Consume this, capitalist pigs!

I have noted before that I have refrained from blogging a lot about the Current Administration because it would not be good for my mental or physical health. However, the recent debacle in the Rose Garden (CEO: “We’re here for you, America, and we hope to have more toilet paper and hand sanitizer available for you to BUY soon”) had a tiny detail that I haven’t seen any of the better political writers examine, so here we go.

First of all, notice the light blue subtitle: New Options for Consumers.


Not citizens, not Americans, not “everyone.” Not even just plain “New Options.”


I like to think that the poor graphic designer charged with producing this thing deliberately made that subhead almost unreadable, because how fupping embarrassing is that? Consumers.[1]

Second of all, as it happens, there is no screening website. The president (who is impeached) made that up.

But none of that is what I realized yesterday: Despite what the poster says, THERE ARE NO OPTIONS ON THAT CHART. None.

Go ahead, start at the top of the chart and see what options you have to help keep yourself and your monkey circle safe. For example, what if you are asymptomatic but are pretty sure you’ve been exposed to the virus because you’ve worked with someone who is exhibiting symptoms but who has not been tested LIKE THE CHART SAYS BECAUSE THERE ARE NO TESTS, KENNETH? Because that’s exactly where I am. What options are offered to me in that chart?

, stood in front of the American people consumers and held up a poster that is nothing but pretty boxes and lies.

Unfortunately, that’s no more than what we can expect from this administration.


[1] Of course, that’s actually the standard Republican view of citizens anyway: we are merely consumers of the Great Capitalist Beneficent Free Hand. We exist to boost profits.

Bless their hearts

Oh, ammosexuals, darlings, this is just sad.

This popped up on an acquaintance’s Facebook feed; I have blurred out the snarky message because 1) it’s just dumb; and 2) I’m not here to discuss that today.

The whole ammosexual/militia mindset is identical to that of the Christianists: they are a defiant band of righteous warriors, persecuted and faced with… what? It’s never very clear other than PERSECUTION, KENNETH!!

But wait—being a ragtag band of persecuted holy ones is only half their mindset. The other half is that they are the overwhelming majority of the population; it’s the rest of us who are pitiful worms cowering before their righteous glory.

I know. I don’t know how that works, either. What’s even weirder is that they are wrong about both halves of their brains. No one is persecuting them, and they are certainly nowhere near the majority of the country.

Nevertheless, they like to think of themselves as the New Patriots, the “3%” — in their terms — who drove the American Revolution to its successful conclusion. (See the ’76’ in the militia logo in the photo?) They regard themselves as the direct inheritors of Patrick Henry and George Washington; the rest of us are effete losers who don’t  know the true meaning of being a MERKIN, KENNETH.

Here’s the deal, though, ammosexuals: the difference between you and the Founding Fathers is that those guys were literate. They were hyper-educated, fluent in multiple languages, cosmopolitan in their worldview and deistic in their theology. They wrote — and read — volume upon volume of long, complex sentences about long, complex ideas with Aristotelian logic. They communicated those ideas to the world in ways that cannot be summarized on a business’s snarky message board.

They were smart men.

You? Well, let’s just say I’m a little skeptical that you will publish the equivalent of The Federalist Papers any time soon.

And here’s a really really huge difference between you and the Founding Fathers: MOLON LABE, your little motto at the top of your sign, identifying you to your fellow ammosexuals as one of the Good Guys, is not exactly the Gadsden flag that you think it is.

Yes, it’s a motto of defiance. It’s what Leonidas of Sparta replied to Xerxes at Thermopylae when then Persian emperor demanded the Spartans surrender their weapons.


James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, et al., would have read that in the original Greek, without having to memorize it as an ammosexual shibboleth. They would have been able to translate it for themselves. They’d know that Leonidas defied the demand to surrender their weapons with the immortal phrase, “Come and take them.”

Madison, Jefferson, et al., would also have known the result of that exchange: Xerxes did, in fact, come and take them, wiping out the entire Spartan force in the process. Quite the Pyrrhic[1] motto for such a mighty movement.

Yes, I am laughing at you.


[1] You will want to get someone to explain ‘Pyrrhic’ to you. It’ll be another eye-opener.

I Can’t Even, part 35,687

I was minding my own business yesterday when someone I follow on Twitter linked to this article. Yes, it’s in that liberal satan-site Huffington Post, but here’s the Google search in case you want to find corroborative evidence.

For those of you who are not going to click on that, it’s about disgraced televangelist Jim Bakker and his statement that—and I quote—”Trump is a test whether you’re even saved,” he said in a clip going viral on Twitter. “Only saved people can love Trump.”

Honey, please.

Let me state for the record that I don’t give a hoot about this or any other person’s theology. As far as I’m concerned, Jim Bakker can believe that if he worships Trump enough he’ll be rewarded with many turtles in Heaven. Who cares?

However, when a charlatan like Bakker can’t even adhere to the theology he’s grifting from, duty requires me to speak up.

Simply put, if the Holy Inquisition were still around Bakker would be burned at the stake as a heretic. Yes, we know that in their day you were required to practically worship your sovereign, since they were of course placed there by God himself, but the Church would have taken a dim view of any priest who began preaching that you must idolize Lorenzo di Medici or you’d be damned to hell.

In the article, Bakker contorts himself through some pretty Scholastic hoops to say that Christians must forgive—without saying exactly what the Christians might need to forgive in Trump—but even that is heresy: ‘one is not saved by works but by faith alone’ is a shibboleth that even Bakker would spout if there were time before the commercial.

None of this is anomalous for Bakker; he spouts crazy stuff every day, insane/Uncle Ted/streetcorner stuff. So here’s my question: why is he still on TV? Why does he still have sponsors? Why is he given a platform anywhere other than  his own basement and aforementioned street corner?

Who is paying for this, and why?

Sp—and I cannot emphasize this enough—am

The company that hosts this blog and my email ( has a really robust spam filter, so much so that I have to check it about once a week to make sure it hasn’t snagged anything I actually want. One of its features is that you can open any email without endangering yourself, if you’re really curious about what’s in it.

Somehow I’ve been getting emails from an outfit calling itself, and who cares? Let ’em spend their resources sending my spamhole their desperate pleas for attention. But this morning the subject heading LIBERAL CONSPIRACY AGAINST TRUMP caught my eye and, bored, I opened it.



The first four sentences are provable lies. Period.

No one lied about the whistleblower.

No one falsified a transcript. (The White House did release a deliberately misleading summary of the phone call; Adam Schiff mocked it, and that’s what they’re calling “falsifying a transcript.” Besides, how could the Democrats falsify a transcript released by the White House? This is your gentle reminder that THERE’S A REASON WE THINK YOU’RE STUPID.)

No one denied Trump “due process,” mainly because impeachment in the House is not a trial. (Not only that, but now that the hearings have moved into actual impeachment proceedings, Trump has declined to participate.)

“Falsely accusing” Trump? Sure, Jan.

Here’s the deal, little Trumpsters: they’re lying to you, they know they’re lying to you, and they do not care that they’re lying to you. They only care about your money. Give them your money. If you do, though, I’d ask for a full financials report to see if anyone actually did quintuple your donation. (Even their math is a lie: If you give $25, a 500% match would be $125, for a total “impact” of $150.)

And if this thing is from Rep. Steve Scalise, you should be aware that he is one of those people for whom the question “Stupid or evil” was invented.[1]



[1] (Correct answer: Why not both?)

Empty discourse, Republican version #1,698

Former congresscritter Michele Bachmann has thoughts:

“We have never seen a president under more attack, more undeserved attack, but I think it’s because, again, of the day that we live in, the deception that we live in, and the demonic presence of so many evil things in our society,” she added. “He deserves our prayers. He needs our prayers. And, again, God will answer those prayers. He answered those prayers before for us and we need to not just sit back because he’s done godly things, we need to be very active and lift up his arms [just as] Arron [sic] and Miriam lifted up Moses’ arms. This is the fellow that God has made our president. He’s not only leading us in the United States to the greatest level of prosperity, to the greatest level of blessing toward Israel—he’s put us on a path of blessing like no other president ever has—but because of the times we live in, we need him more than ever to listen to godly counsel, which he has. He has some of the most godly people surrounding him that I have ever seen, so he is deserving of that level of prayer and support and we need to provide that for him.”

Ten points to anyone who can explain, in explicit, concrete terms, what she is babbling about.

You can’t. It’s all code, and the code is not meant to refer to anything real.  It’s just gobbledygook meant to trigger the amygdalas of the evangelical set:

  • day that we live in
  • deception we live in
  • demonic presence
  • evil things in our society
  • God will answer those prayers
  • answered those prayers before
  • he’s (Trump) done godly things
  • lift up his arms like Aaron and Miriam
  • greatest level of blessing toward Israel
  • a path of blessing
  • the times we live in
  • listen to godly counsel, which he has (!)
  • godly people surrounding him
  • deserving of that level of prayer and support

None of this amounts to anything more than “We just praise your name O Lord just lift up our praise to your holy name with your blessing amen.”

Or as Monty Python so succinctly put it: “O Lord we beseech thee amen.”

Michele Bachmann is not the sharpest knife in the drawer—she proved that in Congress on a nearly daily basis—but we don’t need that as an explanation. She is immersed in that culture, and that culture thinks in styrofoam ideas like this. It’s ASMR for the conservative brain.

It’s all fear and loathing. We’ll get into the underlying “nanny-nanny-boo-boo” mentality some other day.


Let us count the ways.

Here’s an image that popped up on Twitter:

Okay, my little Trumpsters, let’s count the ways you’re willing to be lied to and manipulated.

First of all, it’s OK to acknowledge that you’re an amygdala-based lifeform, that you require regular doses of fear and anger to make your brain work. You are not alone; many people’s brains work like yours. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, and it’s certainly not anything you can change.


It is also very important for the future of our world — I need you to listen very very closely to this — to learn when your brain is addicted to fear and anger and craves them so much that it invents things to be afraid of and angry about.

Which leads us to the image above, which is from a Trump fundraising[1] website.

First, count the glittering generalities. “Liberty,” “independence,” “born free,” “stay free” vs. “coercion,” “domination,” “control,” and most of all, SOCIALAMISM, KENNETH! We’re not sure what policies are being advocated here — because none are being offered — but we know we’re supposed to feel warm and fuzzy with the first set and scared and angry about the second.[2]

Second, we should look at the historical record.  The Constitution was created out of whole cloth by the Constitutional Convention in 1787, which was not their charge. Those men were supposed to be patching up the Articles of Confederation, which had issues because it didn’t allow for “government control,” but they didn’t do that. They invented a whole new government, a federal government, and to quote Wikipedia: “The delegates were generally convinced that an effective central government with a wide range of enforceable powers must replace the weaker Congress established by the Articles of Confederation.”

Ooooh, “government coercion.” You’re soaking in it.

Your mindset that “government control” is a menace to your personal freedoms springs from Ronald Reagan, a happy-go-lucky frontman for a small set of very very rich people who have funded immense propaganda efforts to drill that idea home since the Roosevelt administration. Remember what Reagan said? “The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”

I wonder how the people of Oklahoma, etc., are feeling about that right now. Because the government is not there to help.

Finally, once again, socialism is not what you think it is. What you think of as socialism, what you’ve been told to think of as socialism, to fear as socialism, is probably communism, and most definitely the totalitarian implementation of communism. Five-Year Plans, Pravda, gulags, show trials, Stalin, etc etc etc. You think socialism means “government control” of the economy. Certainly that’s what has made Venezuela the poster child of your president (who imprisons children).

However, we’re already a socialist country: we pool our resources to pay for schools, police, Social Security, roads. We don’t do it for healthcare because no one knows why; the entire rest of the planet has universal healthcare. We can’t do it, we’re told, because it would TAKE AWAY OUR FREEDOMS KENNETH, but every now and then some Republican person will slip up and tell the truth: it would hurt the insurance industry.[3]

But pooling our resources to assist farmers “hurt by the trade war,” that’s not socialism because reasons. Even though it’s clearly government control of the economy. Because reasons. (Here’s the funny part: a lot of that money is going to huge agribusiness corporations, many of which are owned by foreign companies. That’s right, because of a pointless trade war with China, we’re going into debt, borrowing money from China, so that we can pay companies owned by China. Are you not amused? What is your brain telling you now?)

I think I won’t even go into the historical antecedents of that photo:[4]


[1] “fundraising”: there’s your first clue. Someone wants your money.

[2] “So give us your money.” Are you beginning to catch on? Does this blatant manipulation not make you a little bit… angry?

[3] “Give us your money.”

[4] I will say that part of the way your brain works is that, having identified all those terrible things that make you scared and angry, it seeks a Strong Man to fix it for you. A Strong Man who can fix things is good, of course, but beware the Strong Man who keeps feeding you fear and anger that only he can fix.

You might very well think that…

… and I will have a comment for you.

In order to be diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder, you formerly had to meet five of the following nine criteria.[1]

And here were the criteria for antisocial personality disorder.  (You had to check off three or more to get this diagnosis.)

My comment is in the form of two questions:

  1. To whom do you think I am referring?
  2. Why did you think that?[2]


[1] These criteria are actually no longer officially used. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) revamped the personality disorders for DSM-5 in 2010. Their reclassification met with some criticism for its decision to drop this specific diagnosis from the new edition. But you get the picture.

[2] We now await the tapdancing from those who will try to avoid saying they recognize any of these traits in the person I’m talking about, and that it’s just because of my well-known dislike of this person that allows them to answer Question 1 with certainty.

Saying the pledge

After the tsimmis last week of the kid being arrested for not saying the pledge to the flag[1] in a Florida (!) school, I have studiously avoided writing this post — and to be honest I thought I had already written it. But I think the story is worth telling.

First, let me state up front that I find this country’s hyper-patriotism more than a little problematic, and the idolatry enveloping the flag is particularly offensive to me since it involves the forced public display of my-country-right-or-wrong-oh-yeah-why-don’t-you-just-move-somewhere-else devotion.

Until the early 90s I was agnostic about the pledge. As long as we all understood that it was an empty gesture, who cares? But then something happened that was so vile, so disgustingly hypocritical, that I became about as anti-pledge as you can be.

It was summer, probably 1993 though the exact year escapes me, and I was once again in Valdosta as the chair of the media department at the Governor’s Honors Program [GHP]. One day I ventured into the TV room of the faculty dorm, where the usual gang was glued to C-SPAN. (GHP is one big nerd camp.)

What was going on that had them so enthralled? The Republicans in the House of Representatives had introduced, as was their wont, an amendment to the Constitution to “protect” the flag, and a vote was in process.

Let me repeat that: ignoring the fact that the Constitution has never been amended to protect the government from the people — quite the reverse — the Republicans were attempting alter our foundational document to “protect” a piece of cloth.

Their cynicism was visible from space: their goal was to wrap themselves in that flag and cast the Democrats in the House as UNPATRIOTIC, KENNETH, for not wanting to gut the freedom to criticize our government. THE FLAG, KENNETH! SACRED SYMBOL OUR TROOPS FREEDOM ARGLE BARGLE HENNGGGHHH…

Now, Dale, I hear you asking, how are you so sure that the Republicans were cynically manipulating the legislative process to provide empty talking points to their amygdala-based base? How do I know that they no more cared for “protecting” the flag than they do protecting poor people?

Easy. We were watching the vote, remember, and it was slow going as the representatives clicked their little buttons at their desks: yeas and nays slowly edged up. The suspense was palpable. Would the amendment pass? Would it be sent to the states for ratification, where of course state legislators would be too craven to vote against it?

A constitutional amendment requires two-thirds of both chambers of the Congress to vote for it to be passed, which in the House would be 290 votes. That meant that if it got 146 nay votes, it failed.

Slowly the yeas and nays climbed. The yeas were slightly ahead. Savvy political junkies that we were, though, we watched the nays. Suddenly the vote tally clicked to 146 nays. The proposed amendment was dead.

And that’s when the yea votes soared. Once it was certain that it couldn’t pass, once they knew that this stupendously bad-faith legislation was safely dead — all those Republican cowards rushed to vote for it so they could go home and point their virtuous fingers at all those traitorous Democrats for defeating an amendment to “protect” our flag sacred symbol our troops freedom argle bargle hennggghghh…

In other words, the Republicans didn’t want this thing to pass. If they had wanted it to pass, all those yea votes that rushed into the public record when it was too late to make a difference would have been cast to begin with. They deliberately waited until enough of their peers had the guts to kill it before they cast their vote. Even more: they proposed this pernicious amendment to the Constitution in the first place and brought it to the floor for a vote knowing it should not be passed.

That’s how I know the whole pledge thing is a bogus, cynical ploy to suppress dissent, to shame people who think maybe our allegiance is not due to a piece of cloth, to draw a bright circle around those who are uncritically “patriotic” and to keep the rest of us out.  I have not said the pledge since then; I refuse to be a part of or to support that sham.

Your mileage may vary of course, and I have no objection to your choosing to say the pledge with all your heart. You may however want to think about the fact that the very people who keep telling you that saying the pledge is simple, virtuous patriotism — and anything else is not —have been manipulating you. I’ll let you decide why.

— — — — —

[1] Of course it’s a little more complicated than that, but whatever happened was triggered by the flag-worshiping substitute teacher worshipping the flag and not the Constitution for which it stands.

If only there were a difference you could spot…

This popped up on Twitter this morning:

What the Trumpster wants to believe here is that Barry HUSSEIN Obummer also violated military guidelines by autographing a soldier’s hat, so ULTRALIBERAL CNN KENNETH is wrong in calling out Trump (who gasses children) for doing exactly the same thing.

Well, actually.


They are not the same.

First of all, let’s just note that it took Trump (who gasses children) two years into his presidency to go visit the troops, mostly because he’s afraid of that kind of danger. (That’s not a real problem, truthfully. If the man doesn’t want to participate in the U.S.’s ungodly fetishization of our military, I’m OK with that.) (But it’s a bad look, nevertheless.)

The real problem is that Trump (who gasses children) could not stop himself from campaigning, and that’s the no-no. Here, if you haven’t read it recently, is the pertinent section of the Department of Defense [DoD] conduct code:

DoD Support to Campaigns
Any activity that may be reasonably viewed as directly or indirectly associating DoD, or any component or personnel of DoD, with a partisan political activity or is otherwise contrary to the spirit and intention of this guidance must be avoided. Consistent with this, installation commanders must decline requests for military personnel or federal civilian employees to appear in or support political campaign or election events in their official capacities, with the exception of providing joint Armed Forces color guards at the opening ceremonies of the national conventions of the Republican, Democratic, and other political parties formally recognized by the Federal Election Commission. In addition, installation commanders shall not permit the use of military facilities by any candidate for political campaign or election events, including public assemblies or town hall meetings, speeches, fundraisers, press conferences, post-election celebrations and concession addresses. [emphasis mine]

The White House (who gasses children) is denying that it brought MAGA hats — which are official Trump campaign items — to Iraq, but there are first-person accounts reporting that yes, they did bring them and pass them out to the troops. That’s a no-no. Trump (who gasses children) signing them just made that fact impossible to ignore.

Worse — in my mind — is his behavior on the podium while addressing troops. He was his usual partisan self, bashing Democrats, pushing his Wall, and I have no doubt that if there were an election coming up he would absolutely would have told our troops to vote Republican. Such speech  — or rather, attendance at a function where such speech is used — is prohibited by the DoD conduct code.

So, to recap, a soldier is permitted to bring a personal item for the president to autograph. Soldiers are not permitted to participate in photo-ops for campaigns, and by providing campaign items to them in full view of the camera, Trump (who gasses children) violated military guidelines.

BECAUSE — and the Trumpster will not believe this — a MAGA hat is not a beloved symbol of our nation or its presidency. It is a purely partisan totem, and if you don’t realize that, then imagine that in the photograph Obama is signing one of these:

Image result for obama campaign cap

Would Fox News be defending that?

I report, you decide.

We won’t even get into Trump (who gasses children)  blowing the cover of a Navy SEAL team. The question there is: Idiot or traitor?[1]

—  —  —  —  —

[1] Why not both?

They vote

A friend sent me the link to gov-elect Brian Kemp’s Facebook page, where he plugs his Kemp Store: buy a Brian Kemp Christmas ornament for your tree!  Yep, it’s pretty tasteless, and even his supporters are looking at it with raised eyebrows and pursed lips. (Some are even complaining about shoddy service from said store. It’s almost as if the man’s dishonest in some way.)

But that’s not why I’m here today. Further down Kemp’s page was some innocuous statement about working with all legislators, etc etc, and the comments there were — shall we say — concerning.

Most were thankful Kemp had won instead of THE SOCIALIST, KENNETH, and they were being sincere. More than one praised god that they didn’t live in Atlanta.

Then there was this one, replying to an insane plea for Kemp to “fix all the voter fraud”:

And these frauds with old lucy stole Karen handles seat how many fraud voters did she fly in from Delta state to state and bused in 10 time district to district fraud votes absentee ballot stuffing old abrams still pushing bathhouse barry hussain un aca commercials!

Jebus H. Cthulhu. I’m just surprised it’s not in all caps.

Every time the pundits caution us callous sophisticates against disdaining the rightwing nutjobs, I think of crap like this. No punctuation, misspelling (of her own candidate’s name!), the degeneration from recognizable — if run-on — sentences into gibbered shibboleths, the racism, the irrational fear of healthcare…

And I’m supposed to respect and reach out to someone whose thought processes produce this garbage pile of words?

No. Sorry, I can’t do it. This woman — and those like her — are just amygdalas with legs and enough fingers to type. She’s willing to believe the most outrageous lies simply because they’re outrageous; she’s getting her daily high of fear and anger. She will never believe the truth; she will never recognize what is actually going on around her. She is swathed a cocoon of ignorance and distrust, and she has no plans or desire to become a butterfly and risk viewing the world from another perspective.

All we can do is outvote her and her ilk, and with Kemp in office it’s a pretty sure bet that’s not going to happen.

Bless her heart.