The Watering Hole, Monday, May 2, 2016: So How Was Your Week?

I haven’t been around much lately. I don’t want this to turn in to some giant complaint, so I’ll be brief. A couple of weeks ago I awoke with some minor back pain which got worse and worse over the next couple of days (along with some pain in my side if I moved wrong.) Not only was I unable to go to work, I had to go to the emergency room, since the doctor I went to said she couldn’t give me anything stronger for the intense back pain. While there were no broken bones, there were a couple of disks separated oddly (is about the best way I can describe it.) They suggested I “establish a relationship” with an orthopedic surgeon. That part’s taken care of, he’s one of the best in the country, and I’ll make an appointment with him him soon. Which is good because over the weekend, I had one of those famous home accidents in the bathroom. I was wearing very slippery socks and they gave out on the bathroom tile floor, which made me fall straight down on top of the edge of my bathtub, squarely on the right side of my chest. No blood, and no head injury. And it hurts quite a bit, but there’s no bruising or discoloration of any kind, and my breathing isn’t labored at all because of it. I think I got lucky and just got a little bruise. Funny thing is, the drugs they gave me at the ER were great for the back and side pain I had, but didn’t really help the chest bruise so much. Oh, well. Despite all that, I think I had a better week than Larry Wilmore at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner. Personally, I didn’t find it particularly funny. Maybe the jokes were too inside for me. I hope you’ve had a better week.

This is our daily open thread. Have fun.

The Watering Hole, Saturday, April 30th, 2016: The View from Outside

We’re all tired of the U.S. media’s love/hate minute-by-minute coverage of The Donald, so I thought that ThinkProgress’s article on Trump’s international coverage might be interesting.

Occasionally humorous, i.e.:

MEXICO: “…the man who managed to make us miss the Bush clan” and “El Deforma, a satirical news site similar to The Onion…has included articles about Canada building a wall in case of a Trump victory and Pink Floyd building the wall if Mexico doesn’t pay for it.”

SOUTH AFRICA: “South Africa’s the New Age called Trump “arguably the most successful internet troll in today’s political spectrum,” noting that much of his social media commentary “reads like a laundry list of troll tactics.”

Sometimes insightful:

CANADA: “…the Globe and Mail’s conservative columnist Margaret Wente noted that a majority of Americans “would rather swallow arsenic than vote for Mr. Trump” and predicted his fall. “If Donald Trump were a stock, my advice would be to sell it now,” she wrote. “The one thing that has to happen is that Mr. Trump will have to change. And he can’t. His most deadly foe is himself. Mr. Trump has no situational awareness. He has no ability to take advice, or build bridges, or learn from others, or direct a team.”

Some surprisingly self-serving and hypocritical:

ISRAEL: ““As an Israeli Who Loves America, I Am Worried by Trump,” wrote Ari Shavit in the liberal publication Haaretz after a series of Trump victories in February. “After the astounding victories of the vulgar populist in New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada, it is clear to all that America is no longer the country we have known. It is no longer a nation with a prudent economic establishment, a contented middle class and a stable political system. It is no longer a nation confident in itself, its identity and its future. It is a frightened, angry America. An America that has lost its way,” he wrote. “To an Israeli who spends considerable time in debates about Israel between Boston and San Francisco, Trump is a relief. Suddenly Israeli politics seem a little less embarrassing.”

“…in March, Naomi Zeveloff published a piece in the Forward on how Trump’s offensive style was actually winning many Israeli admirers. “If America elects a person who advocates discrimination and condescension and even resentment toward minorities, maybe we won’t be so criticized by the West,” Yaron Ezrahi, a professor emeritus of political science at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, explained to Zeveloff regarding Israeli right-wing thinking on Trump.”

The TP article is very long with loads of links, and overall it’s pretty disturbing. But I recommend wading through it.

This is our daily Open Thread–okay, it’s the now-usually-Late-Afternoon Saturday edition. Go ahead and talk about stuff.

The Watering Hole; Friday April 29 2016; Nutso Factoids

The Wingnut World gets more nutso every day.

This factoid just in: Removing Jackson From Currency Shows ‘The Leftists Are Not Different From The Islamists’

[That’s the premise of] Joel Gilbert, the right-wing filmmaker who promotes the alternative birther theory that President Obama’s “real father” was labor activist Frank Marshall Davis; [Gilbert] joined far-right radio host Rick Wiles on his “Trunews” program on Monday to discuss what Wiles called the “cultural cleansing” taking place with the removal of President Andrew Jackson from the front of the $20 bill.

Gilbert took offense at the very idea of removing Hero Jackson from the twenty and putting up a black former slave woman! in his place. He found that whole notion to be as offending to white racists everywhere as are all those efforts to  get rid of the Confederate flag. In his mind, all that subversive stuff is nothing more than the effort of Liberals to, in effect,

“. . . change everything and pretty much apologize and condemn the greatness of America and the history and judge it according to current value standards of the media and condemn American history, apologize for American history and then cover it up.”

He further points out that

“The leftists are not different from the Islamists. Don’t forget the Islamists, when Islam burst out of Arabia in the sixth century, seventh century, they came to Jerusalem, they renamed it al-Quds. Several centuries later, they took over the Christian city of Constantinople. Now it’s called Istanbul.

“This is a way of changing the history to accommodate the new ideology in town, and changing the currency to wipe out the founding fathers from our consciousness, their principles and their ideals that created a nation of individual free markets and free speech, that is a way to achieve their long-term goals.”

Right. Because this here’s Amurkkka, dontcha know, and only us white male asshole bigots have any meaning at all. And wimmin, ‘specially black wimmin, ain’t got no business havin’ there pitcher on are money!

Something like that.

And remember, them damn Islamists changed the name of Jerusalem to al-Quds and the name of that Christian place called Constantinople to Istanbul., right? Right. And them Islamists are the same as our are Leftists, right? Right. So I’m guessing what that all means is that Leftists are gonna pretty soon start changing names of places in this here country. It figgers, right? Right.

So with me being a Leftist and all, I think it’s only fair that I git get that process underway by proposing we change the name of our Capitol from Washington to something that more closely recommends right wing Republican ideas, ideals, and their “principles.” With that in mind, here’s my suggestion:

WASHINGTONWASHACHTUNG!

Seems apropos, somehow.

That’s not likely to ever happen, of course. And there’s a really big reason for that:

Rick Wiles Warns Target Restroom Policy Will Spark Nuclear War

After reading from a statement about the bathroom policy from Target spokeswoman Molly Snyder, Wiles bellowed, “How about if I just urinate on your floor? How about that, Molly? Because you’re defecating on this nation. . . .

“God is going to use the Russians to bring down Sodom and Gomorrah if there’s no repentance in this land,” he said. “Listen, these freaks are going to get us all killed. They’re going to get us all killed. When there is a nuclear war, we all die.”

Oh well, so who cares. We’ll all be dead, right? Right. Yeehaw.

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The Watering Hole; Thursday April 28 2016; “Oh ICK!”

Oh ICK!!
(Radar O’Reilly)

In the aftermath of Tuesday’s five primaries, it now seems a safe bet that Bernie will not overcome Hillary, the Republican Establishment will not overcome Drumpf,  and November’s electoral choice will reveal whether the next President will be the first woman — or the first squirrel pelt — to ascend to the Oval Office.

Hillarump

So far I’ve noticed that Trump has at least one Republican Establishment figure that enthusiastically “supports!” his probable candidacy. That would be former Reagan and Poppy Bush staffer Bruce Bartlett, who has shown no hesitation in his backing of Trump and even voted for him in the Virginia Primary.

Former Reagan official Bruce Bartlett on why he backs Trump

Here’s a summary of Bartlett’s views, in his own words:

  • I think the Republican Party is sick. It’s dying, it just doesn’t know it. And I think anything that speeds up its demise is to the good, because then it can reinvent itself and return as something healthy. . . .
  • I think that Trump is a symptom of a disease of rampant stupidity, pandering to morons and bigots and racists and all the sort of stuff that defines today’s Republican coalition. And I just think it’s awful. . . .
  • So I think that giving Trump the nomination is the surest path to complete and total destruction of the Republican Party as we know it. And I look forward to him getting the nomination for that reason. . . .
  • I think he will have a historic loss. . . .
  • But . . . my hope is, at least, that he will lead to a really serious assessment of the problems of the Republican Party, and lead to some opening of thought, opening of discussion, conversation among groups that have been sidelined for quite a long time. Mainly moderates and people of that sort who have been just pushed to the sidelines in favor of ever more rabid, nonsensical, right-wing authoritarianism.
  • But . . . I also don’t think it really makes all that much difference whether Trump gets the nomination, because he’s already succeeded in destroying the Republican coalition as far as the general election is concerned. . . .
  • So either way the party is looking at historic losses, historic defeat. And I think that is really, really a wonderful thing.

Bartlett may well be the first Republican I’ve run across in decades who has managed to summarize the past-due fate of the Republican Party’s crackpots-for-fifty-years-and-counting dilemma. Given his past associations I’m surprised it took Trump’s Primary successes to flip on all the lights, but what the hey, any port in a storm is better than continuing to ride the bouncing waves!

In any case, I have to go along with all of Bartlett’s notions, and given that TRUSSTED just selected Snarly Fiorina as his VP running mate, I’m hoping for results to come in sooner and not later. Meanwhile, Any enthusiasm I might have had for the other party has pretty much dropped off the map at about the same rate as Bernie has, given that I’m much more of the Democratic-Socialist persuasion than I am a DINO-Warhawk. What’s left, in other words, isn’t all that much, at least insofar as I can tell.

So I’ve decided to take a different tack this election year. I’m surely not interested in helping Drumpf “Make America Great Again;” also not particularly intrigued with what amounts to a neocon (lady, this time) warhawk in the Oval Office. I’ve seen the consequences of all that stuff way too often over the years and have gotten way too old (and wise) in the process. So I’ve come up with what I consider to be a genuinely intriguing alternate goal.

EDEN!

From all the things I’ve heard and read over the years, Eden be THE PLACE!! NO Republicans! NO Democrats! NO Commies! NO Fascists! Nothing but Peace and . . . well, you know.😀 Clearly the search has got to be invariably tricky, but still, there are CLUES which will lead the way! Emily Dickinson pointed out the obvious:

Not seeing, still we know —
Not knowing, guess —
Not guessing, smile and hide
And half caress —
And quake — and turn away,
Seraphic fear —
Is Eden’s innuendo . . .

So I’ve set out on the quest, and may well be getting closer — In fact I do think that I have indeed stumbled upon the Seraphic fear of Eden’s innuendo!

2014 June 29 Bullsnake 124

I’m well on my way! And the best part is that all I have to do to assist Bartlett in his goal to destroy the Republican Party is to bring Drumpf, Cruz, Snarly, et al. and introduce them first hand to what I’ve found, and then, after their freak-out passes all the gas that inflates their non-resilient egos, the rest of Eden — the really good parts —  will magically show themselves and . . . well, you know! We won’t even need (or miss, for that matter) Hillary; only patience and determination, and all will be well!

Rowing in Eden —
Ah, the Sea!
Might I but moor — Tonight —
In Thee!

(Emily Dickinson)

Indeed. And today, even snakes be cool — compared to Drumpf (et al.).

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The Watering Hole, Monday, April 25th, 2016: Take a Deep Breath

Old orchard in spring

Old orchard in spring

I know that I’ve trotted out this photo a few times over the years, at least in springtime. But it is one of my favorite pictures, and, well, it’s Spring. Although the apple blossoms are barely budding yet, lots of other flowering trees are blooming and the air is fragrant in the warming sunshine. The first of newly-mown lawns add their evocative scent. Bees are humming and I saw my first butterfly of the spring on Thursday. Of course, this also means that there’s a pollen alert every day, and this spring for the first time my allergies have escalated to the “burning eyes” level. But as long as I can breathe through my nose, even a little, I still want to stick my head out the car window like a dog and drink it all in.

Breathe in the springtime – it’ll do you good.

This is our daily Open Thread–what’s on your mind?

Sunday Roast: Let’s Go Crazy

The year 2016 has been pretty rough on the music world.  It’s too depressing to make a list of the amazing artists who’ve slipped the mortal coil…

Let’s Go Crazy is my favorite Prince song; it’s just SO perfectly Prince.  Purple Rain is the iconic Prince song, but Let’s Go Crazy — to me — is Prince & friends having a shitload of fun making great music.

Speaking of Purple Rain, Bruce Springsteen opened his most recent show with a tribute to Prince Rogers Nelson.

I truly hope that Prince made arrangements for his unreleased music to come out over the next few years.

This is our daily open thread — Post your fav Prince music, if you can find it!

The Watering Hole; Friday April 22 2016; Eternity

I’ve dropped my Brain — My Soul is numb —
The Veins that used to run
Stop palsied — ’tis Paralysis
Done perfecter on stone
(Emily Dickinson)

I spent WASTED about five minutes yesterday, briefly watching Matt Lauer’s “interview” (yeah, right) of Donald Trump in a Town Hall, somewhere. My response, having shut the damn thing off as soon as I could find the remote, was to IMMEDIATELY thank Emily Dickinson for those four lines. Why? Because as a result of that momentary indiscretion on my part, I’ve dropped my Brain — My Soul is numb — eight words that have actually become the most able summation of my reaction to this year’s political asininity that I’ve run across to date.

And, as if Drumpf wasn’t bad enough, here are a few additional tidbits that induce even more dropping of the brain, more numbing of the soul:

Oath Keepers Website Warns Clinton Victory Could Lead To ‘Outright Civil War’

Pamela Geller: Obama Is Enforcing Sharia

David Kupelian: The Left Is Driving ‘Good Decent Christian Patriotic Americans’ Insane

And finally this nugget — the approximate equivalent of accidentally stepping in a pile of cow shit whilst enjoying a morning walk in an otherwise pristine forest or meadow:

Pat Boone: Those Behind SNL’s Christian Movie Parody Are Going To Hell

“When you speak against God and his purpose, we don’t have to ask for an apology. We need to stand up for what’s true and right, but then step aside because they’re answering to Him, not to us. That’s outright sacrilege and, as you know, I don’t think people will be offended by this, Jesus said that every sin a man can commit can be forgiven except against blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Well, the Holy Spirit is God and that sin is not to be forgiven in this world or the world to come. So my feelings now are not so much anger as sadness for what I fear is ahead for the people that are doing these things.”

Conclusion: Jesus H. Christ and Goddammit! I’m apparently doomed to the worst hell I can imagine — spending eternity as Pat Boone’s eternal roomie!

OK. I give up. Hell with politics, hell with religionistas, hell with their subterranean level of brainpower, of eternity. As Voltaire put it, Écrasez l’infame. ‘Crush the infamous.’ I couldn’t agree more. Amen.

Here’s my better idea; explore — again and always — THIS eternity! A new and fresh one begins and ends EVERY DAY! Examples:

Aug 2014 Dawn over Beckwith 252a

▲Sunrise, Lake Beckwith Colorado, 2014▲

Wailua Sunrise, Kauai

▲Sunrise, Wailua Bay Kauai, 1978▲

▲Sunrise, Cabo San Lucas, 1983▲

Nov 2001 Desert Sunset

▲Sunrise, Sonoran Desert Arizona, 2001▲

▲Sunset, West Maui, 1978▲

There. Soothing. Gentle. That’s what the world could easily be . . . sans that unbelievably immense pile of subhuman dregs and their ever-boisterous advocates; learn from them, once again, that ancient lesson, and note that — indeed — some things never seem to change:

“Zapata . . . took to preaching God in all simplicity.
He announced to men the common Father, the rewarder,
the punisher, and pardoner. He extricated the truth from the lies,
and separated religion from fanaticism; he taught and practised
virtue. He was gentle, kindly, and modest; and he was
burned at Valladolid in the year of grace 1631.”
(Voltaire)

Take instead that other path — Wander. Observe. Enjoy.

And tell Drumpf, et al., to SHUT UP!

******

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