The Watering Hole, Monday, December 15th, 2014: Surreal

While the vast majority of the current political, cultural, and social events have become increasingly surreal, here’s just a few examples of the WTF? society in which we are floundering.

In the wake of the release of the Senate Torture Report (“Senate Select Committee on Intelligence: Committee’s Study on the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program”), the defensive reactions of some are wandering in the realm of surrealism. There was that, pardon the expression, bimbo on Fox screaming that “America is AWESOME!”, there’s Dick Cheney calmly and coldly dragging Dubya under the same bus that HOPEFULLY runs down Cheney.

There’s surreal hypocrisy, as in Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia (spit!) stating that there’s nothing in the Constitution that prohibits torture. From HuffPost:

“Scalia…said that while there are U.S. laws against torture, nothing in the Constitution appears to prohibit harsh treatment of suspected terrorists. “I don’t know what article of the Constitution that would contravene…”

[How did this scumbag get to be a Supreme?]

“In 2008, he used the example of the hidden bomb [ala the fictional Jack Bauer in 24]. “It seems to me you have to say, as unlikely as that is, it would be absurd to say you couldn’t, I don’t know, stick something under the fingernail, smack him in the face. It would be absurd to say you couldn’t do that,” he said.”

On the other hand, regarding a real imminent potential crisis situation:

“In January, Scalia seemed less concerned about the safety of residents of Los Angeles when the court heard arguments about whether anonymous tips could justify a traffic stop. Urging the lawyer for two suspects appealing their conviction to stand firm, Scalia suggested that not even information that a carload of terrorists heading to Los Angeles with an atomic bomb would be enough to justify police stopping the car, if the tip came from an anonymous source. “I want you to say, ‘Let the car go. Bye-bye, LA,'” Scalia said.

Then there’s surreal racism/white privilege in ‘law enforcement’. As this Daily Kos diary points out, why aren’t vicious white criminals called “thugs”? One particular white Texas criminal who brutally murdered a white prosecutor, the prosecutor’s wife, and the assistant prosecutor, was:

“…a felon who had a prior record of burglary and theft. Yet somehow he had amassed a veritable arsenal of weapons as prosecutors during the penalty phase of his trial revealed:

“On Tuesday afternoon, prosecutors assembled the arsenal of weapons found in Williams’ storage unit in the courtroom. The guns were displayed on three wooden racks in the middle of the courtroom, 42 handguns in the middle and 22 long guns flanking each side. In front of the racks were boxes of ammunition — thousands of rounds were recovered — and a crossbow. Bullets were loose in bags, as well as still packaged in boxes.”

Now let’s switch to more palatable surrealism: I ran across this assemblage of ’30 surreal photos’ while I was clearing out/sorting my emails at work–Wayne had sent me the link in a 2012 email, noting that he liked this photo:

"Seemingly Surreal Swallows in a Snowstorm" - photo by Keith Williams

“Seemingly Surreal Swallows in a Snowstorm” – photo by Keith Williams

While I found many of the “surreal” photos to be too contrived – I like the ones where a simple alteration of one’s perspective reveals a glimpse of other-worldliness (see “Towering”, among others) – I agree with Wayne, I love the swallows photo. For more of photographer Keith Williams’ bird photos, I highly recommend checking out his gallery – makes a nice palate-cleanser.

This is our daily open thread – go ahead, speak up!

The Watering Hole, Monday, December 8th, 2014: Keep Watching the Skies

I’m totally depressed.

My fucking Jets blew it yet again after raising my hopes.

This month is the tenth anniversary of my parents’ deaths, flashbacks started before Thanksgiving.

Our company’s holiday party is tonight, I dread going – I hate the fact that Adam is not here, flashbacks there, too.
.
I hate the “Holidays”.

This country is going crazy and descending into a chaos that could, IMO, result in a violent “civil” war.

I fucking HATE people.

So here’s a nice slideshow of 100 Hubble photos, courtesy of weather.com. At least the human mind brought us the Hubble to show us so many marvels. At this point, I feel that space is the only thing that holds promise and hope for the future. Hopefully some alien species will learn from our human fuck-ups.

Star V838 Monocerotis

Star V838 Monocerotis

This is our daily open thread – don’t mind me, just go ahead and talk about things.

The Watering Hole, Monday, December 1st, 2014: “Spot The Looney”

While not as funny as Monty Python’s “Spot The Looney” game:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

NOW, see if you can “Spot The Looney” among these:

“Yes, America is definitely a White country.
The US was created solely by White people. Until just a few decades ago she was 90% White.
The Constitution dedicates America to “ Secure the blessings of Liberty to ourselves and OUR Posterity.”.
That was White people writing those words, so they meant White people`s Posterity, not the non-White global herd of “New Citizens” you anti-Whites have foisted on us.
Anti-racist is a code word for anti-White”

-comment on this Think Progress thread

Ed Rock's somewhat ironic gravatar

Ed Rock’s somewhat ironic gravatar

“ONCE AGAIN…A BLACK WANNA-BE PUNK THUG….PLAYING AROUND in a PUBLIC PARK with a TOY GUN.( that he had removed the RED VISUAL SAFETY TIP)… to MAKE IT LOOK MORE REALISTIC ~.
~ POINTING IT AT ALL PASSER-BYS ~.
~ GOT WHAT HE DESERVED ~ WHY?
~ BECAUSE THE POLICE OFFICER DID EXACTLY WHAT HE IS TRAINED to DO WHEN YOU HAVE an ARMED SUSPECT in a PUBLIC PLACE ~ PROTECT THE PUBLIC…
And PROTECT THEIR OWN LIVES TOO…
WHY DID HE GET SHOT?
BECAUSE BY HIS “DANGEROUS ACTIONS, (( pointing it at people)).
~ and the REMOVAL of the RED SAFETY TIP…
HE NOT ONLY GOT PEOPLE TO THINK IT MIGHT BE REAL… ~
(( REAL ENOUGH TO CALL 9.1.1. ))
HE ALSO GOT the POLICE RESPONDING to THINK IT WAS “”REALISTICALLY”” REAL! *
SORRY ~ NO CHILD SHOULD DIE for a TOY GUN..
But NO COP SHOULD DIE from a REAL ONE!
** NOTE to ALL PARENTS :::
DON’T LET YOUR CHILDREN “”play”” with TOY GUNS!*”

-Ed Rock · Top Commenter · Derry, New Hampshire, on this Think Progress thread

“Actually FOX news is about the only place you can get news that shows both sides of a situation.”

-Thomas Dunlop · Top Commenter · George D. Chamberlain High School, on same TP thread linked immediately above

 “Police are very careful in dealing with people, they’re trained to be careful with minorities, and the abuses of the past are pretty much a thing of the past” – Pat Robertson

“This is clear proof of the real picture of the US as a tundra of human rights, where extreme racial discrimination acts are openly practised,”- Spokesman for Kim Jung Un, on the Ferguson grand jury results

 

Okay, so this game was rigged, they’re all loonies…except the last one, of course.

Oh, well, how about starting a new game: see how many people can be described as “She IS the looney, she’s a television personality” (twisting around one of the great lines from the Monty Python sketch.)

This is our daily open thread – go ahead, speak up!

The Watering Hole, Monday, November 17th, 2014: Mixed Bag

Just a few articles from last week that I found interesting, and in case you missed them:

From Daily Kos, a very succinct [but limited] summary of some of President Obama’s accomplishments, in the form of a “letter to the editor” from a frustrated Canadian, who wraps up with: “When you are done with Obama, could you send him our way?” The blogger who posted the LTE at Daily Kos, Leslie Salzillo, ends (in part) with:

“…half of America was blinded by the half-truths FOX ‘News’ and Conservative talking heads fed them, because you know, if you tell just enough truth mixed in with a bucket of lies, it causes confusion. And that can lead to a bad case of the FuckIts.”

[Hmm, is a “bad case of the FuckIts” related to “someone’s got a case of the Mondays” from Office Space?]

Ms. Salzillo then posted a line by Robin Williams (sigh), speaking to Canada:

“You are a big country.
You are the kindest country in the world.
You are like a really nice apartment
over a meth lab.”

Raw Story had a couple of items, including this story about how former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales [spit] feels about possible executive action by President Obama on immigration. The President may “…defer the deportations of up to 5 million undocumented immigrants who have children who are in the U.S. legally”, according to the article by David Edwards. Gonzales, appearing on CNN,

“…argued that the president should be focused on securing the border because of a “nightmare scenario” where terrorists infiltrate into the country through Mexico…

“Now, 99 percent of the people that come across the border are not terrorists,” he admitted. “They are coming over primarily to seek a better life. But I do think that it is legitimate in today’s world to do what we can as a government to secure the border.”

Apparently Gonzales has not read up on President Obama’s work to secure the southern border. According to The White House:

“Today, the Border Patrol is better staffed than ever before, having doubled the number of agents from approximately 10,000 in 2004 to more than 21,000 in 2011. More than 2,200 Border Patrol agents man the Northern border, a 700 percent increase since 9/11. More than 21,000 Customs and Border Protection Officers, including 3,800 along Northern Border, manage the flow of people and goods at our ports of entry and crossings.”

If I were Alberto Gonzales, and therefore needed something to fear, I’d be a whole lot more concerned about our porous northern border [no offense, dycker!]: twice the length of our border with Mexico, the U.S.-Canadian border only gets 2,200 Border Patrol Agents out of 21,000? And that piddly number is a 700% INCREASE since 9/11? Oy!

Sorta-kinda related – well, it reminded me of the Dubya days, appointing buddies whose former careers were in direct opposition to the purpose of the departments or Cabinets they were asked to head – but I digress:

Also from Raw Story, losing Oregon Republican Senate candidate Dr. Monica Wehby must have some set of “Thatchers” (Stephen Colbert’s name for ‘lady balls’) on her. After campaigning on the ‘repeal Obamacare’ platform, she allegedly called Oregon’s Democratic Governor John Kitzhaber to offer “…her expertise and interest in health care reform…”, according to the article by Tom Boggioni.

“According to multiple sources, Wehby asked about the job opening as director of the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) which administers the ACA…”

I liked this part:

“Prior to the election, Wehby’s campaign was rocked by allegations that many of the policy prescriptions posted on her campaign website were plagiarized, including one for reforming healthcare.
Wehby removed the alleged plagiarized portions, leaving the web pages blank.”

Heh, smooth move, “Doc.”

This story gets curiouser and curiouser, as the ‘fine hand’ of Karl Rove is in the background. Dr. Wehby “…was accused of taking wording from a survey conducted for Crossroads, a group run by Karl Rove, for her health care plan.”

I haven’t had time to read the Crossroads survey, but I think that it could be worth taking a look at, even just to see what Karl’s millions and minions have been up to.

This is our daily Open Thread…go ahead, talk amongst yourselves.

The Watering Hole; November 14 2014; The American Politic

The American Politic changed dramatically on November 4, 2014. It was, for many, a rather severe letdown from this time six years ago, a time when the prospects for a national rebirth — in the aftermath of the absolute disaster of the Dubya Bush regime — stood tall and shone as brightly as Lady Liberty’s torch. Things were looking better than they had in a generation! There was a Democrat majority in the Senate, a Democrat majority in the House, and a presumed Progressive Democrat in the Oval Office! Shades of the 1930’s, the beginning of the most Progressive era in U.S. history with a President who was NOT afraid to shout his fascist opposition — remnants of the group that had been in charge during the crash of ’29 — into the ground! Remember FDR? Remember how he spoke the peoples’ truth to his seditious counterparts? Here are a small handful of Rooseveltian quotes that serve to point out his ambitiously PROGRESSIVE attitude:

“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

“A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward.”

“Out of this modern civilization, economic royalists [have] carved new dynasties . . . It was natural and perhaps human that the privileged princes of these new economic dynasties, thirsting for power, reached out for control over government itself. They created a new despotism and wrapped it in the robes of legal sanction . . . And as a result the average man once more confronts the problem that faced the Minute Man . . .”

“These economic royalists complain that we seek to overthrow the institutions of America. What they really complain of is that we seek to take away their power.”

“Our allegiance to American institutions requires the overthrow of this kind of power!”

“Unhappy events abroad have retaught us two simple truths about the liberty of a democratic people. The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of a private power to a point where it becomes stronger than the democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism — ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power.”

“In vain they seek to hide behind the flag and the Constitution. In their blindness they forget what the flag and the Constitution stand for.

Koch Brothers, anyone? Citizens United? Karl Rove? In the aftermath of the George W. Bush years, the power of money has been elevated — elevated to the point where the government has, indeed, become purchasable by the highest bidder, to be no longer in the charge of we the people. And now, beyond even THAT atrocity, the Republican Party has, since November of 2008, dedicated itself to but One. Single. Goal. No matter the consequences, Obama MUST FAIL! Their obvious and deeply-embedded Hatred reminds of a comment by FDR who, facing an almost identical attitude in 1936, said this:

“We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace – business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering.

“They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob.

“Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me — and I welcome their hatred.”

One wonders, today, if only Obama had . . .

But he didn’t. He’s tried negotiation. He’s tried reconciliation. He’s even tried, on some issues, submission. The result? Republican congressional landslides in both off-year elections. Big Money and the LIES they purchased won. In 2014, in fact, there was a Republican Senatorial landslide sufficient to guarantee that NOTHING of interest to we the people will get done for AT LEAST two years. The entire congressional task will, in fact, remain the same as it’s been since circa 1980 when Saint Reagan grabbed hold of the reins of government and initiated the slow and ponderous conversion of a Peoples’ Democratic Republic to a nation governed by a NEW system, one which, in its essence, is fascism — ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power.

I do hereby and therefore acknowledge and bow to the latest version of America, the version envisioned and legally purchased by all those old enemies of peace – business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering. I further acknowledge that NOW is the time that We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity must therefore agree to stand by, to wait and see how (if ??) everything — ummm — comes out.

So to speak.

GOP training film

OPEN — ummm — THREAD

(Sotospeak)