policy and law as to why HE COULD NOT INDICT OR CHARGE THE PRESIDENT, NO MATTER WHAT HE FOUND.
One curious thing he said was that since there was no method to try the president legally while he was in office he had decided he simply couldn’t charge him based on that. The decision notably was NOT because he didn’t think Trump was guilty. In fact, he seemed to be saying he thought the law shielded the president from the consequences of illegal behavior more than anything else aside from the deep concern over the next election.
He then again thanked his staff and categorized his staff and investigation were ethical and professional.
He repeated that he wasn’t taking questions.
Mueller- He’s Not a Player; He’s The Official
In essence Mueller didn’t so much punt to congress. That’s because PLAYERS punt. Mueller has cast himself (or felt locked to the role) more as the referee or some other official. So like an NFL official what he did was turn on his mic, address the crowd, explain the penalty and handed the ball to congress.
Could you say that when he hands the congress the ball on Impeachment it’s on the GOP’s own 20 yard line. Mueller’s message between the lines seems to be “You’ll easily score a field goal if not a touchdown if you pursue these charges I laid out because if he wasn’t president he’d be a criminal. He may just leave the White House for the Big House.”
Mueller may be right on about the biggest issue now that all is said and done being keeping the next election clean of Russian (and all other) interference.
Well if today had started out quietly at the White House you can throw that right out the window. A tweet storm is brewing over the word that Special Counsel Robert Mueller will speak to the media from inside the Justice Department.
Gathering Storm of Unknown Nature
Rep Gerry Connolly of the House Foreign Affairs Committee was quick to suggest the location, from within the Barr Justice Department, casts a shadow all it’s own over what’s going to happen in just about 2 hours.
Will Mueller show himself as the “Man of Conscience” his reputation suggests, or will we get a Barr-like series of equivocations? Or is he just trying to get out what congress would ask him without having to actually appear? It’s unclear. The good news? We don’t have long to wait to find out. At 11 or so this morning, Mueller will either drop a major WMD of a Truth Bomb or throw in with Barr. There’s signs pointing to both possibilities.
The revelation the White House was given a ‘Heads Up’ on this is not a reassuring sign though. What the president thinks about what we’ll all hear will, almost surely, be revealed through a childish tweet storm no matter what Mueller says.
One of the most successful (and nicest) people I know personally has got to be Cap’n Kirk Douglas. He was one of the many gifted musicians I met from the eclectic original players of Long Island’s East end when I went to Stony Brook University.
In my experience Kirk was always friendly and approachable, hes was welcoming of a newcomer and impressed me even then with his amazing guitar abilities. I was lucky enough to even jam with him a bunch of times. Obviously, I had my work cut out for me just keeping up. You could tell then there was something about him that set him apart musically from others. To me it seemed amazing competence and chameleon-like ability to play the right way for whatever role he took in any project.
Because at that time there were probably a dozen decent original acts from a pool of like 30 super talented people. I fooled them into thinking I was good enough to play with them and it was pretty great. It was a great time of expansion in my own musical life. Getting away from Queens for a while paid off creatively.
These days, as guitar player for The Roots he’s in many Americans living rooms weeknights laying it down with a variety of beautiful guitars. Last night I saw the first Hundred Watt Heart show. It was as at times as heavy as the single I had downloaded on the way. Guitar Driven is one way to put it.
Having only the Roots to go on I decided to do some preparation. I downloaded “I Used to be in a Circus”, the only available track as the record, Turbulent Times, only dropped today.
The song was great and honestly not what I had expected. You can hear it for yourself, but what caught my eye was what Google Music showed as the “related Artist”; Black Sabbath. The tile next to it was from Black Sabbath Volume 4, so its the older Sabbath that seems focus of the comparison
After seeing the show I sort of concur.
Some things that back up the Sabbath allusion would possibly be Kirk’s riff driven and solid. He has some Sabbath-like traits in his song writing. His vocal delivery was right on and full voiced. He delivered as hard as Ozzy in his prime (on a good night).
There’s a whole lot more to it than just that, but its not a bad thing to be compared to by any long shot. So I’m not the only one who sees something in this record.
Now, having now listened to the whole album I can see where the reviewer came up with the comparison Some of the songs have a Sabbath-like vibe and similar tone and heaviness, but Hundred Watt Heart, by intent, covers a lot more musical ground. For one thing, they don’t seem to have set out to sound like Black Sabbath at all. The similarity is Organic and stems from Kirk’s influences having some overlap with Tony Iommi’s is my guess. And while its easy and fun to compare bands, Hundred Watt Heart is actually unique. With the quality of pop music seeming to be trending down, here’s a listenable and sincere album that starts with an admission – These are in fact Turbulent Times. Why pretend things are great?
Its a solid and interesting guitar album and the songs are catch-y as Hell. While appealing and beautifully melodic, it’s confident and solid all the way around. I love the single ‘I Used to Be in a Circus” and ‘Uma’, with it’s blistering solo and brooding lyrics, might just be my favorite. It may just sound a bit like original Black Sabbath as well, but in the best possible way. To take it a step further, as a Black Sabbath fan myself, I found myself taking to this album in a big way.
Back to the show;
An hour and 3 el presidente beers after hitting Billyburg I was immersed in what Kirk accurately described as a sonic bath. I was pumped for the whole high energy performance. It’s hard believe 3 guys made all that noise. Mark Kelley (bassist for The Roots) and Ricc Sheridan (drummer for Earl Greyhound) join him on the record and this show.
First off – SEE THIS BAND! I hate everything and I even enjoyed it.
While I would not go so far as to say he sounds like Black Sabbath and the lyrical topics seem quite different from what I’ve heard so far, I can see how the critic who made the comparison came up with it. Unassuming and powerful would how I would describe the show. No punches pulled, mostly non stop music, though he did generously acknowledge the audience a few times. The club was packed and the energy was great. The band didn’t disappoint.
Hundred Watt Heart is a live show well worth seeing. Kirk’s vocals are right on as is his playing. Not to mention, he’s still a man of the people, the price of the show was completely affordable. Music came before money and I for one appreciated it. His A-List supporting cast on bass and drums was amazing. And lets talk about New York here for a second – Having an affordable but high quality evening out in a city that EATS money is not an everyday thing.
Considering there wasn’t a bad place to watch in Williamsburg’s interesting “Baby’s All Right” it was even that much more intimate. It also featured a super cool stage. You can only hope this show comes to your town. Hundred Watt Heart was amazing live.
I’m sure when more critics hear and review it we’ll get different comparisons, but I was lucky enough to get Kirk to agree to give me a clean reaction about the Sabbath comparison on audio and he was kind enough to agree. So I didn’t tell him what the comparison was, just that it sort of surprised me.
Still, I have to thank Kirk for being completely cool about this request for a reaction. No one respects Bloggers anymore, there’s been too many bad, biased and dishonest ones. Hey, I swim with sharks, right? He could’ve just said no and that would have been just fine; but he’s always been an open and friendly guy so I was comfortable asking him to give his reaction. It was a lot easier in fact than getting the audio on youtube. The video is what it is. Its about what he said.
So here’s Cap’n Kirk Douglas, leader of Hundred Watt Heart, reacting to being compared to Black Sabbath. Its rough, but you can clearly hear us. Not a youtube expert yet.
So there you have it, Kirk’s reaction and a great little Ozzy story you wont find elsewhere.
Its been a long time since the early days of the War of Necessity in Afghanistan. In New York City the smell of the destroyed towers still blew in toxic clouds to every corner of Manhattan at some point every day that dreary, angry fall. It’s a time no one really wants to be reminded of. We mark it solemnly and move on because it’s still painful. Sadly this president trades in pain. Especially when he co-opts the pain of 9-11, an incident he made money off and lied about from day one.
As an insulting and offensive reminder of 9-11 President Trump allowed early release for a hated Traitor whose name is forever tied to that day.
Thanks to Donald Trump, John Walker Lindh is a Free Man. The president didn’t stop it for reasons all his own.
It looks to many like he just wants to minimize Treason and insult the CIA.
The Tale of Johnny Taliban
Very soon after the 9-11 Attacks, we got real sickening surprise. Among the evil Taliban we found an American from California who just loved shooting at American soldiers with an AK-47. Somehow we took him alive. Maybe heroin had led him down a bad trail, you can see for yourself in the pictures he could have been drugged up, but it doesn’t really matter WHY he was shooting at Americans.
John Walker-Lindh was and is dangerous. He was then and he is now. Looking back to 2001 he was way too involved with the people who attacked America. He may have offered them some tips on how to fit in for all we know. As far as I’m concerned he may as well have been flying one of those planes
He took up arms against his country in very proactive way. Like shooting at people proactive, which is obviously really violent and extreme. We don’t know he didn’t manage to kill one of the Americans he was, lets face it, trying to kill!
Lindh was right there in it, he was captured on the 25th of November, 2001 just weeks into the war. To dispel any romance about him, he was on the run from US Forces for weeks and he surrendered when the rest of his unit gave up. So calling him a real follower seems fair.
He was down with al Qaeda. He MET Osama bin Laden! He was an enemy combatant. At just 20 years old he couldn’t even buy a beer. He was rightfully hated by Americans for his actions. And he’s still the same guy. Unrepentant and evil to the core.
People reacted emotionally to Lindh. Hatefully called “The American Taliban” or mockingly derided as “Johnny Taliban” he was scorned and would have been ripped apart by an angry mob anywhere in America.
A lot of people thought he should be shot on the pitcher’s mound of Yankee Stadium by an NYPD firing squad; and I would have bought a ticket. They would probably have been hard to get. He bought peoples anger right to the surface. I think it’s because he looked like any one of us if he cleaned himself up and could have done something sinister anywhere easily.
For better or worse, George W Bush’s Justice Department’s preferred image was that of a ‘kinder, gentler’ Department, maybe even just a little more for white people. So in the end they gave him just 20 years. It was an unpopular outcome. I considered it too light at the time. I still think it deserved no less than 25 to life. Or, hey, Death.
Trump;s Sick Johe-Now Lindh Walks Among Us
Thanks to President Trump, Now he walks among us. The 38 year old is a real threat to the American People and early parole just isn’t for people like him. I know I don’t sound too progressive here, but the Boston Bomber is going to die, why is Lindh walking free? Probably only cause he’s white. I’m a strict Constitutionalist on Treason. If it’s really treason you should really die.
But he’s walking around Free and I think he’s looking for a way to hurt people. Obviously, he needed all of that extra jail time of that too short sentence and more.
Enter the Commander-in-Cheat blowing off an easy call – asking he remain locked up. If Lindh were an of Arab descent would he have been silent? because to Trump this wasnt worth so much as a tweet. Its like he lacks all connection and sentiment for his the his home town of New York Lindh helped attack.
Trump Endorsing White Privilege
Let’s be honest; John Walker-Lindh owes his light sentence and his life to what amounts to White Privilege pure and simple. Does anyone think a fourth generation Pakistani-American would have gotten the same sentence? Or anyone but a white rich guy? White Privilege makes this release even more appealing to Trump.
Make no mistake the early release of John Walker-Lindh is tantamount to letting an aspiring Oklahoma City Bomber (at least) loose on the streets of America. He’s not ready for or deserving of freedom. He’s still a young man and he’s clearly had time to think up awful things to do to people he hates. I doubt he was reading the classics in prison. This guy’s a threat and should have gotten life. Or Death.
But John Walker-Lindh is a white guy whose family had some money. His more than decent lawyers got him charged with Providing comfort to the enemy and 20 years instead of Treason and Death. At the time it was seen to be a very brilliantly litigated legal coup by the defense. The sentence was considered by most extremely light in face of the facts we knew. Sold to the court as sort of an OCD Idiot who happened onto Islam, his lawyers did well. He’d walk free still a young man. I hated it.
It happened the way it did because there was an eagerness then to just want him to be misguided and maybe crazy rather than a guy who wanted with all his heart to kill Americans. It was done to make people feel like no sane American could ever do this willingly. It was saying that there wasn’t a terrorist lurking inside everyone waiting to come out. The guy was just another asshole. It made everyone a little less nervous.
We were wrong about all of that. Seems the only person who didn’t figure this out was ‘President’ Trump.
Nothing more than a letter to the parole would have been needed. Trump chose not to act.
Now President Trump is releasing Lindh early despite the charges of “Providing Support to the Taliban” being the sort of thing a self proclaimed ‘Law and Order’ president would rightly be expected to go hard on. But instead this accomplice to the murder of a CIA Agent will go free.
A recently captured in Lindh in 2001
He looked like a Chechen rebel and maybe had powder burns on his face. If captured with the Nazis doing the same thing in 1944 he would have been tried and hung.
Now and Then
After he was in jail in Afghanistan he still got into trouble again in a prison riot that cost the life of the very first American to die in Afghanistan, CIA agent ‘Johnny” Michael Spann. His daugter Alison Spann advocated strongly to his early release and I am inclined to agree.
Some prison recent prison documents in the form of his writings and a few statements show Lindh’s no more than an unrepentant fan of ISIS and a real jerk who might try something again. He probably should have served his time at GITMO considering these results. He’s learned nothing.
He’s as dumb as Trump and is now also his pawn.
Minimizing Teason and Insulting the CIA
So WHY the early parole? I see President Trump’s hand. He sees a chnce to both downplay Treason AND slap the intelligence Community in the face. Lindh was, after all, paty to the killing of a CIA Agent.
It’s wrong and it’s UnAmerican that he serves one minute less than the 20 years. I saw what he helped do in New York, I don’t like the guy. Still, hows hating America and admiring ISIS ‘Good Behavior” for a guy who is supposedly getting out early for being ‘rehabilitated?
Trump’s wrong as always to allow this to happen. He loves that its happening and maybe he’ll mention it. Walker IS white though, so maybe not.
The only people who had a ‘Good Day’ on 9-11 were soulless Rudy Ghouliani who kust loved being on TV, Lindh and Osama bin Laden for obvious reasons, and, no longer surprisingly, a lying, gloating Donald Trump. who spent the day lying and gloating and has amassed a heap of 9-11 lies since.
If you look at the people this president has pardoned or freed its a sad list of mostly true criminals, creeps and lately, military murderers (with the odd Kardashian-aided exception)
Its all to denigrate the office of president. I still believe thats his witting or unwitting Kremlin mission
UPDATE- It worked, well over a year later the bed bugs never came back. I beat the infestation! Here’s how I did it –
Well it was over 5 weeks ago that I awoke covered with bed bug bites and discovered a nice sized colony of a few dozen in the folds of my bed. A Useless (but quite normal) panic attack ensued.
So here’s how I got through it; in short- I used “The All of the Above” Approach
Moment to moment escape tips are at the end if that’s all you need.
Oh No, It’s For Real!
How did this happen? I’m really clean! Was it the subway? The movies? The library? That time I accidentally put a hat on my bed? (Probably)It no longer matters, the problems right here.
If you have anti-anxiety meds, now’s the time. Ignoring this will be appealing, but only make it worse. Smoke something, have a drink or whatever, cancel plans and after a little while coming to terms with this horror story get to work ending it.
So youre gonna want some rubbing alcohol, lots of it. For one thing it takes the sting out of the bites real well, for another it kills bed bugs on contact, so get some atomizer bottles too. Or an old cleanser bottle, more on this later when we get to the Bed Bug Phazer
After I got up off the floor I realized my bed and box spring were shot. Out they went with the bed frame. Fast as possible. Then, being a cautious kind of guy I tossed my area rug. You’re supposed to encase these things in plastic trash them before you throw them out so no one else takes them in.
Clear shower liners and duct tape work, or thicker disposable plastic painters drop clothes. You might want some of these for sorting your stuff since its all possibly infested (and you have to act like it is or you wont get rid of them). This is overkill, because you’ll still need to clean the floor, but it wont hurt. So the stuff went outside looking like Chernobyl waste.
This didn’t stop some idiot from taking both, in just the time it took me to retrieve the spray paint to mark them “Bed Bugs”. So, as blood smeared as they were, encased in clear plastic and clearly sketchy, they were snatched up. Honestly, it looked like someone was murdered on them; but some people just see garbage as gold. So, too bad for them.
Back to me. I started running all my clothes and drapes through the drier at the laundromat. Budget like 75 bucks for this and only wash what you must. A lot of stuff can just be rin through the drier.
Drying for over a half hour will kill the bugs in its own, but youre gonna wanna keep washing what you always wash. You might get away with washing at regular temperature, its a long hot stint in the drier that’s the killer of bed bugs. The washing machine WILL probably kill most anyway, but they cant survive a half hour in a drier on high. ALWAYS DRY ON HIGH FOR AT LEAST 30 MINUTES FOREVER MORE!!!
You’re about to spend a fortune. Keep receipts. Some may come back to you depending on local laws and after this I got renters insurance!
I bought some kind of flea and bed bug fogger and pulled everything off the walls. I went triple dosage. I spent 4 rainy hours wandering Queens waiting for it to dissipate. Of course the fogger said it can’t outright kill them, but it did say it would keep the small ones from maturing, so hopefully the populations now static and I’m killing the ones that are left. And thanks to the fogger they are messed up and can no longer have sex. This makes me feel a little better. If I can’t neither can they, right? Because, lets face it, my social lifes fucked for a month or so.
The City to the Rescue
My landlord here in Queens is an asshole who tried to escalate it into an eviction. My lease was almost up, he might’ve had me. So I called 311, City Services. When they found out my landlord threatened eviction they kicked it to the cops. STAY CALM. This could have ended with my landlord in cuffs for yelling at me, but I just decided that the Police should know he was an asshole and leave it at that. So with that in my hip pocket I started googling and throwing stuff away. I should have googled longer as I trashed some save-able stuff. What can I say, I was stressed, overtired and overwrought!
The authorities immediately started heating my landlords ass; and after a sleepless night I got the landlords exterminator there for the first dose. In other words – it was free. That happened mostly because he HAD to and now throwing me out now was considered some kind of retaliation so the new lease was tendered and signed. 7 days later. I didnt feel great about it, a rent hike and 2 more years in an apartment thats currently a dump filled with sealed trash bags and not much furniture.
Also, as far as the city goes, if you keep the paperwork and are sort of diligent, you can have the city send over a super adorable Jack Russell terrier to re-check the place, but it has to be at least a month after the insecticide treatment for them to be able to detect them.
There was no two ways about it, I had to go crazy washing and throwing stuff away like crazy. For days after sleep deprived day. It’s a long, painful, expensive game.
It sucks but there’s a couple of hacks to save some money. But wow is your dry cleaning bill gonna suck. You can space it out by isolating stuff in sealed bags that you’ll never open in the house again.
You’ll need lots of large strong garbage bags. Clear bags are the best cause they need no labeling. I couldnt find any in time. I labelled the bags with a sharpie and some painters tape. It paid off a million times over because you dont want to keep re-opening suspect bags.
As NYC heat laws made the couch up against the radiator across the room the last place they’d want to be I opted to try to use it as a bed. It worked out as far as I was never bitten again. But I slept like I was in a cage at GITMO as far as sleep goes. Dont count on being rested for awhile. Again, some anti-anxiety meds might make a huge difference. I would stay way from ambien though, unless you want to have bed bug hallucinations and no sleep. Valium, xanax, seroquel. Something like that.
Now you’re not gonna get anywhere if your ‘bed’ touches any wall or drapes, make it an island. Don’t let your sheets touch the floor. Check them every day for blood and put all your bedding through the wash like every 4 days and dry it for a half hour like every day!
A Dash of Luck is As Much as You Need
There was one unaffected piece of furniture I could sleep on. I had to concentrate on how much worse it could have been. Sleeping in a sleeping bag in a hardwood floor? Or maybe a long walk to try to buy a pool float to sleep on would have been even worse.
Losing Your Mind
Well this WILL probably happen if youre coming out of winter into spring and you already were cooped up for awhile, but no matter when it hits you, it’s depressing. You’ll feel filthy and you’ll be throwing things away like crazy and you will have to lose sentiment in a way moving never approaches. So much has to go.
And you’ll be a little apprehensive about going to sleep. I advise a trip to the shrink or doctor for something valium or xanax. I never felt so filthy and worthless, and for the first 2 weekends it sort of seemed unfair to others to go out as I suspected I always had them on me (probably untrue)
Surprising Saves and Hacks
Well, the plague claimed my Jets hat. It was the same hat I left on the bed by mistake and started this whole run of bad luck, but thats another post. Maybe that was the source as the infestation as it appeared right where the hat made contact. One way or another, NEVER PUT A HAT ON A BED!!!
Books and picture frames are supposed to go or be sealed for a year. I went with a novel and dangerous approach to saving my baseball hats as they wont survive the drier.
Vacuum like nuts and run it for a minute when youre done to trap them inside. Dont change bags inside. I emptied my dyson vacuum container at the public trash can on my corner. NEVER INSIDE!
I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS BUT I DID IT. As we all know from High School English class paper burns at about 451 degrees. Bed bugs die after about an hour at 140. I lucked out on this as I had an electric oven with NO OPEN FLAME. if you have a gas oven you’re out of luck. You’ll burn your house down for sure. However, I cooked my books, while I was right there with a timer, at 170 degrees. About 40 minutes will do a medium sized book set upright on the rack as high as possible above the element.
Fitted baseball hats are good after 30 minutes but I went an extra 5.
Later i found out the magic temperature is actually 140. Too late, almost none of my shoes made it.
As it really seems to start to be over stay vigilant. Fix and pay may lay off some of this expense on my landlord.
Change your anti-roach discs and treat for them too. Fun Fact – Bed Bugs LAUGH at roach killer and anything short of napalm in most cases. Small roaches are hard to tell from bed bugs. So try to wipe them out as best you can at the same time, if nothing else for piece of mind. Because believe me, your going to be looking through every bug you kill through a magnifying glass to make sure it’s not a bed bug. (Oh yeah, buy a magnifying glass)
As I write this Im starting week 6.
In retrospect waiting out the toxic spray the exterminator used that took like 5 or 6 hours to be non lethal by seeing the 3 hour Avengers Endgame movie was the only fun part. Good movie. Captain Marvel was good too, but left me with a lot more time to kill. You’ll be at the movies and probably the library a lot. Ironic, right?
I’ve reduced the amount of bags and chaos and most of my new Wayfair stuff is here and bed bug proof. Ive cleaned and repopulated the dresser and the closet and I’ve moved onto my new bed. You’d think I’d be fine but now I’m actually the most stressed as the idea they may come back and monopolize my time again is palpable.
I also have some not so paranoid new routines. They fall under the “Ounce of prevention” school of thought.
Street clothes go into a hamper or closable bin before I turn in. I change and rinse my hair if not shower before bed and never sit on my bed with regular clothes and never go sit anywhere but bed in my bed clothes. My backpack NEVER gets near my bed and gets run through the drier once a week for a half hour on high forever more. Jackets too. My jackets hand far from my bed and some stuff done for a whole year til I’m sure the bed bugs are as dead like they deserve to be.
To keep me sane I have my one proactive weapon.
I truly enjoyed throwing my GITMO couch away
My Bed Bug Phazer
Do all the googling you can. There’s lots of information on line and this is just a few tips, not the comprehensive way for surefire extermination.
Some extermination companies have lots of great info, in fact thats what led me to my Bed Bug phazer.
Simply put rubbing alcohol or Dawn dishwashing liquid kills all stages of bed bug and eggs on contact.. Whether other brands work I didnt research, Dawns readily available here. I suspect it does, but why take chances? 1/3 rubbiing alcohol, 1/3 water, 1/3 dawn will create the most deadly anti bed bug sprat ever. So I mist the area around my bed every night, spray suspect areas near where they like to hang out and I feel kinda powerful.
The pile of bloody mattresses and pictures in the trash along with the Wayfair boxes from other apartments tell me theyre still here. So I taped over all outlets not in use. The bastards love to travel along electric wires. Tape your over your unused outlests and around the edges of any poorly fitted outlet plates. Again, blue painters tape works.
So good luck my friend. Tonight, going on 6 weeks in I will sleep on valium with my Bed Bug Phazer at my side. I will be having that Jack Russell back to be sure theyre gone, but lifes changed. I’ll have Bed Bug PTSD for some time.
But, if you do your research, throw away stuff like crazy and saty calm things will eventually get better. And whatever you do, dont cut corners. This is a war. Think Im kidding? I’m still not sure that weird flu-like spell where I was sick for 3 days wasnt them. Lets face it I was also depressed, forced to stay out in the spring rain a lot and not sleeping well. Even if not the direct cause, they ended up making me sick.
So take it seriously and remember – slow and steady wins the race. Stay vigilant forever more. Lastly – Fear No Bed Bugs! We also survived the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs, and we have the brains to fight them!
Cleared by the Bedbug Dog
New York City is strict and punitive when it comes to bedbugs. I requested a bedbug dog check out the place and they happily obliged. Keep in mind it has to be at least a month after you chemically treat the place or the dog can’t detect anything I worked with 311, essentially filing a new complaint a month later, so I could have this oeace of mind. So worth it!
So you get a visit from a city housing inspector with a super cute dog. All my paranoia and overkill had paid off. The apartment was certified bed bug free. Also, the housing inspector was a totally alright guy who gigged my landlord to fix some other stuff.
Seriously once the dog cleared me I felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. And I could lay off the ongoing expense. I was still scared and all OCD about it until this reassuring thing happened. Now I can finally stop looking at mosquito bites and every bug I kill here under a magnifying glass.
It Was a Real Life Horror Story- My Mini-Escape Tips
Well, as you finish this post here’s some things that helped me survive. It’s a horror story, you can’t totally turn it off. So you might as well embrace it. Take advantage of every free offer for home movie services. You’ll still have a TV, a computer or device, and a smartphone. You’ll want to use these to escape.
Watch everything on Netflix (wild wild country will take up a whole night). I didn’t have the energy to play guitar or Game much. So its possible you’ll be a bit lethargic at home. Better that than in a panic though.
The first six Black Sabbath albums were made for real life pain this bad. Maybe check them out.
Kubrick movies, movies about Kubrick movies, movies about the people who worked on Kubrick Movies all helped. Full Metal Jacket especially was enhanced by paranoia and feeling under siege. And the ending is even more ominous. As Rafterman says in the penultimate scene, “Hardcore man, Hardcore.”
Youtube Red has a lot of books from before Audible. Just search “Book on tape” and a subject or title and save 20 bucks, you’ll need that money.
Watch Horror a little. Sci-fi and escapism are good too.
And read more. Read Horror. I did. It was appropriate. Im biased Hey, my friend Josh WROTE Bird Box, i re-read that. SO I KNOW about not wanting to open your eyes! Sadly that book was too thick to save.
Fresh back from seeing the Tolkien movie and I have to say the absence of Peter Jackson’s influence was the best thing about it. In other words, it wasn’t re-invented with lots of crying and conflict. It was pretty much an accurate life story.
It was also a good watch, more cinema than movie. This movie delivers on several levels.
Here’s some of the things I found charming
1- While the great authors childhood is somewhat truncated Colm Meaney delivers as the the Catholic priest who becomes guardian to the Tolkien brothers when JRR Tolkien is about 12.
2- The youth and education of Tolkien are well portrayed by a fine cast of children.
3- The young adult cast are superbly selected and there’s no wondering which one is which, they strongly resemble their younger counterparts
4- The Battle sequence that weaves the movie together is fantastic, horrific and beautiful all at once
5- The costumes and sets were great. From the civilian clothes to the military uniforms the feel of the movies very authentic.
6- Good use of CGI despite it not being ‘Avengers’ level
7- Since this generation only knows the fond old pipe smoking man from the photo on the back of the novels there was a real need to show what he was all about.
8- Nicholas Hoult and Lily Collins have real chemistry
9- The script is unique and compelling
10- Its NOT a superhero movie. It’s about time!
11- Never devolves into Downton Alley despite the time its set in
12- Insights into his inspiration are well portrayed, especially as a he wanders the battlefield in a semi hallucinatory state from trench fever searching for a close friend
13- The word “Fellowship” will enter your lexicon
14- It’s DIFFERENT. If you blow this off you’re kind of saying you just want 25 superhero flicks a year. Throw 16 bucks at this and maybe we get a Silmarillion movie
15- Though grand in scale, its not grandiose. Its a relatable movie to anyone who knows friendship, love, loss, pain and shows you Tolkien’s so called “Fire of Creation”.
16- Maybe if it does well we get a Tolkien book made into a movie by someone other than disrespectful Peter Jackson. Dome Karukoski’s direction is spot on.
17- Most “Creative Process” movies are documentaries. It would be great to explore some great authors writing process in dramatic form….except that CS Lewis movie with Anthony Hopkins and Debra Winger, what a piece of crap!
18-For you Marvel die-hards, this doing well is probably the only way there’ll ever be a Stan Lee biopic. Let’s face it, with the deluge of Marvel movies we probably need one of those too.
19- We’re spared ALL MENTION of uber-boring CS Lewis who wrote dozens of stories but all of 3 good books whereas Tolkien wrote only 4 in his lifetime and all were incredible.
20- The foreseeable ending is exactly what you want
Was it perfect? No but it was not really flawed either. Pacing was good, the acting, story and directing are good. All the moving pieces unite well. While Tolkien was quite religious I do not think the word Catholic was in the movie. If you pay attention they use the term priest, but fantastic Colm Meaney’s wardrobe is more episcopalian to the eye. A catholic priest (my uncle whom I saw it with) confirmed a small percentage of catholic priests DID wear that garb around World War 1, so its still accurate in a sense. But probably less than 10% of the priests of the time dressed that way. I don’t consider this a flaw.
So what are you waiting for? See this underrated piece of cinema
In a rare treat, I got to interact on Twitter with the creative force behind the movie just a little, I make no apologies for my admiring reactions. I truly enjoyed his movie; here’s my twitter interaction with Dome Karukoski –
I don’t feel like I’m alone viewing William Barr as a 2nd tier Lucas Movie Villain. He’s dishonest, dishonorable and belongs in a museum.
Today’s partisan hearing was a reflection of our bi-polar government. As senators coddled or cudgeled Barr based on party affiliation you gotta think the momentum is with the Democrats.
Sure, it’s the Senate where the GOP is in control, but this is certainly yet another cut in into the Orange flesh of the liar at 1600’s Administration.
When i tuned in it was Ernst, who gently asked about what the Russians may be up to, that friendly question from a Republican drew an evasive answer. It made him all the more unsympathetic when he was then rightly bashed by Blumenthal. Then he was coddled by Blackburn, bashed by Booker and so it went. Hirono was by far the heashest and rightly called Barr a liar.
When elaborating conspiracy theories and accepting praise from the right of course Barr looked like a victim. It was when the Democrats put the screws to him his spineless nature came right out.
Whenever questioned by a Democrat Barr’s voice was always a bit more affected if you ask me, with his regionalisms coming out. A “liars tell”?
On the topic of Foreign Adversaries who attacked our election Barr rarely seemed fully read in (this is the Attorney General mind you) and seemed to lack the competence to understand what happened or whats going on now.
Barr wasn’t good holding forth in the face of Corey Booker at all. The presidential hopeful questioned Barr’s honesty and barr had a hard time pitching any justifications. Bookers questions were damaging to the Attorney General, who SHOULD resign, but getting Barr to answer anything was always like nailing jello to a wall.
Tarheel GOP hater Tom Tillis shifted back into love-fest mode. The GOP senators had two points. It was a really gig investigation and the he, Barr, was totally justified to change (or at least obscure) its conclusions. Tillis offered a stiff defense of the way Barr has behaved as AG. He went with a numbers approach to make it as boring and obscure s possible because Math, in and of itself, really has no relation to whether something is a crime or not.
The GOP refrain was this is just a sour grapes second stab at the reputation of poor president Trump, king of victimhood.
Senator Kamala Harris asked Barr if he’d had anyone asking him to launch punitive investigations. Barr just couldn’t answer. He was more disrespectful to Harris than others. I’m not sure if it because shes running for president, a woman of color or both.
Barr chaffed a bit when he delivered up stock denials on methodology questions about his offices approach. He wouldn’t say much about what they do and less about what people think they do.
Barr tried to punt to Mueller but Harris had none of it. The next move by Barr was to try to shift responsibility to Rosenstein.
Barr didn’t distinguish himself in his knowledge of his own departments methods at all.
Mike Crapo of Idaho from the GOP side was a little less affectionate to Barr, but by no means beat him up.
Barr never raised himself to a Star Trek or Bond Villain level like his boss often does.
Any sympathy bought by Barr was immediately destroyed by the chummy conversation with Senator from Hell Ted Cruz; where Barr suddenly had full commend of methods ad could relate them in detail. Maybe its just that he sounds smart compared to Cruz?
Looking me like some sort of Texas whorehouse owner than any kind of a politician from this century Cruz was that guy we’ve all grown to hate. He still managed to stump Barr by mistake once.
Their conversation was a paranoid and unamerican trip down Kremlin Misinformation lane. I walked away wondering who pulls Cruz’s strings
Ending Round 1 Pat Leahy, Democrat of Vermont went back to questions of more relevance. Like one focused on Barr’s motives in releasing his strange 4 page letter last month. He also expressed concern and asked Barr to commit not to interfere to not interfere in any ongoing investigations. Barr was evasive and took 3 lame swipes at an answer. Leahy wasn’t too thrilled with him. It’s also not clear if Barr actually agreed NOT to interfere based on his own bizarre view of his role and powers.
Instead of just adjourning the Lindsay Graham opted for what amounted to a “Lightning Round” where it was a roulette wheel of Senators and questions
Barr was unsettled by some of this enough to start trying to dispel the idea that there were any “Underlying crimes”. He wasn’t making a lot of sense.
Then Dick Durbin of Illinois had some seriously unsettling questions about how Barr is mishandling the Trump Inaugural committee, which is mired in a multi million dollar scandal that’s looking criminal.
Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island essentially laced right in. The Democrat was slightly pre-heated and was frustrated with the way Barr was evading. He was more able to box in and nail down Barr. His line of questioning was about foreign money and Grand Jury material being suppressed. Barr came off confused. A terrible look for the Attorney General of the United States.
Klobuchar grilled Barr on whether the Mueller Report reviewed Trumps taxes, Barr claimed ignorance.
Quoting pages and passages Klobuchar tried to get some accountability from Barr. You cant get blood from a stone though, and he inartfully dodged any substantial answer.
In a final semi bombshell Klobuchar asked if the presidents conduct was consistent with his Oath of Office. Barr said it was his call that everything was cool.
Lightning Round continued with Blumenthal. He had specific questions in specific conversations that may haunt Barr later.
In general Barr spent a lot of time looking pretty damn bad. He was clueless on purpose to stonewall at times, but looking clueless just undermines the Justice Department he purports to run
Barrs most bizarre statement was putting words in Mueller’s mouth where he claimed Mueller was pretty much behind him and they barely disagree on anything. This seems ridiculous right off the bat. There’s a letter in the public record where Mueller outright questions the way Barr’s motives in mischarachterizing his report.
Lindsey Graham ended the session and promised to write a letter asking for any clarifications. GOP ass kissing was allowed in 5 second round of praise from some GOP member.
In a final petty gesture Barr described the angry letter from Mueller as ‘snitty’ and probably written by an underling. He held to the Republican line the presidents a victim in this. Forget about the idea that the president is a criminal, that’s his view of the system. That we have a designated criminal as a president,
We all knew that eventually proximity to Trump was going to cause Good Ol’ Gal Sarah Huckabee Sanders some problems. While I speculate one day the criminality she’s been part of will come back to haunt her I didn’t think she’d figure deeply into the Mueller Report, and she didn’t.
None the less, her talking out of both sides of her mouth was one of the first stories to ruminate through the headlines when the report, or what we’ve been allowed to see of it, dropped. Seems Sarah’s Christian values don’t include even the slightest guilt about lying unless there’s jail time involved.
And her lies werent to mitigate Trump’s insanity, she was burnishing it.
The Mueller Report showed her to be an Enabler rather than any of the authors of the Anonymous New York Times “White House Resistor” article, where the idea was to stick around at the expense to your own dignity just to keep Trump from blowing up the world.
When James Comey was fired for not dropping the Flynn Investigation Sarah had a series of May 2017 pressers (remember when we had pressers?) where she simply lied to the American People. Her repeated lie, which she’s since told some more lies about, was that her phone was ringing off the hook with grateful FBI Agents thanking her for Trump’s firing of Comey. I’m not sure why they thought she would want to hear it. I guess she took the (fictional) calls in between high 5-ing all the other FBI Agents she claimed stopped her to tell her how glad they were their boss had been fired amid a torrent of abusive comments about the Bureau itself.
When in front of Mueller Sarah actually told the truth. These were pure lies made up from whole cloth. Obviously she was parroting her boss.
Cries she be fired are now pretty universal. The Fox White House guy may even be on board with that one, he has to listen to the lies too, right? But this is how Trump likes it.
By the third week of April we’ve had 4 Pressers all year, in no regular order. This begs the question – what exactly does Sarah do these days?
The worst day ever. A day where even Howard Stern went into News mode and stopped all on air humor. By 10 am the entire national character was changed forever.
The Donald’s Self Centered 9-11 Lies
What didn’t change that day was Donald Trump’s penchant for self centered grandiose lying. The buildings had just fallen when he started off a blue streak of horrible lies that continues to this day. The only person who had a 9-11 as emotionally fulfilling as Trump would be Osama bin-Laden.
And every 9-11 since Trump has refreshed and updated his lies. Always bigger than the previous years. The lies have really piled up. Eventually he presented himself falsely as prominently featuring in the recovery efforts by supplying labor and equipment. It’s untrue.
The fact is the president is simply plain old bad with serious things, especially death. Be it the death of a military hero, the death of a rival politician, the death of an average citizen, you name it. He’s made inappropriate comments about all of it. He always speaks horribly and never offers anything in the way of comfort (unless you count violent retribution).
Failing to show any compassion in the face of national tragedies has been Trump’s True North. Be it defending Nazis, disappearing completely when gun violence by angry right wingers unfolds, trashing the late John McCain or making grandiose false claims in the face of bigger tragedies, like the Hurricane that he won’t admit devastated Puerto Rico. Trump’s been a total bust in a role where the nation used to look to get a few sober words of encouragement from their leaders.
In New York Trump was already old news by 9-11 and no one was overly surprised he said outrageous hard to believe things. Mostly no one noticed because everyone except Trump and Giuliani were emotionally overwhelmed and not reading Page 6 to see Trump’s crazy claims. So some of his worst remarks were shot into the dark, luckily for him. But not all, people noticed. Trump’s vulgar personality was well known.
The things Trump has done and said revolving around 9-11 have been just plain disgusting. He started off immediately, gloating THAT DAY. As the fire raged he falsely claimed he now had the biggest building in Manhattan. Later came the delusions that he saw people falling from the building from his vantage point 4 miles away. Most obnoxious of all was maybe the lie about seeing “thousands of arabs dancing on the rooftops celebrating” when the buildings fell. This last lie seems to have no bottom and lead to some deep lows through the campaign and beyond. More on this whopper of a falsehood later.
Shamelessly taking 150K in Federal Aid he probably didn’t deserve and definitely didn’t need was the first thing he did when the dust started to settle.
Needless to say there was no aspect of 9-11 Donald Trump didn’t personally appropriate. he was the biggest victim if he’s to be believed as far as personal loss goes. Notably saying “I lost hundreds of friends” on 9-11. It’s almost laughable if it wasn’t so serious. It would mean Trump knew about one out of every ten people who died in the Towers.
Does anyone believe he ever had hundreds of friends to begin with? How many friends do you have? How many of them work in the same quarter-mile area? Yeah it was downtown Manhattan, but being friends with ‘hundreds of people” in just the Towers? This is BEFORE Facebook changed the definition of friend. There was virtually no social media yet. So anyone having ‘hundreds of friends’ in 2001 seems a stretch anyway.
So the idea you could have “hundreds of friends” who died on 9-11? Is this even true of anyone outside say the pretzel vender who had the stand outside the buildings? That’s about like as likely as having both your children become left-handed starting pitchers for the Yankees the same season kind of a long shot. It’s a damned lie.
The biggest lies Trump has uncorked about 9-11 have mostly been about seeing that aforementioned imaginary ‘massive’ celebration of arabs ‘dancing in the streets and rooftops’ of Newark when the Towers fell. This is the claim that lead him to famously mock the disabled reporter who tried to clarify the tale, which was reported as an unverifiable rumor and NEVER involved ‘thousands’ of people.
It seems to never have happened. There’s never been any footage or pictures of it. It was just a random thing Trump happened to remember that was never really true. It was in with all the other misinformation like the car-bomb that wasn’t on the 59th Street Bridge or the pipe-bombs in the subway that were just abandoned suitcases. In other words; it was one of the misconceptions and wild rumors that flew around in the ether that day.
It’s a story only in the papers that were put together by dazed survivors who had been in proximity of the Attacks, later on 9-11 (as limited a run as those papers were). Facts were few and far between for about a week. New York papers did some of their best and worst work at the same time. It was followed up but the reporter could never verify it. There were rumors all over the place. This one ends up being the most toxic, but not for a really long time as Trump doesn’t recall or speak of it for 14 years.
Maybe the most notable thing about this racist lie, he’s first recorded uttering in 2015, is that its the first time we know of that he ever sees a large crowd that isn’t there.
Could these be some of the same imaginary people he saw at his inauguration? That particular shindig, which Trump’s lied non stop about, sometimes claiming it was “a million people”, had far less than a third as many people at it as President Obama turned out in 2009, where it really was close to TWO MILLION people on hand in the moment in DC. So it’s a notable first as far as outright hallucinations the ‘president’ occasionally has.
Back to Trump’s extraordinary claim. I personally refute it based on the fact I lived through the same events here in the New York City area and can tell you it absolutely would have ended in murder if you tried to be happy and start dancing the day 9-11 happened. It wouldn’t have been something only one person ever saw. The people who did something like that would have been jailed for inciting a riot the moment such behavior began if someone didn’t simply attack them first.
Anyone who had attempted to dance and celebrate on 9-11 would have been physically attacked, possibly killed and the killers would have gotten Community Service on 9-11. Where’s the police records? Where’s the Emergency Room records? Where are the court records for the crimes this would have sparked. Where’s even one other witness to this massive display?
The Bully in the Bully Pulpit resurrects this day far too often. And always for far too little. In this case it’s just his mean-spirited nature can’t miss a chance to attack a minority female and its wrapped up in 9-11 to disguise his attack. I feel like it comes off as part of his whole hatred of women and minorities more than anything else.
The day of 9-11 was horrifying and wouldn’t end. Only Trump found a way to celebrate that day. Trump knows an ignorant cottage industry sprung up around 9-11 and when he lies about it it’s just a mentally ill guy looking to create other mentally ill people to hang out with.
It’s strange that History will have no choice but to call Trump “a powerful, seductive voice” but it just will. He’s led Marine Generals and captains of Industry off of cliffs. And still they keep falling in line to fall of that cliff. It’s plain old hard to fathom how anyone finds him well spoken or compelling enough for the label to fit but it is what it is.
Trump Vs Omar
Right now we have a lot of anger being stoked by Trump taking some out of context quotes from Rep Ihan Omar, who isn’t the best speaker, and trying to make it into an endorsement of the Attacks. Honestly the twitter meme Trump sent out was pretty low and creepy and fits with the idea he’s working with Putin to divide Americans.
The out of context audio clip by Omar was bad and dishonest enough without looping it and juxtaposing it with the worst moments of 9-11. Like 7 times in a row. Ihan Omar, elected from the sae state that gave us Michele Bachmann, is something of a poorly spoken novice as a freshman House of Representatives member from Minnesota. While she may need charm school she seems to have only said true things in a way that some people have either been offended by or opted to seize on. It’s not too hard to make her look bad. This was a bridge too far to start with. Its also just a pretty flimsy pretext to send a message straight out of the Third Reich as far as hatefulness. Way too eager to be a creep there.
When it comes to 9-11 I’m a lot less prone to be upset or offended by someone understating the whole thing than I do with a person who misappropriates it and co-opts it to advance their own egotistical designs.
So the real Trolls of 9-11 have always been Donald Trump and Ann Coulter, not necessarily in that order at any given time, but really, no one’s said anything that comes close to what these two have said.
“Behind the Curve” is currently on Netflix and is part of what I call their “Disturbingly Uncomfortable Observation You Can’t Turn Off Documentary” series. This one, about Flat Earthers, is better than most. It’s an enjoyable watch that explores the paradigm of purposeful liars and the mentally ill people they thrive off the affections of in a world where everything’s a fix and an inside job.
When you watch this you will be exposed to lying from main subject Mark Sargent, who I’m assuming is an ‘incel’ (Involuntarily Celibate) and is just the Roger Stone of Flat -Earthers. He’s not that bright or that honest. Why he puts himself out there is obvious, he’s an attention junkie. Most all of them are. That’s probably why all of them own prominently displayed musical instruments.
Mark Sargent’s crazy podcast co-host and horrible incel crush Patricia Steere, mostly keeps him at monitors length (or huge bowl of popcorn) away. Steere is Sargent’s sidekick and enabler to a degree. No romance is verified as ever happening, and Steere’s move from Texas to Vancouver never worked out, but they’re still friends and podcasting away. Steere’s inherited enough cash to get by, but she could always use more to buy some more Morrissey memorabilia or another Union Jack Les Paul guitar. She’s had a lot of work done. Her Police description would be something like “Kooky pipe cleaner tied in a knot wearing a babydoll dress”.
They allegedly have some kind of mesmeric chemistry that garners views as they fight, get this, “Science-ism” and try to “Break the Ball” in a bunch of podcasts I won’t name. Mostly its just two crazy people denying reality while Sargent stares lovingly at Steere, cradling his podcast mic like a man obsessed. When you realize it its hilarious. He can have the whole flat world, but he can’t seem to get her. Probably because she’s crazy and so is he and maybe grandiose lying is all they have in common.
Well done, responsible and well rebutted, Behind the Curve delivers a solid viewing experience.
Pathological Liar Mark Sargent
Steere and Sargent are dismal humans at their best moments. They’re just lying. They love the attention. There’s enough people out there indiscriminately watching YouTube to have probably made them a few bucks off their crazy cottage industry/ hobby (before YouTube changed its compensation rules). They were approaching 200 podcasts at the time of filming.
These two liars are just not too great at the lying either. So the idea they could ever con someone is a bit depressing, but you gotta imagine to be conned by them is a personal shortcoming and shows some sort of adversarial personality disorder. You already had some problems if they’re appealing to you.
In the NASA Museum they never should have been allowed into they show up I guess at 930 am on a Tuesday to make sure the place was empty and they purposefully misuse and misinterpret the displays. They touch the screens on display and complain that its fake and doesn’t work. Then without cutting the camera brilliantly zooms in on the “START” button they simply aren’t hitting to initiate the display. So they’re not great at lying.
Thankfully Steere and Sargent aren’t the whole movie. You’d just turn it off after 20 minutes if it was. There’s an entire supporting cast of people with varying levels unmedicated mental illness or who are plain old lacking in intelligence.
The smarter people are mostly very mentally ill. They are a sad lot and they are a compelling display of what you can fall into if you don’t keep a check on some traits that lots of us have but these people are lost in.
The True Believers
So while many of them are liars, the truly mentally ill people are not to be outdone simply because they’re nuts. One dedicated group selectively obey and ignore (or are blissfully unaware of) the Laws of Physics in hilariously misconceived pseudo Science Experiments.
The amount of money they spend on their “Laser” experiment runs into the dozens of dollars, but they did it anyway. They basically put a giant laser leveler beam across about 4 miles of terrain and by doing such try to prove the earth has no curve. Forgetting for a moment that topographical features will play in to any result, no laser can stay focused enough to provide an accurate measure that far away. This took several laughable tries.
Ultimately, 4 miles away the laser was something like 11 feet wide. It couldn’t be measured. Naturally, having a preconceived notion of the outcome, they figure something out on the fly. Of course the nebulous ‘results’ seemed to show them they were on the right track.
Almost all of them are motivated to constantly assert the earth is flat and will just challenge average people to advance their hive-mind dedication to exposing as many people as possible to the Flat Earth belief system such as it is. So it’s the opposite of Fight Club that way.
For the people who aren’t podcasting about it (which is a shockingly cutthroat world) or doing a wack ‘experiment’ there’s other pastimes. Like the not touched upon but real people who create and sell flat earth T-shirts (doing okay) or, more in focus, people making mechanical art dedicated to showing the Flat Earth (not doing as well). The artist is delusional and thinks he has a goldmine. He painstakingly makes crazy, mechanical representations of the Flat Earth model into clocks and coffee tables. He notes “for what I charge for these I want them to be perfect.” Okay… more on him later.
When they interview the people at a given Flat Earth Meet Up the question “So how’s it going?” is a major obstacle. Everyone’s got a lot of problems and is very isolated. Usually it’s because the “Globe-ists” don’t understand and are instinctively hateful towards them to have them tell it. They’re pretty much all there by themselves. Some tell stories of how they alienated people from their lives by constantly pestering them that the Earth is flat. Its genuinely sad to behold.
The Bad Guy
Aside from the unifying mutual hatred of the CIA, the Men In Black and NASA, the Flat Earthers are actually strongly divided against themselves.
One faction follows a strange 30-ish guy who calls himself Math Powerland. He’s working out of perhaps Amsterdam? His video excerpts were pure insanity, but he had some kind of numerical pseudo science approach that he was using to back up his theories. It’s nonsense of course and he won’t leave his studio to debate it. During his screeds, delivered in front of a keyboard synthesizer, an otherwise tasked female simply walks around with a smartphone in the background while he rants. The whole things pretty weird and almost feels like a lost “Kids in the Hall” sketch. I would say a dutch Gordon Ramsay but angrier describes Powerland pretty well.
It’s probably true that Powerland has better videos and is a better host, but he’s still selling batshit and he’s maybe aware of it. His demands to participate in the documentary showed a self aware guile. What’s he care? He lives in a country that probably has lifetime unemployment benefits and this is how he uses his time. In other words, he’s not dependent on it to get by. His interest seems purely egotistical.
A lot of Math Powerland’s success might be “hate-watchers”. For his part, ‘Powerland’ despises Sargent and Steere. He also made that aforementioned list of demands so crazy there was no way he was going to get into the movie, so he might be the smartest charlatan. He appears in snippets of his own podcasts. I’m assuming he has some good sources of cocaine.
He’s just another person with a slightly different flat earth grift. He’s also animated and angry, whereas Steere and Sargent are in a ‘mutual admiration trance’ of sorts in their podcasts. So they juxtapose well.
Sociopathic Math Powerland, self certified genius
The Flat Earth ‘Belief System’
All parties seem to be fixated on movie The Truman Show and the TV show Game of Thrones. These two pieces of fiction form the basis of their assertion of what’s happening to all of us all day every day.
According to the Flat Earthers; we are on a flat plane that’s essentially covered with a dome to which the sun and moon have been fitted onto brackets that move like a clock does overhead ‘simulating’ day and night. So the Entire world is a Movie Set. At it’s ends the world is hemmed in by 200 foot high ice walls “Just like Game of Thrones” according to Sargent. I guess somewhere behind the edge of this ice is where the diorama and the dome meet? They’re actually still debating this aspect.
Ruled over by YouTubers who must surely be feeling the crunch of the new YouTube reality where it’s much harder to monetize, the Flat Earthers are very competitive and hate each other for the most part. They’re all highly suspicious of each other and in general a paranoid (and not very smart) group.
The one guy whose advanced himself to head of IT for a mid-sized US city may be making a gambit for a generous early retirement package by appearing in the movie. He’s the smartest one with the most success.
The Flat Earth “Convention”
In a move that may just be related to the new difficulties monetizing on YouTube, Sargent and Steere become involved in organizing a “Flat Earth Convention” that seems to be all about money and feeling important. Hilarity ensues.
‘Randomly’ stopping during his journey to the Flat Earth Convention, Sargent ends up in front of an inexpensive, not that greatly located scrolling electronic sign. He is ‘amazed’ to see an ‘unrelated’ ad for his convention that ‘he had nothing to do with.’ Rather than confront him they show some of the other ads the sign scrolls and how fast it scrolls them and it seems pretty obvious this was no coincidence and he was the one behind the ads.
Finally arriving at the “Flat Earth Convention”, held at a mediocre motor inn near Raleigh NC, I assume near the airport, they one-fourth filled a medium-sized ballroom. Attendees had come from as far away as Ireland (allegedly) in one case. While I doubt anything that ‘just happens’ in front of the camera because they’re such liars, for the most part the attendees at the ‘convention’ were few in number and all too authentic. A confederacy of dunces would seem to cover these poor fools well. The person who bought their child should maybe be visited by Child Protective Services.
Introduced by a man who looks very, very terminally ill; Sargent prepares to address the audience amid doubts from the promoters. The “No Refunds” sign is scaring people away, but clearly it was legally necessary to pull off the grift cleanly. Or the motor inn was concerned about trouble. Whatever the reason it’s important enough to be the last thing they tell him before he walks up to speak.
Sargent was dressed as badly and blandly as always. Wearing a Flat Earth oriented hat and t-shirt and perhaps long pants for once; he took the stage. There were enough people for a minimally robust show of welcome.
Sargent gave little more than a State of the Union on his grandiose ideas to the members of the small but real movement. He didn’t have the pseudo-science down as clean as a Math Powerland-type, and he was live rather than edited. So he wan’t all that great. As a speaker he lacks a good voice or experience and is just not a natural. He also avoids specifics like the plague.
The crowd was still receptive. Lets face it, they walked in to a Flat Earth Convention willingly. They’re all crazy. Most can’t even sit in a chair without being conspicuously mentally ill. It doesn’t appear staged. Sargent and Steele just don’t have the budget to fill the place with actors anyway.
We didn’t see anyone asking for their money back. Make of that what you will.
What we see of the Q&A showed crazy people asking insane questions unflinchingly fielded by liars. Not that the answers were great. The attendees, theorized by the real scientists we see as suffering from severe Dunning-Kruger Effect, are definitely not playing with full decks.
The part where they couldn’t seem to catch the Flat Earth Art Guy making any sales was reassuring. After he drove 1,100 miles to Raleigh to try to sell to the only people who would ever buy his semi-interesting insanity he didn’t seem to do too well. So it seems most of them of them are broke. His art was more clever than good anyway.
Review – Reaction
In my non expert view they were mostly in a certain phase of mental illness best described as between ‘on the street’ and ‘in the psych ward’. Barely functioning. A place where they were just a few coincidences away from being homeless. If they don’t get help they’re ending up in an institution.
Here and there among them a few have struck some Fools Gold in the form of internet validation. It’s just harder to get paid on YouTube these days though.
It seems some people who see it just can’t believe anyone would willingly lie. So every few weeks a few more people ‘bought in’ in the form of a YouTube view.
In the past YouTube monetization was a lot easier. Plus there’s enough people who will just watch anything the autoplay throws by. So the amount of people flat earthing got to be pretty high.
Having created an ‘internet Microenvironment’ they then proceeded to have a ‘Game of Thrones’ amongst themselves over who would be the Kings of the Flat Earth on YouTube. Eventually monetization was cut off from most. The producers dont talk about this but if you watch anyone regularly on YouTube you’ve heard about the monetization woes firsthand. It’s fascinating to see these people and their greed and/ or insanity.
This movie needed to be made. It’s artistic to a degree. Totally voyeuristic, if you’ve never had a relative die of dementia you probably will learn a lot from this movie. There’s help out there but these people aren’t going to get it. They like being crazy. It makes them feel important.
For my part I’ve seen the curvature of the earth out the windows of an airplane and have been to the top of some of New York’s biggest skyscrapers. I believe I’ve seen visual proof the earth is round. I’m sure of it. The world’s round people.
I give it 5 Stars in the “Strange Observations Documentary” category.
It’s a great documentary and flies by when viewing. Just go put it on now.
Was it all just a dream? Did we just imagine the world was once a far more decent place where the guilty were caught and punished? Perhaps so but the dreams have darkened and the waking up consists of screaming in fear these days. How did we get here?
Apparently the flaws in our system have just been piling up in a quantum manner while our risk averse leaders have ignored problems or made them worse. Right now we’re dealing with the seemingly straight forward but actually completely inappropriate Barr Letter.
Whether Barr is allowed to draw conclusions or make decisions on prosecution in this matter is somewhat nebulous. It’s going to be the rest of Trump’s term to determine if any of the things that happened this weekend were legal. The Watergate and Whitewater Special PROSECUTORS had the latitude to draw conclusions and present sealed indictments right to the House Judiciary Committee. Why’s this time different?
Describing the piece of paper Barr gave the American people and the media as a letter is generous. The four page summary of Mueller’s work is more of a memo, but we’ll leave that alone.
It Was A Set Up
The media got played on this one. The Trump people know how to lie and they excelled on this occasion. Knowing that this day was coming they opted for the easiest con of all- Punk Us with a fake release of a non Mueller Report and let the media self-discredit.
The media went straight into Shiny Object mode like we’ve seen so many times and became hypnotized on the Memo/Letter as though it were a report. They had spent 2 years preparing for what seemed to be a timebomb of a story and the teams of pundits were sitting around with the most deadly thing of all; just a little bit of knowledge.
Rather than blast Attorney General Barr for making conclusions he possibly had no right to make they just reported on the letter like it was a bunch of conclusive facts. It’s almost like they set themselves up to fail. Why no one really started talking about the questionable nature of the letter/memo for a whole day is something we all need to wonder about.
The Mueller Report remains a mystery. We need to see it and soon. The American People paid for this report. Trusting it to Barr is UnAmerican.
No one has elected Barr into the Executive Branch, something Trump likes to point out about Mueller. He doesnt have the authority or the Integrity to be sole interpreter and Guardian of the Mueller Report.
Congress needs to act now to release the Mueller Report, more or less in full, in the next 30 days.
If there ever was a man so dumb and vain he could be an unwitting traitor its Donald Trump. At the same time no more dishonest a person than Trump has ever walked this earth. Throw in that the president is socially awkward on his best day and outright inappropriate the rest of the time and you’ve got a Nutty Wanna-Be Dictator who can’t stop venting destroying America from the top down.
Be it tossing paper towels to dazed hurricane survivors in Puerto Rico or lying right to the Parkland survivors; it’s a triumph for Putin and Russia every time the Flag-Hugger-In-Chief does something disgraceful.
Trashing a dead American War Hero isn’t any kind of new trick for Trump, who lied to stay out of the military. The target is new though. The only reason it took this long is that John McCain didn’t die til about 6 months ago.
Trump the Typecast Tyrant
This assertion has something going for it, that is – If the Kremlin could pick the United States president they would want someone just like Donald Trump. Belligerent, bloviating, thin-skinned, brittle and endlessly venting about imaginary grievances. He’s never graceful and frequently highly inappropriate. If you wanted to destroy the United States putting a fat, stupid version of Richard Nixon in charge would be a great way to start.
From a Hitler-like speech that traumatized thousands of Boy Scouts, to simply blowing off a World War One Centennial Ceremony attended by the leaders of all other participants, including the losing Germans, because of a little rain in Paris, its like he’s looking for ways to be a disgrace. He’s good at it. He simply follows his own lazy self centered inclinations and Mission Accomplished as far as the Kremlin is concerned.
The disgraceful Kavanaugh hearing and investigation, where things were clearly worse than we were allowed to know, is a great example of needlessly disgracing America.
There was surely another Rubber-Stamp Trumpist out there who hadn’t been such a creep. In defiance of all common sense and goodwill the investigation of Caveman Kavanaugh was so narrow and stilted it made everyone sick. Kavanaugh got the gig, but is so damaged its up in the air if he stays on the bench if a Democratic president is elected. He may get fired and replaced.
Too Many Coincidences
It’s not an unbroken series of coincidences. Trump is a disgraceful man. Putin type-cast him as a douchebag and, I think, had a hand in whatever manufactured Trump’s analysis-defying election victory.
We’ve seen how Trump coordinates with Putin when they were together unsupervised in Helsinki. Trump joined the Russians in bashing America all around and sounding like a brain-dead sucka.
Trump absolutely watches Russia TV. Why else is he always saying what they say? He follows all the wrong people on Twitter. His actual reading and comprehension abilities have justifiably been questioned. He seems not to comprehend simple things. Anything scientific results in a blazing display of ignorance, like scolding California for not raking out its vast Federally Administered forests in the midst of destructive wildfires. His aides have said he’s easily deceived and can’t remember more than a few out of context falsehoods on any given topic. He’s a tailor-made pawn for Putin (or really anyone).
He finds enough opportunities to meet, sans translator and accountability free, with Putin to stay well-instructed. It’s helpful, but it’s not vital. Trump’s perfect for the role of Destructively Incompetent President right out of the box.
A Very Public Life Lived Horribly for Decades
Go back over Page 6 of the Trump-lovin’ New York Post and you’ll see he’s shown up for every who’s who in New York History with some poor woman literally in tow for decades. It was later revealed he never made any charitable donations at any of the charity events he made sure to show up at.
Look at the Justice Department and you see a man who openly discriminated against all minorities as a landlord, got caught and paid for it over and over while making up the difference by cheating all the other tenants with artificially inflated rents.
Look in the New York Times and you’ll see his paid ‘Op-Ed’ ad from the mid eighties where he patronizes law enforcement and calls for the execution of some innocent black teenagers (who he still slanders from time to time). It’s not a mixed bag, it’s a bag of really disgusting personal garbage shoved into public view by a guy too dumb to be ashamed of himself.
The pattern has gone on unbroken since the 1970s. Acquiring, trashing and then throwing away wives, development deals, casinos, buildings and hundreds of millions of dollars. Trump’s self destructed over and over and yet somehow he’s never gone broke. Isn’t this the kind of thing that should raise serious questions in a world where it’s really hard to make even 50 thousand bucks a year?
How can a man we see revealed as a complete idiot NOT have self sabotaged himself into the poorhouse, if not prison? The easiest guess is the Russians and maybe earlier the old school Italian Mafia helped him out in exchange for some money laundering.
With ‘John Miller’ and ‘John Baron’ calling the city’s papers to seed favorable stories since the 1980s, and the National Enquirer to bolster false claims of wealth Trump had as many inexplicable angel investors who love to take a beating as he’s had fraud related scandals where he just conned people (Trump University)
The bankruptcies piled up. He became radioactive to everyone but Deutsche Bank. Somehow he still failed his way up. And along the way he never missed a chance to commit a petty or grandiose crime.
He craved the spotlight and sometimes commanded it. This is not because people found him fascinating, quite the opposite. He was a freak show. Howard Stern knew it. You can just watch any appearance Trump made on David Letterman’s show over the years and you see him mercilessly bashed as the butt of endless jokes without even realizing it. Then he was banished from the show for racist statements anyway along with an apology to the shows fans from Letterman himself where America’s favorite late night commentator called Trump a bigot and a jerk.
Trump had just simply wasted all his money on bad deals. Three times. The only investments that paid off were personal connections like David Pecker over at the Enquirer lying about the Trump being brilliant. This probably was what got him the Apprentice and remade his destroyed reputation (outside New York and US Banking circles where people knew better).
If you think about it when “The Apprentice” starts he’s thrice broke old news with only this carefully created but still shoddy facade of “Great Deal Maker’ propping him up. The idea he survived so many bad deals and so much bad judgement without criminal help and criminal actions seems hard to fathom. I don’t think he pulled this off honestly.
Here’s a man who pays cash for sex (and so do his friends). Most of us are able to get this for free. So he’s obviously worse at cutting even that deal than average people.
He talks just like Hitler far too often and gets off at hate fests as well. Who can forget his praise of an Anti-Semitic, anti-Black Confederate torchlight parade? When he said the anti-Nazis were just as bad and claimed the chanting torchbearers included “Very fine people”? His Charlottesville reactions were a good indicator Trump is looking to divide Americans against each other. Putin, of course, LOVES this.
Armed with zero foreknowledge and zero preparation when engaging on any topic, the president’s a quote machine of America-hating, divisive comments. Making the White House a factory of Filthy Lies is damage that won’t just ‘buff right out.’
This is in fact his mission. To damage the office of president and the credibility of the United States above all other things all the time, and he was Born to Do It.
Trump has the perfect combination of traits. Like being exceedingly wealthy while still needing like a year-long payment plan on the 300 thousand dollars in bribes to try to silence his former paid sex partners. This move was so predictably dangerous it just makes no sense. In the end it had Michael Cohen throwing himself to the wolves to cover his bosses bad action by committing Bank Fraud, Wire Fraud as well as a Federal Elections Campaign Law violations, all at once.All this over like one pillowcase full of hundreds that Trump just claims to have.
Chances to minimize the risk and reduce the sum total of criminality were overlooked despite their obvious nature. It’s inexplicably stupid. Why parlay one criminal act into a half-dozen? I don’t think they taught that at short-lived University of Pennsylvania School Of Real Estate at the Wharton Campus where Trump falsely claims to have gone to the School of Business. As a brief aside; I can’t find evidence of a completed degree for Trump anywhere, not Baruch, not U Penn.
Think about the amazing stupidity. If he had just simply handed semi-untraceable cash over to Stormy Daniels and others he’d have about half as many problems right now. It’s that scandal alone that has ex Trump “Fixer” and criminal collaborator Michael Cohen staring down a three-year prison bid. And of course that’s just one scandal among dozens.
It would seem to show a complete lack of vision and a slavish addiction to hoarding cash alone that had Trump shafting his own lawyer and forcing Cohen into committing easy to trace (and easy to prosecute) bank fraud. It would seem like a billionaire would have that kind of money lying around. Again; it doesn’t add up.
Trump is probably taking instruction from the Kremlin, but in many ways he doesn’t need to. His first instincts are always in line with what the serves the Kremlin best. So he starts his days by rage tweeting and then loafing around until the prime time Fox opinion entertainment shows he gets his information from come on, all the while carefully preserving his ignorance in an active way.
Whether its lying about being a charity or using charity laws to defraud their fans, issuing phony stock for real money or just plain old supporting human trafficking the 32 NFL owners are pretty much a Who’s Who of the Worst People in the World.
For awhile there the league kept up the charade it was a charity and dodged a lot of responsibilities. They try to get as many people as possible to work for free and hold onto money with both fists.
Teams like the Green Bay Packers. who infamously issued ‘novelty’ phony stock to pretend to be fan owned, took it a step further for awhile and essentially enslaved the parents of high school football players at their concession stands. The Faustian Bargain? Free football equipment for their kids school teams in exchange for labor. In the freezing cold. Without being able to see the game, throughout the season…..and for every potential game if they made the playoffs. In frigid Greenbay where its awful starting in October, or week 4 by NFL count. I’d so be rooting for then to go 3 and 13 no matter how much I loved them after an experience like that! When they worked that frigid January playoff game for unpaid overtime essentially outdoors they must surely have hated the team. Some Vikings fans were created that day. Imagine the joy at the concession stands if theyre eliminated at home with that deal? Show THAT on TV!
The New England Patriots Robert Kraft boasts Six Superbowl Rings, and more notably, One Prostitution Ring, This MAGA-hat wearing scumbag may lead the pack. Pictures him as an ugly and irredeemable version of the Hooker loving corporate criminal Richard Gere played in Pretty Woman, but he probably isn’t ever that nice to the hookers. Whats worse than a guy getting sex from a slave paid for with retirement fund money pilfered from the working man? A horrible man.
Right behind him is Krafts fellow MAGA scumbags Johnson & Johnson, owners of the Jets. No more tears? Tell that to ME, one of your fans and I’ll educate you on how unbelievably frustrating watching them fail has been through their regime. Fuck those fan hating jerks!
The Steelers and Giants ownership is mingled through Rooney Mara and Kate Mara. You gotta wonder if they argue over who gets which team. Theyre okay though, its not about them.
The Steelers QB is ‘accidentally’ roughed up how many woman how many times? I couldn’t employ a guy they call Rapistburger.
The Giants are snobs who basically get by simply by not being quite as bad as the Jets. Eli Manning isn’t bad guy, but time to hang it up! Please! Dont make me watch anymore of that!
The Cowboys owner is saint among them. He’s merely sort of a degenerate alcoholic who loves having 19-year-old girlfriends. You cant truly hate him but its a little weird. Compared to Kraft he’s a white Knight though. So what if he covered up the criminal antics of the team throughout the entire 90s Superbowl run?
The Ravens only exist because the Colts left town in the middle of the night and so traumatized the fans they were in the CBA for a while before welcoming the Ravens,who were a legally mandated re-named re-location of the then Cleveland Browns that came at the end of a humiliating series of losing law suits by the the Cleveland team and the league against the city of Cleveland and the fans. The poor people of Baltimore may get screwed again but at least they won a couple of Superbowls.
Legendary and dead owner of the Raiders Al Davis was a scumbag who would have been a dark ages warlord in a previous life.
The Chargers ownership are freebooting around from arena to arena like they don’t need a city to have fans.
The Rams have played in then burned every city west of the Mississippi.
It goes on and on
So when you find out they wouldn’t have Donald Trump part of their club, you gotta wonder, “Is it cause they know a rich awful crazy person when they see one?” and that even they wouldn’t permit him to join their ranks?
It explains the National Anthem Controversy well too if you think about it.
Well sooner or later it was going to come front and center in media coverage and this week it seems to have happened. Donald Trumps behavior both as a regular citizen and as president is a lot like the that of a Mob Boss in his personal leadership style. In some pretty obvious ways, Trump and his crew seem hung up on the first 2 Godfather movies while enjoying the success and popularity of the third film; which is mostly considered a contemptible mistake that never should have been made or ever be viewed.
First voiced by some when James Comey got canned in a bizarre, unprofessional way, including Comey himself, it’s now undeniable.
It’s as if Fredo were the Don in The Godfather movies. Most of the time Trump sounds like Fredo Corleone. Be it self-pitying whining or ranting about respect to taking a public beating for what amounts to, as Moe Greene would put it; “banging cocktail waitresses two at a time! No one at the tables could get a drink!”
There’s also no trace of any, shall we say ‘comparatively reassuring’ Michael Corleone-Like Traits. Trump lacks the capacity for a successful negotiation, or to even just run a crooked casino, without failing hugely.
If anything other than merely Fredo; perhaps Trump is Sonny, Fredo and Connie Corleone all rolled up into one. As dumb as Fredo, as angry as Sonny and as vain as Connie.
Like Fredo he’s incompetent and a spineless traitor who doesn’t understand the implications of his actions.
It’s all too accurate, It’s disturbing that Trump can’t speak like a chief executive, but its terrifying that he keeps talking like a mobster.
Driving all of it home, the president and his associates frequently use analogies from the movies in their personal speech and tweets, like when Roger Stone told someone to “Pull a Frank Pentangeli” as a way of telling him to lie to congress.
Dealing with Michael Cohen, in what might be judged to be Witness Intimidation or the way he went to the mattresses in an unneeded and deeply unpopular Government Shutdown, the truth was right out there staring us in the face.
Live on TV or documented on Twitter he’s called people rats and other mob-like stuff that makes him sound as brutal as he does dumb.
And it’s not as if the rest of them are any smarter. It seems that the internet has deemed that Don Jr is the most Fredo-like of all and he’s meme-king on that one. It’s not like he’s any dumber than Trump himself, but he fits in better I guess if you give Trump the distinction (and dignity) of Vito. I personally can’t. Vito Corleone the character was much smarter than BLOTUS Trump.
In the end it will likely be old-fashioned RICO Laws that will have Former President Trump, whenever that happens, and the rest of his Crime Family doing a stretch in some New York State Pen thanks to the Southern District of New York.
WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 23: Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump attend the Trump International Hotel Washington, D.C Groundbreaking Ceremony at Old Post Office on July 23, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images)
Well I finally took the plunge and monetized my blog and 1 year later I WILL NOT be renewing. Why not? Well for one thing though I blogged my ass off I had perhaps the very worst year of views ever. Powered off an anomalously high day with a couple of thousand views i figured my time was finally here and maybe I could generate enough income to get the premium features to pay for themselves. So I had a modest goal going in
And Then What Happened?
For one thing I found theres some content thieves out there. They repost my blog word for word with pictures and siphon off an unknown amount of views. I found two sites doing this. Seems to me if i could find this out so could WordPress, after all I had bought in, right? It was costing THEM money too.
It didnt matter they never went after them.
Next WordPress Market Re-Aligned itself to be a ‘For Your Small Business’ website and advertised heavily as such.
This was great at driving away curious people. Why go to WordPress for original journalism when thats where you book a haircut or look for a lawn guy?
WordPress could have run TWO campaigns like so many other companies, and pushed the original content enough to keep people engaged. But this didn’t happen. In part WordPress impeded me.
Your ‘Income’ per click is anywhere from 1/3 to 1/65th of a cent depending on factors that seem to change in a very whimsical way. In my highest month of served ads it was just a bad month for getting paid,inexplicably as far as hearing from WordPress went. I made just a few pennies.
That was the month I wrote the most and even used some SEO tricks by writing about trending topics. Im not overly proud of “Katy Perry Kills a Nun”, but I did enjoy writing it and it helped me expand my game.
On the positive side I learned a lot, so its Ice Cream Flavored Dog Food and I’m out a hundred bucks. Not the worst thing that happened this year by a long shot. I’m not bitter, it was justifiable as a hundred dollar lesson in professionalism and creative writing that was mostly self taught. So I’m not bitter about it. I still get a thousand views a month, so people hear me.
What I got out of the monetization experience was the perception of a deadline and the hopes of breaking even. I wrote more and now I had become a bit more self critical. I learned how to be something of a better writer. I forensically improved all my old posts and the new ones are of a higher quality. For that it was worth it.
Was I Throttled?
I’m not so full of myself as to think my message was so powerful or so strong forces wanted me silenced. More likely I had willingly paid for an Indentured Servitude where the more I wrote the more WordPress owns and the more people will simply visit and maybe read a couple of articles. However, theres a possibility they had business reasons to not push me as hard as they had when they kept it all. 2019’s views will show whether or not people still consider blogs in general useful or interesting outside things like an independent movie reviews, which fare better than most topics at getting clicks.
A Roulette Wheel of Information and Payment
People are far more wary of the information they take in these days and that in itself is good. Looking back into the very recent past you can see how and why the internet returned to be a highly suspect place and blogs got BEATEN to death because Fake News and Outrage sell.
Text blogs were especially vulnerable to subversion or being a kremlin misinformation campaign. Video blogs have sound which betrays things like Russian Accents. In the future I plan on letting you all see me and bringing some of this to youtube.
Suddenly it occurs to you how misinformation happens. If you are living in Russia and have a computer you can launch a right wing hoax story aimed at pure blog hits Because in Russia 100 bucks is about how much the average person earns in a given week. So you’ll create some fake pictures and tell grandiose lies and it’ll pay off. This is where a lot of the “Dying Hillary” memes and stories came from. It only needed to attract enough hits and stay live long enough to generate income for a 3rd world guy. The fact that they got over so badly on so many American is just an indictment of our education system
Trust is Broken Since 2016
Trolling is just too big these days. People leave their “Punk’d Filters” up more these days and that’s a good thing, but there’s still a lot of people who just will stare at the shiny object. This blog is an older standard of journalism. I’d rather be broke and honest than a rich liar.
Fake News Sells, the world is filled with people who have no morals, love attention and have a blog or a youtube channel. Their goal is to go viral. My goal was simply to develop a core or readers. I could do this by going FULL Breibart/ Infowars and making stuff up. It’s just not me.
In the past people like Alex Jones would simply have gotten a book contract to write (fairly imaginative) sci-fi books and would have been a mediocre version of Philip K Dick. Instead everyone is pulling a Stockholm Syndrome Cult as their internet guise.
I’m no Alex Jones. I’m the opposite. I’m a real skeptic who thinks the worlds round. Im not going to turn the blog into a store and sell vitamins just because I could. I wont hurt average people just to tell a story or make some cash.
This blog sometimes has very few answers. Sometimes I just tru to ask a question. This blog encourages you to disagree and comment. This blog publishes corrections, this blog leaves up bad predictions. I’m not trying to be perfect or viral, I just want to add some truth and supportable opinions into the conversation. I dont need to be monetized to do this.
Dana Loesch, the Food Babe and a million liars who we can sort of think of as Blogger versions of Alex Jones have rightly made people wary. Blogs don’t enjoy immediate trust anymore. Rightly so but it kills the honest blogger. All media and journalism is taking a hit and people are likely ONLY reading their official partisan blogs. Or freaking out in real time on Twitter. I do it too. (@therealmcteag)
If you want to try monetizing for awhile forensically murder all blog posts with profanities. The only piece of advice I got was “Family Friendly” stuff was easiest to promote and garnered lots of views. I’m only just so family friendly.
This revelation explains the existence of Jake Paul and his equally annoying brother Logan Paul. That’s what the internet’s selling so far as accumulating a lot of clicks goes. Yes, the song “It’s Every Day, Bro” is as meaningless as it sounds. The lyrics make no sense at all. The chorus is just a bunch of words and the videos really isnt quite soft core porn so much as lots of half-naked young people of both genders. So that’s whats really hot and getting promoted. They dont curse, so its Family Friendly.
So WHY am I Here?
Why Im Still Here, sans Compensation, is because I like to write and my point of view is sort of unique. I’ve seen some of my humour sucked right up in a way thats too close to the blog (and too close in time) for the writers at some of the late night shows not to be pilfering jokes from me. Big Fuckin Deal, but hey, maybe offer me a job as a writer?
The Biggest People Play the Worst. This last year saw Star Trek outright stealing stories and ideas from Gonzo Video Game creators for no other reason than they thought they could. The Star Trek Discovery Writers are real shit bags for that one. Just hire the guy and pay him
So thats where its at. I’ll still be around, holding JJ Abrams feet to the fire and pointing out how insane Trump is, but I guess the dozen dollars I was able milk out of this will forever be WordPress money, because you have to make 100 bucks before they pay out. Ok, while no big deal we’re talking 10 years at a minimum of 100 bucks to get anything back. Maybe this was to fight the proliferation of fake news and the incentive of just 10 bucks to people in anywhere including Somalia (thanks for the views, Somalia! Seriously, this is a shout to whoever keeps reading from there. You can come out in the comments if you want!
So anyway for me its a 10 to 1 loser. This blogs pretty venerable now, 50,000 views, maybe id have gotten over the hump in less time but I’m not buying.
So when my HUGE view days happen I’ll get my endorphin rush and I’ll feel satisfied, but the rules of Profitability here are too costly to my journalistic integrityAnd my personal ethics. Roger Stone is wrong, it’s better to be sort of a nobody then be infamous. I have dignity and he never had any.
And damn it, I never tried to play the family friendly game and I never will.
I’m gonna continue to be me. This domain name may end up coming with me somewhere else as Im no longer totally sold on WordPress as my best platform.
In the words of Ozzy Osbourne- You Don’t Need a Ticket to Fly With Me, I’m Free!
Russian Spy and NRA Activist Maria Butina is definitely lying about not being a Kremlin Asset. The Government’s story isn’t seamless yet, but give them time. Her ‘boyfriend’ is now under Indictment for fraud and surely aware, as we are, that shes been trying to cooperate against him from day one. It just keeps getting weirder.
Heres three very good, very brief reasons to Rightfully Believe she’s a Spy;
1– She’s Got Too Much Money
She had access to too much money to be just some Russian with a student visa. Why’s she running around with around 300 grand? Where’d the money she used to influence the NRA come from?
2- That Preposterous Fake Boyfriend
That 56 year old ‘boyfriend’ is plain old unbelievable. Fraudster Paul Allen Erickson owns only a 23-year-old non classic car. As far as political tricksters go he was even less successful than Roger Stone. He’s broke and always has been. He lied, cheated and stole for money and seems to have never worked. She started dating this con man troll when she was like 23? About the age of his car now? Sure. Why’d he give her 20 Grand? As I just noted, pimpin’ wasn’t easy for Erickson in the first place! I think that the Operation was always looking to self finance to advance its goals. Im sure she charged up her credit cards through the roof with fraudulent intent too. It’d be the least of her problems too, actually.
3- We’ve Heard this Before (From Putin)
Her story is Putin’s story. Both have said that if she were a spy she’s ‘the worst spy ever.’ Okay. Granted. I believe you’re the worst spy ever. And you know what, that’s not a denial, either. It’s actually in the running for the name of this article. How is getting caught proof you’re innocent?
The Government didn’t have every single duck in a row and may have been wrong believing Butina was trading in sex, but in light of her relationship with Erickson? He’s in no way appealing to someone in their mid 20s. He looks terrible even among people his own age. He’s a con man and looks like one.
Butina works for or was spun off by the Kremlin. Shes got some kind of loyalty and connection to Putin. It makes more sense than ‘she’s the greatest sweet talker of all time and was a wheel in the NRA by 27.’
It would be nice if anyone on CNN had noted she was saying the same thing Putin says. They have reported Putin’s comments on this. I guess eventually they’ll put 2 and 2 together and say it, but you heard it here first.
Well I didn’t really ever foresee myself being in any way excited by the E Warren rollout, but I was just a little inspired.
Going in I was prepared to be let down or even annoyed because Elizabeth Warren has a mixed public speaking record in my eyes. So when I say i was sort of impressed it’s saying something.
Her tone and cadence were actually better than usual. She didn’t degenerate into the screamy-ness we occasionally see when she gets worked up speaking live. Simply said she doesn’t have the best yelling voice but her calmer speaking tones are fine. In that sense she’s the EXACT opposite of Trump.
Warren has been paying attention to the news and was seemed to be associating herself with some of the views of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in energy policy. That’s right, some of my representative to Congresses from here in Queens ideas were on display, most notably, a search for a sustainable, cleaner energy for the future.
She also touched on election reform, fairness and equality before the law and generally sounded like a solid and practical Democrat and a little bit like, yes, a president. She sounded, a couple of times, a whole lot like AOC.
The meat of her rhetoric comprised of fairly viable reliably Democratic ideas and assertions about Labor policy, education, the rigged economic situation in America, the favoritism towards the rich and even hints of election reform, Campaign Financing transparency and killing Citizens United were all in there. I also felt like they were all given the right amount of time by the candidate.
She only mentioned Trump’s name twice but managed to bash the racism and the corruption that are that administration’s hall marks enough. The call that all candidates in 2020 be required to post their tax returns online was surely aimed at wrecking up the Trump Campaign (and would if enacted).
I wanted to personally start a “Let’s Go Yankees” chant listening to the New England accents of her crowd, but that’s just me. Her supporters were definitely worked up for the speech and absolutely liked everything they heard. Whether she’s got their long term support in rapidly broadening field will be the real question.
It was a good launch event. Whether or not it “Un-does” some the self-inflicted damage from the earlier gaffes and people wondering what the deal is with her heritage is still to be seen. A lot of people still want to know what the deal with her native american dna fiasco is.
Most notably, while still not my favorite candidate this was her best public speech that I’ve personally watched. It’s possible she’s upped her game. I need to see her sustain it before I stop worrying about what I perceive as her negatives; which are sounding elitist and degenerating into sustained shouting at live events. neither of these things reeled their ugly heads.
It’s probably NOT a coincidence this refreshingly good speech had NO MENTION OF HER DNA OR ANCESTRY.
Weirdly but predictably the White House gave the rollout a free boost by reacting to it while it was still underway in the same predictable racist and mean terms.
The biggest issue Warren may have to face is that she’s Trump’s preferred opponent. Its possible that de-motivates people from her camp, but she’s definitely already stomping Tulsi Gabbard and a couple of others.
This week’s polls will tell a lot but I predict that Biden will still have a majority of support in 7 days, next Sunday, February 16.
While I didn’t catch her using the exact phrase Green New Deal” it was immediately spoken by CNN anchor covering it. Pure AOC right there.
In a long and rambling speech focused mostly on World War 2 Trump spent more time calling American Woman murderers than he did condemning Hitler. Then something sort of bizarre happened. Trump spoke of his need for a Wall and said “Walls always Work, they just work, they work, okay? Walls Work” and left that out there as some kind of immutable truth. This doesn’t really sit well in a speech centered around the D-Day Invasion, which by all accounts was a bad day for Walls.
Just to get it out of the way – the State of the Union was mostly a badly read history lesson on how World War 2 went down in Trumpian terms. In 2019.
He was careful not to bash Hitler in his extended comments about the conflict. I guess he figures that there were very fine people on both sides of the war. He mostly saved his condemnations for American Women. Immigrants fared no better in his grim speech. Seems Hitler was off-limits though, even talking about the Normandy Invasion.
He rambled on a lot about the need for his racist Southern Border Wall. Xenophobia was front and center. A lot of pure fear. The constant refrain was about the impenetrability of his proposed Wall. Its supposedly goiing to end the opiate scourge. A lot of lies about the pills made on Ohio coming over the border from Mexico just dont add up.
Then in the next snorting breath he was on to D-Day, where we attacked and destroyed Hitler’s Atlantic Wall, essentially undercutting his own point. And then really dwelling on it.
Contradictory Statements on whether “Walls Work”
While he managed to talk about D-Day at length on several occasions Trump was demonstratively ignorant of the fact that the Normandy Invasion was a pretty bad day for the idea that Walls, in this case backed up with mines, artillery, machine guns, aircraft and thousands of defenders, actually work at all.
If you’ve seen the first 20 minutes of Saving Private Ryan you see the ineffectiveness of a wall. They don’t keep out the Wall-Hating Americans who blow the damn thing apart. In that case the wall was 5 years in the making and lasted for about 5-12 hours. And again, that’s WITH wanton use of deadly force.
Another ironic moment may be when Trump acknowledged Buzz Aldrin, a man whose journeyed through the “Impenetrable Van Allen Belts” to the moon. I’m not sure why the only conspiracy BLOTUS doesn’t believe is the moon landing, but apparently as far the Moon and World War 2 he was mostly factual, if grandiose (as always).
I wish someone with a bigger platform than me can mention the asinine nature of segueing from “Walls Work” to D-Day in same bad speech. I will not sue you, I’ll just throw shade. This ironic point shouldn’t be totally lost.
In other areas it was just a mash-up of badly read words. He was not snorting as much as usual, but as always his eyes looked like the bleached, prolapsed assholes of spray tanned porn stars. Nixonian body language was on display, but thats always been this presidents style.
All Talk No Policy
While he made a lot of assertions, and even found time to speculate on violent crime without ever crediting the Police for their good work in the murder he cited, a gang beef on a 7 Train Platform solved in less than 24 hours with the prime suspect in custody by his hometown Police Department, our own NYPD. Not one word of hope beyond his wall. Lots of fear about MS-13, not an ounce of context or praise for the great police job the NYPD and its amazin g Detectoves pulled off. Vulgarian Trump can’t speak of the police without urging them to be brutal or oppressive so they get left out of the speech and just don’t get any credit. MS-13 got repeated mentions and may have been levated to the biggest public threat ever with wild rhetoric. I live 4 stops from the murder, I’m not scared any more than I was before it. Mostly because of the great professional police force we have in this town. I think its a great cae for state taxes, theyre so much more qualified than the Orlando Deputies I simply feared rather than respected.
When talking about terrorists we’ve droned Trump said on a couple of occassions “We’ve KILLED them! We KILLED THEM!” I think we all prefered what every other president in history has said about terroists who getthemselves killed “We’ve bought them to Justice”
The meandering screed of misleading lies about the some recent reproductive laws didn’t go well with the half-hearted circus ringleader to the record number of women elected. Of the 190 women elected only 13 are Republicans though, and slamming all women with falsehoods on their right to choose just hung in the air like a drunkards fart in a still pub.
In many parts he free-styled and lost the thread. When back on the teleprompter he suffered from what sounded like his dentures slipping and some really emotionless outright reading when his mouth got ahead of his brain.
Pelosi will probably win the day tomorrow as Trump will surely meltdown and start hatefully tweeting in minutes or hours and lose any “Win” he got out of what I’m gonna call a generationally bad and poorly delivered SOTU.
The Maroon 5 Superbowl Halftime show at least had some brevity, I clocked Trump at a near even 90 minutes.
Biggest Scare – The Designated Survoivor was Rick Perry.
Heres some some scenes from a movie we should maybe rename – “The Day The Democratic President And The Military Proved Walls Don’t Work at All”
Having a weird name and coming from Hawaii is not an obstacle to the presidency. Hatespeech, on the other hand? That might be enough. Today Tulsi Gabbard’s needless campaign for president rocked into day 2 by putting all Gabbards flaws on display. Rather than own, explain and apologize Gabbard simply showed how two-faced she is. She regrets what she said but retains the Intolerant beliefs.
Tulsi Gabbard is the kind of person you would call “Sketchy” if you had to work with her. She’s expressed a lot of bad-hearted opinions with one common thread – everything she’s saying she regrets saying (notice I’m not saying ‘regrets believing’) is outright Intolerant.
Who likes Assad and doesn’t have a weird tie to Putin? Just sayin’….
Don’t feel bad, she’s fooled a lot of people, but the lights getting brighter and people are catching on.
She’s In This For the Long Run, But Not to Win
Tulsi Gabbard is like a pro-wrestler. It’s in keeping with our president, who is in the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame.
One day Tulsi Gabbard might just have trouble explaining just how a conservative republican claiming to be a Democrat generates enough campaign money to fly this Spruce Goose of a political career. Who wants to give money to a Democrat who doesn’t support fully a woman’s right to choose and is on the Outs with her states LGBT Community in a Big Way?
I think she’s in it with the Russians. It really makes more sense than “Anti-Abortion Anti-Gay Democrat keeps getting Elected”
It’s more likely people who see her will google something like “Whats up with sketchy Tulsi Gabbard” than will go to donate.
My Theory- She’s a Kremlin Pawn
Shes only in this to bring discourse down. One of the few people I try to actively ignore (and will return to doing so after I finish this post). She’s often in line with Putin. She might just not be on the side of Uncle Sam, the USA and what’s right. That’s right folks. That’s what I’m saying. If she’s so poorly spoken she has to excuse a bunch of intolerant down-punching hatespeech things aren’t going to get better….ever.
And she’s in no way a Democrat. Joe Manchin has more left wing integrity. I basically comes down to this- If you had the enthusiasm to go out making stupid statements about who makes wedding cakes for who and why only some people should get married you’re just not a Democrat. You weren’t 12 years ago and you’re not now. I wish I could say “nice try,” but that’s too generous. Just watch her unspool Kremlin propaganda like its true on Russia TV, the only media outlet that really covers her, and you’ll know she should never be president.
Her Kremlin mission is to hijack debates and keep the conversation as stupid and angry as possible.
Tulsi Gabbard’s Strange Take On Apologies
She regrets speaking Hatefully about Gays but makes sure to tell us that her personal views have not changed. That’s a Non Apology and an attempt to have it both ways. And as far as the topic of Abortion? Again her personal feelings remain unchanged, but she regrets speaking hatefully about it.
Todays news brings us news unlikable and hard to figure Tulsi Gabbard continues to strive for ‘Worst Candidate Since Christine O’Donnell” territory by having a presser that could be described as “Trumpian” in its hypocrisy.
Why did Tulsi Gabbard apologize to the LGBTQ (& whatever I missed) community? The answer is “to divide us”
Quite simply because Tulsi’s core beliefs are conservative republican. Born to a conservative GOP wheel shes hated on women and gays but couldn’t strike enough hateful notes to make it in the Republican Party.
An early fan of Trump who never slams him and almost joined the administration (I’m sure the party intervened) Gabbard’s record on how she feels about how you’re born remains somewhat Third Reich-ian.
While she understands you may need that abortion her personal has always been pretty close to ‘Its murder’.
Shes Woefully Short on Qualifications
Because the idea of spending more than a few sentences explaining just how unqualified Tulsi Gabbard is to be president I’m just going to say she’s a mere member of the House of Representatives, not a state governor or US Senator. It would be unheard of to put her in the Oval Office.
How unqualified is Tulsi Gabbard for the presidency? Despite 6 years in office in the House of Reps she’s absolutely less qualified than even the right wings favorite person to hate- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, to sit in the Oval Office. Ocasio-Cortez for her part has more policy nd better ides as well nothing to apologize for. And she’s not trying to do anything but represent her district well. Tulsi Gabbard should do the same.
Tulsi Gabbard is a fake Democrat and bad politician who should 1- cease running for president 2- stay off Russia TV 3- should strongly consider resigning
UPDATE- Tulsi Gabbard is now endorsed by David Duke, former KKK Grand Wizard.
UPDATED – 08-21 -So much has happened in the Star Wars and Trek worlds since I first wrote this – like the release of Rise of Skywalker and several AWFUL seasons of ‘Nu’ Star Trek. Many people have ‘switched teams’ to become haters of Abram’s work. I was early to this conclusion! This post has been revised to account for new developments.
JJ THE DESTROYER OF WORLDS
JJ Abrams is a certified double murderer of Sci-Fi Franchises. Douglas Addams would likely describe Abrams’ takeover of any franchise as ‘the coming of the great white handkerchief‘ So Lets Roast Him here! He’s super rich, he’ll be ok!
By the time he took over Star Wars JJ had practice destroying beloved Sci-Fi franchises and a history of shabby treatment of original characters.
We saw the ‘JJ Abrams Style’ emerge and got a huge dose of FAIL when he decided to simply cease LOST and create perhaps the worst final episode of any show ever. Some people praised him anyway and acted like LOST was Twin Peaks. To waste years telling a story that seems complex and meaningful only to just cut it all off and call it a dream? The shows stories were simply never resolved. This should have had repercussions, but somehow it didn’t.
How did we let a madman lead us to end the Star Wars Saga with a movie SO BAD that it called the veracity Rotten Tomatoes forever into question? Part of it is Disney’s fault but JJ wrote those movies. Lets remember here – Rise of Skywalker was so bad that the cacophonous outcry allowed them to remove the CATS movie from theaters and just bury it unnoticed. Those peoples careers were saved – at the expense of our entertainment and people like Daisy Ridley.
When JJ Abrams and Bad Reboot show up they never have their own idea anymore. If ONLY Cloverfield had been a better monster! Lord of the Rings and Superman are his new projects, so get ready for a LOT of BAD TV and movies destroying beloved characters.
Lately JJ Abram’s movies only garner success because (some of) the characters in them were already beloved. The characters JJ creates are conspicuously bad when placed next to a great character like Luke, Han or Kirk – they can’t hold their own. So he NERFS and DESTROYS the original characters to make his characters look better. Thats how we got “Stupid Han” and “Cowardly Luke”.
He was really mixing the Star Wars elements in to Trek and people wondered what JJ was even looking to do. By the end he had united Trek fans into wanting him gone while the Star Wars fans seemed Unaware.
Most seemed to think “he improved Star Trek and will do better with Star Wars because Star Wars itself is better” All this proved is it wasn’t the same fans, WHO KNEW? Well, it’s a settled matter now. The Star Trek endeavor ended with Star Trek Into Darkness- which is MUCH worse than Star Trek V! Aside an edge-y title this movie just has nothing good in it! The Star Wars trilogy he does two movies for has a nebulous beginning and he ends it with the inscrutable The Rise of Skywalker! So MUCH WORSE than The Phantom Menace! These were two franchises where he inherits complete worlds and just never seems to grasp them or research much. Both franchises had produced better movies from various directors. JJ’s movies mark low points in both franchises.
So it wasn’t the material. Think about this – there’s a strong case to be made William Shatner is the better director too. Take a previous so called “Bad” Star Trek movie for comparison. Fun but flawed Star Trek V more or less makes sense and does no real damage in what was supposed to be the last story for the Original Cast. Giving Spock a brother was weird but we kill him off and forget him quickly like in a forgettable episode of the series. The movies events and the fact Spock had a half brother dont come up at all in much better Star Trek VI.
JJ Abrams oversells threats in stories, who really though StarKiler base was going to be so easy to destroy after all that build-up? He also makes the characters act however the scene needs and cannibalizes ahead to make a movie that’s all action. His plot’s cant hold up to analysis and his ‘talent’ is using the pacing to defy analysis and get away with shortcuts and throw away lines. There’s no real substance to his characters or stories. Most times by the middle the movie really has to move fast or you’ll ask questions- Like WHY doesn’t Rey disappear when she dies in Rise of Skywalker? Or “Why SHOULD these people be overly scared of Khan? In JJ’s story hes’s literally just some guy they never met on par with a Smart Romulan. Sure we kill another parent to make Kirk hate him – but its surrogate Dad Pike! This is because JJ killed peoples parents throughout the first movie and we the ranks had been thinned. So add “Predictable” to JJ’s shortcomings.
While JJ’s ‘smoke and mirror nonstop rewrite late reshoot almost process kind of works in Star Trek 2009, it just implodes in Into Darkness. A lot of the movies pretty much the same as his previous one with a new Ad Hoc Death Star, people from another time are around menacing and killing people. There’s the same inept treatment of the beloved characters and we’re over the fact they look so much like the original cast and can all act. There’s no story there and the movies clunky and boring outside some CGI action like we hadn’t seen before- but we see routinely now. All the elements for a great Star Trek mov ie were in place and all he really needed to do was have them maybe go to a planet and explore, he could have established Khan in a movie based on the episode Space Seed too. Instead he bases down Khan like a drug dealer turning cocaine into crack.
Its because JJ didn’t take the to understands Khan. He shortcuts the franchises best villain and doesn’t establish Khan at all. Wrath of Khan was a rematch with a formidable bad guy we’d tangled with before and we know he has a shot to win. This movie could just had the same actor play any old bad guy and been better. JJ changed Khan so much there was no point in just using him. Khan was used like a ‘fire and forget’ weapon in the Kelvin Timeline of Star Trek.
In Into Darkness JJ just throws the deeply altered Khan character into his Star Trek action movie and throws the original backstory out completely. He changes Khan into a science-supersoldier rather than an evil deposed 20th century dictator created through Nazi methods. When he rushes Khan into his franchise he is no more dangerous than a really smart Klingon or Romulan. He’s the kind of problem we see in Star Trek all the time and paper thin. The dashing, brilliant evil genius we knew was changed more or less into a really smart Winter Soldier- and he’s similarly morally vague by the movies end- which destroys the immersion and the ending. The question “Why bother making this guy Khan?” never really gets answered or justified.
When the inevitable happened and JJ moved to Star Wars (leaving his talentless lackeys in control) people who liked both franchises just accepted Star Wars was doomed – to the utter mockery of their friends- for a time.
Trashing the Original Creator and Weaponizing the Fans Against One Another and All Critics
At any rate when JJ or Bad Reboot shows up the first thing they always do is passive aggresively trash the original creator for being a small minded guy whose stories were imperfect and sexist or otherwise insensitive. In Star Wars the opening shot was “The Force is Female”.This is an interestingly needless choice for a non corporeal energy field.
Then the idea is just thrown out there- unsupported – that Star Wars has and always was for young female fans rather than just “all Audiences and suitable for all children.” Why shouldn’t the Force be female? Well, thats not how the Force works. We have six movies about the Force that JJ cant be bothered with. In fact that Force Healing stuff is right out of the video games. Thats his story lore research summed up. He can’t be bothered.
All critics are scapegoated as racist and sexist. This is pure character assassination since there are No Orcs to be discriminated against or elves to have hurt feelings if you make comments them as a race. Not ONE Orc has ever been refused a job or called a bad name for hating a movie. So really JJ trivializes the problems of our time and weaponizes them against the fans and critics to make money. This used to be called “breaking legs to sell wheelchairs” So theres no more escapism.
This damage doesnt just buff out either. You’ve angered most of the fans in the process too. Its like the franchise has an ugly drug habit when hes done. Some people condemn it, others excuse it. None of the SciFi movie franchises Abrams touched has recovered yet – two years and change AFTER Rise of Skywalker. Its also been nearly TEN YEARS since the last Star Trek movie and theres just no WAY these NuTrek shows get grenlighted into movies. They suck.
A lot of this is the characters and stories are always paper thin. Three movies of Star Wars later WHAT do we know of Mas Cannata? She owned a cantina and had a lightsaber in a box she never explained. We know as much of Babu Frik- a character who has maybe three minutes of screen time. He’s also a better character. He at least made me laugh UN-IRONICALLY.
What you get in a JJ Abrams movie is the worst of the real world. He trades in “bottom of the internet anger.” He will latch on to ANY trend to make himself and his product appear paragons of modern tolerance. Its always Ham-Handed. He was so inartful working T&A into his movies he apologizes for Into Darkness BEFORE it hit theaters. He was right to apologize but didnt go far enough. He just wants things to happen on screen and makes them appear, the cost to the story dawns on him later! When George Takei thinks you’ve ruined Star Trek characters you cant really say “Well, clearly George is wrong because hes a bigot.”
The messages in the stories are angry and unrefined. JJ Oversimplifies it to – In Star Wars the message seems to be ‘Some men did some bad things a few times, so all men will be collectively punished by Rey’. That character is just living out wish fulfillment, beating on people that a 90 pound woman just cant physically overpower – and doing it routinely. She never loses a fight – or a hand – in three movies. This is called “Having No Arc”
JJ still has no clue why the Sequels characters didn’t work! “She never lost, she was really kind and brave and everyone like her, she had no flaws. It can’t be ME, people must be bigots!” This is like changing a hurricanes trajectory with a sharpie to look like you’re right! The reality is these movies motivated a LOT of fans to move the VERY FAR RIGHT politically. Just listen to Nerdrotic! So what was the point of the message again?
Starting the fans bickering is a tool. Its a flash-bang grenade to distract you and keep the fans at one another’s throats and away from his. He could care less what we think or how ugly what we say is so long as his shows or movies touched off the conversation. So much for a fun time at the movies! When people debate JJ Abrams movies they just end up stuck talking real world politics – which is the reverse of the point of escapist SciFi. Again- listen to Nerdrotic, its become so POLITICAL!
The arguments he inspires are this dumb- ‘your a real bigot because the idea of Non Binary Orcs (in the case of the coming Bad Robot Lord of the Rings show) starts you laughing” and ends with “If its so bad why call it Lord of the Rings?” You can apply this to Star Wars and Star Trek too.
The idea that we would “perfect Tolkien” is as much a waste of time as the idea we could “Improve on Gene Roddenberry or George Lucas at their own game” bit thats happening anyway.
The Lord of the Rings show sounds like a tire fire and is already dividing fans with ridiculous ‘Leaks.” Female Gandalf has given way to “Gay Gandalf” in the shows production “teaser” leaks. Look – you can make a fantasy show and have all the Tolkien-like stuff and just call it something else rather than call the best selling author of the 20th century a bigot. Nonetheless we’re seeing this on Amazon soon, complete with an apology to all the people Tolkien “Bad Touch-ed” in his books! This preposterous. JRR Tolkien was born in 1892 and had deep religious convictions he put into his writing. That’s Lord of the Rings. Take it or leave it, it doesnt need perfecting. The three Peter Jackson movies were great (and the Hobbit movies -where lots of it is Non-Tolkien, were just awful)
Divided and confused the fans then get a bunch of insane leaks – which are actually test balloons. The leaks that get the most traction on social media are made into an amazing trailer filled with the things filled with things the fans want to see. Then he builds the movie around the reaction to the trailer. Its been a long time since any JJ Abrams had all of the trailer in it.
Flat Lifeless New Characters and Factions
What can be said about these new characters? More than anything- they will be forgotten. No one would watch a show about Rey just dominating. Their stories seem over outside comics and novels. There’s only REYLO’s cause their stories were so thin and unfulfilling.
Even a character like Finn, who seems interesting enough and has probably the most Episode 7 screen time of anyone- never realized any sort of real character growth or arc. Arguing he changes because of Last Jedi is so sort of a waste of time because the case is equally strong that in this movie he was simply forced, through coercion, to fight for a different faction that he ends up simply preferring. He just really likes Rey.
The Resistance has already not let Fin quit despite the fact they had no plan and seemed doomed. He’s never even joined, he merely fought with them for a while. He’s forced before be makes any over acts on behalf of the Resistance in that movie. In the middle of the movie The Code Breaker sequence on the stolen ship makes the case a second time that neither faction is admirable. Then we see failed captains on both sides die no matter whose at fault. There’s no one to root for.
Legacy “Character” Assassination
Destroying beloved characters to cover for bad new ones is the Abrams way. Just wait til he ‘perfects’ Superman!
I have to start with two words – the Emperor.
What the FUCK? This character being alive just fucks up the Original Trilogy AND the Prequels! He never ever should have done this. The weird vampire Emperor we see is so dumb he builds his fleet in the place where its most vulnerable and keeps them there. There’s so much flashing light that flashing lights HEALTH WARNINGS were handed out. Before it starts and when you pause this movie on Disney Plus there’s a photosensitivity warning. Its also appears they already been have toned that down a bit. The Emperor always had a GOOD PLAN and was very skilled. They bring him back as an absolute idiot and skip explaining any of it. He’s alive, deal with it.
Han Solo is so much dumber in The Force Awakens then we’ve ever seen him before. JJ has to make him dumb because Han can only as smart as JJ- who is only just so smart. One of the ‘bonding moments’ where we’re supposed to understand and like the ‘new character’ Rey consists of Han getting ‘owned’ and beig shown he never knew just how to work the hyperdrive on his own ship- a line that destroyed most of the plot of Empire Strikes Back and made him an idiot in that movie too. This Deconstruction is everywhere in his movies. Just look at bi-polar Spock. He has less emotional control than a spree shooter!
Finn starts out interesting only to degenerate into a boring and one dimensional character to the point John Boyega rebelled against the bad writing on twitter. He’s a hardened trained killer Janitor. That has conveniently worked in the two most sensitive places that First Order has – Starkiller Base and The Supremacy’s tracking room.
JJ’s Luke Skywalker is a depressing jerk who is banished to an island due to Meagans Law. It’s a bummer. By the time we get to Rise of Skywalker the character’s a mess and as conflicted as Kylo Ren was supposed to be. There was no saving Luke. He dies a coward who skyped into a fight just to die anyway. Despite this JJ tries anyway and its just hard to watch.
The Force Awakens features continuity problems, friendships established in under two minutes and a story driven by non stop coincidences. Still – like his first Star Trek its really just a long beginning and some of the casting and ideas are just interesting enough. He leaves it to the next guy to square up the problems he caused. Then the next guy ends up being an outright vandal who punks the fans.
For fans of Star Wars the Abrams era ended the movies. They’re movies cancelled or on hold for being sub DCEU bad. Both franchises will now be reduced to mere pay service streaming video shows. Those tow shows avoid the Sequels all together. The Bad Batch- which is diving back into the Clone Wars while The Mandalorian is set just after the Original Trilogy. The Mandalorian is entertaining of occassionally maddeningly dumb. No one really talks about the Bad Batch. Theres so many seasons of Clone Wars and the end was well done. This show is not catching on as far as social media buzz.
Bravo JJ Abrams, you’ve done the one thing Roddenberry and Lucas couldn’t, made Star Wars and Star Trek unWatchable!
Addiction to Tropes and Contrivances
JJ Abrams is dependent on a trope generator to write anything, including a birthday card. He made one sort of good Trek movie which he then destroyed with a special edition commentary that was too honest and came off fan hating and trope-obsessed. “I made Kirk into Indiana Jones, notice he gains no advantage when he fights in this scene based on the plane scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark!” Yeah we already noticed it, but thanks. Then Into Darkness was a movie SO bad it destroyed any lingering sentiment for the previous movie and beat us up with a recycled plot that is now the ONLY plot JJ Abrams uses in a movie – The Bad Guy has a Death Star. By the time we got Force Awaken its a planet sized death star. When he returns in Rise of Skywalker he has THOUSANDS of Planet Killing Ships. He now exclusively uses Death Stars as our main Bad Guys Weapon.
Sure, maybe in his first Star Trek it was originally a Romulan Mining ship or is just a gigantic Federation Starship like in Into Darkness, but its basically a Death Star. In Rise of Skywalker JJ took this about as far as it could go with a FLEET of Death Star Star Destroyers. So his last FOUR Movies have had Death Stars. Yet, somehow I’m just sure he’s not done with this idea yet. Look for it in his upcoming Superman. Zod or Lex Luthor will have some kind of Death Star. Count on it.
A glimpse of what we were missing in the Cold Open only made Into Darkness worse. They just went to a planet. It was the best part of the movie – as stupid and brief as it was – and the ensuing nosedive has never ended.
Simon Pegg did make a FUN, decent Star Trek Movie in Star Trek Beyond, but it was too late. Goodwill was gone. There’s probably no path to another movie with the cast we were supposed to get a bunch of movies and shows from. After all that hype. At least Chris Pine can have his talent wasted in the enormously stupid DCEU in similar ridiculous stories. Poor Chris Pine….
Ever since he shot Harrison Ford in the head to make predictable tear jerk-er “Regarding Henry” Abrams has depended on big stars in key roles missing or dead parents to add some emotion to his loosely related series of vignettes. Hes also a serial abuser of Harrison Ford!
As JJs shows and movies proliferated it started to look a lot like he was only good enough to minimize his shortcomings. This is actually very accurate. Thanks for that one Critical Drinker! One shortcoming JJ covers well is his use of throw away lines to cover the non stop contrivances. This is done so much though it gets predictable and is now a sign hes skirting a plot hole – which then becomes obvious. JJ’s movies also have as many scenes stitched together with dialogue added later as ‘organic ones’ in some cases. The story of a JJ Abrams movie is a moving target that needs heavy editing and lots of re-shoots to square up dialogue. Lots times he still doesn’t get things to add up. When this happens, provided the movie isn’t simply over – he hits the nitrous injector and uses any excuse to have an action scene. This adds to his pacing problems every time
JJ counts on people not thinking about the non stop conveniences of his plots and doesn’t trust viewers to be given any information that isn’t dispensed during a fight. For instance, people merely run into one another, or in Rey’s case – have an initial conflict and then bond for no real reason.
The way BB-8, Rey and Finn merely collide with each other then randomly jump in to – of all ships – the Falcon – then merely collide with Han and Chewie in the space of about four minutes. After that theres some confusing dialogue, 110 seconds later two different pirate factions show up and trigger a bad action scene that undermines Han and Chewie. So throw in “Terrible Pacing” Theres a real contempt for viewers intellects as he unspools a bunch of loosely connected cool looking but substance free scenes.
In the Star Trek movies he’s a one trick pony killing one each of Kirk and Spock’s parents On Screen in the first 40 minutes of his first Star Trek movie. 20 minutes into Into Darkness he kills Kirk’s surrogate father, Pike. So both characters are now partly motivated like Batman.
The first signs of this show up during LOST when AOL internet was all about LOST and he would let go false rumors to enhance the impact of the episode. Now he’s got a lot more Social Media and he’s addicted to using it dupe people. Theres dishonesty in his trailers too, hes just test screening ideas with them a lot of the time.
In the infamous DVD Special Edition commentary to his first Trek movie Abrams gave away a little too much. Like when he tells us Captain Kirk is now based on Indiana Jones. The concept would have been better had he not boasted of it and dispelled the magic of the moment as he explained the point for point similarities to the fight where Kirk and Sulu fight some Romulan goons and the iconic ‘Spinning German Plane Fight’ from “Raiders of the Lost Ark” He was stoned or snorted truth serum, its insulting but I’m GLAD I listened to it. I realized he was a Fan-hating hack and the sequel was doomed
More importantly to the “Star Treky-ness” of the new franchise, Abrams simply threw away the idea that we would just go to a planet and hang around observing and exploring or that the stakes could be the lives of some of the characters we love. It seemed to be a concept that was scrupulously avoided to say risk the ship, struggle with the Prime Directive and possibly encounter a race analogous to the current state of Humanity or any combination of those things. Now we only ever have super high stakes rather than our characters well-being being enough to move us.
In a way all his movies lack real heroes. Rey is simply a God-Like Creature, so maybe she’s a true hero, but wow is she ever boring. You know shes always gonna win.
He never did Star Trek at its best, where it shines a light into a flaw inherent in humanity and aspires towards a future where we’re simply more reasonable. No one expected that lofty theme all the time, but it never got any attention. The fact is JJ Abram’s movies have no feel other than nonstop unexplained action. There’s no optimism. There’s no time for any reflection. There’s always another thing to blow up.
Episodes of the Next Generation did it all the time and the Original series of course pioneered thoughtful optimistic plots. Would it have been that bad to give it a try even as a subplot? Star Trek became mere action and adventure where the stakes were super high. Karl Urban and Chris Pine were all Star Trek had giving it the appearance of coherence. They did great jobs in bad movies.
JJ Abrams was largely successful in his endeavors to change and destroy Star Trek. Then, in a shocking turn of events he got his dream job, to destroy Star Wars. Again he was largely successful.
The cash grab for toy money was so crass and obvious it forced some ‘Legally Necessary Dialogue’ into the Disney Star Wars movies. Who doesn’t love warm Disney Star Trek moments like when C-3PO pointlessly makes mention of his red arm? It stuck out as bad and it was just so obvious why the line was in the movie. It was unseemly. JJ will do this every chance he gets. He also loves superficial changes.
In so many words; it was all so that JJ Abrams could get his own ‘red armed C-3PO toy’ out there and keep more toy money! There’s other examples you’ll easily find if you watch with the idea “Abrams is trying to secure a toy revenue stream” in mind. So the quality of the dialogue is secondary to selling stuff – this adds up when its on top of the story being thin and paced very quickly at times. So the movies are, in a sense, long commercials where we pay to be pitched things.
When he left Trek the story was ‘JJ Abrams only ever wanted to be the Star Wars guy’ and the stopover at Trek was complicated by his disdain for the franchise. He wanted it to be more like Star Wars and it couldnt have been more obvious. This extended to having tons of collectibles like never before. By the way these are still all on Enay for cheap.
Abrams was aware that the merchandising had been the sweetest peach for Lucas and he was trying to do the same thing. Stories of petty obsessions with toy revenue and disputes with the original cast would also surface occasionally, only making Abrams look worse.
Lucas was also pretty mercenary about getting his Toy Money but his movies and merchandise were just better. Lucas gear, weapons, ships and tech just looked cooler and made more sense too. They seemed logical and made several cool sounds each. Han’s blaster has an analogue kind of cocking action sometimes. Reys blaster looks like a VAPE RIG!
Lucas invented the idea of Lightsabers and made them seem real. Lightsabers sound awesome when activated, their passive hum and the sounds when they’re wielded also are amazing and captivating. Anakin’s lightsaber and even Maul’s are infinitely cooler than Kylo Ren’s badly thought out, unstable bladed angst-saber. It just which looks awkward, clumsy and dangerous to the user. Lucas was just better at weapons…and ships, droids and stories. Whats BB-8 but R2’s head on a soccer ball? (sorry european readers! this is an american blog).
JJ CAN ONLY WRITE BEGINNINGS
Anyone saying JJ Abrams ‘only writes beginnings” is absolutely RIGHT ON! The last half decent movie he made, his first Star Trek, was one long beginning. The next movie, Into Darkness was just one long bloated middle with no proper start or finish. It almost ended Benedict Cumberbatch as an actor it was so bad!
In the case of both Trek and Star Wars he wrote himself and the franchise semi – excitingly into an ultimately boring corner that pre-compromised the next movie. The Force Awakens was okay until the sequel destroyed it as lots of false cannon and quickly abandoned ideas both good and bad. He’s also about the only writer to have less plot ideas as he goes forward.
On the bright side he got away with a few shortcuts. The launching of the First Order Assault ships was unnoticed by most as a re-hash of his original Star Trek movies credit sequence as shuttles escape the doomed USS Kelvin. I don’t know how he got away with this one, so similar. I think that’s when he really starts thinking everyone’s an idiot but him as the movies have more and more blatant tropes and more big budget moments shoe-horned in to inject some excitement into dull stories.
For Star Trek after he leaves things improve fast then get infinitely worse. We got a near Abrams free movie and Beyond was enjoyable, refreshing and very much a return to form. Fans were already pre-heated and angry though and the movie underperformed. Sadly this seems to have had a discrediting effect on more relatable plots and Discovery has been abysmal. The lessons of the Abrams era were lost and the mistakes are now being compounded in Star Trek Discovery, a show that was mostly a plagiarized soap opera otherwise pilfered from a videogame….badly.
In Star Wars we actually get a pretty bad beginning from JJ in The Force Awakens. This was not immediately obvious to all as the demand for the movie was huge and the cast was interesting and peppered with people we already loved.
Derivative and Poorly Paced
The movie is uneven on the first view. The cut and paste lifting of scenes ended up feeling more like plagarism than any kind homage. The scenes have been done bfore better and this plagues the entire trilogy.
The movie throws endless conveniences at us. The cast is scattered around the dueling, nonsensical plots. You needed to Google after the fact to even know that the planet we see destroyed in the New Republic isn’t Coruscant. It looks just like it, BUT – it’s some place called Hosnian Prime, thats not in the movie though. They merely mention the system name- which is information without context and doesnt change our impression.
We NEVER find out why blowing up one 5 planet system ends the New Republic. We just move on.
We spent SIX MOVIES trying to save and then Re-Establish this Republic and it’s just wiped away in a 2 minute effect scene (that has serous logical flaws). We never address WHY the Republic had no presence outside this system. Its a major flaw and shows JJ does NOT under the concept of “Paying Things Off” in a movie. I guess their fleet and entire military was there waiting to be ‘Pearl Harbor-ed’ too.This was a stupid idea.
The defecting Stormtrooper was in itself an ok concept until Rise of Skywalker when we find out it happens all the time! So we have moral equivalence between factions now! Why not ask Stormtroopers to just surrender occasionally? The First Order’s power level, origin, size and goals are never made clear or just dont make sense. There’s really NO reason to hunt down Luke. If blowing up the Republic he built doesnt get his attention hes dead or useless (and ends up both by the end).
Then the destruction went into Overdrive when JJ leaves a bad beginning to incompetent hack Rian Johnson. So we end up with inscrutable tale of depression, The Last Jedi. In this movie both plots start with bad jokes that fall flat. The obsession with subversion kills the film over and over. Rian Johnson also didn’t really distinguish himself with his self-important ‘trick’ ending fail. Johnson essentially purges the old fans by just wrecking as much of the franchise as he can without really advancing the story.
Who didn’t pity poor Mark Hamill, forced to play Skywalker as a guy who toys with murdering children? Like Han Solo being a bad dad wasn’t enough? This is still sort of on JJ!
Johnson gives us the Salt Planet duel that sucked the life out of the franchise once and for all. Then Luke dies but doesn’t die. Then dies, kind of. Then we’re back to JJ doing the onerous task of reconciling this and shows off his weakest trait -damage control! He compounds problems!
Moving forward when Rise of Skywalker DOES show up we got maybe the worst 2 hours of backpedaling action packed nonsense you could ever imagine. Paying off stuff was abandoned and the band aid on the story was never gonna work. Light Speed skipping is a Band Aid to fix Hyperspace tracking – Johnsons fault – but JJ made it worse – now TIE Fighters can do it instead of just the biggest ships. So now no one can ever escape anyone cleanly.
In Rise of Skywalker we stumbled through a broken world in the movie equivalent of an Estate Sale. The new characters all failed. Rey was essentially a female Superman and deeply boring. Kylo was gonna be unstable. Finn and Poe would do whatever the plot needed. There was nothing to do but look at the odds and ends of what was once a great collection of films reduced to the sum of its parts. There’s whole essays on how bad this movie is. Things like a third variation of the lead characters backstory and never seeing much of any of the original cast together are on him. Theres so many soft deaths, like C-3Po and Chewie. Then the end of the end was just a badly done joke. Burying Anakin’s and Leia’s lightsabers on a planet they hated and spent time as slaves. Wow. In the sand that Anakin so hated. He never understood the characters or watched the other movies! Who knew?!
Perhaps this is the best way to sum up the “genius” of JJ Abrams- both Star Wars and Star Trek have ALL FUTURE MOVIES ON INDEFINITE HOLD AND ARE ONLY PRODUCING STREAMING PAY TV SHOWS. The So-Called Kelvin Timeline goes on, boring and offending all.
Highly flawed Star Trek Discovery, mired in a plagiarism lawsuit that Star Trek writers should have been above, are now going to do what the Abrams dictate demands – Treat original characters with total contempt.
Discovery is stuck in a badly plagiarized and predictably over the top world of super high stakes. The shows got a lot of flaws but the stakes being way too high is a constant. So’s the lack of humanity the characters show. Casualties among the crew don’t give the commanders pause.
We’re sadly diving into another AWFUL ‘for pay’ self-hating season of disappointing Star Trek Discovery. This show – by Bad Robot’s spin-off destructive Reboot Mangler is designed to make fans angry. The idea is to PURGE the fans of old Star Trek and make subpar space soap operas that drag on for TEN HOURS! In Star Trek we’ve trashed the idea of optimism, stakes, and the idea of telling a coherent story.
Adding insult to injury in season 2 of trainwreck Discovery went hard after the original show, with a new (as in NOT Zachary Quinto) Spock who was a pot smoking EMO mess. The obvious ‘save’ for Discovery would be to have them always have been from a parallel universe to begin with and an honorable way out. Bad Robot’s scion Secret Hideout wont stop lying about this though.They insist this is the primary timeline. Its NOT, they just know how easy it would be for a good writer to dismiss their garbage – which they have made so complex it can never make sense again without a HARD reboot.
Any discussion about the imprisoned American has to start with the acknowledgment that he’s about the ONLY thing that Trump and the Kremlin outright disagree about. That alone makes him important and remarkable.
On the surface Michigander Paul Whelan is a guy who is something of a Russophile. Not a crime. At first described as a ‘retired Marine” and “Missing Wedding Guest” the details that have emerged since would point to more ‘disgraced Ex-Marine who maybe even thought he was living in a Tom Clancy novel.’
Weeks after the United States arrested Maria Butina the Russians grabbed up Whelan, allegedly in Moscow to attend a wedding. He disappears in the very last days of December 2018. Then things just got weird fast.
Whelan the Marine
The 30,000 foot view would say that Whelan was a mixed bag as a Marine, but he had never figured on full-time military career when he joined. Maybe he was okay with weekend warrior and a trip to the sandbox once or twice, but Whelan’s original intent was to be a reservist when he joins in 1994.
Never the less for a few months on two occasions (in 04 and 06) he was sent to Iraq where he apparently continued his Military Operations Speciality- as a paper pushing clerk. It’s nothing to laugh at, the Marines need an office staff too. He was sent to a horrible place and it definitely sucked. But he doesn’t seem to be a particularly dangerous guy even in pictures from before he was kicked out of the Corps. Why his time in Iraq was described as ‘a few months’ is hard to say. It was notably not termed “two tours”.
So while he was okay and made Staff Sergeant, in 2004, he really was more Staff than Sergeant. Then comes the downfall.
As a white-collar criminal Whelan outright sucks and gets caught, badly. Rather than come to an arrangement with his creditors he just starts lying about what happened and maybe stirs the pot with a few desperate financial moves. Marines aren’t supposed to do that kind of thing. It probably started around 2006 based on when his actions caught up with him.
It seems he was scheming to get a credit card under false identity or had used someone else’s card without permission. It’s hard to tell. Whether or not the fact he was already on the Russian Government controlled version of Facebook figured in to the conviction is unclear. He was stone cold busted on the fraud charges. There may have been no reason to look further.
It may just be possible he misused his access to USMC personnel files to obtain the questionable social security numbers he was playing around trying to get credit with. It begs the question;”What else did he do before he got caught for this scheme?” Like maybe something the Russians were hanging over him?
The Marine Court-Martial regarded his deeds as Larceny, which is just a fancy way to call someone a thief. It looks like they decided Whelan had made some moral compromises. Most likely he cheated a credit card company out of some money and possibly also ruined someone else’s financial reputation to make his own life easier.
Whatever he was doing demoting him was seen as simply too lenient. So he was tossed out of the Marines despite the fact we were in the middle of 2 wars. Not much of recommendation.
Just weeks into 2008 he gets cashiered out of the USMC, essentially for lying, trying to steal and lacking financial ethics. Sound like anyone we know?
At that moment he joined the ranks of other disgraced Marines like Oliver North.
After the Marines
Too compromised to stay in the service but still saddled with a bunch of debt would make this guy a decent low risk gamble for the Russians, who seem to be skilled at guiding people down an appealing treasonous path. Maybe he unwittingly gets compromised somehow. Not exactly a classic cold war sleeper agent but this is a new Cold War with new rules.
Pure conjecture could be that maybe his debt problems were from gambling and his bookie turned out to be Russian mob? Or could he just be a sex tourist that just doesn’t want to say why they were there?
Whelan was living in his native Michigan and was employed as a security adviser by auto parts giant BorgWarner. Responsibilities might include something like assessing whether anyone was slacking or stealing from the Mega Conglomerate.
Was he already with the BorgWarner Corporation while a Marine? Wouldn’t corporate security seem a bad fit for a confirmed white-collar criminal? Is something up with BorgWarner? Just hiring a guy with a shabby rep for a job that requires some integrity is a head scratcher.
In social media he had a 10 plus year presence on a Russia-specific (so Kremlin controlled) version of a Facebook type service. A strange and naive move for someone who had already gotten in trouble for things involving identity theft. His motives are hard to figure.
Even 13 years ago the idea that you would let the Russians data mine your social media (not that they didn’t get into Facebook itself) is plain old bad judgement and probably bolstered the case against him at his Court-Martial if it came up.
One way or another he ends up an Ex-Marine, unheard of in the culture of the Corps where the motto goes “Once a Marine Always a Marine.” It must’ve been humbling. At this point he’s ripe for the picking in the eyes of the FSB. The Russian Intel service is well known to be an avid recruiter of compromised or desperate people.
While he was no Paul Manafort when it comes to embezzlement his own problems loomed just as large in his life.
An American in Prison
While his family says he went to Russia to attend a wedding the truth is he could also simply have been a sex tourist. It’s not like this doesn’t ever happen, its prevalent enough. We already know Whelan had terrible judgment, so why wouldn’t this be a possibility? While we’re on it; we all know it’s rumored Trump himself supposedly engaged in Sex Tourism when he went to Moscow in 2013. We also know that’s what’s allegedly on the so-called Pee-Tape (if it exists).
For some reason or another the Russians decided it was time to grab Whelan and throw espionage charges that could land him in a Russian Prison for 20 years at him. It could have been for leverage against the US, and his life story won’t help him.
While the Russians have said he’s a spy the administration has denied that. The US position on the case is that Whelan’s a nobody who should be freed.
The Ambassador Himself?!
It’s hard to say whether its simple ineptitude or a sign of true concern by the administration that the Ambassador Huntsman himself was sent to check on this ‘average person’. I’m not sure that sending our most senior person to check on Whelan did anything to minimize his profile or the Kremlin charges. This would seem to be “deputy ambassador” turf. Whether the actual ambassador is the right move or not is hard to say.
We’ve seen the Trump people mishandle and manhandle protocol over and over. Trump himself is always inappropriate. Remember him shoving the president of Montenegro out of the way like a dick in a photo-op? Two years into the Trump chaos its sometimes hard to recall how things went when we had a professional president rather than General Bone Spurs.
The Russians operate on a petty but persistent level. Sending Huntsman himself to the jail to see the guy seems a huge win. They orchestrated an out of the ordinary response and will use it t back up their story. It may have been better to play small ball on this one.
On the surface at this moment it seems it was a possible escalation and error in protocol to send the actual ambassador. Surely if this whole thing is no big deal, why send our number one guy?
Is Whelan s Spy?
While Whelan might be doing some underhanded things it seems unlikely he’s a US asset. His military career is less remarkable than most and his discharge was for trying to commit fraud. Just discrediting and it probably means no AMERICAN intel agency would hire him, at least not openly. He’s a documented liar.
So whose spy is he? A couple of possibilities come to mind but he was most in bed with the Russians.
Could the FSB have compromised him? Or perhaps convinced him he was a very important guy? It would seem more likely than any of our intel agencies using him. Maybe he’s helping the Russian mob steal automatic transmission clutch plates or other materials associated with auto manufacturing. Or maybe he took money to stop investigating theft from BorgWarner.
Cashed Up Agent of Fortune for someone like Turkey or a compromised and dishonest American who the Russians were able to manipulate seems closer to truth than CIA operative. For one thing we probably would never hire a liar who has shifting financial morality to be much more than a pawn
It’s hard to imagine that “Thrown out of the USMC for lying and stealing” was the ‘cover story’ to create a spy. He had too much baggage to be much more than a clerk and he couldn’t be trusted to be a that, so how could he end up a spy?
Slamming him as a thief and kicking him out of the military for being a criminal hardly sounds like the way they would dress up someone recruited out of the Marines for intel work. Why question his honor? Why not just have his records be murky? Whelan would probably have been charged with fighting or something that didn’t involve dishonesty if it were a cover story. At the end of the day our operatives can’t be so despicable we ourselves can’t trust them at all ourselves.
In light of what the Russians say happened they may have set Whelan up. The arrest documents we got today indicate he was ‘arrested in his hotel room five minutes after accepting a flash drive’, and that flashdrive had some classified Russian stuff on it.
This could mean anything really. There’s a lot of reasons to accept a flashdrive. The Russians may have convinced him the info was valuable and he could do some kind of freelance intel operation.
Well this is just going too good for the Russians for them to let him go anytime soon. They’ve dragged our Ambassador to their jail in just days. They may decide this is fun and hold this guy til Butina is released or for 20 years.
Trump’s huffed and he’s puffed and seemingly blown the house down (and Shut the Government Down) over his incessant ranting about a wall at the Southern Border.
Maybe there’s a case some parts of the Border need to be hardened, but we’re not really talking about that. Trump wants a HUGE and extensive concrete barrier (most of the time) along the entire border. While he’s occasionally made allowances for natural barriers, mostly he wants a huge wall. The whole “Beautiful Steel Slat” thing seems a dicey compromise Trump simply wont be able to abide by. So let’s disregard it for now.
As usual we hear more from Trump’s Hype-Men about the terms he’ll accept to end the Trump Government Shutdown than we get from Trump. It’s become an exercise in Ideology just reading into his Tweet-stream, which is the Diary of a Madman.
He’s not going to get his border wall from sea to shining sea for a bunch of reasons. One reason, however, really jumps out.
No one ever mentions the huge problem that’s staring anyone who looks at a map of the US-Mexico border right in the face.
So what’s my beef with a Border Wall?
The Walls Unfixable Problem
So whats the issue? These visual aids start to get it across
Mexico is STILL a short Boat ride Away
Even assuming the Wall ends up being what Trump promised – A Giant Solar Panel Encrusted slab of ‘beautiful’ concrete in the middle of the desert extending deep underground to prevent tunneling; it won’t help. Why? Because that still leaves an ocean to sail up north on both coasts.
It’s two big problems, or if you want to think in the simplest terms; the same problem twice. Specifically it’s thousands of miles of coastline that simply can’t be secured. What’s the answer to that? Mines?
Just look at all that ocean, on both coasts, much of it being in the somewhat naturally ‘protected’ (from ‘open ocean’ conditions) Gulf of Mexico. Quadrupling the size of the Coast Guard would seem the first thing we’d need to do for any kind of control. That sounds expensive because it is!
Boats will be the new main way people will enter. What are we gonna do when that happens? Piracy charges? We’d need to actually catch them first (fat chance). Forget about deploying the army at the border. This would probably require a Carrier Task force off both coasts to have any effect on the influx from the sea! In other words its impractical and very, very expensive.
We have ENORMOUS coastlines on BOTH oceans with Mexico. So the problem with the wall is NOT LADDERS, but BOATS. Or even rafts if you will, especially on the Gulf of Mexico where sailing is generally easier.
Boats are Plentiful and Easy to Make
Boats are probably the first ever form of human conveyance. They were first created at least 8,000 years ago. So making one is no big deal. Just look at some of the pictures of the Boat Exodus from Cuba in 1980 to see how loose the definition of “Boat” is.
Typical 1980 Cuban Mariel Boatlift raft
Most any boat from the lowliest skiff on up can sail the Atlantic or Pacific seaboards ( Or meander in the Gulf for awhile) and dare the Coast Guard to catch them. The Gulf of Mexico will encourage even the leakiest of tubs with enticingly (and often deceptively) easy sailing conditions.
The simplicity of just sailing to a piece of secluded coastline and disgorging people will be obvious. Lots of people will do it. That will mean there will be a whole lot of boats of every kind making this desperate journey at any given moment. The cost of naval interdiction is obviously far beyond that of just catching people on land at the border’s edge. It’s also obviously harder and more dangerous for all involved.
So there’s a pragmatic argument to be made that a Wall is tactically useless. If we build it and people take to the sea it will be an ongoing Human Tragedy of untold proportion. A lot of people will simply go to sea and never return or be heard from again. Others will die and wash up on the shores of California, Louisiana, Florida, the Carolinas and everywhere else. And the media will be there.
Tragedy will Inevitably Ensue
You won’t be able to get away from the pictures of crowded boats, loaded to an unsafe manner, covered with women and children. Some of these WILL sink and we may not be able to rescue everyone every time. Sooner or later some terrible image, like the iconic pictures of a drowned Syrian child washed up on a Turkish shore, will surface and the whole Wall concept will be exposed as the fraud it is. It’s Strategically Unsound and Tactically Flawed.
So the pictures will be horrific. We’ve seen some of the awful images of the unfortunates fleeing places like Syria across the (relatively calm) Mediterranean. Drowned children, poorly maintained boats drifting powerless with no country wanting to rescue them.
So the Wall would absolutely raise the cost of Border Enforcement. We will need dozens more fully crewed Coast Guard Cutters on each coast to even make a dent in what will be a conveyor belt of boats.
Refugees Fleeing Syria via the Mediterranean
A Wall won’t cover the oceans. Even the Atlantic Wall in France’s Normandy, was breached in a single day. Because you can’t really build a Wall at the water’s edge from Mexico to Canada.
Even the goddamned Love Boat stopped in Mexico! It’s an Un-Overcome-able flaw in any plan for a Wall.
Look for a new word along the lines of “Sea-Coyotes” to describe the people who will set these boats loose.
The Southern Border Wall is simply an inherently flawed concept. You can choose from any number of negative analogies to describe it. It’s bad out of the gate. Its doesn’t pass Logical Muster. Its falls apart under any analysis.
The best way it say it is “That stupid idea won’t work and will cause more problems than it solves”
Repercussions with the United Nations?
Whether or not the Wall would be in fact an Apartheid Wall is a topic for a future post. So will the humanitarian crisis at sea that will begin to occur if this Wall madness continues to any kind of fruition.
At some point we could be looking at getting sanctioned for being Inhumane to Refugees. There’s plenty of countries out there (Russia, Iran, China) that would love to hang that on us.
Stumbling into 2018 things already weren’t going well for Trump and his lackeys. It was in fact a year of serious decline for the Administration’s already bad image. As we end out the year the president’s in a tenuous place both with the American People and the Law.
True to form, by the end of January the president had managed to offend almost everyone, never deviating from dark speeches where he would always claim to be a victim. He kept up his usual disrespect and trashed dying John McCain non stop among other despicable acts and statements.
As I pointed out, the year really didn’t start well, coming off failures like the months long Roy Moore debacle. Hopes weren’t high this year would be any better. For one thing, there was no course correction and a terrible atmosphere of disdain for the president became the norm. Calls for Unity we would have seen from any other administration were replaced by simply demonizing all enemies, real or perceived.
Most say he’s been a mess since the mid-term election, but anyone reading here knows the “New Level” of insanity started with the drop of the book ‘Fear’ and the “Anonymous White House Staffer” Op-Ed. I started documenting the intensifying crazy behaviors as soon as I detected them starting with the posts leading up to his disastrous 9-11 that just kept getting worse and just before as he freaked out over Woodward’s book.
The Tightly Wound Spring
It began as an unstable year but American’s had at least started developing a thicker skin to the antics of the president, who was forever rubbing salt.
2018 went awful from a publicity and legal/ impeachment stand point. If you just look at the calendar you can track the Mueller Probe “Island Hopping” from one scandal and crime to the next; hive-ing off prosecutions to other bodies, like the Southern District of New York or the DC District Attorney. Each time getting closer to the president.
By Opening Day of Baseball season the Chaos was constant. The president tweeted conspiracies regularly, engaged in pointless political shit talking and pouted angrily publicly and privately.
Summer of Scam
Between tanking on lay-up special elections to botching attempts at policy the summer was shocking, but things seemed to have a pattern. The president would hear something, blow up and make a bad decision. All the while lying about swirling clouds of scandalous garbage at the edge of ‘Trump-world’
Then something strange happened about the same time summer ended. People started flipping as other were found guilty and some Trump associates start to cooperate with Special Counsel Robert Mueller as still others started heading to jail.
Maybe the lowest summer moment was mid July’s Treason Summit in Helsinki. Fresh off trashing our nations allies and NATO he unadvisedly went to hob-nob with Putin having done no preparation. He also freaked us all out when we found out he’d spent over a half hour unsupervised with Putin. No one likes the idea of him and Putin alone together cavorting. So that angered lots of people.
In the press conference afterwards Trump fell all over himself praising Putin, who was standing approvingly just a pace away. Trump spent a lot of time casting aspersion on the idea the Russians meddled in the 2016 election, to the Kremlin’s delight, and despite the US Intelligence community universally blaming them.
Siding with our biggest geo-political enemies over the CIA pissed people off good. He was so awash in criticism he made Orwellian attempts to alter the record and Un-Say things. None of it worked and he looked like a bigger liar than ever.
He saw his lowest ever approval ratings after that. Then he set some new lows.
Legends of the Downfall
Trump seems to have taken an emotional nosedive about 2 days before the anniversary of 9-11, a day that Trump has co-opted politically many times with many lies. The cable news shows were buzzing with advance quotes and outtakes from Bob Woodward’s book “Fear”.
In the book Woodward painted the president as angry and sub-juvenile. The book also provided multiple examples of people in a panic reversing course on presidential actions and attempting to muzzle their boss. One nominal cabinet member grabbed papers off the president’s desk to prevent perceived tragic mistakes.
Fear sported tales of breakroom hate rants by everyone from Cabinet Secretaries to the lowest coffee boy, serious backstabbing and a toxified White House where staffers try to filter information flow to a TV obsessed president. Criminal ineptitude and professional incompetence were the only constants in White House operations.
It sounded like a tale from the Last 10 Days of the Third Reich and started an Internal Witch Hunt that we heard about off and on, but never seemed to yield any results. The firings and chaos started ramping up.Whether or not it led to the Chief of Staff, former General Kelly to leave is up in the air.
President Donald Trump meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 Summit, Friday, July 7, 2017, in Hamburg. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
The Chief of Staff Fiasco happened on the same moment Trump woke up and started tweeting sweet music to Putin’s ears. An undiscussed (outside Kremlin Propaganda) idea to withdraw all US troops from Syria. The reason? Unclear days later. It cost Trump his Secretary of Defense as we all saw a scathing “I Quit” letter hatemailed right to the president. Mattis didn’t even use a closing salutation, he just signed his name at the end.
The Winter of the Malcontent
As Fall turned to winter the shortening of the days lead to long cold nights of Americans actually paying attention the News, especially on sports-deprived weeknight’s and a series of ‘back to back to back’ fails.
The fact there’s really nothing much going on in the world of sports coinciding with this new, more brittle and overtly angry tone is probably not so great for Trump. More people are bound to notice.
There was some fairly credible talk of Trump blasting off by snorting Adderall in mid December that made all too much sense and was an uncomfortable parallel to Hitler no one failed to see.
December has been one long disaster for Trump. His beginners luck hadn’t had much effect to begin with and now, almost 2 full years in, the lack of professionalism is becoming more than just a little annoying.
Early in the month former President George HW Bush passed away and the biggest topic was whether Trump would be even allowed to attend the funeral. He was ultimately allowed to attend, after extracting a promise not to be criticized in exchange for his agreeing not to speak at the event. No one wanted him there. He didn’t want to be there. There was no way out of it. He handled it horribly.
At the event Trump was inappropriate the whole time, aware of the scornful side eye he was drawing from all living presidents after he flung the overcoat he should have left in the car to a bewildered Military Honor Guard Member.
Sitting at the end of the row as though he were on a toilet he looked isolated, alone and distracted. Several gaffes in prayer and when to stand or kneel followed. Trump’s clueless in a church, even a non secular one. The whole thing plays well to Black Sabbath music.
Days later he blamed the people of California for the deadly wildfires they’re experiencing in a series of deranged lies. Trump shamed the locals for not raking the vast forests clean each year. This just sounded nuts and people noticed. He’s remained consistent on this, supporting it with numerous lies.
And he literally spent Christmas telling kids that there no Santa Claus. In fact he said believing in Santa Claus was “marginal” for 7 year olds. He didn’t miss a chance to be a complete jerk at any time in December. Thankfully the months almost over.
Late December saw people’s opinions of the president bottoming out. It came out that one particularly bad day on Wall Street was triggered in the Oval Office when Trump had hard to like Mnuchin call up all the top banks to tell them there was no impending collapse of the market. This is like getting a phone call out of the blue from the local utility company to tell you that the water isn’t poison. It unnerved people and now we’re hearing that Mnuchin and the Fed Chairman are going to walk the plank next as the president fumes over a conflicted stock market that’s actually pretty far out of his control . It was a very bad idea to use the day-to-day market as a measure of success for any president. He did so anyway and now he’s freaking out.
People’s skins weren’t going to thicken anymore. A mass White House defection of staffers was either a House Cleaning or a bunch of Flights of fear, no one can tell. It doesn’t matter. The fact simply was the White House sucked to work at and the president was capricious.
The government shutdown over the border walls five days old and its the same bad negotiating we’ve become used to. He’s drawn a line in the sand and wont back off. That line is 5 billion bucks for his insane wall. Then he lied about it, saying that government employees were glad he was so resolute and wanted the shut down to continue til he got the Wall.
This doesn’t look like its going to be resolved anytime soon.
Politicizing the Military
Then there’s the Christmas visit to the troops. He had to go after the media criticized the fact that every commander-in-chief since George W Bush had visited our combat troops early in their presidencies. Draft Evading President Bone Spurs looked like a flat-out coward. He didnt want to go, but there was no way out of it so he showed up pissed and acted like a child most of the time. Dark and horrible as Black Sabbath lyrics yet again.
The pukeworthy speeches to the military, where he told them they would soon defend walls ‘at home’ were of course wrong. Also; the mission he spoke of, deploying the troops inside the United States, is probably illegal. It was blatant politicization of soldiers that American’s aren’t supposed to be comfortable seeing.
While he was there for merely three hours and didn’t venture far from the airport he managed to lie to the troops about their pay. He claimed he’d given then a huge pay raise because it had been over 10 years since they were last given a raise. This was a lie 10 years thick as they’d been given raises every year and the last year was not substantially different. It was a bad and easily disprovable lie in front of people who totally knew better. I would say that makes it a bit crazier.
I guess they knew he was wrong about them not getting a raise and I’m not sure they liked being lied to. Then some brand new MAGA hats showed up in the hands of some privates who just happened to have them with them when the president literally showed up out of the blue. Remember, the visit was unannounced.
I predict it will surface that the Trump people were just handing them to the dumber soldiers who didn’t know it was a violation of regulations and unethical. Every hat looks brand spanking new. Every hat appeared unworn and was folded the same way. Only one variation of the hat was seen and as we know there’s a dozen variations because Trump just keeps the money from that. So some people are in trouble and will be peeling potatoes for that.
New Year, New Fear?
We’re hearing more and more taped conversations, tweets and crazy statements where Trump sounds like a Mob Boss with Traumatic Brain Injury. You don’t need to be a mobster or a cop, you only need to have seen the first 2 Godfather movies. It was that blatant. From running down law enforcement to calling Michael Cohen, one time Consigliere and fixer to Trump turned cooperating witness against him, ‘a rat’.
The cabinet seems to be morphing, firings outstrip the ability to replace people and the short-staffed government was shuttered due to the presidents complete inability to deal with any criticism from his political right. Three deals to keep the Government open were approved until right-wing pundits criticized them. Each in turn was passed but the president backed out of his promises and didn’t sign them at the last moment each time. Most legislators gave up and left town, as did Trump’s family who jumped right on a plane to Florida to get away from him.
So the president ends the year screaming at the walls and hate-tweeting alone in DC due to his own ineptitude and refusal to negotiate. He doesn’t want to be there, but he can’t leave on the thin chance he gets a budget thrown on his desk, so hes stuck. And he hates it, so he’s pouting.
During all of this the Mueller Probe powers on. It’s yielding fruit and sparking other investigations. In just weeks a new Congress will be seated, this time with a Democratic Majority in the House. The subpoenanas will fly and the Trumpists will surely get blasted on TV. President Melt-Down might not handle it so well.
The president seems to have descended into Persecutory Delusions.
There’s gonna be plenty of ill advised Military moves. trump’s military thinking is confined to the Patton Biopic. He’ll be more like a dark ages warlord than the leader of the free world.
The Government shutdown may become, for awhile, a fact of life. Trump shows no inclination towards reason on this. Should the government still be closed in April he could get himself removed just on the basis of not fulfilling the Oath of Office Per Se. He’s on a bad trajectory with this, just like everything else.
My only market prediction is Extreme Unpredictability and erratic shifts. Deep uncertainty could set in and wreck the economy any given week.
I also predict the Mueller Report drops right around the Superbowl and past that anything could happen. After the Superbowl there’s another sports desert where people will pay more attention. At that point, if a couple of these predictions pan out, I see his approval spinning down to the lower 30s and upper 20s and staying there by April.
Remember that debate performance where Trump was wildly snorting and yelling? Okay, trick question, its most every time he talks in public. After that first debate though, even Carrie Fisher, who knew what she was talking about, said she was sure that Trump had been snorting drugs. Assessing it all with her usual “Takes one to know one” honesty.
While she guessed it was coke, and that still could’ve been in the mix, it was likely Adderall that had Trump speeding out based on new information.
Botching the Response to Dayton and El Paso Shootings in an Adderall Trance
Despite being an older post, this exploded organically from the bizarre way Trump acted after the El Paso and Dayton Massacres.
He flubbed the address to the nation by being in “Teleprompter Mode” aka “distant and semi incoherent”. Marked by mumbling, the only thing singled out for sympathy by Trump was the guns used, which were “never” to blame.
While things could have gone better in Dayton, they couldn’t have been worse when Trump got to El Paso. The only survivor who he met was an infant whose MAGA loving uncle bought needlessly back to the hospital to meet his hero despite how unseemly it looked. And it looked like THIS-
This is one horrifically bad picture. A leering Trump is in full campaign mode for a picture with an orphan his words helped create. Trump is all sorts of inappropriate, it looks outright bad.
It’s like he’s on drugs.
Other Accusations of Drug Abuse
Another person to add fuel to the fire on this one is a former Apprentice Production Assistant turned comic Noel Casler. His accusation? That Trump is semi-illiterate and the idea of reading the cue cards terrifies him. We’ve heard exactly this before from the SNL people who endured a walk on by Trump. So what’s Don’s coping method? Snorting a few rails of amphetamine, of course!
Casler’s pretty funny, but the Trump riff starts at about 3:30
Noel correctly points out that Trump’s doing a drug invented by the Nazi’s to make people meaner and hyperalert.
Adderall is Really Powerful and Damaging
After breezing over the wikipedia entry for Adderall I can tell you it absolutely IS considered a form of methamphetamine and is supposed to be used for people with ADHD, a concentration deficit. You may wanna steer clear of this even if its one of your options. It’s tricky stuff. It tends to get abused.
The really interesting parts were the effects of overdosing or just messing around with it the wrong way. Increased Apprehension? Sounds like Trump. Psychosis is in there too. We’ve seen like 3 psychotic breaks from reality from this president just this week on Twitter.
And as far as not being able to read? Too many people are saying it now. Maybe he can’t concentrate to read? It looks like a good bet right now.
Seeing as how it’s now well-known Hitler was also a huge fan of the methamphetamines (and Trump’s a huge fan of Hitler), it’s even more likely that Trump simply does a few blasts before a rally.
Thinking its likely he uses a different dosage when he’s reading off the teleprompter at other, usually official events (rather than rallies). Is he emotionless and monotone cause he’s so high or is it from withdrawal from the meth? In the teleprompter moments he’s just distant and emotionless. Hard to tell where his mind is a lot of the time when he’s doing inappropriate things, like treating a soldier like a butler throwing his coat at him at the National Cathedral when he arrived at the George HW Bush state funeral (where he was asked not to speak).
If he were high sometimes it sure would explain a lot.
Another interesting thing associated with abusing the stuff is it messes up your circulation. Especially the extremities. This brings to mind how it took about 5 minutes for Macron’s thumbprint on the back of Trump’s hand to go away. Remember that? It’s a good bet French Intel services told Macron to crush Trump’s bigly hand a little so they could see if this happened. And as you can see the media caught on right away (or got tipped off by the French) and got this great, revealing picture.
I’m guessing most foreign governments are operating under the assumption the presidents on drugs.
While George HW Bush was considered a sub par president who advanced through personal meanness in his life you would think he’s FDR for all the preposterous pomp of the weeklong funeral. When it comes to presidents it seems, the less important the longer the mourning period. Did the country stop dead when Eisenhower died? No one seemed this upset when Dutch Reagan shuffled off this mortal coil.
Could it merely be that Bush Sr just lived so long that there was enough time to re-cast a career and presidency that was seen as a flaming bag of failure in his time? Simply put; most likely, yes.
New World Order and Revisionist History
The current ‘memory’ of the George HW Bush is one of the most successfully “retconned” political careers to date, with new storylines and ‘information’. It’s part Gaslighting and part Mandela Effect.
The two titles he seems to have locked up is “Everyone’s Favorite President Named George Bush” and “most musically sampled president in History at his time” for always relying on so many meaningless Happy-Time quotes that would be sampled and parodied.
George HW Bush talked in such drivel that even Trump was able to work a few laughs out of trashing the “Thousand Points of Light” that Bush often spoke of but could never really explain.
George HW Bush may not have been the meanest guy in DC, but he could get ornery. He famously hounded Alexander Haig out of Reagan’s cabinet over a few poorly chosen words when their boss caught a bullet.
The whole aftermath of the Reagan shooting made Bush look like a nattering, brittle jerk. Most people would have just yelled at Haig in private. The average American knew that the vice president was in charge and that Haig was speaking figuratively and at worst meant he was the guy calling the shots for the next 20 minutes while they grabbed Bush and got him in front of a camera.
Campaigns of Hate Waged by a Perceived Wimp
George HW Bush had run for president a bunch of times and was meaner and more desperate every time. By the time he wins his one term he’s redefined the concept of Gutter Campaigning with the INFAMOUS Willie Horton Ad ( which he borrowed from Al Gore, but was still wrong).
In terms of presidential Intellects he was a step up from Reagan but failed to match the wit and guile we’d seen from previous presidents. He came off as bad as Lyndon Johnson or Harry Truman despite an Ivy League education.
George HW Bush was also just not a visionary when it came to solutions. Sometimes he seemed to be looking right at a problem and fail to see it. He was competent but not impressive.
As a speaker few were worse. A bad nasal voice, often derided as ‘wimpy sounding’, a penchant for whining and body language almost as bad as Richard Nixon were a toxic brew. He was an underwhelming Chief Executive, especially when on TV. Adding props, like evidence from a drug buy, only made it worse.
President Bush, on live TV, with a huge bag of Crack.
No one alive will at that time will ever forget his strange Oval Office Address on the ridiculous War on Drugs.
In a moment of legitimately hilarious fake anger he waved a bag of actual Crack around. Like everyone else; I want to know what happened to that Crack. Is it in his presidential library or did he smoke it with his staff? At any rate, all the bad traits were on display. In debates he could usually keep up, but he would look arrogantly at his watch and stare at the floor when not speaking. It looked bad.
While he had a sense of humor he wasn’t exactly bringing down the house with the jokes. The lost references about the Brooklyn Dodgers and an inability to connect with the common American killed his attempts at humor most times.
The best thing you could say about his sense of humor was the guy was a good sport most of the time. Dana Carvey is still alive, right?
Neither a Uniter nor a Divider so much as a sober and steady helmsman at best, he was no friend to women, minorities or the poor. His record dealing with the AIDS crisis should be held in special contempt. It would be wrong to call him compassionate.
Still, as incumbent and having scored a military a win in the pointless Gulf War he should have been a shoe-in, but lost his bid for reelection. Not because he was too darn nice either. It was another brutal Culture War Campaign fought on the Low Road all the way.
It really came down to having a terrible Texas sized rivalry with pint sized Powerhouse Ross Perot. Most Historians think the Perot Campaign was an ego trip and at the end just a way to shaft Bush.
Perot – The Man Who Wouldn’t Be King
If you can’t really remember Perot think of “King of the Hill” Character
Cotton Hill. He was surely based on short, intense and emotional Perot. They certainly have similar voices. In his own time Perot was not so very different from Trump. The exceptions being Perot was a self-made man and not a money grubbing Russian Puppet.
It was lost on people at the time that Perot outflanked Bush from the RIGHT and got nearly one vote in 5 (19%) in the election that he and Bush lost to Bill Clinton.
Only the wrong people notice this or when the right people talked about it they were simply ignored.
Bush’s personal rivalry with fellow Texan Ross Perot probably cost him a second term. Perot would pre-sage more organized and resolute Tea Party Types that were fermenting. For his own part, Perot was a little bit of a flake and his vice president pick was worse than Sarah Palin. In fact Admiral Stockdale imploded on TV to the point Dan Quayle seemed wise. That was pretty much the end of that.
When it was past the point where he could win Perot was barely campaigning and the rumor was he just hated George Bush so much and had so much money he was staying in just to spite Bush. If true it worked.
Imperial Japan’s Final Defiant Finger of Failure
We all wish the Japanese had been slightly better Marksmen and spared us all two terrible presidents. They couldn’t have picked a more destructive person to make a war hero. In fact he would one day return to puke on their leader while either drunk or messed up from bad sushi. The image of a half out of it president barfing on another world leader is the first I recall of his presidential “style.”
The scandals and lack of integrity fueled endless negative headlines. Iran-Contra, Oliver North and the tanking of the economy all add up to “this guy was a mediocre president and we’re lucky he wasn’t reelected.”
Still it needs to be noted that while equally brave, George HW Bush was a MUCH better pilot than John McCain. The two biggest differences being that George Bush almost never pancaked onto the deck upon returning to the carrier, even when his plane was damaged; and never crashed into telephone wires with a hooker in the plane showing off in Italy.
At the end the best part of the funeral was how every ex president, even Jimmy Carter, whose not well himself, simply ignored or side-eyed Trump.
Happy Trails George HW Bush. The only person so far I voted FOR before I voted AGAINST as president
Heres a metal song comprising mostly of quotes from the late presidents time in office
Anyone who watches the news knows Tony Schwartz; Art of the Deal Cowriter turned Trump critic.
Schwartz has accurately predicted what Trump will do on a few occasions and usually attributes this to the idea Trump has not grown or changed in any way since the time they spent together in the late 80s.
A few months back he theorized Trump was losing his mind in a particular way and since the tweet dropped in July there’s been an unsettling amount of evidence Schwartz nailed it. In fact every week since things have skewed a little more in the direction of “Schwartz is totally right.”
Here’s what the tweet said back in July; for the record – the word trust in there appears to be maybe autocorrect taking him in a bad direction but has no real effect on what he’s saying-
‘What you are watching with Trump is what psychiatrists trust call decompensation (failure of reality testing) On one hand, he feels unchecked & free to define his own deluded reality. On the other, he’s under siege, paranoid & willing to do anything — anything — to survive.’
“In psychology, the term refers to the inability to maintain defense mechanisms in response to stress, resulting in personality disturbance or psychological imbalance. Some who suffer from narcissistic personality disorder or borderline personality disorder may decompensate into persecutory delusions to defend against a troubling reality.”
Let’s face it; Narcissistic Personality Disorder or Borderline Personality Disorder are mentioned in connection to the president so many times they’re probably exactly whats going on in his head. On top of endless easily googled articles by experts there’s the overt insanity of Trump’s Double-Talk. There’s no way all the experts are wrong and even so, Perception is Reality and to say it doesn’t look crazy is to pretty much admit you’re a member of Cult 45. You don’t have to be a Rocket Scientist to point to the moon and you don’t have to be a doctor to know trump’s sort of insane and a pathological liar
Trump has been a little more out there every week since late July. The release of Bob Woodward’s book FEAR didn’t help the White House’s image. It presented the president as a rage-a-holic living in his own world, lashing out against real and perceived enemies.
In the time since the Schwartz Decompensation tweet, which has aged very well, signs have been rampant that Trump has simply “decompensated into persecutory delusions to defend against a troubling reality.”
In the last few weeks he’s called reporters stupid, banned people who’ve pressed him even gently for details on the standard “Big Announcements coming extremely soon” line that been the answer to every question on lack of substance since Trump started the Birther Lie.
Among others Trump’s focused his ‘persecutory illusions’ on
Hundreds of members of ISIS were penetrating the southern border
Claiming Rocks and Rifles were the same
Claimed massive voter fraud in the midterms
Argued with greater and greater bile with anyone who relates bad news or confronts him with facts
Claimed democrats paid Immigrants to approach the southern border to seek asylum
Made hare-brained claims that Finland rakes its forests clear to avoid forest fires and that Californians laziness in raking out leaves is what lead to the massive wildfires devastating the west coast
Blamed Puerto Rico for hurricane damage and openly mulled removing all Federal aid to the island (again)
Claims he personally and ‘very easily’ answered all Mueller’s questions when we all know it hasn’t happened and that his lawyers will write every word of it.
Been completely obstinate and unable to admit the North Koreans lied to him just like they lied to everyone else and are cranking out new, better missiles after bargaining away nothing for the concession;
Stood next to Putin at the Treason Summit and claimed he couldn’t think of any reason the Russians would interfere with our election and offered to turn over a couple of US Citizens to Kremlin Spy services for some soviet style confessions via torture.
Been Carnival Barker for a series of Saudi Bullshit stories about how they sent a 15 member hit team with a speed dissectionist to the Turkish Embassy and they accidentally killed Washington Post writer Jamal Kashoggi when he attacked the 15 of them like every 62-year-old always does when surrounded by professional torturers.
Lied to a greater and greater extent about the amount of jobs and money the Saudi Arms deal is going to produce. At various times it’s 5,000 or 50,000 or recently “well over a million”. The amount of money involved he has also continued to increase at every asking or offering. It’s a Billion dollars or Many Hundreds of Billions of dollars when he gets asked about this. He seems to be winging it or just convincing himself. He’s given no real clue as to where he gets these numbers.
The whole Jamal Kashoggi thing alone would probably have ended any other president, but Trump seems immune, for the moment, from any consequences. The outright lies and halcyon daze of a great economy has evaporated in recent weeks too.
So the questions is – what comes after Decompensation?
Well looks like Ivanka Trump pays about as much attention as her Dad to legalities.
In a cardinal sin against Trumpism she used her private email account for government business. A bunch of times. we’ve heard the term ‘hundreds” to describe the amount of them.
At least we now know for sure she just didn’t listen or care about what her dad’s campaign bread and butter were – that people who use the wrong email accounts deserve jail time. It makes as much sense as when he said we need picture ID to buy cereal. He did the Crooked Hillary’s Evil Emails rant a whole lot though, so Ivanka’s either dumb, incompetent, actively ignoring her father or a combination of all these things.
Can we really blame her for tuning him out? Probably not but if we go with Trump-Logic we CAN lock her up!
Seems Ivanka “No Job Title” White House staffer sent thousands of unsecured emails from apparently a commercial cellphone or some semi-secured or unsecured servers! People who said that her father never should have bought neophytes Ivank or her husband Sketchy Jared Kushner into the West Wing have yet another disastrous result to point to when they rightly observe – ‘this could land his children in jail’
Details are still breaking all over CNN right now, but it seems important to at least call this Feckless. Another thing you could call it is “Rank Hypocrisy” but “Hopelessly Incompetent” or “Unbelievably Out Of Touch fit too!
You would think after Trump’s campaign of hate “Don’t send private emails for government business” everyone in Trumpworld would be aware of this, so maybe Ivanka’s a special kind of stupid (which would make her a chip off the old block actually)
UPDATE – As we stagger into day two of this self inflicted wound there’s one thing we can be sure of is a lot of emails got deleted. How can we be so sure of this? Well just based on the presidents unbreakable pattern of plain lying. The fact he’s harped on the fact nothing was deleted sounds like every other catchphrase type lie this president gravitates to.
UPDATE – Now about 5 days in the defenses we have been increasingly desperate and silly. Could it be the incoming Democratic House of Representitives has promised to investigate the whole affair? Imagine Trump’s rage should Ivanks be subpoeaned? “There was no private server” says Trump. While no one ended up liking the whole idea, what Hillary did seemed to be a lot more security minded (and she still got hacked). So what did Ivanka use to send these emails? Was it was just an unsecured phone like everyone in this administration from the president on down uses for business as usual?
This White House loves to do stupid reckless things and their phone security protocol shows it. Despite repeated FBI warnings and the discovery of remote cell phone hacking and monitoring equipment near the White House (initially attributed to China but really could be anyone) unsecured cell phone use continues to dog this White House. Most likely its EVERYONE hacking the administrations calls and communications. The Russians, the Chinese, the Saudis and some worried allies and perhaps law enforcement at this point.
Here’s Trump sharing his thoughts on what should be done to people who use the wrong email accounts –
I guess we have to start calling her “Crooked Ivanka”? LOCK HER UP!
WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 23: Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump attend the Trump International Hotel Washington, D.C Groundbreaking Ceremony at Old Post Office on July 23, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images)
For the White House its been an autumn of falling off the charts in terms of decency and civility and mostly just about reaching new lows daily. Trump remains double digits under water approval-wise just to top it all off.
What little policy we’ve actually seen could best be summed up like this – Childish angry actions and revenge on a petty scale are the main pillars of Trumpian Governing. Most everything else springs from those 2 motivations.
Storm of his Own Making
Right now the president seems to be completely on fire from a blaze that first started in his pants, in a couple of ways. Specifically the payments right before the election to women he’d had sex with while he wife was pregnant with his son to keep them quiet. That would seem bland as the hits kept comin’
Take the Canoli
Trump’s blaming EVERYONE non stop. In frantic media availabilities hes insulted and denigrated reporters; basically sounding a lot like an actual nazi a few times. He blames the Democrats, imaginary people who voted several times and probably most of his family and staff for this mess.
UPDATE – 12-9 – The president’s crazy tweeting has increased; as has his public use of vulgarity and profanity. This Theory is STILL ageing well.
FEAR since September
Ever since the initial stories and outtakes from Bob Woodward’s book FEAR shed light on an infantilized, idiot president being undermined by terrified henchmen. From stealing memos off his desk to filtering the news he gets to keep him happy one things obvious – they just can’t abide by the presidents dangerous and uninformed impulses. Even more convincingly, it fit in with everything we’d seen from this administration.
That was September (though it seems 3 years ago) and of course it launched Trump on a Scorched Earth Mole Hunt within his Administration. While it never produced any moles, (unlike the “Mueller Witch Hunt” that’s bagged a bunch of real, pointy hat wearing witches) and faded from the headlines I don’t think it really ever ended.
This source of rage will show up regularly. In fact all sources of rage surface continually. Persecuting reporters, vicious personal attacks all around and a complete inability to handle frustration make you wonder why we even have the 25th Amendment.
If the president’s not overwrought with anxiety its only because his non stop venting and tantrums keep stress from building up. So in effect if he stops screaming and yelling he’ll become catatonic or maybe die. Not the most impressive coping method to be sure.
Don’t make the mistake the journalists seem to mostly fall into; that is- to think of this a series of singular events that are unrelated. The truth is that Trump absolutely keeps score and will grind axes past the point whee things like dignity stops other people.
An Administration of Fredo’s
Recent questions surfacing in the last week include whether or not Trump had any knowledge of the person he appointed to head the Justice Department and whether or not Vice President Pence might not be disloyal and therefore on his way out of the administration.
While Trump’s no Michael Corleone he does have an equally contentious relationship with Congress and may find himself in Godfather 2-like contentious hearings with congress. On this one Michael Corleone wins all day as far as witness for oneself. Calm and rationale he pointed to his status as a war hero and a tax payer, two things Trump isn’t known for being able to back up.
Surrounded by simpletons and second-rate intellects members of the Administration simply are suffering Stockholm Syndrome as they wait to see who will next be sent out fishing that day to sleep with the fishes forever.
And Trump’s no Michael. He’s much more like Sonny, Fredo and Connie Corleone all rolled into one. Angry, dumb, vain, oversexed and saddled with unbridled aggression.
Mueller is Coming
Mueller could easily use these traits against Trump and lure him to the Phantom Toll-Booth of (Political) Death.
The plan to have Lex Luther Look-alike Whitaker hamstring Mueller is more sinister than dangerous as cutting off funds ir shit talking seems to be too little too late. The report’s mostly done from what we hear. On top of that theres a bunch of revenue streams Mueller may just find a way to tap via all the Ill Gotten Gain confiscated from Manafort and others. So starving cash seems pointless and the idea the Whitaker isn’t a legitimate Attorney General, acting or otherwise. It wont matter what the longterm results will be.
This president is now just obstinately pushing back on reality a few hours at a time. A great example of this would be his ongoing series of outright lies about how Finland rakes it’s forests clean, something Finland and it’s leaders were baffled to hear. The internet reacted with mocking laughter across all social media calling Trump an idiot or liar or both depending on the tweet. #RAKEAmericaGreatAgain trended for awhile as a hashtag.
In fact in California he was distracted he couldn’t even the names of the towns he’d been in just a few hours earlier. I’m sure its the least of the problems for the former residents that Trump couldn’t recall the town’s name. His assertion they bought this on themselves by not raking the forests clean to the point he threatened to cut off Federal money to the state may not sit well though.
We’re probably just days from the Mueller Report dropping. My guess is best case would be only a couple of his children will be indicted. And to be honest I’m not so sure that the wouldn’t let any of them outside Ivanka just rot there because lets face it- hes a shitty father and will only go out-of-the-way for his favorite.
I think its possible the Don(ald) could sacrifice his son just to stay in business…. just like Vito Corleone.
As a fan of the original I was still hoping the shattered pieces of the once sure-thing movie with Matthew McConaughey would be picked up. No such luck but since Hollywood can never leave a once successful idea alone we now have a new re-booted Magnum TV show.
If you’re a Magnum purist forget it, read no further. You’ll probably find the tone just a bit too trite and the female Higgins concept blows apart one of the best aspects of the original show, specifically the tension between Magnum and Higgins as two people who were never gonna get drunk enough for a night of sex, which the current two seem destined for. From what I saw the idea the writers can milk any fun out of the characters seems remote.
How they stayed on the air and that season 4 is on the CBS schedule for fall 2021 is beyond me. Things were obviously not looking good when they intentionally connected ti to the horrible world of Alex Kurtzman Hawaii Five-Oh. Kurtzman Flunkie Peter M Lenkov helms this one, but its typical Kurtzman/ Secret Hideout garbage.
Maybe its because other the dismal performance and cancellation of other Alex Kurtzman/ Secret Hideout shows like Clarice, Hawaii Five-O left the network short on programming. This iteration of Magnum PI is as bad as Star Trek Discovery (lowest rated scripted show on CBS) and not surprisingly its by the same people. This is the way Alex Kurtzman and his hacks like to do things. They co-opt a successful idea with no respect for the characters or fans. Then the plots circle for most of the episode and then rush to the end. Lots of things that should have implications are brushed off with a line-at best- or more often, just dropped. Kurtzman is not big on things like coherence, continuity or cause and effect. The “Gem” was Hawaii Five-Oh, which is awful- but safely walled off from rating issues by MNF it just eeked out a bunch of seasons without ever being good.
The Cast is not bad but sadly thats about all this show has going for it. Where’d it go wrong? Well these bad writers found themselves in a spot where expectations are low and men dont watch- Monday Nights – where NFL Football managed to lower expectations enough for Havaii Five-O not to get cancelled despite being horrible (for all the same reasons). UPDATE- Havaii- Five Oh, Clarice, the bad MacGyver reboot are all gone from the airwaves, never ever having made sense or garnered many viewers.
The network developed an outlook toward counter-programming against football that could only produce mediocre TV. It’s best summed up as “Dumbed Down Detective Shows that make NCIS New Orleans look innovative are fine because we get to have something of a second premiere for every episode AFTER MNF’s season ends.”
The logic seems to be – after January rolls around men will watch for the first time and the wives and girlfriends will watch it again. Down the line its well set up for really good ratings nights when the game is all but decided early or just a bad matchup. UPDATE- Didnt Work
The attitude over at CBS seems to be “We can float sub par shows using an attractive cast and bad stories will be evened out by using LOTS of gun violence as a crutch.”
There’s probably an entire blog post on just how much consequence free gun violence this show and Hawaii Five-Oh throw into any given episode in after-thought fashion.
Back to the Future
The good news of course is if you miss the 90’s we’ve got the shows back! CBS has rebooted a scat of shows on a confusing Monday Night that have all been done better! Maybe the new Murphy Brown will work out and be a decent show, it’s too soon to tell. Also in the ether we’ve got a bad MacGyver reboot on Friday nights that’s in the mold of the new Hawaii 5-0. Which is to say – it’s bad.
Sadly the new CBS outlook means even the worst show is Bomb-proof. At least until episodes start to regularly do badly twice as the second airing is key to the formula. Throw in weird, bad “God Friended Me” on Sunday Nights and you can see there’s no real standards at the network anymore when it comes to any show up against the NFL. I would have hoped something more like an Twilight Zone re-boot, or a decent Star Trek show that was worthy of regular TV, but we get this drivel instead.
So the CBS writers are in a ‘reduced accountability zone’ and wow have they ever torn into it. Instead of something innovative or new theyve kicked back and thrown out some not so well thought out re-boots that seem to have picked up too much inspiration from The Fast & The Furious Franchise.
You would think that most of these shows would find their way and improve as time went by. Again, while it’s too soon to make a call on Murphy Brown, the lone non cop show entity, MacGyver and Hawaii 50 are bland and usually kind of bad with a cavalier attitude towards violence.
H50’s McGarrett has to be past 200 on screen kills at this point. So the anchor point of this formula was always ‘a low bar story-wise and heavily reliant upon consequence-free violence to move things along.’
The Big Problem
It all started with the awful Hawaii 5-0 reboot. The fact the shows up against Monday Night Football means that only women are watching it. Then the network gets basically a second premier of all episodes in January when Monday Night Football is over. So to keep men watching all dialogue is punctuated by long machine gun duels that I guess they consider substance?
One thing we knew going in was the chances of making TV history again with an innovative and fun show were not good. Still, if done right a Magnum PI reboot could still be watchable.
Sadly, CBS bad habits and the apparent lack of decent writing stagnate the show as it almost falls apart before each commercial break. It’s a kitchen-sink approach. And by ‘Kitchen Sink’ I mean long boring periods of gun porn as bad as an episode of The Rifleman. I guess writing a humorous exchange that works on its own is NOT in the mix for this show. Too bad. UPDATE – Still the case
Watching the new Magnum show is best summed up as “Johnny Depp’s thoughts on geo-politics are probably about as interesting and relevant.”
We were told to be ready for some real changes in the format and they weren’t kidding. For one thing there appears to be no narration. The biggest change, obviously, is female Higgins. I hesitate calling a Latino Magnum a real change. Furthermore, Jay Hernandez is better than okay and might flourish in a better show. Don’t blame him. He captures most of what we would want from Magnum and could get even better if the show lasts. The approach is respectful on this count.
While it may not have really started out that way the Higgins character grew to occasionally steal an episode. Accompanied by two loyal and extremely obedient dobermans; the original Higgins was a preposterous little man firing off a cannon while raising a Union Jack and scolding Magnum as a free loading car wrecker (and was possibly also Robin Masters).
The new Higgins is completely different. Rather than an oversharing self important blowhard with endless war stories from a colorful military career Higgins is a now simply a cheap, absent minded and mean-spirited brit who is noticeably lacking two tame dobermans. Rather than ‘the lads’ this new Higgins has a brainless female sidekick reminiscent of Kathy Bates with head trauma.
So poor female Higgins has pretty much nothing but un-funny bilious comments as a trade mark. Oh and maybe she’s Robin Masters too. That possibility seemed still alive. Her accent was at least believable, at least to my American ears. I can’t blame the actress on this one.
In fact I found myself somewhat drawn to the cast despite the terrible story. We still have Magnum couch-surfing through the estate of (absent) millionaire Robin Masters. And YES, we did get the helicopter we remember back and there’s still a decent dose of car-porn. Then there’s the things that changed.
The Bottom Line
It could’ve been worse. The changes didn’t really hurt that much. It’s more the terrible story I had to endure. And the 4 machine duels in 20 minutes. I was thinking all the flashbacks to Magnum’s time as an active duty War-Time combat deployed SEAL was really him pining away for a safer, quieter time.
If given a better script this show would definitely be okay. The casual machine gun duels should be the first thing to go. It seems the shows very afraid to have anyone have any sort of meaningful conversation without being under fire.
The dialogue was bad, the bad guy tried but had nothing to work with and the Higgins-Magnum tension is at best in limbo til the secretive Higgins character reveals more.
It’s still save-able, but I can’t recommend it. It needs an entire new room of writers.