"When logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead"

"When logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead"
click pic to reminisce

Comey in a Coal Mine  

Posted by howard in nyc in , ,

2017_5_12
13:05

I don't know if James Comey was the finest FBI director in the post-J. Edgar Hoover period, or if he was a bumbling incompetent political stooge.  Don't care all that much either.  But there is one thing I noticed during the last ten months, when his profile has been high.

He pissed off Republicans (when he recommended no charges against HDRC, in the breath following his reading of a convincing indictment of her criminal conduct wrt mishandling intelligence materials)*

He pissed off Democrats, when he publicly announced days before the election that classified documents were found during the investigation of sex fiend Anthony Weiner, on a computer used by his wife, Candidate Clinton's aide de camp Huma Abedin.

(I can't imagine there being less furor had Comey chosen not to announce the appearance of this pretty significant evidence; not only would that have been a substantial cover-up, it would've been a failed cover-up, as underlings in both the FBI and the NYPD made it very clear, via anonymous tips to members of the press, that if Comey did not announce this set of facts, they would.)

And, he pissed off Donald Thump.  I went ahead an assumed that anyone who could piss off that many people, across the board, must be doing something right.  Just gravy that I hate the politics of all these pissed off people, but, full disclosure (in case anyone has forgotten my strongest bias against all established political power structures and individuals, with rare exceptions.)

The blatant hypocrisy of the leading power structure Democrats, who were screaming for Comey to be fired in October, who now decry not only his firing by Thump, but those logically impaired to take this dismissal to be Proof! of Thump's guilt wrt da Rooskies.  And to invoke Nixon's firing of a prosecutor who was unravelling the felonious threads of the myriad illegal activities of that crew speaks to the idiocy of this outcry.

These Dem idiots praised Comey when he announced no charges in July 2016; pilloried him when he announced new evidence in October; and now sanctify him because Thump fired him.  Parallel to these twists of logic, they have periodically praised both the CIA and FBI as unassailable paragons of truth and virtue, in defiant ignorance of the dark histories of these spy institutions.  Except when criticizing the FBI because of the narrative of a given week.

I am probably being unfair, pairing the FBI with the forces of darkness based in Langley, unfair to both my own views as well as to the historic record.  While not perfect, the post-Hoover FBI is a completely different agency than what was before, and overall I respect and admire The Bureau.  I certainly trust them much more than nearly any other aspect of policing, investigation and enforcement at any level, local state and federal.  The FBI has legitimately foiled numerous terrorist plots pre-9/11, and came within a hairs breath of preventing that attack.  Without a further litany, and with recognition they have made some mistakes, I like the FBI and I think overall they do an admirable, competent job.  Further disclosure, I have friends in the Bureau, longtime pickup basketball partners.  Yeah, wrap your mind around that one, people who have known me long and well; I have friends in the FBI.

I was trying to spend minimal time and attention on the Comey firing, as I see this episode as trivial in the big picture.  My view is simply that Comey did not kowtow sufficiently to Thump, that recently confirmed by the Senate justice department official Rosenstein had a bug up his butt about Comey's letting Hillary off the hook, and the Bureau will continue doing its work despite a political change at the top.  But I came across an interesting analysis that put forth some of the deeper issues that are not trivial, and as usual phrase and present the analysis much better than I possibly could.  Most importantly, reminding me (and us) that should Comey be replaced by a partisan criminal (anyone remember L. Patrick Gray, the man who succeeded Hoover, who despite his loyalty to Nixon resigned after he could not stomach putting himself deeper into the criminal coverup than he already had, which was substantial and really should've resulted in a jail term, as he admitted to burning Watergate documents, knowing they were evidence, but somehow he skated by jumping ship very early, I could go on because I love the Watergate tale, but I'll stop, primarily because that was completely different as there was a bunch of real crimes, for which real evidence emerged immediately, like the arrest of an employee of the re-elect committee in Larry O'Brien's office, yet months after the "Rooskies Hacked The DNC and Elected Thump" nonsense began last summer, there is zero proof and zero hard evidence of any such thing man it feels good to spew all this onto the screen./barely_hinged_rant)**

Connor Friedersdorf in the Atlantic wrote a piece in The Atlantic a few years ago that outlined the danger of the surveillance state that came to maturity during the last administration:

All the Infrastructure a Tyrant Would Need, Courtesy of Bush and Obama
More and more, we're counting on having angels in office and making ourselves vulnerable to devils.

This week he has a vitally important article on Comey's firing, citing the views of an insider, Ben Wittes, who generally defends the actions and integrity of our federal security agencies, but has changed his tune.  As Friedersdorf says, "(Wittes) is as informed as anyone about the workings of the national-security bureaucracy and federal law enforcement. And his predisposition is nearly always to trust it."  But Wittes views this administration differently, and this piece cites some of his warnings published prior to Comey's dismissal.  Very good article by Friedersdorf, not too long.

Two Dead Canaries in the Coal Mine
If you’re not worried about FBI Director James Comey getting fired, this man might change your mind.

Once again, the focus on the superficial, the silly and the spurious, by the media and generally the public discourse, distracts attention from the huge dangers of this administration.  War.  Health care, and the amazing act of the House bill to take away the one single thing that Obamacare got right, the pre-existing condition coverage.  Surveillance and secrecy targeted at the mass of American civilians, as well as potential misuse of the Justice Department under AG Sessions as we go forward (for God's sake, they announced today cracking down on marijuana).  And missing the point of the simple banal evil of this President and his minions.***

Just a reminder.  Shit wasn't all peaches and cream on November 7, 2016, and suddenly we derailed with Thump.  The major themes of bad things in this nation were entrenched by Dubya and Obama, and we have not grossly deviated under Thump.  War.  Wealth concentrated in the hands of the few, with massive illegality gone unpunished.  Healthcare becoming worse and crappier, while the profits of Pharma and Health Insurance cartels ever accelerating.  War on Drugs and mass incarceration. The inevitable collape of the economic house of cards (simply when, not if), which has thus far screwed primarily the working people, the lower down the scale the worse the screwing.  Massive deportations - Thump has deported at a minuscule rate compared to Obama, but if he overcomes this area of incompetence, he may catch up.****

____________________________________


*Welcome back, Chelsea Manning, who is due to be released on May 17th from her literal tortured imprisonment.  She broke the same laws that there is clear evidence Secretary Clinton broke, according to Comey's presser last July.  One big difference, however, if not for the illegal murderous actions of the Obama administration, there were no secrets for Chelsea to make public.  But, equal justice under the law is just an ideal we are striving toward, or slouching away from.  And secrets are not kept only from our enemies, but the vast majority of secrets are to hide from us, the public, the illegal and/or immoral shit our government is doing.  You might even conclude that often, the 'enemy' of the government is not a foreign power, but is us.  Cue Pogo.

**This witch hunt for Russian influence has lasted for months, and yielded nothing whatsoever in the realm of logical proof or even hard evidence.  Here is where logic begins and should end regarding this silliness.  The DNC claimed their email hack was done by Russian government agents/entities.  The FBI investigated.  The FBI asked to look at the computer servers.  The DNC said no.  The FBI repeated this request, multiple times.  The DNC refused, repeatedly.  Should by End of story, right there.

But there is more.  The DNC instead offered a report from their computer security contractor, who blamed the Russians.  They insisted, 'trust our own investigation.'  Oh, that computer security contractor also issued finding in another high profile case, accusing the Russian government of hacking; their findings were subsequently proven to be false.  But, FBI you can't look at the evidence, you have to trust us.

You couldn't make up this bullshit.  Of course the media that most people consume ignores this sequence of facts, because 'everybody knows the Rooskies hacked the DNC and interfered with the election.'  Thank goodness the facts are readily available, albeit with a bit of effort, on the web.  I will remember these days when free access to facts and even some truth is available, because surely such access will be shut down in the future.  The crackdowns on 'fake news' by the US Government, by Facebook, by Google, are just censorship, and big giant steps toward that eventual shutdown.

There was no Russian interference in our election.  There is no Russian control or influence over Thump.  I say and think this confidently because so many empty words have been spilled to the contrary for many months now, yet zero evidence has been offered. This is not something that I 'believe' or that I 'feel'.  This is a conclusion based on the facts as presented to the public.  Of course I am eager to change my view in the face of new information, or even evidence.  That is kinda what I strive to do - figure out what is going on based on actual fact, reliable information, and rational thought.

 Further, the pernicious lies about Russian blame for all manner of crimes and misdeeds has been a regular feature for years now, again in the absence of any evidence to support US charges.  This informs my view of this issue.  As but one example, we're still waiting for the proof, the radar and satellite proof promised by Obama and Kerry of Russians shooting down the commercial airliner over Ukraine nearly three years ago.  (Dutch analysis of faked Twitter accounts and fraudulent photos on the internet don't count.) . And all the other routine lies from our government, regarding war, economics, law and justice, et al.  Amazing how people who say they recognize that the government/politicians routinely lie will embrace the particular lies that soothe their emotions or support their viewpoint.  Cue Carlin.

If you want easily provable foreign influence over our electoral politics, I humbly offer Israel and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as the biggest fish in that particular pond.  The long list of foreign entities registered to lobby Congress.  The Podesta Group activities in Ukraine, as well as the Biden boy.  But, Rooskies!!!!

***Once again, the mass media as well as some thinking people who should know better by now, are bending over backwards to parse and analyze Thump's words and actions, and are overcomplicating their reasoning and scrutiny.

We've seen this before, during this brief administration as well as in Thump's presidential campaign and in his public life over three prior decades.  He lies; he acts impulsively; he says something yesterday and says the opposite today.  His inner staff who function as direct extensions from the president to the public contradict one another, or when they speak in unison Thump soon thereafter contradicts their pronouncements.

Just last month, the Secretary of State said on Sunday that Syrian regime change was not a priority.  On Wednesday Thump bombed Syria with 60 cruise missiles.  And two days ago, Thump met with the Russian Foreign Minister and Ambassador to the US, moving a step closer to consensus between the two nations on a plan for no-conflict zones in Syria.

You can be excused for missing the news of this really important (if you like peace) diplomatic action by Thump on Wednesday.  Because the media was too busy yammering about Comey and paid much less attention to the highest level meeting between the US and Russia since this administration began.  I went to Google News on Wednesday afternoon to learn about this summit; there were 19 headlines before I got to this story, most on Comey, the rest on the typical trash that passes for news.

But please, if you seek to find deeper meaning or strategy to Thump's actions much less the words spewed by him and his surrogates, you are gonna come up empty.  There is no there there.  Thump is a conman and a bullshitter.  He is not competent at this job, despite your opinion of his intellectual gifts or deficiencies.  He has not surrounded himself with particularly competent people, save for the competence of continuing the financial rape of this country and the continual concentration of wealth in the hands of the very few.  If you are not yet convinced, there will be plenty more of the same to come.

****There is a deepening completely false meme developing, that things were cruising along smoothly last year, as the wildly successful Obama administration wound down.  Then those evil Rooskies ruined our free and fair election (forget the screwing of Bernie Sander's run at the nomination), installing this usurper who has single-handedly initiated the decline of a great and good country, in a mere 110 days or so.  This complete garbage is setting in the thoughts, well more like in the emotions, of millions of people, thanks to the leadership of the Dems and the media, in sad parallel to the meme of the Socialist Kenyan who will take our guns and our Medicare, sincerely felt by millions of loyal GOP Americans.  This Russia shit, as well as the fake image of Obama in complete opposition of the actual record of his administration, is Birtherism and Bengazhi for millions of otherwise intelligent, functioning people on the so-called left.

Something else I'm gonna keep repeating, it takes a really insane country to nominate those two clowns, and ultimately to elect this joke of a man.  Thump is a symptom of a deeply dysfunctional country, as is the nomination of Clinton and all this current hysteria.

America is really insane right now.  It ain't boring, at least.


Hell, this belongs, it don't cost nothing extra, and it always belongs:






































This one too:





Giants Tix May 2017  

Posted by howard in nyc in , ,

2017_4_24
21:45

Boy, rough month of April.  Good thing the season is long, and this season is far from lost or over.  Just let the pitching get right, and the injuries to heal up.

As usual, I put the tickets up one month at a time, since my travel plans are usually last minute, and I like to use the seats when I am visiting Cali. so around the last week of each month I will post available dates for the following month.

Tickets can be transferred electronically, instantly and securely, via the giants' web site. you can pay me with Paypal, (even though i hate those fuckers i don't have an alternative set up) or if we have done business before, just send me a check.

The Giants use differential pricing, so I will list the literal face value for each date. Face value is typically $81 for weekend and day games,  but occasionally $100 or $63.  Weekday night games are usually $63 or $39. I'll cite the face value, but the price is always negotiable, up as well as down.

Shoot me an email anytime, or comment on the blog.




Thu, 5/11 Reds 7:15p   $39  Sold
Fri, 5/12 Reds 7:15p $63  Sold
Sat, 5/13 Reds 1:05p $81  Sold
Sun, 5/14 Reds 1:05p $63  Sold, Dayna
Mon, 5/15 Dodgers 7:15p $63  Sold
Tue, 5/16 Dodgers 7:15p $81
Wed, 5/17 Dodgers 12:45p $112  Sold
Fri, 5/26 Braves 7:15p $81
Sat, 5/27 Braves 7:05p $81
Sun, 5/28 Braves 1:05p $81
Mon, 5/29 Nationals 1:05p $81
Tue, 5/30 Nationals 7:15p $39  Sold, Dayna
Wed, 5/31 Nationals 7:15p $39  Sold, Talbott



Prediction: War and Clusterfuck  

Posted by howard in nyc in , ,

2017.04.21
14:20

Sometime last week the tremendous bulk of analysis of President Thump's words and actions annoyed me to the point of wanting to vent here.  Not just the analysis and coverage of the legacy media, which I manage to tune out 99% of their ravings, but thoughts and considerations of sensible, thinking souls I have the pleasure of reading on the internet.

People will be well served to remember exactly who and what Thump is, and discard ideas about who and what he is not.  His essential nature is crystal clear to anyone who has suffered his near constant media presence in New York City for four decades, and the absolutely consistent nature of his behavior.

I.  Thump Is

A conman and a bullshitter, who believes in absolutely nothing save one simple thing.  He says anything that strikes his pea brain at any given moment. As well, he says anything that he thinks (at any given moment) will either move the deal which is immediately in front of him toward closure, or he says anything he thinks will forward the one and only simple thing in which he invests belief.  That is the bullshitter part.  Fully on display with his frequent contradictory statements.  Sadly, by virtue of his office, those statements now carry the weight of potential national policy.  Until they are contradicted.

The one simple thing he believes in is bringing wealth and fame/immediate attention to himself. That is it, nothing more or less.  To a very limited degree he exhibits some love and devotion to his family, and I hesitate to speak to the intimate family life of any famous person whom I have no personal knowledge.  OK, hesitation period over.  His family seem mere appendages put to use to bolster and promote that prime directive, more attention and more money.  He pretty much has said as much regarding the wives/women in his life.  The absence of black sheep daughter Tiffany supports this view.

A bullshitter who cares for nothing other than self-aggrandizement, monetary and attention.  Those looking for more in this man's character or for more complex causes for his policy actions will find no there there.  He has fucked over nearly everyone he has ever done business with (most recently Mike Flynn and Steve Bannon), he has not hesitated in fucking over the voting demographic that gave him the Electoral College victory, and he will without compunction fuck over the entire country.

I feel a little bit silly even bothering to type this, as it is so simple and obvious what this man is.  I do it because so many people seem to forget these simple, obvious descriptions of Thump, or otherwise discount or cast them aside.

II. What Will He Do Next

Trying to predict the exact steps Thump will take, as far as grand policy or regarding a specific issue (such as the Syrian conflict) is next to impossible.  The end result of his actions as President are very easy to anticipate.  Failure.  Clusterfuck. i.e. repeal of Obamacare.  i.e. Tax Reform with some semblance of increased fairness.  i.e. The Wall and Make Mexico pay for it.  i.e. announce on a Sunday that removing Assad is no longer a policy; until Thursday at least.  i.e. Muslim travel ban.  We will have to wait to see the pathways unfold, but we will get there, guaranteed.

There are two slightly specific paths we can anticipate with confidence.  First is accelerating the ongoing theft and transfer of wealth to the very few, the class that Thump identifies with.  All those Goldman and other wall street/corporate execs he appointed make this another obvious tell.

Second is, he will repeat actions that are successful in pushing the prime directive, attention/fame.  In response to an obvious false gas attack scenario, (so obvious I cannot at this point conclude he is unaware that Assad did not do this, otoh I can't be surprised if he was fooled by this ruse) he launched a cruise missile attack on Syria, killing ~ 14 people, including children in the town next to the target.

Many voices in the media who had been consistent critics of Thump, all of a sudden fawned over his decicivenes, his 'presidential' behavior of stupidly killing some brown people and supporting the ISIS/Al Qaada cause in Syria.  Media heads who expressed scorn and derision now complement him on TV.

This is as simple as Pavlov's bell.  Positive reinforcement of war and killing.  He will absolutely do it again.

I am going to hammer the most important theme in understanding what is going on in the nation and the world today, because it is a truth that is difficult to swallow.  But the cheerleading for war is the foremost example of this truth.  Out country is deeply sick.  We are existentially messed up as a nation, and our political system is a clear demonstration of the fact.  Once more:

How shit of a country do you have to be, to elect That as your president?

III.  Eight Years Later, Another Treat

I want to publicly admit a character defect, which is not a surprise to those who know me.  I am not proud of this flaw, and I am ashamed that I find myself reveling in this foible.  But, dammit, reveling in my abandon is what I am doing.

I am thoroughly delighted by this tell-all book from inside the Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton failed campaign.  I haven't read it, I've been enjoying the many published reviews which I presume have covered all the good stuff.  Even the bad reviews that persist in the myths and lies that excuse HDCR and her terrible campaign, that persist in blaming phantoms and other people for her loss, blaming everything and anything other than the terrible candidate.  The NY Times was an unintentionally hilarious example.

Eight years ago, Clinton similarly let the presidency slip from her seemingly inevitable grasp, when she was not as bad a candidate as she was this go-round (didn't have her horrific record as warmongering SecState, didn't have her self-inflicted illegal email server story).  Stories of her paranoid, backstabbing, dysfunctional internal campaign told in these book reviews this week are echoes of similar stories after she blew the nomination to an unknown rookie senator.  There were similar published account of that failed campaign.  In 2008 she/they didn't listen to husband Bubba, who for his myriad flaws, he has proven to know how to win an election.  She repeated this error, as well as many others, in this campaign.

Yeah, my glee is unsightly, and I will try to be a better person and let go this particular flavor of schadenfreude, and channel it into Dodger Baseball (although that may have to be delayed a couple of seasons, damn they are loaded).  But in very unequal measure  to my abhorrence of President Thump and the national 'leadership' he represents, yeah I get significant pleasure in the fact that Clinton is not president.

Oh, and those who want to smear me with the fact that Thump is a developing disaster and the assumption that the downward spiral of our once great nation would've been arrested by President Clinton 45, you can pick up your Fuck You from the big pile over there.  Just as soon as the line of people who directly blame me for Thump because I refused to vote for either of these horrible human beings that this completely corrupted and failed system tried to shove down my throat. Don't worry, I won't run out; no need to push.

Again, and you are gonna hear this from me over and over:  this nation was moving in a good direction, in terms of peace, economic fairness and opportunity, environmental wisdom and conservation, as of November 2016, and suddenly flipped a 180˚ turn because Thump.  We've been going wrong for years, even decades; we continue regardless which of these assholes squats in the Oval Office.  Because, Clinton's motive for being president is pretty much the same as Thump's - self-aggrandizement.  Yeah, Clinton has a bit of substance at her core, while Thump is devoid of anything else in his psyche.  While I hate what Thump is doing to the country, I've never much cared about him one way or another.  In contrast, I think that is why I hate her so, because there is a much more highly functioning brain and probably some significant positive ethical concerns deep inside.
She should know better, or care, and she just doesn't.  What drives her is pretty much the same, as Thump, the same as all the rest of them.

This one was fun, Taibbi.  Yikes! New Behind-the-Scenes Book Brutalizes the Clinton Campaign

IV.  War With Korea

Really fucking stupid.  So unimaginably stupid.

Without going into detail, and I am still educating myself on the particulars, the DPRK has a big army, a shitload of artillery, a bunch of missiles, tens of thousands of special forces soldiers capable of quickly infiltrating the south, more tanks and submarines than even we possess in our arsenal.  They can and very likely will really fuck up one of the most populous cities on earth,  Seoul (25 million in the metro), which lies ~35 miles from the border.  A city with factories and corporate headquarters of some of the biggest corporate household names (Samsung, LG, Hyundai, Kia).  And if some of those land or submarine based missiles can reach Japan, about 700 miles away.

With conventional weapons, DPNK could kill literally hundreds of thousands of people within the first hour of war.  Oh, they have a few small nukes, and while they are very unlikely to be able to launch one on a missile (miniaturization is a problem they have probably not overcome), a barge or a truck, or even a submarine can get a nuke to the neighborhood.

The 'madman' in North Korea holds a high value hostage in Seoul, and a credible threat of another in Japan.  Like in your run of the mill police standoff, when the cops storm the hostages usually get smoked.  Any fantasy that the US military could quickly neutralize the DPRK capacity for mass death has been dispelled by war games, repeatedly.  And defies logic.

Plus, the last time the US army marched across North Korea, the PRC exercised a veto, in the form of a million-man army.  That fought the US army.  And won, pushing US forces southward to the starting line.  I don't think the current PRC is likely to tolerate a large American army on it's border.  And while I have Google Maps open, the Russian eastern naval fleet, stationed at Vladivostok, a mere 100 miles from the Korean peninsula.  They may have some views on American military presence in large numbers so close to their navy.

But the 'logic' that a country cannot/must not possess nuclear weapons without US approval is patently ridiculous.  A nuclear deterrent is the only practical defense against a larger, powerful nation that has a penchant for invasion, 'regime change' and destruction.

Back in the days following 9/11, dubya named DPRK as part of the axis of evil.  For the next couple of years, there was a lot of talk about regime change and war.  But the US picked Iraq as the first target, relying on rhetoric and financial sanctions to punish the other countries.  Then, in 2006, DPRK exploded a nuke.  Subsequently, while the US continued to yammer about other countries, eventually making war with Libya and Syria, yammering about North Korea quieted.  Well, until this fucking genius.

Too bad Libya had given up it's nuclear program.  And Syria had theirs bombed by the Israelis.  With a nuke or two, the US may have left them the fuck alone.

Nuclear weaponry is 70 year old technology.  Peaceful attempts to prevent proliferation, negotiation, bribery, alliances, all make tremendous sense.  War of the powerful against the weak is stupid as well as morally indefensible, as such war demonstrate the logic of obtaining nukes for deterrent purposes.  Sorry, another sad truth.  Missiles are 80 yo technology, and launching a war to prevent development of that particular weaponry is another step deeper in stupid.

Stupid and deadly.  I fervently wish this is just talk and posturing, but history tells us of repeated stupidity and mass death.  In the great 'what if' game, I will concede that a President Clinton 45 would not be so stupid as to make war on Korea (she'd at least be too busy with full-out war in Syria). Otoh, it would be nice to hear her, or some other leading politicians, dem or gop, speak loudly about this stupid.   Nope, love war way too much.  I fervently wish we don't start a war in Korea, but I sure won't be surprised that our stupidity is limited.








Assad Did Not Do This Poisoned Gas Attack Period  

Posted by howard in nyc in , ,

2017.04.11
18:20

Within hours of this latest gassing of Syrian people, it was obviously very likely not the responsibility of Dr.  Assad.  Primarily because, the last time a gas attack was attributed to the Assad government forces, 2013, it was very quickly proved to be a false flag attempt by the rebel forces.  We nearly went to war over this.  Obama even said he backed off from launching an attack, because he was shown the proof. That long Atlantic magazine exit interview.

Shortly after the incident, as the fake corroboration (such as the transparently bogus White Helmets video rolled in, hey fellas, if you don't wear gloves and a real gas mask while taking care of sarin victims, you gonna die too) and the complete lack of evidence presented to support the bullshit claim, any thinking person (who doesn't watch cable news) knew this blaming Assad was 100% garbage.

And Thump attacked.


The single greatest lesson history teaches us is that people and governments learn nothing from history.  Sorry, can't find good attribution, but man is this true despite who said it.


What just irks me is we almost went to war over the exact same fake scenario just three years ago.  Much less the fake justification for the Iraq war.  This is madness. Again.  And so many critics of Thump in the media and in congress now praise him for his presidential decisiveness, killing 14 people with $90 million worth of ordinance.  In response to an obvious lie.  

Thump is, as someone online recently phrased it, a low-life, know-nothing, worthless braggart and con man.  Throw in cowardly and disloyal. His administration is a clusterfuck.  They announced on Monday that removal of Assad was no longer a goal.  Thursday he launched cruise missiles.  The fact that the Thump regime is a deadly joke is not a surprise.  The only surprise is the specific path to the clusterfuck endpoint has been and continues to be up for grabs.  

Delicious that Thursday morning Hillary said the US should destroy all of Assad's airbases.  Around 9 pm the very same day, Donny launches 59 cruise missiles.  It will be awhile before I'll be persuaded to vote for that kind of difference.  To be fair, had Hillary won, the attack on Syria probably would've happened months ago.

Just a matter of days ago, the hot topics were failure to repeal Obamacare, failure to even propose much less pass tax reform, RussiaPutinRussiaPutin! elected Thump, Susan Rice unmasked the spy data on the Thump campaign.  Now, all that is down the memory hole.  The exact path to moar war and abject failure of this latest American regime cannot be forecast.  But there is one trend regarding which I will hazard a guess.

Thump must be experiencing an ego rush from the fact that a ton of screeching voices in the media and from the halls of power that had been crushing him are now praising his military foolishness.  This is huge positive reinforcement to Donny's lizard brain.  Just from launching a completely illegal, immoral and illogical military attack, based on a fabricated incident.  Plus the silencing of the 'Thump is a puppet of Putin' nonsense, at least for the time being.  I gotta expect more of the same behavior from him.  

The exact course of the propaganda machine forwarding the needs and desires of the powers that be, whom insist on moar war, moar profits, moar surveillance and less freedom for the masses of us, again tough to forecast.  But when they get such milage from recycling old tricks, even such recent ones, that may be a clue.  

As usual, I am more interested in the reactions from Putin and Russia, as well as the other parties to this horrible and unnecessary war.  And I become overly fascinated  by some of the details, like exactly why did 36 of the 59 cruise missiles fail to reach their targets.   

There are so many smart people who report what is really going on, that will never be spoken on CNN, Fox or MSNBC.  I frequently post links to the sources I read regularly for actual news.  Yeah it takes a little effort, but thank goodness the internet is still available for people interested in seeking facts and ultimately, some truth.

This post has been light on details, because other people linked below say it much better than me.  Here are a few of my favorite sites.

Daily news rundown:


Military, war and foreign affairs comment and analysis:


and here are some good recent articles on this current mess.  The last one is particularly long, but particularly useful and important.  Check it out.

Syria: New U.S. Air Support On Request Scheme For Al-Qaeda





Is There A New U.S. Syria Policy? Is There One At All?


The Great Illusion 


Sentence First - Verdict Afterward


A multi-level analysis of the US cruise missile attack on Syria and it's consequences









Post Election Thoughts, Aged for you Pleasure  

Posted by howard in nyc in , ,

2017.04.11
14:15

I haven't posted my dopey views on current political and other events for quite a while.  Mostly because of a combination of chronic illness, and being chronically disheartened in the state of our nation and us peoples therein.

So, I have two significant (imho) thoughts that are way overdue, and I'll toss them onto the table.  One of my current favorites, Chris Arnade, on medium, at the guardian and more regularly @Chris_arnade, provides the reason why. "To be blunt. I don't want to write about Trump just like most of you who yell at me don't want him to be President -- but reality."


I.  The Election of Thump Is A Symptom
(most of this written weeks ago)

Thump as president is not going to destroy some golden age of America.  He is but a symptom of many many bad things in this country that have been going on for years.  Our ruling class gave us the Iraq war and all the other stupid horrible wars; the trillion dollar bailouts of crooked Wall Street banks; the loosening of the few remaining bonds on corporate power; the electoral system completely captured by big money, wholly owning the congress and the judiciary.  The real clown show was there, in full force for decades, on November 7.  The Thump presidency is just pulling back the curtain.

It is facile and natural to seek one or maybe two causes to explain away a shocking election result such as Thump.  The reality is many forces coincided for his nomination and election.  Russian manipulation is not one of those forces, but that is it's own farce.  These forces were also represented in the millions of voters/supporters of Bernie.  I won't bore you with a recitation of those forces as I see them, but I will name one.  Despair.  Again, from Chris Arnade, his work was compiling a chronicle of drug addiction in parts of the country,  He said, "(a)ddiction is a byproduct of despair; so is voting for Trump."

What should never be discounted or forgotten is the role and responsibility of the Democrats and the so-called left/actual neoliberal garbage of the past 25 years in preparing the ground for a successful Thump candidacy.  Far beyond the fixed nomination of a horrible candidate, and her horrible and stupid failed campaign.  (Uh-oh, here he goes on Hillary.  Again.) Nope, my dear reader, no need for another screed on  denied Queen Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton, as a brit comedian summed it up beautifully for me and for all of us.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLG9g7BcjKs

"How shit have you got to be, to lose to that!"

That succinct summation of the ultimate (we fervently hope) failure of Clinton is just as accurate when extended.  How shit a country have you got to be, to elect Thump as your president?


II. Repeat A Lie Until It Becomes What Everybody Knows is True
(again, most of this is older thoughts from weeks ago.)


If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

We are seeing this maxim of propaganda technique in full effect these days.  The list of accusations levied against Putin/Russia grows, and despite the glaring absence of evidence to back these accusations, they are repeated.  Incessantly.  And, with repetition, more and more people come to accept them as truthful.  And actual evidence, much less proof, becomes superfluous.

Even sensible people whom I read regularly have been beaten down by the repetition, such that they grant the possibility that some of these allegations are true, in the absence of any evidence beyond so many people think so, it might be a little bit true.  Yep, repetition fucking works.  Unless you consciously fight it.







Giants Tix April 2017  

Posted by howard in nyc in , ,

2017_2_25
13:00

Same story as prior years.  I will put the tickets up one month at a time, since my travel plans are usually last minute, and I like to use the seats when I am visiting Cali. so around the last week of each month I will post available dates for the following month.

Tickets can be transferred electronically, instantly and securely, via the giants' web site. you can pay me with Paypal, (even though i hate those fuckers i don't have an alternative set up) or if we have done business before, just send me a check.

The Giants use differential pricing, so I will list the literal face value for each date. Face value is typically $81 for weekend and day games,  but occasionally $100 or $63.  Weekday night games are usually $63 or $39. I'll cite the face value, but the price is always negotiable, up as well as down.

Shoot me an email anytime, or comment on the blog





Thu, 3/30 Athletics 7:15p $39  sold stubhub
Fri, 3/31 Athletics 7:15p $39  sold stubhub
Mon, 4/10 D-backs 1:35p $275  sold stubhub
Tue, 4/11 D-backs 7:15p $63  sold stubhub
Wed, 4/12 D-backs 7:15p $39  sold stubhub
Thu, 4/13 Rockies 7:15p $39  sold stubhub
Fri, 4/14 Rockies 7:15p $63  sold stubhub
Sat, 4/15 Rockies 1:05p $81  sold, Talbott
Sun, 4/16 Rockies 1:05p $63  sold
Mon, 4/24 Dodgers 7:15p $88  sold stubhub
Tue, 4/25 Dodgers 7:15p $63  sold stubhub
Wed, 4/26 Dodgers 7:15p $81  sold
Thu, 4/27 Dodgers 12:45p $107  sold stubhub
Fri, 4/28 Padres 7:15p $63  sold
Sat, 4/29 Padres 6:05p $81  sold
Sun, 4/30 Padres 1:05p $81  sold

I'm Still Standing  

Posted by howard in nyc

2017_02_24
17:46

Gonna fire this baby up again.  Main reason for the hiatus was illness, but this very strange neurologic syndrome is finally abating.

My Giants Tickets info for 2017 will be posted within a few days.  Commentary on the sorry state of the nation and the world will resume as soon as I can find the words.  May be a while.

Might switch to tumblr platform, cuz this one has some problems.