The Conversation

Number 3 in a series

I’m sure I mentioned this before. I have a collection of Facebook friends, and a lot of discussion goes on. The problem is most of these people have views that align with mine, and that makes for some deadly dull dialog. That’s why I seek out Facebook friends of a different stripe. This blog feeds on controversy.

Big problem. In all but a few cases those of divergent views felt offended at having their notions challenged, and the result is they have terminated the conversation by de-friending me. Full disclosure: I have de-friended maybe a couple of people on Facebook, and that has been because they tended to post relentlessly on matters of interest only to themselves.

That said, here is a continuation of The Conversation. A few hours ago I added Rodger Morrow.

Adjunct Professor at Carnegie Mellon University

Greater Pittsburgh Area
Writing and Editing

Morrow posts a bunch of stuff, currently taking up nearly half of my Facebook feed. I have to skim his posts and select a few to read. Here is one.

Rodger Morrow

Yesterday at 2:44 AM ·

“Flake is a never-Trumper. Like a number of others for whom I once had considerable respect, Flake has elevated his hatred for our president over every principle of politics and public policy. He would rather subvert his own allegedly conservative principles than allow President Trump to exercise his constitutional powers as president. Words can hardly express how contemptible this is.”

POWERLINEBLOG.COM

Jeff Flake, Traitor

‘Traitor’ is normally considered a harsh word, but it is the only printable thing I have called ‘Republican’ Senator Jeff Flake since he announced, a few hours ago, that he is “not comfortable voting yes” on Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court. His concern is the ridiculously stale…

Jackie DiCicco Fullen This is horrible. How can this man think he is honorable? I hope he realizes his pettiness and votes for the good of this country and not for chaos.

Rodger Morrow This is much like John McCain’s vote to rescue Obamacare. Flake honestly believes he’s acting on behalf of some higher principle and that history will vindicate his decision.

There’s no stopping a man like that, and I expect Bob Corker, Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins — all traitors-in-waiting — will follow his lead.

At this point is inserted a link to the book, Conscience of a Conservative, on Amazon. There follow a few well-considered comments:

Tim Aquino May he rot in hell!!!!!!!!!!!
I’m done with these pathetic POS.

Tim Aquino So this POS screws “we the people” because his vagina is in an uproar over that meanie (Trump)??

For the uninitiated, “POS” is Facebook shorthand for “piece of shit,” and Tim thought it important enough to invoke it twice. About this point I felt the need to contribute my two cents:

John Blanton Flake is a never Trumper? Could be. The question is, why are you not a never Trumper?

I have to admit, the response to my discourteous remarks was measured and enlightening:

Tim Aquino Because I think for myself and can see with my eyes to what’s going on??

Rodger Morrow If your purpose in making a friend request was simply to troll my posts, please know that I have no patience for such bullshit.

If you wish to learn from someone who knows far more about politics and government than you ever will, please attend to my words of wisdom.

Otherwise, piss off.

I have to admit, I have been invited to piss off before, but never with such eloquence. I responded in my usual, crass manner:

John Blanton In posing the question I was seeking material answers. You must have reasons for your loyalty to Donald Trump, and it should be possible to articulate these reasons. A response should include particulars. Anybody willing to respond in kind?

At some point I inserted an explanation as to why I was interested in this dialog, and I explained I do not hate Trump supporters (somebody accused me of that), but I consider Trump supporters to be an interesting species worth studying. What I received in return was truly heart-warming:

Rodger Morrow Tell me why I — or anyone on this thread — owes you an explanation for anything.

Go peddle your “curious species that deserves study” bullshit somewhere else.

You’re boring us.

Jackie DiCicco Fullen such boorish self serving arrogant troll! Considers us all “ interesting”! Screw him!

At this point, in my usual manner, I went completely off the rails. I cannot imagine what came over me.

John Blanton Is there a material response in there, somewhere? “Us all?” “Screw him?” Is anybody interested in meaningful dialog? Who here will be interested in arguing a point by means of rational discourse?

The reply I received to my arrogance was concise and to the point.

Tim Aquino It appears it was not your intent in the first place for rational discourse. So as said before you self serving arrogant troll … SCREW OFF!!

Rodger Morrow John Blanton I asked you to explain why any of us owes you an explanation for anything.

You have failed to do so.

Beat it, asshole.

And that is where it stands as of this writing. I just now posted my response.

Rodger, my apologies. I am slow to respond to your request for an explanation due to my having multiple things going on in the background. I am posting from my home.
 
That said, I concede neither you nor anybody else owes me an explanation. It is my hope that, in the interest of furthering the discussion, you will volunteer to elaborate on your reasoning. Donald Trump must have any number of qualities that earn your support. Here is your opportunity to lay them out. That goes for all participating in this thread. Your opinions matter to me.
Unable to post comment.

Hopefully my rudeness will not cause Rodger Morrow to de-friend me, as so many others have. Oops! Too late. Rodger Morrow just now seems to have blocked me. Does anybody have the dictionary definition of “snowflake?”

The Omen

We should have picked up on the signals back when horns were blaring and red lights were flashing.

NYPD Blue, a series that ran on TV from 1992 to 2005, is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video, and I am following episodes from start to finish. It’s now season 2, and we see Detectives Andy Sipowicz (Dennis Franz) and Greg Medavoy (Gordon Clapp) dealing with a character they ran into, literally, in the street. They are in their car when they get clipped seriously by another in traffic. While everybody is out inspecting the damage, the two cops hear thumping, and they force the driver to open the trunk. There’s a woman inside wanting out. He says the guy grabbed her off the street and forced her into the trunk. Then he drove around for two hours, making some stops, before running into the cops. The guy is a real nut case. Further inspection of his car reveals homemade bombs. They take him in.

There’s more. The driver is a whacked out Romanian immigrant, who babbles about conspiracies and the need to take down the rich and evil. When the two cops go by to check out the man’s apartment they find a load of anti capitalist literature, and behind a panel in the wall they find a stash of more bombs. They figure to call the bomb squad and get back a few hundred yards. As the two exit the apartment post hast they go by a poster plastered on the wall by the door. See the image at the top.

This is from season 2, episode 15, which should have been running about 1995. We were warned that early. Did we pay attention? Not I. About that time I was working on a project to track enemy communications signals. At the time we thoughtthe enemy might be the Russians. Little did we suspect.

The Government You Paid For

Number 45 of a Series

This series is not for liberals. It’s for these supposed conservatives who voted for Donald Trump and for those who still support him. It’s my way of showing them the moon by way of dragging out the government they paid for. Yeah, the image above says it all.

It’s called flipping, and it almost ought to be illegal.

If it is illegal, then a bunch of Trump supporters are going to jail. What am I saying? A bunch have already flipped and gone to jail.

Possibly there could be more.

Mr. President, I am sure there are special visiting hours for close family members, especially for close family members who are technically in charge of the American justice system. You can stop by on your way to the golf course.

For now, a few more delicious images to put your mind at ease in case you have trouble getting to sleep tonight.

Dudes, you are getting the government you paid for.

All images are from ABC World News Tonight with David Muir, 14 September 2018.

This is your President speaking.

Number 143

And now a few words from the President of the United States:

Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump

“When Trump visited the island territory last October, OFFICIALS told him in a briefing 16 PEOPLE had died from Maria.” The Washington Post. This was long AFTER the hurricane took place. Over many months it went to 64 PEOPLE. Then, like magic, “3000 PEOPLE KILLED.” They hired….7:05 PM – 14 Sep 2018

Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump
….GWU Research to tell them how many people had died in Puerto Rico (how would they not know this?). This method was never done with previous hurricanes because other jurisdictions know how many people were killed. FIFTY TIMES LAST ORIGINAL NUMBER – NO WAY!
7:23 PM – 14 Sep 2018

I know it’s a bunch of BS, but I still love hearing him say it. He is, after all, the President of the United States.

This is your President speaking.

Number 144

And now a few words from the President of the United States:

“The President has absolutely demonstrated no wrongdoing whatsoever & that the Special Counsel has no evidence of any wrongdoing. In other words, it’s time to end this Witch Hunt.” Russian “collusion” was just an excuse by the Democrats for having lost the Election!

I don’t know about you, but I am glad that matter has finally been put to rest.

This is your President speaking.

Number 143

And now a few words from the President of the United States:

“We have found nothing to show collusion between President Trump & Russia, absolutely zero, but every day we get more documentation showing collusion between the FBI & DOJ, the Hillary campaign, foreign spies & Russians, incredible.”

The President of the United States commemorates the horrendous loss of 11 September 2001 and the heroism of passengers of United flight 83. Oh, the humanity!

Your Friend The Handgun

Number 128

Above is a photo of Omar Enrique Santa Perez enjoying his constitutional rights under the Second Amendment during the final minutes of his life. With him is his friend, his handgun, which unfortunately failed him at the moment when he needed it the most:

Cincinnati shooter’s gun jammed during four-minute rampage, police say

CINCINNATI — The shooter who killed three people in the lobby of a downtown Cincinnati office high-rise could have killed many more if his gun hadn’t jammed during the four-minute rampage, city leaders said Friday. Newly released security footage from inside the lobby showed the gunman firing randomly while carrying a briefcase with hundreds of rounds of ammunition over his shoulder.

Remember, the Second Amendment protects you, but routine maintenance is also essential.

Here is Mr. Santa Perez in a photo apparently taken in a happier time, during which he had been charged only with minor crimes in another state.

Here is Mr. Santa Perez’s handgun, a 9mm semi-automatic pistol, which he purchased legally at a local gun supply store. The photo appears to have taken where the weapon was found lying on the floor after Mr. Santa Perez dropped it.

Santa Perez did not break any laws when he purchased the pistol. He did not break any laws when he purchased multiple magazines for his weapon, and he did not break any laws when he purchased 200 rounds of 9mm ammunition for it.

Additionally, he did not break any laws when he drove into downtown Cincinnati with the weapon and the ammunition in his car and parked the car before entering several businesses before choosing this particular bank building. In fact, Santa Perez only broke the law when he pointed his weapon at somebody. That is called assault with a deadly weapon. Then he pulled the trigger, breaking additional laws. At that  point he would have become ineligible to purchase, own, or possess this weapon.

Santa Perez’s rights under the Second Amendment next led him to this point in his life, where security video shows him walking down a corridor, shooting people as he encounters them.

The video also shows building security personnel taking advantage of an opportunity to hustle  victims out of harm’s way.

His rights granted by the Constitution finally led Santa Perez to this point, the final seconds in his life, as police, outside on the sidewalk and firing through the glass, accomplish what politicians paid for by the National Rifle Association, refuse to do. They ended this threat to society. They also ended the existence of this human being.

Almost never will I post an image of the final seconds of somebody’s life, but I am posting this one. Four people died, three besides Santa Perez. Two more shot and survived, one wounded by twelve bullets. There is no way this scene is does not depict a travesty of the American political climate.

And you have to ask, who stood up for the three innocents killed? Additionally, who stood up for Omar Enrique Santa Perez when he needed our help? Who stood up, when he went to purchase the pistol and the ammunition, and told him, “Dude, there is no reason for you to have this weapon. You’re not in the military, not even in the National Guard. You’re not a police officer, not even a security guard. Besides, you have already demonstrated the lack of stability that would make us feel safe for you to be among the public and armed. For your own safety and for the safety of others, we deny you permission to own a firearm of any kind. We recommend you seek help.”

I cannot tell you who did stand up for Santa Perez, because nobody did. I can tell you who did not stand up for him:

And there are many more.

Something is wrong when people in positions of power put personal preference and political power ahead of concern for public safety. These people can conjure up a hundred reasons for not restricting gun ownership and possession as they stumble to come up with a single alternative.

Events such as the one that played out in Cincinnati seem automatically to be followed by a flowing of thoughts and prayers, which outpourings end with the resolution to fix the underlying problem, “mental health.” Mental health! They are, before too many more of their constituents die, going to solve a social problem that has existed for thousands of years before addressing one that has become manifest only in the past 200 years—the availability of cheap, powerful, and deadly weapons.

Much as they may claim otherwise, these people are not your friends. And neither is a handgun. Just ask Omar Enrique Santa Perez. If only you could.

Houston, we have a problem.

Number 2 of a series

I get letters. Rather, I get email. I sign up for some of the most bizarre the Internet has to offer. It’s my penance for a life of idleness and sloth. I’m feeling better now.

Last week I received an actual letter in my postal mailbox. It’s from Judicial Watch. They want me to give money. I think I will not. They presented their argument. It is not convincing. Here are some samples:

To: John Blanton

The conservative public interest organization Judicial Watch, organized under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal RevenueService code, “has launched’ a series of in\7Estigationsarid lawsuits into former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and her staff regarding various counts of corruption, deception and concealment.

This investigation and several lawsuits remain active. As a resident of Texas in the 5th Circuit, you are being asked if you will show your support of these actions by signing and returning the enclosed AFFIRMATION OF PUBLIC SUPPORT of our investigations into Hillary Clinton.

The purpose of this public AFFIRMATION is to establish a foundation of public support in each of the twelve federal circuit court districts across the United States to substantiate sufficient public interest in the efficacy of pursuant judicial actions while demonstrating that such legal actions are of public benefit.

Your signature on this AFFIRMATION allows Judicial Watch to establish a necessary record of public support for its investigative and litigation proceedings into the public record of Hillary Clinton and her staff.

That’s the opening. There are eight pages. They tell us what it’s going to be about:

It is the contention of Judicial Watch that, in service to a self-serving agenda, former First Lady, former U.S. Senator, former U.S. Secretary of State and former candidate for President Hillary Rodham Clinton exploited the use of her office (and any other lever of public power she has maintained) to circumvent the rules of public service to finance and shape her image as a candidate for the 2016 presidential election.

What’s especially troubling is that Hillary Clinton has played this same corrupt tune (lying, obstruction, “pay for play” and graft) for nearly a quarter-century. Since 1994 Judicial Watch has had to expend enormous resources investigating Hillary Clinton.

Yes, that’s it. Concerning matters of settled jurisprudence, the organization calling itself Judicial Watch wants my support (and ultimately my money) in kicking an intire remuda, already dead. They propose—presumably after first locating the remains of Judge Crater—to resolve one or more of these pressing issues regarding Hillary Clinton:

  • Obstructing the release of records about the Whitewater land deal when her husband was running for president in 1992 (her Rose Law Firm billing records were mysteriously lost for two years and then turned up in the White House residence).
  • Refusing to tell the truth about the deadly Benghazi terrorist attack that took place on her watch as Secretary of State in 2012 and her role in the cover-up by lying about the attack to the Amer­ican people.
  • Abusing her public office to trade cash for favors — with corporate money, Russian and other foreign money, foreign government money…gobs of money, much of which is now sloshing around her “charity” that could be renamed “The Clinton Corruption Family Foundation.”
  • Permitting her 2016 presidential campaign to bankroll and market the phony “Trump Dossier” full of unsubstantiated and salacious allegations against her opponent, Donald Trump, which was corruptly used by Clinton allies in the FBI to launch the multi-million dollar, out-of-control investigation headed by Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller that continues to the present day.

These are some of Clinton’s heinous crimes that must be resolved before we can get around to the serious business of figuring out how NASA faked the moon landings. More seriously, it is what comes before any one of the following:

Maybe we should all contribute to Judicial Watch, so they can clean up the Clinton mess and get around to reading President Trump’s income tax filings. I’m holding my breath.

Flash News!

I just now made a trek out into the rain and retrieved another letter from Judicial Watch. I await with anticipation the moment when I will open it and discover another trove of legal gems such as these. Keep reading. And may Jesus have mercy on our souls.

This is your President speaking.

Number 142

And now a few words from the President of the United States:

The Woodward book is a scam. I don’t talk the way I am quoted. If I did I would not have been elected President. These quotes were made up. The author uses every trick in the book to demean and belittle. I wish the people could see the real facts – and our country is doing GREAT!

Right! How about..

And…

And that will about do it for the kind of language President Trump uses.

People Unclear

This is number 49 of a series

This series is devoted to those people who seem unable to grasp a few of the fundamentals. Despite all that society can do fro them, they remain unclear on a number of points. A case would be former mayor of New York City, Rudy Giuliani:

Rudy Giuliani: Unelected op-ed writer is a “very dangerous person”

The President’s lawyer, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, responded to a random Twitter user speculating on the identity of the op-ed writer.

“If it could be anyone at such a high level he probably has top security clearances and a history of leaking,” Giuliani said.

“He’s been elected to nothing, but at anytime he could substitute his judgment for our elected politically accountable President. Very dangerous person.”

The phrase that catches in my craw is “He’s been elected to nothing, but at anytime he could substitute his judgment for our elected politically accountable President. Very dangerous person.”

Yeah, dangerous. Allow me to put this dangerous person into perspective.

A ten-year-old boy, who’s been elected to nothing, is standing on the sidewalk when he notices some masked men carrying bags of money out of a bank. He now substitutes his judgment for that of the people running the bank, and he runs down the street yelling, “Somebody is robbing the bank!”

That appears to be what has happened. Somebody, not elected to his position by anybody, has blown the whistle on an elected official who is totally misusing the power entrusted to him by the voters. Somebody is robbing the bank!

Rudy, let me know when this soaks in. I’m going to hold my breath. Not really.

The Government You Paid For

Number 44 of a Series

People may wonder why I continue to post this series, because, seriously, everybody knows we have the government we paid for. As a reminder, the purpose here is to remind the un-remindable, to embarrass the un-embarrassable, and to shame the un-shamable. If this comes off as my coy way of rubbing it in for all those who voted for Donald Trump and for those who still support him after all that has passed these 19 months and more, then give yourself a star, because that is exactly my purpose. It’s a sorry sight to see a person of my supposed maturity gloat so shamelessly. But to you ignoramuses who bought Trump’s line of MAGA, take this and stick it where the sun don’t shine. I am having my day.

First there was Michael Wolff, who apparently wandered around the White House for weeks, taking notes and not making a lot of noise. He then published Fire and Fury, unleashing a flood of stuff like the  following.

Trump was impetuous and yet did not like to make decisions, at least not ones that seemed to corner him into having to analyze a problem. And no decision hounded him so much—really from the first moment of his presidency—as what to do about Afghanistan. It was a conundrum that became a battle. It involved not only his own resistance to analytic reasoning, but the left brain/right brain divide of his White House, the split between those who argued for disruption and those who wanted to uphold the status quo. In this, Bannon became the disruptive and unlikely White House voice for peace—or anyway a kind of peace. In Bannon’s view, only he and the not-too-resolute backbone of Donald Trump stood between consigning fifty thousand more American soldiers to hopelessness in Afghanistan.

Wolff, Michael. Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House (p. 263). Henry Holt and Co.. Kindle Edition.

Then there was Omarosa Manigault Newman, who left the White House and later released a bushel-full of gems from her own notes:

Lara Trump: It sounds a little like, obviously, that there are some things you’ve got in the back pocket to pull out. Clearly, if you come on board the campaign, like, we can’t have – we got to –

Next Tuesday Bob Woodward’s new book Fear: Trump in the White House will hit the stores.

Trump critters can push back against this line by passing off these revelations as gossip from grousing White House staff. The bombshell that The New York Times dropped this afternoon clears that hurdle by feet, not inches. An anonymous source, working at a high level in the White House has unloaded in no uncertain terms.

The root of the problem is the president’s amorality. Anyone who works with him knows he is not moored to any discernible first principles that guide his decision making.

Trump critters, and you know who you are, it’s time to saddle up and get out of town, or else be prepared to ride this dead horse into depths of ignominy. And if you happen to notice me sitting on a rail fence and gloating, then eat it up. You purchased this ticket, and now it is your ride to enjoy. You are getting the government you paid for.

This is your President speaking.

Number 141

And now a few words from the President of the United States:

Isn’t it a shame that someone can write an article or book, totally make up stories and form a picture of a person that is literally the exact opposite of the fact, and get away with it without retribution or cost. Don’t know why Washington politicians don’t change libel laws?

Of course, this is concerning the new book by Bob Woodward, Fear—Trump in the White House. Full disclosure: I purchased the Kindle edition, to be delivered 11 September. A report will come out after I have a chance to read it.

In the meantime, what we have is the President throwing a conniption fit over the juicy revelations. I’m telling you, readers, I did not vote for this guy, but while he’s playing around with the reins of power I am having the fun of my life. Start with examining a choice phrase from the above: “totally make up stories,” and I had to ask, “What does the President of the United States know about totally made up stories? And then I remembered. “Oh yeah.”

I guess he does have a point there. Who knows more about made up stories than Donald Trump?

NRA NRA

History of Nonsense – Part 2

What started out decades ago as an organization for sportsmen has since become a self-ordained protector of the 2nd Amendment, more recently morphing into a shill for right-wing politics. The group especially enshrines the administration of Donald Trump, and speaker Dana Loesch is articulate in getting out the message that those who seek to rebuke this nonsense are losers, even unpatriotic. She minces no words, and quite frankly, I love it. Could we but have more of her ilk, putting a face to this mindset.

Loesch is featured in a number of ads created by the NRA, and I picked this one for today’s amusement. I have no information about when this was created, but the screen shots are from a YouTube posting dated 14 February 2018. The Independent site has a write-up that includes most or all the transcript, which I will excerpt here:

We have had enough of the lies, the sanctimony, the arrogance, the hatred, the pettiness, the fake news.

We are done with your agenda to undermine voters’ will and individual liberty in America.

So to every lying member of the media, to every Hollywood phony, to the role model athletes who use their free speech to alter and undermine what our flag represents.

To the politicians who would rather watch America burn than lose one ounce of their own personal power, to the late night posts that think their opinion is the only opinions that matter.

To the Joy-Ann Reids, the Morning Joes, the Mikas. To those who stain honest reporting with partisanship.

To those who bring bias and propaganda to CNN, The Washington Post and The New York Times… your time is running out. The clock starts now.

All the while Loesch has been talking, there has been an hour glass sitting on the table beside her. While she intones, “your time is running out,” she inverts it, and the sand starts running down.

I feel dutifully warned. On the day this was posted to YouTube a shooter enabled by the NRA killed 17 students and staff and injured 17 others at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

And this ad is just great. It’s time somebody stood up for American freedoms, so constantly under threat from forces within, and it is high time that somebody took on the fake news that floods our information channels. We need somebody like Dana Loesch to keep us reminded of this threat. I only wish she had had the time and the wherewithal to illustrate some of these abuses.

Since she apparently did not, I will do it for her. Here are some selections from my assortment of screen shots from news sources streaming on YouTube and elsewhere.

I have to stop at this point. I am obviously having too much fun. Thank you, Dana Loesch.

Thank you very much!
Thank you very much!
That’s the nicest thing that anyone’s ever done for me.

This is your President speaking.

Number 140

And now a few words from the President of the United States:

Two long running, Obama era, investigations of two very popular Republican Congressmen were brought to a well publicized charge, just ahead of the Mid-Terms, by the Jeff Sessions Justice Department. Two easy wins now in doubt because there is not enough time. Good job Jeff……

….The Democrats, none of whom voted for Jeff Sessions, must love him now. Same thing with Lyin’ James Comey. The Dems all hated him, wanted him out, thought he was disgusting – UNTIL I FIRED HIM! Immediately he became a wonderful man, a saint like figure in fact. Really sick!

In case you missed it, the “Good job Jeff” part was pure sarcasm

So that we have this straight—two staunch Republican supporters of Donald Trump have been indicted on federal charges. Let me amplify “staunch.” Chris Collins, congressman representing the New York 27th District, was the first sitting congressman to endorse Donald Trump’s presidential bid. He was arrested on 8 August, charged with insider trading. Duncan D. Hunter, congressman representing the California 52nd District, was the second member of Congress to endorse Donald Trump, in February 2016. Last month he and his wife were indicted on federal charges for stealing about ¼ million dollars in contributions to his political campaign. That is staunch.

So, who’s in trouble? United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions, to be sure. Jeff Sessions runs the Justice Department, and these two are charged with violating federal laws, and it’s the Justice Department that prosecutes these kinds of cases. Jeff Sessions.

And why? Because the two did not commit any crimes? How about because these two are running for re-election, and indictment on federal charges is the kind of thing that turns off voters. With the Democrats 23 votes shy of having a majority in the House of Representatives, two votes that go from Republican to Democratic are two votes too many. And it’s Jeff Sessions’ fault. Is he ever in trouble!

So, what should happen? Right! Since the party needs these two, Jeff Sessions and the Department of Justice, which works for President Trump, need to go easy. Maybe not back off completely, but at least wait until after the November elections, when it won’t matter so much. In short, the law must bend to political expediency.

And the President of the United States said it. And that is all I need to say.

NRA NRA

So profound I had to say it twice.

I’ve been trying to figure out what the NRA (National Rifle Association) is all about. I look at the words:

  • national
  • rifle
  • association

By themselves they make sense, but somehow when you string them together they take on a a meaning unto themselves. The NRA, once a sportsman’s club, has within the past few decades morphed into a pernicious political entity. Forget about the 4th Amendment, and forget about the right of citizens to bear arms. The NRA has allied itself with some of the basest elements of American society. If ever this base needed a voice, the NRA is there to provide it. That voice exhibits a nature the likes of which are rare in civilized society. I exhibit an example. Here is NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch speaking in an ad sponsored by the NRA. It’s a video, and I have watched through it a few times and can attest to the accuracy of the transcript provided by Vox. I captured some screen shots and have inserted them into the text at the approximate places they show in the video:. We see Loesch saying:

They use their media to assassinate real news. They use their schools to teach children that their president is another Hitler. They use their movie stars and singers and comedy shows and award shows to repeat their narrative over and over again. And then they use their ex-president to endorse “the resistance.”

All to make them march. Make them protest. Make them scream racism and sexism and xenophobia and homophobia. To smash windows, burn cars, shut down interstates and airports, bully and terrorize the law-abiding — until the only option left is for the police to do their jobs and stop the madness.

And when that happens, they’ll use it as an excuse for their outrage. The only way we stop this, the only way we save our country and our freedom, is to fight this violence of lies with the clenched fist of truth.

I’m the National Rifle Association of America. And I’m freedom’s safest place.

Watch the video. It also shows protesters smashing windows and otherwise acting in a criminal manner. You will get the idea, she hopes, that all those who oppose President Trump and protest in the streets are like this.

I will repeat a key section of the narrative in order to do a bit of analysis.

They use their media to assassinate real news. They use their schools to teach children that their president is another Hitler. They use their movie stars and singers and comedy shows and award shows to repeat their narrative over and over again. And then they use their ex-president to endorse “the resistance.”

“They use their media to assassinate real news.” Let’s see how this is done. “They,” meaning me and others like me, make skillful misuse of the media. Would that I had that kind of power. My control over The Dallas Morning News is not what it used to be. We (I) assassinate the real news. Let’s  take a look at some of the real news I have assassinated recently:

All right, I’m getting tired of this part of the game. Let me move on.

“They use their schools to teach children that their president is another Hitler.” Forget about Adolf Hitler. Adolf Hitler was more popular. And the schools teach this? I pause to gag. The schools have no need to any such. We have a man in Washington we pay to do this kind of thing for us:

I just cannot state strongly enough how totally dishonest much of the Media is. Truth doesn’t matter to them, they only have their hatred & agenda. This includes fake books, which come out about me all the time, always anonymous sources, and are pure fiction. Enemy of the People!

“They use their movie stars and singers and comedy shows and award shows to repeat their narrative over and over again.” They do? Why? Is it necessary to use movie stars, singers, comedy shows, and award shows to repeat the narrative? If these are used in that manner, then it is a waste of effort on the part of a bunch of people, because once again we pay Donald Trump to do this for us:

Many journalists are honest and great – but some are knowingly dishonest and basic scum. They should.be weeded out!

Yes, that’s about going to do it for me, my friends, and the media working overtime to embarrass the president.

So, if you are a fan of President Trump, you should show him your support and join up with the NRA. Or you could just back off a bit and let somebody else do it. There is no longer any doubt the Russian government is funneling money to the NRA, which then uses it to propagandize for President Trump.

Loesch concludes by reminding viewers the NRA will defend American values withe the “clenched fist of truth.” I will get back to you when I come across the “truth” part.

NRA! Say it twice.

Breitbart Mentality

Number 5

No secret. I subscribe to the Breitbart News email feed. It’s a boundless source for anybody wanting to probe far-right thinking, and I have long since ceased to be amazed. Here’s something recent:

Sarah Palin, Loyal Running Mate, Excluded from John McCain’s Funeral

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who was Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) running mate in the 2008 presidential election, has been excluded from his funeral.

Breitbart News has independently confirmed an earlier report in People magazine, which reported that Palin was not sent an invitation and was told through intermediaries to stay away from the ceremony.

McCain fundraiser Carla Eudy confirmed to People that Palin had not been invited — possibly, People speculated, at the behest of the McCain family.

The news comes on the tenth anniversary of the date in 2008 when Palin was announced as McCain’s pick for vice president.

Palin now joins President Donald Trump on the list of those barred from the funeral.

Now, that’s an interesting bit of news. The former governor, who ten years ago stood with candidate John McCain on the podium at the Republican national convention, is now dis-invited to the late senator’s closing ceremony. I feel the need to confirm this information. Ouch! Even Fox News is confirming the story.

So, like me, you are wondering how this came about. Then I remembered. Oh, yeah. Were it not for Governor Palin, John McCain would now be the late President McCain. Somebody, I’m not naming names, suggested to candidate McCain in the summer of 2008 that Palin would provide the perfect balance to McCain’s not as far right as Attila the Hun political position. Whoever it was, they figured that with Palin’s appeal to the Party’s lunatic fringe, John McCain would be a shoe-in to trounce left-leaning black candidate Barack Obama. Then Palin opened her mouth:

1. “As Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where– where do they go? It’s Alaska. It’s just right over the border.” –Sarah Palin, explaining why Alaska’s proximity to Russia gives her foreign policy experience, interview with CBS’s Katie Couric, Sept. 24, 2008 (Watch video clip)

2. “Mr. President, the only thing that stops a bad guy with a nuke is a good guy with a nuke.” –Sarah Palin, on how President Obama should deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin, CPAC speech, March 8, 2014

3. “The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s ‘death panel’ so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their ‘level of productivity in society,’ whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.” –-Sarah Palin, in a message posted on Facebook about Obama’s health care plan, Aug. 7, 2009

4. “All of ’em, any of ’em that have been in front of me over all these years.” –Sarah Palin, unable to name a single newspaper or magazine she reads, interview with Katie Couric, CBS News, Oct. 1, 2008 (Watch video clip)

5. “Well, let’s see.

There’s ― of course in the great history of America there have been rulings that there’s never going to be absolute consensus by every American, and there are those issues, again, like Roe v. Wade, where I believe are best held on a state level and addressed there. So, you know, going through the history of America, there would be others but ―” –Sarah Palin, unable to name a Supreme Court decision she disagreed with other than Roe vs. Wade, interview with Katie Couric, CBS News, Oct. 1, 2008

6. “‘Refudiate,’ ‘misunderestimate,’ ‘wee-wee’d up.’ English is a living language. Shakespeare liked to coin new words too. Got to celebrate it!'” –a Tweet sent by Sarah Palin in response to being ridiculed for inventing the word “refudiate,” proudly mistaking her illiteracy for literary genius, July 18, 2010

7. “He who warned, uh, the British that they weren’t gonna be takin’ away our arms, uh, by ringing those bells, and um, makin’ sure as he’s riding his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells that we were going to be sure and we were going to be free, and we were going to be armed.” –Sarah Palin, botching the history of Paul Revere’s midnight ride, June 3, 2011

8. “But obviously, we’ve got to stand with our North Korean allies.” –Sarah Palin, after being asked how she would handle the current hostilities between the two Koreas, interview on Glenn Beck’s radio show, Nov. 24, 2010

9. “We used to hustle over the border for health care we received in Canada. And I think now, isn’t that ironic?” –Sarah Palin, admitting that her family used to get treatment in Canada’s single-payer health care system, despite having demonized such government-run programs as socialized medicine that will lead to death-panel-like rationing, March 6, 2010

10. “Ohh, good, thank you, yes.” –Sarah Palin, after a notorious Canadian prank caller, posing as French President Nicolas Sarkozy, complimented her on the documentary about her life, Hustler’s “Nailin Paylin,” Nov. 1, 2008 (Read more about the prank call, watch the video and see the transcript)

I will admit that some of the above came out of the fountain of wisdom after the deed was done, longer after John McCain’s political future sank into the deep blue. But there is something to be said for momentum. In any event, I get the idea that some started to wonder, if candidate John McCain signed off on this political fiasco, then what would President McCain be likely to sign off on when sitting in the Oval Office. May have scared the bejeebies out of a bunch of people, including some Republicans.

A full reading of the item does not reveal any recrimination against what would appear to be a personal slight. This could be one of those cases of Breitbart’s straight reporting a news item. What I’m making a fuss over is the deep irony bleeding from this episode. Palin, ten years ago, appeared to crystallize America’s alt-right, culminating in the political carnival we find ourselves in today. It’s possible that without Palin, Donald Trump would be yet another washed-up reality TV star. I would even venture that the Palin phenomenon created the resonance that morphed into Breitbart News. She became the kernel of Breitbart mentality.

Full disclosure: I was also excluded from the invitation list, but I am not taking it personally.

This is your President speaking.

Number 139

And now a few words from the President of the United States:

I just cannot state strongly enough how totally dishonest much of the Media is. Truth doesn’t matter to them, they only have their hatred & agenda. This includes fake books, which come out about me all the time, always anonymous sources, and are pure fiction. Enemy of the People!

It’s amazing what the president is telling us. It makes us wonder where all this hatred and agenda are coming from.

Some day we will figure it out.

Moral Bankruptcy

Number 2 of a Series

Here are a few words from that paragon of Christian morality, Franklin Graham:

Everyone in the media is talking about the just-released tape & what the President said or didn’t say, what he meant or didn’t mean. It is a good moment to point out that everyone should realize that every word that is spoken or thought is recorded by God. 1/3

Here’s a sober warning from God’s Word, “What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, & what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs” (Luke 12:3). 2/3

The Bible says it is appointed unto man once to die & then the judgment. We won’t be judged by media spin masters or forensic audio analysts, but you will be judged by truth & righteousness—by God Himself. Have you ever thought about what His verdict will be on your words? 3/3

We can all enjoy the language invoking “media spin masters or forensic audio analysts.” That’s powerful use of the English language. What is more powerful are the bare facts.

These are screen shots from ABC news streaming on Hulu. There are more.

At what point do I need to stop posting these because the Reverend Graham has become too embarrassed. Apparently at no point. What is apparent for all to see is the moral bankruptcy of self-appointed moral leadership. It is a leadership that is running on empty.

This is your President speaking.

Number 138

And now a few words from the President of the United States:

Over 90% approval rating for your all time favorite (I hope) President within the Republican Party and 52% overall. This despite all of the made up stories by the Fake News Media trying endlessly to make me look as bad and evil as possible. Look at the real villains please!

Yes, please look over there. But where? When we looked over there we found this.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZpIfLRqz0bg

Screen shot from CNN on YouTube

That will about do it for the “fake news” bit.