Archive for the ‘Agitprop’ Category

First Amendment follies

February 18, 2017
Asked if he would serve as national security adviser, Field Marshal Turkish von Turkenstein (commander, 1st Feline Home Defense Regiment) replied: "Let me sleep on it. OK, nope."

Asked if he would serve as national security adviser, Field Marshal Turkish von Turkenstein (commander, 1st Feline Home Defense Regiment) replied: “Let me sleep on it. OK, nope.”

I didn’t get my Enemies of the People email newsletter this morning, which means I don’t know what we treacherous media types are supposed to be lying about today, so I’m just gonna have to wing it.

Word is that King Donald the Short-fingered will be holding court today in Florida. You’d think that at some point he might stop applying for the job and start doing it, but that’s what you get for thinking. Not a fan of thinking, the Orange House. Not a fan. Sad! Weak! Man of action! Get that thinking out of here!

Speaking of thinking, the techies at Wired magazine suggest that the paranoids among us — Who? Where? — consider using locked-down Chromebooks and cheapo burner phones that can be wiped and destroyed whenever the secret police decide they need to run their sticky little fingers through your data.

There are $30 Android smartphones out there? Seriously? Who knew? Not me, comrades. Herself just scored a new iPhone 7 and I think she had to pay a $30 cover charge just to get in the door.

Me, I muddle along with a 5-year-old iPhone 5, which I use mostly to receive communiques, dispatches and orders from Herself, take the occasional photo on bike rides, and transmit my activities and location to the State in case its minions wish to discuss pressing matters of national security with me in a windowless basement room at some undisclosed location.

Hmmmmm. Thirty-buck prepaid smartphone, y’say? Bought anonymously, with cash? Something else to think about. …

Hyperbole

February 16, 2017

I been from Maine to Spokane and Austin to Boston.

I been up the creek and over the mountain.

I seen 10 acres of sheep fuckin’ in a 1-acre field.

But I ain’t never seen anything like today’s Beelzebozo press conference.

 

Candy kiss-off for Valentine’s Day

February 14, 2017
Here's your hat, there's the door, what's your Russian?

Here’s your hat, there’s the door, what’s your Russian?

Twenty-four days. That’s how long tovarisch Mike Flynn lasted as national-security adviser.

In case you were wondering, yes, that’s a record.

Over at The Washington Post, national political corresponent James Hohmann has 10 unanswered questions you might find interesting.

At The New York Times, the Donks are demanding to be sung their favorite bedtime lullaby, “What Did the President Know (And When Did He Know It)?” This has all the gravitas and authority of a puppy yapping from his kennel while the humans are at work.

Trouble is, these mainstream-media types are all spewing the usual bullshit about what Beelzebozo can and can’t do now; the “future credibility” of his various mouthpieces, stooges, finks, flappers and handlers; and which useful idiot will replace the outgoing useful idiot. None of this addresses the central issue, which is that Ronald McDonald McTrump and the battalion of buffoons crowded into his stretch clown car are not Business As Usual and cannot be covered as such.

Perhaps most amusing is the pronouncement from Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Self-Interest) that a Senate Intelligence Committee inquiry into Russian tinkering with the election will go “wherever the truth leads us.” Little Marco doesn’t go places where he might trip over an inconvenient fact and bruise his ambition.

 

First blow, then snow

February 13, 2017
"Forget about that California dam, hon', we got a real problem right here at home."

“Forget about that California dam, hon’, we got a real problem right here at home.”

Well, it ain’t much of a snow. But the blow more than made up for it. We had to corral wandering bits and pieces of lawn art yesterday, which beats watching Stephen Miller lie on the Sunday shows like a creepy baldheaded teenager caught with a spank mag under his mattress. (“Uh, I read it for the articles? And anyway, the terrorists put it there!”)

Where does Beelzebozo find these alleged people? If you saw Miller lurking around a school playground, you’d probably call the law, amirite? The only video of this penis with ears should come from a vice cop’s lapel cam.

“Hands where I can see ’em, pally. And let’s get the mouse back in his house, a’ight?”

Meanwhile, the National Security Council is taking on Stooge-esque overtones, and not of the Iggy variety, either. Who knew we’d still be dealing with Russian stooges 53 years after “Dr. Strangelove?”

“Sir, you can’t let him in here. He’ll see everything! He’ll see the Big Board!”

Quite an education

February 7, 2017

Here’s what Betsy DeVos and her family paid to the GOP senators who voted for her.

I hope she kept the receipts. Some of these whores won’t stay bought.

Paint it (a little less) black

February 2, 2017
Red dawn. OK, so it's more purple and magenta.

Red dawn. OK, so it’s more purple and magenta.

Lots of discussion among the Twitterati this morning about last night’s ruckus in Berserkely.

David Simon — yes, that David Simon* — is arguing that the violence apparently instigated by the usual gang of black-masked hellraisers to shut down a speech by the notorious and vainglorious fascist tool Milo Yiannopoulos plays right into the hands of Orange Julius Caesar, who would love nothing better than to show how tough he is by having one of his punks give the First Amendment a good wedgie.

Yiannopoulos spoke last week at the University of Colorado in Boulder and recently here in Duke City at the University of New Mexico. There were protests, but the speeches went off as scheduled. And that’s as it should be. Free speech isn’t just for people with whom we agree.

And consider this: I’ve joined a few protests, marches and rallies over the years, and speaking from my experience as a rabblerouser on the streets and in the public prints, there’s nothing the cops and press enjoy more than a good ol’ outside agitator, whether there actually is one or not. You don’t think they have all that hand-me-down military gear lying around for nothing, do you? Ever get a new bike and not want to ride it?

Now, you can make the argument that what we need here is a bold stand against the New World Ordure, and I’d say “Fuckin’ A.” But I think the boldest stand would be forging a huge mass movement that shows the extent of the opposition, not merely the energy of a small faction.

It’s tough to get Maw and Paw to join Buddy and Sis at the barricades if Paw might get thrown into the hoosegow and lose a few days’ work, Maw loses her whole damn’ job, and everybody loses a few teefers. And what about the businesses that were said to have been vandalized? I’m not familiar with Telegraph Avenue, Shattuck Avenue and Center Street, but if any small businesses took a beating, I say “Shame!” Likewise if a few organizable working folks find themselves short in the paycheck department because their employers have to close for repairs.

Herself and I joined an antiwar rally in Bibleburg during the administration of Bush the Lesser, and all was well until the Black Bandana Brigade decided it would be fun to make a shambles. Naturally, the cops are better at that sort of thing, and they set about proving it.

Hearts and minds, people; hearts and minds. Let’s try to win them instead of breaking them.

* Incidentally, if you’re not already following David Simon on Twitter, you should be.

Sentinels

January 31, 2017
Cannon to right of them; cannon to left of them.

Cannon to right of them; cannon to left of them.

Jaysis. I keep hoping things will settle down in my little world so I can pay attention to the larger one and it keeps not happening.

We did enjoy a respite yesterday afternoon. I got out for a two-hour ride with a neighbor who is on the road to recovery after an injury, and afterward I aired out the cats for a bit. Then it was back to business.

I took a quick swivel at the news and it all looks worse than Kellyanne Goebbels after a couple-three meth julips. A follower on Twitter described the antics at the Orange House as “a shitshow,” and I agreed, noting that while I had expected to see some splattered on the walls, I had not planned on it being up to the knees heading into Week 2 of the Bannon administration.

Meanwhile, here’s some light reading for you:

• Kevin Drum at MoJo says the immigration order “is a pinprick, just something to test the waters” for a full-on war on Islam. “Think of it as market research,” he adds. “More will be coming.”

• The architects of the New World Ordure are set to start pushing their Supreme Court nominee. If you’re expecting the second coming of Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., prepare to be disappointed.

• What’s old is new again: Everybody, from Henry Giroux to Michiko Kakutani, is revisiting “1984” for reasons that should be all too obvious.

And now it’s back to work. Phone your senators and representatives and urge them to oppose every little notion these dollar-store despots dredge from the shallow depths of their tiny minds. Do it now. Later looks very unpleasant from where I’m sitting.

MAGAbytes

January 29, 2017
What, you haven't heard they have a National Mall in DeeCee?

Don’t wanna live like a refugee.

I think this whole “Make America Great Again” thing is gonna be harder than anyone thought. Especially the orange fella.

The People’s Blog

January 20, 2017

OK, folks, you have the run of the ranch in comments. Let’s hear your thoughts about how We the People move forward (or sideways, diagonally, or whatever; any direction save retreat). I’ll see you tomorrow.

Something wicked this way comes

January 19, 2017

• Editor’s note: What follows was intended to be a rambling kickoff to a Counter-Inaugural Podcast at Radio Free Dogpatch, but my sidekick Hal Walter developed a bad case of previous commitments, so I’m laying it on you old-school instead. Tomorrow it will be radio silence from yours truly here and on Twitter. But there will be an open-mic post suitable for commentary, so feel free to chime in with your thoughts on what this particular changing of the guard means for you, and for the rest of us. Finally, a tip of the carny’s boater to Ray Bradbury for the headline. It’s a pity — or is it? — that he didn’t live to see Cooger & Dark’s Pandemonium Shadow Show come to life.

We're all bozos on this bus. Some of us more than others.

We’re all bozos on this bus. Some of us more than others.

IT’S BEEN A STRUGGLE, TRYING TO FIND WORDS to describe how I feel about what’s going to be happening on Friday — and afterward — in Washington, D.C.

I’ve watched this changing of the guard since before I was eligible to vote, and it rarely goes well for progressives.

In 1969, when Richard Nixon was preparing to take an oath of office he had already violated by undermining the Paris peace talks, the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam staged a three-day counter-inaugural that proved quite the bash, both literally and figuratively.

Yippies Jerry Rubin and Abbie Hoffman brought a revolutionary-theater sideshow to the circus, proposing to inaugurate their own president, a 145-pound hog named Pigasus, with predictable results. The Left immediately set about eating itself alive — Splitters! — rocks, bottles, horseshit and punches were thrown, cops and protesters alike took a beating, 119 people got a tour of the hoosegow, and as is traditional in such matters, both sides claimed victory.

Nixon, of course, claimed the White House. Twice. You may recall how that turned out.

I found it all fascinating, from a safe distance, and when I became eligible to vote in time for the 1972 elections, I tried to register as a member of the Youth International Party, the proper name for the improper Yippies. Never happen, said the county clerk in Bibleburg, and I had to settle for signing up as an “independent.” But Hunter S. Thompson was actually in attendance at the ’69 inaugural, and he didn’t exactly come away with a smile on his lips and a song in his heart.

Recounting the experience for The Boston Globe in February 1969, Thompson wrote: “My first idea was to load up on LSD and cover the Inauguration that way, but the possibilities were ominous: a scene that bad could only be compounded to the realm of mega-horrors by something as powerful as acid.”

As Thompson watched the deal go down during what he called “a king-hell bummer” and “that wretched weekend,” he saw “a new meanness on both sides … and no more humor.”

“Suddenly I felt cold, and vaguely defeated,” he wrote. “More than eight years ago, in San Francisco, I had stayed up all night to watch the election returns … and when Nixon went down I felt like a winner.

“Now, on this Monday night in 1969, President Nixon was being honored with no less than six Inaugural Balls. I brooded on this for a while, then decided I would go over to the Hilton, later on, and punch somebody. Almost anybody would do … but hopefully I could find a police chief from Nashville or some other mean geek. In the meantime, there was nothing to do but go back to the hotel and watch the news on TV … maybe something funny, like film clips of the bastinado.”

• • •

Neither Hunter S. Thompson nor Dick Nixon are with us this time around, but another pair of Sixties relics you may have thought were likewise long gone — LSD and psilocybin — are making something of a comeback as potential treatments for whatever bad scene may be unfolding on the backside of your forehead (or in front of it).

In December, The New York Times reported on a couple of studies that showed “clinically significant reductions” in both anxiety and depression in cancer patients who took synthetic psilocybin.

The studies, which the Times called “the largest and most meticulous among a handful of trials to explore the possible therapeutic benefit of psilocybin,” found the beneficial effects persisted for months.

One patient, who had just completed treatment for stage-3 Hodgkin’s lymphoma, described what he called “an epiphany.”

“I’m not anxious about cancer anymore,” he said. “I’m not anxious about dying.”

Another, whose treatment for acute myeloid leukemia left him with graft-versus-host disease, said the experience left him with “a greater sense of peace with what might come.”

“I’m very grateful, beyond words, for this trial,” he added.

And on January 14, The Atlantic ran a Q&A with Ayelet Waldman, whose new book “A Really Good Day” describes her microdosing with LSD to self-correct what she described as “a pretty significant depression.”

She had tried the traditional remedies served up by the medical-industrial complex — antidepressants, ADHD drugs, SSRIs, you name it — but a couple drops of diluted and highly illegal L-S-Dizzy is what did the trick for her.

Said Waldman: “I felt happier or at least not as profoundly depressed almost immediately the very first day I took it.”

Funniest thing, hey? About 10 years after the good Doctor Thompson was mulling over that Nixon inaugural, a friend and I offered an acid-soaked homage to his fear-and-loathing tour of Las Vegas. But we didn’t have his stamina, and when a jai-alai match at the old MGM Grand started to look like a “Star Wars” shootout we got the fuck out of there at a very high speed indeed, driving all the way back to Alamosa — the Brain Damage Express, via Kaibab and Page, the Four Corners and the terrifying Wolf Creek Pass, with the usual horrible weather and without the enhancements that were still a few years down the road.

But we sure as shit weren’t depressed. We were simply seeing a whole lot of things we’d rather not have and thought a case of beer, a long night’s drive and a plate of his mom’s enchiladas might mellow us out.

Forty years later I can make my own enchiladas but I’m not so sure about the acid. I still have my copy of “The Anarchist Cookbook,” but I was never much at chemistry.

• • •

All trips, both good and bad, come to an end, sooner or later. And in May, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will break down the big top in May for the final time after 146 years.

According to The New York Times, Feld Entertainment, the producer of the circus, cited rising operating costs and falling ticket sales, a condition that worsened after Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey dropped elephants from its show last year.

CEO Kenneth Feld told The Associated Press that moving the show by rail, providing a traveling school for performers’ children and other expenses from a bygone era made carrying on a losing proposition.

“It’s a different model … we can’t see how it works in today’s world to justify and maintain an affordable ticket price,” he said.

And let’s not forget that old devil competition. There’s another, bigger circus coming to town, with a permanent base of operations in Washington, D.C., the financial support of the State, and free worldwide access via social media. Plus elephants, too!

The Greatest Show On Earth is now an angry orange clown with a Twitter account. Hur-ry, hur-ry, hur-ry. …