The Look of Love

trump feeling the love

Something happened inside his head. When he took his TV act on the road in the Republican primaries. Something unexpected. When, instead of ratings and reviews, he started getting cheers and votes. He hadn’t anticipated how great it would make him feel.

WHAT it would make him feel.

He felt loved.

Not feared, respected, merely tolerated because money could hopefully be made. Not used.

Donald Trump felt loved. Maybe for the first time in his life.

“They love me, Melania,” he told his wife as she packed her bag to get away. “Did you see them, hear the way they cheered?” Melania was gone and he looked for his pills. Reached for his phone.

Too bad his father wasn’t here to see this.

Donald Trump isn’t the first entertainer to mistake applause for love. To become addicted to that feeling. To think it’s real.

He isn’t even the first entertainer to occupy the White House. Bonzo’s scene partner preceded him. But Ronald Reagan had a square kind of cool. He never came across as craven.

This can’t end well.

Donald practices his reading

crayon map
Well, at least now we know how he’s going to pay the Secret Service … he’ll make Pakistan pay them and foot the bill for his next dozen golf outings. Maybe he can also get them to pay for the Wall.

Wait, maybe corporate advertising could pay for the Wall. “This mile of beautiful concrete is brought to you” by Nascar or Koch Brothers Industries or Mountain Dew. Commercials could be projected twenty feet high from a Border Patrol van that plays them on an endless loop. We could install point of purchase displays in the middle of nowhere.  Hey, I’m thinking private sector! That’s good, right?

Is last night’s speech the longest piece of writing that Donald has ever read in one place at one time? Without going off script or getting so bored he just quits? I think he got about twenty minutes in before he did that repeaty thing he does and threw in an ad lib or two. But he caught himself and got back to the grueling business of reading.

Good job, Donald. Give yourself a soda and a candy bar. 

I don’t believe Donald Trump can find Afghanistan on a map. And the only parts of the speech that he wrote – or suggested – were statements like “As I’ve said before,” so he could pretend he’d had input on both the speech and the policy.  I also don’t believe that his prepared statement disclosed anything of importance regarding U.S. plans there. The military has decided that we need to stay awhile longer. They put the kabosh on the War by Voucher Eric Prince thing at the same time they put the kabosh on its principal sponsor, Steve Bannon. The only thing I know for sure is that Pakistan will be pissed both by Trump’s demand that they pick up the check and his praise of India.

The speech was classic Don Draper “change the subject” stuff and, from Trump’s somber demeanor, it looks like they also changed his meds. Switched out the adderall for a mild sedative, which they probably tucked inside raw hamburger and then massaged Donald’s throat until he swallowed.

I dislike this man so intensely that it’s increasingly hard for me to watch him and listen to him. I wish Fred Trump had followed HIS original instinct and pulled out 72 years ago.

But Fred finished what he started in Queens that night. And here we all are.

A few words about “tactics”

john-lennon-quote

In the current climate, I have no doubt I can piss off a bunch of different people for a variety of reasons in only a few words. Let’s see. But, before I talk about tactics, a few words about Boston.

Boston has a troubled history regarding race relations, more troubled than many Northern big cities and nearly as troubled as a few Southern ones. Don’t believe me, read the magnificent book by J. Anthony Lukas entitled Common Ground (1985) that chronicles the lives of three Boston families during the busing/ desegregation era.

That time wasn’t that long ago and I have no doubt things are still problematic, but 40.000 Boston folks showed up yesterday in counterprotest to the planned “Unite the Right” rally. That’s a nice number – on short notice – and is a fairly good indication of who’s winning the war of hearts and minds. Four hundred something doofuses with tiki torches in Charlottesville versus 40,000 folks in Boston inviting them to go home.

Numbers are important. They provide perspective. But numbers are increasingly hard to come by because the media often chooses not to supply them, hoping to gin up interest in an event (including, maybe especially, on social media) by magnifying its relative importance. If I were a Catholic, I would term the dearth of numbers in the mainstream media as a sin of omission rather than commission. But it’s still a sin. Tight camera shots are another malefactor.

Those are media tactics, which we should at least be aware of. They want popular stories to have “legs,” run a long time on those legs, and hopefully turn into a miniseries. It has always been thus, back to the little girl or boy who fell down the well in Radio Days while America listened glued to the set, praying for her or his safe return. But watching the miniseries … or listening to the rescue efforts … doesn’t provide us with the necessary information to make moral or even practical decisions regarding current events and their implications. That’s where longer magazine and newspaper pieces come in. Where books come in.

I’m fairly well versed in the “alt-right” movement and its antecedents. In the main room of my memory is a timeline of the American Civil Rights Movement and a map of Vietnam. In the near future, I plan to read up on the antifa (antifascist) group, the decision of the ACLU to withdraw support for the Unite the Right assembliers if they come armed, and I can’t wait for the arrival of longer magazine pieces on Charlottesville, for the first book on Charlottesville if it’s not a poorly executed rush job. I want to know more. I want the blanks of real-time media coverage filled in. Their lenses adjusted. Wider shots. I hate not knowing as much as I should know because things are always, well, ginned up. And then people start tweeting (i.e. taking a virtual pee) and, well, forget about it.

I told you the good news from Boston yesterday, here’s the bad news. The Unite the Right rally speakers were never able to speak. I had hoped they would be able to voice their hate as planned, so that folks could hear how stupid they are, make jokes about their hair, ask during breaks what’s up with Steve Bannon’s mouth (herpes?), speculate on when exactly was the last time any of these alt-white righties had a date.

The New Right Nation will, apparently, be an all dude thing. That’s gonna be a tough sell, even in the reddest parts of the South and middle America. No par-tay either. Just a lot of speeches and chest-beating and marching across bridges to nowhere. I wish we’d heard them talk. Hearing the bald guy with the weird mouth talk and talk (on that VICE video that’s been making the rounds) was the best non-advertisement for Unite the Right I’ve ever seen. Let Stupid talk. He’ll hang himself.

Stupid didn’t talk in Boston because scuffles broke out, the White Righties fled, the police shut things down. Better that than the barely supervised chaos of Charlottesville over an expanding time frame that was destined to lead to violence eventually. But better still would be letting them speak to a handful of hooded clappers while Smart and Reasonable speaks across the park to that crowd of 40,000.

Tactically, for me, the most effective counterprotest is to rally in opposition to the speakers you detest. Telling what you perceive to be the truth (while dissecting what’s wrong with what they profess) to a crowd ten, a hundred, a thousand times as large.

My ideal “better” entails no street fights. No physical attacks. No violence. Which is where antifa and I butt heads … metaphorically, of course.

I only know a little, so I concede in advance I may not know enough, but some of the antifa activists advocate instigating violence against the alt-right and actively shut down their events. In a lot of localities, the alt-righters and the antifas have scuffled at events in the past, yell at each other by name, so it’s like a monthly reunion of the Jets and Sharks but without the dancing. It’s parochial and not helpful at all.

I would prefer no scuffles, no physical attacks, no violence of any kind. From anyone. The Black Panthers (to name only one group from the past) did not run around instigating violence. They merely let it be known that force in their neighborhoods would be met by force. Not free speech in their neighborhoods. Force. Violence. And all or nearly all of the violence associated with the Panthers was started by police, up to and including the police murder of Fred Hampton.

Let the other side be the ones to instigate violence. Be the bad guys. Be the ones who do time. It worked during the Civil Rights Movement and it will work now. Not to mention that violence and the threat of violence begets more violence.

I heard people say they felt that the antifas at Charlottesville had “protected” them from Unite the Right members intent on violence. Maybe, but it also endangered them and others. The violence of the first days … some of which appears to have resulted in the alt-wrongers showing up heavily armed the last day … put hundreds of people in jeopardy. Watching all those stupid fuckers with automatic weapons in a tense crowd of mostly noncombatants was a nightmare. One I hope does not become a recurring dream.

Which brings us to the ACLU. They made a decision not to support Unite the Right type groups in their right to assembly if they choose to assemble armed. I know I am good with their support of the rights of such groups under peaceful pretenses. I think I also favor withdrawal of that support because of guns.

Providing legal support to their armed assembly … even in an open carry state (God how I hate guns!) … might open the ACLU up to legal action. And lawsuits if gun violence occurs. I think the ACLU also feared losing a significant part of their donor base like what happened to them after Skokie even though no significant violence occurred there. I think it was a business decision – on the part of ACLU – awaiting a philosophical justification, but I’m cool with that. Did I mention how much I hate guns?

My few words turned into a wide-ranging screed, which happens a lot with me. Sorry about that. As Pascal said, if I’d had more time, I would have written a shorter letter. I’m open to corrections on facts and differences of opinion, but I’m not sure how much I’ll engage back and forth. I’ve posted too much this week and I’m sick of hearing myself talk.

It appears to be a nice sunny day outside. I think I’ll take a closer look.

In the 50 years plus since Medgar Evers was murdered …

medgar

In his driveway. Within earshot of his wife and children. In all that time, there has been exactly one (1) statue erected in the Mississippi civil rights activist’s honor. That statue resides at Alcorn State, the formerly segregated college he attended on the GI bill.

One statue. At his alma mater. Compared to hundreds of statues of Confederate generals.

That’s another reason why so many folks find the Dixie stuff offensive. The dearth of honors for genuine American heroes like Evers, who gave their lives to combat the horrors that the Confederacy strove to sustain. It also took almost 30 years to bring his rotten killer to justice, but who’s counting?

When only one part of your “history” is represented, there are reasons for that. And the reasons are rarely good.

Coming this Fall … Alt-Confederate Clothes!

rebel fashions

Or should we say returning this Fall, since the alt-right has generated such interest in all things Johnny Reb that the fashions of the Old Confederacy are back by popular demand. But it’s 2017, not 1861, and we’ve gone way beyond basic gray.

Be brave, Richard Spencer, and dare to wear yellow. David Duke has yellow bellbottoms most Klan consider de rigeur.

Yes, macho dudes, it’s a lot of buttons to button, but you’ll look so sharp in your alt Confederate uni that you won’t have to button them alone for long. The alt-girls will swoon!

We at Johnny Reb Fashion know that not everyone can live in a Southern state. That’s why we’ve designed a sash that can double as a scarf in winter weather.

Your alt-sword is purely decorative, unfortunately, but there is ample room in your Johnny Reb jacket for a concealed firearm and color-coordinated holsters for you lucky alt-studs who reside in an Open Carry state.

Come on, white people, you can do it. Make America Two Countries Again! Buy Johnny Reb!

Closing the circle NeoNazis – Trump – Russia

Putins_Russia5

I have written about this in the past, and I’m surprised it hasn’t been talked about more in the standard media, but there is a strong connection between America’s youthful rightwing extremists (especially those who aver White Supremacy such as Richard Spencer) and Putin’s Russia.

They see Russia as an example of White Supremacy in action and contemporary Russia’s high level of anti-Semitism is, needless to say, copacetic as well. The guy in the middle is actually Steve Bannon (and Gorka et al) not the virtually mindless Donald Trump, but Trump has the power and they vie for his brain.

NeoNazi leader Richard Spencer’s ex-wife is Russian and a disciple of Alexander Dugin, the fascist racist philosophical force behind Putin … and much of America’s so-called alt-right. To the extent, the alt-right has intellectual content that content is a mix of Hitler and Alexander Dugin. And the dots continue from Russia through the fascist and/or National Front parties of Europe and elsewhere to America under Trump/ Bannon/ Gorka/ Miller/ Spencer.

Google Alexander Dugin and read up. Bring your barf bag. Compare his thoughts and poltical desires with Steve Bannon’s. Get a second barf bag. And read the link below from Newsweek, which just connected a couple quick dots seven hours ago.

Heil! MAGA! Nostrovia!

In this photo from Skokie, I’m the tall guy in back with cool shades and his mouth hanging open …

16ACLU1-master768

Just kidding. Despite my reputation as a latter day Zelig, I was not actually present for the Skokie Klan rally and counterprotest in 1978.

Although I did visit a buddy in Skokie the week before it and encouraged him NOT to bust heads. To just show up and show solidarity. For one thing, there weren’t that many heads to bust … maybe 50 knock-kneed really dumb-sounding Klan dudes sporting the half-hood look made popular during the second resurgence of the Klan in the 1960s.

I also lost a couple friends by vehemently defending the ACLU’s decision to represent the Klan in its attempts to hold a rally. And I have not wavered in that position. An inch. With the obvious exceptions of not being able to shout “Fire” in a crowded theater or specifically call for violence against another person or group of people, my support of free speech is absolute. Both in principle – which is what makes the first amendment the cornerstone of liberty – and in practice.

The more you let the Klan types talk … especially in public and in debate … the less attractive they become to weak minds and to young unloved men searching for identity in all the wrong places. None of their ideas are evidence-based. Or logical. Or strong enough to survive the mildest debate. And most of the Klan types wilt under pressure, cringe, turn and run … not to mention whine when they lose their jobs or their Mom gets mad … so any semblance of emotional strength or emotional appeal usually fades as well.

The only time that shit seems attractive is when lit by the LED screen of a lonely viewer of Breitbart or some other online receptacle of horse manure and obvious idiocy. Alone in your room … while posting Pepe the Frog pics for the amusement of other curdled adolescents … you might imagine your pimple-assed face to be the face of a new Aryan nation.

But not in the light of day. Not in the light of Liberty.

P.S. I wasn’t happy with the way the local police handled Charlottesville. And I’m not convinced that the right of assembly always means the right to assemble exactly where you want to … e.g., I support the ability of a locality – for public safety reasons – to deny one venue and suggest an equivalent substitute. But those posts are for another day.

What Trump added today and why he added it …

pepe trump

A word, first, about Trump’s demeanor. No sadness, no remorse at his own inadequacy from the day before, no apology for not being “clearer,” some obvious impatience that he had to speak about this – again – and not matters he considers more important. Nearly everything was discussed in general terms. A raised voice toward the end – when he condemned the list of groups he was given to condemn – which some might mistake for passion or at least sincerity, but it was just loud rote.

In his small-handed way, Trump was again trying to act the Tough Guy. The Strong Man. Doing his puffed-up Mussolini impersonation, minus the sash. Letting us know that the nation is in good hands (which look less small when you face the palm out and spread the fingers) and, hey, I’m on this, k?

There was lots of talk about the law and having legal authorities handle this. Trumpolini dreams at night that the country’s various law enforcement agencies all work for him. Remember that one cop group endorsement he got during the campaign? And kept mentioning with such pride?

Trump spoke most – among his advisors – to Fire and Fury Bannon and White Supremacy Gang Sign Miller before the first speech, when he didn’t manage to condemn any group by name, spread the blame wide and far back in history, and presented round one of the Strong Man “law and order” stuff.

That speech was for his election supporters … neo-Nazis, white nationalists, KKK, mouth breathers on 4Chan and reddit who read Breitbart and are scared of women and talk tough only on their computers … and they got the message. They were elated that he didn’t condemn them. He’s still with us. He’s grateful. His inept and inapt Presidency is our fulfillment.

The media piled on these last couple days and required Trump to issue a “clarification.” Although he didn’t label it as such, because that would mean he said something wrong the first time. And he looked plenty impatient while he issued. The righty whiteys and other mouth breathers will get that message, too … roughly translated as “see what our guy has to put up with from the lamestream press?” But they know what’s in Trump’s heart. Hatred. Contempt. Same as theirs.

Don’t believe what Trumpolini said today … he didn’t believe it either … the truth is in what he failed to say the first time around.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder in the WH

Trump-Mussolini

Not a pretty sight. And not the only thing wrong with Donald J Trump. His delusion about the size of his inaugural crowd, forced upon the early suffering Sean Spicer and insisted upon in private, indicates that he is also, well, delusional.

But a lot of the biggest messes President Rancid Combover has gotten himself into … and several of his worst self-induced tweet shitstorms … have stemmed from his complete and utter inability to admit error.

Like most good narcissists (even the cagiest ones) Little Donnie just can’t do it. “I know it looks like I have my hand in the cookie jar, Mom, but it was Jeff Sessions’ fault. I just had my arm out and he put the cookie jar around it.”

No matter how high the professional or personal stakes … and they are exceptionally high regarding his neoNazi and white supremacist supporters … Trump can’t make himself concede that he said or did something wrong. If he is talked into later statements that allow for at least the possibility of error – as he was on speech two regarding Charlottesville – the psychological pressure for him to go back on the admission is unbearably high.

Trump’s self-immolating press statements yesterday were an example of narcissism in a dither. Yesterday (August 15, 2017) was also possibly – we can only hope – the day he finally, fatally, screwed the pooch.

I’ll take my anti-nausea pill and watch FOX tonight. Look for which, if any, GOP politicians come to his defense. But, if the what-the-President-actually said-meant to say-was trying to say defender cupboard is bare, that’s it. The day when wheels start to turn behind the scenes … impeachment wheels, 25th Amendment wheels, or just old-fashioned Amish-style shunning wheels … to give Trump a not very friendly push.

If that happens, then stick a fork in the Mussolini wannabe’s fat ass. He’s done.

The mentally ill guy shouting “I’m gonna fuck you up!”

is now POTUS and our Commander in Chief. Somebody give him a sandwich to distract him. Maybe after he finishes eating, he’ll take a little nap and we can all rest our ears. Or our eyes in this case, since our mentally ill guy tweets “I’m gonna fuck you up” instead of shouting it.

I don’t believe North Korea will launch missiles on Guam, but the mentally ill guy running that joint murdered his brother and is friends with Dennis Rodman. So shit could happen. Shit can always happen when two grossly incompetent males with bad haircuts and “issues” square off. Well, in this case, round off. And they can’t even settle things on the golf course, ’cause our crazy guy is a known cheater.

Here’s the deal. Sometimes what Trump says and does is simple madness. But, when there is a method to it, it’s always the same method: distract folks from his thieving and other crimes. Try to make them forget he crawled up Putin’s ass decades ago and still sleeps there. Don’t let anyone see behind the curtain to discover that Donald J Trump is a complete fraud. A charlatan.

I never bought that Donald Trump was serious about running for President. I always thought it was a business move and the only difference between him and a franchise owner like Herman Cain was a higher TVQ. But then red America … in its infinite stupidity and ignorance … kept voting for him, his creditors (red Russia) saw an opportunity, and Trump himself decided being President wasn’t a bad way to increase sales and brand recognition. While also keeping his Russian bookie from chopping off fingers, giving him a draft deferment or two that aren’t just lies.

(On a side note, why is it that the most bellicose war mongers are always the guys who dodged the draft and never served?)

I don’t think the dumb, lame fuck-you-up stuff will lead to a military confrontation. Anymore than it did when only North Korea needed a sandwich and a nap and we behaved like sane adults. But it pisses me off that I even have to think about it. And I can’t imagine how pissed folks are in Japan, South Korea, Guam.

Meanwhile, I’m going to keep my eye (mostly) on the ball, which stinks of corruption and deserves prison time. Not just for Trump himself but for his top campaign staff, for his various Mobbed-up monkey business business associates, and for his whole stupid shitty family.

May his fall from power happen sooner rather than later so the folks in Guam can get a good night’s sleep.

The current occupant of the White House inspired this cover on Newsweek

trump newsweek cover

Not on National Lampoon or Mad magazine or even Rolling Stone in the great satirical heyday of Ralph Steadman. And based on the reporting that accompanies it, the headline Lazy Boy could not be more apt.

This happened. In America. We need our nation’s alleged conservatives to develop a conscience … and my home boys and girls in the middle of the country to turn off Fox Entertainment … so we can have all hands on deck to legally correct this monumental mistake.

And it needs to be corrected soon.

Enter Scaramuccia

The master mobster communicator Trump’s commedia d’el arte has needed all along. With more than a hint of Joe Pesci. Finally, a bumbling but well-dressed motherfucker so crass and stupid and unlearned that he might occasionally make Trump look good.

This nasty yippy-yappy shithead – aka the Little Skirmisher – speaks to The Donald’s soul.

Think about that. And what Machiavelli would have to say. Although Machiavelli should probably say it soon, since I suspect this Scaramucia will exeunt by the second act.

From Wikipedia:
Scaramuccia (literally “little skirmisher”), also known as Scaramouche or Scaramouch, is a stock clown character of the Italian commedia dell’arte (comic theatrical arts). The role combined characteristics of the zanni (servant) and the Capitano (masked henchman). Usually attired in black Spanish dress and burlesquing a don, he was often beaten by Harlequin for his boasting and cowardice.

Unfit to Serve

trump with hostage cabinet

Personally, I wouldn’t want Donald Trump serving me at a Waffle House, but the White House is definitely a bridge too far.

The smiley picture accompanying these thoughts is from June 12, 2017, when he invited/coerced his shabby corrupt Cabinet into praising him and thanking him for the opportunity to serve Donald Trump. That was the day I put aside any doubts that Trump is mentally ill.

I assume Donald was frowney when he sent his latest, tasteless tweet-by of a talk show host. The reason that he was smiley one day and frowney the next is that Donald Trump doesn’t know who he is. He has no sense of self. And he looks to the world to give him an identity and let him know how he should feel about it.

When he receives praise (even phony ginned-up praise) he feels good. When he is trashed, he feels bad, has a tantrum, lashes out. He also has no “public face.” With Angela Merkel (yet another woman smarter and more capable than Donald), he couldn’t hide the hurt from her criticism. Pouted in public with her. Kicked rocks.

And then there’s the fact that Donald suspects … he can’t let himself admit it … that he is and always has been a fraud. That there is no one behind the curtain except a bunch of Russian gangster bankers. And tic tacs.

Pence might be worse – meaning more competent at doing horrible shit to the country – but we can’t let Donald Trump continue as President. He is a danger to himself and others.

Measures must be taken to remove him. Impeachment, the 25th Amendment, even a standard 5150 might do.

O, America

mitch bitch

After all these years, we can’t manage to provide basic health care for all?

Why?

So we can keep pretending the market will find a solution to problems it hasn’t found yet. And never will. The “market” – at least the way Americans play it – isn’t about problem solving or anything else save making already rich people and corporations even richer, usually at a cost to the poor. We Americans don’t have the character to find private solutions to public problems. We’re missing some essential part.

I know the practical reasons we’ve made a hash of this issue for decades. The political reasons. All the Dark Money reasons from the Dark Money players. But I don’t give a shit about those things anymore. And I can’t keep blaming them.

The problem is us. Some hole in our hearts and souls that no amount of increased poverty and suffering can heal. An utter inability to think and act in concord for the good of all.

I’m going to skip Fourth of July this year. I’m just not in the mood for fireworks and flag waving. I’m too ashamed. And I’m starting to realize… as I look back on our history and on a personal history which now exceeds 60 years … that America was ever thus. We were always this mean.

Is there a bigger dunce in this Confederacy of Dunces than Devin Nunes?

devin runs

I don’t know why I hate him so much, just the sight of him boils my blood. He’s a sniveling little weasel doing what he’s ordered to do by the Trumpets … apparently because he, too, has received Russian money for one of his paltry investments … but he’s so BAD at it. All of it. The lying. The jack stories he concocts to cover his tracks, which are always uncovered. His inability to stand still without cringing or flinching.

Devin Nunes … I keep wanting to call him Nevin Dunes and give him a pencil mustache … looks guilty when he first wakes up in the morning. He’s done something bad in the night. Peeked through a hole into the adjoining bathroom. Thought wrong thoughts. Wrong! And then it escalates from there …. Devin walking, Devin avoiding, Devin fleeing, Devin trapped and forced to approach a microphone.

And then Nevin Dunes opens his mouth to speak!!! His vocal quality is somewhere between a robocaller and cats fucking. I can’t listen for more than a minute or two.

Nevin … sorry, Devin … won’t be able to keep this up for much longer. He’s bound to crack. Prediction: on the witness stand when it comes to that, he’ll cry and cry and cry. Blame everyone from Trump to his mother. Wipe his eyes with his dunce cap.