Thursday, October 13, 2016

Elective Thoughts

I am not worried about the election.  It is pretty obvious at this point that Hillary Clinton is going to be the next President of the United States, and, while I don't support or endorse her, I can live with it.   I don't see her as a two-term President and I believe America can withstand four years of anything.   I don't see her creating new problems so much as expanding on current ones and I think/hope we can contain and mitigate the damage we know is going to come.   No, I am not worried about November 8th at all...but November 9th is a different story entirely.

November 9th...I fear what happens when a candidate who has said since before he was the candidate that if he loses then the election is rigged, loses.   I fear what happens when the supporters of a candidate who threatens to jail their opponent find themselves with that opponent as President.   I fear what this country has become and how it is going to influence the children of today who will grow up with this behavior as the norm rather than the freak show we see it as.   I am more scared now than when I had cancer.

There has been a steady decline in political civility my entire life; I was born in Nixon's time.    I saw the tricks and games played by Reagan's team to beat Carter.   I saw the masterful use of the word "Liberal" to destroy Dukakis.  I watched Perot give the White House to Clinton and the RNC proceed to demonize him for the next 8 years culminating in an impeachment in the name of spite.   I saw Bush being treated as the Cheater in Chief and the results of the election dismissed, even by myself.   I saw the following elections being prepared under a banner of "Voter Fraud;" a pre-emptive murmur, but never a battle cry...until now.

A man who attacks voters, the press, his opponent, and his own party as if they are all his most hated enemies is dangerous; the people who blindly believe his delusions are scary.     PLEASE NOTE I DID NOT SAY ALL TRUMP FOLLOWERS ARE SCARY, JUST THE ONES BUYING INTO HIS "EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE IS AGAINST ME" RHETORIC!   The people speaking of "revolution" or "2nd Amendment Solutions" scare me more than any tumor in my colon.

America is the ultimate "Fath-Based Institution."   We have to believe in the system for it to work.   Sounds almost juvenile, I admit, but it is that simple.   Having a candidate in a major party like the Republican Party say the system is hopelessly rigged against the people is communicating a very dangerous thought to the masses and having it backed up by a major party.   It is not a new thought but has always been a fringe thought.   Trump has brought it mainstream and given it strength.    People will think "if the GOP Nominee says the system is rigged, it must be."   Their children will be raised to believe the system is rigged and therefore never join a system that can't be changed from the outside.   The future generations will exponentially spread this lack of faith and then the country will be dead because only those seeking the corruption of the system will bother trying to join it.

I am not a "think of the children" guy for the record.   I tend to hate those who hide behind their children to push their point of view, but I think this is different.   This is part of a larger pattern:

War on drugs in the 80's conditions kids to allow searches of their property; they never learn about their rights.
 Columbine and other school shootings created an atmosphere where one's fellow students are a greater threat than anything else, and more rights are given up in the name of security.
 9/11 happens and these kids, now in their 20's and 30's are told the world is against you and you must give up even more rights in the name of more security.
 Police shootings of unarmed Black people cemented an "us vs them" belief in many and confirmed the idea of a militant and out of control government to many others.

Raising kids in an atmosphere of constant war, endless threats, police shootings, and being told repeatedly freedom is the weapon being used against us has made these kids of the 80's raise their kids according to the new rules of America.  As a result, they have no context of freedom...

How do you think these kids will govern us in our old ages?   These kids who have grown up in a world of constant war, endless threats, limited freedoms, and now major candidates proclaiming rigged systems?

Is it rigged?  In some ways, yes, but in the important ways no.   You vote counts.   You voice matters.  Your belief in the system matters more.   There are problems, but this talk of revolution and violence is not how you solve it; it is how you make it worse.   Uprising will be a self-fulfilling prophesy where you will end up with the exact government you fear.  

The path to Hell is Paved in Good Intent.   I don't think those speaking of revolution are bad people.  I think their hearts are in the right place, but their anger misguided and being abused and perverted in the name of one person's ego and I do feel how they might respond on November 9th scares the Hell out of me.

I think I ranted a little.  Sorry if I lost my train of thought.  Hope you could follow it.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Debate Two

I've tried three times now to write about last night's debacle...debate I mean, and my head starts pounding every time.   My hands start to shake.   I am that upset THIS is what my country has devolved to, but I can't muster the focus to get much further.

Here is the best start I had yet.   Pretty much good on its own.

There is an old fable about the scorpion and the frog.  It goes like this:

Once upon a time, a scorpion found itself along the bank of a river with a desire to get across it.  Looking about, he saw a frog sitting on the shore.
"Hello Mr Frog," said the scorpion, "could you give me a ride across this river on your back?" 
"No," said the frog emphatically.    "You are a scorpion and I am a frog; you'll stick me and kill me halfway across."
"Why would I do that?" asked the scorpion; "If I do that, we'll both die."
The frog relented and allowed the scorpion upon its back who then proceeded to stick him halfway across the river.
"Why would you do that," asked the dying frog.   "Now we're both gonna die."
"What else did you expect" asked the scorpion as they both sank to the bottom of the river.
America, that debate was the river, we are the frog, and the candidates are the scorpion: what else did you expect?

For shame, America.  WE can do better.   I hope this nation is strong enough to withstand the next four years.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Debate One: That Was Bloody

Wow...I had to stop watching and take a shower; that first debate between Donald and Hillary was ugly, yet was like watching a master fighter play with a cocky rookie.   Everyone knew it was going to be a train wreck, but my G-d I don't think any of us expected this.   Donald's only hope at this point is for Gary Johnson to get enough support to get a spot in the next debate, and, after Donald's performance tonight, that is looking very likely.

Donald and Hillary started off equally and each one appearing very Presidential, but Hillary came in with a game plan and was able to pull it off.   It appears to me that Trump just assumed he had it handled, but Clinton knew exactly how to play the one-on-one game and it showed.   Watching her was like watching a master angler troll the water; it was like some scripted ballet with dialogue written by SNL writers in their prime.  She didn't have to attack him;  he was a penned bull and the tight confines of the constant camera and open mike were wearing him down.   All she had to do was lay bait and wait for him to leap to it.    She didn't have to wait long.

"WRONG!"  "NO!"  "NOPE!"  Trump couldn't contain himself.  I looked at the clock and he lasted exactly 30 minutes before we all said "she got him."  From that moment on, the Presidential contender/pretender was gone and the Orange Hulk was in full SMASH! mode.  At least prize fighters get ring breaks...

The saddest part of the Trump breakdown in my not so humble opinion was that it happened before the hard subjects even started.   They began with economy and jobs which Trump had a slight advantage on to many and it was there that he blew it.    As the harder subjects came up, like race, war and terror, Trump had already lost his composure and the debate was just a sad display.   If he was going for sympathy support, he was too pathetic a sight even for that.  To Hillary's credit, she never pounced on him; she kept feeding him more and more rope and allowed him to hang himself.

Several times during the debate, I seriously questioned how serious Trump was taking this entire affair and I do still wonder if he is a plant.   He achieved the impossible and made her appear not only good but great.   She was calm in the face of endless and factless attack and remained restrained in ways that made her seem perfect.      His love of hyperbole and pitch-perfect set-ups for her quick one liner comebacks really does make the skeptic question if I watched a fight or a WWE event.   Remember: Trump does have a history with wrestling.    I wonder if he is simply just once again playing the wrestling heel to Clinton's hero.

Remember what Hunter S Thompson said:
 “There's a terrible danger in voting for the lesser of two evils because the parties can set it up that way.”

Oh, and one more:
“How many more of these stinking, double-downer sideshows will we have to go through before we can get ourselves straight enough to put together some kind of national election that will give me and the at least 20 million people I tend to agree with a chance to vote FOR something, instead of always being faced with that old familiar choice between the lesser of two evils?”
― Hunter S. ThompsonFear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Exclusive KHWL interview with 2016 Presidential hopeful, Brad Schader.

Kanrei: Hello, and welcome to KHWL, the Home for Wayward Lemmings here on the internet. I am Kanrei and I am pleased to have with us today the latest entry into the 2016 Presidential Farce, Brad Schader. Hello and welcome.

Brad Schader: Thank you and thanks for having me.

K: It has been a very interesting Presidential cycle this year, hasn't it?

BS: Yes, it has.

K: And now you wish to add to the chaos of the season?

BS: Yes, I feel it is essential that the people of America have as many options as your standard all-you-can-eat buffet.

K: And of equal quality I assume.

BS: Yes, and can I object to your starting every quote from me with a BS marking?

K: Aren't you seeking the office of the President?

BS: Yes.

K: Then the BS marking stands. So, let's start off with a simple question- what party are you a member of?

BS: None.

K: No party?

BS: I've never been invited to a party.

K: That's kinda sad.

BS: Not for the people throwing those parties.

K: So, without a party to define yourself and your positions, how do you expect America to know where you stand on the issues?

BS: I'm not sure issues matter this election really.


BS: I am not sure issues matter this election. Look, in November America is going to get a new President and it will probably be Clinton or Trump, two people nobody likes and fewer people trust...

K: OK?

BS: So all I need to do is beat two people everyone hates. Nobody knows me at all, so I already start off with an approval benefit. Nobody disapproves of me yet because nobody knows me.

K: And that is why you agreed to this interview?

BS: Yes.

K: OK, so, as President, what is the first thing you plan to do?

BS: Change the title.

K: The title? Of what?

BS: The Office of the President. I won't be called “President Schader.”

K: Oh?

BS: No, I am going for Darth Schader; Dark Lord of America. The people may refer to me as “Sir,” “Lord Schader,” or “Darth.”

K: That sounds kinda omnimous.

BS: Not at all; it's nostalgic. Everyone loves Star Wars.

K: So why not model yourself after one of the heroes?

BS: My name is Schader.

K: OK, moving on. So what is the central theme of your platform?

BS: Transparency and equality.

K: Those are standard rhetorical non-answers we expect from candidates. Can you elaborate?

BS: I believe the people own the White House and own its occupant, so I will constantly be open to new donations.

K: Sounds like “pay-to-play.”

BS: Doesn't it? Easy to remember.

K: So the rich will have you in their pockets so long as they pay?

BS: Not at all. See, I won't go by dollar amounts of donations, but I will base my access on percent of pretax income donated to MY Foundation. I think a standard 10% donation to MY Foundation would be sufficient.

K: Your foundation?

BS: Yes.

K: And what is the name of your foundation?

BS: MY Foundation.

K: Yes, the name?

BS: Let's not owe Abbot and Costello money please; the foundation is called “MY Foundation.”

K: As in “M” and “Y?”

BS: Yes, as in “Money” and “Yours.”

K: And what is the goal of this foundation? What is its mission statement?

BS: To make your money, my money.

K: And so long as the 10% mark is hit, you will give access?

BS: Exactly.

K: So where does the transparency factor into your platform?

BS: I am open and honest about my being for sale.

K: Let's move on to the economy. What do you plan to do to help workers who are losing their jobs as companies move overseas?

BS: Well, I plan to form the Federal Bureau of Travel. See, the internet has placed many travel agents out of work, so I plan to hire them to aid the American worker in getting cheap airfare to the countries where the jobs are going. Simple, right? We love to travel. A big complaint about most Americans is how little we travel outside of America. We complain about a lack of jobs in America. Most people see problems; I see a two dead birds and a stone.

K: OK...I think we've reached the point in this interview that nobody is still reading it, so I think it is time to save the few readers I have left at this point and end this.

BS: Thank you for the time.

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Simple Math Part Two

Clinton said: 
 'Classified material has a header, which says 'top secret', 'secret', 'confidential'. Nothing, and I have repeatedly said this, and this is verified in the report by the Department of Justice. None of the emails sent or received by me had such a header.'

Wikileaks showed why: 

From: Sullivan, Jacob J [] Sent: Friday, June 17, 2011 08:17 AM To: H Subject: Re: B5 They say they've had issues sending secure fax. They're working on it. 

From: H Sent: Friday, June 17, 2011 8:21 AM To: 'sullivanjj@' Subject: Re B5 If they can't, turn into nonpaper w no identifying heading and send nonsecure.

 Simple math.   The reason the emails on her server had no classified markings was because she had them removed.    The reason the (c) remained is because she didn't know what it meant and forgot to have it removed.

Pardon the horrible writing style and weird fonts, but I am at work and just had to get this out of my head.


Friday, September 02, 2016

Gimme the Red Pill

The great Arthur C. Clarke once said that either we were alone in the universe or we were not and that both options were equally frightening.    Well, either Trump is going to be President or Clinton is and I find both options equally frightening.   That's right, I said "equally" and I feel each is an equal threat, although not the same threat.   The two candidates are basically extremes of both ends of the "unqualified to serve" spectrum.   Let me explain.     First Trump because I know that is what you want to read.   I hope you stick around for the Clinton explanation, but I doubt it.


The guy defines loose cannon and personifies the says "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing."  He knows just enough about any issue to think he knows enough.   He is not only not curious, but down right hostile to the concept he may be ignorant about something.   He shows constantly he is at least ignorant of the value of admitting you are ignorant.  

Nobody knows everything.   We are all practitioners of everything and masters of nothing.  We dabble.  We may really focus on something for a day, week, or even a fortnight, but then we move on.  And those few who do really focus on something to the point of knowing it backwards and forwards are ignorant on a vast number of other topics their focus stole access to.  We have to start with this concept when discussing Trump because I feel it is central to his horrible Presidential run thus far.

Trump wants you to believe that HE ALONE is the solution to not just some of the problems the world faces, but all of them.   He believes in his heart of hearts that his vision is the best path; the only sensible course.  He is filled with such hubris that he can't imagine he may be wrong about anything.   He attacks those who point out he may be in error and makes enemies of former friends in the process.    His skin is too thin and he takes everything personally.   And, most importantly, he speaks before thinking based on emotional response and not logical or even political ones.

Let me say this again: He speaks before thinking based on his emotional response and not on a logical or even a political one.    He says what sounds good based on how the question is phrased to him and, if you change the phrasing of the question, you get a different answer.    It would be funny if there wasn't a real chance he was going to win.   And his ignorance on a great so many topics wouldn't be a problem if his hubris allowed him to not know something, but it doesn't.

The threat of a Donald J Trump Presidency is the randomness we would all face.   We would have to shutter in fear every time he spoke to a foreign leader; crossing every finger and toes available and praying to long forgotten deities that he doesn't do or say something stupid or insulting.   I don't fear him with the nuclear football because it takes two to use it, but I do fear him so infuriating some Islamic leader that our nuclear launches would be responsive and unavoidable.

As far as Trump's plans for America- I don't give them any consideration.   He is a buffoon of biblical proportions and his election would probably be the only thing that could unite the DNC and RNC sides of Congress- neuter Trump.

Now for Clinton...I don't have the bandwidth to really get into everything about her, so let's do a Cliff's Notes version, shall we?

Emails, Clinton Foundation, favors, private servers, etc....I'm not getting into it.   There is enough there and enough written about it that if you care, you already know and if you don't, you have already scanned ahead to the next paragraph or quit reading.  My issue is her love of aggression.

Iraq.  Syria.   Libya.  Yemen.  Ukraine.  There is not a conflict she doesn't want a piece of and that frightens me.   She is always regretful for her past mistakes, but also always quick to point out how the failure wasn't her fault and she could do it better next time.   She sees the world through a Cold War lens still and is hungry for a Big Bad we can use to justify our own expansion into the world.   She thinks "if we don't, someone else will, so we must" regardless of the situation of whom we need to aid and why they are willing to work with us.    She judges allies based on who they oppose and firmly believes the enemy of my enemy is my friend and seldom is that true.

I don't believe her tenure as Sec of State or in the Senate or in the White House as First Lady taught her anything other than how to blame others for her failures and she, like Trump, is dominated by a hubris that she is the answer to all the problems.   She also, like Trump, is vicious when any shortcoming is pointed out and any example of her ignorance is dismissed under an accusation of Sexism.

So what's my point?  We are pretty much screwed, unless this has all been a test.   I've had a theory that the Matrix we live in is on the blink, because nothing really makes sense anymore.  I've thought it since we had a Vice President shoot a lawyer in the face with a shotgun.   That kind of stuff doesn't happen in real life.  September 11th doesn't happen in real life.   Someone like Trump doesn't get the nomination of a major political party in real life and someone like Clinton drowns under the weight of their scandals in real life.  

I'm ready Morpheus; gimme the red pill!