Friday, July 31, 2015

Friday on the Southern Plains: Oklahoma Republicans Forced to Apologize, Sarah Palin in the Trump Cabinet, Witticisms Envied by the Ghost of Abe Lincoln, and All Quiet on the Western Front

The first question we should ask ourselves at this point in the dreadful process known as, The American Political System is, could it be everyone involved has swallowed the brown acid, or are they simply nuts?

There are arguments for both, although we don't have any empirical evidence of either. There is, however, a verifiable bizarre and twisted trail of grotesque behavior which leads us to wonder about the mental hygiene of certain persons and organizations.

Locally there is the Oklahoma Republican Party which is chaired by Mr. Randy Brogdan. A little while ago Mr. Brodan either authored, or approved a Facebook post on the party's page which compared people receiving food stamps to animals in national parks who are fed by the tourists. The rancid point being the people on food stamps are akin to the fauna who nibble on offered crackers, bread crumbs, and the like, then grow dependent on handouts, however meager they may be. As a result both humans and animals alike grow lazy and refuse to make their own way in civilization and the wild kingdom.

The post caused such outrage, Brogdon was forced to take it down and issue a statement saying it had, been, "misinterpreted by many." He also apologized to those, "who were offended." This sort of  nonsense should come as no surprise to those familiar with Randy Brogdon. He is so far out there he objects to the Pledge of Allegiance because it refers to the United States as, "...one nation, indivisible..." thereby ignoring states rights.

Yesterday, OKC's local paper, The Oklahoman, ran a story by Rick M. Green which reported the Oklahoma Federation of Republican Women had to recently delete a post on their own Facebook page. According to Green a post appeared which showed an African American hanging from a tree. The caption read, "The KKK was formed by democrats to keep control over black Americans. The democrats of today just traded ropes for welfare."

According to Green, the head of the federation, Pam Pollard issued a statement which said, "I offer my personal apologies and look forward to posting many interesting educational stories in the future."Green writes that Pollard had tracked down the source of the post and banned the person from the group's page. He noted another Facebook page wasn't so quick to delete the same post. As of yesterday it was still available for viewing at, "Breitbart--One Silenced, Millions Awakened."

Then, of course we come to Donald Trump who told everyone that, if elected president, he would offer Sarah Palin a position in his cabinet. He didn't go into detail about which department she would head. Given her vast knowledge of tracking down elk and moose, then killing them, she might be considered ripe for Secretary of the Interior, although the Defense Department always remains a possibility. After all, Russia is still only 60 miles away from her stomping grounds and as we all know she is quite adept at polar logistics and strategy.

And while we're on the subject of Donald Trump, a story broke earlier in the week that several years ago he called attorney Elizabeth Beck, "disgusting," and stormed out of a meeting they were both involved in. Yeah, so what's unusual about that? Who hasn't wanted to do the same thing when a lawyer is screwing with you? Well, Beck claims El Donald became irate and flustered because she wanted to take a break during a deposition in order to go to another room where she could use a breast pump to--you know--provide milk for her newborn child.

In an interview with CNN, Trump claimed she wanted to use the pump right in front of him and his attorney and because of her request he "might" have called her disgusting. Then in true Trumpian fashion he began to rant, telling reporter Dana Bash, that, Ms. Beck was not only a, "terrible lawyer," but a "vicious, horrible person."

Yes, quite presidential of the Don. One can easily imagine the ghost of Abraham Lincoln wondering why he couldn't come up with similar witticisms at the height of the Civil War.

Finally there is good news. 16 plus days into the insidious left wing military exercise known as Jade Helm 15, the citizens of Bastrop, Texas are still holding firm. Not a single tank has forced its way past the city limits and nary a person has been dragged off kicking and screaming to a deserted Wal-Mart for a water boarding session.

In fact, despite the vociferous tea party/conspiracy theorist paranoia, it can be safely reported, that from Texas to Utah and beyond, it's all quiet on the western front.

So there we have it on a warm, humid day here on the southern plains.

For reasons we all recognize, the bar is open.


7-31-15










Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Mass Outrage Du Jour: A Headless Lion King in Zimbabwe and the Shelf Life of Bananas

It must be the heat. Let's face it real summer has arrived and as the humidity and temperature rises, so does the level of insanity both here and afar.

The mass outrage du jour is the tragic end of Cecil, the Lion King. It would seem Cecil, named after Cecil Rhodes, a British imperialist who made a fortune in diamonds off the backs off black Africans, had become quite the tourist attraction at Zimbabwe's Hwange National Park. He was also the subject of a study being done by an Oxford University scientific team who had collared him with a GPS tracking device.

None of that mattered--at least at first--to Minneapolis area dentist, Walter James Palmer. He had plunked down $50,000 plus in American currency to bag a lion and by God he was going to get his money's worth. It would seem professional hunter Theo Bronkhurst and land owner, Honest Ndlovu were more than willing to make sure it happened.

According to reports, Bronkhurst and perhaps Ndlovu cooked up a plot to lure Cecil off of the grounds of the park, where he was not only protected, but used to seeing grinning white people drive around in order to take his picture. One, or both of them baited a truck with fresh meat and enticed the 13 year old great cat onto Ndlovu's property which immediately made him, some would say, fair game.

Palmer first nailed him with a bow and arrow, but it didn't bring him down. After a 40 hour pursuit the dentist applied the coup de grace with a gun. In short order Cecil was beheaded and skinned, then the rest of his carcass was left to rot.

Dr. Palmer claims he trusted his guides and never imagined the kill was illegal. In addition he says he didn't know of Cecil's status as either the subject of research, or a national attraction until afterward. As innocent as he might have been, it doesn't mean he didn't immediately realize what had happened and try to dodge the consequences. Apparently there was a half baked scheme, concocted on the spot, to try to hide the identity of the kill. Local authorities say a person, or persons unknown in the party detached the Oxford tracking device and attempted to destroy it after Cecil bit the dust.

Bronkhurst has been charged with, "Failing to supervise, control, and take reasonable steps to prevent an unlawful hunt." If convicted he faces a $20,000 fine and up to 10 years in prison. No charges have, as yet, been filed against Ndlovu, who is expected to testify at the trial.

The public backlash has been predictably swift and irate. Late night TV host Jimmy Kimmel was close to tears as he ranted about the incident. Actress Mia Farrow went so far as to tweet the street address of the building the Doctor practices in. Larry Wilmore convened a panel on "The Nightly Show" to talk about the evils of trophy hunting. And, finally, seeing an opportunity to make yet another warped and odious political connection, Marco Rubio wondered why liberals were livid about a dead lion and not the heavily edited tape of a Planned Parenthood executive talking about fetal tissue donations.

The media hubbub has caused Doc Palmer to, at least temporarily, shutter his office and hunker down out of sight. He says he's sorry he killed Cecil, although his regret probably has far more to do with the sudden, unwanted, notoriety rather than his conscience. After all this isn't his first dance with wildlife authorities.

In 2006 he killed a bear in Wisconsin 40 miles outside of the area it was legal to do so. He then trucked the dead animal to the authorized kill zone in order to register it. The chicanery didn't fool anyone. Two years later he was fined $3,000 and hit with one year of probation.

At this time it's unclear if he sliced off ol' Yogi's head nearly a decade ago, although the odds are he did. It appears he has a fetish for that sort of thing. One can only speculate about the d├ęcor of his den and what his taxidermy bills run on a yearly basis.

I've said many times I have nothing against hunters so long as they have the decency to eat what they kill. In fact ages ago I accepted an invitation to go after some quail. The birds survived the expedition thanks to inherently bad marksmanship and several six packs of beer divided up between the party. A couple of us, however, did manage to take down a meadow lark which made the mistake of  zooming out of the tall grass as we closed in on a suspected quail bunker-tunnel complex. Luckily for all involved, the birds turned out to be poorly armed and our small, somewhat askew, patrol returned home without suffering any casualties.

That said, the suspicion here is if Painless Palmer keeps a low profile and doesn't get charged with some crime, he'll be back to yanking out wisdom teeth within two, or three weeks. That's about as long as it will take for the world of instant media to move on to some other breathtaking crime, or cause which will consume us all with equal passion.

Yes, there is an inescapable duality here. While the public's anger, horror, and disgust over the death of Cecil the lion is no doubt genuine, those vivid emotions have the shelf life of a bunch of bananas.

That's what we've come to in the internet age. It is, as they say, the nature of the beast.


sic vita est


7-30-15





Monday, July 27, 2015

With the Media Coverage Driving the Polls, It's Better to be Profanely Loud Than Smart

Our old pal Rick Santorum says a lot of batty things. However, a week, or two ago he made an observation about the current state of the republican race for the presidential nomination which was spot on.

At this early juncture, Santorum noted it isn't the official war chests of the candidates, or even the vast riches of the super pacs which are driving the campaign. No, in these heady moments, when the immense field has just stormed out of the gates, cash hasn't factored in yet. Right now, as the former Pennsylvania Senator bitterly complained, it is how intensely the media covers a candidate that sways the potential voting public.

He's right--during the next three months or so, unless you're found to be an out of control meth addict, or exposed as far to enamored with 13 year olds of either sex, there no such thing as bad press. You must keep in the fray and if it takes outlandish, even evil, gibberish in order to contend, so be it. This is the big time, after all, and the mind set at this point must be it's better to be profanely loud than smart.

All of which, of course, explains the current popularity of Donald Trump in the polls.

It also might explain the recent bizarre, not to mention violent, behavior of a couple of candidates who, in theory, want to be taken seriously. First was Rand Paul, who took a chain saw to the United States Tax Code. Then there was Lindsey Graham. He graphically showed us several ways to destroy a cell phone. Thanks to the aforementioned, Mr. Trump, Graham, at least, had some sort of excuse for his acts of vandalism.

Trump had said Graham's friend, John McCain, who spent close to six years in a North Vietnamese prison camp, wasn't a war hero. That prompted the Senator from South Carolina to call El Donald a, "jackass." Trump responded by first telling a crowd, Graham is, "an idiot," then revealing the Senator's private cell phone number to everyone on the planet.

Ah yes, quite presidential.

The whole, Gotta Get My Name Mentioned Somehow Syndrome, took a new turn over the weekend. Former Arkansas Governor, Mike Huckabee said in an interview with Breitbart News, the President's Iran nuclear deal would, "Take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven."

No doubt he was trying to out do the crazed Canadian, Ted Cruz, who, on the same subject, had predicted, "The Obama administration will become the leading financier of terrorism in the world against America."

Current, Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton was so moved by the rhetoric he blurted out that Secretary of State, John Kerry, "Acted like Pontius Pilate for letting the International Atomic Energy Agency negotiate separate inspection provisions with Iran to verify the agreement."

Cotton isn't actually running for the presidency, but obviously he couldn't think of an excuse to steer clear of the hysteria. Perhaps he is fishing for a sweet spot in the diplomatic corps if a republican wins next year.

Today, Obama said the recent rants would be, "...ridiculous if they weren't so sad." He  also speculated Huckabee's grotesque metaphor, "May just be an effort to push Mr. Trump out of the headlines."

Republican Ohio Governor, John Kasich, who is also in the race, sounded appalled by the lunacy. Yesterday, on Meet the Press, he told NBC's, Chuck Todd, "...I mean we're not running for class president. We're running for the Commander in Chief and the leadership of the United States of America. Grow up."

That's easier said than done. After complaining about the lurid media coverage driving the contest, Mr. Santorum told the editors of U.S. News and World Report, "Iran with a nuclear weapon is, in my opinion, the end. I have no doubt that Iran will use a nuclear weapon in any way possible to destroy the United States, to destroy Europe, to destroy Israel, or any other country that is in their way. They don't care about dying."

Given what is going on, the next step is for one of these clowns to claim we must send marines to the moon because it is ripe for a take over by radical Islamic terrorists based in Dearborn, Michigan.

One can only imagine what Dwight D. Eisenhower would think of this insane bullshit. The odds are it wouldn't be pretty.


sic vita est


7-27-15


Friday, July 24, 2015

Just Another Typical American Week: One More Loon With a Gun, Going All Slasher Movie Dysfunctional in Oklahoma, and Profiling Sandra Bland in Texas

According to the latest reports, a number of years ago, Mr. John Russell Houser, had been a frequent caller to a Columbus, GA television talk show. During those calls, he'd  rant about the need to commit violence against people who participated in abortion procedures and women in the work place. The host of the show, Calvin Floyd was quoted as saying  Houser was, "an angry man who made wild accusations." Floyd told the media he put him on the air, "because he could make the phones ring."

When he wasn't improving Mr. Floyd's ratings by entertaining the audiences in Columbus, it appears Rusty Houser was busy scaring the living bejeezus out of his spouse and family. In fact he was so violently bat shit crazy the AP says his wife, who just recently filed for divorce, hid his guns from him. In addition his family kept him locked away in a mental hospital against his will for a while. He was let out only after they had secured a court order instructing him to stay away from them.

The court order looks to have worked, although the whole hiding the guns thing might not have been nearly as successful. Last night, Brother Houser strolled into a Lafayette, LA theater and 20 minutes into the movie "Trainwreck," he stood and  opened fire with a .40 caliber semi automatic hand gun. He was able to pull off at least 13 shots--just because it is so easy to do--killing two and wounding nine, one of them critically.

Police and witnesses say he was apparently planning more mayhem somewhere down the line. After the shooting he tried to blend in with the fleeing crowd in order to escape. However, when he got outside he saw the cops had already arrived, so he retreated back into the theater where he did everyone a favor by blowing his brains out.

A search of his hotel room uncovered wigs and pairs of glasses, but no concrete motive for the shooting, which occurred three years and three days after James Holmes murdered 12 people in a Colorado theater. At this time it is unclear if the weapon Houser used was part of the collection his wife hid, one he bought recently, or a piece he picked up illegally. This being America his options were, for all practical purposes, limitless.

Late, Wednesday, up the road in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, David Bever, his wife, April and three of their kids were murdered in their home. A fourth child was seriously wounded and a fifth--a two year old--was left unharmed.

It didn't take long for the Broken Arrow police to find a couple of prime suspects. As they were going in the front door in response to what is called an open 911 call, the Bever's oldest two sons were slipping out the back. About an hour later they were tracked down by a police dog in some nearby woods and both now await charges.

According to a report in, The Oklahoman, police found, "knives, a hatchet, and other bladed weapons," in the home. A Broken Arrow police spokesperson said of the scene, "It's almost impossible to get your head around it."

Neighbors report all the children were home schooled and were rarely seen outside of their yard. According to one resident they didn't appear to play with any of the other kids in the solidly middle class housing area.

Finally it looks as if Sandra Bland, the African American woman who may, or may not have committed suicide, in a Waller County, TX jail, ended up there because she was black and smoking a cigarette.

The dashcam of Texas Highway patrolman, Brian Encina, shows him approaching her car after he wrote, Ms. Bland up for not signaling a lane change. As she sits at the wheel he asks her if anything is wrong, then tells her she looks irritated. Ms. Bland admits that she is, because he's giving her a ticket for a lane change she made to simply get out of his way.

Then, for reasons known only to himself, Officer Encina asks her to put out the cigarette she's smoking. When Bland refuses, things spin out of control so incredibly fast it takes the breath away. By the time it is over, Sandra Bland is in cuffs and headed off to the local slammer where her bond was set at $5,000. Three days later she was found dead in her cell.

At first glance the incident, while having the trappings of some sort of surrealist tragedy, doesn't seem to carry any overtly racial overtones. But there might be more to it. The Daily Kos uncovered dashcam footage shot prior to the stop. In the extended video, Encina is driving down a road, as Ms. Bland turns right onto it from a cross street. She is headed in the opposite direction. Encina immediately pulls a U turn and begins to follow her.

The trooper speeds up as he trails, Bland's car, quickly closing the gap between the two vehicles. She changes lanes, apparently in order to let him by. As soon as she does he hits his lights and pulls her over. There is no mention in any report, official, or otherwise, explaining why Encina made the sudden U turn. All that's certain is the only violation he could initially come up with is the lane change which happened after he began to tail her.

It doesn't take a great leap of faith to believe Encina saw a black woman behind the wheel of a car with out of state plates and in an instant decided he wanted find out what she was up to, because--you know--she was black. Her not signaling the lane change was simply an excuse of convenience. Even if she had executed it perfectly he would have found another reason to pull her over within a block, or two. The terrible truth is she had been profiled by a white cop because of her race and there was no way she could have avoided being stopped.

And so, there we have it, just another typical American week--one more loon with a loaded gun, an affluent, yet strangely isolated, family gone all slasher movie dysfunctional, and a Texas cop making sure black folks aren't up to some sort of hanky-panky.

Luckily, for the rest of us, the bar is now open.




7-24-15






Monday, July 20, 2015

Donald Trump Wows Them in Ames

Donald Trump, speaking about John McCain: I liked him, then he lost. He lets us down.
Interviewer, "But he was a war hero...
Donald Trump: I never liked him as much after that because I don't like losers.
Interviewer, "But he was a war hero..."
Donald Trump: He's not a war hero.
Interviewer: He spent five years...
Donald Trump: He's a war hero, because he was captured. I like people that weren't captured.
    


You really have to go a long way to make the late Senator Joe McCarthy seem a courtly gentleman. Let's face it, in the history of the republic, few if any major candidates for the office of president have sunk below the depths of that odious sink hole. Ted Cruz seems to have the potential for it. He has the disposition of a hungry barracuda coupled with an ego which rivals that of the late Benito Mussolini--both outstanding qualifications for the job.

However, after Saturday's performance in Ames, Iowa, no one can deny Donald Trump is the man of the moment.

When it comes to xenophobia, truth twisting, media monopolization, and now, low blows, El Donald has proven himself unmatched in the vile art of American demagoguery.

One of the excuses he is using for the brutally snide attack on John McCain over the weekend--mostly after the fact--is that McCain had called the people who attended a recent Trump rally in Phoenix, "crazies." At least that is the one he used on stage right after he claimed, McCain wasn't a war hero and just before he derided the Senator's academic standing in his graduating class at the Naval Academy.

Since then he has insisted, despite what was caught on tape, he never said McCain wasn't a war hero. In fact, he blames the press for misrepresenting the context of his wording and points out he most certainly did say, John McCain was a war hero at least four times during his time on that Iowa stage. Yeah, but, besides the outright lie, what he fails to mention is his tone was about as caustic as Truman Capote's when Capote said of another author, "He doesn't write. He types."

Beyond the tortuous warping of what actually went down, Trump is now rambling as fast as an auctioneer on meth about the conditions of VA hospitals and the treatment of veterans. In his words, "...illegal immigrants get treated better than many of our vets and John McCain hasn't done anything about it."

In addition he made a point to tell "Today Show," host Matt Lauer, the republican candidates who were critical of his comments were, "zero" in the polls.

Well, Bobby Jindal might be, but that didn't stop him from delivering the best one line response to Trump's bombast. He told the media, "After Donald Trump has been a prisoner of war, then he'll be in a position to comment on and criticize the Senator's record."

Rick Perry used terms like, "a new low in American politics," "unfit," and said Mr. Trump should withdraw from the race.

That motion was seconded by Florida Senator, Marco Rubio who was quoted as saying, "It's not just absurd, it's offensive. It's Ridiculous. And I do think it is a disqualifier as commander in chief."

In fact the only person in the field refusing to condemn the Trumpster is the aforementioned Senator Cruz, who not only recognizes a kindred spirit, but lusts after his supporters.

An NBC News headline asked if this might be the tipping point for Brother Trump. He caught heat after the attack on Mexicans and Mexico, but at the time those rebuttals seemed hesitant, almost reluctant. That's because early on in the campaign, all the candidates must sell their souls to the right and they all know that immigration is a hot button issue with the tea party yokels. They're also fully aware those same rubes have an outsized influence on republican primary results.

However, after Saturday, there are few, if any, restraints they have to worry about. That's because the vast majority of republicans, no matter where they are in the spectrum, believe that, unless your name is John Kerry, denigrating a decorated war veteran's record is out of bounds.

McCain appeared on MSNBC earlier today. He seemed saddened and resigned to the politics of fear and slander, Mr. Trump so gleefully practices. He spoke not of himself, but to the insult, Trump, in effect, leveled at every veteran who has been taken prisoner during times of war. He even refused to bite the bait when he was pointedly asked about the propriety of someone like Trump, who avoided the military during the Vietnam conflict, questioning the valor of those who fought it.

It was a display of grace that, Trump, the ultimate grifter and bully, will never understand.

Donald Trump is not going to win the republican nomination for president. He will never serve in the oval office. That doesn't mean we aren't in trouble. The very idea this crude, bellicose, real estate pimp could run for the highest office in the land and get this much media attention is so appalling, one has to question, not just the level of the nation's intelligence, but our moral character as well.

Think not? Listen carefully--that sound you hear is the founding fathers spinning in their graves.


sic vita est

7-20-15

DCL






Friday, July 17, 2015

Guilty in Colorado, Dead in Tennessee, and on the Lam in Maine: The American Way

There's a killer on the road
His brain is squirmin' like a toad


From the lyrics of "Riders on the Storm," by Jim Morrison


Actually there is more than one. At least in this country there always is.

That's right, we make them by the basketfuls, arm them to the teeth, and then send them out to commit all sorts of horrific acts. Afterwards we search our souls, wondering how and why it all happened, but we never answer either question. The only things we've become really good at is building make shift memorials and praising the dead. We have that shit nailed.

Right at three years ago, James Holmes dressed up like some kind of super bad ass commando and slipped into a theater auditorium in Aurora, CO. When he finally exited the building 12 people were dead and 70 were wounded. He was arrested almost immediately after the shooting, offering no resistance to police.

It took the state of Colorado nearly 33 months to put him on trial. The proceedings lasted almost three more. The jury came back in less than two days. The panel of nine women and three men had two choices. First they could find young Mr. Holmes innocent by reason of insanity. In that event he would be shuffled off to a state mental hospital in Pueblo probably for the rest of his life. Or, they could find him so incredibly guilty of murder in the first degree it would open the door to an execution chamber.

The state put two court appointed psychiatrists on the stand who said that while Jimmy Holmes might have been hearing voices and acting a tad batty, he knew the difference between right and wrong. The defense hired two other shrinks who claimed the defendant was utterly bonkers and completely out of touch with reality the night of the killings.

The jury opted to side with caution. As verifiably crazy as James Holmes might be there was no way they were going to take a chance that at some point a whiz bang Carl Jung wannabe would pronounce him cured then let him loose on the streets again.

Earlier in the day and almost exactly a month after Dylan Roof opened fire in a Charleston, SC church, Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez went off his nut. He shot up a Chattanooga military recruiting station, then drove over to a Naval Reserve Operations Center. By the time he was either killed by police, or offed himself, four marines were dead and a Chattanooga cop was wounded.

This morning, the media once again began asking the all too familiar questions. As usual friends, acquaintances, and the authorities said they saw no sign of the nightmare coming.

By all initial accounts, the Kuwaiti born, naturalized American citizen, grew up as a decent kid who people liked and trusted. In fact more than a few considered him just another all American boy. He was on the high school wrestling team and liked to train in a mixed martial arts gym. In addition he was a bright student who had a successful college career, earning a degree in engineering.

The prevailing thought right now is that something went terribly wrong during the last couple of years, However, as always, there were some hints things weren't always rosy for Mohammad. His father had once been on a FBI terrorist watch list, although his name was removed not long after it appeared. The Washington Post reports one of his mixed martial arts mentors was an ex-cop who had converted to Islam and espoused a militant version of the religion. His father despised that he was participating in the sport and at least once publicly berated him for it.

His Red Bank High School Yearbook photo showed him in a tux and quoted him as saying, "My name causes national security alerts. What does yours do?"

As of yesterday, thanks to him, there will be a lot more young men named Mohammad whose name causes national security alerts.

Yes, simply because of his name and background all manner of terrorist theories are being bandied about. In a few days we can count on those deadly ISIS cretins to claim they were behind his rampage, even if they'd never heard of him.

He wrote in a blog he felt, "...life is a prison of monotony." Yeah, well you should have gotten in line with the rest of us, pal instead of opening fire. If you had you would have saved everyone a lot of pain and trouble. Another blog entry read, "Brothers and sisters, don't be fooled by your desires. This life is short and bitter and the opportunity to submit to Allah may pass you by."

All right, he was conflicted--again--get in line. In the end, whatever his motives were, he took the true blue U.S.A way out. The latest reports say he had several weapons in the his convertible when he began shooting. Odds are he bought every one of them legally with few, if any, questions asked. How much more American can it get?

Think not? Right now police in Maine are searching for convicted sex offender, Anthony Lord. He is accused of shooting two people to death and wounding three more in several different communities over night. Betcha he isn't worried about opportunities to submit to Allah passing him by. Jimmy Holmes and Dylan Roof certainly weren't.

Mohammad Adbulazeez might well have used his religion as an excuse. We'll find out soon enough. But, the brutal truth we all need to address is he didn't do anything a lot of other cranks out there haven't done already and will do tomorrow, or the next day.

We're a nation of guns and we like to use them. And--as it has been demonstrated far too many times--if we're pissed off enough, no matter what the reason, or mental defect, we are more than willing to kill each other and ourselves.

Tragically, that is truly, The American Way, no matter what your name.


sic vita est


7-17-15

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Turkey Lurkey in Bastrop, Texas: The Eve of Jade Helm 15

Turkey Lurkey: How do you know the sky is falling?
Chicken Little: I saw it with my own eyes and heard it with my own ears, and part of it fell on my head.
Turkey Lurkey: Oh dear! I always suspected the sky would fall someday. I'd better run with you.

From, "The Story of Chicken Little."

Yes, as republican presidential candidates scream about the nuclear deal with Iran--mainly because Barack Obama and his Secretary of State, John Kerry came up with it--there is a clear and present danger much closer to home.

Just ask them in Bastrop, TX and certain locales in Utah. That's right, sometime after midnight tonight the United States Army will begin conducting a training exercise known as Jade Helm 15. According to many a true patriot the two month operation is nothing more than a terrible ruse perpetrated by the black foreigner in the white house. They contend his real purpose is to round up tea party members, their guns, their bibles, and their wives for purposes which can only be described as both unholy and depraved.

How serious is the situation? So serious that in April, Governor, Greg Abbott ordered the Texas National Guard to keep an eye on those shifty Special Forces troops who will be involved. According to PolitiFact.com he wrote a letter to the commanding officer of the guard saying, "During the training operation it is important that Texans know their safety, constitutional rights, private property rights, and civil liberties will not be infringed."

Even legendary martial arts expert and alleged actor Chuck Norris is on alert. He told World Net Daily, "The U.S. government says it's just a training exercise. But I'm not sure the term 'just' has any reference to reality when the government uses it."

Why anyone in Texas would be worried about a few Green Berets when they have a neighbor like Chuck Norris is a bit unclear. In the movie "Delta Force" his unit rescued hijacked airline passengers held in the wilds of Beirut. The year before, in the flick, "Invasion USA" Norris almost single-handedly took out a horde of terrorist scum who had stormed ashore somewhere in Florida in order to wreck havoc on, The American Way.

But, as they might say in Bastrop--a town which gets its name from a fugitive embezzler who fraudulently posed as royalty--those were just fantasies. Barack Obama and His Army are real.

Well there are other fantasies too. The first one is that United Nations troops will be assisting in the exercise/occupation. The proof? Those Illuminati controlled U.N. bastards named the Alamo as a world heritage site the other day, giving them an excuse to move into the state. That isn't the only horror. There has also been conjecture Islamic State personnel, thanks to some torturous connection, will be rolling down county roads in Mad Max style caravans, cofiscating guns and heads. In addition there is talk that these deadly cohorts, along with steely eyed American troopers, will be using abandoned Wal-Marts either as detention centers for those who might resist, or disagree with The New World Order, or as operational supply bases. Finally there are rumors of a massive spider work of tunnels running every which direction, although the reasons for them remain a tad fuzzy.

In March the eminent investigative journalist, Alex Jones wrote Jade Helm was, "...an exercise of the new field in geo spatial intelligence using human domain analytics to map the politics and thoughts of any nation, state, city, right down to the individual." If that's the case one can reasonably wonder why the military doesn't save a few bucks by simply picking up a copy of the latest Gallup Poll.

PolitiFact notes former Texas Lt. Governor, David Dewhurst, Congressman Louie Gohmert, and Senator Ted Cruz all issued statements which basically said everyone who believes in the conspiracy bullshit is wrong. However, given that the African/Communist/Muslim SOB in the White House is an Ayatollah wannabe, they sympathize and feel the insanity is completely understandable. Yes, there are only a select few who know how sow paranoia one moment, then dismiss it, without appearing hypocritical, or condescending, the next.

According to the Army the two month exercise will involve 1,200 troops spread out over seven states. That would be about 300 to 500 less than Santa Anna had scaling the walls of the aforementioned Alamo. A spokesman told the good citizens of Bastrop they could expect 60 of them in their area along with two Humvees and one helicopter. Nevertheless, the republican county chair has assured the faithful there will be citizens patrolling the streets nightly just to make sure there isn't any funny business.

Indeed, sleep well east Texas, sleep well. The tea party is on the job and your nation's army and its colors, the star spangled banner, shall not pass undetected, or unopposed.

Is it any wonder the bar is now open? I didn't think so.



sic vita est

7-14-15






Sunday, July 12, 2015

Money, Money, Money and in Phoenix, Don and Joe Leave Dead Horses Unbeaten

Politics has always been considered a dirty business in this country, but now it can be safely said, it's also one of the most expensive.

NBC is reporting in the second quarter of the year of our Lord, 2015 Jeb Bush's campaign raised $11.4 million. Not that big of a deal right? It's a figure which doesn't even count as a decent power ball jackpot. Well, Bush's campaign isn't going to be the biggest spender during his run for the nomination and if he wins, the wild sprint toward the White House.

That job is going to fall to a non-profit organization called, "Right to Rise." It is what is quaintly known as a Political Action Committee. In theory the PAC is a completely separate entity from the Bush campaign. In fact, in strict legal terms it is supposed to be simply a group of concerned citizens who want to perform a little community service while promoting their boy Jeb's presidential ambitions. That's correct, the law says as long as "Right to Rise" spends at least one more dollar bill on issues which promote the public good and welfare than it does on behalf of Jeb Bush, it can exist happily along side all those other non-profits, like the Red Cross, Wounded Warrior Project, and the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

In addition there are a couple of advantages concerned patrons find useful when donating to a Super PAC. First and foremost is those pesky federal election laws don't apply to PACs. You can not only remain an anonymous benefactor, but you can give as much hard, untraceable, cash as you want and no one will be the wiser.

That's why on Friday NBC declared it a good week for John Ellis Bush. While his campaign brought in $11.4 million, "Right to Rise," scored a cool $103 million.

That's not to say Governor Bush is any different than the rest of the mob running for the White House. Everyone and their dog has at least one Super PAC, if not two, or three. It's just that the Jebster is a lot more proficient at selling himself right now than everyone else.

NBC reported Bush's combined campaign/Super PAC money total was $114.4 million, while during the same time frame Hillary Clinton's combined total was $68.3 million, Ted Cruz's, $51 million and Carly Fiorina's, $4.8 million While the network didn't supply a campaign number for Marco Rubio, it did note a couple of his Super PACs raised a total of $31.8 million.

Of course, despite the noise Bernie Sanders has been making--his campaign raised, $15 million in the second quarter of this year--Mrs. Clinton's path to the nomination shouldn't be nearly as expensive as any of her republican opponents.

Meanwhile El Donald is still running wild. He was in Phoenix, AZ yesterday at a rally sponsored by the Maricopa County GOP, speaking in front of a crowd, estimated by his staff, to be at 9,000 souls. NBC put the number closer to 5,000, but then why quibble about such details.

Three people who weren't in attendance were both of Arizona's senators, Jeff Flake and John McCain, plus the state's governor, Doug Ducey.

Flake is so appalled by Trump, he issued a statement saying, "I'm disappointed the county party would host a speaker that so damages the party's image." To erase all doubt about where he stands, the Jr. Senator called Trump's views on immigration, "coarse, ill-informed, and inaccurate."

His opinion means little to the hard core tea party wanks who are in charge of the Maricopa County republican party. Former chairman, A.J. LaFaro was quoted as saying, "With regard to McCain, Flake, and the chambers; I don't respect any of those people anyway, so why should I care. They're not representative of me, or my conservative Christian values."

Well, what do you expect? A few months ago, during their Lincoln Day luncheon, this same coven of werewolves listened to the wit and wisdom of that eminent constitutional scholar, Ted Nugent.

On both occasions the notorious Phoenix birther in residence, Sheriff Joe Arpaio introduced the speaker. It is unclear whether he and the candidate, a fellow traveler in that cracked realm, shared notes on Barack Obama's birth certificate yesterday, or discussed the eligibility of Ted Cruz to become president.

Probably not. Sometimes, in the face of overwhelming reality, it is best to leave dead horses unbeaten.

So there we have it on a Sunday afternoon here on the southern plains. It is increasingly obvious you cannot become the most powerful person in the world unless you're able sell yourself like a high end Las Vegas hooker. And--for the moment anyway--Donald Trump has stolen the virulent mob the perpetually smirking little Canadian is so desperately counting on.

Hey, these things happen.





7-12-14

Thursday, July 9, 2015

The Surest Bet to be Made Right Now: The Donald is a Dead Duck

If we've learned anything recently it is that Donald Trump is the loosest of all cannons. The national psyche hasn't been confronted by an ego this huge since Dug out Doug MacArthur was running amok in the early 1950's.

Of course MacArthur was a career military man who pushed the empire of Japan from the door step of Australia to the deck of the U.S.S. Missouri in Tokyo Bay, so many gave him a pass. Trump, on the other hand, is a wheeler dealer who has gone from fabulously successful to the abyss of bankruptcy, then back again. He has produced and starred in his own television show, "The Apprentice," and as late as two years ago he was hamming it up for the crowds at World Wrestling Entertainment events.

When Mr. Trump began dabbling on the fringes of politics it appeared he was doing so only in order to keep his name alive during the cable media's 24 hour news cycles and on the internet. Simply put, it looked like he considered the political arena just another venue, rather like the "WWE Raw" broadcasts, to promote himself.

At some point, it isn't clear exactly when, he began to take the business of politics and his involvement in it seriously. His only prior experience has been that of a big dollar donor to candidates of both parties.  He has never held public office and his current campaign for the republican presidential nomination is his first at any level.

So why are we taking this crank seriously by paying attention to him? Let's face it, the late actor Tom Laughlin, star of the, "Billy Jack," films, ran for the office three times and no one would give him the time of day.

Well there is the money thing. Trump has boatloads of it and Laughlin didn't. Not to mention, Laughlin was about as engaging as a tenured professor teaching Egyptian hieroglyphics and Trump--to the delight of everyone from news anchors to late night TV hosts--is so nuts he's worth a million hits a day on You Tube.

Now, abetted by a frenzied media, he has catapulted to at least second in a New Hampshire republican presidential poll and he could well end up in the middle of the first nationally televised GOP debate in less than a month.

Unfortunately for Brother Trump, as an NBC News story points out, there might be only one way for him to go from this star spangled pedestal--and that would be down the drain.

Yes, fads glow brightly for a moment, but then flame out spectacularly. In late 2011 and early 2012, Newt Gingrich made a huge splash, took in wads of cash from people like Sheldon Adelson, but by April of the primary season he was out of the game forever.

Trump has that same feel to him. He's making waves now with his xenophobic ravings, but that act is going to wear thin quickly. Especially in places where the population is less than 92.2% white.

The republicans know it too. The Washington Post is reporting GOP head man, Reince Priebus called El Donald the other night to tell him to tone down the immigration rhetoric. Trump denies Priebus said anything like that to him, then went on NBC and told, Katy Tur he would win the Latino vote during a national election.

Bizarre hallucinations aside he has other problems. NBC notes that in 1999 Trump told the late Tim Russert, "I'm very pro choice." The same year, during a Buzzfeed interview he said, "I'm very liberal when it comes to health care. I believe in universal heath care."

In 2011 he told a CPAC crowd he was, "pro life." Earlier this year he seemed confused by the whole pro life--pro choice definition. When asked by CNN he said, "I'm pro choice." When the question was put to him again, he responded by saying, "I'm pro life, I'm sorry."

As these words are being typed political ads featuring those interviews are being produced to play on television stations from Iowa to South Carolina and all points beyond.

Last month a nation wide poll sponsored by NBC and the Wall Street Journal found 66% of republicans would not support him if he was the party's nominee.

That's not a number you recover from, no matter how many times you promise to build an impenetrable wall on the Mexican border that's paid for with pesos.

Ultimately what we have here is nothing more than a brief fascination with a carnival barker's pitch. As always, after a moment, or two, we'll grow bored with it and move on to something else.

To put it another way, even though he might not realize it yet, there is not a pro out there either in the media, or politics who doesn't know, the Donald is a dead duck.

There isn't a surer bet to be made right now. And that's the truth.





sic vita est




7-9-15

Monday, July 6, 2015

The Bipolar Donald Then and Now: Many Bail, New Hampshire Reacts, and Ted Cruz Keeps the Bromance Warm and Fuzzy

The republican party will continue to lose presidential elections if it comes across as mean spirited and unwelcoming to people of  color. The GOP has to develop a comprehensive policy to take care of this incredible problem that we have with respect to immigration, with respect to people wanting to be wonderfully productive citizens of this country.
 
Donald John Trump, during a November, 2012 interview with Newsmax.
 
 
 
Less than three years later, it appears Mr. Trump has come up with that comprehensive policy. If elected president of these United States, he promises to build a wall from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean and have the Mexican government foot the bill for it. Yes siree, he is going to put a stop to the flood of what he now describes as criminals, drug runners, rapists, and even "...some good people," from coming across the southern border.
 
That's certainly a unique way of not coming across as mean spirited.
 
Shortly after Mr. Trump delivered what might be described as the most xenophobic speech ever given by major political candidate anywhere outside of, say, pre World War II Germany, several things happened. Entertainers, contestants, and television networks began dumping out of the Miss Universe Pageant which he is part owner of. Macy's department stores dropped his line of men's clothing. Farouk Systems, which owns hair care products also unloaded him and NASCAR, while not officially severing all ties, has made sure everyone knows their annual awards ceremony won't be held at a Trump owned property this year. 
 
Meanwhile, within a week, Uncle Don jumped to second in the latest New Hampshire presidential poll. The population there is 94.2% white and 3.2% Hispanic.    
 
To say Donald Trump is causing a problem for the republican party right now is probably understating things a tad. Chris Christie was quoted as saying, "His comments were inappropriate and have no place in the race." Rick Perry stated, "I've said very clearly that Donald Trump does not represent the republican party. I was offended by his remarks."
 
If Rick Perry was offended, you can just imagine how all those Hispanic voters--you know--the ones who handed Barack H. Obama his second term, felt.
 
That's not to say all the republican candidates are distancing themselves from him. On "Meet The Press," the senator from Alberta, Canada, Ted Cruz told, Chuck Todd, "I salute Donald Trump for focusing on the need to address illegal immigration. The Washington cartel doesn't want to address that. He has a colorful way of speaking--it's not the way I speak, but I'm not going to engage in the media's game of throwing  rocks and attacking other republicans."
 
Brother Trump is unencumbered by such chivalry. At a current GOP gathering he told the crowd, "The last thing we need is another Bush." He went on to say, "He is all for common core and wants the kids to be educated directly by the bureaucrats in Washington and he's weak on immigration." He added that Jeb Bush, "...couldn't negotiate his way out of a paper bag."
 
Just to make sure everyone knows what he thinks of his fellow republican, on Saturday he copied a tweet from some clown on that site. It basically said to Bush, you like illegal Mexicans because of your wife.
 
Bush's wife, Columbia was born in Mexico and earlier the candidate had said of Trump, "To make these extraordinarily ugly comments is not reflective of the republican party."
 
The Trump tweet lasted for about 24 hours before it was deleted by someone with access to his account who seemingly has a brain and a shred or two of conscience.
 
Ultimately there are a couple of things going on here that reach straight into the depths of the Twilight Zone. The Cruz bromance seems to go both ways. Trump has been previously quoted as saying Ted Cruz is, "very brave," for his tough stance on immigration. He also refuses to discuss Cruz's well publicized place of birth. This, after years of running around the countryside claiming Barack Obama was ineligible to be president because he might have been born some where other than here. 
 
One can only think that Cruz, who is the far more accomplished politician, is using Trump as a sort of weird deflector shield. After all, he is saying what Cruz actually believes, but he is so incredibly crude and racist when he does, it makes Brother Ted seem absolutely dignified and restrained. Indeed, without fully understanding it, the Donald could well be playing evil Mr. Hyde, to Cruz's good Dr. Jekyll.    
 
Finally, given the wild disparity between the remarks Trump made in 2012 and the vile rant during his recent campaign announcement, not to mention his subsequent defense of it, some could reasonably believe Donald John Trump is utterly insane. To paraphrase a movie line: I like to think he is. It's the romantic in me.
 
Whatever the case, Mr. Trump seems to be on the cusp of making the first republican presidential debate which will be in Cleveland on August 6th. That will be something to see. One can only imagine the sight of him on stage in full, blathering, glory. And-- as he speaks to America--watching at least eight of the other participants squirm like boated eels as they try their best to get as far away from this raving manic-depressive, bipolar, fuck as they can.
 
Hey, who says reality TV isn't fun?
 
 
 
sic vita est
 
 
7-6-15
 
 
 
 

Friday, July 3, 2015

The Oklahoma Supreme Court, the Ten Commandments, the Constitution, Born Again Revisionists, and Tom Jefferson's Interpretation of Common Law

No public money, or property shall ever be appropriated, applied, donated, or used directly, or indirectly for the use, benefit, or support of any sect, church, denomination, or system of religion, or for the use, benefit, or support of any priest, preacher, minister, or other religious teacher, or dignitary, or sectarian institution as such.

Article II, Section 5 of the Oklahoma state constitution




On Tuesday the Supreme Court of Oklahoma cited Article II, Section 5, when it ruled a stone slab located on the Oklahoma capitol grounds would have to be removed. The, "monument" which was put in place back in 2012 displays the biblical ten commandments which, according to the old testament, were handed down to Moses by God.

It isn't the first time someone has decided the carving should go. Last October, Mr. Michael Tate of Roland, OK reportedly urinated on the monument moments before ramming it with his car. Tate abandoned his vehicle and later showed up at the Oklahoma City federal building claiming he was a Satanist and that voices in his head told him to put it drive and step on the gas. At the same time he told federal authorities he wanted to spit on a picture of Barack H. Obama prior to killing him. Brother Tate currently resides in an unnamed mental facility.

The monument was quickly rebuilt, but the ACLU, among others, continued to pursue litigation which would force its removal. In fact other Satanists--ones apparently not hearing voices in their heads--were threatening to sue in order to have a statue depicting and honoring Beelzebub installed on the grounds nearby.

The 7-2 vote by the Oklahoma Supremes enraged every wild eyed, thick bellied, right wing evangelical in the state. So, yeah, just about everyone. That includes much of the state legislature, whose membership is best known for howling about federal overreach while practicing their own version of it when it comes to nullifying municipal rules and regulations.

According to a story in yesterdays, The Oklahoman, state representative John Echols R-OKC said, "After reading this decision, I understand where the problem is. The state Supreme Court misapplied an archaic and progressive section of our state constitution and used that to apply a ruling that goes against the belief system of the majority of Oklahomans."

Echols and House Speaker, Jim Hickman are promising to put a measure to the voters next year which would repeal the, "archaic, yet progressive," Article II, Section 5. In other words they are going to remove that whole inconvenient separation of church and state thing which just keeps getting in the way of real Christians.

Writer, Rick Green of The Oklahoman reports repeal of the section won't be the only legislative action taken if it is up to other members of the house. According to his story, lawmakers are in a frenzy to impeach every last one of those seven liberal sons of bitches who voted to remove the rock, even though they did so only to uphold the word and spirit of the constitution of Oklahoma. Indeed, our religious beliefs are the law, not this secular shit written ages ago when people actually had a functioning brain and thought legal precedent should out weigh the pulpit.

All of this should come as no surprise given the far right edge's continuing propaganda campaign which attempts to re-write American history. Yes, if you listen to them you'd think the Declaration of Independence and the constitution were both written by a bunch of born again Christian--dunk me in the river--evangelicals. And--that every last one of them would heartily approve of those ten commandments being posted on the state house lawn.

Here is what Thomas Jefferson had to say about it in 1814. "Christianity neither is, nor ever was part of the common law."

Ben Franklin wrote, "I have found Christian dogma unintelligible. Early in life I absented myself from Christian assemblies."

Then there is John Adams who wrote, "This would be the best of all possible worlds if there were no religion in it."

Patrick Henry was the closest thing to a--come to the rail, or burn in hell sort of guy--but then he fought against the new constitution because he believed it gave the federal government too much power.

Actually this evangelical revisionist nonsense is relatively new. Most serious historians and biographers who were writing in the early to mid 19th century openly acknowledged the agnosticism, deism, or outright atheism of the original leadership of these United States. Unfortunately their words have become lost in the thick billows of smoke being blown by 21st century, morally corrupt, social conservatives.

So there we have it on the eve of Independence Day here on the southern plains. It would seem many are for it, but only so long as the rest of us kowtow to their version of God.

It's what they call freedom of religion.


7-3-15