Saturday, April 30, 2016
On a Friday night perhaps a month ago, the lovely Mrs. Gammons and I stopped in at our usual haunt. I immediately noticed my old friend and neighbor puffing a cigar in the outdoor smoking area, so I stepped out to say hi and chat him up. He had been talking to a couple fellow smokers, young men who he introduced as "the Algerians," and we shook hands.
Now, you must understand my friend. He's a hard-working family man, a real sweetheart, and a basic Jersey Guy who is, against his own self-interests, a staunch conservative. I don't know what he and the Algerians were discussing, but I can take an educated guess.
And that was pretty much the end of that amusement. I left them with their smokes and went back inside. The Algerians must have departed soon after. I didn't have a chance to speak with them further. They seemed like good guys.
All of which is preamble to what I want to tell you.
Last night, we visited the usual place again and this time I was properly introduced to one of the Algerians. His name is Rahim, and he's a delightful, soft-spoken young man. He remembered me from before. He's lived in the U.S. for not quite a decade, has a college degree, works in the medical supplies business, is a big basketball fan and a proud American citizen, as well as a citizen of Algeria. I'm very glad to have made his acquaintance.
Rahim was flying solo last night, minding his own business, when he was suddenly button-holed by one of the more unpalatable denizens of our little watering hole -- a prejudiced old white guy* who often wears plaid shirts and hunting vests, talks about guns and terrorists and right-wing conspiracy theories, and has never been seen (by me) in the company of a woman.
For some reason, this belligerent gasbag decided to go full Ugly American on Rahim, quizzing him on Islam, asking him why Muslim men mistreat women, and all but accusing him of being a knife-wielding ISIS headman. Stunned by such out-of-nowhere antagonism, Rahim wisely did not take the bait and engage with this asshole, and the ugly scene was over quickly.
It's sad that racism and ethnic/religious prejudice still exist. It's also encouraging to hear Rahim say it was his first encounter with it. I hope there won't be too many more. The world is changing, America is changing, and Rahim and others like him are part of the new face of America. They are the future, our new citizens and our new majority. And people like the old hate-monger are part of the past -- the angry, take-our-country-back people. To borrow from Dylan Thomas, they are raging, raging against the dying of the white.
(* Definitely not my aforementioned friend and neighbor.)
Friday, April 29, 2016
Wow, Bobby. Yes indeed, how do you top that -- that error-filled, bilious, drunken rant? Sit down, Coach, have another big ol' bourbon and STFU! This is the sort of shit that got you fired at Indiana.
For the record:
"Truman dropped the bomb in 1944." No, it was 1945.
"It saved billions of American lives." The point is understood, but your number is a gross exaggeration.
"Donald will do the same thing." What? Drop a nuclear bomb? Oh great! What could be more presidential?
Bobby Knight and Donald Trump. Loudmouth megalomaniac assholes have to stick together.
Thursday, April 28, 2016
The former Weeper of the House is obviously enjoying his retirement!
. . . is a good day for the rest of us.
|"We're AEP. We can do|
whatever we want. (Snort!)"
Yesterday, AEP had a bad day. Two separate rulings went against them.
|AEP coal barge on the Ohio River|
It was a good day, unless you were AEP.
(Suggested by Kwame Anthony Appiah)
Many Republicans are understandably mortified by the thought of Trump as their nominee, even as they shed no tears for failure of Cruz, Kasich, et al. Some younger Democrats are disappointed by the apparent end of the line for Bernie, and claim they won't vote at all unless he's the nominee.
As Mick and Keith once told us, "You can't always get what you want." We don't always get inspiring, ideal presidential candidates. In fact, we seldom do. But at least we always get a choice. Maybe it's between the lesser of two evils. Maybe it's voting against one person more than for the other. But you do have a choice.
Refusing to vote because your guy didn't make it is not a choice -- it's throwing your choice away. And please don't try to rationalize non-participation by saying "one vote doesn't matter." The one certain way to make sure it doesn't matter is not to use it.
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Serial liar, misogynist, and tiny-fingered vulgarian Donald Trump is whining that "the only thing Hillary Clinton's got going is the woman's card, and if she were a man she wouldn't get 5 percent of the vote." Oh Donald, there you go again!
He also claims that "women don't like Hillary." I suppose some don't, but plenty do. (And I suppose there are some talking yams with orangutan hair who don't like Trump.)
More to the point, the majority of women (52%) really, really don't like Trump and prefer Hillary by a double-digit margin (48%-35%).
|(Not an actual "woman card")|
"Honestly, America -- isn't it time for a female President? Now is that time. Together, let's make history again!"
Let's do it.
He just announced Carly Fiorina as his running mate. It won't help. GOP nomination-wise, Ted Cruz has reached the stick-a-fork-in-him point. The Goofy Old Party seemingly has no choice but to take a dump with Trump.
So, I know it's not nice to kick a guy when he's down, but c'mon -- it's Ted Cruz! And everybody hates Ted!
Here are 5 hilarious minutes with Samantha Bee to explain it all:
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
It was national news. Last Friday, in four different homes in rural Pike County, Ohio, eight members of the Rhoden family were murdered mob-hit-style. Most were shot and killed as they slept. There may or may not have been a drug connection. No suspects, no leads. A terrible, brutal crime.
Great idea, Sheriff. The Rhodens were methodically executed -- assassinated in their sleep. Having firearms (and odds are they did) would be of no use. And there is absolutely no reason to believe that the killers are hanging around waiting to murder every person in Pike County. They did the hit, and split.
But Sheriff Goober suggests the entire county should strap up and form a circular firing squad. How about not? The horror of yet another mass shooting does not excuse stupid, fear-mongering, inflammatory remarks from the authorities.
Suppose, instead, one of the following:
- She has a pilot's license, but admits she needs more practice flying a plane.
- She has a pharmacist's license, but admits she needs more practice filling prescriptions.
Neither would be acceptable, let alone legal. But hell yeah, you can have a gun and not really know how to use it. No problem. Second Amendment!!
In this area, dear readers, our problem is not just crime and it is not just mental illness. It is too damn many guns. Way too many. More guns is not the answer. Guns don't make you safer, they just make gun violence more likely. One way or another, America needs to disarm.
(Inspired by an email from the Old Philosopher, D.W.)
"It's time to take our country back!" We've been hearing that right-wing slogan for about 8 years now. (And we broke the code immediately.)
Since a certain element seems to be so enamored of saying "take our country back," one might reasonably ask them, "How far back do you want to go?"
1619-1865? Legal slavery, plus the legal slaughter of Native Americans, buffalo, and anything too slow to get out of the way. Manifest destiny! What's not to like?
Again, exactly how far back do you want to take the country?
It is the persistent and unfounded belief of conservative minds through the ages that "today" has always gone straight to hell in a hand-basket, and things were always better in "the good old days."
Yo Rev, that's pretty far back!
Yesterday, Donald Trump had this to say about John Kasich:
With the understanding that I'm in no way defending the douchebag Kasich, with your permission, I will respond to Mr. Trump:
Friday, April 22, 2016
Twice this month, Southwest Airlines had Muslim passengers removed from flights for being . . . uh, Muslim.
In one case, a Southwest flight attendant felt "uncomfortable" with a Muslim woman wearing a hijab and had her removed for that reason. In the other, a Muslim man was ejected for speaking aloud in Arabic, on his phone.
We're concluding a two-week stay in Jacksonville Beach. It's been wonderful. We caught up with some friends who live down here, and made some new ones. Jax Beach has a very laid-back, live-and-let-live vibe, which we appreciate.
The state of Florida is quite populous, with many big cities and lots of open-minded, progressive people. Of course, there are other sorts of people too.
The exterior of the condo complex where we stay is being totally repainted, top to bottom. The first few days of our stay featured a nor'easter -- strong 40 MPH winds blowing in off the Atlantic. The storm conditions did not deter the painters, who continued to paint in the wind and splattered paint drops all over our car. Geniuses!
Kept seeing these campaign ads down here for Carlos Beruff. He's a controversial multi-millionaire real estate developer. He's never even been elected to student council, but now he wants to be a U.S. Senator. He's a Trump-ish demagogue who is borrowing heavily from Trump's shoot-from-the-lip playbook. "I'm a business guy." "Politicians are worthless. They're screwing up the country." "Put America First!" "I'm sick of Washington D.C. (so send me there!)" Here's one of his TV spots:
Like Trump, Beruff is a real estate tycoon who speaks in superlatives. Like Trump, he's widely considered to be a bully. Like Trump, he's running as a Republican but, like Trump, he's more like a modern day member of the old Know Nothing Party. In your fear and hatred message, just substitute Mexicans and Muslims for Irish and Catholics.
I hope the good people of Florida don't fall for Carlos Beruff's bullshit.
It's been great down here -- but we gotta head back to our own crazy state.
Thursday, April 21, 2016
If you followed music in the 1980's, you followed Prince. He was androgynous, a wild dresser, a prolific creator, a great musician, a maker of mega-hits, dynamic performer, an occasional actor, and a philanthropist. To call him influential is to put it mildly.
He'll be missed, but he left behind a wonderful musical legacy for all to enjoy. And with his untimely passing, he also gave us one final gift: For one full day, we heard virtually nothing about that horse's ass Donald Trump.
Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Guess what the state of Utah has just declared to be a "public health crisis"?
Pornography, of course!
Conservatives just keep recycling their favorite old boogeymen and silly things to be afraid of.
Republicans are a public health crisis.
Tuesday, April 19, 2016
And John-Boy, I am so over you!
On Sunday, Ohio's Wonder Guv John Kasich told CNN that, as president, he would do nothing to prevent more states from passing anti-LGBT laws like those in North Carolina and Mississippi, that he wished all the backlash and public outcry would fade away, and said that anyone dealing with discrimination should just "get over it."
Kasich: "If you feel as though somebody is doing something wrong against you, can you just, for a second, get over it, you know, because this thing will settle down."
This is Jawhnny Kaysuck, the mush-mouthed moron I've come to know and loathe. His brilliant prescription to address civil rights injustices? Just get over it. This thing will settle down.
Wouldn't you love to hear him trying to tell Frederick Douglass, Susan B. Anthony, Martin Luther King Jr., et al, to just get over it?
Saturday, April 16, 2016
At a campaign event, a college-age woman asked John Kasich what he would do as president to help protect her from sexual assaults on campus. Not a question in Jawhnny's wheelhouse, so he tap-danced with BS about "confidential reporting" and the ability to "pursue justice after you've had time to reflect on it all." (Because, little girl, it was probably your fault in the first place.)
His final thought on the subject: "I'll give you one bit of advice. Don't go to parties where there's a lot of alcohol."
Why would any woman ever vote for John Kasich? Come to think of it, why would anyone vote for Kasich? Or Cruz or Trump, for that matter.
Friday, April 15, 2016
(Let's take a short break from the easy mockery of Donald Trump -- he's such low-hanging fruit -- and get a glimpse into the mind of another GOP presidential wanna-be, the evangelical wacko Ted Cruz.)
In 2004 lawsuit, Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz tried valiantly to defend the state's legal ban on the sale of dildos and other sex toys. His writing on the matter has resurfaced, and his words are, uh, interesting.
Wow! What a stunning mish-mash of law and Christian fundamentalist moralizing hokum!
In a rare instance of Texas sanity, Cruz's defense failed and the dildo ban was lifted. And twelve years later, Cruz's words return to shine a useful light on the prudish religious nut who wants to be our nation's leader.
"It's a shame to see dildos persecuted and marginalized by one of their own." -- Larry Wilmore
Campaigning in the New York state primary, Donald Trump declared, "These are my people!" A bit later, he helpfully explained that "New York is . . . New York." Thanks for clearing that up.
Although The Donald may peddle the baloney that John Doe and Jane Doe are "his people," remember that he's a tycoon. More likely John and Jane are his servants.
Meet the three disreputable dogs running his campaign. They are Trump's people.
Trump's people. They're thugs.