Thursday, October 24, 2019

How Happy The Trump Supporters Must Be


Every time a child is murdered and their body thrown into a dumpster by ICE.  Our own little Gestapo!  What America stands for! 

Zuck and Hitler


Mark Zuckerberg, that pillar of the 1st Amendment, tells me I cant say "Sieg Heil" as a comment on Facebook as sarcasm towards a friend who wants to murder children.  OK, I understand that, AI is a farce and a fraud and their stupid community standards program has the IQ of Donald Trump and does a straight string match just like someone might do in 1978.  Groovy, Zuck, way to go!   So instead we will try really sophisticated end runs like "Seek Hail!"  and "Trump sucks dead weenies like Adolf did".  Take that!

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Constitutional Amendments and So Forth 1


I understand that most of the following is not practical.  Yes, we get it, we understand, already!  But these are not normal times and besides, it is fun to list the issues if for no other reason to go back and see where we stood and where we stand.  For those who think that we are only unhappy with Republicans, I am happy to report that yes, that Satan on Two Legs, Obama, was guilty of some of the following, and the people call for change!  Change at once!

So in no particular order:

1. Fix the electoral college.  I see no reason to give the Republicans an apparent 3-5% advantage over the elected vote.  Now how to fix it is more complicated and lets leave that for another time.

2. Fix the judiciary.  The simplest way is to insist that those justices who were not confirmed by a supermajority (2/3rds or 3/4s) need to be reconfirmed or are automatically removed.  Also, all justices need to thoroughly vetted in contrast to the, for example, charade that took place with Kavanaugh.

3. Add more requirements to who can become president.  At the very least, require that any candidate have served in the federal government or the US Military as an officer for at least one term.

4. Term limits on justices.  15 years?  20 years at most?

5. Improve and make more explicit the terms of impeachment.

6. Add some sort of official reality check on statements.  Maybe an OMB or CRS but for basic truth telling.

7. Tighten the rules on record keeping.  Pruitt is the classic example of someone who did not keep records of meetings, did not even keep records of what meetings he kept, etc as a way of avoiding being held accountable.

8. Tighten the rules on foreign interference in our government and our elections.

9. Remove the DOJ restriction on indicting a sitting president.  W.T.F. did that come from?

10. Have some rules for what makes an election invalid and require a do over.  Certainly this election and the one with Bush in 2000 should have been redone. 

11. Tighten the rules about whether a president can fail to fill positions mandated by Congress.  As you probably know, Trump has worked hard to destroy some agencies.  So lets make this clear, positions are to be filled not ignored.  Agencies are not to be moved to Low Fuck, IN as a way of destroying them.

12. Change the statute of limitations so there is time to put Wall Street and political criminals in jail.  Why should there be a limitation at all for these assholes?

13. Change the rules so that a sitting Justice can be investigated, unlike the insane abomination that said Kavanaugh was exempt.

More to come.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Faiilure of our Elites Part I


It seems to me fairly obvious that our self-appointed elites have failed us. The old money, the new money, the wall street criminals, the neoliberals, other foreign policy elites, they all failed. Middle of the Road Mainstream Democrats, all obvious failures or we would not have had the war in Iraq and Donald Trump, the betrayal of the Kurds, the crimes against humanity that happen every day with our Gestapo/ICE. All signs that the elites failed.

Certainly no one could interact with their elected representative(s) as I have, and think that they give a hoot about what their electorate thinks.  No one could look at the Republican voter registration attacks or the Electoral college and think they live in a democracy.  Did I mention gerrymandering?

So given that they have failed, what is the price of failure.  Well if we examine historical precedent, it is usually prison, exile and/or execution.  Sometimes all three.

Their assets will go a long way to paying for education, infrastructure and rehabilitation of those who were raped and helping to compensate the families of the murdered.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Status Report October 10, 2019


Things are evolving on a political and a personal level. Theoretically I am making steady progress at unpeeling the onion, even if that onion has surprises. For example, my physical health has been checked out in a variety of quantitative ways and, oddly, there does not seem to be anything wrong. When it comes to my dental situation, however, that is far worse than expected. Well, the wages of sin is death, I have heard, and the chickens come home to roost. Nevertheless I have a good local clinic and once some difficult choices are made I will have the opportunity (and can afford) a year of dental work. These teeth only have to last another 20 or so years, I figure. That seems doable to me.

Emotionally, and in the long term, I proceed, but self doubts emerge and then are suppressed. I am trying to be very practical, and I am being so, I hope, and show regular progress. But will this really result in what I really want: vindication, showing them they were wrong, world fame, my MacArthur award, no, of course it wont. And that does make me a little crazy. I want to be practical and yet this all feels quixotic. I am thinking of elaborating my goals: one non fiction book, one play, one PhD, etc, who knows.

The problems with the political situation(s) are many, even if things are evolving in a somewhat predictable fashion. I have lost many friends over the following: I think I see where big chunks of this are going and the critical events have already happened and there is very little hope. It doesnt matter whether Trump is impeached, although that would be nice. He should go to jail although of course he wont. There has been severe damage, it has been coming for a while, but its much worse now. Fixing that damage will not be possible in many cases, and too late in others, etc. The dead people will stay dead. The right wing nutty boy judiciary will not be fixed. The future elections will be rigged with that judiciary. The electoral college, always a doubtful compromise, has become a disaster and it will not be fixed. The bullshit of predatory capitalism and wealth inequality has been exposed but nothing will change. The money will not be refunded to the government. We have betrayed some of our best allies, and no one should trust us again if they ever did.

Maybe a degree from the London School of Economics. Maybe a little cottage in some Commonwealth Country and then I die?


And yes, I am angry because I think that there was a better America in us, and that if we had worked together this did not have to happen. I think we have thrown a historic moment away and we will be judged for it, and that judgement will be harsh and completely deserved.

I think we fucked it up.

Thank you for listening.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Things I May Have Learned From the Experience (second draft)


A woman I only know on Facebook said how happy she was that I had given up on politics because now I could be funny again.  If only she knew what I was really like.  Maybe I should get a date before she finds out?  

But it is true that my attitude has changed about politics and I think I have learned some things.  Most of my friends wont agree with these but that is just too bad isnt it?  Maybe they learned something else?  This is what I learned.  

For those of you who are too fragile to handle my reality, go to the end, because I say a few positive things.   I mark such items with an (*).

1. Protests dont matter, at least peaceful protests dont.  Yes, it does build morale, and I suppose it is better than doing nothing, but not by much.  You are ignored, it makes no difference that I noticed.  Go ahead and protest all you want, I will certainly be with you.  But know up front, you are going to come home and discover that you were laughed at by those in power.

2. Calling your Congressperson (or sending email or ...) almost doesn't matter.  It might matter a little bit more than participating in a protest, but that is not saying much.  By all accounts, the helpful assistant will verify your residence, put you in a database, and your opinion is likely to be part of a weekly summary that goes to Congressperson or one of their top aides in aggregate form.  Ironically, my Republican congressman, Duncan Hunter of CA 50, was much more responsive than Salud Carbajal, my current congressman from CA 24 who is a Democrat.  I never hear back from the latter.  From Hunter's office I would actually get a phone call or two, and I was invited to a nice town meeting.  Ultimately it would not have changed his vote on anything, because Hunter is a hardcore Republican, but it certainly felt nice.

3. Your vote is almost useless.  If you are voting for a congressman, you have probably been gerrymandered out of existance.  If you are allowed to vote, it is perfectly likely that those on your side have not been permitted because of the Republican efforts to control voter registration. 

4. There is no point in discussing politics or even facts with a Republican.  They are just going to insult you and couldnt care less what you think.

5. The judiciary has been destroyed by Republicans.  Do not expect justice from there.

(*) 6. On the other hand, Actblue has made it very easy to give small donations to pretty much any progressive candidate and I hope you will do so.  I try to give $25.00 to any cause or person I believe in.  I always leave a tip for Actblue for their incredibly useful service.  I know it is having some impact because the Republicans hate it.

(*) 7. Direct action of some non-violent type is likely to make some impact, even if it only just gets attention.  Doing so requires serious work.

(*) 8. AOC proves that we can run candidates who can make a difference.  Find this person in your area and work for them!  It wont always work, but sometimes it will and it is one of the few things the elite pays attention to.

(*) 9.  Even though I dont believe that protests, calling your Congressman or voting actually makes much of a difference, I plan to keep doing so for its symbolic value.  I expect that I will be characterized as a "crank" for expressing my opinion.  Thats OK with me, I expect it.

Meta Textual Issues with Thor Ragnorak


I think very highly of Thor Ragnorak (2017) and would never in a million years say anything negative about it. But there are some notes I have after watching it maybe 50 times.  For those of you who perhaps may say that I am taking this a little too seriously, well, sure, of course I am.

And so a few things that felt a little wrong to me:

1. Why are Hela's warriors evil, demonic looking bastards?  These are the ancient warriors of Asgard!  They should be handsome if a little scarred and maybe worse for wear.   Why would the predecessors of Vikings be ashamed of killing people and stealing gold?  They did that all the time.  That was their raison d'etre by all accounts.  Well, of course there is an answer to this and it is straightforward.  We are looking at Norse culture through our own, and if we are ashamed of our violent past (stealing the land and murdering the native Americans / first peoples, for example), then they should be as well.  Simple enough.
2. From what I know of this period, I would expect a lot more drinking, a lot more hosting people in big halls with drinking, bragging and toasts, and a lot more riddles.   They really liked their riddles, it seems to be a major part of their culture. Depending on who you believe it is even possible that riddles were a part of their religious beliefs (as we would call them, I doubt they would see them that way).  See (1) for some entertaining theories on that whole topic.

3. As for Valkyrie being gay and Loki bisexual, well that is possible but with stern restrictions.  One was expected to get married and have children, more or less, without exception.  If you were male, it was OK to be bisexual as long as (a) you were married and had kids, and (b) you were on top.  Seems a little weird, doesnt it, since if you are going to have a top, you pretty much are required to have a bottom, but whatever.  I will let you read what Hallakarva says on these topics (2).  The evidence on lesbians is far less substantial, presumably for all the usual reasons involving historical survival of sources (generally speaking, women and poor people are not well documented).

So what is our conclusion?  Not much.  Maybe it is foolish to look for such things in the Marvel Cinematic Universe?  But they did such a great job with historical accuracy with Captain America!


1. The White Goddess by Robert Graves

2. See The Vikings and Homosexuality by Hallakarva

Monday, October 7, 2019

Rebuttal to Rumor about House Impeachment and Subpoenas


I have done a lot of reading on the issues of (a) what the House has to do to start an investigation and (b) who can issue subpoenas.  This email is a report on what I have discovered so far and what my sources were.  If you can point me to any other relevant material, by all means do so.

So far as I know the following is accurate but somewhat simplified.  In broad strokes, the situation is clear and unambiguous although when it comes to the individual merits of a specific subpoena and whether executive privilege or attorney privilege applies then that opens a different set of issues that we are not addressing here.  What we are discussing is the assertion that the House did not follow the rules when it came to starting an investigation and that therefore all the subpoenas are invalid.  Both of these assertions are false.

The primary sources are (a) the constitution, (b) articles about the constitution and impeachment written in various law journals (Harvard and Georgetown seem to be the leading ones so far), (c) Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports which are a fabulous resource see below, and (d) a funny blog I read a lot called, which is a blog about congress and national security. They try to be bipartisan, but I think in this case what it means is that smart people of different opinions write articles on a topic and then ignore each other.  Theoretically, one should be knowledgable about all the times the House has investigated someone to see what the precedent is, but that is going to be much harder to do.   (As an aside, I love the CRS reports and they are a great resource.  The idea is that you are (for example) a new member of Congress and you have no idea what the history of our relationship with Turkey and the Kurds are, and you dont have that much time to read.  So the CRS will probably have written a nice background paper for you.  Many of the papers can be found at

So as I understand it, it goes something like this.  The constitution gives the sole right to the House to "impeach" which is essentially to act as a grand jury (i.e. to choose to bring an indictment, or not) in any matter involving the executive, the judiciary and, for that matter, themselves.  The Senate is not involved unless Articles of Impeachment are passed by the House by a simple majority of the present and voting members.  Both the House and the Senate may investigate pretty much whatever they want, but only committees can issue subpoenas.  Each committee has its own rules and its own traditions about all sorts of things, but certainly about subpoenas.  In general the rules are voted on, accepted, and then published at the beginning of each session of congress.  Sometimes the rules are modified in mid-session, for example the House Judiciary Committee recently changed the rules to allow more time for a witness to be questioned.  So far as I can tell, there is no special procedure which has to be followed before an impeachment investigation has begun.  I find no reference to one anywhere.  There is however a variety of rules involving what a committee must do to issue a subpoena and those rules seem to be different between the different committees.

Some committees need a vote before a subpoena can be issued.  Some committees delegate this ability to the Chairman or to the Chairman and the ranking minority leader acting as a team.  Some committees allow the minority members to block a subpoena.  An excellent discussion of this is

Each committee has its own rules about what can be delegated to the chairman of the committee, what the ranking minority member can do, how much notice must be given, whether the ranking minority member can, for example, block a subpoena, and so forth.  There is no one standard here, each committee has its own rules.  I recommend you read the CRS report on the issue which can be found at:

As I suspected there is no magical procedure that has to be followed to start an investigation.  Do you really think that the Democrats would be so stupid as to "forget"?  I sure dont.  But I was surprised a bit at the different rules of the different committees, that was news to me.  What is not at all clear is what Congress can do when you have a rogue, obviously corrupt administration like the current Republican/Trump one.  Ultimately, Congress has the power to put people in jail for contempt of Congress and I think that is likely to be where this leads. You can do your friends a favor by feeding this back to them.  Its their credibility that gets hurt by stuff like this.

There is an amazing about of bullshit out there.  I dont know why the Republicans put up with this.

Android Voice to Text Fails

On my Motorola phone, every once in a while the voice-to-text just stops working.  It just sits there and looks at you and says go ahead and say whatever you want I am not going to do anything.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

What Can I Tell You?


When this is all over, we are going to need major surgery to the Constitution to prevent this from happening again and, frankly, I dont think our government is up to it.

In other news, a Lyft driver accused me of being "a Jew" and offered to drop me off in the middle of the freeway.