Nov 13 2016

A few observations by David Frum

Published by under Trump is evil

David Frum sums up well what the great darkness we are heading into .

 

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Nov 11 2016

Just a few questions on the way out the door.

Today is Veterans Day, or as I prefer to think of it now, Remembrance Day as it is referred to throughout the British Commonwealth.  I supposed to honor others for their service and I do. But I have also given some 35+ years of my life to the service of the United States. And on this Veterans Day, that falls just days after a national electoral catastrophe for my country, one must forgive me if I can't but help to think all of that service was for nothing. The people still chose to fling themselves into the Hegelian Hell that awaits them next year as the new Administration begins its drive to erase any and all progress since the year 1992.

So let's get the formalities out of the way. Thank all those how have served and are serving for their service. You may be the only constancy left in the nation, even if the world is supposed to be better than it is and less in need of your service.

 

So as I head out the door to face the long cold of the coming winter of economic, political and foreign policy discontent, I thought it might be useful to ask the Trumpkins a few questions about the policies their hero seems to be advocating. Maybe they can explain to me EXACTLY how the coming conservative policies are going to make my life and the lives of my children better. Can you tell me? I seen plenty of evidence that they won't. But in fairness, may you could tell me the other side of the story.

For example, can you tell me how a 10% corporate tax rate will actually do anything to make higher paying jobs available to me and my children? We have seen plenty of evidence that when companies get a windfall like that, they simply profit the difference and do nothing invest in their companies or workers. Why is this time somehow different?

 

Question number 2. Tell me how, when I am already saving 15% of my salary for retirement, paying for my Social Security and Medicare and paying a tax rate of 16-18% I am supposed to find solace in a Health Savings Account. Especially since my last colonoscopy in the United States cost over 10,000 dollars. How exactly does it get my son an insurance policy since he has a preexisting condition?

Along the same lines, can you somehow tell me how, repealing the ACA and replacing it with the race to the bottom known as selling across state lines will make my insurance premiums cheaper? Especially since the basic assumption of the GOP is that ACA is a complete and utter disaster from top to bottom and therefore can’t be changed, altered or reformed, so it must be completely repealed. 

And someone is really going to have to explain to me how privatizing Medicare is not going to take away the current level of coverage in the program? Health care experts have already pointed out how it transfers expenses to individuals, many of whom cannot afford it.

One important note: Despite what Ryan says, the plan doesn’t actually maintain the prohibition on denials of coverage for pre-existing conditions, which may be the single most popular element of the ACA. It does so only if you maintain continuous coverage, beginning with a special one-time open enrollment. If you don’t, you’ll find that insurers can once again deny you because of your medical history, just like in the bad old days. And his answer for people with costly medical conditions is high-risk pools, which are just about the worst way possible to provide insurance (they segregate the costliest patients together, making coverage impossibly expensive).

And that's just about healthcare. We have not even gotten to the rest of the deal.

Like this important question. How does deregulating the banks and not ensuring they maintain required capital minimums prevent a re-run of the 2008 financial crisis? Hmmm? Or eliminating the Consumer Fraud Protection Bureau stop a bank from doing what Wells Fargo did? Can you tell me?

Here is one that hits close to home. How does a federal hiring freeze actual make the government more responsive? It keeps people from coming in the door-but with out restructuring (e.g. reducing organizations) you will just have less people trying to do the same work. How do you do less with less?

A simple question. How does removing environmental restrictions eliminate or prevent this from happening. 

Finally, how does incurring a massive increase in the debt to finance tax cuts for rich people prevent problems in the bond markets?  ( Marketplace did a story on that today).

In summary, I cannot see one thing, that in his proposals that will make my life better. Not one thing. But maybe  I missed something.

 

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Nov 09 2016

Now it’s time to make some decisions

America fucked up last night. They had a choice to make-and they chose the selfish option. Now they deserve to suffer for it. And suffer we will.

For the short term, people will rejoice, however when people experience the effects of the legislation that he will propose-and the Supreme Court nominees he will name, all of us will suffer for it.

A lot of you will deny that reality, especially this guy  But I have been around the block enough to know what will happen. Welcome to 1932. 

One of the great things about my work in Israel, is that I have come to experience the reality of why Israel came to exist. And how the founding fathers of Israel came to the realization how they had to establish a Jewish State because the rest of the world would not accomodate them. Well, I see that happening now for those of us who believe in liberal democracy. Instead they made Aliyah.

So. Now it's time to make some decisions.

Unlike many of you, I recognize Trump as the dangerous thug that he is. And now I have to deal with that reality. I had thought the American people were smarter than this. Turns out they were not. They were stupid and selfish.

In the coming weeks, I will bring this blog to a close.. It never had a large following, so it won't be missed in the grand scheme of things. Except by me where it was my venue to express my feelings about things. But in the new Trump inspired universe, there will be no place for such musings. The thought police will come for me, of that I am sure. Trumps ultimate purpose in life is to crush dissent, and like the Germans in the 30's we will all experience consequences of it. So now I have to look out for myself.

I've enjoyed my interactions with my readers and I am very much appreciative of their readership. I wish all of you well in the painful years that are now to come. You will suffer during them-as will I. As they say in Japanese, Ganbare! Do you best! The coming years will try you- because rest assured, President Trump WILL fuck you. I have the perception to see that. Many of you do not. That's my curse and perhaps your blessing.

But this blog will serve as a testament that there were once more noble ideals. Until we are liberated, from this living hell we are about to enter into, I wish you well.

Thank you for your support. Good bye and good luck in the new era about to dawn.

It will be painful and for those of you who willingly chose, I hope you suffer what you deserve.

For the rest us, I wish us safe flight into exile.

God bless you all.

 

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Nov 07 2016

Barbarians at the gate

Published by under Uncategorized

Tomorrow is, without a doubt, the most frightening election I have ever experienced in my adult life. As John Cole put it:

"The best way I can compare my mood right now is the trash compactor scene in Star Wars, where I am living in a fetid world of Trump shit, while the walls are closing in, I have a sick sense of impending doom, and the media keeps grabbing me by the ankle trying to pull me under into the noxious shit and choke the life out of me. I have never been as horrified and terrified by an election in my life. I feel like I am on death row, and the preferred means of execution is force-feeding me puke and bile and racist, sexist shit."

The world is watching in horror, hoping America gets this right. ( Except for Putin's Russia)

 

 

Don't fuck this up America!

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Nov 05 2016

Standing at the abyss…………

That's where the land of my birth is today. Remember this scene from the end of the movie, Wall Street?

 

 

That's a great thought for 2016 especially as we have hordes of less than rational people screaming about e-mails again and again. All the while ignoring the really awful and totalitarian things of the man they profess to love.

Andrew Sullivan, a writer who,  I have to confess, have a love / hate relationship with his writing, has penned a fairly accurate description of where my mother country is, on 5 November 2016.  Titled , America and The Abyss it is a well written and detailed look at how America brought itself to the bring of descending into fascism and fear.  It is a frightening apparition of how low the United States has sunk to in terms of political and historical awareness.

This is what we now know. Donald Trump is the first candidate for president who seems to have little understanding of or reverence for constitutional democracy and presents himself as a future strongman. This begins with his character — if that word could possibly be ascribed to his disturbed, unstable, and uncontrollable psyche. He has revealed himself incapable of treating other people as anything but instruments to his will. He seems to have no close friends, because he can tolerate no equals. He never appears to laugh, because that would cede a recognition to another’s fleeting power over him. He treats his wives and his children as mere extensions of his power, and those who have resisted the patriarch have been exiled, humiliated, or bought off. 

A look at the details of Trumps life supports this assessment-especially when you consider the number of people he has alienated.

Anyone paying attention knew this before he conquered the Republican Party. Look at what has happened since then. He sees the judicial system as entirely subordinate to his political and personal interests, and impugned a federal judge for his ethnicity. He has accused the Justice Department and FBI of a criminal conspiracy to protect Hillary Clinton. He has refused to accept in advance the results of any election in which he loses. He has openly argued for government persecution of newspapers that oppose him — pledging to open up antitrust prosecution against the Washington Post, for example. He is the first candidate in American history to subject the press pool to mob hatred — “disgusting, disgusting people” — and anti-Semitic poison from his foulest supporters. He is the first candidate in American history to pledge to imprison his election opponent if he wins power. He has mused about using nuclear weapons in regional wars. He has celebrated police powers that openly deploy racial profiling. His favorite foreign leader is a man who murders journalists, commits war crimes, uses xenophobia and warfare to cement his political standing, and believes in the dismemberment of both NATO and the European Union. Nor has he rejected any of his most odious promises during the primary — from torturing prisoners “even if it doesn’t work” to murdering the innocent family members of terror suspects to rounding up several million noncitizens to declaring war on an entire religion, proposing to create a database to monitor its adherents and bar most from entering the country.

Interestingly enough, the man and his followers seem to take great offense when you call out this phenomenon by its proper name.

We are told we cannot use the term fascist to describe this. I’m at a loss to find a more accurate alternative.


 

Scott Adams, you fucking hypocrite, please make a note of this.  As noted previously,  any political credibility you may have possessed has long been thrown out the window.

Sullivan makes a cogent argument that the GOP, through its combination of cowardice and embrace of a cruel and selfish economic agenda has put the nation in danger. He's quite right about this as witnessed by Paul Ryan's cowardly , "I'll support him even though its distasteful, because it gives me the opportunity to screw Grandma out of Social Security and guy Medicare." That's not exactly a principled decision to make.

The Establishments of both right and left have had many opportunities to stop him and have failed by spectacular displays of cowardice, narrow self-interest, and bewilderment. The right has been spectacularly craven. Trump has no loyalty to the party apparatus that has elevated him to a possible victory next Tuesday — declaring war on the Speaker of the House, attacking the RNC whenever it fails to toady to him, denigrating every single rival Republican candidate, even treating his own vice-presidential nominee as someone he can openly and contemptuously contradict with impunity. And yet that party, like the conservative parties in Weimar Germany, has never seen fit to anathematize him, only seeking to exploit his followers in the vain and foolish delusion that they can control him in the future in ways they have not been able to in the past.

The Republican media complex have enabled and promoted his lies and conspiracy theories and, above all, his hysteria. From the poisonous propaganda of most of Fox News to the internet madness of the alt-right, they have all made a fortune this past decade by describing the world as a hellhole of chaos and disorder and crime for which the only possible solution is a third-world strongman. The Republicans in Washington complemented this picture of crisis by a policy of calculated obstruction to every single measure a Democratic president has attempted, rendering the Congress so gridlocked that it has been incapable of even passing a budget without constitutional crisis, filling a vacant Supreme Court seat, or reforming a health-care policy in pragmatic fashion. They have risked the nation’s very credit rating to vent their rage. They have helped reduce the public support of the central democratic institution in American government, the Congress, to a consistently basement level never seen before — another disturbing analogy to the discredited democratic parliaments of the 1930s. The Republicans have thereby become a force bent less on governing than on destroying the very institutions that make democracy and the rule of law possible. They have not been conservative in any sane meaning of that term for many, many years. They are nihilist revolutionaries of the far right in search of a galvanizing revolutionary leader. And they have now found their man.

Sullivan correctly does not spare the Democrats and he should go after them. The failure of the party to develop a broader "bench" and find a reasonable candidate without so much baggage is just really, really bad. Pelosi and Reid are long past their "sell by " dates, and the party has taken too many beatings in mid-term elections by the people who are quietly destroying Kansas, Texas and Wisconsin. ( Not to mention my adopted state of Alabama where people continue to elect psychopaths).

For their part, the feckless Democrats decided to nominate one of the most mediocre, compromised, and Establishment figures one can imagine in a deeply restless moment of anxiety and discontent. They knew full well that Hillary Clinton is incapable of inspiring, of providing reassurance, or of persuading anyone who isn’t already in her corner, and that her self-regard and privilege and money-grubbing have led her into the petty scandals that have been exploited by the tyrant’s massive lies. The staggering decision by FBI director James Comey to violate established protocol and throw the election into chaos to preserve his credibility with the far right has ripped open her greatest vulnerability — her caginess and deviousness — while also epitomizing the endgame of the chaos that the GOP has sought to exploit. Comey made the final days of the election about her. And if this election is a referendum on Clinton, she loses.

Yes, she has shrewdly deployed fear against fear — but she is running against the master of fear. The Democrats, with the exception of Obama, have long been unable to marshal emotion as a political weapon, advancing a bloodless rationalism that has never been a match for the tribal national passions of the right. Clinton’s rallies have been pale copies of the bloodthirsty mobs Trump has marshaled and whipped into ever-higher states of frenzy. In every debate, she won on points, but I fear she failed to offer a compelling, simple, and positive reason for her candidacy. 

I don't think Bernie could have marshaled enough middle of the road and black support-but at this point I kind of wish he had been given the chance to. Nonetheless here we are, with the survival of the country at stake.

Some — including many who will be voting for Trump — will argue that even if the unstable, sleepless, vindictive tyrant wins on Tuesday, he will be restrained by the system when he seizes power. Let’s game this out for a moment. Over the last year, which forces in the GOP have been able to stand up to him? Even his closest aides have been unable to get him to concentrate before a debate. He set up a policy advisory apparatus and then completely ignored it until it was disbanded. His foreign-policy advisers can scarcely be found. He says he knows more than any general, any diplomat, and anyone with actual experience in government. He has declared his chief adviser to be himself. Even the criminal Richard Nixon was eventually restrained and dispatched by a Republican Establishment that still knew how to run the country and had a loyalty to broader American institutions. Such an Establishment no longer exists. 

More to the point, if Trump wins, he will almost certainly bring with him the House, the Senate, and the Supreme Court. A President Clinton will be checked and balanced. A President Trump will be pushing through wide-open doors. Who can temper or stop him then? A Speaker who reveals the slightest inclination to resist him will be swiftly dispatched — or subjected to a very credible threat of being primaried. If the military top brass resist his belief in unpredictable or unethical or unlawful warfare, they will surely be fired. As for the administration of justice, he has openly declared his intent to use the power of the government to put his political opponent in jail. As for a free society, he has threatened to do what he can to put his media opponents into receivership.

What is so striking is that this requires no interpretation, no reading of the tea leaves. Trump has told Americans all of this — again and again — in plain English. His own temperamental instability has been displayed daily and in gory detail. From time to time, you can see his poll ratings plummet as revelations that would permanently sink any other candidate have dented his appeal. And then he resiliently and unstoppably moves back up. His bond with his supporters is absolute, total, and personal. It was months ago that he boasted that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and his supporters would still be with him. And he was right. This is not a mark of a democratic leader; it is a mark of an authoritarian cult. ?

Let me say it for the 157th time. Trump is dangerous, very dangerous and it won't save you when he goes full fascist that you may have voted for him or supported him.

I have long had faith that some version of fascism cannot come to power in America.?……………..a catastrophic war and a financial crisis has robbed the elites of their credibility. As always in history, you still needed the spark, the unique actor who could deploy demagogic talent to drag an advanced country into violence and barbarism. In Trump, America found one for the ages. ?

Never, in my adult life have I feared and worried about an election as much as this. It is the first time I have truly feared the opponent could really hurt the Republic. Even Bush, whose economic and foreign policy I still utterly despise, I never felt like he was capable of doing the things that would destroy the Republic. And when and if that day comes, as it was 80 years ago, the same truth will exist. You were warned and you failed to pay heed to that warning.

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Nov 02 2016

Why the choice is not a choice……..

Published by under Trump is evil

Which could also be why I kind of wish it was Bernie in the ring taking the fight to the orange headed dictator wanna be.

But before I point out, that we don't always get what we want-and with the barbarians at the gates we have to do things we don't necessarily like, I'd like to remind the Trumpkins of what you could have had if you were not selfish and vengeance minded.

kasichjohn_043016getty  

But no-you chose to go with the the ghost of Andrew Breitbart ( who is still dead). And here we are. Fortunately for the country there are still sane minded people who recognize the orange demon as the truly dangerous threat to the Republic he is.

 

This, BTW sums up my feelings on why I will never support Trump.

 

Trump is dangerous and if you cannot see that, then you too are part of the problem with the US.

 

Tom Nichols is right.

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Nov 01 2016

This is now my motto for the election.

Published by under Trump is evil

And what I think about most Trump supporters. They think they are good people. The only problem is that while feeling good about themselves- they are enabling the apocalypse.  So are you supposed to feel sorry for them or tell them go fuck themselves?

I vote for option 2.

 

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Oct 31 2016

Dear Trumpkins…….

You think that Donald is your answer. As I have pointed out earlier-we all understand your desire for revenge, what we don't understand is how you are so oblivious to the fact that it will hurt you. You want to repeal Obamacare? Fine-remember that a GOP Congress will not propose anything other than band aids and when you get cancer in 2-5 years, your insurance company will be free to drop you like a hot potato.

But most of you are the types if ignorant souls who really believe you are immune to everything. As one who has had bad things happen to him-trust me, it can and it will. But live in your ignorance anyway. It will not save you in the end.

The only question remaining is, where will America's Palestine be and who will rebuild the remananents of the nation? All the good places are taken.

 

 

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Oct 22 2016

Dullbert

One of the more remarkable developments of this twisted and sick election has been the revelation that Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert and supposed champion of the downtrodden in corporate America, is actually a cheerleader for fascism. If you have been following his blog, you will note that he has been in the tank for Trump since the beginning of this year. In his Twitter mentions he has been quite blunt in protesting that he has not been-even while he has argued again and again that Trump is the "master of persuasion". Suffice it to say, a lot people-myself included- have found this revelation that Adams has allied himself with team fascism to be a huge disappointment.

Twitter in particular has been a revelation of what a self centered and arrogant prick Adams wants to portray himself to be. Responding to valid criticisms of his morally reprehensible position, he doubles down on his bet-attacking his critics and trying to posture himself as person of superior intellect. Problem is-being in the tank for Trump is anything but.

Now Adams takes a weaselistic approach saying that he is not endorsing Trump, first stating that he was endorsing Clinton for fear for his personal safety. He subsequently endorsed Trump, but when it was revealed that Trump was a handsy sleazeball-he "parked" his endorsement with Gary Johnson.

Yessiree, a real bastion of commitment this guy.

The problem is, that in his writing he makes it clear that he is still and always has been an unrepentant Trumpkin. He has "scored" the debates for Trump-even when it was clear Trump was jumping head first into the sewer of politics. He defends his approach as being logical, when in fact it's anything but. When you walk in shit, it sticks to your comic strip shoes.

Directly calling Mr. Adams out about his stupidity seems ineffective, since Adams basically has the soul of Catbert and could care less about how he is perceived by his former fans, so the internet being the internet, has resorted to mockery.

And a couple of people have created some mockery of true genius.

A woman named Alexandra Erin has been particularly effective, using Adams own work against him with the skill of a surgeon-cutting quite deep.

 

 

But wait, there is more!

 

And while we are at it:

Brilliant.

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Perfectly captured the "classic" Dilbert vibe juxtaposed against Adam's current hilarious idiocy. Bravo.

And you can forget about getting any Dilbert merchandise from me for Christmas.

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Oct 18 2016

Krakow

Published by under Travel

The S.O. and I went to Krakow for a long weekend. This is St. Mary's Basilica in the center of the old city ( click to see properly):

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