Wednesday, August 9, 2017

GRATEFUL DEADHEADING: A GARDENER'S REVELATION Guest post By Chris Bolgiano



Pinch. Snip. Snap. Severed, spent flowers drop into the compost bucket like guillotined heads into a basket. I pretend they are my bad habits, bad temper, bad hair. If only it was so easy.
In the dusk of my life, I’ve arrived at a garden plan that puts my cutting herbs on my deck. Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme, basil, tarragon and oregano, plus a scattering of spring onions, live in four large planters on coasters and one stationary, soil-filled horse watering trough. Mixed through all the pots are flowers. First come the early season, self-seeding volunteer annuals like violas and little native poppies, then later the verbenas, petunias, calendulas, marigolds and other hummingbird and insect-attracting annuals available every spring from the local greenhouse.
In the twilight of a summer’s day, I go out on my deck to groom the herb garden. I’ve already put in some cool morning hours working the four long beds in the vegetable garden that supplies most of our meals, either fresh, from the root cellar, in the jars I can or the bags I freeze. Growing your own food was basic to the “Back to the Land” movement in the counterculture of the early 1970s, and the husband I were basic back to the landers.
A life lived close to nature offered the only real promise of inner peace in a war-centered world. So we moved from suburbia to the backwoods of rural America. Our generation was going to change the world through flower power and eating low on the food chain -- low as in on your knees cultivating vegetables and those powerful flowers.
Forty-some years later, going “Back to the Land” has taken on a darker meaning. The flower power that once seemed so gentle has revealed itself as the relentless force pushing up daisies in Nature’s perennial garden. For years I’ve called myself an aging hippie, but what looks back at me in the mirror is an aged hippie with liver spots. It’s the “hippie” part that matters, I tell myself: peace, love, and folk rock and roll.
Growing old happens to everyone who lives long enough, although I did think it would take a lot longer than it actually has. No one ever seems quite ready for it, despite its universality. It’s while I’m deadheading on the deck at dusk, in our tiny clearing in the midst of forest, that I muse over old ideals and measure how far I still have to go.
Sometimes it’s hard to tell a flower that’s done from a young unopened bud, and I end up plucking off promises for the future. Sometimes when I go away, the flowers go to seed and even clipping every deadhead doesn’t bring back any blooms.
No matter. I pour time like water onto the plants, moving my fingers tenderly through them, giving and drawing nurture. Every decision I’ve made, every path I’ve chosen, has led me here, to these plants on this deck on this dwindling summer day. Light slowly fades and cool air flows down the mountain. Everything around me is beautiful, perfect, even the dead leaves and withered flowers I pick off the plants, because they are a part of the endless, sacred cycle.
Deadheading has become a ritual of mindful mindlessness. Here is where I realize what I already knew, what I’ve learned from all these decades but could not find through conscious searching. Here is where I contemplate, not just what a long, strange trip it’s been, but how grateful I am to have arrived, even with a bad hip.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

DonDon Jr. "It wasn't his fault he's innocent"

Dear DonDon Jr.:

At 39, You are no kind of "kid". 


You are a billionaire son of the President of the United States; have I got your attention yet?  If not, maybe you should go to jail. 


Criminal stupidity/ignorance/privilege, (and ignorant of your privilege), unethical behavior (because that's what you learned at your Daddy's knee), are not defenses. 


So this is your definition of "INNOCENT"?   Gee, words are important.  I've talked about the definition of words; nobody's listening to me, they are listening to you.  


But, DonDon Trump, your dad, Sarah Huckabee-Sanders, Conway, Spicer, Tillerson, Sessions, and FOX are changing our dictionary to their liking every day.  They think that facts are malleable, alternative, fake, real, temporary, inoperative, made up, and made up by people THEY don't like... Words have to have an agreed upon definition or there is no communication.  You happen to be stuck between your dad's idea that reality follows from what his delusional mind concocts, and what he has the capacity to remember long enough to Tweet in the middle of the night (do you worry about his sleep habits?  When was the last time he saw a real doctor?).


But words are important;  their definitions after the fact, and in the moment of their utterance.  Your words like:


“If it’s what you say, I love it,”      are important.  


They signify your willingness to violate our laws about foreign influence in our electoral process.   You aren't a kid any more.  You are not innocent.  You are: ignorant, privileged, (and ignorant of your privilege), and unethical.  Now if your motives were pure, we would forgive you.  As it is, not so much.  You have admitted that you were attempting to encourage a foreign, hostile, enemy government of the United States to help you steal the election of the President of the United States. Am I right?   


Can you refute ANY of these statements?  What color orange jump suit do you prefer?



Thursday, June 15, 2017

Brand Destroyed Up Date Up Date

By attaining the public position of president of the United States, DonDon has for the first time in his life, subjected himself to the scrutiny of people who will not be bullied or bribed into changing an honest assessment of his character, methods, knowledge, and demeanor. 

Thus, for the first time, the truth about him is in the public domain where he can’t control it. 

And, no, finally making an appropriate response to the Nazis, KKK, and white supremacists' actions in Charlottesville, Virginia, because someone told you to and after most of the people in America learned that you were absolving them of their American Apartheid agenda;       Doesn't count!

And 24 hours later...

Especially, if you then clearly reveal that you believe in the false equivalency of "many sides" are equally bad.  


           Brand destroyed.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Trump’s Infectious Delusions


Trump said that Obama was born in Kenya; he wasn’t, and saying it didn’t make it true.  Trump said that his inauguration crowd was the largest in history; it wasn’t, and saying it didn’t make it true.  Trump said that climate change was a Chinese hoax; saying it doesn't make it true.

 


Trump now says that the USA has withdrawn from the Paris climate change accords; many American businesses and individual states have either complied with, or have invested time and resources into compliance.  These American entities are unlikely to trash those investments and immediately start pumping CO2 out as fast as they can.  Trump saying that we have pulled out of the agreement does not make it substantively true.  


Have we fallen into the Trumpian delusion that when he says something it has to be true? I think we have.  Is his disease communicable?  I hope not.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Vote with your wallet Number Two: Hannity Addition

Dear Sirs: (Add the company of your choice) May 28, 2017

It has often occurred to me that many people in the media have been given a platform. They abuse this honor in order to say outrageous things just to stir things up and get attention (and therefore exposure), even though many of these things are demonstrably false, or slanderous, or just plain mean and hurtful.  Sean Hannity does this, even repeating lies that he knows to be damaging to innocent people.  He even gets paid an obscene amount of money for doing it.  Money that ultimately comes from you.  Maybe this pleases you.

So, when I read about Hannity making another of his ridiculously inciteful (not to be confused with insightful) pronouncements; I thought that I'd make a list of his sponsors so that I wouldn't make the mistake of ever patronizing any of their products. 

    You Mr. Advertiser/Sponsor are on that list.

I am sharing these observations and the information I have recorded with as many people as I can; as often as I can.   I am encouraging others to follow my lead; in any case, you are not getting any of my money, ever. 


Sincerely, (Your name; feel free to copy any part, print and send to your favorite. A hand written name after "Sirs:" and a note added after "Sincerely," adds weight to any communication. P.S. Snail mail is probably the most effective, I signed my letters, you should too.) 

The following are the sponsors of the Hannity program:

 

Pharmaceutical,   Hulu ,  Hyundai,  Jenny Craig,   John Deere,
Liberty Mutual,   LoanDepot,   Mercedes-Benz,   Mission.com,   Mitsubishi,
Nutrisystem,  Optum,   PC Matic ,  ProFlowers,   Publishers Clearing House ,

Sandals,  Shari’s Berries ,  Terminix,   UNTUCKit,  Vanda Pharmaceuticals,   

Friday, May 26, 2017

Would you like our country save million$ of dollar$ ?

Would you like our country save million$ of dollar$ on wasted food?   It’s easy.  Get rid of (as in regulate them out of existence) those “easy, convenient”, pop top cans of soup, beans, vegetables, stews, meat products, and fish.  I used one today, a cream of mushroom soup.   I’m a little OCD and consider myself to be assiduous about frugally getting the most out of things that I buy, and not inclined to throw good stuff into the recycle stream, much less the landfill.  Still, I found it to be a challenge to remove the last 10%?, 5%? of the food in the damn can.  I spent at least 5 minutes trying…. you think I’m average? 

Good old, whack the top off of tin cans, worked for over a hundred years, but now; we’ve got progress.  I have to conclude that there are no hungry people in the world and that landfills are free.  That or perhaps, that Americans are stupid, lazy, greedy jerks. 

I won’t go into so called economic theory on this or the debate about capitalism and the stupid “floating ships” of the free market.   Waste is waste; it gets paid for one way or the other.  Convenience isn’t free, and it doesn’t come only out of your own pocket.  If the choice of avoiding this kind of wasteful packaging was really easy, then maybe this wouldn’t matter.  The point is you have to be a little bit crazy (like me) to even notice, much less make a serious effort to chose those “free market” options that are supposed to fix these problems.

Now, work three jobs and spend an extra 5 minutes getting that last 5% of food out of the can.  Or just throw it in the trash, it's only your money or your time.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

This is your chance to weigh in on history.

This is your chance to weigh in on history.  Feeling powerless?  Don’t!  Start sending your thoughts, questions, and opinions to DonDon every day.    
Address: The White House (property of the American people)  1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC   20500

Ralph, Ralph, Ralph!  I’ve heard you say recently that you are no longer are a rational being…  on what do you base this surprising statement?  

Ralph, I base it on a question that I ask myself:  “Why do you just talk to yourself?” 
Well, Ralph, everybody talks to themselves…

No! Ralph! I know that!  But now I have to yell at myself because I wasn’t listening before, and just speaking louder doesn’t make the English language clearer or more compelling (not to mention that the same is true in any language), but then again, in America no language has any currency any more with the present philosophy that is being YELLED at us by DonDon and his facilitators.  Say anything, say the opposite, but say it loudly.  Don’t bother to use accepted definitions of words, like “fact”.

Ralph, I get the feeling that you are … maybe frustrated, feeling a little powerless, inadequate, dare I say, hopeless, and knowing your penchant for at least trying to take responsibility for your condition in life, what’s next?  What are you going to do about it?

Yes, Ralph,  I was feeling pretty low there for a while, but, I’ve found hope!   I’ve come up with an idea for people to communicate to the future (if there is to be one), by making suggestions, questions,  comments, and quotations of what DonDon says when he off the rails again... all sent to the White House.  These things used to be logged in and recorded in some fashion, and in these digital days I’m pretty sure that anything you write will be around somewhere for somebody to archive, share, write about, or simply sit around the camp fire and tell their grandchildren about;  just in case that there isn’t going to be as much of a future as we were hoping for just a few months ago.  I’ve determined that this is our chance to weigh in on history.  Are you feeling powerless?  Don’t!  Start sending your thoughts, questions, and opinions to DonDon every day.

I want to start it all off with a few suggestions that I’ve thought of, just to get the ball rolling:

President Trump:
“I heard you say; ‘Grab them by the pussy.’  Should  I?”
 
“You said Mexico would pay, but in your budget, you asked the American tax payers to pay.  What changed?”

“You said that you’d be too busy to play golf, but you’ve played more than once a week, why is that?”

“You said that you’d look Syrian children in the face and tell them they could not come here, then when they were gassed, you bombed somebody, what’s with that?”

“You promised that you’d release your taxes, but you now say you won’t.  What does that mean?  What do you mean when you say Anything?”

You've given at least four different reasons for firing James Comey, are you planing to make up some more?

“I work with children (you know what they are, right?), so I trim my ear hair; I don’t want to frighten them.  Do you ever think about things like that?  Does the hair restorer drugs you take make you crazy?”

“I know that you believe that you are the very, very best at everything, but I have the most beautiful penis in the world, Ha Ha, want to trade pictures?  We can do it on SnapChat.”

HEY! These things need not all be negative, they can be life affirming and super positive, like; “If I die tomorrow, I hope that I will be brutally murdered by White Supremacists, or American Nazis, or a Ku Klux Klansman (those guys who love you), so as to make it clear that you and I live on different planets.

I have no doubt but that you, my readers will all have many, many better examples than these…

Let’s get those letters, emails, texts, Twitters and SnapChats moving!

Here's a White House Email link:  https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/ 

PHONE NUMBER
Comments: 202-456-1111

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Shoot the Messenger? Wow, he said; look what I saw

Wow, I’ve got this new spy app. You guys know that I’m really really good at this stuff, right?  So I fire it up the other night, and you won’t believe the really preverted  pervert guy I’ve found.    Wait till you see how sick he is!  You won’t believe anybody could do this stuff.  I couldn’t believe it until I watched for hours.

So he’s home in front of his computer where he thinks nobody can see what he’s doing (Ha Ha me and my spy app!) and he does these things that NOBODY should ever see!   I mean nobody should ever see.

I watched him as he pulled his pubes…  I mean, he had these tweezers and he just went after them!  I had the sound up, and he was even counting!  So the first session, he only does two hundred; I’m not sure if he had a good count that time, but I paid attention the next time he did it.  That time I heard him say he did four hundred…. I can tell you, either this guy is a liar or he can’t count; I only counted 397.  He got up really close to the bright light and he carefully moved his dick out of the way so he could see the hairs all around it without any shadows.  How weird is that?  So next time I hear him say he pulled 500 (I’m pretty sure he got 502).  Then he got really deviant and without a break he pulls another 500 (I’m pretty sure he got that count right).   By now this guy is looking very clean and slick, if you get my meaning.  I mean, he’s starting to look prepubertal, (I admit, I had to look that word up).  I watched as he spent some time checking around for anything he’d missed in the area he was concentrating on.  I didn't see much...  He found five; I have to admit he did a good job of mopping them up.

I’m telling you, it took him hours to do this stuff.  I know, I watched him.  He counted each hair as he pulled it, and I’m telling you that he missed some; I was counting too.  Not only that!  I could see some really nice easy hair pulls that this guy missed too.  Man, if I’d been there, I would have gone after number 367 way before he got finally got around to it at count 372.  What a pervy doofus!  What a jerk!
So you want to watch with me?

Five years later there are televised competitive pubic hair plucking contests for fame and big money.  Style points are awarded for difficult pulls in tough areas, timed efficiency, and error free sprints.  Favorite champion contestants are followed by their techniques and resultant appearance of their pubic areas…. Breathless commentators gush over great fast runs, difficult pulls, and immaculate looking stretches of pubic skin.  Slow motion is employed in instant replays of success and failures.  Shame befalls the unlucky contestant that develops a rash or an ingrown hair.  Frequent champions and big stars sell name branded products like silver penis rings and special tweezers.  This all replaces the Super Bowl in the year 2026.


Back in 2015, some psychologists decide that doing this is a disease.  



Friday, March 24, 2017

Questions for Representative Goodlatte A guest post by Chris Bolgiano


An Open Letter to Republican Congressman Bob Goodlatte, VA 6th District
Dear Mr. Goodlatte: Thank you for your letter responding to my concern at seeing avowed white supremacist and anarchist Steve Bannon appointed as President Trump’s chief advisor. Bannon has said he will “deconstruct” the government as we know it. As you pointed out, Congress is not empowered to confirm or deny Bannon’s appointment, or the appointment of Sebastian Gorka as chief counter-terrorism advisor.
Numerous credible reports have connected Gorka with the Hungarian group Vit├ęzi Rend, listed by the State Department as a Nazi-linked group whose members are inadmissible to the U.S. Indeed, Gorka wore the medal of that group to President Trump’s inauguration, and often signs his name with the v. used by members.
One entire side of my extended family was murdered by Nazis in areas not far from Hungary. Thousands of African-Americans were lynched in America by the Ku Klux Klan, whose endorsement President Trump accepted.
Mr. Goodlatte, you may not have legal authority to question these appointments, but that does not relieve you of moral responsibility to speak out against the appointment of self-declared racists and known anti-Semites that are shaping this president’s policies. I implore you to vocally state that you, as a representative of the GOP, have enough moral backbone to oppose the takeover of our government by persons with beliefs antithetical to every tenet of our democracy. I entreat you: Do Not Let It Happen Here -- because as a historian I know that it can, if you and the GOP do not speak out.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Courageous Battles

Wow!   The act of dying, that moment; it’s got to be intense; it’s got to be a shocker.   But, you’re probably going to dead for awhile, and maybe that can be a little calming, maybe even boring.   Now, according to most evidence*, it looks like you might be dead for a long time, maybe millions of years…. maybe longer, maybe forever.  So in a way, being dead for millions of years, or even forever, begins to sound like a pretty OK deal.  It looks like being dead is identical to what it was like before you were born.  Remember that?
 I’ve got a 34 year old dislocated toe, a right pinky finger that was bent twice 90% the wrong way, a missing joint in my middle finger of my left hand where I gave body parts to a table saw, and a left sacroiliac joint that goes “twingey” every now and again.  I wear hearing aids when I remember to, and I’m near sighted (so if I put my glasses down I can’t find them), and even though my prescription hasn’t changed in five years, the opticians of the world refuse to replace my scratched up and broken glasses.  I’ve got a tick bite that still itches eight months after I got it. That’s the easy stuff. 
Arthritis in my left thumb, carpal tunnel (after repair) in my right wrist that now has my hand swollen twice the size of the left one (did I mention that I used to like playing the guitar?) I am finding it difficult to pick up a full coffee cup with it.  Both hands are weak, sore, and inflexible; they hurt when they aren’t numb, often they awaken me from a sound sleep at night.  Both shoulders have had surgery and neither of them are above 60% of normal strength (much less pain free), I’ve got ED, and I have to get up to pee two to three times a night.  Right now I have had six weeks of bloody buggers.  I’ve still got a baby tooth, but the space between it and one of the eight molars I have left (most people have twelve) gets wedged with food debris at every bite.  I’ve aged at least ten years in the last six months.
 
I would never denigrate the “courageous, brave, and inspiring battles” that so many other people have waged; people who have far more daunting physical challenges than I have.  But, they are going to die, and I am going to die; so at what point is it wise to just recognize that simple fact and make a rational decision as to what it is all worth?   I’ve already suggested that being dead can’t possibly be bad.  Are those “courageous battles” really against death, or are they simply denials of reality?  Especially for those who believe in an afterlife!


*All evidence, really.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

You Country Boys have been so had

“A Country boy will Survive”…   Think Hank Williams Jr.  Yup, all those virtues of  rural life with the realities of what’s really important…  Yup!  DonDon Trump whose concept of the outdoors is that space between his doorman’s umbrella and a waiting limo at street level below his 40th floor apartment in New York City...  or maybe it’s the space between his limo and his private jet or when he gets to Florida, his cart on the golf course…   That's the out doors.  Yes!  He’s got your back! He’s a country boy!

You people have been soooooooo had.  How in Hell did you ever think that this spoiled billionaire city brat was your champion?  Is Fox News propaganda that convincing?  And now, will you be able to deny reality as you die from DonDon's and the big business, big city guys' plans to make himself and all his billionaire buddies even richer?  As all your services are cut to nothing.  Health care?  Rural development funds? Subsidies to farmers, medical research, clinics, heat for homes, food for shut-ins… ?  Why would a poor woman in Detroit pay for National Public Radio... when she can pay for poisoned water in her tap and watch her tax money pay her Republican Mayor and Governor's salaries?  DonDon's children's travel expenses?  Think.

DonDon has spent more time on golf in his first nine weeks, than Obama spent in his first year in office.  DonDon is charging YOU to pay for the Secret Service men for their golf carts.

Ah but then; those are alternative facts. 

Oh, it must be Obama/Hillary's fault.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Unintended consequences in the USA


Simplistic answers to complex questions are being proffered by ignorant amateurs with zero experience and knowledge of government.  A few Iowans are beginning to wonder about Don Don’s impulsive and erratic style.  Just wait until Mexico (formerly the purchaser of 25% of America’s corn crop) decides it would rather do business with Argentina and Brazil.

Are automobile tariffs on someone’s agenda?  Forget that, what happens when even 1% of ‘illegal” aliens buy a $45 thousand SUV and drive it to Mexico and blow off the payments?  What happens to all those bankers?  Slap a tariff on China and the price of everything at Wal-Mart just doubled.  That airplane has parts from 25 different countries, so do those SUVs.

What happens when the Mexicans decide that they will no longer feel like blocking the Guatemalans, Nicaraguans, and other “illegals” that they have been keeping from reaching our southern border (is the wall done yet)?  Does Don Don know that the Mexican government has been cooperating in keeping about 100,000 a year from making the trip?

How’s the American tourist industry doing with European travelers this winter?  How about the Silicon Valley companies who are afraid of losing their brainiacs from foreign countries?  You think our guys wearing their ball caps backwards watching football will take up the slack?

See how you like it when Don Don gets to chose all the news that’s fit to print.


There are thousands of issues like these and Don Don is ignorant of all of them.  If you think that Don Don, Bannon, Miller, and Conway can run our economy like Don Don’s been faking his business, then you are in for some unpleasant surprises.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

It wasn't pretty before, but now?

I'm absolutely convinced that our Congress, as it presently exists, is an impediment to rationality, good policy, and the continuation of the USA as a viable country. They (both parties) thought nothing of spending their time on "National Nose Zit Day", or even worse! a law that any idiot can see is unconstitutional, just because it resonates with their equally ignorant constituency...  Anti gay rights or Flag burning amendment? Do we really want to be just like North Korea and Iran? And, as for taxes, Federal revenue as a percentage of GNP is projected to be the lowest it's been since 1950, but we're on the ruinous path to socialism... apparently just like it happened after WWII.
As my friend summed it up for me: "Remember when teachers, public employees, Planned Parenthood, NPR and PBS crashed the stock market, wiped out half of our 401Ks, took trillions in TARP money, and paid almost no taxes? Yeah, me neither." Nope, it was the corporations that spilled oil in the Gulf of Mexico, all the while giving themselves and their CEOs billions in bonuses,     He only left out, “ and started a war against a country 11,000 miles away because somebody wanted to be a war time president and his vice president was an oil billionaire.”

Social Security, which had a surplus for the last 60 years (which congress spent every penny of, on the "budget" and invested not one cent of), now that it is about to go upside down, is the major threat to our national budget.

I’m a nut case. I think that the slippery slope of allowing robots to fight our wars is wrong, stupid, immoral, and likely to end up like the Terminator or Battlestar Galatica series. Why not? Doesn't every military, having developed a new better weapon, assume that the enemy will NEVER get it?   How many Americans have been killed by the "bad" guys using the weapons we sold them?  I don’t see anybody putting toothpaste back into any tubes.  Once we screw up, we rarely back up.  But now?

Nut job conspiracy birthers forced President Obama to show us his birth certificate and Donald Trump took credit for it.  Thank You DonDon!  Now we need you to employ your massive intellect and dogged tenacity to confirm the existence of gravity; we don’t want to fly off the planet tomorrow.  Can you look into that bear in the woods thing too?  And by the way, why do you speak like an eight year old?  And the media are dishonest?  Says the man that gets his news from "Morning Joe".

According to Republicans (I don’t think I’ll call them conservatives any more.  That passing of laws about consensual sexual conduct and controlling women’s bodies did it for me.  What is conservative about government in your bed room?) spending money on  poor people, outside of our country is a bad idea but spending money on rich people inside the USA, as we have been, is a great idea.  The “middle class” in the USA has shrunk drastically in the last 30 years.  And I still think that the difference between billion$ and trillion$ is a qualitative not just quantitative point.  What tax payers are spending on Trump Towers in NY would go a long way to doing some real good.  Pick your favorite: veterans, infrastructure, health care, schools, basic scientific research, how about Flint, Michigan?  Right now, Congress as it is presently functioning is the single worst impediment to the future of our country, they spent million$ voting to repeal the ACA (knowing it was just a show) and on Benghazi, but are letting Michael Flynn off.   As for raising campaign dollar$, the Republicans and their mostly owned Supreme Court opened that can of worms with Citizens United; hold your breath till that gets better.

You’ve heard of the theory of an infinite number of universes, many almost exactly like this one?   You know, with you and me and everything exactly the same except in some of these universes strange things happen like your toast levitates, or a T-Rex appears in the NY subway.  This explains Donald Trump.  We’re in one of those universes.

We're Number One... In gun violence

In response to gun industry pressure, a veil was draped over tracing data:
Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.) introduced the amendment that blocked all gun tracing data.   Under the law, investigators cannot reveal federal firearms tracing information that shows how often a dealer sells guns that end up seized in crimes. The law effectively shields retailers from lawsuits, academic study and public scrutiny. It also keeps the spotlight off the relationship between rogue gun dealers and the black market in firearms.  Such information used to be available under a simple Freedom of Information Act request. But in 2003, under pressure from the gun lobby, Congress blacked out the information by passing the so-called Tiahrt amendment, named for Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.). The law removed from the public record a government database that traces guns recovered in crimes back to the dealers.

Oh, and BTW, bad as the Tiahrt idea was, it wasn’t even a bill that got meaningful debate.  It was a rider on an appropriations bill.  This is how crap like this happens.  A Congressman will wait for some really important bill to come along, a really good one that everyone wants to happen, then he’ll add his little, sneaky, ugly, nasty, despicable amendment to it.  TA DA! The will of the NRA is done, and he can pick up his check (or cash) from the lobbyist.

And in case you haven’t connected the dots on this one, remember that banning the government from reporting any data on all weapons, stops any meaningful analysis of their impact on society.  It stops NGOs and Universities from conducting research (grants) and further stifles meaningful debate.  Freedom of Information inquiries (a law) are powerless.  Yay, Todd Tiahrt!  We should put up a monument to you - in a cemetery.


NRA: Their strategy has been along to promote gun ownership, increase the number of guns, increase the profits of gun manufacturers... Who's to say that this isn't working? Who's to say that a massacre or two doesn't advance this goal?  Especially, since now they want your tax dollar$ to purchase guns, train teachers and armed guards and cover the guards salaries, and benefits, in every school in America, essentially turning our schools into the National Guard and not too subtle proselytizing for gun ownership to the next generation. And they worry about "tyranny".


You can not govern if your can't weigh options and choose new directions.  All those who have taken a pledge to never raise taxes are abrogating their responsibility to make policy that is capable of change in a changing world.  They should be removed from office by the ballot box.  Wingnuts shouldn't be allowed to own guns.  It's a self fulfilling prophesy, if you scream: "They're going to take away our guns!"  loudly enough, someone might want to take away you guns.  There was a guy in Grottoes, VA a few years back who was sure that the small planes flying over his house were scoping him out to take his guns.  So he shot at the planes.  Guess what happened. 

Monday, February 13, 2017

How I always get my way

Why Thugs Mug, or How the Free Market Works, Unilateralism: the New Religion

          The definition of Unilateralism:  I will make this next decision because:

            1.)        I’m more qualified due to superior: a.) Intelligence   b.) Knowledge  c.) I'm always right, or  d.)  I have the moral and/or political/monetary/legal power to do so (AKA: My lawyers are better than your lawyers [see: “monetary”].)

2.)        I doubt your ability to make either the right or the wrong decision in this matter, and I will not wait and see what you want, (I have lawyers on retainer, doing nothing for their fees until I sic them on you.  See “monetary”).

            3.)        I doubt that you’ll ever find out what I did, or if you do, that you’re capable (see “monetary” again) or likely to do anything about it (see “monetary” again, again).

            4.)        Me Me Me, you do not matter to me.

            5.)        I deserve to have my way more than you do (you probably don’t even want to get into this part; you’d have to talk with my mother, maybe even yours.)  I am not crazy.

            6.)        I trust only myself in this choice; (defined as: I want what I want.) .

            7.)        ERGO, QED, SLAM DUNK, I’m going to do it, sucker!
THE TOOTH FAIRY, INC.                                                     The Fathers have eaten a Sour Grape  Office of Deciduous Dentinal Apparatus                                      and the children’s teeth are set on edge      Flattery B. Bicuspid, Director of Operations                                            -Ezekiel: 18:2                            Molar B. Grinder, Information Specialist                                                                                                 20 Dentin Way, Suite 107734B                                                                                                                        The Galen Building, qwertyuiop                                                                                                                   Space Time Zone 2,345, 678GAL: Milky Way
To: Master Davis Brian Ferguson
Bedroom, House with recently repaired black roof:                                                                                           room is off the family room across from brother,                                                                                         Wyatt Daniel's, with a bathroom in between.                                                                                       Beige walls with blue wainscoting.                                                                                                                     Red rug and curtains.  (Dinos and movie Cars.)                                                                                               442 Edgewater Rd. Pasadena, MD,      21122                                                                                                  Space time zone 34,569, 2323,  werjdalutorej
Dear Resident:
It has come to our attention that a recent action by our staff, namely, Fairy, Firefly B. Twinkle, may have been in error.  Although we pride ourselves with an excellent record of accuracy here at the Office of Dental Apparatus, occasionally things do go wrong.  Here at the Division of [teeth,  mandibular abraders, chelae, and mHnxvkjf] we also take pride in our transparent corporate policy.  Thus, even though we collect the shed [ teeth,  mandibular abraders, Chelae, or mHnxvkjf] from several billions of [children, larval forms] each [year,  cycle, astral equinox, temperature inversion] we always strive for improvement in our services.  Hence this letter (with attached forms, # 77849AXB, and asdvksdful.).  Obviously we are forced to resort to this type of mass form letter for our voluminous correspondences.  Your indulgence is appreciated.
Please be so kind as to complete the attached forms (# 77849AXB, asdvksdful) at your earliest convenience.  The completed forms will be collected (and NOT by Fairy, Twinkle) on the occasion of your next shed [Tooth,  mandibular abrader, chela, or mHnxvkjf** ].  Since the information you supply will become a permanent part of your file; it is essential that you include your validated PIN #.  If for any reason you have forgotten you PIN #,  you may obtain a replacement number by completing Form # 67342,358 (also enclosed) along with a validated copy of your [Larval form, Child] Certificate as was supplied to you included with the remuneration for your previously shed dentition: (Larval form, Children’s Act - refer bylaw 2: section 3: paragraph 34,445 - subsection 697G).  We hope that you haven’t lost it.
The error in question: 
There seems to be some confusion on our end concerning exactly which [Tooth,  Mandibular abrader, chela, or mHnxvkjf**] is the one we collected from you during our last visit.  We appear to have more than one specimen here at our facility and to make matters worse, our Forensic Specialist, Pullem (Forceps) Skullboiler believes that some of these items are not necessarily associated with Homo Sapiens, but in fact appear to be from either a pig, Sus scrofa, or a dog, Canis familiaris.  If you would be so kind as to supply us with a photo or hand drawn sketch of your dearly departed dentition, we would be able make a correct determination and close our files.  We regret any inconvenience this issue may cause you.
Your prompt response to these requests (including all forms FULLY completed) will ensure the continuation of the kind of service you have come to expect from this office.  If for any reason you have further questions feel free to call us at our toll free number clearly marked at the top of Form # 67342,358 (also supplied during our last visit).  We really hope that you haven’t lost it.

Thank you again for your prompt attention to these matters.
                                    Information Specialist, Molar B. Grinder






Attachments:  Form # 67342,358
                        Form # 12313,214
                        Form # 77849AXB
                        Form     asdvksdful


                                    Bid them wash their faces and keep their teeth clean.

                                                Shakespeare, Coriolanus:  II, iii  65

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Fix it?

I recently spent about two hours repairing a pole lamp made in China.  I have repaired many things made in China and every time I have spent much more time and materials than the value of the original item.  Somewhere I have a rant about some poor Chinese factory worker making $2 a day dreaming of me (who used to make more than $20 an hour) spending an afternoon repairing the results of his labor of two minutes. 

In this case the threaded thumb screw on the adjustable arm holding the reading lamp had stripped (due to the crappy pot metal the whole thing was made of) and was flopping around.  I’d never adjusted the damn thing in my life so I decided to epoxy it at the correct angle and be done with it.  Well, the lamp was plugged into a socket under my two ton sofa and I’m and old fart with bad shoulders (old people shouldn’t fall down) so I rigged up some supports and glued the joint with the lamp on its side on the floor.  That worked but when I stood it up and tried to tighten the base, the Chinese concrete down there instantly turned into loose sand.  AHA, time to unplug the damn thing and take it out to my shop.

The rest of the repairs in the shop were uneventful due to the fact that I had all the replacement parts needed from several crappy Chinese lamps that have self destructed in the past.  Plugging the lamp back in was almost as difficult as the repair job itself.  We finally got it done but now we’re both sneezing a lot due to the ten year old dust bunnies we disturbed under the sofa.  It does weight a lot.

The image of Chinese workers, underpaid (or not paid at all if they’re slave labor) slapping cheap products together in minutes being repaired by wealthy Americans is an interesting one.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Boycott everything DonDon:

Boycott everything DonDon: 

Email and tell these fine folks that you will walk a mile in the desert barefoot and eat glass before you ever spend a penny in their stores.
Emails in blue are “Contact us” addresses:
Macy’s  http://survey.medallia.com/?mcy-tuwyt-com   ?Inspired to bug the poor schmucks that work for CEOs that love DonDon?   Or, maybe just inspire them to communicate with the CEOs?  Try these addresses too:    holly.thomas@macys.com , julie.striderfukami@macys.com , orlando.veras@macys.com,tracy.davis@macys.com , christine.olver@macys.com , billy.dume@macys.com, melissa.goff@macys.com , juliana.echavarria@macys.com , melody.regalado@macys.com , Nathalie.almonte@macys.com , andrea.schwartz@macys.com
 Zappos PR@zappos.com / ceo@zappos.com
 Amazon amazon-pr@amazon.com   and   https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/contact-us/general-questions.html?skip=true    and   jeff@amazon.com  (note: Mr Bezos' email is publicly available.)

Sample of what to say: "Hi. I’m a customer of [Store Name]. Unfortunately I can no longer do business with your company because it does business with the Trump family. If your company were to no longer to do business with the Trump family I would perhaps spend some of  my money at your establishment…  (Special note to Amazon: HEY Jeff! Your News Paper is [honestly, and rightfully] critical of DonDon, how about putting your money where your mouth is? ) 

DonDon's ego is a wonderful thing, even if it based on his delusions.


Thursday, February 9, 2017

It's really pretty simple; DonDon is insane

Proposed Supreme Court Justice Neil McGill Gorsuch is on record saying that he is “…disheartened and demoralized…”  by Don Don’s comments on judges and our judicial system.  He should have said that Don Don’s comments are a direct attack on our Constitutional form of government and that he, Gorsuch, has removed his name from consideration.

Friday, February 3, 2017


Why I quit.



 

For the few of you who noticed, and the even fewer of you who cared that I have quit Facebook; I post on FB one more time.  (You may mock me for my Trumpish lack of even the hint of irony in that statement, I deserve it.). What we deserve and what we get doesn’t seem to correlate with our actions much less our motives. Truth and facts have been destroyed.  I believe that there are no longer consequences to behavior that correlate in any way with lawfulness, truthfulness, decency, and/or utility to our civilization.  I believe that Fox News started it, but FB made it all far worse.  FB supplied the forum for fake news.  In their naive confidence in the 1st amendment and the decency of human nature, they believed that everything would be alright.  At this point, I would usually type: “HAHAHAHAH” (in my opinion, superior to “LOL”).  Apparently, human nature isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.  We will see if the 1st amendment will survive.

 

Facebook was wrong and now that they know it and admit it, everything that they do is too little too late, we have Trump for a president, likely the worst disaster to befall America since Pearl Harbor.  I blame them for the Nazis now running our government.

 “I expect, we pray, I believe, it is to be hoped, many people feel, people of good will wish.  We expect, are waiting…. The office has a way of lifting…. it sometimes takes awhile, it’s not uncommon for these difficulties to occur, give him a chance.”
When was the last time you heard anyone refer to DonDon (other than Steve Bannon or Kellyanne Conway) without using these words? (I will always refer to Trump as DonDon, it best describes his often demonstrated maturity level).

Optimism is wonderful right up until you discover that it is masking an important perception of reality that presages disaster. Stop pretending; DonDon is what he is and he is what you will get.  He is mentally ill and is unlikely to recover sanity in the position that the ignorant people of the USA have placed him.

I have two rules for the future:

1)      Stop pretending.  Stop pretending that you understand, much less agree with, or can (will) support or oppose 99% of what you say or hear daily (outside of discourse while buying food and gas).  Anything deeper than that requires that we and those to whom we communicate use words with at least similar definitions; that isn’t happening. Stop pretending that DonDon is sane.

2)      Do not reward those who are incompetent, immoral, or just plain wrong by supporting them or their institutions.  Shop elsewhere.   I will not use FB.

 I have a new mantra:

“President Donald Trump is our only hope.  Our country and we its patriotic citizens need to remove all restrictions on our new president.  Hail.”

Facebook never got that sarcasm font so you’ll have to use your judgment about my last sentence.