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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Small Consolation

Despite intense and constant search, so far in this painful new era of the Triumph of the Nasties, I have been able to dredge up only one area of small consolation.  It involves the image I have always seen My-Country-Tis-of-Thee as having, namely that of a huge sea-going vessel, like one of those oil tankers, or container ships, or aircraft carriers, or cruise ships for which no adjective denoting enormous size and unwieldiness really does the job.

I have never had the unpleasant experience of being asked to pilot one, but I can easily imagine that it is one hellish job to turn one of those monsters around so as to make it turn a full 180 degrees.   At least not without having miles of open space to do so, and not without taking all year, and also not without meanwhile colliding with everything in sight.   And I would also think that this would be especially true if the pilot was so unqualified for the job that he wouldn’t even know when to do the fun stuff, like sounding the foghorns, along with knowing what numbers of blasts to make for what messages.

               The Tipped-Over States of America in a Time of T. Rump

In a word, the U.S.  is a country that doesn’t easily change direction, which means that it might take a while before the toxic fall-out from the recent election starts reaching the places where I stand now. 

So does this mean it will be some time yet before 23 of those guys in the black vans and with their shoulders and their heads bent sideways at an angle of 45 degrees come for me?   The Mossad might, soon enough.  I know that by this time Yahuboy is quite fed up with my on-the-nose observations about his actions.  But as for the T. Rump brownshirts, that could be another question.   It’s hard to find one’s way here from there.

Absurd as this sounds, I can’t help forgetting that, years ago, the proprietor of another weblog where I would frequently post my unacceptable opinions, mentioned to his readers that I had just started this weblog here (this was in 2004 or thereabouts), and by way of apparent recommendation, he said that I was on his list of surefire candidates to be carted off soon to Gitmo.

But just as Tennessee Williams had one of his female characters say  that she had always depended on the kindness of strangers, I have always depended on my ringing insignificance as a person.   And if that kind of thing worked for Blanche in “A Streetcar Named Desire,” then total obscurity should keep on working for me as well.

As is my practice in these kinds of things, I will just have to go on poking in the darkness, depending on the knowledge that, often as not, darknesses turn out to be entirely empty, even when those 23 squatheads are actually there.

There is one other thing.

It may take time, but sooner or later, if it hasn’t sunk in the meantime, that ocean-going monster can be set lumbering off in an opposite and undesirable direction after all, before at length, because of the bad charts its captain of the moment insists on using, it inevitably starts scraping bottom, runs aground, and keels over, heaving its cargo sharply to one side and eventually overboard.

This could be the case today, if the ship – that is, the U.S. Government --  has been hijacked, and  by the usual, starboard-leaning barfbags.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Season of Marching Orders

Whenever the U.S. Presidency changes hands, it’s always necessary and interesting to note who is getting their marching orders and in which directions, as well as also seeing who is giving them.

Till now, when it comes to instructing new Presidents, Israeli premiers have had a monopoly.   But so far it seems to me that not as much as usual has been heard from the Yahu guy, and instead it’s been the Trump Humper who has been busy issuing the orders, warnings, and threats left and right, by his words and by his choices of accomplices to accomplish the dirty work.

Or have either I or the deliberately negligent news media failed to notice?

Perhaps B. Netanyahu has been too busy trying to figure out how his efforts in Israel and Palestine might fit in with the new situation in America, since Israel serves as a model for the state in which the current President-elect would like to leave the U.S., now that suddenly and unaccountably he is slated soon to hold the levers of power in his hot, grubby little hands.

However, we should never forget that this business actually goes much farther back in time though not in place, for it involves the aspirations of the slave-holding states of America during that country’s Civil War in the 1860’s.

The state of Israel, often called “America’s 51st state,” has obviously used as its models the twin entities, first, of the now vanished “Nationalist Socialist” state that characterized Germany in the mid-20th century and second,  the form that the losers of the American Civil War would have assumed in the mid-19th century if they hadn’t been chased out of Richmond, Virginia before they could establish the entity that they would have called “the Confederate states of America” and which would have been located in the bottom parts of what is now again uneasily called “the United States of America.”     

It is strange how in such ways Israel has become a paradox like no other.   Yet people treat it much as they do the Sun, as if to look directly at it would burn out their rods and cones forever, without realizing that they are already blind.  There is no other way to explain the general failure to recognize that Israel is today the world’s leading example of a fascist state, albeit a half-assed one and even though its citizens claim to be the direct descendants of a large and much more distinguished group that was almost wiped out through the use of mass shootings and gas chambers by one of several countries that indulged in fascism all at much the same time, in the mid-20th century.   Of those,  only the Germans are much remembered and reviled for having done so, because, being by nature more thorough-going about everything they undertake than are Italians, the Spanish, and now, we dare to hope, the Israelis, the Germans carried the whole through to its ultimate end – including promptly receiving their just desserts of reaping the whirlwinds.

Unfortunately, when it comes to the lot of the Palestinians, who are suffering in the role that was once tragically borne by Jewish people in preceding days, and by American slaves imported from Africa and by numerous tribesmen that were already in the New World, all that is generally available to us is hope, since in his drive to ethnically clear the West Bank of its rightful proprietors, Netanyahu has a gigantic patron that he and his cohorts can always implicitly depend on.  This is especially true since he has set into stone so deeply and permanently his practice of journeying to see every newly elected U.S. President without fail, and there to issue to that individual his marching orders, usually in the forms of backing up all of Israel’s threats to its neighbors, militarily as well as by voting the right way against U.N. resolutions, and, by the way, also by keeping those big checks flowing to all those offices in what can now only be sadly called “the Unholy Land.”

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Prezelec T. Rump, the Ultimate Outlaw

How fitting it is that one of the most unqualified and repulsive Americans now alive should nevertheless be in the position of merely needing to draw breath for another six or seven weeks before, amid much mouth-breathing fanfare, he is to be shown the way to the outside steps of the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C. and there sworn in as the next President of the United States.   It will be fitting because of how that dreadful aberration came to be.

We are talking here about a man who has shown that he has no more class than, as might be said in Texas, a bi-donged dog.   One has only to recall how Rump spoke over the radio of how much he has in the past enjoyed grabbing the genitals of women that he seemed not to have known, while just a day or two ago, he went on a “victory” tour in which he boasted to his supporters what they already knew and had been constantly salivating over, namely that they, and he, had won it all – the White House, the Supreme Court, and both chambers of the Congress, while making no mention of how that left absolutely nothing in the way of fairness and justice for the rest of Americans, which is also the majority of them.

This gargantuan and completely twisted tragedy of happenstance was only made possible by the use, even up to this supposedly far advanced day, of a method of choosing Presidents that was imposed on this country out of a need to assuage the states that practiced slavery by allowing them to count each male slave – who of course was never allowed to vote, because he was not considered to be a real human but instead was always to be seen as just a mere beast of burden – as three-fifths of a person nevertheless among the inhabitants of his “owner’s” plantation, household, or whatever.

Of course one would rarely if ever hear this process spoken of this way in most explanations of the Electoral College.   Instead the College is euphemistically presented as a fair-minded way to keep the states with less population from being consistently overwhelmed in the count by the larger states.   Instead now we have the situation where six or seven citizens in one of today’s larger states, especially California, consistently find that their votes taken together equal little more than one vote of a citizen in one of the smaller states, like Wyoming, and that leads to elections as perverse as the one we have just now suffered, in which a person can get two million more votes than anyone else and still see the second-place finisher declared the winner instead.

As if that enormous distortion of the political process (which has not been adopted by any other country on the planet) was not bad enough, I keep wondering why so many people thought that this one particular person rated getting their votes, period, because during the campaign, T. Rump was clearly revealed as a man who has always operated on the sleazy side of the street, and so will beyond all doubt continue to deport himself in exactly the same way in this highest office that, by a thousand orders of unaccountability, he is to be allowed to occupy.  If one thinks that for some weird reasons he has been allowed to get away with more than enough bad behavior already, the words “You ain’t seen nothing yet!” take on new meaning.

He is involved in not just a few but many hundreds of lawsuits, since his favorite sport is suing people, and it looks as if more than a few brave souls have  sued him in turn.

Though thought of by the unthinking as being a good businessman, this man lost 816 billion dollars in one year.   Yet he is thought to have arranged to take advantage of that and robbed the Government by taking advantage of a loophole to avoid paying income taxes anymore for as many as 18 years.   Along the way he also incurred six bankruptcies.

He impressed the highly impressionable by calling himself a billionaire.  Yet, unlike all other Presidential candidates for the last 40 (forty!) years, he never allowed today’s American public to see his tax records and so determine if he was really that successful, or whether in reality his business record is just a long collection of various scams, along the lines of the Trump University dodge that he settled just days ago by shelling out $25,000 .   And he is still being allowed to get away with that withholding of vital tax information.   Why?

And now, even before he assumes office, he is setting up three of his children and a son-in-law to take part in what promises to be a nepotism ring operating from the White House, and it is easy to expect that through these covetous kids, this man will pay much more attention to his bottom lines than he will to the national budget or to the many national and international issues, of which he will have little to no understanding anyway (a good thing, too, in light of all those bankruptcies) and instead will leave those “extraneous” matters to the many other equally unscrupulous members of his mob that he is sloppily staffing, and these henchfolk will likewise be scrambling to benefit themselves and their kind instead of responding fairly and justly to the many pressing needs that others will try to bring to their warped attentions, in vain.

What, then, about the stuff that I already mentioned briefly but that should’ve sunk this guy’s candidacy without a bubble?  It involved his repeated sexual misdeeds of several kinds that were brought to light during the campaign.  Yet, in spite of all that, this man was chosen.

He has been married three times and always to women much younger than he and who all looked like former contestants in one of those beauty pageants that he liked to sponsor because of the opportunities they offered for some serious backstage leering?  Why isn’t his fidelity marked by his possession of a wife who is close to his own age and that he has been married to for a long time?  Why does his latest wife, an immigrant, usually just stand there tethered to his haunch while wearing a stony expression that clearly asks, “What is this?  Elephant plops?”

What happened to “family values,” that purple drum that Republiklans usually beat so furiously?   Why did so many people instead condemn his longtime married (and then only once) lady opponent because she stood by her man when he was copiously accused of yielding to temptations logically brought on and, even more bitterly also because of her choice of email server?   Her email server, for God’s sake!!   How did a person’s email server come to be ranked so highly among the Seven Deadly Sins?

These questions, rarely asked during the campaign, were and still are are never given any answers that make the slightest bit of sense.  Why?

An old-timer, who helped us greatly when we city-slickers moved down here into the Virginia sticks and who through that period was younger than I am now, was fond of putting the clincher on his contentions by saying, “I’m not telling you what I believe.  I’m telling you what I know.”   And here I will follow suit.

There is only one explanation.

“Tonsils” Rump has been welcomed and boosted into power because those who all their lives have yearned to get away with the same kinds of crimes and garbage and more – up to and including mass ethnic cleansing, a la the current Israeli treatment of the Palestinians – see in him the perfect vehicle in which they can happily ride to the fulfillment of all their own highly immoral and base desires.

That includes the Devout – you know, the souls who will ride to Rump’s inauguration on that awful, upcoming January 20th, with, to update Mark Twain’s words of a century or two ago, “the calm, clear self-satisfaction of a Christian holding four aces.”


Thursday, December 01, 2016

The Golden Door No More

Smack (or, I suppose, almost so) in the middle of New York Harbor is a tiny island that contains not much more than a fort of the 1800’s built in the form of an 11-pointed star and serving purely as an elevated platform on which stands a truly enormous, light green statue that can be seen for miles, geographically speaking, and in fact all over the world, spiritually speaking.  The name given to this statue by its makers is “Liberty Enlightens the World,” though in the U.S. it is somewhat less elegantly known as “The Statue of Liberty.”

This statue was not “made in America.”  Instead it was the result of three Frenchmen putting together their heads and their talents and quickly, efficiently, and successfully carrying through an idea from its inception to its very tangible and meritorious end -- though they would have good reason to be appalled at the physical and moral surroundings in which their conception in its concrete (though I should say “metallic”) form now languishes, 150 years later.

A historian named Eduoard de Laboulaye got the notion that what the world needed was a monument to liberty.  He passed his idea on to his friend, an artist named Frederic A. Bartholdi, who then came up with the design and also put his shoulder to the wheel in finding funds for the project.   Meanwhile one of their illustrious contemporaries in Paris, the builder of the Eiffel Tower, Alexandre G. Eiffel, put together the inner iron framework that supports, among other things, the 331 sheets of copper that, patinaed by the elements, comprise the outside parts of the statue and give it that interesting color of an apple not yet beginning to turn red.

As an aside -- funny thing about the Eiffel Tower.

It would be mainly art students who would know that though the Eiffel Tower has meant Paris through and through for quite a long time, the Impressionists and the other now world-famous painters of the 1880’s and thereabouts were not exactly thrilled when that incredibly tall, ugly, inhuman, iron thing rose up smack in the middle of beautiful, thoroughly human Paris and overshadowed everything else around, and they generally avoided giving that unwelcome intruder any place in their paintings, even though they were as busy as could be recording the slightest glints on oranges, apples, and every other visual subtlety that offered itself.

But when it came to Bartholdi’s statue of that woman holding high her torch, things were different, mainly because as soon as all the parts were fabricated, those were packed into 341 boxes and shipped off in a boat to the U.S. as a gift, at a cost of $250,000 to the French people for the statue itself, and another $280,000 paid by Americans for the Fort Wood pedestal in the harbor.

The French, however, did keep a model of the statue that sits on a bridge over the Seine River in Paris – provided that it is still there at all, and also if the French, a sensitive bunch, have by now let slide the numerous, stupid insults that they had to endure from some Americans for not taking part in the 2003 travesty of invading Iraq, which was a blunder of gigantic proportions that, with the just concluded election, now has every chance to be repeated, in various forms, since the new U.S. President-to-be was voted in by the same numbskulls who so roundly condemned France for acting so intelligently 13 years ago.

Let’s face it.   The French are more evolved than not only Americans, but also the Irish, the Germans, the Russians, and the Spanish, or at least the French are somewhat so, and it’s possible that in 2003 they showed that, unlike their friends and neighbors, they had learned from the many mistakes they had made in Vietnam not that long before – blunders that a long string of American presidents repeated in the same damn place, and that GW Bush was blithely about to repeat in Iraq, with the same inevitable results.   Meanwhile let’s not do more than merely mention the especially dense British, who over the course of 200 years have had their behinds unmercifully beaten and kicked out of Afghanistan by the locals a number of times, yet every time the Americans say, “Let’s have another go at those Pashtun ragamuffins, the British are always right there, saying, “Righto!”  And again, always ending up with nothing but blood and misery to show for it.

That remarkable feat of engineering, the wonderful French gift, “Liberty Enlightening the World,” was unveiled in America in 1886 when Grover Cleveland was President, and 16 years later, in 1903, the statue was graced with the words that come to mind with any mention of it and give the statue its meaning, in the form of a poem written by a lady named Emma Lazarus and titled “The New Colossus.” 
The best known lines of this poem occur toward its end, and they go as follows:

     “Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
     With silent lips.  “Give me your tired, your poor,
     Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.
     The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
     Send these, the homeless, tempest-lost to me.
     I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Sheer distaste has kept me from looking to see how tall that multi-storied rats nest, the T. Rump Tower, is, and so I just assume that the statue in the harbor cannot be seen from there.

In any case that big green statue in New York Harbor must be an intense embarrassment for the incoming T.Rump administration, so foreign is that concept of three Frenchmen as to what “liberty” means to the intentions of those who are about to take power in the U.S. these days.   After all the Rumpisants campaigned on principles that are exactly opposite to those espoused by men who remembered how their country had gotten rid of absolute monarchs a century earlier, and at about the same time that the U.S. was founded, supposedly on much the same principles, though not actually, since the so-called “Founding Fathers” did not really believe that “all men are created equal,’’ and especially that their slaves were real people, and so they were quite satisfied to let human slavery remain a law of the land for the next 80-some years.

What, then, will the Rumpisants want to do with a statue that is there in New York Harbor for only one purpose and that is to praise immigration, when the statue is on a concrete island that is now named Immigrant Island, and when their man in the Oval Office has proposed making registries of immigrants who are already here and building walls a la the Warsaw ghettoes to prevent other possible immigrants from coming here, both of these being measures used by the German Nazis against Jewish people?

Will they behave as if ‘”Liberty Enlightens the World” no longer exists?   Will they cover that statue over with a blood red tarp, for the duration?  Will they yearn to disassemble it and ship it back to the French, along with a bill for the cost of that operation, while planning to replace that statue with one of Pitchfork Ben Tillman or Theodore Bilbo?   Will they look around for a buyer, perhaps V. Putin, or, more likely, that model premier who now presides over another country that is now, bizarrely and inexplicably, well on its way to becoming a full-fledged fascist nation, B.Netanyahu?

My guess is that the “Statue of Liberty” is fated to become an example of the far right philosophy that up is down and down is up and north is south and east is west and west is east that has so far served so well for Rumpisants in perverting all notions and realities of long-standing truths, and that  in their eyes the word “liberty” will only mean the liberty to prevent men and women who are not “white” from even thinking about what Ms Lazarus had in mind when she wrote those immortal lines.

Whoever thought of putting “Liberty Enlightening the World” on such a small island really knew what they were doing.   At least, barring the use of a thousand barges, that location prevents T.Rump supporters from staging massive 1934 Nuremberg-type rallies there, a la Leni Riefenstahl’s  well-made though still tedious film, “Triumph of the Will,”  when that criminal section of the “white” population gets to the point of seriously exploring the possibilities of giving themselves the liberty to bring back slavery and so make “their” country great again.