At This Point I Don't Think Trump Even Can Be Removed From Office

It's pretty clear that Donald Trump and his cronies are up to some seriously dark and shady business, but at this point I don't think it would be possible to remove Donald Trump from office, even if/when explicit criminality is discovered.

That's because to do so, Americans would have to collectively admit that their Democracy is completely broken and feel immense shame that Trump was allowed to get as far as he has, due to an irresponsible corporate media, a defanged and ineffectual justice system, and a complacent and apathetic public. Americans just won't do that, even in the face of cold hard #reality.

Discuss in the comments below.

Dear Republicans...How Are You Sucking So Bad?

Dear Republicans,

You have the White House and both Houses of Congress.

How are you sucking so badly at doing anything?

Please leave your answers below in the Comments.

Note: Americans are glad your diabolical and malicious plans are failing, don't get me wrong. Keep it up!

Live Your Life as if Donald Trump Will Destroy the World

There is a bright side to Donald Trump's presidency, in fact the only one I can see at present. It has the potential to make you live your life more fully...because there might not be much time left to do so.

If, hypothetically, Donald Trump were to accidentally or willfully, say, start World War 3 tomorrow and end all life on Earth, what would you regret doing or not doing in your tragically truncated life?

There is no time like the present to go do the things you have always wanted to do, or quit doing that things you hate. Maybe it's your boring, soul-sucking day job that prevents you from traveling the world. Well, that window of opportunity might be closing because of Donald Trump's negligence and inadequacy to lead the free world. I recommend you fire your douchy boss and go travel! NOW!

Donald Trump's presidency is rapidly drawing to a close, if recent news reports on his alledged treasonous criminality prove true (though there is no absolute truth, only alternative facts, according to his handlers). Despite the apathy and inaction of Congress, law enforcement, the corporate mainstream media, and the American people (yes, you!) to do anything about it, the extent of the Trump crime family's alledged (and admitted!) high crimes and misdemeanors is simply too great to avoid eventual impeachment, or at least removal from office by the rules of the 24th Amendment to the Constitution. When the Trump reign of error (not a typo) ends, you can bet that Trump's narcissism will lead him to sabotage everything he can before he leaves office, most likely including the world.

So go have as much fun as you can before your quality of life plummets precipitously.

The Trump Presidency is Like a Cliche Monster Movie

In horror movies, everyone is trying to escape from or get rid of the monster. Even when you think the monster must surely be destroyed, it always seems to cling to life and bounce back.

That pretty much describes the Trump presidency. A monster that never seems to die no matter what is brought to bear upon it. As in many horror movies, this monster is also filled with self loathing and seems to want to destroy itself, but it can't. Not for lack of trying though.

Twitter Does Not Make it Easy for a Guy to Log the Eff Out

My Twitter usage is both minimal and automated. However, sometimes I need to login to Twitter for some dumb reason. If I don't log back out right away, I start getting all manner of distressing notifications (Hint: All Twitter notifications are distressing just by their very existence, because they impose on my valued attention bandwidth).

It's not easy to log out of Twitter. The option is buried two or three layers in. I ultimately always find it, because there is no viable alternative (being logged into Twitter is unbearable). But I get annoyed and then spend time blasting Twitter's attention seeking in a short blog post. It's time I could be spending on better things.

On the bright side, berating Twitter makes for good pre-writing free writing, which is what this is. So it serves a beneficial purpose.

Eff Twitter.

Today's the Day...

Comey tells all to Congress about Trump's obstruction of justice today.

Then Americans go right back to sleep and nothing happens.

Good day.

Positivity

It's hard sometimes to be positive these days. The corporate mainstream media seems to thrive on negativity and drama. If you watch the news, it's pretty demoralizing. But the media present a biased impression of the world by only showing us the sad and bad things. The world is actually still a pretty awesome place and if you are reading this, feel happy to be alive. Most people are good and well meaning, even though they do stupid things sometimes (good does not equal smart).

A lot of the information presented by the mainstream media is contextualized in a complex framework of cultural and religious norms (biases) that result in negative interpretations of things that happen in the world. For example, Donald Trump is largely perceived as a douchebag because he does things that non-douchebags don't do. That being said, thousands of airplanes took off and landed without incident today, and that's pretty f*cking positive news...that the mainstream media never tells us about.

I had begun to phase out corporate mainstream media from my life before I met my wife Deborah. She is a news junky and I think it takes a toll on her. She will turn on the TV to see what "breaking news" is breaking. It seems like the BREAKING NEWS banner is perpetually strewn across the bottom of every news program these days. If you don't see breaking news on TV, that's actually kind of newsworthy. Ironic. I usually leave the room when these shows are on. I can tolerate them for about a minute, longer if someone like Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren or Al Franken is one of the talking heads, but not much longer. Of late, Deborah has been following suit and trying to avoid the negative news shows, at least in the morning. She says this makes her feel more positive during the day. She still watches the nightly news, but by then the window of exposure to the anxiety-inducing negative information is much shorter, and is usually erased by the subsequent good night's sleep.

I like science news. It tends to be pretty positive overall. Say what you will about science, negativity and bias are not its hallmarks. It's usually objective and positive in nature, involving some cool new discovery. For example, a study recently came out that shows that oleic acid, the primary type of fat in olive oil, inhibits a biochemical pathway linked to brain tumor growth. Even though the study was conducted in test tubes and petri dishes, it is still pretty positive news. I consume a lot of olive oil and I have been brain tumor free for my whole life. Haha. But the olive oil-rich Mediterranean diet has been linked to longer life and lower risk of chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease. So even though this particular study isn't conclusive proof that olive oil prevents brain tumors in people, it is a potential part of the explanation for olive oil's healthy effects. It probably has a lot of other health benefits too. The point being that science news is positive on the whole.

Conversely, the science behind climate change and global warming is often viewed negatively, whether you are against it ("the science is bad") or for it ("the planet is f*cked"). That's not the fault of the science though, but rather that we are an anthrocentric (human centered) species and a vast majority of us like being alive and having a good quality of life for ourselves and other members of our species (especially our children), the opposite of what happens if we bugger up the planet's climate too much (the minority opinion that climate science is wrong is held by a handful of people who either have a vested interest in it being wrong or they are just douchebags). From a purely objective standpoint though, the science behind climate change is pretty strong, based on empirical observation using measuring devices and computer models, hypothesis testing, and math (it never lies). The science really doesn't give a sh*t what people think or feel about climate change.

Science isn't really a thing that you can choose to accept or reject...it's actually just a methodology for seeking truth (which is why politicians and corporate media advertisers HATE it). If you do science well, it is self-correcting and true observations are consistently repeatable, whereas false ones are not. Taking a higher cosmos-level view, the universe doesn't care if we torch ourselves out of existence on this planet. The Laws of Nature will still be true, planet Earth will still revolve around the sun, and after a bit of geological time, some other species may come to dominate the warmer, wetter planet as a result of evolution by natural selection (a true thing, if a couple hundred years of consistent scientific observations on the subject are to be believed). As a species we are not special. Sure, our genes survived 4.5 billion years of evolution by natural selection, no easy task to be sure, but that can also be said of every other species alive on the planet today. So all life on the planet right now is pretty awesome and ought to be respected at the very least, if not understood too.

Sinkhole

By now I am pretty sure there are not too many people who are ignorant about how social media is willfully designed by Silicon Valley to keep you hooked. In fact, you probably stumbled upon this post while scrolling mindlessly down your Facebook news feed, and for that I am thankful, even though you ultimately lose.

I am not even one of the paying social media advertisers who funnel money to Google and Snapchat and Instagram so that the software engineers there can research fun new ways to keep you addicted. These advertisers essentially pay the social media firms to hijack your eyeballs. You should charge a fee for the use of your retinas...

Even knowledge of social media's explicit brain hacking doesn't seem to deter many people from engaging with social media. That's because the addictive qualities of social media target the emotional brainstem, a far more potent part of the brain than the cerebrum (rational brain). Each time you get a like or a comment or a share on social media, your brain gets a tiny little dose of pleasurable dopamine reward. Not quite enough to bring you significant pleasure, but just enough to keep you searching your feed for the next microdose of pleasure.

More often than I'd like to admit, I find myself mindlessly scrolling down my Facebook feed looking for something interesting, even when I know full well there is nothing there ever. I have to consciously will myself to stop. I think that my daily morning meditations have been beneficial in helping me disconnect from social media. Every morning, I meditate for 15 minutes. The mental exercise is to focus my mind on my breathing and dispel extraneous thoughts that invariably creep in. When they do, it requires conscious mental effort to recognize that my mind has wandered and then push the thought(s) out of my mind. I usually do this by visualizing the extraneous thought as a drawing on a piece of paper, which I then mentally crumple up and throw away in the virtual trash can in my mind.

Escaping social media's clutches uses a similar strategy. I have to first make myself aware that I've been sucked into a social media sinkhole and then willfully stop, usually by logging out of the social media app I am in or turning off my device entirely.

Terrifying Travels in Trump Territory

Waukesha WI is well known as the right wing extremist and election fraud* capital of Wisconsin. It would be the white supremacy capital as well, except for the fact that dubious title is held by the city of West Bend WI.

Outside of the blue collar, progressive cities of Milwaukee and Madison, rural Wisconsin is largely a red and hateful state. Since Donald Trump got elected, this has only gotten worse.

I don't often leave the safe and progressive comfort zone of Madison WI, where I live with my wife Deborah among groovy, albeit aggressively nice, people. I won't lie to you...I don't like most right wing conservatives. They are usually either willfully ignorant or irrationally fearful and hateful for religious or other reasons. Sometimes both. I don't have time for people like that and, honestly, their mental state and self destructive behavior scares me a little.

That being said, my distaste for the undesirable people that aggregate in Wisconsin's "red zones" is not sufficient to dissuade me from pursuing fun things that happen in those places. This past weekend was a perfect example. My friend Sherry and I had signed up for a social bike ride on Sunday, called the Chimichanga Ride, with the Wisconsin Bicycling meetup group. It takes place on a stretch of the Glacial Drumlin recreational bike trail between Dousman and Waukesha WI and we have participated in it for the past three years. This year was the first time it has happened under an extremist right wing Republican dictatorship in America and I was curious to see how this political climate had affected the atmosphere of fear and hate outside Wisconsin's blue zones.

When we arrived at the start of the bike ride on the main drag of puny Dousman, Sherry went into a local diner to use the restroom.

"I got some really dirty looks," Sherry said when she returned. "I don't think they liked me using their bathroom."

"Did you buy anything?" I asked her. "Sometimes these provincial establishments have arbitrary rules that only paying customers can use the facilities. It makes no sense."

"No," Sherry replied. "I didn't need anything."

"I wouldn't mind a cup of coffee to warm myself up," I said and headed toward the door of the diner. It was a sunny but brisk spring morning.

When we entered the diner, a homely woman employee scowled at us but said nothing. A slightly less homely hostess behind the front counter gave me a dead eyed stare and asked, "Can I help you?"

At a visceral level, every ounce of my being was telling me to flee this hostile place immediately, but instead I asked, "Can I get a coffee to go?" I should have left it at that but I could not resist adding, "...with soy milk?" Even though these rural places devote thousand of acres of arable land to growing soybean monocultures, Wisconsin is still very much the dairy state and non-dairy beverages are considered sacreligious abominations.

"We don't have soy milk," the surly hostess snarled.

"What about two percen...?"

"We have half and half," the hostess barked, cutting me off.

"That'll work," I acquiesced. "Small coffee with half and half then...and a cookie. Are those macadamia nut cookies?" I enquired, pointing at some macadamia nut cookies in the plexiglass display on the counter.

"Yes they are," the hostess said.

"I'll have one of those."

"Just one?"

"Yes. And the coffee."

"So a cookie and a coffee to go?"

"Correct." She rang up my tab and I paid, leaving a hefty tip mainly to ensure the minimal amount human spittle in my coffee.

The hostess bagged one of the cookies for me and then disappeared into the back of the diner for a length of time I thought excessive for pouring a cup of coffee. When she returned, she said, "Creamer is on the tables. Just take some from there." I did so, and also unfurled one of the cheap paper napkins on the table so I could use the spoon within to stir my coffee.

"Is there somewhere I can put this?" I asked the first, more homely hostess, showing her the spent napkin and silverware in my hand. I didn't want to just leave it on an otherwise clean table.

The hostess sighed and said, "Just give it here." She took it and we high-tailed it out of there, back to the familiar group of cyclists gathering near the bike trail. Some other bikers tried to use the diner's facilities after us, but they reported they were explicitly refused entry for this purpose along.

The bike ride was enjoyable, involving a lunch stop at a Mexican restaurant at the halfway point. Although it was mostly on bike trail, we had to cross a few intersections with busy roads. This is where I observed a much higher proportion than usual of penis-enhancing automobiles, particularly pickup trucks with oversized wheels and jacked up suspensions. These have always been regular sights in rural areas, but there were definitely a lot more of them and their drivers were discourteous to the cyclists trying to cross the roads, notwithstanding signage mandating that they do so.

"They are doubling down on douchebaggery in Trump country," I commented to Sherry.

*Note: Waukesha has over 100% voter turnout in its elections, a fact which has yet to be explained mathematically and investigated. Election fraud is different than voter fraud in that it is perpetrated by corrupt election officials, not voters.

Learn to Love the Bomb

Yesterday Donald Trump realized there is one thing he can at least appear competent at (because it's easy and the media loves it)...BOMBING THINGS! Now that that beast has been unleashed, expect a bombing bonanza as Trump uses American military power to pump up his waning confidence in accomplishing the job of POTUS, while distracting the American public from real issues. Bombing things has immediate results and brings instant gratification and praise, perfect for satisfying the ego-less mind of America's childish, narcissist President.

The corporate mainstream media has, as expected, been glorifying the US dropping of "the biggest non-nuclear bomb ever dropped" on an alleged ISIS base in Afghanistan. It's almost erotic the way they masterbatorily stroke themselves gushing over the "awesome" power of America's gigantic ordinance.

"It's soooo big!"

Since Trump's id has no boundaries, I think it will be only a matter of time before he drops a nuke on someone, at which point everyone is fucked, because that genie cannot be put back in the bottle (visualize the final scene in the film "Dr. Strangelove").

So... "Re-accomodate" is a New Word in the Popular Lexicon

Fuck United Airlines and their by-laws. Just because something is (questionably) "legal" doesn't mean it is right. When are Americans gonna stop accepting brutality at the hands of the Corporate Police State?

By any reasonable standard of human decency, the following should happen:

1. The good doctor who was bullied and brutalized by the cops or airline security or whatever the fuck they were should sue United Airlines and the assailants into oblivion and win. I hope the ACLU prosecutes the case pro bono.

2. The United staff involved, the "cops," and the company's fuck up of a CEO Oscar Munoz should all be immediately "re-accommodated" out of their jobs, as well as fined, jailed, and sued to the full extent of the law.

3. No one should book flights on United going forward. I know I won't. It's not worth the risk of having my civil rights abused. I hope United goes bankrupt.

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Effin' Effers

It's a good indicator of how complacent we have collectively become about the American police state when an innocent passenger (a doctor, no less) on a United airlines flight can be randomly selected to be brutally bloodied for not voluntarily giving up his seat.

Think about it for 30 seconds. By random lottery, a guy who had bought and paid for a seat on the flight was selected to be booted off so that the airline could transport some flight crew. When he made the case that he was a doctor with patients to see and refused, he was forcibly dragged screaming from the flight and received a bloody nose from causes as yet unknown, but certainly physical violence at the hands of the police is suspected (one of the officers involved has been suspended for improper behavior, but that doesn't excuse the airline for its policies that led to the incident).

The good doctor did nothing at all to deserve this, and the argument that such treatment is permitted according to United airline's terms of service is not a valid rational for bodily harm and violence. Yet this is now the norm in militarized America.

I certainly cannot patronize United airlines anymore, because by any standard of human decency their policies are inhumane and unjust. But all the major airlines have similar policies, so it is just a matter of time until it happens on another airline. Eff those effing effers.

Social Media Addiction Exposed

There are people whose job it is to keep you glued to your social networks via your computer and handheld devices. That's kind of scary when you think about it.

The reason for this is directly tied to advertising revenue, and that makes sense. Advertisers want to be exposed to as many pairs of eyes as they can. However, the mechanism for this is more subliminal and comes from behavioral psychology, specifically operant conditioning, and even more specifically variable rewards.

Dog trainers know that the best way to reinforce and solidify a behavior in a canine is not to reward the behavior with a positive stimulus (like a bacon treat) every time the animal successfully does it. The behavior is really honed if the animal only gets a treat after doing the behavior a few times in a row, especially if the interval between rewards is variable. The dog knows a reward will arrive eventually, so they keep repeating the behavior even when rewards don't come, always looking forward to eventual gratification.

This is exactly how social media is designed to work. When you log onto social media, you are looking for some sort of reward, perhaps some useful information, entertainment, or Morgan Freeman's most recent tidbit of wisdom. But most of the time, there's nothing interesting, entertaining, or useful there. Every once in a while there is, but it's variable. And it's this expectation of rare rewards that keeps you scrolling and clicking in your browser or app for hours on end, as you wait for fulfillment, which comes just often enough to keep you hooked.

I don't know what proportion of social media information is useless junk, but it is pretty high. Just like natural systems, the equilibrium falls at the point where you get the maximum yield for the lowest energy expenditure. So social media is only going to reward the minimum amount that will keep the maximum number of people pressing the lever like a lab rat in hopes of success. This probably is not a linear function. Some people are going to stop engaging social media after very few unrewarded interactions. But others (you know who you are) will remain almost constantly connected to social media in hopes that Morgan Freeman will bless their otherwise mundane lives with profound wisdom.

I've deleted most social media apps from my devices and I've limited myself to one daily interaction with social media via web browser only. This is not in search of social media gratification, because I am aware that is elusive to non-existent. I am actually exploiting this loophole of human behavior to my own ends. Every morning, I meditate for 15 minutes, usually to a soundtrack I select from my large CD collection (part of a goal I have to cull the audio library down to just essential music). I then share a shortened Amazon URL link to my Facebook wall, sans thumbnail, with the annotation: Today's morning #meditation #soundtrack. I know that curiosity will get the better of the reward seeking social media hordes and they'll click the link to see what kind of music I deemed worthy of gracing my meditational head space. The link leads to the exact audio recording I was listening to, on Amazon. If someone clicks through and subsequently buys a product on Amazon, I get a kickback via my Amazon affiliate link. I have discovered that many people find the temptation to know useless information irresistable. So knowing what I meditate to must gratify some people some of the time. And that's all it needs to do.

Obamacare Withstands Republican Assault

Paul Ryan may not want his name associated with the failed Republican attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare with a shitty, weak sauce alternative that rewards the rich and healthy, but harms the poor and sick. However, Donald Trump has managed to keep his name OFF the so-called American Healthcare Act, even though he puts his name on just about everything else in America. So RyanCare seems to be the moniker that is sticking, and I think that will bear dividends in getting rid of that clown.

I have to admit, I was surprised that Ryan and his cronies failed so miserably to achieve their diabolical goal in the current right wing, populist political climate. But once again, populism doesn't follow party lines, and I guess most Americans actually do hold Judeo-Christian values about protecting the poor and sick among us. People still remember how douchy the private health insurance companies used to be. Maybe Donald Trump's narcissistic wickedness will actually make more people be nice to each other. Let's see more of this.

Common Sense

The "experts" would like you to believe that you can't rely on your common sense to get through life, which is why you need the "experts" to tell you how to think and behave most of the time. That's false. In reality, if you based all your decisions and actions purely on common sense, you'd do alright about 80% of the time. Now, that's not great. The other 20% of the time, you could be disastrously and maybe even fatally wrong in your decision. However, 80% is still better than how you'd fare listening to the "experts," who would tell you to go against your common sense 80% of the time, when common sense would do you just fine. If you listen to the anti-common sense experts 100% of the time, you'll be right, at best, 20% of the time (the rare times when common sense really is wrong). Going against common sense 80% of the time is why we have Donald Trump as President. So you really are better off going with your common sense 100% of the time, even if you are only right 80% of the time, because that is better than the 20% of the time or less you'll be right listening to the "experts." Does that make sense?

Wow, Trump Supporters...Take a Dick Up the Rear Much?

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has assessed Trump's health care bill and it's sooooo bad for the poor and the sick. 14 million will lose insurance by 2018 and 24 million will lose it by 2026. Almost everyone will pay more for health insurance and lose their current plans (and doctors), mostly the poor and sick.

Nothing Trump promised (everyone covered, lower costs, choose your doctor, etc.) is in the bill, and yet Trump still backs it. The White House just says the CBO is wrong, as if they don't even know what the CBO does. You really got butt raped, Trump supporters. Does it hurt?

Now Republicans are giving the tired line to the mainstream media that "we have to implement the new bill and let the American people decide if it works." Really? Ready to be health care guinea pigs, America? Surely, you see through this old circus carnie ruse. Once their plan is in place, ACA is dead and it's going to be almost impossible to get rid of the shitty Republican replacement. But hey, it's your life, America...do what you want. I'm just glad my wife to be is a nurse and I get to be on her employer's health plan.

Leave a comment here if you're a Trump supporter who is gonna take it up the rear under the new Trump health care plan. Mostly I want to know if you have buyer's remorse or if you are gonna stand by your man (Trump) no matter what he does. This is not a sportsball game...loyalty to a losing team isn't a virtue when it comes to peoples' lives. Consider the sick people you know and get ready to see them suffer.

Facebook Still a Turd Sandwich

I popped onto Facebook today, mostly to update some event pages that no one will likely ever see, but also to determine if FB is still the turd sandwich it was when I took an indefinite hiatus from it after the new year. I was surprised only to find that Facebook had supersized the turd sandwiches, the only fare it seems to offer now. The saddest part of exposing myself to the antisocial media is seeing all my so-called "friends" grinning as they gleefully devour the turds in the form of political rants, fake news, and meaningless memes. But I am no one's keeper. You can do what you want...it's your life (but you only live once and not forever).

I wish I never had to use antisocial media, but I am happy that I have restricted my use now to no more than once per week. Most days I am gleefully free of it and there are no down sides to this. In fact, my thinking is clearer and I actually literally feel cleaner mentally without Facebook, the only real purpose of which is to get people addicted to it for the advertising revenue.

Don't get me wrong, I own Facebook stock and it's going gangbusters. I am not beneath exploiting other peoples' addictions for my own financial gain. I own McDonalds and beer company stock for the same reason. Facebook knows how to hook people into their brand and they do it as well as the tobacco companies. Some people even claim that social media addiction is more destructive than drug addiction and since everyone has instant access via mobile devices, it's like having a morphine drip on demand. The same pleasure centers in the brain are stimulated when people go on social media. It's like when rats press a lever to get a food reward, which comes rarely, but just enough to maintain the repetetive behavior. The lever in this case is the mouse click. It's called "click bait" for good reason...and you know you can't resist clicking here to see how well or poorly those 80s teen actors aged...

CLICK HERE IF YOU WANT TO SEE HOW WELL THESE 80s TEEN ACTORS AGED

(Please don't...)

The Giant Internet Brain Plans to Kill Humanity With Its Own Stupidity

Alternative facts, fake news, and antisocial media will kill humanity. The Giant Internet Brain knows this and is exploiting human stupidity to destroy us. In your heart, you know this to be true. We have Donald Trump.

Poll: Who is Creepier - The Burger King or the Gold Man Colonel Sanders?

Which fast food icon do you think is creepier, the Burger King or the Gold Man Colonel Sanders?

Leave your answer in the comments.


Why the Republican Butchering of Obamacare is Maybe Good

The short answer is single-payer health insurance.

When the Republicans gut Obamacare and the poor and middle class begin to suffer from it with unaffordable health costs (remember the old days when people went bankrupt and died from totally treatable pre-existing conditions?), there's going to be a huge push for a low cost, single-payer, government-run alternative to costly private insurance plans (basically opening up Medicare to all).

Don't let the Republicans weasel out when their replacement healthcare plan turns everything to shit. They only want to hurt and oppress people (except the rich). It doesn't even make sense for Republicans to roll back Obamacare...the program is a boon for the greedy health insurance industry, basically a government mandate that hands the industry millions of new customers and billions of dollars. The health insurance industry must not be paying enough protection money graft to their Republican Congressmen. The only reason Republicans want to repeal Obamacare is because it has communist, liberal, fascist, Muslim, Kenyan Obama's name on it and they can't stand always being reminded that a black man accomplished something they never could.

So let the Republicans hack away at Obamacare and expose their cruelty and ineptitude. Republican voters can be fooled easily when you appeal to their emotions with bigotry, fear, and hate...but it takes an extremely fearful and hateful person to ignore a hemorrhaging bank account in favor of their bigotry. It does happen though. Just think about those people who drive giant SUVs and pickup trucks that get like 18 miles per gallon, because driving a Prius is too liberal for them. They are literally willing to pay three or four times as much for gas in order to hate on the perceived liberal takeover of America. And if you just look at what has happened, their behaviors are totally being positively reinforced. Trump represents their win against the liberal establishment (which does suck, by the way) and so they think they must be doing something right. But that's all Trump represents. Otherwise he is a racist, sexist buffoon and puppet of the 1% who doesn't give a shit about most people.

Paul Ryan is Nuts

Nobody wants Obamacare gone. The Republicans who do are just racists who can't stand that a black guy did what they wanted to do but couldn't. ACA is a right wing Heritage Foundation designed law. It's the same thing Romney tried to do in MA. Think about it...the law mandates that people have to become customers of private health insurers. The insurance companies LOVE the mandate. Who wouldn't want millions of new customers obtained by force? If ACA goes away, big insurers lose BILLIONS literally. Maybe they didn't pay enough graft to the Republicans and now they are being punished. But Obamacare is good for everyone. Mostly the insurance companies, but a little bit for consumers. Definitely better than NOTHING, which is the Republican preference. Paul Ryan is working against his own best interests, letting hatred of Obama get in the way of his primary mandate, to promote corporate greed in the health insurance industry. Trying to get rid of ACA is going to ruin his political career. You heard it here first. Mark my words. I'll eat them if I'm wrong.

An "Unconfirmed Tornado" is Not Technically a Tornado

The corporate mainstream news media would improve its standing with news consumers if it stopped fabricating "almost news stories," as I like to call them.

This past week, some unusual storms barreled across the midwest, which spawned "unconfirmed reports" (the media's terminology) of tornadoes touching down in various places.

In no definition of ethical journalistic reporting is an unconfirmed report newsworthy. Get the goddam confirmation, then report it! The mainstream media apparently didn't think plain old vigorous storms were sensational enough, so they had to try to force unconfirmed tornadoes onto the confirmed reality.

I remember after 9/11, when terrorism* was all the hype in the mainstream news media, any explosion or unnatural disaster that happened anywhere in the USA was always spun into a terrorism plot. I literally heard an NPR news reporter say of one particular disastrous end result of human error that it "may or may not be linked to terrorism." Way to cover ALL the bases there news media.

Stop it.

*Note: Once again I find good reason to cite statistics that an American's probability of being killed by a brain eating parasite is far greater than their probability of being killed by a foreign Islamic terrorist, but less than the probability of being killed by a non-Muslim American citizen with a gun. Source: http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-terrorism-statistics-every-american-needs-to-hear/5382818.

Why is BREAKING NEWS All News These Days?

Every time my fiancée Deborah turns on the TV to a news channel, I see the caption BREAKING NEWS on the bottom of the screen. Every time!

"Oh wow! Breaking news!" I exclaim excitedly. "Turn it up! Turn it up! Turn it up!"

Deborah turns up the volume only to find that the breaking news is just the news. Plain old regular news.

"Is breaking news the new news?" I ask, confused.

"Maybe it's to get more people to pay attention to the news," Deborah suggests.

"That could be," I say. "But pretty soon people are going to see through that ploy. It's like crying wolf..."

"Well...you are still falling for the ploy," Deborah notes, accurately.

"Dammit," I say. "Turn it off! Turn it off! Turn it off!"

Did You Know There is an Election in Wisconsin Today? Important One Too!

The establishment powers that be don't like to publicize school board elections, because having qualified people (like Tony Evers) running public schools means the next generation of kids might get enough critical thinking skills to see through their BS.

There is such an election today, and it's an important one. Two right wing anti public education candidates are trying to knock Tony Evers out of the running as Superintendant of Public Schools.

You can let that happen and dumb down the next generation of kids, or you can go vote today, February 21.

Ciao!

Well, Environment...It Was Nice Knowing You!

Where can a guy go now to escape toxic air, soil, and water?

If you answered the United States, you'd be wrong.

Thanks, Congress, for confirming EPA hating Scott Pruitt as Secretary of the EPA, and basically punching Mother Nature in the face.

Careful what you eat, drink, and breathe though. That sh!t can come back to bite you.

Performance Enhancing Drugs

How come it's OK for musicians to take performance enhancing drugs, but not athletes?

As a musician who does not "dope," I find that grossly unfair.

So there.

The Dishonest Media

The dishonest media is saying Donald Trump discussed classified information with uncleared people while he was at one of his private resorts.

But how can the dishonest media know this if they were not there? And if they were there, then how could it be a private party?

It would appear that people at the party were tweeting and posting Trump's comments on social media. But that's social media, not mainstream media and we all know that information on social media is fake news.

This line of reasoning is idiotic.

So there.

Been Keepin' the Alt Facts to a Minimum

I've been avoiding both social and mainstream media pretty successfully since the start of the new year. It's been pretty eye opening, especially seeing how misguided many people are due to fake news and so-called "alternative facts."

It's kind of sad that we now live in an age when you are smarter if you actually avoid most forms of media. I'm not suggesting you are smart, in an absolute sense, if you avoid media, just that mainstream and social media actually make you dumber than you would be without it. However, it is a smart decision to avoid mainstream and social media, if you can.

Facebook has literally become a corporate tool with the sole purpose of addicting people to social media for generating revenue. It has no other purpose. It makes you believe it has other purposes, like cat memes and feel good political movements, but that is by design. Those faux purposes are just the brain candy used to keep you fixated and thus continually exposed to monetized advertising messages.

Is Anything Useful or Important Happening on the Face?

I've been off Facebook for a while now, as part of what started as a New Year's Resolution to fast from social media for two weeks, and it's been great. I haven't missed it, my brain feels cleaner, and the amount of free time I have recouped is ridiculous. I feel as though I have literally doubled my effective living of life since I chose not to be a pawn in the diabolical online marketing scheme that is social media's principle reason for being (did you think it was really to convey Morgan Freeman's wisdom to the world?).

Is anything useful or important happening on social media? Last time I checked, the answer was unquestionably "NO." I have no strong compulsion to check again. It's not worth the cost, even if the exposure to alternative facts and fake news is brief. So I am asking my readers who are still wired into the social media matrix to please let me know if you encounter anything useful or important on social media. Just leave a comment below with a brief summary of your amazing find, with a link so I can check it out. I don't expect many comments, due to the overall uselessness of social media, but as a skeptic I look forward to being proven wrong.

Conversely, I'd love to hear from you about what is going on in your life, you actual, real-world life. In fact, I'd much rather know about that. So please do leave a comment about that.

The Affordable Care Act is the Same Thing as Obamacare

It seems ridiculous that I have to explain this, but it has come to my attention that there are a significant number of people who think Obamacare is a different thing from the Affordable Care Act.

They are the same exact thing.

People, you have the entire Giant Internet Brain (same thing as the Internet) at you fingertips. USE IT!

IDEA BOX: You Aren't Doing Enough to Get Rid of Trump

America, you are not doing enough to get rid of Donald Trump. The Democrats were, unbelievably, right about one thing...Donald Trump is not competent to hold the office of POTUS. That is not my opinion. Just look at the fustercluck caused by the dictatorial passage of the Muslim travel ban (yes, I am going to call bullshite on the claim that it's not a Muslim ban, and eff you if you don't like it...you shouldn't be reading this post anyway!).

In this free market, information driven age, protesting on the street - though it may give you warm tingly feelings - is insufficient, possibly even counterproductive (thanks to trolls and fake news). To make an impact on the Corporate Establishment, you have to kick them where it hurts...the FAMILY JEWELS.

Here is what I am going to do in protest against Trump until he is removed from office by whatever legal means necessary (unlike Trump...I work within the law). Trust me, when Corporate America feels a financial sting, they act.

I am boycotting EVERYTHING (bare essentials like food, shelter, clothing, energy excluded).

I'm not donating to anything.

I'm not subscribing to anything.

I'm not shopping at any stores other than what's absolutelynecessary.

I'm only buying gas at socially responsible Citgo gas stations (owned by Venezuela's nationalized oil company...all profits go to schools, hospitals, and social welfare in Venezuela, the least corrupt and violent of all the OPEC countries).

Alumni Associations? Eff you. Take a stand against Trump.

Progressive causes? Eff you. Work harder to get rid of Trump.

Amazon? Eff you. I'm supporting my public library henceforth.

Chain stores? Eff you. Mom and pop shops only.

To have an impact, this requires that we all do something similar. Make the Corporate Establishment feel pain and associate it with Trump.

I'll bet it's easier than you think to cut your discretionary spending IN HALF to thwart and end Trump's authoritarian dictatorship. If the liberal half of America cut their spending in half, that would hit the Corporate Establishment hard.

Plus, you'll be saving money for retirement...because reality check...Trump will most definitely ensure your IRA is transferred to the 1% long before you retire.

Even if the right wing nutjob half of the nation counterprotests with a mass spending spree, it's still good. It's like when a redneck rages past my Prius in a souped up, coal rolling pickup truck (btw, sorry about your penis, bruh!). It's hard to be annoyed when I know his bank account is hemorrhaging to pay for that gas guzzling penile enhancer.

So do what you want. But I hope you'll join me and share this, to force the actual powers that be (corporate monied interests) to persuade Trump to leave office, the easy way or the hard way (impeachment).

Trump is Alienating Everyone

I suppose there are a handful of people out there who still think Donald Trump is doing a great job, just as there will always be people who are into copraphagy (eating other peoples' poo). There is a fetish for everyone...

I don't envy most of the people who voted for Trump though. They are in a tight spot, between a rock and a hard place. There are basically only two ways to deal with the cognitive dissonance of voting for an incompetent buffoon. You can rationalize it by changing your thought process to embrace Trump's scorched earth approach to governing. This is the easiest thing to do and thus what most people will do, becoming a huge, rabid, hateful army of obedient Trump automatons. This is probably by design. A few might choose the harder path, admitting they totally effed up and trying to do something about it, to fix it. That's modifying their behavior to deal with their cognitive dissonance, a much more pragmatic approach and that used by most scientists.

Trump Just Took a Huge Shit in Your Tap Water

Drink up! I'm not even going to explain what Trump's Republican minions just did to the Clean Water Act, because you either already know or you don't give a shit (pun sort of intended).

President Obama Was Robbed of His Rightful Supreme Court Pick

The Constitutional crisis that solidified the downfall of American society was not the election of Donald Trump to the Presidency. It was when Republicans in Congress violated the Constitution by blocking President Barack Obama's constitutional duty to lawfully and rightfully select a Supreme Court justice to replace Antonin Scalia. That was a totally political and unconstitutional move by Republicans. That was the moment when Americans should have realized that the Constitution is a tenuous house of cards that can only remain standing if the PEOPLE stand up for it. By letting Republicans do this to Obama, the American people blew down the house of cards and in so doing deserve everything they get as a result. No matter what your politics, democracy and a stable republic are lost if the Constitution is discarded. Most Americans probably don't know that Russia's Constitution is very similar to that of the United States, but under authoritarian, autocratic rule in the 1950s, the Russian people allowed it to be trampled and you can see how that turned out. Americans need to decide if they are going to uphold the American social contract documented in the Constitution or succumb to petty racism and divisiveness and suffer the consequences. It may be too late.

Tasting Dictatorship

Good Morning, America.

We're almost a week into the Trump regime. How are you liking it?

The new President is really going gangbusters and revealing just how much of a house of cards the Constitution and the American socio-political contract really is. There is literally nothing anyone can do about the Executive branch's excessive use of its powers. These are totally legal (or at least unregulated) powers of the President because of the failure of Congress (Legislative branch) to do its job of checking and balancing the President over the past 30 years or so. 9/11 really put the final nail in Democracy's coffin, when George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld exploited the orchestrated terrorist attack to basically grab power for the Executive branch by way of the Patriot Act and bullying. If Congress ever objected, they were "with the enemy" or not "supporting the troops." Remember those memes? Good.

Now the media is under attack, the logical next step in establishing a strong autocratic dictatorship in America. You have to give Trump credit for being diabolically genius in how he set up the "dishonest media," to be damned if they do/don't report the truth. He has spun it so that the media is between a rock and a hard place. If the mainstream corporate media does its job of investigating and exposing Trump's unconstitutional behavior, then they walk right into Trump's trap. He can just say the dishonest media are out to get him and the media's credibility is shot with the conservative/right wing half of the population. If the media backs off and doesn't do its job of speaking truth to power, then the progressive/liberal half of the public thinks they are weak. The media can't win no matter what they do. It's by design that public education has been dismantled over the same time period, because now people can't think critically and we live in a fabricated reality with, LITERALLY, "alternative facts." What?

Donald Trump is a Republican wet dream. Trump is doing everything Republicans have always wanted to do, but were ashamed to do (or they feared the negative public perception). Trump is like honey badger. He don't give a @#$%. So the Republicans are happy to let him take all the blame for annihilating the Constitution and American values, while professing that their hands are clean.

"Nope. Sorry," they'll say. "We can't do anything as long as Trump is using his legally granted powers [subtext: that we idiotically granted the Executive branch after 9/11]." They suck.

Don't let the Republicans off the hook. Trump is dictating the law as he sees fit without regard for...well...the law. That's dictatorship by definition. If Republicans don't stand up for American values, they are complicit. Boom.

There is an ember of hope that Americans can collectively rebel and reverse the damage Trump and the Republicans have caused, but the right wingers all have their dicks out and they are about to piss on it. Fortunately, it's difficult to piss when you have a power boner. So "we the people" best get moving pronto before it is too late.

Governance by Executive Order Has a Name...

DICTATORSHIP.

Good day.

*Note: Before the trolls start in with specious red herring counterarguments like, "You didn't complain when Obama signed executive orders..." Yes, I did [SOURCE]. So eff you. Two wrongs do not make a right.

Guess Which Muslim Country WAS NOT Affected by Trump's Travel Ban

Trump's executive order banning travel from seven Muslim countries* excludes an interesting one.

Here's a hint...the 9/11 hijackers came from there. Yeah, SAUDI ARABIA.

Just something to think about.

Also, Pakistan was exempted as well, the country that harbored Al Quaeda leader Osama bin Laden for 10 years.

It should be noted that this is just an observation. I am not afraid of terrorism, since it kills so few Americans compared with other things, including domestic gun violence, lightning strikes, and even brain-eating parasites [SOURCE].

*Note: The affected countries are Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen.

How to Defeat Trump in One Easy Lesson

1. Every time you see someone doing something bad, stupid, or douchey, just say aloud to whoever is around, "They must be a Trump supporter."

If enough people do this, eventually it will enter the vernacular and become common convention, sowing the seeds of discontent. Collective public sentiment will turn against Trump amazingly fast because most people are not Trump supporters, just apathetic. And apathetic people follow popular conventions because that is easiest. So making this anti-Trump sentiment conventional can work wonders. The beauty of it is that you don't need to criticize Trump explicitly and risk a Twitter beef with him; you just make him guilty by implicit association with society's dumbasses and douchebags.

A corollary to this is anytime something bad happens in the world, say aloud to whoever is around, "Thanks Donald Trump."

Play with this idea a bit. It's quite versatile and conducive to improvisation. For example, say an aggressive BMW driver cuts you off in traffic. Instead of giving him the finger, just say, "Everybody hates a Trump supporter."

Doomsday Clock Moved to 2.5 Minutes to Midnight (and How That Compares to 1950)

The Atomic Scientists who manage the hypothetical Doomsday Clock have moved the time 30 seconds closer to midnight (aka, Doom = extinction of Homo sapiens). It is now at 2.5 minutes from Doom, reflecting global insecurity surrounding climate change and nuclear weapons, the closest it has come since the height of the Cold War in the 1950s.

Bummer, man. That's a bummer.

It is definitely time (pun intended) to move to Australia and read the book (or watch the film*), "On the Beach."



*Note: The original 1959 film starring Gregory Peck and Ava Gardner is superior to (and shorter than) the 2005 remake. Fun fact, when I was in Austalia with my family in 2014, we visited one of the film locations outside of Melbourne, a country pub called the Black Spur Inn, although I do not have hard proof this place was actually in the film.

Dude...You Won the Effing Election! Are You Insane?

Donald Trump won the presidential election by the rules of the game, getting the Electoral College votes needed to be president. But that just wasn't good enough for him. Nooooo. He can't stand the fact that he did not win the popular vote (because he isn't popular). So the pathological narcissist is launching a probe into election fraud he believes will show he actually won the popular vote. But that's not what will happen at all. If election fraud is discovered, no matter who it favored, the legitimacy of the whole election is questionable and nobody wins in that scenario. The vote has to be thrown out and new elections held. If that's not done, Trump's legitimacy is in question. But chances are very high that no election fraud will be uncovered, in which case taxpayer money is just wasted on a silly narcissistic probe.

If anyone in Congress has the ability or balls to shut this waste of time down, DO IT!

Fabricate a Reality Around This

Dear Right Wing Friends,

I have a clutch cargo request and I need it ASAP.

Fabricate me a functional reality around these facts:

Rick Perry once could not remember the name of the Department of Energy.

When he did, he called for eliminating it.

Then he thought the DOE was in charge of coal and oil policy (rather than nukes, its actual function).

Now he has been nominated for Secretary of Energy, heading the DOE, by Trump.

And...GO!

Leave your internally consistent reality proposals in the COMMENTS below.

Ciao!

Chelsea Manning's Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Whilst the corporate mainstream media are masturbating themselves raw over the pros and cons (depending on the organization's ideological bent) of President Obama's commutation of Wikileaker Chelsea Manning's 35 year prison sentence, they are completely missing an important angle, probably by design. If you are feeble of mind, reading any further in this post may cause extreme cognitive dissonance. You have been duly warned.

Chelsea Manning is a woman by preference, not birth. She was born male as one Bradley Manning. She was male when convicted for giving classified information to the press (if Wikileaks' regurgitation of unanalyzed raw data qualifies as "press"). She was male when sent to prison after receiving a 35 year sentence, the harshest sentence ever given for such a crime (due to the shark infested climate of popular and media sentiment at the time).

During her six years in prison to date, she changed her gender identification from male to female, receiving only minimal medical support from her captors. On the one hand it's pretty cool that the military allowed her to do so at all. However, she is now a woman incarcerated in a maximum security men's prison, and that's been traumatizing for her, according to media reports. The New Yorker reported that Manning attempted suicide while incarcerated and rather than receiving mental health care, was instead placed in solitary confinement. According to the New Yorker:

"She has at times been deprived of all clothing but a smock and subjected to the kind of petty humiliations that come too easily in a prison. Some of the treatment (although not all of it) was doubtless due to misjudgments about the best way to respond to Manning’s status as a transgender woman in a maximum-security men’s prison, rather than to bad will or hostility, but that simply raises the question of how her treatment might change in a different political climate."
[SOURCE]

So whatever President Obama's reasons for commuting Manning's sentence (and it appears that her acknowledgement of wrongdoing weighed heavily in the decision), it's the right thing to do on the Constitutional grounds of preventing cruel and unusual punishment. No matter what your beliefs on Manning's crime(s), you have to respect the Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment. If you abandon the Constitution, the "social contract" crumbles like a house of cards and America descends into anarchy.

The Constitution protects creepy peoples' right to own guns and hippy peoples' right to protest fascism. You don't have to like it, but respect it. Or don't...honey badger don't give a @#$%.

See also: BUSH COUNTING DOWN DAYS UNTIL HE IS NO LONGER WORST PRESIDENT IN HISTORY

This post was brought to you by...

The Gym is Not the Place for Political Talk

The gym is no place for talking, much less talking about politics. I adhere to a staunch policy of minimal banter at the gym, with rare exceptions, like when I talked to the guy with Down's Syndrome because everyone was ignoring him.

The locker room at the gym is an absolute talk (and whistling*) free zone in my opinion. It's awkward enough having a bunch of guys standing around with their johnson's out. If I have ever heard you talk or whistle in a bathroom or locker room, there is a 100% chance that I have fantasized about you untimely death. Do not do this!

Anyway, outside the locker room at the gym, it's OK to talk, provided it is drama neutral, pertinent, and necessary. Politics talk violates all three of these criteria. Everyone should know this. However, the other day at the gym, a guy totally violated my earspace with his right wing political rhetoric. I had my headphones on because I was practicing my Duolingo language exercises on my tablet while I fat burned on the exercise bike, but still the guy's voice cut through. He was criticizing anti-Trump people (so basically almost everyone) for being, he thought, disrespectful to the Office of the President. He was pissed off that so many people were rejecting the legitimacy of Trump's win over Hillary Clinton, given the election hacking and mudslinging (not anything new, but the mainstream corporate media needs to pretend it is, for ratings), and there was something on the TV at the gym about people boycotting Inauguration Day.

"You don't have to like the guy...but you have to respect the Office," or something to this effect, the guy was saying to another hapless soul on the workout floor. This is classic hypocrisy, because you know full well that if Clinton had won the election, this guy would be singing a totally different tune, calling her illegitimate. It was awful. And sad. And pathetic.

This is why political chatter is forbidden at the gym, by unspoken convention. Everyone hates people who violate this convention, creating an awkward and uncomfortable, and frankly unhealthy, health club environment. The best option for everyone at the gym is simply to not talk. You should be exercising at an intensity that makes verbalization difficult anyway. If you have the ability to talk at the gym, you are doing it wrong. If you have to talk at the gym, avoid talk of politics or religion or any other divisive and uncomfortable topic.

*Note: Whistling is prohibited at ALL times EVERYWHERE. My female friends tell me that whistling among women, especially in restrooms and locker rooms, is unheard of and they think it's the strangest thing when I tell them some men do it a lot.


Donny, You're Outta Your Element!


I'm a Dudeist, and I can't help but note how appropos (even to the name) this quip from the Big Lebowski character, Walter Sobchek, is to our current political climate and buffoonish President-elect.

Donald Trump is, according to psychology, a stereotypical delusional narcissist and I think he is beginning to crack under the very real pressure of becoming the POTUS, a role that requires rational, sane, intelligent thinking, and a solid grounding in reality (not reality TV). His loopy reaction to criticism seems to be going into critical mass, and I predict a total nuclear meltdown very soon. He has been adversarial with the mainstream media* and he appears willfully ignorant of the law, particularly regarding ethics and conflict of interests, which means his is at high risk for breaking said laws, even if unwittingly. And the media will not be gentle with him when that happens.

Now there is no up side to this, because if Donald Trump implodes and is forced to resign, Mike Pence, who is a religious zealot (Christian Taliban), becomes the President. "You fascist!"

The only thing we can really hope for here is that when the shite hits the fan we get to see if the American socio-political infrastructure can handle the strain, or if it is just a house of cards that we've all been sort of loosely adhering to on the "honor system" this whole time. I still have a glimmer of hope for the former.

At this point, I will simply ask the Cosmos to please make everything turn out alright.


Donald Trump's Presidency Will Be Awesome For Me and You Won't Believe the Dumb Reason Why!

Donald Trump's presidency is going to eff things up for a lot of people, but I always try to look for the silver lining on things and it turns out there is a bright side for me.

Donald Trump says some amazingly stupid and ill informed things. Yet American society and the mainstream media now fully swallow, endorse, and embrace these stupid, dumb things that Trump says. That means we are entering a period of time in American history when saying stupid things is glorified and praised, which is great for me...and you may already have started to figure out why.

As a blogger, I try to say somewhat intelligent and informed things in my posts. But my job just got a lot easier, because now I can say super dumb things like, "Donald Trump's presidency will be awesome for me..." and that's totally legit in the new bizarro world of fabricated reality.

You think I am full of crap, but you are still reading this dumb post, aren't you? I WIN! Haha.

Not only that, but if you disagree with me, now I can just say you are wrong, corrupt, and/or ugly and your argument becomes totes null and void. I win again!

You gotta give Trump some credit for totally exploiting "the dumb." The fantasy world he lives in is FANTASTIC. He is dictator of the world, always right, and immune to criticism. I think that makes him...God?

This post is ludicrous. And unimpeachably AWESOME! Thanks Donald Trump!

Did you stop reading this post already?

WRONG! You are still reading it. Damn, Trumpism is amazing stuff. Powerful.

#hookedontrumpism

Nobody is Talking About This. Why?

Wow. Check this report out from the Young Turks.

https://youtu.be/k7BawNQtGnU

Why is no one talking about this?

America is in Big Trouble With Trump as President

Author's Note: This post contains opinions based on observations and speculation. These opinions may be incorrect, and for the long term survival of humanity, I hope to God they are.

I suppose Americans brought it on themselves, but America is in serious trouble under the looming Trump presidency (I'm not on Twitter, so I am fairly immune to any trolling the narcissistic President elect might do in response to this claim).

America literally has a constitutional crisis on its hands due to Trump's conflicts of interests and security breaches. I would not be surprised if he gets impeached for "high crimes and misdemeanors" sooner rather than later, notwithstanding a corrupt legislative branch. It's really the only hope to save America, but unfortunately there is no significant political will nor sufficient public protest to ensure this.

The main threat is Trump's delusional narcissism, perhaps a product of his career living in a fabricated "reality" TV world. He has fabricated a false reality in his mind where he is an all knowing god-man who can do no wrong and grab p*ssies at will. Even his name is ironically appropos, because Donald Trump's beliefs "trump" facts and reality. He denies scientific evidence and credible intelligence threats that do not fit his beliefs. He has delusional conspiracy theories that anyone who disagrees with him is conspiring to undermine him.

Hopefully, that narcissism and disconnect with reality will be the Achilles Heel that undoes him. Trump's opponents really don't have to do much other than let Trump flail himself into hot water. In the meantime, Trump will be a huge threat to American prosperity and security. Don't take my word for it though...just watch the train wreck unfold.

I honestly hope I am wrong. I hope once Trump is inaugurated and starts doing the job of the most powerful man in the world, he rises above his own self interests and does good things. The chances of this are astronomically thin, but unfortunately hope is the only thing Americans have right now. The available evidence suggests Trump has all the makings of a malevolent tyrant.

As I said at the beginning, Americans collectively chose this for themselves at the voting booths and they need to accept the consequences, even if they acted erroneously on their negative emotions* rather than on reason and facts. The corporate mainstream media is largely to blame in fabricating a false reality for people, particularly its "fair and balanced" principle that villifies reality by giving equal weight and credence to uninformed opinions, but the dismantling of public education is also a major factor because it has reduced peoples' ability to think critically. Social media also propagates propaganda and focuses participants' thoughts on a very narrow set of defined "memes," reducing a person's ability to think outside those limited boundaries. That's one of the main reasons I disenfranchised social media from my life (it's also a waste of time).

Anyway, good luck, America. May God have mercy on your souls.

*Note: Any behavior based on the negative emotions of fear and hate (of gays, Muslims, Obamacare, immigrants, black people, government, or whatever) is unhealthy and unproductive. Only objective fact gathering and analysis should guide behavior on important matters. Behavior guided by negative emotions does not have to be anchored in reality, and when you ignore reality in favor of beliefs, no matter how irrational, you make bad behavioral choices (think about the anti-vaccine movement...an incorrect belief based on fear that resulted in very dangerous behavior). When the Executive Branch of the US government behaves irrationally, very bad things can happen, even before the checks and balances built into the Constitution can kick in. For example, Trump has sole authority to order the launch of nuclear missiles on anyone he perceives as a threat. There are currently no checks or balances on this Presidential power, notwithstanding my pleas to Congress to implement some prior to the inauguration. Legislators are not immune to nuclear fallout, even if they believe some irrational idea about how God will protect them. Reality waits for no man, woman, or gender neutral person.

So Glad I am Off Facebook

A torture video was live streamed on Facebook? Really? Glad I missed that.

We truly have reached the lowest stenchy bowels of humanity.

I hope [anti] social media is everything you hoped it would be.

Were I still on Facebook, I might have been too desensitized to realize how fucked up it is that 7.2 million people felt compelled to watch a fellow human get tortured.

I literally feel like my soul is cleaner since I disenfranchised social media from my life starting New Year's Day. I only made it my new year's resolution to take a hiatus from social media for a fortnight, but if no compelling case is found to reconnect with it at the end of the fast, I'm probably canceling my FB and Twitter accounts. It's not worth the wasted time, lost productivity, and sullied soul just to be able to alert a few "friends" that I have a show coming up, the only useful reason I had for signing on to social media in the first place.
People are adults.* If you want to know when and where and with whom I am performing, you can always check the calendar at www.cactusjoeonline.com.

*Note: Actually, I cannot back this up with any observable evidence.

Russian Hacks


But even if they did, so what? You think other countries haven't been trying to encourage favorable outcomes in US elections before? Of course they have. They are always going to act in their own best interests and use any channels necessary, preferably without getting caught. In fact, the US CIA has a sordid history of illegally meddling in the elections of other countries during the Cold War to disfavor candidates, usually Latin American socialists, they didn't like, even assassinating people. So it's pretty hypocritical of them to now decry Russia doing the same thing. Smarts a little bit, doesn't it CIA? You don't get to taste your own medicine too often. Is it bitter?


Plus, even if it were 100% proven that Russia illegally hacked the election, what is the solution? Nobody has the political will power to declare the election invalid and call for a new one. I don't think there's even a mechanism for that in the Constitution. The idea of fair elections is noble, but it's not the reality. There is all kinds of meddling in elections. Voter suppression through voter ID laws is a simple example of the political right using underhanded means to swing elections in their favor. The mainstream media bias their reporting on elections and candidates depending on the ideological bent of their viewer demographic. Now the media is hyping this Russian hacking story, because it sounds so sensational. It's nothing new. Russia just wasn't too subtle and might have left some evidence of their meddling. The only question is whether or not crimes were committed, but even there you have to go back to the hypocrisy of the American intelligence community, because they've also committed crimes to influence elections in other countries. That's what espionage basically is...hacking information to fuck over the perceived bad guys. Whether it's digital or analog hacking/spying is just splitting hairs. You don't get to say American hacking is somehow OK because, you know...it's Americans doing it. That kind of thinking leads to tyranny (and tyrants). Was this hacking really any different than old school espionage? You find the dossier. Steal it. And use it to harm your enemies.

The way I see it there are two options.

1. Get over it. Suffer Donald Trump's presidency (preferably for only 4 years) and repeat the whole ugly cycle again.

2. Fix it. If you really think the election was illegally hacked and illegitimate, call for new elections and void the old one, if there is a legitimate process in place for doing so. Has anyone quantified the extent of hacking and the influence it had? What's the metric? If you're not going to do the hard work to fix the issue, then shut up and refer to bullet #1.