Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Flag burning

 "Have not I myself known five hundred living soldiers sabred into crows'-meat for a piece of glazed cotton, which they called their Flag; which, had you sold it at any market-cross, would not have brought above three groschen?" --Thomas Carlyle

"No matter how sickening and abhorrent we all find it," MSNBC's Brian Williams said, flag burning is constitutionally protected.

I didn't know we all found it sickening or abhorrent. I've always been baffled that people get so worked up about it. Maybe it's just me, but I find it hard to believe that Donald Trump has any genuine feelings about it.

I'll tell you an interesting fact. Most of the flags at Disneyland have the wrong number stars. That way, they're not REAL United States flags and they don't have to follow flag etiquette. They can leave them out in the rain, let them touch the ground and whatever else you're not supposed to do with a flag. If they make flag burning a crime, you just burn one with the wrong number of stars--it's called a "flag replica"--and it's perfectly legal.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Jesse Jackson calls for pardon for Hillary

Jesse Jackson has called for Obama to pardon Hillary Clinton.

I don't know if this would be a problem, but Obama just lied to Der Spiegel and claimed that he couldn't possibly pardon Edward Snowden because "I can't pardon somebody who hasn't gone before a court and presented themselves."

So how did Nixon get his pardon? Or Marc Rich?

If Hillary committed crimes, why shouldn't she be prosecuted? If anybody's a superpredator it's her and she should be brought to heel.

Anti-Castro scum

So, Fidel Castro survives literally hundreds of assassination attempts and dies peacefully at age 90. And THIS is the great triumph of the anti-Castro Cuban trash dancing in the streets in Miami?

"God is on our side!"

About Jill Stein demanding a recount...

From counterpunch.com. Jeffrey St Clair discusses how bad Trump will be judging from his cabinet picks. People like me who hoped that he would be less of a threat to the world than Clinton may have been horribly, horribly wrong.

Well, I didn't vote for Trump. I voted for Jill Stein. About her, St Clair writes:
What in the world is Jill Stein up to?  She is trying to raise more [than] $2 million for recounts in WI, Michigan & Penn, recounts that presumably aren’t about getting a bigger vote total for the Green Party, but trying to find “lost” votes for HRC. If HRC isn’t willing to stand up for her own voters (assuming there are lost votes) why the hell should the Greens? What’s the goal? To be able to say: “I didn’t cost Hillary the election, I tried to win it for her?”

This smells of Stein’s campaign manager David Cobb to me, who in 2004 really wanted the Greens to run a stealth campaign so as not to be tarnished by reelection of Bush. (Indeed, the Wisconsin recount has nothing to do with the Green Party itself. The executive committee voted 5-3 to reject Stein and Cobb’s request that they sponsor the recounts.) Shortly after the 2004, elections Cobb spear-headed an audit of the returns from Ohio, the state that sank John Kerry. Many of the Greens are simply disaffect liberals, who really want to be teleported back to the Democratic Party of the 70s and 80s.

Nearly 100 million eligible voters didn’t vote. Stein would be better served spending some of the $2 million turning them Green, organizing their own party, providing legal support for Standing Rock protesters, investing it in the Powerball lottery or almost anything other than auditing the vote for Hillary. But if, as with Sanders, Stein uses that $2 million (or even $200,000 or $20,000 or $2000 or $200) to help the candidate she rightly assailed as a threat to peace, the environment and working people during the campaign, then Stein will have defrauded the very people who supported her.

The end result, even if successful in revealing some hijinks in the voting machines, as in Ohio 2004, will be to make more “legitimate” the very electoral process that kept the Green Party off the ballot in many states and locked it out of the debates. I don’t see that as any kind of win for independent parties. It will only serve to improve and restore confidence in the two-party system that crushes every aspiration of the Green Party’s own members.

If Stein/Cobb recount initiative is really about preserving integrity of the democratic process, why only investigate states HRC narrowly lost and not the ones–NH, MN–she narrowly won?

Friday, November 25, 2016

My Thanksgiving

Had a lovely Thanksgiving. I didn't argue when my kin blathered about Donald Trump being a Russian agent.

But everyone was thrilled to hear that Jill Stein was raising money to pay for a recount in Wisconsin. They couldn't keep their McCarthyite slaverings straight----the Democrats had already denounced Stein as a Russian spy.

"I've seen a lot of evidence that the Russians hacked the voting machines," my brother-in-law said.

There's no evidence they were hacked at all.

The claim that the electronic voting machines were hacked was based on the fact that election results varied from county to county. Some counties had electronic voting, some had paper ballots. But they also had different demographics which explain different results. It's possible they were hacked, but there's no reason to think that they were.

Trump visited Wisconsin five times during the campaign. Clinton ignored the state completely. Could that have played some role in Trump winning there?

The problem is that my family has no actual political opinions---they just picked a politician to support and started worshiping. I find Trump less alarming in the short run because Clinton made it clear that she intended to start a war with Russia. Her campaign consisted mostly of war propaganda demonizing Putin.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Trump, Netanyahu

Here's my question.

"Bibi" Netanyahu is known for being incredibly arrogant and obnoxious. Bill Clinton couldn't stand him, Obama can't stand him. Obama's Chief of Staff didn't want him in the White House. Sarkozy of France talked with Obama about how obnoxious he was at the G-20 summit. A mic happened to be turned on and it made it into the press.

"You're tired of him! What about me?" Obama said. "I have to deal with him every day."

Not surprisingly, outraged Jewish groups declared that finding Netanyahu's personality not entirely appealing was anti-Semitic.

So, when Trump has to deal with "Bibi", will he be charmed by a fellow obnoxious loudmouth, or will he be as offended as everyone else but will happily say so loudly and publicly?

It's one thing to look forward to.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Warren Beatty, Reds, Trump

Remember the beginning of the movie Reds? Warren Beatty as John Reed recommends voting to re-elect Woodrow Wilson. He says that Wilson will get the US into World War One eventually, but his campaign slogan is "He Kept Us Out of War", so he'll have to wait a while before he does.

I didn't vote for either of them, but that's why I thought Trump was probably the lesser evil. Clinton made it clear that she would immediately escalate the war in Syria and wanted a "no fly zone" over the country which would mean war with Russia. That could kill us all.

Trump sort of opposed intervention, but so did George Bush when he was campaigning. For that matter, when Obama was elected, he and Clinton pretended they wanted to improve relations with Russia.

Trump is no picnic, but Clinton is a monster. I'm relieved she lost.

But the election is over with. Clinton's washed up. I should relax and start hating Trump.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

In the Heat of the Night

Do detectives really feel a guy's arms, find one arm is slightly more muscular that the other then declare them innocent because the killer must have been left handed? It seems like slim basis for clearing an otherwise obvious suspect, but I've seen them do this in more than one movie, starting with In the Heat of the Night.

The thing that bothered me about In The Heat of the Night was that Virgil Tibbs was a Philadelphia police detective. Philadelphia cops are well known for racism and brutality, but Virgil Tibbs is played as an effete intellectual among the thuggish White southerners. It could have been the other way around----Virgil Tibbs as a violent Coffin Ed Johnson/Grave Digger Jones-like big city detective among the bewildered, Andy Griffith-like Southern Whites.

I also didn't know that police detectives performed their own autopsies.

In the novels, Virgil Tibbs had a black belt in karate and a brown belt in Aikido. Sidney Poitier karate chops a guy in the sequel, They Call Me MISTER Tibbs!  He did it wrong with his thumb sticking up, so it may be just as well that they didn't put him in a karate fight with the rednecks.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Curb Your Enthusiasm

Binge watched Curb Your Enthusiasm on Amazon. It was pretty good. But there were things in it that were very bad. For example, there have been a number of TV shows over the years that have used the gag where a character's innocent comments are misconstrued as an admission of pedophilia. The first time I saw this was on an episode of WKRP in Cincinnati (1978-1982). But they did this on Curb Your Enthusiasm, and it went way too far. I won't go into it, but Larry David's "innocent comments" were things no person would ever say.

And I just re-watched another episode that I must have slept through the first time. No human being would ever say what Larry David said at a bat mitzvah or anywhere else.

Other than that it was pretty good. Just people walking around talking for the most part. They were all rich, half of them celebrities playing themselves---otherwise, a zero-budget filmmaker could conceivably pull off something like it with just a camcorder.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Trump protests

Someone got shot in Portland, Oregon protesting Trump's election.

I guess it's good that they're protesting, except for the shooting thing. Some of the protesters are anarchists who, strictly speaking, should protest no matter who won. But where were they while Libya was being destroyed? Under Obama, the US bombed seven countries and there was no anti-war movement to speak of in the United States.

There was the panic not long ago that Trump supporters might take to the streets when he lost the election. This was after Trump said that he might not "accept" the election result. Now look what's happening.

Hillary Clinton's campaign consisted mostly of war propaganda. She was trying to pass herself off as a feminist. A reporter asked her what women she admired and she answered "Pussy Riot". She wouldn't answer a straight question on feminism except by professing hatred for Vladimir Putin.

They called Sanders a Communist, they called Trump a Russian spy; even the head of the FBI was branded a Russian agent.

It never made sense. They went on and on about the "nuclear codes". If Trump is Putin's "puppet", why would he start a nuclear war? If Putin wanted a nuclear war, all he'd have to do is start one. Their only basis for calling Trump a Russian agent is that he wanted detente with Russia which seems like an entirely positive thing. I don't see any drawbacks.

Well, anyway, after the initial relief of Clinton's truly humiliating defeat, we're facing the horror of Trump with a Republican congress.

So often, presidents end up being far worse than their most bitter opponents ever dared imagine. With all the stuff Trump's been accused of, anything short of actual Nazism will come as a pleasant surprise.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Look on the bright side

He obviously won't do this stuff, but Trump has said he wants to raise the minimum wage, wants family leave.

We probably won't die in a nuclear war with Russia or China now. Even if it didn't turn into a nuclear war, Clinton would have escalated the wars in Syria and Ukraine killing hundreds of thousands more human beings.

I'm relieved Clinton lost and a bit anxious that Trump won.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

My God. Trump wins. Probably.

You see why it was stupid for Democrats to act outraged when Trump said he might not accept the results of the election?

I'm sitting here with MSNBC on. They're completely pro-Clinton, but even they seem to have accepted the grim reality. They're still blaming Russia. Which will be weird. For the next four years, anyone who's pro-American will be denounced as a Russian stooge.

What a humiliating defeat for Clinton. Even if there are some recounts and it turns out she won, it would be pretty embarrassing.

Last month, the New York Post reported:
This could blow up in her face!
Hillary Clinton may have lit the fuse for her victory celebration a little too soon — by planning an Election Night explosion of fireworks over the Hudson River, The Post has learned.
Law enforcement officials and the FDNY have been told to prepare for a barge-launched pyrotechnic display off Manhattan’s Javits Center, where Clinton and running mate Tim Kaine will join their supporters for the Nov. 8 vote count, sources said.
The aerial detonations would last for two minutes, with the triumphal celebration permitted to start as early as 9:30 p.m. — a mere half-hour after the polls close in New York, sources said.
We'll see what they say in the morning.