Archive for the ‘Deep political thought’ Category

Hard reign in Swamptown

January 12, 2019

What a blockhead.

The pestilence of the Benighted States, Wally O’Steele, a.k.a. Artie Deal, wants a Big, Beautiful Wall® at the nation’s southern boundary to keep brown people* from crossing the border to work anywhere other than at his hotels or golf courses.

Unable to procure funding for same, he has instead walled off the feddle gummint from its own tax-paying citizens, idling more than a few of them in the process and forcing others to work without pay while selling their Christmas presents on eBay to keep from freezing to death in the dark.

It’s a hard reign, and the water — if that’s what it is — just keeps rising.

Man the lifeboats and rig for heavy seas, matey — it’s the latest episode of Radio Free Dogpatch.

* Russian oligarchs and Saudi princelings get a pass, of course, along with a coupon for a complimentary fluff and fold at Artie Deal’s Motor Inn & Money Laundry.

 

P L A Y    R A D I O    F R E E    D O G P A T C H

• Technical notes: This episode was recorded with a Shure SM58 microphone and a Zoom H5 Handy Recorder. Additional bad noise via an Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB mic and a Sony ICD-UX533. I edited this hot mess using a Behringer XENYX 1200USB mixer wired to a 2014 MacBook Pro with an external LG 24MP59HT-P monitor and Apple’s GarageBand. Obligatory Cultural References From Bygone Days© courtesy the Bard of Hibbing.

Girl Scouts to pay for Wall?

January 10, 2019

Eat me.

With neither Mexico nor the United States interested in underwriting his dreams of a Wall, President Wally O’Steele has proposed privatizing the project by handing it over to the Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas.

“They’re gonna have to sell something a helluva lot tastier than Thin Mints to make the nut, but that’s how the cookie crumbles, amirite?” slobbered O’Steele, flanked by his alleged wife Melons, wearing a Girl Scout uniform three sizes too small and lobbing condoms and poppers into a mostly empty Luby’s parking lot in McAllen, Texas.

“No Brownies!” he added, digging with a stubby finger at a crust of Adderall clogging one nostril. “Not on this side of my Wall, anyway.”

In other news, Samsung’s new washer/dryer lets you decide when you’d like it to explode.

Blockhead

January 8, 2019

Thick as a brick.

Breaking news

January 4, 2019

“That Wall money must be up there somewhere, lemme have another look.”

This just in: Rich get richer.

And those other folks? Oh, they get something, a’ight, but it ain’t richer.

‘Insects don’t have politics’

January 2, 2019

Dude bugs me.

Oh, to be a fly on the wall (or in the hair) as Darth Cheeto meets with the Rebel Alliance this afternoon. I bet the SS is frisking everyone for audio recorders, ’cause you just know dude is gonna say something makes Carrot Top look like Stephen fuckin’ Hawking.

Better to be on the wall, though. God only knows what’s in that hair. Whatever it is, it can’t be good for you.

 

King Holly, King Oak

December 21, 2018

It’s a maple, not an oak, but it will have to do for now.

“You were just starting to get into your groove,” the dog-walker said apologetically as I yielded the trail, interrupting the run I had just begun.

More of a rut than a groove, I thought. I run this trail pretty much every Monday and Wednesday, and then lift weights afterward. On Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, I ride. On Fridays, I brood. Especially when the Friday in question happens to be the shortest day of the year, followed by the longest night.

If I ever actually found a groove and was getting into it, I mused, it would probably be something like the groove on an old vinyl LP, spiraling in at 33 1/3 rpm toward the black hole in the center. Stairway to heaven? More like highway to Hell.

Now ruts I know. I had been in an actual rut the day before I encountered the dog-walker, climbing Trail 341 counterclockwise on my second-best Steelman.

Anyone who saw me lurching upward in the 36×28 might have thought me a lost, loopy roadie, Trail 341 being a narrow, serpentine climb, sometimes featuring actual serpents; rocky where it isn’t loose, fenced with cane cholla, with a couple-three blind corners, no passing lanes, and the occasional rut just to keep things interesting.

But I was in the best mental health I could summon in December, especially this December, and as I said, it was my second-best Steelman. Plus I was climbing, not descending, which lets me ease into trouble rather than diving in headlong.

I had been descending Trail 341 when one of these ruts caught me unawares back in July 2017. I was aboard the Voodoo Nakisi, which with its plump Bruce Gordon Rock n’ Roads is ordinarily more than a match for this short, not particularly technical descent.

But my mind had wandered, as it will, and it didn’t wander back until after I had bitten the dust, grabbing a handful of cholla as I went down.

“What the hell are you doing?” my mind asked.

“Oh, shut up,” I replied, yanking spines from my left hand. “This is your fault.”

“What, I told you to yardsale in a rut?” my mind chortled. “I was just trying to get a little work done while you were dicking around. Jeez, I can’t leave you alone for a minute.”

Ever since taking that little digger I’ve ridden Trail 341 as a climb instead of a descent, though the neighborhood Singletrack Sanitation Service has ironed out a few of its nastier wrinkles. It leaves me in something of a metaphorical rut, true, but it’s a problem I don’t need to solve; a nettle I don’t care to grasp.

Especially in December, when there’s never enough sun to really warm your bones, and what there is of it hangs low in the sky, either blinding you to the path or cloaking it in shadows.

My rides and temper shorten with the days. I get up in the dark and by the time I‘ve gotten a handle on current events — what has the Arsehole-in-Chief managed to shit on today? — it’s dark again and time to go back to bed. This makes for unsettling dreams.

Dreams. The ancient Celts saw the solstices as battles between twin kings, Oak vs. Holly, warmth and light pitted against cold and dark.

Neither king is ever truly vanquished. The Holly King is ascendant as the old year wanes, but as the new year approaches the Oak King reclaims the throne.

It was a murky morning as this year’s winter solstice came to Newgrange, and the Oak King did not make an appearance. But this doesn’t mean that the Holly King has finally triumphed. The struggle continues.

And I recall another Irish legend, who once said: “We are not here to curse the darkness, but to light the candle that can guide us through that darkness to a safe and sane future.”

Don’t curse the darkness. Light a candle. Grasp the nettle.

• Editor’s note: I had planned to make this an episode of Radio Free Dogpatch, but various ruts kept tripping me up. At least you can give a listen to the music I had in mind for the background — “King Holly, King Oak,” from Johnny Cunningham via “Celtic Christmas,” a Windham Hill sampler I’d forgotten I owned. And happy solstice to you.

Stinky Zinke hits the silk

December 15, 2018

Cowboy up.

The pimp who has been whoring out the Interior Department has Caddy’d off into the sunset, and good riddance.

Sez The Washington Post:

During his nearly two years in office Zinke came under at least 15 investigations, including inquiries into his connection to a real estate deal involving a company that Interior regulates, whether he bent government rules to allow his wife to ride in government vehicles and allowing a security detail to travel with him on a vacation to Turkey at considerable cost.

I guess Turkey was too far a trot on horseback, alone, like Clint Eastwood’s Man With No Name (in this case, more like a Man With No Shame). And now there’s one less horse’s ass in this criminal clusterfuck. Two, if you count the horse.

But before we cheer too loudly, consider this, from The New York Times:

Rather than an end to Mr. Zinke’s pro-fossil fuel policies, the resignation quite likely signals a passing of the playbook. Mr. Zinke’s deputy, David Bernhardt, a former oil lobbyist, is expected to step in as acting head of the department.

In the meantime, Charles P. Pierce uses his weekly newsletter to call for the impeachment process to start, today. Sez Chazbo:

If the House doesn’t begin its own inquiry, and very soon, then the impeachment power in the Constitution is what Jefferson called it — a scarecrow. … The Founders made it a point in the Constitution that it would be the House, the half of the national legislature thought to be closest to the people, that would possess “the sole power of impeachment.” The exercise of that power begins with the power to investigate independently—independently, not only of other investigations, but also independently of political calculation and institutional timidity.

You can sign up to support Mr. Pierce and his newsletter over to Esquire.

Voodoo economics

December 3, 2018

The first “real” snow of this not-quite-winter.

We got what I’d call our first real snow yesterday, probably because I had to drive Herself to the airport (the Universe is always on the lookout for ways to snatch a knot in my ass).

As real snows go it was fairly unreal, and the New Mexican sun was already dealing with it as I dropped her off and headed for home.

Elsewhere, Charles P. Pierce was occupied bringing light, heat and a metric shit-ton of knot-snatching to the legacy of George H.W. Bush.

I’d been trying to decide whether I had anything worthwhile to say about Poppy’s passing. There was no shortage of hagiography from the usual suspects, who seemed relieved to yap about something other than Il Douche shitting the national bed.

But all I could think of was “voodoo economics,” the one-two punch Bush v1.0 laid on Dutch Reagan’s fiscal acumen, such as it was.

When he transitioned smoothly from delivering that pop in the chops to joining the Gipper’s team as veep, I thought, “Fuck this guy.” And it seems ol’ Chazbo was thinking along similar lines. He summed up Bush v1.0’s political career as an extended exercise in “cheap theatrics … the pragmatic insincerity, the subcontracting of the hatchet job to a hired hand, the willingness to play a role, no matter how clumsily, in order to keep and maintain power.”

Quoth Charlie:

You will recall that, in 1980, he’d said the last sensible thing any Republican has said about the snake-oil that is supply-side economics. He called them “voodoo economics,” and he was dead-right. But he signed on as Reagan’s vice president anyway and, by 1988, he was getting up at the Republican National Convention and butching himself up by borrowing an idiotic line from an Arnold Schwarzenegger film. Read my lips. No new taxes!

As an authentic American patriot who did his bit during The Big One, Bush v1.0 didn’t need to descend to this sort of back-alley play-acting. Furthermore, as an authentic American patriot who did his bit during The Big One, he had a duty to call his party out on its descent into theocracy, willful ignorance, and fascism, but he never even cleared his throat, much less spoke up. Perhaps staff was unable to dredge up a suitable bon mot from the popular cinema, or he was all worn out from signing pardons for anyone who could rack him up like a second-hand suit over the Iran-contra scandal.

If you think that’s unkind, you should revisit Hunter S. Thompson’s thoughts on Bush v1.0, as I’ve been doing the past couple of days. In “The Scum of the Earth,” from his book “Generation of Swine,” HST wrote:

He has the instincts of a dung beetle. No living politician can match his talent for soiling himself in public. Bush will seek out filth wherever it lives — going without sleep for days at a time, if necessary — and when he finds a new heap he will fall down and wallow crazily in it, making snorting sounds out of his nose and rolling over on his back and kicking his legs up in the air like a wild hog come to water.

That the current occupant of the Oval Office makes Poppy look like a combination of Dwight D. Eisenhower and Pliny the Elder is no excuse for the ongoing failure of national memory. Props to Charlie Pierce for continuing to serve the Republic as that voice crying in the wilderness.

Fiddling while Rome burns

November 24, 2018

Nero didn’t get it either and cashed out the hard way.

OK, let’s see if I’ve got this right:

“A major scientific report issued by 13 federal agencies on Friday presents the starkest warnings to date of the consequences of climate change for the United States, predicting that if significant steps are not taken to rein in global warming, the damage will knock as much as 10 percent off the size of the American economy by century’s end.”

In response, the courtiers attending His Most Pissant Majesty, King Donald the Short-fingered, Terror of Twitter, are focused like the proverbial laser beam on whether trans folk may serve in the Empire’s armed forces.

Got it. Makes perfect sense. See, if they’re not camping in camo’ down by The Wall*, or using the wrong latrines in Afghanistan, they’ll be available to fight fire and flood elsewhere, p’raps in more fashionable neighborhoods, in order that the gentry may be both protected and entertained.

* Wall not pictured. Or even built.

A friendly gesture

November 22, 2018
Shut up, kid.

Shut up, kid.

There’s a chain across this dump and a big sign that says “Closed on Thanksgiving.”

Here’s hoping that you’re all having a Thanksgiving dinner that couldn’t be beat. Don’t forget to pick up the garbage. Look out for Officer Obie, the judge, and the seeing-eye dog.

And if the “Alice’s Restaurant Back By Popular Demand Tour” comes around on the guitar, well, remember — if you want to end war and stuff you gotta sing loud.