The Watering Hole; Thursday September 29 2016; “Why Within so Thick a Wall . . .”

“Lord, to account who dares thee call,
Or e’er dispute thy pleasure?
Else why, within so thick a wall,
Enclose so poor a treasure?”
Robert Burns (1793)

I confess. I watched, against my better judgment, the debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton last Monday evening. Not sure why I did  that, but I did, and I’ve been suffering ever since. Because: Donald J. Trump. What a total disaster he is. What a phony. Loser. Disgusting slob. Narcissist. Megalomaniac. Xenophobe. Misogynist. Plus, he has really bad hair. And small hands. What has happened to the Republican Party? Why Trump? HOW Trump?

Made me reflect back on those better days of yore. Back when the GOP was led by strong-minded and really decent folks. People whose sole interest was the betterment of the entire world; whose efforts were invariably designed solely to elevate people no matter who or where they were, to elevate them to the level of even the ‘average’ American, to that level of educated intellect which we believe should define us all, including even our President!

And therein lies the current rub: Trump clearly does NOT have the decency, the kindness, the understanding, the tolerance, the INTELLECT! to which we as a people aspire and which we hope will —  someday soon — define us ALL!

So I decided to take a look back to a calmer time, to a more intellectual time, a time when the last truly “intellectual” Republican (“President”) was in charge and speaking in favor of an elevated nation, an elevated world. Way back in those glory days I personally collected a large pile of our then-President’s quotes, and I saved them in the hope that one day in the future, I might have the opportunity to use them to make a valid point.

And finally that day has arrived! Now is clearly the time to demonstrate to all functioning minds both at home and around the world that America need NOT sink into the realm of challenged intellect [currently defined by Republican candidate for POTUS, Donald J. Trump], and that it’s never too late to both look back at — AND — to look ahead toward better (post-Trump, obviously) ‘Republican’days! So here they are, a pile of Republican POTUS quotes from back in the days when the GOP was driven by intellect(?) and humanity (? ? really?) rather than by stupidity and greed. The quotes are in no particular order — some are dated, some not — but they do, at least and nevertheless, point to the drastic and dramatic differences twixt then and now.

Enjoy!! Continue reading

The Watering Hole; Friday March 4 2016; Political Contrasts: D. v. R.

I ran across this video of Al Franken speaking in/to the Senate on the Republican refusal to even consider an Obama SCOTUS nominee. Franken does an extremely fine job of taking them to task, of summarizing all the reasons their obstructionist reaction is full of nonsensical crap. Makes me wish Franken was speaking from the Oval Office! The clip is a little more than thirteen minutes in length, but doesn’t seem that long (not like if it was a Republican speaking, i.o.w. 🙂 )

Meanwhile, from the opposite side of the political coin comes this li’l tidbit courtesy of Ted Cruz (not a video, thank all gods, simply a link in which the title is a more than adequate summary of the content):

Ted Cruz: God wants the other candidates to drop out

There. Contrast. Politics. Sanity v. Insanity. Democrat v. Republican. The contrasts implicit in Up v. Down and/or Day v. Night pale in comparison!

And in closing, a historical summary of the crap Franken valiantly attempts to confront — aka the crap which drives each and every shred of today’s GOP:

“The extortions and oppressions of government will go on so long as
such bare fraudulence deceives and disarms the victims – so long as they
are ready to swallow the immemorial official theory that protesting against
the stealings of the archbishop’s secretary’s nephew’s mistress’ illegitimate son
is a sin against the Holy Ghost.”
(H. L. Mencken)

Amen. It is written.



The Watering Hole, Tuesday March 1, 2016 – Super Tuesday

We interrupt our regular programs to bring you up to the minute commentary by posters of this blog on the Super Tuesday primary event. As a way of introduction and background, here is a snippet from Raw Story:

Democrat Hillary Clinton aims to build an impregnable lead on “Super Tuesday,” the most consequential day of the presidential nominations calendar, while Republicans struggle to derail their insurgent and controversial front-runner Donald Trump.

With barely 24 hours before the big day, Clinton and Trump are well positioned to secure the lion’s share of the delegate bonanza in the 11 states voting in each party’s primaries.

Trump and Hillary? Let the voters decide.

Follow the money (per NBC News):




The Watering Hole; Friday, Day One of 2016 C.E.

There’s a certain Slant of light,
Winter Afternoons —
That oppresses, like the Heft
Of Cathedral Tunes –
(Emily Dickinson)

Happy New Year!


“Heft of Cathedral tunes” anyone?

For all those not suffering from a hangover or headache, remember — this is an election year, and as of today the ten-month-plus-a-few-days countdown begins. It’s going to be a long and ponderous haul, as the following small handful of links can quickly demonstrate:

Ben Carson, Sarah Palin, Donald Trump - screencaps

This Year In Crazy: 2015 Belonged To The Wingnuts

5 New Year’s resolutions for reality-impaired conservatives

‘Family values’ Republican: Men should be allowed to grab breastfeeding women’s nipples in public

Creationism evangelist: God put contradictions in the Bible to ‘weed out’ the atheists

There. That’s the way the world looks from its ‘fruit’ cellars. Interesting how it was that somehow, Emily Dickinson managed to sum up both the essence and the impact of 2016’s Republican Party philosophy AND candidates — and she did it more than 150 years ago and needed only twelve words! — when she wrote:

‘Tis the Seal Despair —
An imperial affliction
Sent us of the Air —

“Imperial affliction.” I like that. Well, not really.



The Watering Hole, Thursday October 10 2013; Of Bosons and … umm … Bi-Sons (?)

Recent bulletin, courtesy of the New York Times:

Peter Higgs and Francois Englert Win Nobel Prize in Physics

Peter Higgs of the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and François Englert of the University Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics on Tuesday for suggesting that an invisible ocean of energy suffusing space is responsible for the mass and diversity of the universe, a crowning recognition for the scientists who came up with what is now known as the Higgs boson.

The Higgs Boson is pretty much viewed by each and all who are capable of conscious thought as an important bit of now-finally-demonstrated science, parcel to the continuing effort to explain the existence of everything that exists (except, of course, God, but . . . well, you know). So: what is “it”, really?

Higgs boson

In mainstream media the Higgs boson has often been called the “God particle,” from a 1993 book on the topic; the nickname is strongly disliked by many physicists, including Higgs, who regard it as inappropriate sensationalism.

In the Standard Model, the Higgs particle is a boson with no spin, electric charge, or color charge. It is also very unstable, decaying into other particles almost immediately. It is a quantum excitation of one of the four components of the Higgs field, constituting a scalar field, with two neutral and two electrically charged components, and forms a complex doublet of the weak isospin SU(2) symmetry. The field has a “Mexican hat” shaped potential with nonzero strength everywhere (including otherwise empty space) which in its vacuum state breaks the weak isospin symmetry of the electroweak interaction. When this happens, three components of the Higgs field are “absorbed” by the SU(2) and U(1) gauge bosons (the “Higgs mechanism”) to become the longitudinal components of the now-massive W and Z bosons of the weak force. The remaining electrically neutral component separately couples to other particles known as fermions (via Yukawa couplings), causing these to acquire mass as well. Some versions of the theory predict more than one kind of Higgs fields and bosons. Alternative “Higgsless” models would have been considered if the Higgs boson were not discovered.

Clarity. Pure. Simple. Well, OK, so the Higgs Boson has no spin, electric charge, or color charge. It is also very unstable. In those regards, it is indeed both different from and similar to another more recently identified and photographed deep space particle phenomenon. This one is also very unstable, but has lots of spin, very little electricity, and lots of color. I have, in fact, just today appropriately awarded the Nobull Prize in Psychics to the HIggs BOson’s essential antithesis, a phenomenon that was photographed in the night sky over northern China by internationally known astronomer Sum Ting Wong. It was on October 1, 2013 that he captured the deep space explosion, far out in the Milky Way galaxy, of the  BOss HOggs BI-Son, aka the BO(eh?)ner cosmic aberration. It was photographed as it exploded in the darkened sky, apparently within milliseconds of the moment the world learned that Obamacare was not about to be either defunded or repealed. See below the photo sequence, images separated by cosmic milliseconds only:

SumTingWongWhen astronomer/photographer Sum Ting Wong finally assembled the above photographic sequence, he immediately shouted for assistance from his associate in a cry heard round the world: Ho Lee Fuk! he screamed.

(apologies to Bay area KTVU TV for . . . well, you know)