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Thoughts on Super Tuesday

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on March 5, 2020

With a nod to Joseph A. Heller, Something Happened. I wasn’t quite on the mark when I wrote that the Democratic primary is narrowing quickly to a two-candidate race between Sanders and Biden. I was closer when I wrote that it will be interesting to see if Democrats will move to the left, or if they will prefer to end the drama of the last few years and return to a calmer political tableau. Tuesday, they clearly voted for the latter. In the end, this wasn’t about the candidates, per se, but the atmosphere they wanted.

I think it started with James Clyburn. This idea is not original with me, but when I heard it expressed, I knew it was prescient. I heard Clyburn’s speech endorsing Biden, and when he finished his impassioned yet reasoned words, his brave and eloquent sentiments, I think a whole lot of people realized that this is the kind of principled person – speaking of Clyburn now – who they want back in charge of our government. They thought if a man like Clyburn thinks Biden is this kind of a man, too, then they went all in with him. This is called moral suasion, and we need so much more of it.

Speaking of black turnout, in 2016, black voters preferred Clinton to Trump in the same proportions that they preferred Obama in 2008 and 2012, but not nearly as many turned out. Blacks saw what Trump was doing to Obama’s legacy and learned their lesson. They turned out heavily again in 2018, and heavily again in these primaries. This is a good sign for Biden.

Other observations:

I don’t care a fig about Biden’s wins in southern states. Those states aren’t going to vote Democratic anyway. Hell, Alabama may return Sessions to the Senate! This is probably true of Texas, also, but every new voter who comes into the state these days, broadly speaking, is either an educated metropolitan or Hispanic, and every brown face that appears turns Texas a little bluer. It’s pleasing to watch. If Texas goes Democrat in 2020, which I do not expect yet, it will foretell a complete rout of Trump.

Likewise, I don’t care a fig that Sanders won California over Biden. California is going to vote for the Democratic candidate whoever it is. Hell, I will vote for Trump before California will, and do you see that happening? I suspect the same will be true of Colorado.

I was interested, however, in the turnout and votes in North Carolina, and Minnesota especially. Those are important swing states, and the primary suggests they may swing more heavily Democratic in 2020. The Democrat needs to win some of those recalcitrant midwestern states that went for Trump in 2016. I think Biden, has an advantage there.

The turnout in Virginia was particularly interesting. Clinton won a plurality of the vote there in 2016. In the Democratic primary this year, the voter turnout nearly doubled that of 2016 presidential election! It was even greater than in 2012 when Obama was on the ticket. This suggests Virginia may be solidly blue this election. Virginia is closest to ground zero in Washington and they feel the Trump fiasco perhaps more than any other state.

Clearly, Sanders did not expand his voter base as he hoped and predicted. Even his dedicated youth in California did not turn out as would seem to have been expected. This thing is not over but note to Bernie: if you want to expand your Democratic base, you need to stop calling Democrats who are not presently with you names. As legendary ad man John O’Toole said, to make sales, we must first make friends.

Sudden, tangential thought: If Republicans keep getting all their news about Covid-19 from Trump and Fox News, there may be many fewer Republican voters come November.

The Social Democrat

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on March 4, 2020

So, it appears that the Democratic primary is narrowing quickly to a two-candidate race between Sanders and Biden. It will be interesting to see how far left the Democrats may want to move, or how tired they may be of the drama of the last few years and just want to return to a calmer political tableau.

As we wait for some indication of the answer to this question, it seems an appropriate time to give one last time my lecture regarding democratic socialism, the actual meaning of which the electorate seems so embarrassingly ignorant, and to add some perspective to the Sanders candidacy.

With only one bizarre exception of which I am aware, no country’s economic system is totally capitalist or totally socialist. They are a mixture of the two. Only a moment’s thought reveals this.

We may think of the world’s economic systems running along a spectrum, from more capitalist and less socialist to more socialist and less capitalist, but with no country actually touching either end of the spectrum, except North Korea, which is actually an authoritarian communist dictatorship, even Cuba.

(Idle thought: why have made peace with Japan after it bombed Pearl Harbor and even Vietnam after it killed 58,000 of our military, and not Cuba or Iran? It’s a rhetorical question. I know the answer. I just can’t respect the illogic of it.)

Some economies will lean more socialist, some more capitalist, with any number of commutations and permutations in between. So, when we abhor socialism out of hand, remember that America is somewhat socialist. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, etc. are socialist programs, bigger than Dallas. What we are really debating is what distribution between the two systems we want to have.

Obviously, Bernie Sanders envisions a distribution more socialist and less capitalist than what we have now. And this is where the term “democratic socialism” comes into play. To his credit, Bernie wants the distribution to be determined democratically, not imposed. Responsible countries do, and it’s a very important distinction.

Full disclosure: I am on the left edge of the spectrum, near Bernie. I don’t agree with all his points precisely, but I believe he has identified important areas where more socialist policies are needed: Education, economic inequality, political inequality and the corruptive influence of money in politics (read plutocracy).

Further disclosure: I am actually way farther to the left on the spectrum than Bernie. I would add at least one important topic to the mix of issues needing more socialism: Food. It is a sin, a scandal and a crime that some people in this country do not all have enough to eat. There is simply no excuse for it, except, well, too much capitalism.

And, of course, I am on the other side of the planet from Bernie on gun control.

So, how does this understanding inform my voting choice? Very little. I am going to vote for which ever candidate polls better against Trump. Getting that bloated, corrupt, pig part of a presidential prick out of the office is all I care about. Thus ends the lecture.

Thoughts on Events the Weeks of February 17 and 24

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on March 1, 2020

I have experienced two surgeries on the last two successive Thursdays, with the result I have not had energy for blogging, so I will try to catch up now. Fortunately, despite all the drama, only three things of interest to me have occurred over these two weeks, two of them quite recently.

Covid-19: This is bad stuff, enigmatic still and perhaps of high lethality compared to previous viruses. Not to mention threatening to devastate the global economy.

Interestingly, it is the first crisis (a much over used word) that President Trump has had to deal with that is global and beyond his control. I am not optimistic that his handling of the coronavirus will be effective, but I am hopeful that it will be lethal to him politically.

So far, Trump has tried to treat this issue as he would any other, with lies and ignorance. And, of course, calling it a hoax and a political stunt by democrats. I think the facts are a little too obvious for him to get away with this dodge with Covid-19. It’s been in all the papers. Of course, he does have Pence praying over it.

Trump has two problems, well, maybe three. First, he’s criminally ignorant, second, he has rid his administration of technical experts, of science in general, really, and third he lies so pathologically that nobody believes a thing he says anymore except his rabid base. Wash your hands.

Taliban: When these religious fanatics first began taking over Afghanistan, I was appalled. They are a barbaric, hidebound sect and a disgrace to civilized humanity.

Then, I had two realizations. First, the conflict is a religious civil war, and such wars cannot be resolved from the outside. Second, and this is sad but true, many Afghanistan citizens are content with this type of religious fanaticism.

Based on these realizations, I knew that we had no business there and needed to get out ASAP. That was about 15 years ago. With the agreement signed between the Taliban and us (not the Afghanistan government, if there really is such a thing), apparently, we will be leaving over the next 14 months.

Make no mistake, this is a complete and utter defeat. The Taliban will take over this country as soon as we are gone. The shame is this should have happened years ago. Not to do so was, in my view, President Obama’s second biggest mistake as president.

South Carolina: Former Vice President Joe Biden won the primary, and by which probably reduced the Democratic competition into a two-horse race, but nothing can be hypothesized intelligently until after Super Tuesday on March 3.

While I am delighted that the black vote, an important Democratic constituency, turned out in South Carolina, I have never put much stock in this state as a predictor of Democratic fortunes. The fact is none of these rural, hidebound Southern states are going to vote for a Democratic presidential candidate in the foreseeable future. They are red as a beefsteak tomato, so what do their primaries really matter for Democrats?

Show me one break in this pattern – oh, please let it be Texas, or even Georgia – and I’ll change my opinion, but not before.

Worst State: The worst state cup goes hands down to Kansas this week, because of its favorite son and pompous pig part, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, presumably our government official most engaged with world affairs, who would not even deny Trump’s assertion that Covid-19 is a hoax.  These are the kinds of ass kissing incompetents with which our government is infused by the Trump administration.

Thoughts on Events the Week of February 10

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on February 17, 2020

Stone Cold Injustice: President Trump made another direct assault on our justice system when he tweeted, well, everything he tweeted, about the sentencing of convicted felon Roger Stone. Falling predictably in line, Attorney General William Barr did a backflip through his asshole to step in and take control of the sentencing phase of the case, to reduce Stone’s sentence recommendation.

This intervention by Trump could have been an innocent mistake, since Trump is so unfamiliar with the concept of justice, but it wasn’t No, Trump intervened for two specific reasons.

First, like any spoiled child who is allowed to get his way, when Trump was acquitted in the Senate, he immediately set about seeing how much more he could get away with. This will continue until someone other than Nancy Pelosi gives him a good spanking.

(I do hope Maine will have the good sense to dispense with the services of that worthless doily of a Senator Susan Collins this November, she who, in her convoluted and disingenuous defense of Trump, said she was sure he had learned his lesson as she voted to acquit. Her children must be very spoiled, indeed.)

Second, Trump was softening up his base to accept it when he pardons Stone, whatever the sentence.

Mendacity: When Barr’s interference hit the fan, Barr said Trump’s tweets of approval and appreciation were making it “impossible” for him to do his job and said he wouldn’t be “bullied” by anyone. What bullshit! This was an orchestrated stunt, pure and simple. Barr is trying to make it appear that he is standing up to Trump when in fact he is on his knees for the president, as always.

I’ll take the under on how fast Stone gets off the hook with a pardon. It will be interesting, though, to see the reaction of Judge Amy Berman Jackson to all this. My guess is she will accept the DOJ prosecutor’s original recommendation. If she weren’t such a fair judge, I might expect her to increase the sentence just to spite our pig part of a president. She must be fuming under her robes.

Correction: In my previous blog, I wrote that the next two primaries would be South Carolina and New Hampshire in that order, when it is the other way around, and Nevada (caucus, but a better managed one than Iowa) comes in between the two.

Impeach, Acquit, Repeat: The House errored in not issuing subpoenas to all the witnesses and suspects in its investigations of President Trump right off the bat, so they could begin winding their way through the court system immediately.

They dawdled, but it’s not too late. They could and should do it all now. Trump has committed many more crimes and misdemeanors that he can be impeached for. In fact, he’s committing more as I write.

Trump likes to hold all the records – the first, the most, the biggest, the best. Let’s let him be the first president to impeached twice, or more if that’s what it takes.

More injustice at Justice: Speaking of which, Attorney General William Barr is burrowing deeper into his rabbit hole of self-disgrace by ordering an outside prosecutor to revisit the criminal case against former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Since Flynn has confessed to his crimes and pleaded guilty to them, it’s hard to imagine what there is left to investigate, but Barr will try to think of something. In the meantime, they can take the plaque off the Department of Justice building. The DOJ is no longer, or at least is in hiatus so long as Trump and Barr are in office.

Worst state: I was planning not to award the cup this week, because it seemed early on that nothing, and I mean nothing that the worst states could do could match the malfeasance going on in DC at president.

But I was wrong. South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham, while technically in DC, but representing his state, has joined the dismantling our justice system, by ordering hearings on the Bidens for their role in nothing.

It’s the same thing former SC representative Trey Gowdy (boy are we lucky to be rid of this pig part) did with his seven investigations of Benghazi and Hillary, which yielded nothing was a waste of time and money and the House’s reputation.

South Carolina take this cup and suck it.

Thoughts on Events the Week of February 3

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on February 10, 2020

Acquitted: President Trump was acquitted by the Senate. Stop the presses!

I can no longer blame Trump alone for being the pig part he is. The blame now must be shared by the pusillanimous politicians who enable him no matter how egregious his crimes and misdemeanors and behavior.

Before we anoint Senator Romney for his bravery, remember he represents Nevada, where Trump is very unpopular. No politician is going to suffer for opposing Trump there, probably just the opposite. And, Romney isn’t up for reelection this year. Remember also that when Romney ran for president in 2012, he didn’t seem to have a single principle in his entire body.

Still, he should get some praise, if only because he was the only one who did stand up and be counted.

Vindman and Vindman and Sondland: (Sounds like a law firm). I can understand why a vindictive pig part like Trump, with no interest in expertise and experience, would want Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman out of his White House. But his twin brother? What did he ever do to Trump? This wasn’t a firing. It was more like a Mafia hit. Take out the rat and take out his whole family.

As for Sondland, he never should have been appointed in the first place. His only qualification was that he gave Trump a million dollars. I wonder what Sondland thinks about that investment now.

Iowa: Republican Senator Joni Ernst bragged that she used to slaughter hogs on her farm. Well, we can now add Yokel farmer incompetence to the long list of reasons Iowa should not be the first primary in a presidential election cycle. Iowa blew the entire vote count with an insufficiently tested new system and poor backup plan.

Iowa has no business leading off the primaries, which influences those that follow. First, it is a caucus, not a primary. Second, the demographics in no way match those of the national population. It’s a poor test market. It is too white and too rural, in a nation that is heavily trending diverse and urban. Fourth, apparently, they’re too dumb to conduct a primary.

New Hampshire, the next state in line, isn’t much better. At least New Hampshire seems to take its responsibility seriously and pays a lot of attention to the candidates, and they have a primary, not a caucus. But their demographics are atypically skewed. They are white as a sheet. Probably 10 blacks and five Hispanics live there. (That’s an exaggeration, but not by much.)

Next comes South Carolina, which is skewed the other way, overrepresented by black voters, who wouldn’t even be allowed to vote if the South has its way. Besides, what does it matter which Democrat who wins this primary? Democrats are never going to win this state in the foreseeable future anyway.

So, we’re to our fourth primary – Nevada – before we get to a state that is at least slightly more representative of the U.S. But even it has an odd industrial base of government and gambling. So, four states in and what have we learned? Something’s wrong with this picture.

Medal of Freedom: Just as Trump diminishes everyone and everything he comes in contact with, he has now done it with the Presidential Medal of Freedom when he awarded it to Rush Limbaugh, who is not just a part but a whole pig. Limbaugh has coarsened our public discourse with vulgar, racist, homophobic and misogynist rants.

This award is supposed to go to persons who have made “an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.” Limbaugh has done just the opposite. This medal is supposed to go to people like John Glenn, who was a worthy recipient.

If Trump is going to give it to people like Limbaugh, he might as well drop it into boxes of Cracker Jacks.

Diary Entry: I’m taking a break from the crappy news to brag about my oldest daughter Melissa, who is a card-carrying member of the Screen Actor’s Guild (SAG) and has appeared as a character actor in numerous movies and TV shows. You may very well have seen her.

Recently, she shot a scene for a TV series currently on air. It will be her second appearance on this show, but also her last because in this scene, she gets shot and killed.  The scene required serious choreographing to be sure shots were fired timely, and in the right (wrong) direction.

Melissa plays a pawn shop owner, and when a robber comes in, she takes out a shotgun and shoots at him twice, but misses. As she is reloading, the robber shoots her. Those fake blood packets explode in her shirt and she falls back.

There was a stunt double available for the death scene, a good one, who has doubled for actors such as Kathy Bates, Margo Martindale, and Rebel Wilson. But Melissa did her own dying, and the director was very pleased with the scene. Melissa and the stunt double have apparently become friends in real life.

I am so proud of and happy for Melissa. She is living her dream.

Worst State: Alabama gets the cup this week, because Jeff Sessions is trying to get back in the Senate there. I don’t know which is worse, that this racist bigot is on the ballot, or that that the other three Republican contenders are as bad or worse than Sessions.

Sessions is utterly unworthy. He lied to the Senate under oath. If he should win in Alabama, the Senate should refuse to seat him.

Thoughts on Events the Week of January 27

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on February 5, 2020

See no evil, hear no evil: The Senate voted not to hear witnesses nor read testimony in its trial of President Trump. As I understand it, the purpose of a trial is to get all the facts out on the table and let the jury decide. But this is not a legal trial, it’s a political trial, so the Senate’s decision was a reflection of the politics of the Senate, and the decision, therefore, was predictable.

Trump’s defense team was right about one thing. John Bolton’s book is evidence of nothing. It’s just a book. Bolton was not under oath when he wrote it. Ditto any media appearances he made, of which there were countless. You can be embarrassed by, but not prosecuted for, or on, the basis of them.

That said, Bolton had information relevant to Trump’s trial. I’m no fan of Bolton. He’s the craziest war monger since Curtis Lemay, but he was on the scene when Trump was (allegedly) committing high crimes and misdemeanors. Not to take his testimony was determined ignorance – the worst kind.

But allowing Bolton’s testimony would have begged the logical next step of hearing from all the other people who were in the room during the call, and that could have been damaging to the president. How damaging can be gauged by how strenuously the Senate prevented testimony.

Middle East Plan: The Trump administration rolled out Jared Kushner’s plan, which, during the impeachment trial, went almost unnoticed. It’s just as well, for it was not a serious peace plan. You can’t really have a peace plan if one of the two warring factions are not admitted to the negotiations. The U.S. can no longer be an honest broker regarding Israel anyway.

Brexit: Great Britain officially removed itself from the European Union on January 31. Over here at least, the same can be said about Brexit as the peace plan, by which I mean it went virtually unnoticed. I suspect, however, that the results will become very noticeable to the Brits over time.

Super Bowl: Watching the game in real time, it seemed to be an exciting, well fought one. Reviewing the stats, however, it’s apparent that the San Francisco 49ers had the game won in the fourth quarter with a two-score lead and the ball, and blew it.

There are three important factors that determine which teams get to and/or wins the NFL championship: injuries, great quarterbacks and organization. The Kansas City Chiefs won on two of those factors.

It is obvious after three years in the league that the Chiefs have a truly outstanding quarterback in Patrick Mahomes, who brought them back from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter.

Regarding organization, in this case specifically the coaching, the 49ers’ Kyle Shanahan abandoned its strength – the running game – in the fourth quarter and put the game in the hands of a good, but lesser quarterback – Jimmy Garoppolo – and started passing. It cost them the game. Both the coach and the quarterback will learn from this experience.

I wonder what New England Patriots’ coach Bill Belichick is thinking today. He wanted to keep Garoppolo to replace Tom Brady eventually but was overruled. He may be thinking possibly he was mistaken about Garoppolo, but I’ll bet he’s thinking he would have won the game by sticking to the game plan.

After the game, President Trump sent the traditional congratulations to the Chiefs, and congratulated the state of Kansas, thinking, I assume, that the Chiefs team is located there. The Chiefs are in Kansas City, MO, not Kansas. This would be funny if it weren’t so telling that our president is an ignoramus.

Thoughts on Recent Events

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on January 29, 2020

The Trial: I haven’t watched any of the trial of President Trump, now that he has been impeached. I’m not on the jury, and my mind is made up already, as apparently is true of the Senators.

That being the case, Impeachment, not removal, is probably all we are going to get out of this anyway, and the determined ignorance – the worst kind –vividly on display in the Senate, disgusts me. The Senate hasn’t functioned properly for two decades, so we can’t expect it to now.

I was stunned to learn that Ken Starr is on the Trump defense team, and I laughed out loud when I heard Starr lamented in his remarks that we are in an age of impeachments and they are happening too frequently. What chutzpah! This man defines abuse of the impeachment process. What were they thinking to let this disgraced pig part speak for them? It brought forth all the wrong imagery.

Sports: When I think sports, I generally mean football, but we’re in a lull between the Conference championships and the Superbowl, so there’s not a lot to be said about it just now, except that I am satisfied that the two best (or two of the very best) teams in the NFL this year – Kansas City and San Francisco (two teams with middle names, coincidentally), made it to the big game. However, there was some news from other sports worthy of a mention.

In baseball, Derek Jeter was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame on the first ballot by an almost unanimous vote. Only one voter disagreed. Jeter got 396 of 397 votes.

That Jeter got into the Hall on the first ballot is not news at all. I don’t follow baseball, but even I know that Jeter was one of the greatest. The only news was that one sportswriter did not vote for him. This fool should have his baseball writers’ credentials jerked.

Kobe Bryant, one of the greatest basketball players of all time died in a fiery helicopter crash. It’s a shame when a superstar dies unexpectantly, but it’s a shame when anyone dies in an aviation accident. It’s a terrifying way to die, I’m sure, and it could happen to any one of us. But it’s more likely to happen in a helicopter than an airplane. Unlike airplanes, helicopters don’t want to fly! They are dead weight. I have flown in helicopters a few times, but I swore off them years ago, and I will never get on another one.

Worst state: The cup goes to Texas this week, because it is the scene of Ken Starr’s most recent disgrace, not counting this current one. He was fired as president of Baylor University over a sexual assault scandal. To say the least, the man’s interests are prurient, but I don’t want to dwell on his better points too much.

Playoff Football Thoughts

Posted in Sports - football, mostly by EloiSVM42 on January 14, 2020

Typically, this weekend is my favorite for NFL football. Four games among the eight best teams, win or go home incentive. I was surprised, therefore, to see so much poor football this weekend. An exceptional number of penalties, myriad inexplicable dropped passes, many muffed punts and kick-offs and head scratching coaching decisions. (The referees didn’t particularly distinguish themselves, either.)

After the fourth game of the season, I picked the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens to make the Super Bowl and the Ravens to win it. This weekend, I considered Saturday’s games the only meaningful ones, and Sunday’s games superfluous (They probably still are). So much for my predictions. The 49ers did their part, dispatching the Minnesota Vikings handily, but the Ravens, who seemed to me to be the best NFL team this year, did a complete collapse.

Lacking imagination, I suppose, I could not conceive that the Ravens team could play as badly as they did in their game. They stunk on ice. The Tennessee Titans wiped up the floor with them.

Ravens’ coach John Harbaugh will be savagely second guessed, and possibly fired, for resting his starters in week 17th, with the result they hadn’t played in three weeks and were rusty as a tin can in the city landfill. Harbaugh looked stunned and clueless on the sideline.

The theory of resting players that long is controversial. Sometimes, coaches get away with it; sometimes, like Saturday, it bites.  San Francisco used its one bye week to rest and heal. The Ravens rested two weeks and rusted.

I can understand why coaches might want to do it, but I wouldn’t. The risk of getting stale is greater than the risk of a major injury. I thought the Ravens were just too good for this to happen to them, but I was wrong.

Ravens’ quarterback Lamar Jackson, who will probably be league MVP this year, stunk up the place this day: interceptions, a fumble, two fourth and one stuffs, and by the end of the game he had lost his composure. His receivers (except for the two from OU – Andrews and Brown) were less than no help. They dropped the ball like it had herpes.

I still think Jackson is, and will be, the same guy he was three weeks ago, but he clearly needs more seasoning. He lost his cool in the big game. Jackson made great progress this year. I assume he will make good use of his painful off-season.

For a while, the game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Houston Texans looked like it was going to be a repeat of the Ravens v Titans game. For the first quarter, the Chiefs couldn’t hit the floor with their hat. Dropped passes and other misfeasance put them behind 24-0. But once they awoke and got going, they dominated and won the game 51-31.

The Chiefs got some help from the Titans’ coach who had a chance to put a nail in the Chiefs’ coffin, potentially, but blew it with two calls that were, how do I say this diplomatically, intellectually inconsistent, by which I mean stupid.  (How do some of these coaches get their jobs, and why do teams fill coaching positions with retreads and deputies when Urban Meyer is sitting at home?)

Once the NFL season has begun, two things are the best predictors of success:  quarterbacks and injuries. Great quarterbacks are precious and rare. Injuries are an X factor that is unpredictable but often decisive.

This year, there were a lot of injuries, and two teams were especially hard hit: the Philadelphia Eagles and the Seattle Seahawks. Remarkably, both got to the playoffs, Seattle with a truly great quarterback and Philadelphia, due to the utter ineptitude of my Dallas Cowboys.

The second game Sunday between the Seattle Seahawks and the Green Bay Packers turned out to be a terrific game, when it could have been a blowout. Green Bay was healthy and has a great quarterback – Aaron Rodgers. Seattle has Russell Wilson – but also has so many injuries it could hardly field a team.

Green Bay took a big lead, but Seattle came back in the second half and made a game of it but lost 28-23. Wilson carried his team by the scruff of the neck as far as he could, but it was not enough to beat the Packers with so many injuries.

Thoughts on Events the Week of January 6

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on January 14, 2020

Iran: admitted that in the fog of war, it mistakenly shot down a commercial airliner. This admission came at the direct order of Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei. No telling where this story might have gone if the Iranians had continued to deny it. The evidence was becoming incontrovertible, but nobody believes anything the Trump administration says about anything. I would believe almost anything Iran says before what our government says. It could have been a standoff.

But Iran stepped up and did the right thing. It’s inconceivable to me that I would be saying this, but at times, Iran seems to be better governed, more honest and more transparent than our own government.

Obviously, our foreign policy regarding the Middle East is in the hands of ignorant, religious wackos (exception: John Bolton, who is just a garden variety war monger), and a clueless, impulsive president. Secretary of State Mike Pompous and Vice President Puritan Pence, came over on the Mayflower, mentally. We may have witch trials in our future if they have their way.

These mental retards want to effect regime change in Iran. Among the many things they don’t understand is that regime change is going to happen there, in fact, it is already in the process, as it was Iraq before we intervened, but it won’t happen until we get out of their way.

That said, I’m not sure Pompous and Pence would like the new regime. They will, with little difficulty, take over control, if not authority, of Iraq, which is another Shia majority country, and they will have a greater influence in the region overall.

Opportunity loss: President Trump says he wants out of the “endless war” in Iraq. Iraq wants us to leave. This is the perfect opportunity to get the hell out of there.

But now Trump is pissing on this golden opportunity to get us out of Iraq like a hooker’s mattress. He’s refusing to leave and has threatened even to impose sanctions on Iraq, our ally, for crying out loud, if it tries to make him.  

What the hell is happening here? This fool doesn’t know what is going on, where things are going, nor what the hell he is doing. He’s stumbling around between his impulses, various equally clueless advisors and Fox News, with the result his foreign policy is a dog’s dinner.

Destroying Cultural Sites: A reminder came this week upset I was when the Taliban began destroying every statue in Iraq on religious grounds, including ancient pre-Islamic ones, and ISIL began destroying ancient historical and religious artifacts. I thought what a despicable lot of ignorant religious wackos these people are who have no regard for their own cultural heritage. These barbarians are beneath contempt.

The reminder, of course, was that President Trump threatened to destroy “cultural sites” in Iran. In other words, our barbaric president is no better than ISIL or the Taliban. Fortunately, Trump backed down, and it is a good thing, too, because I believe our military, if ordered to do this, would have refused, causing another major constitutional issue. This guy is a walking cock-up.

Democratic Primaries: The Democratic presidential field is beginning to winnow, and some pundits and politicians are lamenting that there is less diversity among the remaining candidates than when the process started. This is unfortunate, but what the hell did they think was going to happen? Diversity, mathematically, requires multiples. Ultimately, there can only be one candidate. We need to pick the best one, or at least a good one, and for sure one who can beat Trump.

The Royals: I can’t believe I am doing this, but I feel obliged to make a comment about Meghan and Harry.

I don’t pay attention to the royals, so I didn’t know this, but apparently Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex and American member of the royal family, has been the victim of vicious racism in Britain’s press, and in society generally, since she married Prince Harry, because of her “mixed race” heritage.

I was ignorant of all this because we usually only get the fairy tale version of the royal family over here, I don’t pay any attention to what news we do get, and because, despite the current administration, we are much more egalitarian than the Brits, who are  more “class conscious” (read bigoted and xenophobic).

So, Prince Harry took Markle away from all this bullshit, or Meghan told the royals to kiss her rosy red rectum, and Harry, who seems genuinely to love his wife, went with him.

Simon Hogarth famously said, “I love the monarchy. It’s just this particular family I can’t stand.” Well, I like some of the family members better than before. But there is no question that the royals are caught in a time warp, centuries behind. They are the antipode (my new word) of the modern family.

Worst State: Just when I was thinking of removing Arizona from the list of worst states, and replacing it with, say, Kentucky, it came back with a vengeance this week, thanks to my own personal Representative and card-carrying pig part, Paul Gosar.

Gosar “shared,” in the popular vernacular, a doctored photo showing President Obama and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who have never met, shaking hands. This forgery is wrong on every level.

As we all know, President Trump despises “fake news.” I wonder what he will say about this. The most apt description of Gosar’s dissemination of false propaganda I have read is “Shameless stupidity.” Works for me. Arizona, you get the cup.

Thoughts on Events the Week of December 30

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on January 8, 2020

Madness: Since George W. Bush, our worst president since the Civil War, invaded Iraq, our worst blunder since the Civil War, our foreign policy regarding the Middle East has been mismanaged. We are treating Islam today just like Europe did during the Crusades, which began in 1095, and which didn’t go all that well then either. In other words, we haven’t learned a damn thing in 925 years.

This current lot is the worst, which is really saying something considering the bozos of the Bush administration. Think Paul Wolfowitz and Donald Rumsfeld. I doubt this lot knows the difference between a Shia and a Sunni Muslim, an important distinction to understand as it informs the region, and specifically the relationship between Iran and Iraq (hint: both are Shiite majority countries, you nit wits).

This indictment doesn’t include President Trump. The rest are ignorant, vicious ideologues. Trump doesn’t rise even to that level. He is a round orange ball of ignorance, stupidity and various neuroses, though I don’t want to dwell on his finer points too much. This unhinged fool is wading into another “Big Muddy,” as Pete Seager sang of Lyndon Johnson and Vietnam, and he’s dragging us all with him.

President Obama did the only intelligent thing we have done in the Middle East in this century when he gathered allies and other major players together and secured the Iran nuclear agreement. So of course Trump walked away from the agreement as soon as he took office, and it has been downhill from there. (To be fair, Obama and his people didn’t understand the situation fully either, or he would have gotten us out of there.)

Here are some basic thoughts that guide me when I think about the Middle East: The situation is more complicated and nuanced, but these ideas get me through.

First, the conflict in the Middle East is between Sunni and Shiite Muslims. It is fundamentally a religious/civil war, and we have no role in it, nor should we try to. You can’t step between two fighting dogs to stop them; you will only get bitten. The players in the region must work it out themselves.

Second, the reason we are under attack there, and in other parts of the world, is because we are poking Islam with a pointed stick. Remember the Crusades? If we weren’t there, they would have no reason to attack us.

Third, with the changing role of oil in our world, the Middle East is no longer as strategically important to us as once it was. We needn’t be spending so many resources there.

Finally, we are pissing away blood, treasure, reputation and influence, all of which we need to deal with more important international and domestic issues. One of the reasons so many people voted for Trump (though still a minority) is because we failed them while stumbling around in the Middle East.  

Worst state: Kansas gets the cup this week because Secretary of State Mike Pompous lied to us through his teeth all week. On the bright side, Pompous will not run for Senate in Kanas in 2020, so the seat could go to a Democrat, and if Trump is thrown out of office, Pompous will be out of politics, which will be a good thing for all of us.