Tolkien Movie- 20 Reasons Why You Should See It

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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.

tolkien_poster_2

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.

tolkien_old

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

Tolkien-Movie-Poster-13-X-20-Lord-Of

 

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 –

Screenshot 2019-05-19 at 1.50.35 PM.png

Screenshot 2019-05-19 at 10.18.44 PM

 

here’s two trailers

 

The Bi-Polar Barr Hearing

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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.barr.jpg

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,

The Two Two Faces of Sarah Huckabee Sanders

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

The Mueller Report – The Lies of Sister Sarah

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?

From the Master Entry Why I Hate Sarah Huckabee Sanders (and Hope she Goes to Jail) begun almost 2 years ago. It’s the Internet’s most comprehensive collection of SHS insanity.

 

ew6

Trump vs Omar – Trump’s Many 9-11 Lies

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

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.

nyc2000

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.

Remember just how badly he screwed the pooch last 9-11? A day where he acted a little worse every hour?

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.

time_travel_trump

 

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.

trump_sucks

Behind The Curve Reaction Review

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

“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.

maxresdefault

Pathological Liar Mark Sargent

The Charlatans

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.

maxresdefault (1).jpg

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.

 

curve

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.

#AOC Mobile Office Experience

Well it looked like I was headed to an idyllic small town in the big city moment as I walked to my local library here in Woodside to see our local Representative to United States House of Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the areas State Senator Michael Gianaris make a few statements and hopefully talk to them or their staffs.

Just as a reminder to those who aren’t from New York City; while she is from the Bronx and represents part of that borough, don’t forget that she also represents Woodside and some nearby parts of Queens as well. So she’s OUR rep. It’s safe to say she’s very, very popular here.

I walked over at precisely 230 in a snappy mood. I had shaved with a fresh razor and worn a nice a very ‘spring’ button down green short sleeved collared shirt. It was that nice out; and I wanted to be taken seriously should I talk to anyone. It surely wouldn’t matter in Queens anyway, but I was ready to make a decent impression and at least try not come off crazy just from how I looked. So no Yankee hat either.

It sure seemed like I was strolling leisurely towards a Mayberry in New York moment. A glimpse of one of the many local neighborhoods that makes up New York City. A quiet, beautiful day with seemingly less noise from the overhead 7 Train. It was like, hey; here’s my government right up the block waiting to talk to me! This was going to be outright bucolic!

20190406_1439464835844773603236718.jpg

Roosevelt Avenue side of Library like any other day

Then I saw the OTHER side of the library! There were all sorts of people, numbering maybe a thousand and some change in my quick glance of the line up the next two blocks. Behind the short, organized very front of the line, block one was sort of four or five people thick, whereas block 2 was just all across the sidewalk. Everyone seemed upbeat and happy.

People weren’t likely going to get to see her and they had to know it and they still had concerns worth just the chance of talking to anyone working for her or Gainaris on this day. I was sort of proud, It was a throng that had showed up out of a belief in  our democracy. Right here in New York City. There had to be plenty of Small d Democrats out there too as well as the part y loyalist and huge AOC fans. There was simply just too many people.

It felt good to see. Not to mention the office doesn’t cease to exist in just two hours. People who didn’t get to see anyone today, if indeed anyone didn’t, are far from cut off from those offices or their services. The offices will still be open this week as usual.

So lets face it, as far as turnout was concerned this was a huge success and the biggest event here since last months Saint Patrick’s Day for All Parade. Looks like a lot of people will get direct access to their district office people today. Thats great. This is a working class neighborhood, we need to have weekend office hours for our politicians. Seems they get it. Based on the turnout we need a lot more of them. Here’s hoping this new tradition takes root. I would think. however, there’s just no way theyre going to see these people in 2 hours or even 8. But who knows?

Clearly, however, I wasn’t going to get to speak to anyone today.

20190406_1440023426547966888816779.jpg

the Skillman Ave side of the library revealed hundreds if not a thousand more people

That’s fine, the offices are open most of the time at its usual location and my concerns will be relayed there by phone. In fact in light of the crush it might be best to try to talk to them later.

I also voted on an informal poll about allocation of resources in my city council area. It’s Yes on the Hydroponics Science lab for the local junior high school from me!

But I saw AOC and got to hear her speak, while i could hear her by straining the camera didn’t get the video. It would have been nice to have 3 minutes for reference and see what the news carries instead, but she’ll be back. I’ll have other chances.

When I got there she was wrapping up what couldn’t have been more than 5 minutes with the press between her and Gianaris based on it being almost over at 2:32 pm when I strolled in. I heard her defend having been a bartender against the attacks from the right that seem to find this disqualifying. I’ve been a bartender to so I related.

So here’s a couple of pictures I got, only to be seen here for now.

20190406_1430382391839043570839283.jpg

NY State Senator Michael Gianaris and Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at Woodside Library April 6, 2019

20190406_1430405132836374532648553.jpg

NY State Sen Michael Gianaris and Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at the Woodside Library April 6, 2019

I’m a local and it’s my library so I simply walked in and listened to AOC speak to the press spray. It’s MY library, so I had the only press credential I needed. FOX was the only news cube I saw on a mic or camera, but there were a couple of cameras there. Lots of audio mics too. It was intimdiating momentarily to see the News happenng right in front of you. I enjoyed being a firsthand witness.

So  like I said, its my Library Branch and I have every right to go there anytime its open. It was totally cool. I belonged there anyway technically. Besides democarcy takes place in public buildings, why not a place of learning? It was the perfect forum and just big enough (not that we wouldnt a new bigger library!).

It was just fluke-y Real McTeag luck that l got there in time to hear her speak a little to the press spray while many hundreds waited outside. And the Real McTeag attitude that walked me through that door like I belonged there without being bothered or asked for my card (which I had). maybe it was because I was so well-groomed today, I’ll note that for the future. I also just had the best timing ever.

There was one law enforcement officer in a uniform I didn’t recognize. It could have been uniformed Secret Service or some sort of New York State Police Officer (Reactions by horrible people on AOC’s Twitter threads show that’s warranted). Validated my concern for AOC. Shes’s become a hated symbol to the wacky Right and the Trumpists. Glad to see someone watching out for her. She’s the future.

Meanwhile it remained Woodside. Lots of people had an agenda that only included the library. Some never even stopped reading or using the computer. The library remained a library during the press availability, held on an elevated area where there’s some reading tables and shelves of books. Thats Queens, right? Some people just don’t give a shit. At ant rate the operation of the Library was not all that impacted either, so that was great since the neighborhood needs it.

Leaving mostly the crowd was locals. Sure, I saw a few unfamiliar face-lifts here and there. I guess a few people came here on safari to Queens from Manhattan just to see Ocasio-Cortez.  The very first person I saw walking out of the library, occupying the front of the line, had a very Un-Woodside, more Manhattan-like air about them, but hey, it’s their government too. She can stand on line and discuss her issues just like anyone else I guess. Didn’t really bother me. Theres was still a huge amount of obvious locals there on top of any people just drawn to her star.

 

It was also a shot in the arm to the image of poor old Woodside,

So I’ll be contacting both representatives offices directly.

Talking to the Neighbors Later

In conversation with my neighbors where they relax in the alley everyone was proud she’d come to town and was proud of her. One older hispanic lady was the hesitant person, who supported AOC fully but was dogged by a feeling she was moving too fast and maybe being disruptive to a fault. She seemed really pleased and surprised when I said I considered her a pace setter and that great things had already come from electing her. We both agreed she had already done a couple of things to advance women. The multi racial group that compromised my neighborhoods version of the King of the Hill behind the garage beer gaggle all had positive feelings enjoying the added boost of pride that came from a member fo Congress showing up 500 feet away. Who wouldn’t?

Til now that woman just walked right by me in the hallways. Maybe we’d said hi. Now we’re sort of friends. To me this shows AOC brings people together.

A small success for governing on the most local of levels.

By 420 pm when it was about over despite the event scheduled to wind down it seemed to be going strong still with the overflow now on Roosevelt Ave as well. So while I’m not a professional at counting crowds it seems she’s not going to need to lie about just how many people came out to see her. Whatever the real number is its impressive for a 2 hour Mobile Office visit to part of the District.

Just in case anyone care tomorrow  consists of cheap seats with with a buddy to see the Mets play  the Nats at Citifield. You already know I like the Yankees, but I live in Queens, and hey DeGrom is pitching and I still love Bobby Cano.

Thats it from Queens for now.

Preparing for My Visit to Upcoming #AOC / Gianaris ‘Mobile District Office Hours’ in Queens

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Well if things go right and I have a bit of luck perhaps I will get a chance to meet my new Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and my state senator Mike Gianaris and of course, I have questions for both if i get a chance.

My Expectations

Based on what I saw on the Gianaris site, it seems both the elected officials themselves and some of their staff will be present.  Here’s what it says –

‘Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris and U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will hold mobile office hours to meet with constituents and listen to community concerns at the Woodside Library on Saturday, April 6 from 2:30 to 4:30 pm.’

So I’m thinking the there’s very good chance the elected officials themselves will be there, so I plan to shave. Other than that, maybe I’ll wear a collared shirt and eschew my usual Yankee hat. I’ll have my smart phone to tweet a little and probably a notebook.

So let me be clear; the event, advertised as Mobile Town Hall and doesn’t say for sure in so many words the actual politicians will be there. I’m not overly concerned. It in many ways doesn’t matter so long as the outreach is real. So while it would be great to meet both, it’s not core to why I’m going. I have concerns as a citizen of this fine town.

Maybe the staff only would even be preferable as the office people might meet with me one on one and talk about my personal concerns. The chances I get tongue-tied and can’t get my point across plummet if I’m not talking to a sort of prestigious politician.

If this is what happens I’m still pretty happy, after all it’s not about meeting the politician as much as getting your voice heard.

aoc_townhall.jpg

 

I expect to a packed house at the Woodside Library this Saturday afternoon. There will probably media. If AOC herself is there the worlds eyes will momentarily be on Woodside and that makes me feel pretty great just right there. We’re a good town and diversity works here.

AOC From The Local Voter Perspective

Ocasio-Cortez is the Congressional Representative this town wanted and deserved. Shes as much of a rock star here as she is on TV and there’s pretty much universal agreement she’s doing great so far. Everyone else can say what they want, around here it’s so far, so good and stay on the present course as far as how we see AOC

Remember, AOC blew out progressive, Trump hating, but establishment Joe Crowley, a 10 term incumbant by outflanking him to the LEFT! This guy was the old outlier and one of the furthest Left guys in Congress . He sat on countless committees and it’s not like he was all that bad, but suddenly he was a moderate by comparison. And in a surprising upset, she smoked him.  It’s okay Joe Crowley will be fine. Maybe he runs fo governor. No one hates him, but we just like AOC  a whole lot more. Even Crowley seemed to get that part of it.

I’m Not Really “On Assignment”

I’m Not Going As A Blogger, I Am Going as a New York Congressional District 14 Voter.  So this is something I would be going to if I never blogged a word. That said I can still write a little about it later. I’m not going to ask policy questions, I’m going to ask about my local concerns as a local citizen and voter.

I will however blog about how it goes down. I can talk about it from a 30,000 foot view on my own experiences after it happens. If she’s in fact there I hope to get the selfie I should have gotten last time I met AOC, briefly, while she was campaigning.

If I get a chance to ask questions to the actual politicians I’ll try to record the answers on my phone for accuracy reporting the answers. Again, it looks like I’ll be seeing more the staff of the representatives than the elected officials themselves, but hey, that’s absolutely what it’s all about.

On the Off Chance Its More a Town Hall

I hope the event stays small. Personally I want it to stay low-key at this but there could be tons of media there and any given moment could be chosen by any given network to ‘go with’ and I am a little uncomfortable that Fox News or someone else sinister decides to show me as ‘the worlds dumbest libtard’ for something.  Breitbart or some InfoWars type site my just blast off on anyone they talk to or who gets caught on TV or video. I didn’t see anything about a livestream from this, but who knows?

So while I won’t be the only Blogger there I’m pretty sure I’ll be the only local of the district but maybe one of the nicest bloggers there I hope! And I wont be interviewing anyone on the street or anything, just providing some impressions of the attendees maybe.

So just going there is a slight risk to your privacy, and definitely your Twitter dignity, if that’s really worth all that much. Hey, thats the price of doing the business of responsible citizenship in the light of day. I’ll deal with it. This is part of the way to solve problems that were born in smoky backrooms or caused by the secretive and disastrous Trump Administration.

Since I do vote here and I am a literal potential “Person on the Street” interview I will try not to talk to Fox, if i see that microphone cube I say no. Other media I may share some thoughts if approached.

Here’s what I hope to ask – These are the same questions I would ask if I a simply speak to a staffer anyway.

My Questions For State Senator Gianaris

  • Is there time to require 2020 require candidates, especially for President, to show their tax returns to even be on the ballot in New York State? This seems the biggest single problem that wrong back in 2016 when we elected a likely criminal. If he didn’t break the law we deserve the insights as to how so much failure could still leave the guy so rich so we can get rich too!
  • Why is the New York State Medical Marijuana Law so impossible to get done? Why is the New York State Compassionate Care Medical Price 300% higher than the California Medical Price? The state is throwing money away.
  • Violent Street crime spikes at closing time most nights. Can we keep the NYPD sweeping through at closing time? Lives will be saved

What I Have to say to the Amazing “#AOC”, Rep Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez 

  • Thanks for justifying my faith in voting for you.  Thanks for helping stop Amazon
  • I would respectfully suggest that talking more about the potential of the Green New Jobs would help people think more positively about the Green New Deal.
  • Student Loan debt is a problem for me. Thank you for making it an issue and I trust you to stay with it.
  • Queens has taken a beating in its reputation because Trump’s from here. Thank you for helping rehabilitate our image
  • Please don’t change.

I’ll check in with my feelings after it all wraps up. Who knows what journalists, pundits or local luminaries I may see. I’m looking forward to an exciting and informative two hours.

 

 

 

 

 

Putin’s Next Supervillain Move – Leak the Mueller Report

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Lets just say for a moment that we had a compromised president who just divides Americans. Throw in the fact Trump is a bad-hearted guy who has shown great Fealty to Putin. Put all this together and some uncomfortable facts sort of show up to beg an answer.

I still think Trump is some sort of spy with a codename from the Kremlin like ‘Agent Orange.’

First, in a world where Trump is Putin’s Pawn, which may in fact be THE REAL WORLD, the Mission of the Kremlin’s US Asset, Agent Orange, has gone better than anyone could have imagined.

Putin is a Super Criminal

At this point lets pretend we’ve reached the part of the movie where Putin says  “you may as well know my plan, since you won’t live to tell anyone, anyway, Mister Bond.” and make some predictions on his next moves.

Putin’s shown pure mastery in manipulating the worlds media and governments. Shoving a rival nation down and to the right has been his signature move for about 10 years. Once the discourse becomes toxic and chaotic he seeds in just enough money to bring the worst political actors to prominence, like say the NRA, and allows them to spread his political poison and maybe self-destruct.    putinpiano

Behind the facelift it’s hard to auger what Putin is thinking. Doubtless he’s smart and he loves to spin the Roulette Wheel of chaos betting on Red all the way.

Will he continue to aptly outmaneuver and control the whole world for the foreseeable future? My prediction is – probably. Its something we should try to fight together.

Its comforting that he’s just one guy and just can’t keep it up  forever. Best case scenario is he starts to focus more internally and improve Russia rather than continue foreign policy. We can only hope. He’s probably more likely to continue breaking legs to sell wheelchairs.  He will shove the world down and to the Right every time.

Trope Time!

Ex KGB Agent Vladimir Putin is, in fact a Real Life Bond Villain. And not a one movie villain either.  Trump’s the movie one Bad Guy who at the end is revealed to serve an even Bigger Bad Guy. We’re talking like 2 more movies of slowly sifting through henchmen to get to the ‘Big Bad” that is Vladimir Putin.

The movie Tropes for Putin Would be “The Man Behind the Man” and “The Big Bad” and for the Hell of it throw it “Star Trek Villain” for his campiness and claiming he’s emotionally moved by un-villian-like Ice Dancing ! The fact is that the world deserves a more impressive villain. As great as he is at manipulating us its crude and violent and his piano game is sub-par for a movie villain. Then again this is the real world and he’s pretty much running it, so we get the villain we deserve not the one we need.

Here he is butchering something along the lines of “Katrina Had a Little Lamb”. No Bond Villain has ever been this bad at an instrument.

We should probably be afraid. Because Hollywood didn’t write this and Putin isn’t a farcical character packing some kind of Golden Gun just waiting to be dispatched by one of Q’s gadgets with some pithy humor. He’s a real Super Criminal and has probably 20 to 30 years left to live. And, surrounded by his oligarch “Dragons” he will likely remain in power for most or all of it.

Real World Aside – Childless Putin seems to have no succession plan. That may save us down the road.

What Would a Movie Villain Do?

Let’s indulge ourselves in the possibilities!

One possibility is we’ve reached the point where the Kremlin’s best move, if Trump really is under their influence, would be do nothing. Putin’s enemy, the United States is destroying itself. Maybe just let it keep going for the time being. It’s a self feeding fire now anyway.  We should acknowledge Putin might have lost the ability to do a whole lot to make things worse anyway. So he may just sit back and have a smoke.

But there’s another, more interesting and dangerous course of action Putin could take as well. One that assumes Putin is an addicted gambler at this point and isn’t ready to walk away from the tables yet. Maybe it would be fun for him to drop The Mueller Report on us. Or, even more likely, release some of his own dirt on Trump and blame it on the Democrats?

It’s a perfect gambit when you recall the Enemy here is the Truth and Reality.  Assuming Putin has part or all of the Mueller Report, and lets face it he created some of the events in it, he could just drop it on us. This would forever call the report into question just because of the source. It would likely take a while for anyone to figure out who really dropped it, so there would be Partisan warfare in the US Government over it. Its obvious Trump’s first instinct will be to blame the Democrats before he ever suspects Putin would punk him….again.

Then, eventually, when it gets connected to the Kremlin the whole report really becomes suspect. In the end there’ll be more than one document claiming to be the “Real” Mueller Report. Expect a few fakes. The media will buy it every time.  No matter which version you read there’ll be doubt in its very fiber.

putin_trump_dummy

It could put us into a destabilizing scenario where all outcomes benefit Putin. So maybe the real question is; “Can Putin NOT play a game he’s sure to win” or even “HOW will Putin play a game he can’t lose?”

It’s very possible he’s reached the moment where he releases a scat of frauds and lies on us to really muck things up.

It’s not like he has a track record of failure manipulating, well, all of us. Til Facebook and Twitter find a way to sniff out his bots and fake accounts (like say trying harder) we have the Putn in our phones and on our computers and thats a small victory for him right there.

Vladimir Putin is the most powerful and dangerous person alive. This knife fights not over but boy has the US ever taken a bunch of puncture wounds to the body!

PUNK’D! The Misleading Barr Letter

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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.

USA-TRUMP/RUSSIA

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.

 

Trump’s Destructive Kremlin Mission- Being Himself

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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.

trumpflag

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.                             trumpidiot

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.

 

 

Worst People in the World – The NFL Owners

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

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. nn_ksa_robert_kraft_latest_190225_1920x1080.jpg 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?jones1.jpg

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.

Trumps bid was rejected in 2014

ct-spt-nfl-catch-rule-owners-meeting-20180325.jpg

 

Trump Crime Family – A Crew of Fredo’s

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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 Fredo_Corleonetime 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.

Trump International Hotel Washington, D.C Groundbreaking Ceremony

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)

The WordPress AdWords Monetization Fiasco

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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 2018_woodsideweek.  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?  jpm2017

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!

3 Reasons To Believe NRA Activist Maria Butina Really IS Just the Worst Spy Ever

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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.

butina5

Elizabeth Warren Official Rollout Review

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 

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.

ewarren1

Trending Up

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.

you can watch the whole thing by clicking this link.

 

Trump’s Bizarre, Not Good, Self Contradicting State of the Union

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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.

sotu

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”

Don’t Trust Sketchy Tulsi Gabbard

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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.

gabb.jpg

Be it who you should love or what to do with lady-parts, Tulsi Gabbard had ideas that are way out in the woods by Democratic standards. You could make a decent case she should probably be kicked out of the party.

She’s Weak on Genocidal Regimes 

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.

Screenshot 2019-01-18 at 1.26.29 PM.png

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.

I again call upon her to quit.

How JJ Abrams Destroyed Star Trek AND Star Wars

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Well things hit a new low for Star Trek fans today as the last rotting vestiges of the Kelvin continuity took what appears to be a fatal hit shedding more creatives and cast members.Is it the end of the big screen part of the franchise? Future movies are very much in doubt at this moment and there’s nothing in production.

On the small screen we’re (sadly) diving into a second ‘for pay’ self-hating season of disappointing Star Trek Discovery. Adding insult to injury we’re going even deeper after the original show, with apparently, a new (as in NOT Zachary Quinto) Spock? Not very promising for a show already reeling from plagiarism charges that are very likely to stick.

new_spock.png

The New Spock….

For fans of Star Wars the news is pretty much the same – The movies are cancelled or on hold for being sub DC bad. Both franchises will now be reduced to mere pay service streaming video shows.

Bravo JJ Abrams, you’ve done what Roddenberry and Lucas couldn’t, made Star Wars and Star Trek unWatchable!

He’s a double murderer of Sci-Fi Franchises. Douglas Addams would likely describe Abrams’ takeover of any franchise as ‘the coming of the great white handkerchief

By the time he took over Star Wars he had practice destroying beloved Sci-Fi franchises and a history of shabby treatment of original characters.

JJ Abrams- A Sci Fi Force of Failure

JJ Abrams made one good Trek movie which he then destroyed with a special edition commentary that was too honest and came off fan hating and trope-obsessed. Then Into Darkness was just a bad 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.

Sure, maybe it was originally a Romulan Mining ship or is just a gigantic Federation Starship, but its basically a Death Star and the story was just the same. A glimpse of what we were missing in the Cold Open only made Into Darkness worse. It was the best part of the movie and the ensuing nosedive never ended.

abramstrek.png

While Simon Pegg made a really watchable and in fact great Trek Movie in Star Trek Beyond it was too late, goodwill was gone. So little by little the remaining core of cast and creatives that had produced the most entertaining of the movies was allowed to erode.

How Did this Happen?

Ever since he shot Harrison Ford in the head to make predictable tear jerker “Regarding Henry” Abrams has depended on missing or dead parents to add some emotion to his loosely related series of vignettes.

Then we all 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.

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.

Remaking the Final Frontier into The Galaxy Far, Far Away

JJ Abrams only ever wanted to be the Star Wars guy and the stopover at Trek was complicated by his disdain for the franchise, fans and general all around desire to make Star Trek a Star Wars substitute. This extended to having tons of collectibles like never before. 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.

In the infamous Star Trek 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 (and Batman), especially when he fights and only wins through luck.  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”

Abrams mostly sounded like he had made the movie off a checklist and this was his “Indy fights the Plane Mechanic from Raiders of the Lost Ark Homage” box that he just needed to check off. He was drunk or high and telling too much of the truth that day but we’re lucky to have it on the record.

More importantly to the “Star Trekky-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.  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.

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. Its probably the hardest thing to pull off, but episodes of the Next Generation did it all the time and the Original series of course pioneered this. Would it have been that bad to give it a try? Star Trek became mere action and adventure.

jj-abrams-star-wars

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.

Destroying Star Wars

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.

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. So the movies are, in a sense, long commercials where we pay to be pitched things. Lucas was not the greatest with this either, but his movies and merchandise were just better and so was his ‘in movie product pitch’.

During his time at Star Trek toys were an issue and the toy money obsession lead Star Wars down many awful paths too. We’d seen this before in Star Wars, but Abrams take on weapons and droids just isn’t as cool as what Lucas created. Just think about all the anger over Kylo Ren’s ungainly lightsaber and then think about Darth Maul’s lightsaber. The Lucas created weapon is great. The Abrams weapon is just sort of okay on its best day. Lots of people hated it. Never heard that about any Lucas weapon. Lucas was just better at weapons (and ships, droids and stories).

The Abrams Trap–Good Beginnings that Go Nowhere 

Anyone saying JJ Abrams ‘only writes beginnings” is absolutely RIGHT ON! The last decent movie he made, his first Star Trek, was one long beginning. The next movie, Into Darkness, was a mere rehash.

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. 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 went to one planet for one episode and was mostly a plagiarized soap opera otherwise pilfered from a videogame….badly.

In Star Wars we get The Last Jedi, a movie where both plots start with bad jokes that fall flat.  The problem where Rian Johnson, the writer for the that movie, had just inherited nothing to work with was front and center through the whole awful sham. He also didn’t really distinguish himself with his self-important ‘trick’ ending that fails.

Who didn’t pity poor Mark Hamill, forced to play Skywalker as a guy who toys with murdering children? That trait was supposed to SKIP A GENERATION! The moment he holds his lightsaber on Kylo Ren’s bad for both characters. Luke looks horrible and the bad guy suddenly has real justifications that are badly related. Like Han Solo being a bad dad wasn’t enough?

Handcuffed by the need to have a Death Star but not have an actual Death Star, which has been the plot of five of this franchises movies, Johnson gives us  “Miniaturized Death Star Tech” in the Gun on the Salt Planet.  Then Luke dies but doesn’t die. Then dies, kind of.

As an aside- Why Laura Dern was even in this movie is a “wondering out loud’ blog-post of its own

Where We’re At

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.

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. A characters parent will die soon! Hell, we killed off a bunch of parents and doubles in the long boring trip through the new ‘improved’ mirror universe.

While Star Wars seems locked in to a terrible and unwanted Episode 9 that will likely be all house-keeping and a way to set up Non Skywalker future for the franchise, things are even worse for Star Trek.

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.

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. It’s even a little interesting and freeing. It’s also pretty in keeping with the better Star Trek traditions and themes of over half a century. I hope they try it.

Disovery’s Loose End- The Spore Drive Fiasco

Their “Spore World” is just not going to be maintainable.  The fact is the lawsuit and outrage revolves around it. Unrelated to the lawsuit, there’s another group of people annoyed about a perceived thinly veiled rip off of Dune that also swirls around the pilfered Spore Drive idea.

Look for the Spore Drive to get little if any mention. They’re just going to have to find another reason to spin the saucer section on two axises at once. It’s kind of a stupid effect anyway. So much for your experimental Starship idea.

Star Trek has only one course – but it’s a chance for perhaps the greatest Trek movie of all.

Star Trek’s Only Hope

Give Quentin Tarantino complete control of one movie. Deal with the consequences, it’s only the Kelvin Universe. You could kill the whole crew in a stunning jump to the future and a meeting with a re-cast generation if you want. Bringing on Tarantino for as long as he wants seems a no-brainer. It’s hard to imagine Chris Pine and the other defectors wouldn’t return for something like this.

Let’s hope both franchises can recover.

 

Who is the REAL Paul Whelan?

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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.

933b3a88-8320-4fb2-89a7-0f02fb02e2e3-paul-in-africa

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.

ctm-0102-paul-whelan

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.

Court Martial

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.

The Charges

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.

Looking Ahead

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.

The Real Problem with a Border Wall

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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

us-mexico-border-crossings

hinckley-sport-boat-cc_running_high-res.jpg

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.

ap_15145038330

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.  Alan_Kurdi_lifeless_body.jpg

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.

asylumseeker-1024x614

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.

It could happen.

 

Trump’s Horrific 2018 – From “Fear” to Insanity

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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.

Let’s review!

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.

donald-trump

 

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.

FILES-US-POLITICS-RUSSIA-INVESTIGATION-TRUMP

 

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.

Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin

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.

presidents-bush-funeral-rt-ps-181205_hpMain_4x3_992

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.

Shutdown

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’.

trump_fire

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.

2019 Predictions

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.

See my post on his Decompensation by clicking here.