Welcome to Buster's Blog

Irregular commentary on whatever's on my mind -- politics, sports, current events, and life in general. After twenty years of writing business and community newsletters, fifteen years of fantasy baseball newsletters, and two years of email "columns", this is, I suppose, the inevitable result: the awful conceit that someone might actually care to read what I have to say. Posts may be added often, rarely, or never again. As always, my mood and motivation are unpredictable.

Buster Gammons

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Little Saint Don

Sent by a reader in Kentucky.  Thank you, dear reader!  It's "Little St. Don -- A reading from the Book of St. Don" by George Saunders.  Saunders is an award-winning writer of short stories and novellas.  He's pretty damn good at parody as well.  Many people have been saying that.

The excerpt is the opening paragraph.  Full article link is below. 

Once, when St. Don was in the fullness of his years, the people brought before him a woman caught in adultery and asked should they stone her.  St. Don grew quiet, attempting to know the hearts of the people.  Did the people want to stone her?  Would they like him more if he urged them to stone her or if he urged them not to stone her?  He sensed they were actually dying to stone her.  For all were holding rocks and a few even had rocks in both hands.  And St. Don spoketh as follows:  "What she did?  Whatever it was?  Was bad.  So bad.  Am I saying you should stone her?  Well, I hear that some people have been saying she definitely should be stoned."  And the people believed, and began to chant, "Stone her!  Stone her!"  At this, St. Don smiled:  for it meant they now likethed him more than they would have likethed him had he suggested they not stone her, or just stayed neutral.


Friday, June 29, 2018

I Will Not Hold Hands And Sing Kumbaya

An acquaintance is re-posting his "be nice to Trumpanzees" stick figure meme on Facebook once again.  He found it on a right-wing FB page and shared it first in January 2017.  It's even stupider now than it was back then.

I have little respect for those who voted for Donnie Destructo, and none for those who still support him now after a year and a half of his shit.  This meme and others like it are foolishly naive, suggesting that Trump is just another president and it's no big deal, so let's have a drink and forget all about it.

No thanks.  He's not just another president.  Trump is a malignant, corrupt imposter.  Everything he does comes with an extra dollop of gleeful cruelty and dickishness.  He'll go down in history as a tragic mistake.

As an adult,  I can be temporarily pleasant and friendly with Trump supporters, but I refuse to pretend that Trumpism doesn't matter.  I refuse to lose my anger and outrage.  And I will not hold hands and sing Kumbaya with Trumpanzees.

So here, dude, I fixed your meme: 

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

We Are F*#%'d

The Nazification Of America

  • The White House occupant is an ultra-divisive racist, fascist, authoritarian con man.
  • He gives fawning support to other fascist authoritarians while making enemies of our oldest, closest and most democratic allies.
  • He constantly stokes anger and fear of "the other," and sells bigotry of every kind.
  • He's called for the suspension of due process and the elimination of judges.
  • His policy is for ethnic groups to be rounded up by security police, then transported hundreds of miles to detention camps, tent cities and military bases.
  • Under him, government agencies and regulations designed to protect the public have been gutted and cast aside.
  • For his benefit, Fox News has effectively become State TV, Trump TV, actively working on his behalf spreading his lies and propaganda.
  • He's called all other media "the enemy of the people."
  • Like Mussolini and Hitler before him, he holds no press conferences.  Instead he conducts frequent rallies for his supporters, the purpose of which is to glorify himself and denigrate all who oppose him.
  • He once kept a collection of Hitler's speeches on his bedside table.
  • Rigged by Mitch McConnell, the Supreme Court has become illegitimate and is no longer an impartial arbiter.  The majority Justices are now ideological partisans doing the bidding of their deep-pocketed patrons.  With Anthony Kennedy's retirement, the situation will only get worse.
  • The majority political party acquiesces, sheep-like, to their leader's loathsome whims, valuing job preservation over all else.

Prescient cartoon from 2015
Our current events should strike many familiar historical notes.  We are witnessing the Nazification of America, right now, right before our eyes.  Far too many of us are silent.  We're in a fight for the soul of America and our future is in doubt.  They tell us to calm down and "be civil," which is merely code for "be docile."  Fuck that!  It's time to pick a side, so choose wisely.

The best result would be to unmistakably reject Trump's fascism at the ballot box and take back control of Congress and the White House.  The next best outcome would be for Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller to nail his ass to the wall for his collusion, obstruction of justice and his many other crimes.

Failing those two options . . . , well, other measures would need to be considered.

In the 1930's and 1940's, millions of Europeans fled from fascist-occupied areas, leaving their homes behind for the hope of sanctuary in some better place.

Could we today see a spike in the number of American expatriates leaving the U.S. to live elsewhere?  If Trump continues to turn our country into a shithole, we just might.


From a 1934 NY Times article about a Quaker leader urging civility toward Nazis:

A group of rabbis saw it differently:

Resist evil or go along with it.  Learn from history or repeat it!

Monday, June 25, 2018

American Horror Story

You don't need me to rehash the awful details of Trump's immoral "baby jail" border policies and practices.  You know them as well as I do.  He's an evil, lying, racist wanna-be dictator ginning up a false immigration crisis because he believes it plays well with his deplorable supporters.  Border control, ICE and now the military have been turned into the Waffen SS.  We're living in an American Horror Story.

We have experience in such matters.  McCarthyism, Viet Nam, Watergate, the Iraq War -- all were cases of our government lying to us repeatedly, but in each case the truth eventually came out, strong bipartisan opposition carried the day, and the nightmare faded.  Normalcy was restored.  Let's hope it ends similarly this time.

But Trump is so vile, lying more than all those examples combined, and a frightening number of people are swallowing it.  The racists are asking us to stop calling them racists.  They want us to stop chasing them out of restaurants.  And they're want us to stop being so disrespectful and uncivil to them and their demented pig leader.  As if Trump and company would become ever-so-reasonable if only we'd be more polite and civil.

Bullshit!  These worms will never turn.  We can't be too careful.  We must vote them out en masse in November and again in 2020.  They gotta go!

Until then, perhaps a bit of humor, dark though it may be, might help us persevere.


Thursday, June 21, 2018

That Jacket! (Let The Memes Begin)

Not jacket-related, but perfect . . .

Let's Do This Deal Before The Trading Deadline. I'll Even Throw In A Fascist-To-Be-Named-Later!

A baseball analogy.

We know that Captain Blunderpants' "solution" to his self-created immigration crisis is no solution at all.  Jailing families together as opposed to jailing them separately fixes absolutely nothing.  In short order, his executive order will run into legal problems.  And the 2300+ kids (that we know of) already in separate detention will remain there, with no guarantee of being reunited with their parents.

The long-silent Senior Adviser Sparkly Princess Trumpolina offered Daddy Dearest her immediate thanks (for nothing).  And the Bride of Trumpenstein chose to wear a terribly tasteless "I Really Don't Care. Do U?" jacket as she flew to a border detention facility to wish the little prisoners "good luck" (and good luck to you too, Melanoma).  Collusion Don himself headed to Duluth for a self-congratulatory rally with the foamy-mouth brigade.  He whipped the assembled dimwits into a frenzy with his usual racist anti-immigrant rants, and blamed all his problems on the Democrats and their "open-border policies which allow MS-13 and drugs to pour into our streets."  Utter horseshit, of course.

I hope you've noticed that Trump has killed the formal presidential press conference.  He hates being questioned and challenged, so he simply refuses to hold them.  All he does is hold rallies for his deplorable base and gets 'em so lathered up they can't see straight.  This is precisely what Mussolini and Hitler did in pre-WW II Europe.  And it is happening again right now in America.

So as the Major League trading deadline approaches, and even though "open borders" is a fear-mongering myth, here's the deal from Trader Buster:

I will take all the Hondurans, Guatemalans, Central Americans and Mexicans who want to come to America, and in exchange I'll deport Trump, his family, all the Republicans, and all the MAGAts.  They can go.  And I'll even throw in a fascist-to-be-named-later.

I believe the trade would benefit all concerned, a genuine win-win.


Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Starbursts And Shoes

On a somewhat lighter note than child incarceration at the border, but still disturbing, here are two more head-scratchers from our Trivial Tyrant.

Starburst Outburst.
Foreign relations journalist Ian Bremmer reports that Trump didn't want to be at the recent G7 meeting in Canada, which explains his petulant behavior.  He arrived late and left early.  He had to have his arm twisted by the other six world leaders before agreeing to sign the Joint Communique ending the get-together.  But then he stood up, took a couple Starburst candies from his pocket and threw them on the table toward Angela Merkel, saying, "Here, Angela.  Don't say I never gave you anything."  Shortly after, Trump disavowed the agreement and withdrew his support.

Canadian Shoe Smugglers.
Speaking to group of small business owners, Trump flogged NAFTA and claimed, as he always does, that America is being treated "horribly, very unfairly."  He tried to illustrate his point by bizarrely asserting that Canadians are coming to the U.S. and smuggling American goods back into Canada to avoid Canadian tariffs.  He said they often smuggle in shoes -- "Buy 'em in America, then wear them.  Scuff 'em up.  Make 'em look old or sound old."  Shoes?  Scuffed shoes?  Where does he come up with this stuff?  And wouldn't the practice he described short-change Canada of its tariffs to the benefit of American retailers?

Going Down On The Elevator To Hell

Not a jail, just walls made of chain link fencing.
As Dolt 45 struggles to lie his way out of the immigration shitstorm of his own making, a regular reader writes this:

So far I've cried every day.  Tonight watching news anchors cry on camera was too much. One could not even talk.  My stomach is sick, sick.  My husband does not believe in hell, but as a good Catholic, I do.  There is a long list from the Trump administration in the elevator, "Going Down" right now.  

Yes, a hot spot in hell would be just the thing for the Swamp Administration.  Some of the most recent horrors:

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was asked, "Where are the girls?"  (What little we've been allowed to see of the child detention centers has shown us boys only.)  "I don't know," she replied.

Nielsen blamed the child separation crisis on Congress, not the fake prez, and insisted that her people were only "following the law."  Nothing she could do.  (Like all fascists, she's big on following orders, even the most odious ones.)

Nielsen was chased out of a Mexican restaurant by a crowd of protesters chanting, "Shame!"  (A Mexican restaurant was an appropriate choice, eh?)

We learned that Nielsen and Trump established "tender age" detention shelters for the youngest of the separated kids, many under 4 years old.  Tender-age shelter is a bullshit euphemism for baby jail.

A Homeland Security directive denies any Congressional visits to immigrant detention centers unless two weeks advance notice is given, and the desired visitation date meets with official approval.  It mandates no photos and no interaction with children.  (Yep, 2 weeks oughta be plenty of time for the detention center to get its shit together.)

Border patrol guards have been recorded laughing and joking as separated kids are crying out for their parents.

Flight attendants on some red-eye flights have expressed shock upon finding their planes filled with non-English speaking children -- effectively kidnapped and being sent who-knows-where.  Reminiscent of Nazi prison trains to Auschwitz.  American Airlines today refused to allow its fleet to be used for such terrible purposes.

Trump said he'll seek authority to stop all foreign aid to any country "sending us" (non-white) immigrants.

Juvenile sociopath/bully Corey Lewandowski shamefully mocked someone trying to give a report of a Downs Syndrome child being pulled away from her mother.  Lewandowski butted into the other person's story by making "wah-wah-wah" sounds.  What an asshole!  An extra-hot spot for him.

Late today, implicitly acknowledging that images of distraught children made for bad TV, Trump tried to fix the disaster of his executive decision by issuing an executive order reversing his prior decision, sort of.  His "solution"?  Lock 'em all up together!  "Oh, you don't like to see child separation?  OK, we'll leave the family together.  No baby jail, family jail!  Voila!  I have solved the problem!"

"Look! I signed my name again!"
Not exactly.  Bringing illegal immigration cases to court can take years.  So his order enlists the entire federal government to assist with mass immigrant family detention -- use of facilities, diversion of federal funds, etc.  He thinks he's gonna keep families in jail for years?  Let the lawsuits begin.

His order reverses nothing.  It's the same cruel crackdown as before.

Think of the common thread linking these news items from our National Nightmare:  Build the wall; Travel ban; Charlottesville; Shit-hole countries; Puerto Rico; and now, family separation at the border.  Obviously, Trump believes pandering to racists is the best way to motivate his base.  He may be right, but it's a losing strategy.  The American public is solidly opposed to his fear-mongering, anti-immigration policies.

The one sure way to stop Trump's evil agenda and get to work undoing the damage he's done is to vote -- keep the pressure on Congress, but vote out all the spineless Republicans in the midterms, then vote out the leftovers along with Trump and his Grifter Cabinet in 2020.


Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Trump in Space -- Evil or Stupid? Yes.

This is so silly.  Can he really be serious about this?  Sure, at least he thinks he can.  Will he actually be able to do it?  Almost certainly not.

Yesterday Hair Furor formally announced his intention to create a new branch of the military, the "Space Force."  He first floated the idea back in March.  Apparently ignorant that neither the president nor the Pentagon can create another branch of military service (only Congress can do that), yesterday's 2-minute reality show was packed with classic Drumpf delusion, bluster and word salad.  Mike Pence and Mrs. Mitch McConnell joined the show in supporting roles as smiling bobbleheads.

If you watch the brief video, you'll note that fake prez says:
  • "Important."  (Said it six times.  Must have been his Word Builder word of the day.)
  • "Beyond the earth and into those forbidden skies."  (Forbidden skies?  WTF?)
  •  We're going to have the Air Force and we're going to have the Space Force.  Separate but equal."  (OMG!  That's from Plessy v. Ferguson, one of the worst Supreme Court decisions ever, wherein the court found no problem with racial segregation.)
  • "It's not enough to have our presence in space, we must have American dominance in space."  (Because we're America, bitch!)
  • "The future belongs totally to us."  (I think I hear the Hitler Youth singing.)

Only Herr Drumpf could make space flight sound racist, fascist and imperialistic all at once.

And who in his right mind could ever be comforted by the prospect of Sith Lord Trump and his Death Star?


Monday, June 18, 2018

Illegal Immigration Is Not A New Problem . . .

Zero Tolerance -- I'm All For It

Zero tolerance for Trump's hateful, immoral, racist, anti-immigrant policy, that is.  In case you forgot, the Great Trumpolini has told us:

  • "Mexico will pay for the wall."
  • "OK, I guess taxpayers will pay for the wall."
  • "If taxpayers don't pay for the wall, I'm going to put immigrant children in concentration camps."

Among those with zero tolerance for the Clown Prince's intolerable acts are:  all people of good conscience; all Democrats; very few Republicans; three former First Ladies; pediatricians; labor; clergy, including a couple normally hypocritical Evangelicals; and Anthony Scaramucci.  (Donnie, when you've lost the Mooch, you've lost it all.)  Even the Bride of Trumpenstein issued a half-hearted "hate to see it" statement.

There is no tidal wave of immigration.  Net immigration to the U.S. remains at its lowest point in a long time.  So ask yourself, what if today's asylum seekers and border crossers were Canadians, not Mexicans and Central Americans?  Would we be pulling children from their mother's arms and building tent cities in International Falls, Minnesota?  Hell, you know we wouldn't.  This policy is racist through and through, and everyone knows it.  And using little kids as bargaining chips is disgusting.  Yam-Face is buying what Stephen Miller is selling, and pandering bigotry super-hard to his racist base.  Where are the Republicans?  Mute with midterm fear.

So it's up to us.  We must stand up, speak out and refuse to tolerate it!  Call or write Congress and tell them to have zero tolerance for this awful policy and put the pressure on the fake prez.  It is not law.  Trump created this policy at the drop of hat.  He could end it just as quickly.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Fact-Checking Is Easy!

At least it is when it comes to Trump -- whatever he says, there are no facts to check.

"The Inspector General's report totally exonerates me!  No collusion!"
"The FBI was plotting against my election."
"The North Korean nuclear threat has been eliminated.  I solved that problem."
"A Democratic law is forcing the detention of of immigrant kids at the border."
"Obama gave away Crimea to Russia."
"Paul Manafort had nothing to do with our campaign."
"Michael Flynn didn't lie."
"We have a massive trade deficit with Canada."

That's just a recent sampling of Trump-speak.  Not a speck of truth in any of it.  Every statement is an obvious, preposterous LIE!

It's safe to assume that from now through the mid-terms, nothing but lies will come from Trump, his minions, Faux News, and the rest of the Trumpian propaganda machine.  They'll be through the looking glass, working constantly to persuade the public that up is down, on is off, and black is white.

Will it work?  We know there are a substantial number of loyal Trump voters who know nothing and don't care about the truth.  Will there be enough of those idiots to overcome the also substantial number of intelligent voters who know the difference between fact and fiction?

We need the real media and real journalists to do their jobs diligently.  It's no longer acceptable to just repeat his statements and let them stand as "news" without clarification.  It's not enough give the facts as if they're opinion or the other side of a debate.  Euphemisms like "exaggeration" or "misleading" or "inconsistency" won't cut it any more.

As a nation, if we don't value the truth above all else in our public discourse, we're sunk.  The Trumpanzees will have won.  From this point on, journalists must report the truth and tell it like it is with Trump"Today his said [this], which is a lie.  Then he said [this], which is another lie.  He ended his remarks with [this], yet another whopper not even close to the truth!"

Will the truth set us free?  Let's hope.

Thursday, June 14, 2018


Shame.  Shame on Trump.  Shame on Sessions.  Shame on the press secretary and the entire Swamp Administration.  Shame on all GOP legislators.  Shame on any American who still votes Republican. Shame on all of us for tolerating this outrage.

Which outrage?  (So many, I know.)  Trump's zero-tolerance, family-separating, child-incarcerating, racist, anti-immigration policy.  Seeking asylum and a better life, brown people arriving from south of the border aren't merely refused entry by U.S. agents.  No, they're immediately arrested and jailed, and their children are taken from them.  The kids go to their very own kiddie jail.  The one in Brownsville, Texas holds 1500 kids.  They get two hours outside each day.  They spend the other 22 hours of the day contemplating a mural image of Trump while wondering what the fuck happened to their parents.  Soon, many detained children may spend all day outdoors.  Trump is planning "tent cities" to hold the huddled masses in the broiling border heat.  Holy shit!  Shades of Joe Arpaio and internment camps for Japanese-Americans!

This is not America.  This is unspeakably cruel, abhorrent beyond belief.  It's a total 180 from past policy and it's utterly unnecessary.  Both Beauregard Sessions and Quasimodo Huckabee Sanders say that the U.S. is merely enforcing the law, and both bizarrely claim that "it is very biblical to enforce the law."

Bullshit!  We're not governed by the Bible.  And we have no law mandating migrant children be taken from their parents and jailed.  It's just policy -- Trump's policy.  And it's new.  He doesn't have to do it, but he wants to do it.  He likes doing it.  Because he's a mean, nasty cocksucker and a corrupt fraud who must be removed from office ASAP, by any means necessary. 

The GOP has been silent on this matter.  They sold their soul and no longer exist in any meaningful form, having been completely consumed by Trumpistopheles.

Nevertheless, please write your Congressman/Congresswoman, even the Republican ones, and demand an end to this inhuman and unjustified policy.  Speak out!

Then vote them out!  Fuck 'em!



Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Some Summit (Make Condos, Not War?)

First, let's all stipulate that, yes, it's better to meet and talk than to exchange childish insults and threaten world annihilation, but . . .

"Ow, Kim!  You're crushing my little hand!"
The Big Meeting was strictly meh.  It was typical Trump reality TV crap, all flashy photo ops, self-congratulation and verbal diarrhea,  but pretty much zero substance.

Once again, our Casino Mussolini enjoyed cozying up to a dictator, gushing that Kim Jong Un is "very smart, very talented, a worthy negotiator with a very strong country.  I trust him."  But he had not a word to say about North Korea's long history of torture and human rights abuse.  And while Cheeto Benito is lovin' on Lil Kim, it seems all our old friends and allies have now, in Trump's twisted view, become our enemies, "weak and dishonest."

Trump called the Singapore agreement "comprehensive" and "fantastic."  It's neither.  He and Kim signed a very brief ceremonial document -- 300 words or so -- in which they promised to establish new, peaceful relations between the two nations, with North Korea pledging to "work toward" denuclearization, whatever the hell that means.  Similar vague promises have been made and broken before.  It's a nothing burger.  And given that both Trump and Kim are chronic liars, their promises may mean less than nothing in the end.

As little as was accomplished in Singapore, it was symbolically historic, and it was a start.  But hold the celebrations -- it was just a tiny first step on a long, long road. 

Ever the greed monster, Trump may have revealed his true personal motivation when he told Kim that North Korea has "Great beaches!  Wouldn't that make a great condo?  You could have the best hotels in the world.  Think of it from a real estate perspective."  Trump actually showed Kim a video depicting North Korean beach hotels and condos.

Yeah, baby!  Who cares about nuclear weapons when you can have great condos?

Both?  Yeah, both.