Monday, March 2, 2020

Whistling Past the Graveyard: The Moron Savant

With all due respect to Rex Tillerson, Donald Trump is not a “fucking moron”; Donald Trump is a moron savant.  He’s really stupid but he has an unsurpassed talent.  He says stuff that many people want to believe.

He lies, says almost nothing, and people who want to believe him (or are terrified of not believing him) interpret his word salads as something semi-reasonable. He's very good at mimicking an adult rational person but he's really an ignorant toddler.  And he is stupid, but he has a talent that hides this from many people.  He hides his ignorance (or his inability to even understand the question) with a number of vague stock answers.  Their ambiguity allows him to get away with saying nothing.  Much of the time he doesn’t even have to lie.

Think about his answers to questions; he never says anything substantive.  While it is true that the art of the non-answer is as old as politicians, Donald answers almost every question, difficult or simple with a deflection.  It sounds good to his supporters (who all want their belief in him validated), and effective for non supporters because any push back is easily rebuffed.  

After all.

He IS the president; you aren’t allowed to “brow beat” him into a substantive reply.  If you do have the courage to stand your ground like James Acosta, you will be labeled as a Trump “hater”, someone who will have to watch his back because of the very large MAGA mob available to put you in your place.  He'll call you names on Twitter and try to get you fired from your job.

Some stock Trump “Answers”:

“We’ll see about that.”  We’re looking into it.” 

“I think XYZ is wonderful.”  “America is the greatest.”

“I’ve done more that anybody [about XYZ].”

 “We’re coming out with certain policy that’s going to be very interesting and very surprising, I think, to a lot of people.”

“It relates to everything we’re doing…”

“You’ll be hearing about it in—over the next couple of months.”

“We’re going to have to look at a lot of things very closely.”

In the beginning of his term, almost nobody thought that he could get away with being as bad as he was during the campaign, but he has.  No one wanted to believe that America could be led by someone as awful as he showed us he could be then; it had to be an act.  He had to be kidding.  We whistled past the graveyard. 

We hoped he would be humbled by the office, schooled by good advisors and encouraged to do his best for the country.  It’s a little like Vietnam in 1970; surely all those young Americans didn’t die for nothing, so we’ll all refuse to believe that.  We'll continue to believe that it was the right thing to do.

People say their votes for Trump don’t make them responsible for the mess we are in; it has to be somebody else’s fault.  Little by little too many people have gotten used to him.  He has normalized the unthinkable: an ignorant, stupid, stubborn, immature spoiled brat bully with a third grader's world view is president of the United States.  And spectacularly, the Republican Party, Senate, and House of Representatives appear to be OK with that.  

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Erasing History? or Creating a Myth

There has been quite a bit of discussion about the removal of Confederate memorials lately.  Many defenders of the “Southern Lost Cause” rue these removals as an affront to history.  I too am very concerned about monuments to our war veterans.  Specifically, I search in vain for the statues dedicated to the brave Monarchists that fought against George Washington during the illegal war of the Colonies against the God given absolute rights of King George.  People today laughingly call this the American Revolutionary War; oh, how some folks like to change names and the meaning of words.

A neighbor of mine, a local Virginian who reveres Confederate memorials, wrote a letter to our news paper wherein he called what most of us call the American Civil War: “the War in Defense of Virginia”.  Many southerners like to say this war was about “states rights”.  Let us be clear, it was fought to maintain the “rights” of white supremacists to own human beings in absolute bondage and deny those people any rights for them, their children, and descendents. 

There are no statues to the Tories that fought George Washington, for two reasons; their cause is now deemed to have been wrong, and they lost.  Even Robert E. Lee said that the Confederate battle flag should only be seen in museums.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Snail mail clickbait?

We give to a number of charities.  It’s enough of a burden to keep up with the legitimate causes which are all too often willing to dun you for more donations one week after you’ve given them money.  Not to mention the causes that have a magazine that will happily send you three concurrent copies rather than the three consecutive years that you intended.  

Then there’s the “survey” letters where they pretend to be soliciting your opinions.  Ha!  They are trying to echo-chamber your opinions and asking you for money to affirm them.  Then there are the incredibly weighted questions that cousin to your ignorance and bias.  So many “questions” sound like:  “Now that we know that moon landings cause hurricanes, are you in favor to defunding NASA?”  Republican Representatives use these a lot while trying to justify their attacks on straw men democratic policies and the mean, greedy policies that they propose which actually hurt their constituents.   

Then there is the snail mail “clickbait.”  No return address?

When the mail comes, if I see an envelope that has no indication of who has sent it to me; it goes into the trash unopened.  If you wish to be (mysteriously?) anonymous; I respect your anonymity; I choose to not see you.  

You’ve wasted your mailing$.    I don’t think I’ll play.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Oh! These most important first few primaries! Number Two

Oh my! Oh my! I hear the pundits talk about the political landscape. And most explicitly, the upcoming primary season; they talk about the important momentum following the early contests... Please indulge me as I laugh so hard that milk come out of my nose.
We are supposed to consider the results of the Iowa Caucus [Caustic?] where less than 0.3 % of the voters in the United States of America "vote" (the definition of "voting" being attending a tent carnival where you are given free food and entertainment) for one candidate or another, and it turns out to be almost 200 votes more than those folks who "chose" candidate #2 ? And then, the media will declaim that Candidate #1 was the "winner" because he/she garnered almost 02 % more "votes" than candidates #3 and #4 got combined??? Ah, but I digress.  The most important part of the whole thing is who can eat a corndog and not look stupid.
Next we're supposed to pay attention to Nevada (a beautiful state, I love to visit it), but it's hardly a microcosm of America.  The only thing it has going for it is its diverse ethnicity.  But then again, the vast majority of that faction is employed in the gambling "industry".  Then there's New Hampshire, another beautiful state; one that has a total population equal to about half that of a City like Saint Louis (you know where that is right)? The first polls to close have about ten voters…  And their opinions are really, really relevant to the future leadership of the federal government and appointments to the Supreme Court and all the wars we're fighting around the globe? Right? Yes, they are, but how much? How much?  Then there's South Carolina... I won't waste my time or yours repeating my opinion of the relevance of the opinions of the people of South Carolina about anything.  After all, Lindsey Graham.  See:

So here we are, trying to choose an opponent to run against the current resident of the White House.  But the system of choosing that opponent seems to be just a little nuts. If a better mix of the American demographic was represented, if a larger portion of the population got into the process a little earlier; it might be OK. As it is, it's crazy. If we allow a few zealots from the Bible Belt, organizers from Sin City, a tiny group of folks from one tiny state, and then, the really, really, out of touch fundamentalists from South Carolina to define the all important "momentum" of the all important first leg up of that process... Well, then we've really got a stupid system.

Garbage in, garbage out,   A Priori Errors are impossible to correct later on....
And really; because someone ran a good campaign and got lots of donation$; that ensures that they will govern wisely?  Really?  Gordon Sondland is a competent ambassador because he gave DonDon a million buck$?        Right.

Monday, September 2, 2019

And is a better word

 I keep hearing people pose the following kinds of questions:

Is Trump stupid or ignorant?

Is he just irrational or in the throes of dementia?

Does he say stupid things on purpose, or does he just not know the difference?

Is he racist, or calculating?

Is he gas-lighting, or serious until he gets caught?  Does he make jokes or can’t he tell the difference?

Is he cruel, or does he mistakenly think cruelty serves his purposes?

My question is:

Why do we think we have to use

“OR” rather than “AND”?

Insert “and” into these questions; it is always the better word.

You can spend your time trying to determine a rational reason why Jeffery Dahmer ate people; I’ll not try to apply rational logic to Donald Trump.

There is no there, there.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

More Appalachian Living

Bimbo, Bambi, and Clueless.  These are the names of this year’s lovely spotted fawns that gambol about in our “meadow”.  The meadow is a ¼ acre area that I keep clear for my septic system.  It isn’t a lawn.

We live on a tract of land that borders the George Washington National Forest and our part might kindly described as “Scruffy Appalachian Forest”.  Our land may be scruffy, but Chris and I are hardly Snuffy Smiff and Loweezy.  We actually get up from snozzin’ by the stump and plant ornamentals and flowers to brighten our view.  Still, we grow almost all our vegetables in a fenced garden and we don’t do much “cityfied” stuff like shop in town and eat in restaurants.  In addition to our vegetables, me and my brother (when he was alive) killed, butchered, and ate quite a number of deer from this home place.  Often, they were harvested from within 200 feet of the house and garden.

Back in the 1990’s, there was a terrible over population of white tailed deer in our area.  They ate a browse line in the forest and in those inevitable bad years when the acorns didn’t fall, they ate just about everything they could reach.  Horticulturalists will tell you that deer don’t eat peonies, euonymus, and myrtle.  Forget that.

Well, the number of deer hunters has dropped by about 50% over the last few years and the deer are coming back gangbusters.  And now that I’ve not been hunting, it’s summer and I’m busy, the three fawns are eating everything and I can’t even get their attention.  I yell, wave my arms, tell them I’ll eat them, run at them (well, “run” is a relative term for me at this point).  But they just walk off a few paces, turn and look at me like I’m demented.  I can’t get them to care about my agenda at all.

Well the zucchinis are way, way ahead of me and so every day a few monsters end up on the compost pile.  They get eaten every night (we have a game cam).  So I guess that it’s all my fault.

Forget truth, beauty, justice and love; happiness comes from having someone to blame.  And if you can rationally and honestly, blame yourself; you should always be ecstatic.  I’m so happy!

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Chef Tell, tell me how

Chef Tell, a Swiss chef on TV years ago taught Chris and I some wonderful recipes.  He used to say: "Very zimple, very eazy.".  I've come up with number of recipes myself that are very simple and very easy, 

right up to a point.  

Our favorite Tell was his quick potato pancake recipe:

one pound raw potato
one egg
some onion, oil, salt, pepper, 
baking powder and 1 oz. flour.
Grind in the food processor and fry.

Now, I'll give you one:

One and half pound chicken breast stips
pounded with tenderizer.  Black pepper.
one oz. vinegar, butter, soy sauce, and honey
Steam till white; flip and fry open
till the rue is caramelized.

Super eazy!  But if you purchase American chicken, it 
comes in a styrofoam tray, covered with a plastic sheet
and nestled on top of a Tampax like pad of acetate fiber
on another sheet of plastic.  China no longer takes 
anything but the purest of plastic waste for recycling.  
We are all now throwing millions of tons of stuff into 
the landfills that we used to (at least think) were be 

I have no idea of what to do with this packaging!
All the plastic is non-recyclable, and the acetate fiber
becomes infused with chicken blood and body fluids.

There is no good way to dispose of this poultry 
packaging.  Leave it out in the sun and it nevers dries.  
Raccoons will find it and spread it all over the place.  
It stinks with that disgusting cadaverine death smell.  
I can't compost it; I don't have garbage pick up so I'm 
supposed to keep it somewhere for a month between 
trips to the dump (and who thinks that the landfill is a 
good place for something like this)?  

I mentioned this problem in the past: 

 Our American demand for convenience is a huge part 
of the problem of sustainability for planet Earth.  We all 
have to take responsibility, and we have to vote with our 
wallets in order to force sustainable practices from our 
suppliers.  Waste is a huge problem.  Stupid convenience
is making it far worse.

I can't imagine why I can't buy chicken in a better package.
Not visually attractive enough?  OH! God! I saw some

Next time I'll give you the "Mother Bolgiano's Beans" recipe.

I had a couple of guys propose marriage to me based on it, 
and that was way back before acceptance of LGBT as an OK

Very zimple very eazy.  Just Tell me what to do with the"waste".