No Name for This

Whoo. What a day!

Before today, all meetings put me to sleep. If I was actually involved I would likely stay awake longer, but eventually I would nod right out. If no one was sitting beside me, I’d lie down on the empty chairs.

Today, the House Committee On Whatever’s grilling of Mark Zuckerberg was absolutely riveting. I wish I had taken notes. But, as I did not, I can fall back on only my faulty brain to reconstruct my sensual memory of the event.

Zuckerberg conducted himself correctly. He spoke the truth in simple language so that even Congressmen could understand what he said. Many of his inquisitors had serious concerns.

There were fewer Democrats who found fault with his vision than there were Republicans who endorsed it. All in all, a healing moment for America.

Earlier in the day, apparently, John Boehner announced his position on marijuana had “evolved” and he had taken a position on the advisory board of Acreage Holdings, a “cannabis corporation” operating nationwide.

“I’m convinced de-scheduling the drug is required so we can do research, help our veterans, and reverse the opioid epidemic,” said Boehner. De-scheduling means ‘legalizing’. None of this ‘medical’ crap, no need to specify ‘recreational’. I know “amazing” is just another buzzword now, like “awesome”. applied to whatever mundane event or object currently being plugged. So I am constrained. I will not characterize.

My immediate impulse is to insert a cynical “Oh yeah?” in this blank pause, and I would, if I was hip enough to name a possible “ulterior motive” or deranged enough by paranoia to invent one. It’s this very silence within me that I fear will prove to be the “reason” I will never write the gripping crime novel I know I have within me. It saddens me that I cannot trump up a plausible scenario in which the ex-Speaker of the House almost subverts the American democracy. But, you know, the night is young. I will gnaw on this bone the rest of the evening. Perhaps, when tomorrow dawns,  I shall have a grittier tale to tell. Who knows? If so, maybe I’ll lay it on you.

Zuckerberg said numerous times today that the author of anything posted on FaceBook retains ownership of that post, or at least co-ownership with anyone who “shared” it. This is somewhat different from other statements I have heard about postings, claiming that anything anyone posted on FB became the property of FB.

Ah. Here perhaps is the Revelatory Detail. Early in the afternoon Boehner’s successor as Speaker, Paul Ryan, announced his retirement at the end of this term. Speculation on his choice centered on expectation that t.Rump’s behavior had revolted the voting public and there would be a Democratic tsunami in the mid-term elections.

The opposition is always seen as the odds-on favorite at the beginning of the mid-term campaign. After all, they haven’t been fucking up in the pilot’s chair. And this incumbent incompetent actually has a diagnosis, “malignant narcissist”. That burden didn’t disqualify others from the Presidency, though.

T.Rump has been likened to Andrew Jackson, a cruel racist. Such personalities are out of fashion now. Maybe that was one of the counts against Jackson in his term, too, though racism wasn’t the topic and the President’s cruelty wasn’t mentioned. His opponents focused on his bride’s lack of a tangible divorce decree from her first husband, whom she had lived with in the backwoods of rural Mississippi in the late 1700s. She probably didn’t have one. The opposition newspapers hounded her to death.

The fundament of Jackson’s popularity was his military success against the Creek Indians in 1814 in Alabama, and the British in 1815, in New Orleans. I mention this in recognition of today’s capping event, the brouhaha regarding Syria’s President Assad’s poison gas attack on his own people, which actually happened over the weekend. It seems Russia, after issuing assurances they would prevent Syria from attacking with gas, was complicit in the attack. T.Rump, currently under investigation for collusion with the Russians in an attack on the 2016 election process, tweeted “Syria”, in his entertaining, irresponsible manner, that missiles “will be coming, nice and new”, with a jovial note to “Russia” not to partner with a “Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!”

So today, missile cruisers stand off the Lebanese coast. Somebody, I think a tweeter quoted on C-Span, suggested that the first missiles be targeted on Assad’s house, “so that he’d know what his people felt like when they came home after a hard day.”

A missile strike resulting in discomfort for Assad, if not his death, is not out of the question.

The braying jackass could conceivably come out of this ahead. It might even take the edge off his asininity.

Sorry. Got carried away again.

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Ten Things To Do When Your Neighbors Are Beating On Each Other

AngelYesterday, a friend of mine posted on Facebook the fact that a neighbor couple was involved in screaming fights, and she could think of nothing other than doing Something to Help Them. To make matters worse, she couldn’t think of anything she could do. I read this early yesterday, and from that point I on could not think of anything other than what I might do, were I in her position.

By lunch, I had figured out ten actions which I might take. Therefore, having brought up the subject here, I feel obliged to present them to you.

Some of my ideas entail resources I cannot call upon. However, I am not in my friend’s situation. Perhaps, if ever I am, I shall have those resources available at that time.

1. Erect bleachers outside their place, and sell tickets. In the concession stand attached to the ticket booth, I would sell pennants with “His” and “Her” names on them, as well as hot dogs and energy drinks.

2. Drown them out with fireworks, heavy-metal music, military band music, the “1812 Overture”, Wagner, Berlioz, and 20th Century Russian composers. Preferably, all at once.

3. Alternately, match the music to their ruckus. In effect, score the event. Pick music in the same rhythm and tempo of their exchange.

4. Record them, just as they are. Use the recording as a sound track for an animation.

5. Similarly, use the recording, augmented with added music, as the score for a ballet.

6. Instead of music, mix current news broadcasts with them.

7. Research all the homes for battered spouses in the area. Print up flyers promoting them. Include tear-off strips with the shelters’ phone numbers on them. Print up at least 500 flyers – better, 500 for each shelter. Then go around the neighborhood stapling them to phone poles. Put them all up. If that requires poles to be completely covered with the flyers, so be it.

8. Get 2 – 3 large, aggressive dogs. When the couple is fighting, let the dogs into their apartment. Run away.

9. When they are fighting, light a fire in their yard. A big fire that will burn for hours. Take care not to ignite any buildings.

10. Stick their garden hose in one of their windows, connected to a faucet and turned on. As above, run away. In this case, it does not matter if they are engaged in combat or not.

Whatever you do, keep in mind this thought: Nobody does Anything for Someone Else’s Own Good. If you find yourself acting on that basis, STOP, take a step back, and consider exactly what you are doing, and what you are getting out of it. There’s probably something else you should be doing, that doesn’t require anybody to change what they are doing at all.

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Rallys. Really?

The nominal President, T.Rump, held a rally somewhere in Alabama today. It made news because hecause he called on Professional Football, Inc., to “fire” those players who protest national policies and sentiments by not standing during the national song’s rendition before any game.

Just now, as I was writing this, it took me more than a minute to name what the players were protesting. As I recall their statements of protest, they have to do with numerouse lapses in “freedom and justice” which the players are demanding be addressed, and an abiding allegiance to prejudice, primarily racial, instead of the very spirit which the song references.

Could T.Rump ever sort it out?

Personally, I doubt he has any concept of “spirit”. I think he denies the existence of anything so un-solid as “spirit”. He understands anger, fear, greed – rather, recognises the effects of these sentiments. He doesn’t understand anything very much.

Also, he recognises victory and defeat. I doubt this extends to success and failure. I don’t think he can recognize success unless it includes beating someone else. And failure is too painful for him to comtemplate.

Spirit, victory, defeat.

Who ever heard of a sitting President holding a rally? As he approached re-election, sure, but now?

Hitler held rallies, Mussolini, Saddam Hussein, Juan Peron. Not Truman, or Eisenhower, not even Nixon or Clinton. Nobody who could be impeached; only those who could be deposed. And vilified. Forever, I might add.

Of course T.Rump’s love of rallys does not in any way imply he’s a demogogue. I understand some Committee for Producing Rallies scheduled a rally they called “Mother Of All Rallys” last Saturday on the National Mall. There was some perplexity over the booking. It conflicted with another rally, scheduled by The Juggalos for the same time and place. Concern was voiced that the Mall couldn’t handle both crowds, and that the two groups couldn’t intersect without violence.
Most articles referring to the scheduling conflict assumed the reader was familiar with “Juggalos”. As I was not, I googled the term.
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Turns out, “Juggalos” are fans of a hip-hop group named “Insane Clown Posse”. Two white guys, their faces completely covered in parodies of clown makeup, rapping surprisingly childlike lyrics. The fans/Juggalos paint their faces similar to the duo.

Superficially, I could see no dischord between Rump’s followers and “insane clowns”. As it was, the enormous Mall was more than sufficient to accept the entire “MOAR” and still have more that enough empty space to include the entire population of Juggalos.

I can only imagine Mussolini’s reaction to such a rally. If you’re like me, you’d have loved to see it.

 

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Labor Day, 2017

“Btw, IMHO and FWIW, the administration is doing a superlative job in response to Harvey so far.”
– John J Lisovitch
Saturday at 2:19pm ·
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I’m generally so tense that when the cat jumps off my lap, I twang. Relaxation is a rare event. If ever I do manage to draw an unfettered breath, I often fall asleep.

John J. Lisovitch’s post the other day(above) must have imbued me with such relief, given me so much hope that in an instant I fell into a deep sleep, for I had an intense and compelling dream. It only lasted a second. Maybe it was a legitimate vision, but saying that seems very presumptuous. Like, it might actually happem, or something.

In this dream, I lived in a nation whose government responded to its people by relieving their suffering. And in fact that was all it did: removed agony. It did not create it. Any attempt to realize profit by making things worse for any segment of the populace would be required by law to specifically benefit ten times that number, including the intended victims, and do it immediately.

In this government, all decisions are made in full view. Bribery and kickbacks are nonexistant; the very idea is scorned as the invention of an idiot. No one would go there, do that, because it would inevitably lead to prison and destitution.

And, though an impulse may occasionally pass through the minds and bowels of some administration or other to reduce a small, belligerant nation to crystalline ash, no military adventure is ever considered. If, though, a bation’s populace ever rises in revolt against a despot, and appeals to my government for support, support may well be there.

The interests of this nation center on freedom and justice, and prosperity for all, as opposed to maximum profit for a few. I could see this in the faces and actions of all around me, the self-assurance and good feelings they express.

All in one second. I don’t think it was the first time I’d been there, though. It felt like I’d come home.

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;Dick Gregory

I heard of Dick Gregory’s passing the night it happened, Friday August 19, a week after Charlottesville. I then spent the next hour writing a “haiku”:
chord of here and now
summer wind by ghetto rooms
Dick Gregory’s voice

I have learned that, to make sense, a work – be it in language or pigments, a song or a meal – has to convey feelings. Like the Duke said, it has to swing. So maybe that isn’t haiku, and doesn’t swing. It’s my immediate tribute to an important man who passed. His voice made a considerable difference.

He was the first stand-up philosopher I could recognize. Perhaps there were others before him. If you know any, please note them, here if you can. After him came George Carlin and Chris Rock. Probably, there are others, too. I’m not too good with names.

Here’s a few Dick Gregory-isms.
– There’s a god force inside of you that gives you a will to live.
– In America, with all of its evils and faults, you can still reach through the forest and see the sun. But we don’t know yet whether that sun is rising or setting for our country.
– I am really enjoying the new Martin Luther King Jr stamp – just think about all those white bigots, licking the backside of a black man.
– Love is very dangerous if you just have love and don’t have the ability to be lovable.
– I never learned hate at home, or shame. I had to go to school for that.
– There is a limit on how much information you can keep bottled up.
– Political promises are much like marriage vows. They are made at the beginning of the relationship between candidate and voter, but are quickly forgotten.
– If they took all the drugs, nicotine, alcohol and caffeine off the market for six days, they’d have to bring out the tanks to control you.
– Once I realised the value of making people laugh, I got very good at it. Fast.
– I never believed in Santa Claus because I knew no white dude would come into my neighborhood after dark. D
– Just being a Negro doesn’t qualify you to understand the race situation any more than being sick makes you an expert on medicine.
– Let me tell you, never before in the history of this planet has anybody made the progress that African-Americans have made in a 30-year period, in spite of many black folks and white folks lying to one another.
– I waited at the counter of a white restaurant for eleven years. When they finally integrated, they didn’t have what I wanted.
– We thought I was going to be a great athlete, and we were wrong, and I thought I was going to be a great entertainer, and that wasn’t it either. I’m going to be an American Citizen. First class.
– We used to root for the Indians against the cavalry, because we didn’t think it was fair in the history books that when the cavalry won it was a great victory, and when the Indians won it was a massacre.
– Hell hath no fury like a liberal scorned.
These and more come from: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/d/dickgregor377993.html

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