Is the New “Presidential Alert” a Good Thing or a Bad Thing?

AP EMERGENCY ALERT A USA MI

Yesterday ushered in a new day for governmental contact with its citizens. At precisely 2:18PM (Eastern Time) on Wednesday, the federal government issued the first ever Emergency Alert over cellphones. It was a simple statement, much like what you have when they perform this same test monthly on radio and television (“This is a test of the Wireless Emergency Alert System. This is only a test.”). And not everyone received it; according to many that I have spoken to (admittedly a small group), there were couples that one received the message while the other didn’t (even if they were in the same room), there were those that received the message even though they had shut their phones off (don’t ask this layman how that happened) and those that got the message right on time.

Naturally, everyone lost their shit over the text message. A lawsuit (one of many) was filed in New York looking to stop the deployment of the “Wireless Emergency Alert System,” arguing that it violated the First and Fourth Amendments of the U. S. Constitution. Attorneys argued that the system was a “violation of Americans’ First and Fourth Amendment rights to be free from Government-compelled listening, as well as warrantless, non-consensual trespass into and seizure of their cellular devices.”

It is reasonable that these people believe the veracity of their arguments. While people can get on “Do Not Call” lists, opt out of Amber or Silver Alerts (the Silver Alert is for older people who are in jeopardy) and other bothersome contacts, this particular Alert cannot be opted out of because of federal regulations. But the problems that some people have is perhaps not as much about the Alert but about how it was billed.

At the top of yesterday’s Emergency Alert test was, in bold print, Presidential Alert. Now, just who would currently be the president (and I put it in lowercase because he doesn’t fucking deserve upper)? That’s right, it is Orange Foolius, a petulant man-child whose propensity for hate-Tweeting is well-known. When presented with the ability to reach 330 MILLION cellphones in this country, the Narcissist in Chief has a megaphone that he can use to spew his garbage to the entirety of the country.

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Except it isn’t supposed to be used in that manner. President Barack Obama actually instigated the Wireless Emergency Alert System back in 2016 when he signed a law authorizing its creation. In that law, the usage of the system was just like that of television and radio – that it was only authorized in the case of a national emergency. The actual language in the law state that a president (and, since President Obama isn’t in the office anymore, we’re speaking about the jackass there now and future office holders) “shall not be used to transmit a message that does not relate to a natural disaster, act of terrorism, or other man-made disaster or threat to public safety.” Arguments against the Alerts state that this is “unconstitutionally vague,” and that is reasonable.

If they had simply called it a “Wireless Emergency Alert System” and left it at that, I don’t think people would be as upset as they are. Most people don’t even watch television or have radio anymore – the old ways that the Emergency Alert System was to inform people in case of an emergency. But it seems that everyone has a cellphone, which is awake 24/7 and never sleeps. Thus, shouldn’t there be a way for the federal government to reach people in a time of emergency (let’s leave out the questions of when cell service wouldn’t reach people, such as a hurricane or other weather-related phenomenon)?

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While President Obama started this law, it was accelerated after an incident earlier this year. In January in Hawaii, there was an inaccurate Emergency Alert sent out about an impending nuclear attack coming in. The ballistic missile warning was sent over the tradition Emergency Alert System and the Commercial Mobile Alert System (covering all televisions, radio and cellphones) that stated firmly that “this is not a drill.” People were panicking across the islands for almost 45 minutes (this occurred at roughly 8AM local time) before authorities could get out word that the alert was false. This particular wireless system, in theory, could have gotten the message out quicker (don’t ask me how) and corrected the inaccurate report.

Where the feds fucked this up is in calling it a “Presidential Alert.” With the divisiveness of this asswipe in the WH currently, there’s more than half the country that is going to despise it, not to mention those that believe in the libertarian philosophy of less government intrusion into private lives. Let’s not even get into the legal and/or ethical situations of tapping the 911 lines to be able to hunt you down so you get precise alerts (that’s why Amber Alerts work wherever you go and always for that area). I do think this should be examined, but it could have been avoided with a little research into branding the product.

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Furthermore, there is some credence to the fact that citizens of the States of America have given up an extreme amount of freedom. Since 9/11, the freedoms of the Average Joe have been eroded bit by bit. The Patriot Act opened up that Pandora’s Box under the pretense of the “war on terrorism” (an unwinnable engagement because there isn’t a set opponent or location to actually fight the war) and, for the most part, U. S. citizens have acquiesced to the invasion of their privacy. That invasion continues to grow, mostly without anyone even noticing that the once large arena of personal liberty has shrunk to a small room.

The bottom line is that the situation could have been avoided by a little smarter work and a little better branding of the product by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (the government organization in charge of the usage of the Emergency Alert System). With Mushroom Dick in the office currently (and his approval rating floundering around 35%), such actions as this aren’t going to be viewed in a good light. But instead of arguing about whether Orange Foolius is going to be using the “Presidential Alert” to send out his latest Twitter missives aimed at those he believes have “wronged him,” we ought to look at the overall picture of security for the country and then determine if this step is really necessary to ensure that all citizens of the States of America can be informed in the case of a TRUE national emergency.

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100 Essential Albums of All Time – Metallica, …And Justice for All (1988)

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The 1980s were arguably the greatest time in the history of hard rock/heavy metal. A genre that spans back to the late 1960s, hard rock/heavy metal’s onslaught in the 80s was mainly highlighted by the sub-genre known as “hair metal,” or bands that brought the flashy look of glam rock (think David Bowie and T. Rex) to the “leather and chains” look of metal (Judas Priest). While bands such as Bon Jovi, Def Leppard and others seemingly claimed the crown of hard rock/heavy metal, there was another more diverse and deeper group of bands that were under-recognized for their work.

Behind the “hair metal” bands were a quartet of hardcore bands that delivered raw, aggressive and powerful hard rock/metal for their devoted fans. Anthrax, Slayer and Megadeth formed three quarters of that foursome, with Metallica rounding out the group. The San Francisco-based band was in a bit of flux come 1987, however, with several issues facing the band and their future.

In 1987, the band was coming off the untimely death of their bassist, Cliff Burton, who was killed in a bus crash while the band toured Europe in 1986. Burton’s replacement, Jason Newstead, was unproven – he had only played on The $5.98 EP:  Garage Days Re-Revisited recordings and wasn’t considered a “member” of the band – and singer/guitarist James Hetfield was recovering from an arm injury from a skateboarding accident. Toss into the mix that the group was looking for a new record company and it seemed that Metallica’s next move was going to be one of the most important of their careers.

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At the start of 1988, Metallica headed to the studios to record the new album and were once again beset with problems. Early mixes of the records weren’t up to their satisfaction, resulting in two different producers being used for the album. Hetfield, the lyricist for much of Metallica’s work, was also writing the words while the album was being recorded. Finally, Newstead wasn’t happy with the lack of “presence” of his bass riffs on the record; depending on who is to be believed, that error fell on the shoulders of the sound mixer or drummer Lars Ulrich, who was also involved in the mixing process.

When the album was released in August 1988, …And Justice for All was recognized as a masterful change in the band, one for the good in many ways. First, the band eschewed the blitzkrieg pace of “speed metal” that had become the hallmark of their earlier work (such as Ride the Lightning and Master of Puppets). Instead, they opted to crafting longer and more complex works. Metallica also worked in many tempo and mood changes, making their compositions more nuanced.

Then there were the lyrics, the words that Hetfield put to these new compositions. The stories told on …And Justice for All weren’t “happy go lucky” ones, delving into such subjects as political malfeasance, legal injustice and other wrongs through such human activities as war and censorship. By far the simmering track “One” became THE song of the album and it has etched its place into rock, metal and Metallica history.

The song itself is a masterpiece, starting off with the sounds of war before quietly moving into the chords of lead guitarist’s Kirk Hammett’s notes of dread to introduce the song. The song slowly builds in intensity, with Hetfield’s snarl commanding attention from the start, while Ulrich and Newstead provide the solid foundation for the song. By the time the double-bass kickers of Ulrich drive the end of the song, Hetfield and Hammett are releasing the hounds of their guitars and Newstead drives the bass line home, the listener is left in awe of the entirety of the song.

The subject of “One” – the return of a soldier, crippled and disposed of by the military and, seemingly, the nation – was one that hammered into many minds (and served as a callback to Vietnam and a precursor to Iraq). At over seven minutes, it was one of Metallica’s longer songs and, at the same time, most poignant and powerful. It, along with the video, was what drove …And Justice for All and Metallica into the stratosphere.

The video for “One” was arguably just as big as the song. Splicing together snippets of the film Johnny Got His Gun (about a soldier who is basically a prisoner of his body after being injured in battle) along with a video-staple band “performance” shot, the video was one of the most popular videos in the history of MTV (you know, back when they actually DID play videos). But with all this critical success the band, the album and the song were dismissed by those who SHOULD have known what they were talking about.

In 1989, Metallica was nominated for a Grammy in the inaugural year of a new category, Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance Vocal or Instrumental. Along with Jane’s Addiction, AC/DC and Iggy Pop, the members of Metallica (who had performed “One” just prior to rockers Lita Ford and Alice Cooper awarding the first Grammy in the category) stood in disbelief as Jethro Tull was awarded the statue for their album Crest of a Knave. It is widely considered one of the biggest blunders in the history of the Grammy Awards (even bigger than the Milli Vanilli fiasco) and demonstrated just how “out of touch” Grammy voters were when it came to a genre that many had no clue about (in 1990, Metallica was nominated for “One” in the newly created category of Best Metal Performance).

Through it all, Metallica and …And Justice for All has weathered the standards of time. In time for the 30th anniversary of the album (and if that doesn’t make you feel old, nothing will), the band is remastering the album, with some mentioning that they will be fixing the Newstead bass lines so that they are more prominent (and including some gems to make the reissue worth getting). If you missed the record the first time around, you’d be well advised to grab the reissue and relive the era when hard rock/heavy metal was a vibrant part of the music industry.

Turn the Other Cheek? The Left Tried That – And Got Their Teeth Kicked In

U.S. Agents Take Undocumented Immigrants Into Custody Near Tex-Mex Border

Much has been made over the last few days about the treatment of some of Orange Foolius’ top henchmen/women. Last week, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen (whose name is SO “’Merican”) was harassed out of a Washington Mexican restaurant. Allegedly the next day, policy advisor and poster boy for the neo-Nazis Stephen Miller was taunted (he probably took it as a compliment) with cries of “fascist” at another Mexican eating establishment. Then on Friday in Tampa, another SCROTUS Succubus, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, was harangued out of a screening of a biographical film on PBS’ Mr. Rogers, blonde hair flowing in the breeze as she sprinted to a car and received a police escort because she was “so harassed.”

But it was the treatment of Head Liar and Apologist Sarah Huckster Suckabee that seems to have drawn the most attention. Over the last weekend, Huckster was supposedly waiting to nosh on a tasty cheese plate – you know, while the children ripped from their parents’ arms were sitting perhaps THOUSANDS OF MILES from wherever their parents were – when the owner of the establishment quietly asked her party to leave. According to reports, the wait staff did not feel comfortable serving her – hey, why would some members of the LGBTQ community want to serve an unadulterated liar and bigot on issues that concern them? – and the owner QUIETLY asked Huckster to leave. While she and her party did leave without issue, she then went and whined about it OVER AN OFFICIAL GOVERNMENT ACCOUNT (a violation of law) to get her Orange Points for the week.

The discussion regarding this issue has brought out some real doozies from the conservative factions. Huckster Suckabee started off her Daily Press Briefing on Monday – the first held in a WEEK, mind you, because you can’t explain the logic in ripping families apart when the entire WORLD including Pope Francis, the Methodists, Jewish rabbis, Muslim imams and atheists are against you – by issuing a whimpering Nancy Kerrigan-esque bullshit soliloquy. “We are allowed to disagree, but we should be able to do so freely and without fear of harm. And this goes for all people, regardless of politics.” She then launched into some verbal diarrhea about how the SCROTUS had done so much, earning her Orange Points for THIS week so that she can miss out on her turn in the barrel.

This has been continuous from those on the right for the last few days. Florida Senator Marco Rubio – who actually COMPARED THE SIZE OF HIS DICK TO ORANGE FOOLIUS’ during the 2016 Republican Campaign (what, you don’t remember the “hand size” comment?) – put this beauty out over Twitter:

Now remember, this is the same man who was called “Lil’ Marco” by this scam artist that he now dons knee pads and Chap-Stick for. Who said, “I’d like to punch him in the face.” Who said, “Go ahead and knock the shit out of him, I’ll pay your court costs.” Who had followers in Charlottesville ACTUALLY KILL a woman because they believed in him.

There have also been other SCROTUS sycophants who have echoed those same sentiments, however. And conservatives sounding off on this issue would be fine if it weren’t for one thing:  that ship has already sailed because YOU DID NOTHING ABOUT YOUR SIDE IN THE FIRST PLACE.

Nobody – and yes, let me emphasize that…NOBODY – did a fucking thing about it when Orange Foolius basically wrapped his dick in the flag and screwed Lady Liberty with it. Nobody sounded off when he attacked John McCain or Gold Star families, nobody on the right said anything when he savaged allies abroad, NOBODY SAID SHIT when he attacked other businesses because they DARED to displease him. Now YOU want a side to “be kind,” “be nice,” “turn the other cheek.” You know what that got us last time…KICKED IN THE TEETH.

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We all remember back when Michelle Obama stood up on the stage at the 2016 Democratic National Convention and, amid the sanctimonious slathering coming from the rabid dog that became SCROTUS, said “When they go low, we go high! (and after eight years of the bullshit she put up with from right-wingers, that was bold)” And, for the most part, most of the Democratic Party and liberals did adopt that mantra (unless it was simply something so utterly outrageous that it could not be accepted – WHAT THE CONSERVATIVES SHOULD HAVE DONE). Shouldn’t that work BOTH ways, however?

For decades, abortion clinics have been bombed and attacked, with women looking to utilize the services of Planned Parenthood harassed by hordes of religious whackos holding fake fetuses at them. For decades (if not centuries) minorities have been treated like a second-class citizen IF they were lucky. For decades gay couples lacked the rights to even make the critical “life or death” decisions because THEY WEREN’T ACCEPTED as a “married” unit. For decades the Roman Catholic Church has DENIED their “religion” to those who had premarital sex, a divorce or other “abomination” that THEY DETERMINED wasn’t “right.” Then there were these wonderful people:

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So now because some right-wing wench who read all the studies of Goebbels and is putting his lessons to work can’t have a cheese platter in a restaurant the left is supposed to kowtow? Sorry, no fucking way.

IF you want to broadcast your support for this administration and the SCROTUS, that’s fine. That’s your right. But you also have the right to be shamed for those actions, especially those that supposedly go against the conservative right’s conviction and “morals” (we established long ago, however, that they don’t have any). You have the right to be informed that you are being a villainous bitch (or bastard) and have to put up with perhaps a crowd that doesn’t like you very much for that stance. It’s the price you pay for BROADCASTING YOUR STANCE.

Now I am sure that there will be some that say, “Well, it’s (their) job.” OK, great. You can quit. If you are seeing injustice occur, you don’t stand on the side and enable it. You don’t go along with it and try to “change it from within.” You can walk away and maintain some semblance of morality to the issue. Here’s the rub, though:  if you continue to be an apologist for the situation, make excuses and “whataboutisms” regarding the subject, you no longer are doing a job. You then become party to what is going on and complicit in the act.

The left has held its tone in check for some time, to be honest. Liberals by definition are on the tip of the spear when it comes to social change, sometimes putting themselves literally in the crosshairs of the “establishment” (re: conservatives), or does Martin Luther King, Jr., or Kent State not ring a bell for anyone? That conservatives are now earning the same derision and scorn that once was reserved for those activists who fought against injustice is simply an evening of the playing field.

After almost 18 months of watching this aberration in D. C. act, I would actually applaud the left for holding back as long as it did. Shame is one of the last vestiges that seems to affect how someone behaves (why else would some conservative sheriff’s make someone walk with signs shaming them for criminal acts?). The problem is that conservatives, along with sacrificing any morality that they once had, has tossed on the trash heap their abilities to be shamed into contrition for their actions.

Conservatives, You Lost the Right of Moral Outrage Long Ago

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Under the current administration, there has been no lack of turmoil, controversy and/or outrage. If the day ends in “y,” then Orange Foolius has either said something to insult an ally, tweeted some bullshit racial move to appease his racist base or otherwise shown himself to be a grade A buffoon. Still, this last weekend was one that was special, and it spells out something that conservatives should have learned a long time ago…you have lost the right at moral outrage.

For the second time in his pitiful embarrassment of a tenure in office, Orange Foolius declined to attend the 2018 White House Correspondents’ Dinner, a staple of the scene in DC since 1921. In that dinner, the President and his staff join the journalistic corps and MEMBERS OF BOTH PARTIES to celebrate journalistic activities and a free press. Except for a handful of times (1930, 1942 and 1951, when it wasn’t held), the dinner has gone off without a hitch. Fifteen Presidents, starting with Calvin Coolidge in 1924, have shown up for the festivities, with only Ronald Reagan (1981, after his assassination attempt), Jimmy Carter (1978 and 1980) and Richard Nixon (1970, 1972, 1974) passing on the affair.

The entertainment for the WHCD has changed over the years. When the dinner started, there were singers between the courses. That developed into a post-dinner show which, in the past, featured entertainers such as Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra, Danny Thomas, Benny Goodman and Duke Ellington gracing the stage of the Hilton in DC (the traditional host of the WHCD). Since 1983, however, the host of the evening has been a comedian, with Elayne Boosler, Stephen Colbert, Al Franken (pre-Senator days), Jon Stewart and Jay Leno (among others) taking the mic.

What hasn’t changed about the night is the format of the program. Whoever was the host would essentially serve as the emcee of a roast, with the various politicians and journalists gathered together both receiving their due course of abuse. For those of you that aren’t comically inclined, a “roast” is where a group gathers to allegedly fete a person, but instead tell off-color jokes, imitations and innuendoes as the night goes on. At the end, the person who has served as the butt of the jokes gets up and gets their revenge, using the same roasting style on the folks who have spoken before him. It is an extremely funny night of entertainment, hence the success of the Friars’ Club roast that dates back to 1950, the Johnny Carson and Dean Martin roasts in the 1970s/80s, and the Comedy Central roasts over the past 15 years that have featured comedian Denis Leary, actress Pamela Anderson and a certain candy ass that can’t show up to the WHCD.

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Orange Foolius, with the vehement war he wages against anybody that wants to tell the truth about his indiscretions, criminal acts and outright subversion and corruption in running for the office in 2015, decided that he wouldn’t attend last year’s WHCD, instead running a “counter-program” of a political rally among sycophants, deviants and deplorables – you know, the GOP – in Pennsylvania. Fast forward the clock a year and, to be honest, it isn’t a surprise that he did it again, only this time in Michigan. What was the surprise was the idiotic reaction of conservatives and the GOP in the face of what has been the gist of the WHCD since its inception.

Comedian Michelle Wolf, an outstanding young comic with a tongue that would eviscerate an alligator, was the emcee for the post-dinner gathering and she spared no barbs. Without the usual subject of the roast available, it fell on the White House staff of the asshole who decided not to show up to face the slings and arrows. What seems to have piqued the irritation of the snowflake GOP and conservatives is this EXACT JOKE (quoted verbatim) that Wolf told:

And, of course, we have Sarah Huckabee Sanders. We’re graced with Sarah’s presence tonight. I have to say I’m a little star-struck. I love you as Aunt Lydia in “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

Mike Pence, if you haven’t seen it, you would love it.

Every time Sarah steps up to the podium, I get excited because I’m not really sure what we’re going to get: you know, a press briefing, a bunch of lies or divided into softball teams. “It’s shirts and skins, and this time, don’t be such a little bitch, Jim Acosta.”

I actually really like Sarah. I think she’s very resourceful. Like, she burns facts, and then she uses the ash to create a perfect smoky eye. Like, maybe she’s born with it; maybe it’s lies.

It’s probably lies.

And I’m never really sure what to call Sarah Huckabee Sanders. You know, is it Sarah Sanders? Is Sarah Huckabee Sanders? Is it Cousin Huckabee? Is it Auntie Huckabee Sanders? Like, what’s Uncle Tom but for white women who disappoint other white women? Oh, I know: Aunt Coulter.”

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Now, first off, the ENTIRE JOKE is pretty damn tame when it comes to roast material. Consider that, in a Comedy Central roast, one of the top jokes was about how one of the roasters enjoys picking up truck stop transvestites…you’ll see Wolf’s was a love tap in comparison. But the way that most took the comments were that they were focused on Sanders’ LOOKS.

There is no way in holy hell that there was anything in those comments that could have targeted Sanders’ appearance in ANY MANNER. Yet conservatives acted like Wolf walked up to Sanders and performed one of Orange Foolius’ favorite acts in her face. The White House Correspondents’ Association, the folks who HIRED WOLF TO EVISCERATE THE ROOM, issued a wimpy ass mea culpa and have indicated they are considering altering the program in the future. This is utterly fucking ridiculous.

Perhaps what the WHCA was upset with was that Wolf took THEM down a few notches with her commentary:

Wolf: “There’s a ton of news right now issues a lot is going on and we have all of these 24-hour news networks and we could be covering everything. Instead we’re covering three topics. Every hour is trump, Russia, Hillary and a panel full of people that remind you why you don’t go home for Thanksgiving.

You guys are obsessed with Trump, did you used to date him? Because you pretend like you hate him, but I think you love him. I think what no one in this room wants to admit is that Trump has helped all of you. He couldn’t sell steaks or vodka or water or college or ties or Eric, but he has helped you. He’s helped you sell your papers and your books and your T.V. You helped create this monster and now you’re profiting off of him. If you’re going to profit off of Trump, you should at least give him some money because he doesn’t have any. Trump is so broke –”

Audience: “How broke is he?”

Wolf: “He grabs pussies because he thinks there might be loose change in them. Like an immigrant brought here by a parent who didn’t do anything wrong, I got to get the fuck out of here, good night. Flint still doesn’t have clean water.”

FYI, folks…comedy is not pretty, as Steve Martin used to say. And these jokes didn’t even break skin in the context of a “roast.” For conservatives to grab their pearls and look for the nearest fainting couch is pretty damn hypocritical of them considering the bastard that they elected in 2016. You remember him? The one who grabs women by the pussy, who calls foreign nations “shitholes,” who has said pretty much every objectionable thing you can say about minorities, foreigners, women (do you REALLY want to relitigate the Rosie O’Donnell history, GOP?), Gold Star parents, veterans (remember that “I like people that weren’t captured” comment about John McCain?)…and the list goes on.

Then there’s the constituency…need I say more than this:

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Conservatives, GOP? YOU have given up any right to the moral objection when YOU elected this shitstain to represent your party. YOU have given up your right to ANY outrage over what is said about someone because YOU don’t even police your own. YOU have shown that you have no MORAL CODE NOR CONDUCT, therefore YOU have no place to raise your voice one iota in commentary on the subject.

Whether the WHCD will be altered in the future – or, if the incoming president Oliver Knox shows the makeup of a spineless cephalopod and ends the historic tradition – is anyone’s guess. But don’t criticize someone like Wolf who shows up and DOES THEIR JOB and pull your support for the very thing you claim to prize – the freedom of speech and of the people to comment on their leadership. And conservatives and GOP trollops who claim indignation about Wolf’s commentary? Why don’t you start with your own, first at the top and then work your way down to other slime bags and their commentary (trust me, Rick Santorum is one that needs gagging on a daily basis). Then you MIGHT start making ground back to having some semblance of morality.

Want to Change the Gun Debate? Body Bags…

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Once again, something that there is “no way to prevent” in a country that could prevent it in a heartbeat has been devastated by tragedy. Mass shootings have become almost commonplace nowadays in our existence, so much so that the recent mass shooting in Parkland, FL (a suburban community north of Miami) that killed 17 teenagers and teachers and injured a similar number has barely registered in our consciousness. Something else that hasn’t registered in our consciousness? That this is the 18th (EIGHTEENTH, for those of you potentially with vision problems) such attack at a school IN 2018 alone.

Now of course the usual diatribe has begun. The conservatives and guns-rights fanatics have rolled out their gems of “mental illness” or that “there’s no way to stop this” or the “what good would new laws do” argument. Liberals, on their side, have opened their discussion of what they believe to be rational gun controls and funding of mental health treatment, but they can’t seem to coalesce around whether they should just try to work on certain weapons or rewrite the Constitution and just how much money it would take to eradicate mental health issues. And once again, those old chestnuts of “thoughts and prayers” and “now’s not the time to talk about these things” (if not now, then when the fuck is the time to talk about it?) comes to the fore.

Myself? I’ve grown tired of the constant stream of “thoughts and prayers” and the hand wringing and the “what will we do” cries that go unanswered. When you get ready to do something about the issue, give me a call. Until then, let’s not pretend to give a fuck about the issue. We didn’t care when 26 6-year olds were gunned down, why the fuck would we care over 17 teenagers?

But I digress. There’s one thing that we can do that would have a tremendous effect on changing the gun debate in this country. Whether we have the balls to do it or not is another thing.

During the Vietnam War, those on the home front of the United States were brought daily reminders of what the casualties of war were. In grainy black and white on their televisions (or, for those families that had a bit more money, color TV), U. S. soldiers were seen getting blown to shit by Soviet-made munitions, their fellow soldiers carrying their body parts back to the corpsmen to try to save so that they could defend a small Asian country against the “expansion of communism.” Some of those men came back with their minds permanently separated from their bodies. Some came back with the body parts either reconnected or gone, but even further disturbed by the horrors of war. Some, alas, didn’t come back.

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These daily images had a monumental effect on the psyche of the country. Seeing hundreds of blood-soaked bodies cross their screens nightly – and, for some, potentially becoming that next body to be broadcast back to the U. S. – changed the viewpoint of the Vietnam War from one of patriotic resolve to that of an imperialistic invading force trying to force our way of life on another country. It begat the protests that started during the early 1960s, but it was one event that was seen on television that changed the course of the war.

In 1968, CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite went to the war-torn country following the Tet Offensive to give viewers his viewpoint on the course of the war. On February 27 of that year, Cronkite offered this opinion to the country:

To say that we are closer to victory today is to believe, in the face of the evidence, the optimists who have been wrong in the past. To suggest we are on the edge of defeat is to yield to unreasonable pessimism. To say that we are mired in stalemate seems the only realistic, yet unsatisfactory, conclusion.”

This, along with the rest of his commentary and the non-stop images of war coming from the front night after night had a seismic effect on the Vietnam War. After it was aired, then-President Lyndon Johnson is reported to have said, “If I’ve lost Cronkite, I’ve lost Middle America.” It would force Johnson not to run for President in 1968, although it would take another five years before the war would be ended.

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The views of those body bags – filled with the remains of once vibrant and alive men who were defending this great country – was immeasurable. This effect of seeing the ramifications of war has an impact on the people – why do you believe that, since Vietnam, there hasn’t been any scenes of U. S. troops in the midst of battle that haven’t been completely scrubbed by the U. S. government? Why do you think that there haven’t been the scenes of caskets or body bags with the remains of soldiers, Marines, sailors and others that have been killed as a part of the “war”?” Why hasn’t there been the “live from the front” reporting, unless it is someone embedded (AKA “cleared” by the government) with a platoon?

Control what the people see and you control the discussion. That is true in virtually every armed combat situation that the U. S. military has been in since Vietnam and it holds true in the case of these mass shootings.

The National Rifle Association and the Republican Party learned this fact a long time ago. After what was arguably Ground Zero for these mass shootings, the attack by two shooters on their high school in Columbine, CO, in 1999, many saw the images of the two shooters strolling the hallways and gunning down their fellow classmates. People saw, through news reports, the blood-soaked hallways where people tried to drag themselves to safety. They SAW what happened, they saw the bodies, they saw the after effects. (And here’s a bit of sadness for you…Wednesday’s shooting in Parkland knocked Columbine out of the Top Ten largest mass shootings in U. S. history.)

There was a great deal of outrage after that attack and the gun lobby and the politicos noticed. The NRA and the GOP were able to stanch a massive change to gun laws and they learned from the Vietnam War. Thus, in virtually every situation since Columbine, there has been no video or photographic evidence that has been made public.

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Sandy Hook…no. Las Vegas…none. And to this point, we’ve seen nothing of Parkland. It’s time we change that situation.

The only way to have an effect on the Ignorati in this country – those gun-totin’, knuckle-dragging Cro-Magnon fuckheads who spout, “You’ll get my gun when you pry it from my cold, dead hands” – is to either have someone that they love get mowed down by a hail of bullets from an semi-automatic weapon or, saving that, continually show the blood soaked hallways of the last shooting. Show the area where a group of people, cornered and unable to escape, were massacred by a gunman who made quick work with his assortment of weaponry. Bring the bodies out AND FILM THE GODDAMN THING. Broadcast the march of the dead and show people that yes, there were people who DIED in this attack (it would also shut the hell up these tinfoil hat fucks who scream “false flag operation” after every mass shooting).

The only thing that this country can understand is being beaten over the head with a sledgehammer. This country cannot change without seeing what the effects are of the actions they condone. Civil rights in this country didn’t move forward until blacks being treated like dog toys or being driven to the ground by a fire hose blast was seen by a massive number of people. The same applies to this situation – let’s start seeing the bloodied bodies being brought out of what was once considered a sanctuary – a school, a church, even a place of employment – and then there might be some honest discussion on the issue.

Words Are Indicative of Actions…

You would have thought that we, those who have functioning brain cells that didn’t buy Orange Foolius’ con act, have gotten used to the utterly incompetent things that this dotard and his Confederacy of Dunces say and do. In the past year, there have been a myriad of things said, only to have sycophants like the utterly detestable Sarah Huckabee Sanders (who goes home at night and scrubs with steel wool to get the stench of her lies off) or the hollowed-out husk of Kellyanne Conway (the third step beyond Tomi Lahren and Ann Coulter on the meth addiction ladder) come out and attempt to translate his idiocy (and let’s not even get into Stephen Miller – you can tell the color of Orange Foolius’ asshole by looking at his tongue). But the last week has brought about statements from the Jackass in Chief that even they have trouble defending (not that they didn’t try).

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Congress currently has a plethora of things on its plate. Beyond trying to pass some sort of budget to ensure that the government still operates, they must consider trying to take care of the “Dreamers,” those people who were brought to the States of America by their parents illegally when they were but children, and immigration as a whole (and that damned wall that Orange Foolius insists on, even though it would be more intelligent to spend $25 BILLION on other infrastructure improvements). The problem is they are trying to bundle these things all into one package when the intelligent thing would be to handle them on an item-by-item basis.

But that is not the point…during the discussion of immigration by a “bipartisan” (there was one Democrat, Illinois’ Dick Durbin, and six Republicans) group, Orange Foolius uttered his latest racist screed as they explained their plan. “Why do we want all these people from ‘shithole countries’ coming here?” With one statement, the fuckhead who 60 million people thought was a “good idea” completely destroyed this country’s reputation around the world and demonstrated the racism that exists in his being. There’s a reason for this:  words are indicative of your actions.

It isn’t like there aren’t plenty of examples of Orange Foolius’ white supremacist rantings. It is alleged that he called an expert on hostage negotiations a “pretty Korean lady” and wondered why she wasn’t leading his delegation to negotiate with the Koreas (answer:  it wasn’t her goddamn area of expertise, you racist fuck). You can go back to 1973 and a settlement with the federal government for housing discrimination. You can look at his casino ownership, when he would have black employees removed from the floor. You can look at his statements regarding Muslims and the travel ban…on and on it goes, but this situation was different.

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Racism, and racist statements, are made all the time in this country unfortunately. The beliefs of people like Richard Spencer, the Neo-Nazi white supremacist, find their way into legitimate journalism because he “looks so nice.” Coulter’s verbal spewage hems right up to the side of donning a brown shirt alongside Spencer, but even she tows a certain line lest she be castigated as a racist (sorry, Blondie…if the hood fits…). Commentary from Fox News personnel such as former host Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity and Jesse Watters, who built an entire “report” around ridiculing residents of Chinatown, is the norm rather than the exception on that excuse for a network.

The problem becomes when you actually have some power at your disposal. Some might argue that the folks at Fox have that power, but they really are indicative of what “their viewers” think and what actions they take, as horrid and asinine as they are. They can only shape and reinforce the viewpoints of the Neanderthals they entertain nightly, keeping them ignorant and fearful of anything that isn’t white and Anglo-Saxon (and, some would say, male – female subjugation is a huge part of the Fox credo for women as you’re getting fondled under the table by someone who repulses you). No, these hot-air infused racists don’t have the power they think they do.

When you are the leader of the free world? That’s another story.

As any elected leader will tell you, your words are the commentary of what is in your soul. The things you utter are applicable to what actions you take as a politician because these are the core tenets that you believe in. Statements that elected officials make can and will be how the nation and the world will remember you and, when you are the President of the United States, it is the commentary that will be indicative of how your leadership will act and how it will be remembered.

It isn’t the fact that it was the person elected President cursed. Some of our greatest Presidents – Abraham Lincoln, Lyndon Johnson, Harry Truman and others – weren’t above cursing in the Oval Office. It is even believed that cursing is indicative of an intelligent mind. Researchers into linguistics have determined that swearing demonstrates better linguistic skills than average and, perhaps, even a higher intelligence.

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When the cursing is indicative of your mental beliefs or potential political actions, however, we enter a whole new realm. Considering that this is the same buffoon that said that Neo-Nazis were “good people,” that said that he hated “black guys” counting his money, and has demeaned his OWN DAUGHTER by calling her (and allowing her to be called) a “hot piece of ass” (this isn’t even going towards the Access Hollywood tape) and you get a general gist of his thoughts when it comes towards certain political beliefs and actions he might take. When you have the power, you CAN impose your will on the political realm and effect change that will set back relations (not only in this country but around the world) a couple of decades if not a half-century or more.

And what does the inability of anyone associated with Orange Foolius – fellow members of the GOP, conservatives, those that voted for this shitstain – to denounce such commentary. One member of the GOP in the “shithole” meeting, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, stated that he chided the Asshole in Chief “immediately” about the comments. But two other bootlickers, Georgia Senator David Perdue and Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton, mumbled they “didn’t hear” him say those words. NOBODY in the GOP has come out VEHEMENTLY against these racist statements, other than to blithely state they were “inappropriate” (Speaker of the House Paul Ryan might as well have applied his lips directly to Orange Foolius’ ass in saying the statements were “unfortunate (and) unhelpful”).

And to the electorate? Those mind-numbed individuals who thought that this jackass was the right choice? To sit in silence – or even defend such spewage from this cretin – is to become complicit in the act. If you do not disavow this person – it’s OK, you can say, “Maybe we were wrong,” without the GOP Gestapo coming for you – then you are a part of the actions of this administration and, yes, it SERIOUSLY must be considered what is in your heart, especially if you allow the continued racial animosity from this person.

For some reason, I don’t think this is the end yet. The unfortunate fact is that there’s further levels of depravity that Herr Twitler, the Confederacy of Dunces and their die-hard followers can achieve. With hope, they won’t be getting this chance to destroy what is left of this country’s reputation. The Statue of Liberty bears a plaque from poet Ezra Lazarus which reads:

“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

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Being a part of this great experiment means that you become American, not that you were white enough or had enough money or even were of the right religious idealism. It means you are a part of moving forward humanity’s greatest experiment. Perhaps it would behoove the Idiot in Charge to remind himself of this – and that he is a first-generation son of an “immigrant from a shithole country (his mother)” to call this country home.

A New Year, A New Offensive

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As has become my tradition on New Year’s Eve, my lovely wife, son and I didn’t do jack to celebrate. Oh, we had some celebratory drinks, shot some fireworks off with the neighbors and watched some of the shitty programming provided by ABC and Fox (really, guys…you canceled the only good thing that was on for New Year’s in Pitbull’s concert from Miami). But as far as a full-throated, blow it out New Year’s Eve extravaganza…nah, we’ll let the amateurs do that!

It was a good thing because 2017 was painful for this country, the political process and democracy itself. We haven’t even had Orange Foolius in office for a year yet and he and his Confederacy of Dunces have hacksawed, bludgeoned, and eviscerated the federal government and virtually everything that this country stands for. Whether it was cutting a national park down to basically nothing, childishly using Twitter to issue banal threats that he had no intention of pursuing or a myriad of other instances, it got to a point where exhaustion set in while watching this national embarrassment.

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I’ve written about the various things that this idiot has done over the past twelve months. And to be honest with you, for every essay that you see here regarding the stupidity of this administration or the personnel that is destroying it, there are three others that didn’t come to the digital fore. There was an outstanding reason for this and it is something that I think that many have experienced since January 20, 2017.

There were many times when I sat down to my dais and penned some well-researched pieces that cut to the quick of the travesties that this collection of assholes has produced. Just about the time I was ready to hit the PUBLISH button on the screen, there would be a bombardment of instances where the incredible stupidity and sheer avarice of this gathering of anti-U. S. scumbags completely overshadowed whatever I had just written. There have literally been times when two, three or even four essays were tossed away, damned to the digital banishment of the Recycle Bin, never to be seen by anyone.

Wednesday was a fine example of this situation. The ball had barely dropped in Times Square when Orange Foolius continued to bitch about the investigation of Robert Mueller into his campaign’s interactions with Russia and agents of that government regarding the 2016 election. Despite the assertions of his legal counsel and any other sycophant who licks his shoes, Orange Foolius continues to rant about an investigation that is slowly creeping closer to his inner circle and closer to the fact that he is the proverbial Emperor with No Clothes. But that wasn’t enough to kick off the New Year with.

On Tuesday, Herr Twitler thought it would be a good idea to spew towards North Korea. In a litany of Tweets, Orange Foolius poked and prodded the despot, finishing off his diatribe by comparing his “nuclear button” to Kim’s, saying, “Mine is bigger and it actually works.” As the world took this under consideration – that an actual world leader was issuing dick-sizing threats against another fucking nut – he then decided to go off on something that is going to have great staying power should he continue to dwell on it.

Michael Wolff, a journalist of some renown, was given complete access to the White House over the past year, up to and including (it seems) sitting in on discussions between Orange Foolius and the leadership of his Confederacy of Dunces. He’s now gotten a book deal, Fire & Fury:  Inside the Trump White House, that basically says that Orange Foolius and his minions never meant to win. In fact, everyone from the soul-sucked KellyAnne Conway (seriously, look at when she was tribbing for Cruz and how she looks now) to the new focus – and derision – of the Confederacy, Steve Bannon.

SiriusXM Broadcasts New Hampshire Primary Coverage Live From Iconic Red Arrow Diner - Day 1

 

Apparently, Bannon was the main subject of Wolff’s book because much of his commentary is what drives it. If you are to believe Wolff’s recounting of the evidence, Bannon was the MAN behind Orange Foolius, which enraged him to the point that it eventually cost him a prime spot in the White House. Never mind that it was probably Bannon’s efforts that got Dinky Digits into the spot he finds himself now, the expected Bus Driving was stunning.

In a rambling announcement on Wednesday, the White House pretty much disavowed that Bannon ever existed. “Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my Presidency. When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind. Steve was a staffer who worked for me after I had already won the nomination by defeating seventeen candidates, often described as the most talented field ever assembled in the Republican party.”

“Now that he is on his own, Steve is learning that winning isn’t as easy as I make it look,” the announcement continued. “Steve had very little to do with our historic victory, which was delivered by the forgotten men and women of this country. Yet Steve had everything to do with the loss of a Senate seat in Alabama held for more than thirty years by Republicans. Steve doesn’t represent my base—he’s only in it for himself.”

“Steve pretends to be at war with the media, which he calls the opposition party, yet he spent his time at the White House leaking false information to the media to make himself seem far more important than he was,” as everyone tosses popcorn in the air. “It is the only thing he does well. Steve was rarely in a one-on-one meeting with me and only pretends to have had influence to fool a few people with no access and no clue, whom he helped write phony books.”

“We have many great Republican members of Congress and candidates who are very supportive of the Make America Great Again agenda. Like me, they love the United States of America and are helping to finally take our country back and build it up, rather than simply seeking to burn it all down.”

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OK, if you got by the narcissism, the total disavowal of facts and the reality of, let’s be honest, probably has at least a 70% truthfulness rating and you still support this fuck, then you are part of the problem.

This is what warrior-poets, philosophers and members of the Intelligencia have been fighting for the past year. And, at the end of 2017, I found myself fatiguing from the battle. But no more…

In 2018, I plan on doing a great deal with music, entertainment and other enjoyable areas. I am currently planning on starting an online radio station, which will be an outlet for me to play music and make commentary on our current situation. But there will also be a much more concentrated effort on the political arena, especially as we head into the 2018 midterm elections.

The current embarrassment in the Executive Branch needs a check that will prevent him from the total destruction of the democracy that has been built over the past 240 years. It isn’t even to the point of impeachment – in fact, I’d rather see the asshole voted out with no question – but it is a point of being able to derail any further destruction of the various devices of the government which slip by while Herr Twitler goes about his business. To do that, the Republicans need to be tossed out on their ass.

2018 is a pivotal year. And I plan on being a vocal piece of trying to toss these fuckers out. “When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro,” said the good Doctor. I have now gone to “Professional” status…

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