The Weekend Watering Hole: Friday, March 24th, 2017: FAUX Pas

On Wednesday, March 22nd, TIME Magazine’s Washington Bureau Chief, Michael Shelton, interviewed FAUX president Donald trump. I give Shelton credit, he apparently did not laugh in the FAUX president’s face (which is the least I’d like to do to trump’s face on any given day at any given minute. But I digress.)  I have to feel sorry for poor Mr. Shelton, as there was no way that any human could possibly keep up with the gibberish uttered by the “Most Embarrassing Man In The World”(TM). ‘Sad.’

The following is an except from ‘President trump’s Interview With TIME on Truth and Falsehoods.’ If you’re not dizzy by the time you’ve finished reading it, you will be if you read the entire interview. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

FAUX POTUS: “Yeah well if you’d look at, in fact I’ll give you the front page story, and just today I heard, just a little while ago, that Devin Nunes had a news conference, did you hear about this, where they have a lot of information on tapping. Did you hear about that?”

SHELTON: “I have not, no.”

FAUX POTUS: “Now remember this. When I said wiretapping, it was in quotes. Because a wiretapping is, you know today it is different than wire tapping. It is just a good description. But wiretapping was in quotes. What I’m talking about is surveillance. And today, [House Intelligence Committee Chairman] Devin Nunes just had a news conference. Now probably got obliterated by what’s happened in London. But just had a news conference, and here it is one of those things. The other one, election, I said we are going to win, we won. And many other things. And I think this is going to be very interesting.”

SHELTON: “So you don’t feel like Comey’s testimony in any way takes away from the credibility of the tweets you put out, even with the quotes?”

FAUX POTUS: “No, I have, look. I have articles saying it happened. But you have to take a look at what they, they just went out at a news conference. Devin Nunes had a news conference. I mean I don’t know, I was unable to see it, because I am at meetings, but they just had a news conference talking about surveillance. Now again, it is in quotes. That means surveillance and various other things. And the New York Times had a front-page story, which they actually reduced, they took it, they took it the word wiretapping out of the title, but its first story in the front page of the paper was wiretapping. And a lot of information has just been learned, and a lot of information may be learned over the next coming period of time. We will see what happens. Look. I predicted a lot of things that took a little of bit of time. Here, headline, for the front page of the New York Times, “Wiretapped data used in inquiry of Trump aides.” That’s a headline. Now they then dropped that headline, I never saw this until this morning. They then dropped that headline, and they used another headline without the word wiretap, but they did mean wiretap. Wiretapped data used in inquiry. Then changed after that, they probably didn’t like it. And they changed the title. They took the wiretap word out.”

Almost the last thing the FAUX president said in the interview was this:

“Hey look, in the mean time, I guess, I can’t be doing so badly, because I’m president, and you’re not.”

So…I gather from all that Nunes held a news conference, and the NY Times took out “the wiretap word”, and voila! he’s magically vindicated. Oh, and also, too, he’s the president.  Badly.  So there!

Words fail me.

This is an early edition of the Weekend Watering Hole. Have at it.

The Watering Hole, Monday, February 6th, 2017: Don’t Forget RUSSIA

Two recent articles to remind us that at least Senator Ron Wyden has our back when it comes to investigating Vlad the Imputin’s Russians having hacked our election for trump.

First, an excerpt from David Corn’s article at Mother Jones:

Since Trump has moved into the White House, there has been less public chatter in political and media quarters about the Russian hacking that, according to the US intelligence community, was mounted by Putin’s spies as part of an extensive clandestine operation to undermine the US presidential campaign in order to benefit Trump. The same goes for allegations that Trump or his associates interacted with Russian officials or intermediaries during the campaign. After the election, Russia’s deputy foreign minister said “there were contacts” between Trump’s team and Russian officials, and various news reports have noted that the FBI has examined connections between Trump associates and Putin-allied Russians—without offering much detail about these FBI inquiries. Yet in the first, chaos-filled weeks of the Trump presidency, the story of Russian meddling in the election—after blowing up with the disclosure that President Barack Obama and Trump were briefed about private intelligence memos alleging Russia had run a yearslong secret program to cultivate Trump and gather compromising intelligence on him—has seemed to move off the center stage.

Second, a diary by Mark Sumner at Daily Kos adds commentary to the above Mother Jones story:

“Now that the intelligence committees are supposedly on the case—and with the FBI not discussing whatever inquiries it may be holding on this front—the controversy (or scandal!) has been nudged to the back burner. This often happens in Washington: a secret investigation is launched, the story goes dark.”

“Helping cast those shadows is a press that seems to have instant amnesia about anything Russia related, to the extent that Russian forces attacking towns in Ukraine just one day after Trump and Putin had their contents unknown chat, wasn’t enough to push aside Trump’s latest tweets on television ratings. The connections between Putin and Trump, Manafort, Flynn, Page, and others in the regime seldom merits a mention.”

We HAVE to keep this investigation front and center, and demand that our Congresscritters and Senators not only support the search for the truth, but inform we, the people, of that truth, no matter the cost. This is OUR country, OUR democracy, and OUR freedom at stake. We cannot let this issue fade into the background, despite all of the distracting crap continuously popping up in the foreground. There are many fights to fight in this travesty of a presidency, but said presidency’s legitimacy is the biggest fight that we all face.

This is our Open Thread–say whatever you want.

The Watering Hole; Friday July 25 2014; Wisdom

The World English Dictionary defines Wisdom as “the ability or result of an ability to think and act utilizing knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense, and insight.” I find it most interesting that those nineteen words clearly manage to automatically disqualify a remarkably substantial portion of today’s American electorate, including (being kind here) no less than 99.999% of all on the political right, and regardless of party affiliation.

The obvious question arises: has America always been so . . . ummm . . . so intellectually dense destitute as it appears to be today? Has our “leadership” always been so contaminated with the equivalent likes of (to name but a handful) John Boehner, Louie Gohmert, Pete Sessions, Ted Cruz, Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin, Rick Perry, et al.? The answer is a simple one: NO!

Some fifteen years ago I ran across a book, a small hardcover masterpiece entiled The Wisdom of the Native Americans, ed. by Kent Nerburn (ISBN 1-57731-079-9), and it leaves no stone unturned as it presents the “uncompromising purity of insight and expression” gathered from Native American “orations” and “other first-person testimonies” most of which were originally “recorded only in imposing governmental documents and arcane academic treatises.” Following is a small sampling of the wisdom included, along with attributions.

“It does not require many words to speak the truth.” ~Chief Joseph, Nez Perce

“One does not sell the land people walk on.” ~Crazy Horse, Sept. 23, 1875

“Why not teach school children more of the wholesome proverbs and legends of our people? That we killed game only for food, not for fun… Tell your children of the friendly acts of the Indians to the white people who first settled here. Tell them of our leaders and heroes and their deeds… Put in your history books the Indian’s part in the World War. Tell how the Indian fought for a country of which he was not a citizen, for a flag to which he had no claim, and for a people who treated him unjustly. We ask this, Chief, to keep sacred the memory of our people.” ~Grand Council Fire of American Indians to the Mayor of Chicago, 1927

“Behold, my brothers, the spring has come; the earth has received the embraces of the sun and we shall soon see the results of that love! Every seed is awakened and so has all animal life. It is through this mysterious power that we too have our being and we therefore yield to our neighbors, even our animal neighbors, the same right as ourselves, to inhabit this land.” ~Sitting Bull

“We didn’t inherit this world from our ancestors; we borrowed it from our children.” ~Lakota Proverb

“For the Lakota, mountains, lakes, rivers, springs, valleys, and woods were all finished beauty. Winds, rain, snow, sunshine, day, night, and change of seasons were endlessly fascinating. Birds, insects, and animals filled the world with knowledge that defied the comprehension of man.” ~Chief Luther Standing Bear, Teton Sioux

“Knowledge was inherent in all things. The world was a library . . .” ~Chief Luther Standing Bear

[to the Lakota] “The animals had rights — the right of man’s protection, the right to live, the right to multiply, the right to freedom, and the right to man’s indebtedness — and in recognition of these rights the Lakota never enslaved an animal, and spared all life that was not needed for food and clothing. This concept of life and its relations was humanizing, and gave to the Lakota an abiding love. … The Lakota could despise no creature, for all were of one blood …” ~Chief Luther Standing Bear

“We know that the white man does not understand our ways. One portion of the land is the same to him as the next, for he is a stranger who comes in the night and takes from the land whatever he needs. The earth is not his brother, but his enemy — and when he has conquered it, he moves on. He leaves his fathers’ graves, and his children’s birthright is forgotten.” ~Chief Seattle, Suqwamish and Duwamish

“Civilization has been thrust upon me … and it has not added one whit to my love for truth, honesty, and generosity….” ~Chief Luther Standing Bear

And finally this eye-catcher:

“The white man who is our agent is so stingy that he carries a linen rag in his pocket into which to blow his nose, for fear he might blow away something of value.” ~Piapot, Cree Chief

Who knew there were Teabaggers around even way back then?

One has to wonder just what it is that’s gone so terribly wrong over the last several hundred years? Why have we Americans, in spite of our manifest scientific and technological advances and accomplishments, so completely abandoned The Wisdom of the Native Americans — our forbears in this land? Why have we descended so far into the abyss of intellectual penury that it seems unlikely that we have any chance of ever finding our way up and out?

I suppose we could ask Ted Cruz, or Louie Gohmert, maybe Sarah Palin, maybe even Rick Perry. They seem to know most everything worth knowing these days. Or perhaps it makes more sense to hearken back to the words of Chief Seattle as spoken to one Isaac Stevens, the newly appointed (by President Pierce) governor of the Washington Territory, in the company of a large gathering of Suquamish people on the shores of Puget Sound in December, 1853:

“Your time of decay may be distant, but it surely will come. For even the white man . . . cannot be exempt from the common destiny.” 

Amen to that.

Petroglyph composite-b

OPEN THREAD

 

Guns v. Beauty. ? The Watering Hole, January 11, 2013

“This is my rifle. This is my gun. This is for killing, and this is for fun.!

So goes the Marine Corps ditty designed to guarantee, to all the world, that each and every US Marine both knows and understands the difference between his rifle, and his … ummm … his Dick? Penis? Can I say that here? Maybe we can call it his ‘Speaker of the House’? His Boner? Yeah. Hmmm. Nah, better don’t. Tricky linguistic world, this one. Oh well. Onward.

Guns. I googled the word: gun. The top two links that showed up were this and this, and now, here I stand, embarrassed to be alive, to be classified as being an American. Or ‘human’ even. I mean, really, IS THIS WHAT I AM? IS THIS ALL I AM? IS THIS ALL WE ARE???

Killers?

I suppose a review of human history could rather quickly provide a one word answer to that, and it wouldn’t be an answer that would ever proclaim our species to have attained any significant level of any kind (including even elevating us above rocks and stones in the context of “useful” stuff) on this or any other sphere anywhere in the universe. And if we are, indeed, as we like to proclaim ourselves to be, created by god in god’s image, then let me state the obvious: God ain’t worth much. Neither.

The Second Amendment (hot topic in recent days) reads thus:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Ok, so here’s the thing: we all “know” that we need guns to save us from everything nasty, plus to hunt, i.e. to kill stuff for food to feed ourselves and the family, etc.  And the Constitution says that guns are cool and that NOBODY can stand in MY way if/when I decide I WANT or NEED a gun.

I think the operative word here is BULL-COOKIES (trying to be polite. It ain’t always easy). Emily Dickinson said it as well as anyone ever has in a poem wherein the ‘voice’ is that of a loaded gun. Her most compelling lines read:

None stir the second time —
On whom I lay a Yellow Eye —
[ . . . ]
For I have but the power to kill,
Without — the power to die —

The power to kill — that’s the sole purpose of every gun ever made, period. THE POWER TO KILL!  And, courtesy of the second amendment, most all Americans presume that owning the “power to kill” grants them implicit permission to kill ANYTHING, at ANY time; it’s a basic human right, after all, one that the nation’s founders understood and granted to each and all of us. The Power to Kill  is thus enshrined and made beautiful by its presence in our founding document.

That seems to me to be an incredibly STUPID PREMISE!  And grossly incorrect as well. Maybe if gun ownership was restricted to those who were members of “a well regulated militia” it would make more sense . . . or maybe it would have made at least SOME sense, even way back in the late 18th century when the document was first penned. Emphasize the word ‘maybe.’

Let me pause here for just a moment and be upfront: I HATE guns. Alladem. And no, I really do NOT feel the need to keep one around to protect myself. I mean, I wasn’t raised in either a lead mine or a ghetto, but still somehow I KNOW that WAY too often something goes wrong in that peculiar scenario. I also KNOW that it’s not worth my messing with. Period. And no, I’m NOT a hunter. I know, yea verily, that I’m hypocritical because yes, I do eat and enjoy meat; the flesh of certain dead animals (some more than others, of course) defines me, sort of; and while it does bother me to know that a critter is dead in order for me to have a nice lunch or dinner, well, the vast majority of animal life persists simply because it eats someone/something else. Life’s like that.

But . . . I can PURCHASE my meat at the local market, and save a PILE of money in the process; hunting for one’s meat is NOT economical, not by any stretch. Unless you’re like, say, Sarah Palin and live there on the edge of the wild where food walks by your porch day in and day out and all you gotta do is kill it, cut it up, and eat it. Yeah. OK. Uh huh.

I.O.W.: there is, no longer, even a single legitimate reason for a gun to exist. Period. And the fact that there are apparently several hundred million guns out there that really do “exist” in this country alone is mute testimony to human insufficiency (trying to be kind here, it ain’t easy). Guns are madness. Period. MADNESS.

Fifty years ago last fall, when I first enrolled as an undergrad at Arizona State University in Tempe, I met a fellow in a Herpetology class. We became friends, and remain such to this day. He was from Santa Barbara CA, the son of a dentist who was, himself, a big time ‘global’ big game hunter and trophy person. And yes, so was my friend, my classmate, a hunter.  Still is. Except today, he hunts with a camera, not a gun. He loves the world ‘out there’ more than anyone I’ve ever known, but will not KILL anything to satisfy that “love.”

Below are a few photos — selected from the literally thousands he’s taken in just the last year, his captures of ‘out there’ — posted here on his behalf, and with his permission. Photos of natural Beauty, taken by one who no longer hunts to kill, but by one who has learned how to celebrate life, and Beauty. Denny Green, Tempe Arizona; one who knows, who cares for that which is “out there” far more than he cares about those things that are stacked in gun cabinets elsewhere.

Guns. No. Confiscate every last goddamn one of them, and never let them ‘out’ again. Period.

Meanwhile, enjoy photos of that other world — by Denny Green — of critters that neither he nor I could ever, ever, kill. Plus a brief poem (by me, circa 1978).

Seize the moment. Hope springs eternal.

Honker landingBosque deerAlaska BearBurrowing OwlsAnna's, SaguaroRed head duckDesert Springtime 5Moose-1

My thoughts, circa 1978:

How sad that eyes so seldom see
Earth’s beauties, which abound,
For beauty known turns wisdom free
In measures that astound.

And if ’tis fact that beauty be
As truth, except in name,
What, then, is served but perfidy
When bird or beast is slain?

Yet minds of men seem safely free
Of senses which perceive;
Not truth nor beauty can they see –
For them must wisdom grieve.

The message, to me, in all of that is a simple one: BAN ALL GUNS! And maybe (?) then, after the dust settles, we could celebrate, instead, Beauty? And that which Beauty portends?

I died for Beauty — but was scarce
Adjusted in the Tomb
When One who died for Truth, was lain
In an adjoining room —

He questioned softly “Why I failed”?
“For Beauty”, I replied —
“And I — for Truth — Themself are One —
We Brethren, are”, He said —

So wrote Emily Dickinson, circa 1862. And still, WE don’t get it. How sad is that?

Open thread . . .  what’s on your mind? Speak it! I just did, feels good!