Archive for the ‘Deep political thought’ Category

Sturm und Drang

August 23, 2016
The weatherman expects welcome moisture through the weekend before the inevitable warming and drying trend resumes.

The weatherman expects welcome moisture through the weekend before the inevitable warming and drying trend resumes.

The so-called monsoons have been washing away the memory of a too-hot July as August heads for the barn.

Mornings are nice and cool — just 61 at the moment — and the afternoon highs have been topping out in the upper 70s, with the rains rolling in around dinnertime. This is hard to beat, I don’t mind telling you.

Also hard to beat is Ronald McDonald McTrump, mostly because he has that pesky Secret Service detail frisking everyone for blackjacks, ax handles and baseball bats. Agent Orange just keeps bouncing around the country from rally to rally, not so much campaigning as entertaining, which makes me wonder whether he’s really after the presidency. Could he instead be pursuing some sort of honky media empire based on the WWF/WWE model of raising a fine crop of money in a carefully tended bed of fresh bullshit?

Think about it. As Stephen K. Miller noted over at National Review back in April, “Pro wrestling’s biggest stage was where Donald Trump the political populist was born.”

In pro wrestling you have good guys, bad guys and crooked referees. Nicknames abound (Little Marco, Macho Man, Lyin’ Ted, Jake the Snake). Everyone knows the game is rigged, but who cares? It’s showtime, baby!

God knows there’s not much to watch down at Konrad’s Kountry Klavern these days. They could use a little uplifting Christian entertainment. The teevee’s full to bustin’ with mud people, Jews, homos, trannies and smarties (they’re the worstest). Where are Joe Friday and Bill Gannon, Ozzie and Harriet, Ed Sullivan and Topo Gigio? (OK, so that was just a little gay.)

You’ll know I was right if at the first debate El Trumpo body-slams the Hilldebeast, Megyn Kelly smacks Gwen Ifill with a folding chair, and money rains down from the ceiling. Katie bar the door!

Trump card

August 10, 2016

The 2016 pestilential election is turning into one of the less-than-hilarious Monty Python sketches.

“You’ve got a nice representative democracy here, citizen.”

“Yes.”

“We wouldn’t want anything to happen to it. …”

“What?”

Even the dumbest casino guy knows a Smith & Wesson beats four aces.

Even the dumbest casino guy knows a Smith & Wesson beats four aces.

What indeed. Ronald McDonald McTrump has clearly let the fat in his fast-food diet go straight to his head, where a .25-caliber brain struggles to govern a .50-caliber mouth.

I wonder what his Secret Service detail thinks about his quip about a Second Amendment solution to a president’s constitutionally derived authority (Article 2, Section 2) to nominate judges, given that their colleagues protect the other candidate for the job.

The candidate whose back Der Trumpenführer just decorated with a red-white-and-blue bullseye.

Not the campaign trail

August 2, 2016
The Joe Appaloosa enjoying a bit of dirt time north of El Rancho Pendejo.

The Joe Appaloosa enjoying a bit of dirt time north of El Rancho Pendejo.

How’s your August so far?

Mine’s been great. I got 90 minutes of trail time on Rivendell’s Joe Appaloosa today, and two and a half hours on their Sam Hillborne yesterday.

The Sam Hillborne rolls northbound along the Paseo path.

The Sam Hillborne rolls northbound along the Paseo path.

This is loads more fun than waiting for Ronald McDonald McTrump to shit out of his mouth again. Dude erupts more consistently than Old Faithful. But if you keep the iPhone locked away in a Ziploc bag, and stuff the bag into a jersey pocket, you don’t get drenched until you get home.

Speaking of drenched, the weather wizards advise that a “sustained monsoon moisture plume” is working itself into a Trumplike frenzy, which is good news in a place that just wrapped up a scorcher of a July and was seeing its third-driest year ever.

It would be nice to see less rain more often — flash floods are about as much fun as droughts, as the homeless dudes hunting for their belongings along the I-40 trail will tell you — but like the GOP, we’ll take whatever we can get.

Working like a (mad) dog

July 30, 2016
Does this bike make my ass look fat?

Does this bike make my ass look fat?

Real life — well, “real life” as it is around Chez Slacker, anyway — reared its ugly head yesterday and I never had a chance to comment on the Hilldebeast’s coronation in Philly.

There was critter entertainment and maintenance to perform;  brief yet healthful outdoor exercise (a couple hot laps of Trails 365/365A over by Embudo Dam, on the Jones 29er); video to shoot, edit and voice for Adventure Cyclist (the Rivendell Joe Appaloosa); dinner to prepare (orecchiette with cherry tomatoes and arugula); travel arrangements to make for Interbike (already?); technical difficulties (Amazon Prime got sideways somehow and we couldn’t watch episode two of “Mr. Robot”); and a Great and Powerful Ozlike thunderstorm that started out with great sound and fury but in the end signified … eh, not much.

So, yeah. No time for deep thoughts on Hillary’s Big Day.

Looking back, I thought it was a pretty fair speech for someone who’d clearly rather be doing The Work instead of chatting with thee and me. “The service part has always come easier to me than the public part,” she explained, and I can dig it. I’d rather pull off my own head than deliver a speech to a mob like that; as you already know, I have plenty of days when some two-bit bloggery seems unduly onerous.

But she fell short of the mark set by Khizr Khan, father of Capt. Humayan Khan, killed by suicide bombers in Iraq. That dude crushed it, delivering a fierce beatdown to the chickenhawk Ronald McDonald McTrump, and as I understand things, he was speaking from the heart, not from a teleprompter or notes. Well done indeed.

I don’t see the Hilldebeast becoming an inspirational speaker anytime soon, no matter who’s writing the checks, Wall Street or Main Street. But I really don’t care, as long as she’s willing to buckle down and do The Work.

There’s some heavy lifting ahead. As David Corn wrote in Mother Jones, “She is … the only chance to stop Trump’s takeover of America — and her job is to persuade voters that for now she is indeed the last best hope.”

Old race, new race

July 28, 2016
Looking east at the Sandias from NM 313, en route to Bernalillo.

Looking east at the Sandias from NM 313, en route to Bernalillo.

It sure is nice to spend mornings riding the bike rather than writing the bike.

Yesterday I rode out to Bernalillo on NM 313, inspecting the first leg of what would be a fun training ride — basically an extended version of the old Watermelon Mountain Classic that I used to race back in the Eighties.

That race started in Bernalillo and climbed through Placitas on NM 165 to the Sandia Peak Ski Area, then dropped through Sandia Park and Cedar Crest before finishing on NM 333 just east of Albuquerque.

What made it interesting was a stretch of unimproved dirt Forest Service road — about seven miles of switchbacks, if memory serves — that climbed to the Sandia Crest Road just below the ski area, which used to host an occasional mountain-bike race.

After that it was mostly the old zoom-zoom, down, down, down to the Duke City. I was usually pretty aggressive on the climb, but whatever I gained on the uphill I lost on the downhill, suffering as I did from an overactive imagination and a feeble health-insurance plan.

My version of the Watermelon would start at El Rancho Pendejo, which adds 20 miles to the front end of the ride. The backside would be augmented by a half-dozen miles or thereabouts, from the old finish line back to the rancho. Eating the whole ‘melon would involve about 63 miles, many of them uphill. Good times. Maybe not.

Speaking of races and good times, Ronald McDonald McTrump came in for a vigorous thumping last night at the DNC. Even the prez got in on the act, which MoJo’s Kevin Drum summarized in 17 words:

Michael Bloomberg: Trump is a con man.

Tim Kaine: Trump is a liar.

Joe Biden: Trump is a sociopath

Barack Obama: Trump is an asshole.

Drum qualified that last by noting that it was his translation “from the original Obamish.” Pretty accurate translation, I’d say.

 

Grrl power

July 27, 2016
Gracie Allen ran strictly for laughs, as opposed to Donald Trump, who doesn't seem to realize that he's comical. Photo by CBS via Getty Images

Gracie Allen ran strictly for laughs, as opposed to Donald Trump, who doesn’t seem to realize that he’s comical. Photo by CBS via Getty Images

Nearly a century after women won the right to vote in this country, a major political party has finally picked one to be its candidate for the presidency.

Others have had a go, of course.

In 1964, Margaret Chase Smith was the first woman to have her name placed in nomination by a major party (the GOP).

Too, the Green Party and various socialist parties have regularly put women at the top of their tickets.

And Gracie Allen — yes, that Gracie Allen — ran in 1940 under the auspices of the Surprise Party. Her platform? “Redwood, trimmed with nutty pine.”

“My opponents say they’re going to fight me ’til the cows come home,” she said in a campaign speech. “So, they admit the cows aren’t home. Why aren’t the cows home? Because they don’t like the conditions on the farm. The cows are smart. They’re not coming home ’til there’s a woman in the White House.”

Gracie was (mostly) kidding, of course. But Hillary isn’t. Neither is Sarah Silverman, a supporter of Comrade Eeyore who told the Bernie or Bust faction that they were “being ridiculous,” which they were.

And definitely not kidding was the other Clinton, the Big Dog, who brought his gift for rambling discourse to the rostrum last night.

Ol’ Bill freestyled a lot of his speech, ’cause he likes to and ’cause the teleprompter was acting out (Ber-NIE! Ber-NIE!). I always appreciated the way the man could shoot the shit (his mendacious Monica Lewinsky chatter not included). But I never voted for him, because I didn’t trust him out of my sight, and I said more than once that his old lady was smarter, tougher and meaner than he was.

Well, Bill seems to agree with me. And so does the works faction of the party, because they gave her the nod.

Now, I don’t trust the Hilldebeast any more than I do her old man. Peas in a pod, those two. The Clintons seem all too typical of our political elites, many of whom think rules are for rubes. That said, there’s no denying that they’ve done the work, unlike the other fella in the contest, who won’t even pay for it, much less perform it.

Herself and I placed our faith in Bernie. But clearly faith wasn’t enough. Works will have to do. Say g’night, Gracie.

Champs and chumps

July 24, 2016
We have clouds early, but it looks like another hot one in the Duke City. And in Paris, too? Stay tuned.

We have clouds early, but it looks like another hot one in the Duke City. And in Paris, too? Stay tuned.

The sun rises on the final day of the 2016 Tour de France. Yay, etc.

It wasn’t much of a Tour, from a GC point of view. Sky — for whatever reason — is just too damn strong. And while Zoom-Zoom Froome pulled a few new rabbits out of his hat early on, after a couple of frights he settled down into his usual act, and that, as they say, was that.

A couple of Frenchmen proved fun to watch — Romain Bardet (AG2R) and Julian Alaphillippe (Etixx-QuickStep) — and of course there was Peter Sagan (Tinkoff), who is a race unto himself.

But Fabio Aru (Astana) and Nairo Quintana (Movistar) failed to mount serious challenges. Quintana may have been suffering from allergies, while Aru may have been afflicted with too many Vincenzo Nibalis. Richie Porte (BMC) had that mishap early on, and Tejay van Garderen had the usual meltdown; if he’s gonna keep fading like a cheap paintjob he should really spare us the breezy pre-Tour chatter about how Sky might buckle under pressure and how Froome is beatable. Not by you he ain’t, Sparky.

Sprinters who weren’t named Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) didn’t have much to celebrate this year, either. He won’t be banging bars on the Champs-Élysées this evening, and whoever wins the final stage will go home wondering whether things might have turned out differently if the Manxman had made it all the way to Paris.

Meanwhile, that other race — the one for the U.S. presidency — is a long way from the finish line, and I’m having trouble getting excited about pulling on my pistachio slingshot and fright wig, lighting a flare, and running alongside the field. Y’suppose we could ask the Badger to push ’em both off the stage?

 

Honky, please

July 19, 2016

OK, white people have been appropriating black culture since, like, forever, but this seems a little over the top.

If Michelle Obama were Big Mama Thornton, Melania Trump would be thinking twice about trying to snatch a sister’s purse.

You told me you was high class … but I could see through that.

Putting the rumors to bed

July 15, 2016
Turk denies coup reports. "I'm right here, just like always," he told our reporter. "When's dinner?"

Turk denies coup reports. “I’m right here, just like always,” he told our reporter. “When’s dinner?”

Mooned again

June 28, 2016
Morning, moon.

Morning, moon.

I knew yesterday would be a lovely day when I stepped outside with The Boo and saw the moon fraternizing with the foliage.

“Oh my,” said I, or something very much unlike that.

Near the top of the La Cueva picnic area.

Near the top of the La Cueva picnic area.

I had planned a longish road ride but burned a little too much cool daylight early on, walking The Boo while it was not yet scorching, watering plants, and viewing with alarm (the Limeys appear to be having Bregrets over Brexit). Those folks need a king, or at the very least a leader who hasn’t got shit all over him.

So do we, come to think of it.

Anyway, instead of logging four hours of saddle suffering, I spent about half that time climbing hills in the ‘hood, and that was just fine.

There’s not a lot of velo-traffic on a Monday, so I’m spared the stony “What are you doing on my road?” looks from the shaven-legged set. The four-wheeled traffic is up, but that’s fairly easy to dodge if you know the roads and there aren’t any three-time losers behind the wheel with a nearly empty 30-pack of Busch for company.

“She’s just really having a hard time in jail,” says her lawyer. Hey, counselor, that’s why they call it “jail” instead of “happy hour.”

Today is looking less bicycle-friendly, alas. I’m wrapping my print and video reviews of the Velo-Orange Piolet and sending the bike back to its owner; collecting a Rivendell Sam Hillborne, the next bike up for evaluation; thinking about my next column and cartoon for BRAIN (thank the suffering Christ that we go back to monthly publication after two more issues); and hitting the grocery.

I need some brain food (no, not BRAIN food, brain food). Looks like Counselor Pelkey and I will be calling the Tour de France over at Live Update Guy, if we can find some ether to spray in the carb and a couple rattle-cans of yellow Rustoleum.

 


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