Friday, April 28, 2017

'I Loved My Previous Life'

Poor baby. Donnie complained to Reuters recently how much he misses the old days - you know, four months ago - and that there is just so much work to do.
Working hard or hardly working
Let's take a look at a typical Trump work week.
  • First, it is only four days long. He leave early each Friday for his weekend vacations in Florida where he golfs with his millionaire buddies.
  • Every workday, he is channel surfing the various AM chat shows on the cable news networks. He also watches the evening chat shows. The reports of five hours of TV a day are probably low.
  • He also obsessively watches the Sean Spicer pressers which he describes as a soap opera.
  • His daily briefings must be condensed to one page with bullet points instead of complete sentences or even, gasp, whole paragraphs.
  • Rather than studying the fine details of all of the available options on a decision he must be presented with just one option focused mostly on how it will play with the media. All the work of actual deciding is left to others.
  • And don't forget all the time he devotes daily to Twitter.
Trump's tax plan is just one page long and a short page at that. It is only 230 words of sentence fragments arranged in bullet points. It would take me ten minutes to write and just one minute to read. There is no analysis of anything. No effort went into studying the potential impacts on the economy, the deficit, individuals, or how it might be paid for.

Little reading, even less thinking, but plenty of golfing and TV. Before the election he got to sit around in a luxury penthouse doing nothing. Now he has to sit behind a musty old desk doing nothing and the stress of all that extra work is getting to him.

British bookmakers are laying even money odds that Trump will quit before his first term is up. Whether it is a force resignation ahead of impeachment or the more likely quitting out of boredom and frustration, I am tempted to take that bet. This manchild has found himself, at the age of 70, with the first real job of his life and he hates it.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The Official Trump Bribery Receptacle (and Kayfabe)

A couple of disconnected items.

Bribes R Us
Ivanka Trump has announced the official mailbox for all corporate and governmental bribes to her and her husband. She plans to create a private fund to receive "donations" from governments and multi-national corporations. Ostensibly to help female entrepreneurs (i.e. rich women friends of Ivanka) a lot of the money will certainly go to "overhead," in other words the pockets of Ivanka, Jared, and the rest of the Trump clan.

Fake Faith
Tom Sullivan has a fascinating article in the link above. The word he mentions, kayfabe, appears to be old carny slang to remind their fellows to stay in character because a rube is present. It is part of professional wrestling lingo meaning maintaining the illusion of reality in their fake performances. The contract between pro wrestling and its fans is that they will fake reality and their fans will believe its real.

That relationship explains Trumpism better than anything else I've read. Trumpists want to believe so badly they unquestionably accept the charade. They realize it is fake but  maintain the illusion of reality as they call truth "fake news."

Take the border wall. There is no interest in funding it in Congress or Mexico, now or ever. Yet with each setback Trump floats a new funding scheme which his acolytes swallow blindly, condemning any statement of reality as "fake."

The delusion of illusion is so thick they accepting bizarre funding proposals like corporate sponsorship ("this mile of wall is brought to you by Coca-Cola"), have drug smugglers pay for it (like their money isn't stashed away safely), or just pretend that Mexico will magically pay for it eventually.

Somewhere in there Trumpists know it is all fake but they want to believe so badly that they do believe and in believing they have to declare any hint of truth as "fake" lest it shake their beliefs.

Monday, April 24, 2017

The Trump Interview: By the Num...
Oh, Look, There's a Puppy

I wish I could say I was interested in the incoherent gas flowing out of Donald's pie hole that was his interview with the Associated Press. The most interesting part, to me, was the various outlets contesting to list the crazy.
For me, the interview revealed nothing new. It showed a rambling, undisciplined mind still obsessed with the election result. It showed a man believing fanciful imagined "facts." It showed an egomaniac who truly believes the entire universe revolves around him. And it showed a man drowning in his own ignorance.

Or, to put it another way,

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Christians Hypocrisy: the Ten Commandments

Lots of smart people like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens have taken clean shots at the Ten Commandments.

1. Thou Shalt Have No Other Gods Before Me
The text of the Bible accepts the existence of other gods who are more exciting or sexy than He is, hence His public jealousy which would be off putting in a clingy girlfriend. But Christians worship many things above God like guns and money.

2. Thou Shalt Not Make Unto thee Any Graven Image
Graven Image (noun): an object (such as a statue) that is worshiped as a god or in place of a god.
Christianity is all about worshiping the graven image of their dying Jesus or his mom. That is not even getting into the snuff porn that is the Passion of the Christ.

Thou Shalt Not Take the Name of the Lord thy God in Vain
Watch any sporting event in the United States and you'll see some athlete thanking God for interceding in the contest and throwing the game in his favor. You'll see politicians calling for divine intervention to rig elections or declaring he'd been talking with God and God told him to run for office.  Oddly, God's handpicked candidates seldom win.

Remember the Sabbath Day, to Keep it Holy
The Sabbath is Saturday, a remembrance Christians ignore. The blame for this falls on the rabidly anti-Semitic Council of Laodicea in the 4th century CE. "Christians must not judaize by resting on the Sabbath," they wrote, declaring it illegal for Christians to share a Sabbath meal with Jews.

Honor thy Father and thy Mother
Anyone organizing a cult, be he L. Ron Hubbard or Charles Manson, understands what Jesus is saying here. "Leave behind everything you ever knew and everyone you ever loved to follow me." Biblical scholars have spend millennia trying to explain away this very clear statement of a cult brainwasher.

Thou Shalt Not Kill
Spanish Inquisition burning prisoners.
This one was broken by Moses before the print had cooled on those stone tablets. Moses came down from Mount Sinai and found the Israelites getting rowdy, gathered his priests, and ordered them to kill 3000 of his own people. Later he committed genocide against the Midianites, ordering the killing of all the men, women, and children except the virgin girls who were kept as slaves.

Christians have kept up the bloodlust through the centuries with their pogroms, crusade wars, and slaughter of heretics. In recent years, pastors have called for the murder of doctors and urged their followers to kill gays for Christmas. Killing has become a Christian sacrament.

Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery
For many Christians, adultery is only a sin if I don't like your politics. The number of pastors who have committed adultery is so large it might be easier to list those who have remained chaste. Then there is the story of the Missouri pastor who committed adultery with his best friend's wife and murdered the poor cuckold. He then had the balls to delivery the eulogy for the man he killed.

Thou Shalt Not Lie, Steal, Covet
The other "shalt nots." Interesting is the Wahhabist Christians like Mike Pence who refuse to eat lunch with a woman lest he be tempted to covet her french fries.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Lost Armada


Last week, Trump bragged that an American battle fleet was steaming towards North Korea as either a display of power or a prelude to war. Actually, the carrier USS Carl Vinson was headed to the Indian Ocean to play a game of hide-and-seek with the Australian navy.
Spain misplaced an armada once too.
We are being told now that the carrier has been turned around and will eventually get to the Sea of Japan for a brief visit.

I like to think that our admirals and generals have concluded that the safest course of action is to ignore Trump's many psychotic rants. ("Did you see what Der Spiegel said about me? I want you to bomb Germany right now!") The slow, roundabout way the Carl Vinson is getting to the Korean coast is a subtle statement by the Pentagon that, no matter what Donald may say, the American military will do nothing rash.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Ivanka, China, and How to Buy Trump

China figured it out how to tame the American paper tiger.
For years, Trump has been threatening a devastating (for the US) trade war with China and maybe, just for fun, a real war too. China, being dedicated capitalists, wanted to avoid a conflict that might damage their bottom line. They knew Trump was the most purchasable White House resident since Warren Harding they just had to find the cheapest way to buy his compliance.

Enter Ivanka. She wanted monopoly trademarks for the overly priced garbage she sells. China granted them. This costs the Chinese government nothing. If their bourgeoisie want to waste their money on such nonsense they will make money taxing the transaction.

In return, Donald granted China ownership of Taiwan, declared that China was not the master currency manipulator he had been saying for so long, and accepted that China will do very little about North Korea.

This begs the question, what concessions might Bashar al-Assad get if he opens a boutique mall in Damascus to sell Ivanka's jewelry? Would Trump cancel the battle of Mosul if ISIS started selling Ivanka handbags there? Can immigrants cross the border with impunity if the carry their passports in Ivanka wallets?
I don't know what to do or where to turn in this taxation matter. Somewhere there must be a book that tells all about it, where I could go to straighten it out in my mind. But I don't know where the book is, and maybe I couldn't read it if I found it.
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/w/warrengha135309.html
I don't know what to do or where to turn in this taxation matter. Somewhere there must be a book that tells all about it, where I could go to straighten it out in my mind. But I don't know where the book is, and maybe I couldn't read it if I found it.
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/w/warrengha135309.html

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Whopper Weapons

American generals are peeing their pants in excitement over the first ever use of what they gleefully call the "Mother of All Bombs." Militaries throughout history have been obsessed with having the biggest fucking killing thingies.

MOAB (aka: GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast) - USA
This thing has been sitting on the shelf, unused, for 15 years. It's too big to fit on a standard bomber so must be delivered from a transport plane which means it is useless against any enemy with anti-aircraft capabilities. It is less effective than standard ordinance and is only useful for generals suffering from SPS (small penis syndrome) who've run out of Viagra.

TSAR Tank/TSAR Bomba - Russia
The Tsar Tank is a World War I weapon and the biggest tank ever built. This 27 foot tall tricycle design, two big front wheels and one tiny rear wheel, was designed to roll over trenches like a monster truck over a Mini Cooper. It was too heavy for its wheels. The prototype got stuck in the mud outside Moscow in 1914 and sat rusting until it was dismantled in 1923 for scrape.

The Tsar Bomba is the largest nuclear weapon ever built with a yield as much as 100 megatons or 2000 times bigger than the Hiroshima bomb. It was too heavy to fit on an ICBM so had to be delivered via a specially fitted bomber. Unfortunately, no bomber capable of carrying it could fly fast enough to be out of range before it detonated, meaning the airplane would be disintegrated along with the target. Volunteers?

Schwerer Gustav - Germany
The biggest artillery gun ever built. It required special railroad tracks to be laid to move it to the battlefield. Once there it would take 250 soldiers three days to prepare it for use, 2000 soldiers to defend and operate it, and it was only able to fire 14 shells a day. It was used once in combat on the Russian front for two weeks in 1942.

Panzer VIII Maus - Germany
The "Mouse" was a shorter but much heavier tank than the Tsar Tank. It was six times heavier than the US main battle tank, the Sherman. That weight was a problem because the Germans could not fit it with an engine able to move it faster than a brisk walking pace making it useless during a mobile tank battle.