Back to It

In this installment: Where the hell has the Rhino been? What’s the new plan? Is Donald Trump that big of an evil dumbass? (Short answers: Over there, doing shit; Agitate and make war on evil; and Is that even a fucking question?)

5440990018_cd5ec6b9d3_b

Asshole-Elect

Bless me father for I have sinned.  It has been years since my last posting here. (Boy are you people in for it.)

It has been years for a variety of reasons, none of them very good, but all of them rationales, if not actual reasons. Work has been busy, first with one part-time job and a furious search for more work, then with two, three and at one time four different part time jobs. Then when I landed the full-time gig, after a search that seemed to last a lifetime, I was suddenly even busier than the busy that I had been.

On top of that I had been writing fiction, heaps and heaps of it. Never made a damn dime off of it. Didn’t mind. I write for me. Fuck money (If I ever bitch about funds, remind me I said that shit) But even that went by the wayside as busy become super busy became maddeningly, intensely, stupefyingly, beautifully, bellicosely busy. (I promise, no more shitty strings of adverbs after this… I hope.) So writing went by the wayside. I tried to keep up with it in any way possible. A testament to it is the fact that I have about twenty notebooks with short stories and plans for novels strewn about Rhino Hacienda in what can only be called a deliberately haphazard (That is today’s oxymoron of the day, btw) fashion.

That’s cute and all, but I hear you ask what’s up now and what’s with all the Latin up top?

Glad you asked! Kinda…

Life’d be better if I didn’t feel like I had to be here. After all, a bunch of you assholes voted for the orange haired devil, and now the rest of us adults with priorities and intellects that haven’t been skewed by evil, racism, and ravenous needy greedy bullshit masked as the capitalist urge are left to clean up the mess, and he hasn’t even begun to make it in earnest yet.

Donald Trump, one of the worst humans to disgrace the face of the Earth before he entered politics, is now the leader of the (Buy everything, get nothing) free world. I am going to, starting with my next post go over in exquisite detail every policy position of his, and tear it to pieces like Oliver Stone going over the Zabruder film (Back… and to the left.  Back… and to the left.) I may take a stab at his twitter ranting bullshit, which should go away after the inauguration, but if it doesn’t, keep your eyes here. But all things Politics are back on the table, and it should be…well…

…Trump’s presidency is going to be an exciting ride.

If by exciting you mean like riding an unsafe amusement park ride,

After the site has been condemned,

Closed for five years and allowed to rust,

Aaaaaaaand recently hit by a massive earthquake.

But we’re in this together, so strap in, and get ready for a screamfest!

floorless_roller_coaster_superman_movieworldmadrid

This ride will rip your face off…literally.

Oh, and the House and Senate are as stacked with fun every bit as interesting and wicked as the White house, and his Cabinet is crazier than Arkham asylum on LSD so stay tuned for all the fun.

___________________

Quote of the day:  People want me to [run for president] all the time … I don’t like it. Can you imagine how controversial I’d be? You think about [Bill Clinton] and the women. How about me with the women? Can you imagine? ~ Donald Trump, from an interview in the New York Post,  July 12th, 1999

The Story on Sequestration

Sequestration is originally a legal term for the seizure or confiscation of property to prevent it being disposed of or destroyed before its ownership could be resolved.  The term was altered by the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Balanced Budget act of 1985 to mean automatic spending cuts that kick in if the deficit exceeds a specific dollar amount.

If Sequestration kicks in at the beginning of March the following automatic spending cuts will take place:

A 10.0 percent reduction in non-exempt defense mandatory programs.

A 9.4 percent reduction in non-exempt defense discretionary funding.

An 8.2 percent reduction in non-exempt non-defense discretionary funding.

A 7.6 percent reduction in other non-exempt non-defense mandatory programs.

A 2.0 percent reduction in Medicare funding.

____________________

For links for this story, click here.

I do not know that I am really upset in any fashion about the military side of this sequestration.  Not that sequestration itself is a good thing, but this kind of drastic cutting of defense spending I see as a positive thing.  We spend way too much on our military.  We are now and have for the past decade plus spent far too much for defense of the nation.  We spend 41% of all defense dollars on the planet.  What foe is, and foes are so large as to necessitate that kind of spending?

I see none.  Al-Qaeda, while a foe and a strong one, is not so strong a foe as to make necessary that kind of spending. Neither is North Korea that strong.  Neither is Iran.  No one  is.  So as far as those spending cuts go, I am all for them.

But the sequester doesn’t do just that. If it did I would whole-heartedly support it.

I do not.

The sequester will hurt a great many people by cuts to non military programs and  job cuts in many important government programs.

Sequestration would undermine education in a great many ways, from cutting funding for state grants and after-school programs. And funding for special needs children of all varieties to would suffer as well.  The agriculture departments ability to inspect food would be compromised.  The EPA’s ability to oversee environmental risks both at home and on the job would be compromised.  FEMA would not be able to respond to crises nearly as well due to lack of economic resources. And programs like unemployment and food stamps that protect the poorest of us from abject poverty and starvation would be curtailed as well.  There are a great many other programs affected by the potential sequestration that I have not mentioned.  A great many.

And those cuts would not only be a travesty and a sin, but would greatly impede this nations ability to simply function on a daily basis. The world, expensive as it is to live in, would become even more expensive.

And whom do we have to blame for all of this?

In 2011 we had a rather severe potential economic crisis on our hands. Yes it was completely self-inflicted,  by recalcitrant Republicans that were in the process of holding the economy hostage during the debt ceiling crisis.

You do remember that, right?

That Republicans in the house of representatives were not willing to budge and were willing to let the nations debt go into default, thus abandoning one of their major constitutional duties, unless something were done to curtail spending.  And that was where the concept of sequestration came into being during the Obama administration.  It was a way to get something done that would pass muster in the house.

All 218 Republicans voted for it.  No Democrats voted for it. And there is a reason that happened like that.  Democrats knew that it would hammer the economy and negatively affect millions of Americans.  Republicans didn’t care about that.  All they cared about was cutting spending, they cared not a lick who that would hurt or how much damage it would do to the economy and this nation.

Now the Republicans, seeing that their chickens are coming home to roost, that sequestration is wildly unpopular, are trying their level best to blame the President. And as we know, he really had no other choice when this first came up but to offer up something like this to save the economy.  It was the actions of the Republican controlled house that forced the Presidents hand when the house GOP held the nation hostage with the debt ceiling back in 2011.

But the issues here are not just with what the sequestration can do.  It is the attitude both sides are taking going into negotiations here.  Both sides seem to think that the other side  will be seen as being to blame for whatever happens here, which tells me that both sides will be willing to sit on their hands and simply let this happen.

I hope I am wrong about that.  The amount of damage the sequester will do is far too much for a nation just coming back from the great recession to handle.  It would cause recession 2.0 and I don’t think anyone wants that.  We’ll see if we get what we need, or what they want.

Dead On Arrival? I’m Not So Sure

Marco Rubio says the Presidents “Plan B” on immigration reform will be dead on arrival.  I am not so sure.  Let’s look at it and see why the presidents backup plan, if it comes down to it, can make it through both houses.

First things first. To understand the reasoning behind having a plan b, you have to first look at where plan A is coming from.  No one in this country is living under a rock, we all know how dysfunctional the congress has been.  The debt ceiling negotiations showed America exactly what the house of representatives is about.  Gridlock and showboating for ideas that are not so much ideas as they are the whining carping noise of spoiled brats who expect to get everything they want when they want it, and that is both sides of the argument. And what they did with every other major piece of legislation over two plus years points to a level of ineffectiveness that is as startling as it is sweeping.

The filibustering that happens in the senate on every single piece of important piece of legislation, where everything is forced to a cloture vote shows a complete and utter disregard for the needs of the people of this divided nation. The senate cannot agree to a simple straight up and down vote on anything.  Mitch McConnell and his cronies have made sure that everything that runs through the senate has the taint of obstructionism attached to it.

But there are other things afoot here with immigration legislation.  The Republicans, the architects of the obstructionism listed above, know that part of the reason they got beaten in the 2012 election cycle was the fact that they lost the Latino vote by a nearly 4 to 1 margin and they want desperately to change that.  The know they need something to hang their hats on that will attract latino voters, and the best place to do that would be here.

But the obstructionists have a history of shooting themselves in the foot. Enter the President with a backup plan, just in case the obstructionists do what they do best and block sensible legislation.

Now we know Republicans don’t generally cotton to voting for democratic proposals, especially with a democrat in the White House.  But that should be mitigated somewhat with the need to try to attract Latino voters to a Republican party that is  becoming the party of old white people and rich tax dodgers.

Now I am not saying that there is going to be widespread Republican support for any plan B that comes from the Presidents desk.  I’m not even sure if it will come to that plan B.  What I am saying is this; there is a likelihood that enough Republicans, sensing nationwide losses that could occur if they do nothing on this subject, will jump on board and vote for sensible legislation, especially on a subject as high profile as this.

Especially those Republicans in blue or purple states.  And there are enough of those to turn a Democratic plan B which has in it a road to turn illegals into citizens (and voters who may well vote for them if they give them a chance to live here) and makes them pay taxes on money earned when they were illegals into a winner even in Republican circles. You would think that more voters on their roles and more money in government coffers without raising taxes would be popular with them.  Go fig.

Marco Rubio would be better served looking out for the long term interests of the nation rather than focusing on shooting Republicans in the foot with fiery rhetoric.

Again.

A Stranger Named Adam Get Me Angry, And Convention Fun

Pic of the day:  Dragon Rising to the Heavens (Ryu  Sho Ten), by Ogata Gekko

(Attribution: Adam Cuerden)

Note: I fucking hate tossing attributions for pics anywhere on this site, which is why I almost always use art with expired copyrights, and always from Wikimedia commons.  This pic gets one because despite the fact that it was created in 1897 by a brilliant artist, this putz adam whatsisface did some resto work on the original and gets to act like its his and wants it attributed to him.  Like he created the fucking original.  Asshole.  Please.  Next time leave the original alone.  The artist who created the original should be the only one to get credit.

If nothing substantive has been changed you cannot be said to have made it your own, hence it makes a sham of Gekko’s work that someone did some paint by numbers work on this and gets copyright status for it.  This is roughly equivalent of saying you made the car yourself and want credit for it because you put tint on the fucking windows and changed out the spark plugs.  Ya it took time and there was work involved. So what? It’s bullshit. It’s silly stupid self-centered bullshit, and it’s wrong.

I’m sure he’s a nice guy, and a helluvan artist in his own right.  I’m just saying this seems an abuse of the concept of copyright law, no matter how legal.  He deserves it not.

Moving on…

_____________________

’T is all men’s office to speak patience
To those that wring under the load of sorrow;
But no man’s virtue nor sufficiency,
To be so moral, when he shall endure
The like himself.

William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing, act v, scene i, Leonato

_____________________

The RNC cancelled most of today’s fun at the convention due to the hurricane that was supposed to be barreling at them at breakneck speed.  They did that because they are uniquely sensitive to hurricanes and their aftermath, after Dubya told NOLA to go fuck itself in 2007.  The Republicans turned that whole city into a disaster area by being so damn slow in response.

Killed thousands doing it, all in the name of the political concept that is so central to our curious breed of American fascism.

Seems they did it wrong this time though, necessary though it was.  The Hurricane is currently intensifying in the gulf of Mexico and will in all likelihood make landfall Wednesday morning, though NOLA will be feeling it before that.  So while they are finishing day twos festivities, NOLA will be hunkering down.

Missed Tampa by a wide margin, though.

Meaning that they took today off so they could… watch the weather channel?  Tampa got rain.  Some rain, still are.  But they always get rain.  They got some wind.  They’re off the water, they get wind.  Nothing substantive from what I could tell, nothing gale force or stronger.  As far as I can tell New York city got more rain in an hour than Tampa got all day today.  Then again it was pouring cats and several other types of docile house-broken four legged hairy tailed mammals out here today.  Got around 3 inches of rain in an hour.  I know, I was in it.  Damn near destroyed my umbrella and my shoes may never get dry.  Gotta wear them to work tomorrow too…

But I digress…

The convention should be a blast for all those involved, rain or no, hurricane or no.  Everyone there will (wrongly) call President Obama a Socialist and a Kenyan and a Muslim.  They’ll say he’s raised taxes when he hasn’t.  They’ll say he’s killed jobs when all he’s killed is Osama Bin Laden.  They won’t give him credit for it, or anything good that’ happened in America over the last few years.  But that’s OK.  That’s what they do.  Wouldn’t expect anything less from them.

Even though he’s a capitalist baptist Hawaiian tax cutting job creator.  They can’t tell people that though, or that lil shit Mitt would lose by 40,000,000, instead of the 1 or 2 mill that he can win (or lose) by if these Un-American fascist bastards keep lying about our President.

They’ll shout themselves hoarse for a formerly liberal Massachusetts governor who put through universal healthcare for all, while decrying the President and his universal healthcare, vowing to destroy it.  They’ll shout for the guy who ran Bain capital, a company that bought companies, sold off the best bits and killed the rest, resulting in thousands of jobs being lost.

Have fun, kids! I know I will!  🙂

______________________

That’s it from here, America.  G’night!

Curmudgeon

Pic of the day, part i: A View of Toledo, by El Greco (1599)

________________________

Political tags — such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth — are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. The former are idealists acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatest number. The latter are surly curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism. But they are more comfortable neighbors than the other sort.

Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough for Love

________________________

Surly old Democratic curmudgeon, that’s me.  Proud of it, too.  Love(d) Heinlein, even though the crazy dead bastard was about as hard leaning a righty as there ever was.  But being right wing doesn’t make you bad, any more than being left wing makes you anything beyond left wing.  Wings simply denote you have an opinion.

And everyone who has read this knows what I think of opinions.  They’re like assholes, everybody has one.  Shouldn’t want to shove it in everyone’s face though, that’ll get other people’s stinkholes shoved in your face.  If you like the smell of ass, that’s on you.

There is a time and place for breaking them out (the asshole analogy doesn’t cover opinion precisely, sorry), as there is a time when everyone must make a stand, show the world what they’re made of,  all that goodness.   The internet is a great place for showing it off, and anyone who has read this space knows I love doing this.

I highly value other people’s opinions.  Especially people with different opinions.  I love having two brothers who are conservative.  I love having friends both online and offline that are radically different from me.  It tests my beliefs, forces me to think and rethink my values constantly.

I used to be a republican in days gone by.

I voted for Rudy Giuliani.  Twice. (I was a dumbass, what can I say?)

I used to be minarchist.  That means pro-small government for those not in the know.  But as time went on, I learned things about how the right works, and about who they work for.  Over time I changed sides as I put two and two together.  Learned about the laffer curve, and saw the effects of the Republican economic trickle down theory on me.  Hard to like someone who screws you financially and then expects you to like them. They lost me.  And I won’t go back.

Democrats aren’t perfect, far from it.   But they are far more effective at doing things for the middle and working class people than the Republicans.  Abortion legislation doesn’t do a damn thing for America.  Talk about school prayer doesn’t do a damn thing for America.  Tax cuts for millionaires don’t do a damn thing for America.

Jobs legislation does.  The Republicans have done nothing substantive on that front no matter what they say.  Help the poor make it with jobs legislation and you make the world a better place by lifting the entire nation higher.  Just helping their rich friends, the Republicans have abandoned American ethics and made a mockery of the ideals this nation was built upon, life ,liberty, and the pursuit of property.

That’s just my opinion, though.

________________________

A short aside.  Very important few days coming up for me.  I have an interview coming up late tomorrow morning.  If this one pays as well as it can and I do well I could find myself doing very well financially.  I sent in a second resume to a company I used to work for.  They announced Friday that they’re hiring.  I want in.  Great company.  Might pay a bit less than the company that I’m interviewing with tomorrow initially, but I know the people there, great guys, and the pay goes up pretty quick after joining up. I’m expecting to hear from them soon.

Wish me luck!

________________________

Pic of the day, part ii:  An allegory with a boy lighting a candle in the company of an ape and a fool, by El Greco

_________________________

“Value” has no meaning other than in relationship to living beings. The value of a thing is always relative to a particular person, is completely personal and different in quantity for each living human—”market value” is a fiction, merely a rough guess at the average of personal values, all of which must be quantitatively different or trade would be impossible. […] This very personal relationship, “value”, has two factors for a human being: first, what he can do with a thing, its use to him… and second, what he must do to get it, its cost to him.

Robert A. Heinlein, Starship Troopers

_________________________

That’s it from here, America.  G’night.

A Bit Of Perspective

Pic of the day: Thomas Nast “The Third Term Panic” from Harpers weekly in 1874

____________________________

Romney.  Mitt Romney.  Say it.  Just say the name.  Sounds like a CEO.  Sounds like a businessman.  Like someone who wants to control a large companies finances. If you like the sound of it that’s fine by me.

Santorum.  Rick Santorum.  It doesn’t roll easily off the tongue, does it?  Sounds like a deacon at a church.  Like someone who wants to save you from yourself.  If you like the sound of it that’s fine by me, too.

Now, play the words these men have said recently back to yourselves.

________________________________

1) “I don’t believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute. The idea that the church can have no influence or no involvement in the operation of the state is absolutely antithetical to the objectives and vision of our country.”

2) President Obama once said he wants everybody in America to go to college. What a snob!  ~ Rick Santorum

_________________________________

3) “He(President Obama) gave a speech the other day at his State of the Union address. He didn’t even mention the deficit or the debt, even as the world is reeling, watching what’s happening in Europe, recognizing that, unless we change course, we will face that as well and, yet, he has nothing to say about it.”

4) I’m not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there. If it needs repair, I’ll fix it.~ Mitt Romney

________________________________

If this is how each of these gentlemen genuinely feels, that is on their heads. But a bit of perspective is called for here, in light of the above mentioned words, because frankly I don’t like the sound of them.

1) The separation of church and state is there to protect the people from one religion or another gaining some level of dominion in government, and making the lives of people who practice other religions hell on earth.  It is not to shut people out, but it is there to shelter us from the beliefs of those in power, so that those beliefs don’t become a noose around the necks of non-believers in whatever sect happens to have some level of power in the halls of government.

The concept of allowing any church to become embroiled in matters of state is antithetical to the objective of continued freedom as envisioned by our founding fathers, or indeed any American who enjoys freedom.

2)  Is it really a bad thing that our President wants us to be smarter, more discerning in our knowledge of the world? People with better educations make more money, have less of a problem finding jobs, and as a consequence lead better lives.  Rick Santorum dislikes this why, exactly?.  Because some college professors are liberals?  Professors are teachers, there to teach us things so that we can be more productive and knowledgeable citizens.

Do you dislike productivity and knowledge, Mr. Santorum?

3) The President mentioned the deficit and the debt a great many times in that speech.  It is not my fault that you didn’t pay attention Mitt.  ADD is not something I look for in Presidential candidates.  I think you might wanna pay closer attention next time the President talks.

…Unless of course you like looking like an idiot.

4) He made this statement a month or three ago, and is in fact part of a larger statement that actually, coming from him, made sense.  Now the whole “I’m not concerned about the very poor” bit sounds dumb, even if he meant it to sound differently, it means something different to those who are the very poor than what he may have meant.

The poor need more than a hand out, they need a hand up, and that may be the one thing they don’t get, and won’t get from a Republican President. Republicans talk too much of entitlement reform to be trusted to help those who really do need those entitlements  And through it all the poor stay uneducated, because they don’t have the time or resources to get better education they need to get the better jobs they need to build the better lives they want.  Thus they are left to rot in the lowest rungs of society, imprisoned their, with no chance of escape.

So if you are voting tomorrow, think on these words before you do, let them dance around your head before you vote.

___________________________

That’s it from here, America.  G’night.

You Can Call Me A Warmist, I Like Being Warm

Mistakes get made, every single day. Some mistakes are minor, like forgetting to wear your watch when leaving for work. Some are less than minor. The mistake I am going to talk about I think is minor, but it is a mistake that will set off the dog-whistle alarm and alarmists all over the place.

Apparently today during an interview with Andrea Mitchell, Rick Santorum’s spokeswoman Alice Stewart used the words ” radical Islamic policies” when speaking about the President’s “phony theology” of “global warmists.”

Now, to her credit, Alice called the show later on and apologized for the remark, stating to the fine folks at MSNBC that she meant to say “Radical environmental policies.” Personally I think she should apologize for using the words “global warmists.” Warmist sounds like a group of people who… I dunno… like being warm? Since when exactly is that a bad thing?

You can call me a warmist, I like being warm.

Srsly tho, I am one of the people she is referring to, and frankly, if you are going to call me names, at the very least, could you call me names that aren’t so damned stupid sounding? Phony theology is a line that is a dog-whistle line meant to point out that Ricky the vest is a religious guy. And to be honest it sounds pretty damned elitist. His radical Islamic policies is such a silly thing that the only people that believe it are the psychopaths who think he was born in Uganda, or on Mars or wherever these malformed sub-human think the President was actually born.

It is very dog-whistle though, and while it is probably a mistake, it will also serve to call out the tea party Nazi motherfuckers who will vote against the President because… let’s be blunt and use the blunt language necessary to this. It’ll serve to speak to the people out there who will not vote for a n*gg*r. Because that is what that is about.

And plus, the planet IS warmer. Wherever you are, stick your head out your window. Chances are, it’s warmer than normal. It’s been like that all winter. All winter. Just like it was last summer, and last fall, and last spring. And 2010, and 2009, and 2008. Check the numbers, the proof is outside your window. And when I say your window, I mean your window, whether you are in India or Java; South Africa or Sweden; Beaumont, Texas or Bellevue, Washington

_______________________

[W]hen we look at the graphs of rising ocean temperatures, rising carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and so on, we know that they are climbing far more steeply than can be accounted for by the natural oscillation of the weather … What people (must) do is to change their behavior and their attitudes … If we do care about our grandchildren then we have to do something, and we have to demand that our governments do something.

David Attenborough

_______________________

Rick Santorum’s numbers have yet to drop. That is pretty surprising. With the volatility of things right now politically for the Republicans it is a surprise that Santorum’s numbers have not dropped, or that Romney’s or Gingrich haven’t done anything worth mentioning to try to cut into his numbers.

But then again, from a Conservative perspective there isn’t much to attack. The guy is the conservative’s conservative. Gingrich is focusing on attacking the President, because there really isn’t much for him to attack on Santorum. His social conservationism is something that Gingrich, with his divorces and his monied interests and his Tiffany’s crap, cannot touch. Romney can’t touch him, with his record as a job destroyer.

Obama vs. Santorum in November sounds like it could happen, but then again the road ahead is long, and there are many miles yet to travel before this is done.

If I were a betting man I’d take Obama and the over, but that’s just me.

______________________

Pic of the day: View of Sierra Nevada near camp Independence, California

______________________

As for my radical islamic… err… environmental policies, they’re pretty simple. The air in Manhattan is brown in the summer. The weather keeps getting warmer. So my policy is to not break out the cold weather clothes if I don’t have to, and to keep the tank tops ready, just in case it gets warm enough out to not need a jacket or heavier shirt. Friday’s gonna be one of those days.

It’s supposed to hit 60 degrees on Friday.

In New York.

In February.

Now if that ain’t proof to you that we the human race broke the damn sky, a 60 degree day in winter in New York, you need to rethink what constitutes proof.

Or stop doing drugs. Which ever one is easier for you.

_______________________

That’s it from here, America. G’night.