Tuesday, September 29, 2020

There ain't no use of me workin' so hard when I got a woman in the bossman's yard.

  The first Presidential Debates are tonight and I am not watching. From what I'm seeing on Twitter, that's a good thing. Trump's doing his whiney rich boy routine, Joe Biden's trying to keep his patience, and moderator Chris Wallace is about as effective as a piece of wet newspaper is stopping a bullet. I've never been impressed with Wallace. He may be the best thing Fox has to offer, but that's like having the best double-wide in the trailer park. One's expectations must be adjusted.

 Like I said around the time the national conventions were going on, I've bailed on the bread-and-circuses aspect of politics, even before a limp noodle of a man is trying to wrestle down a drunken frat boy. From what I'm seeing, the Base is claiming Wallace is trying to help Biden or that Trump's peevishness shows just how macho and manly he is. Or both, if they can get away with it.

 I wonder if they'll bother with the other two. All day long, Trump and his worshipers tried to make hay because Biden wouldn't agree to a drug test or being physically checked for one-way radios in his ears. This is especially funny because it assumes Trump deserves to benefit of the doubt about anything, much less someone being doped up or trying to cheat.

 The cultists are saying their fears and worries will be settled if Biden just submits, but that's the biggest load of bullshit I've ever heard. We're ten years away from it being debunked and eight from them seeing the proof, and these clowns still think there's something to Birtherism.

 Seems it's over or winding up, and I'm irritated just getting bits from Twitter. Very glad I didn't watch this mess. I still can't believe we live in a culture that thinks that guy is the epitome of macho manliness and an all-American alpha male business genius. He's a punk that's spent his entire life surrounded by yes men and stooges, all of whom owe their paycheck to keeping his ass properly kissed. And far too many of Our Fellow Americans like that. They love that. It's like teenage girls screaming at whoever the Beatles are at the time, they crave it.

 I've thought for a while that despite what we claim about "rugged individualism" or "independence," it's baked into the American Psyche to be a bit of a groveling crawler if the right master comes along. Guys who suck up to cops and lick the military boot call themselves "rebels" and "outlaws," when we treat our actual rebels like shit and put the outlaws in the ground. I love me some Willie Nelson, but he's not an outlaw. He's a singer. We definitely need to get some sort of grip.

 If you couldn't tell, I'm in a foul mood. I read somewhere that copious marijuana consumption retards the ability to remember dreams. Well, until I moved home, I'd maybe remember a dream once or twice a month. I haven't had anything to smoke in eight months, and I remember my dreams so well, I'm getting to where I don't want to go to sleep because they put me in such a bad frame of mind.

 I'm either fighting with my family, failing at some job to the point where everyone hates, or the worst, dreaming about some woman that I've never known. I'm cool with my family, though it's obvious there's still some anger and resentment there. As far as whatever job I've held, I've always prided myself on being someone that could be depended on, so it's obvious that strain wore on me.

 And I guess if I have to be honest, I'm a little upset I was never able to make the whole life partner romantic thing work like other people can. I'm not lonely or regret that I'm single. I like being unfettered, emotionally, or financially, to anyone. Part of it is I'm so self-absorbed, I would rather do it alone than do it in such a way that's not exactly like I want to do it. If that makes sense, but for example, when I travel, I like to ramble. I don't like set routes, rather go where the wind blows me. Not everyone's down with that.

 No one's been willing to put up with that shit nor has anyone ever got me to change my mind. And the only time this sort of blue sits down on me is when I have that dream. I've dreamed about this woman my entire life, though no dream has exactly the same woman. She is similar from one dream to the next and she does fit what I considered my "type." It's no one I've ever met or seen, though.

 I don't know why it depresses me as much as it does. I don't think of her except when I have these dreams. Anyway. It's pushing 11 p.m. Country Standard Time, so I need to wrap this up. What a world, man.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

If you cannot bring good news, then don't bring any

 Well, it's Saturday again and college football has begun in earnest. Mississippi State beat national champs LSU fairly handily, so everyone around here's happy As Paul Harvey used to say, though, "first, the news."

 Monday was a fair-to-midddlin' round-up, touching on Hurricane Beta, Mike Espy's growing success in his senate run, and the on-going attempt by the GOP to make protesting illegal. Wednesday we looked at the slap on the wrists Breonna Taylor's murders got and how the outcome isn't going to be pretty.

 And while it wasn't a deep dive, Friday saw us looking a bit into Amy Coney Barrett, Trump's pick to replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court. She's still got plenty to go through to actually get the seat, like a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, investigations by the FBI and American Bar Association, and public hearings, so nothing is written in stone.

 Trump's wanting to get this done before the election, but that's going to be a trick since there are only 38 days left. It usually takes around 70 days, though Ginsburg herself went through it in 45. It can be done, but what also can be done is the Democrats could drag their feet on the process and slow things down. Time will tell if they've got the stone to do that, though.

 We'll have plenty to look at with Barrett over the coming weeks. She's a hardcore traditional Catholic of the wacky "submit to your husband" thing and apparently, she's got some connection to some screwball Christian online learning to do that may or may not be a fraud. I'm not even going to pretend to be impartial in all this. Her resume is a bit thin for a Supreme Court justice, spending most of her professional career as a professor at Harvard, which isn't the colored egg it used to be. Anyhow, we'll see what we'll see.

 In other news, I got me a new laptop and, in fact, writing on it as we speak. I got this, and while I haven't had much time to monkey with it, I'm pleased so far. The only problem I have is the screen resolution is so small I have difficulty reading the words on it's recommended setting. This, for example, is magnified by 175. Wearing my glasses doesn't really help. Of all the bummers middle age brings, I think finding it more difficult to read is the worst one of all.

 Learning to type on a laptop is a bit of a chore, too. I never have learned to type properly and over the years developed my own style. It's hard to translate to different keyboards, particularly small keyboards that are geared to pick up quick movements. I probably didn't really need it, but what the hell. It's the end of the world as we know it, maybe. Might as well have a little fun.

 I don't know what else. Been in a Weird Western mood and I think I might have a way to start an actual story. It's still floating around and my head's not in the right place, but I may try to squeeze something out in the next day or so. And that is word count. I'm going to edit this on my tower, but overall, I'd say this is a success. Have a nice weekend.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Lord, I pity the mother and father when the kids move away.

  I'm letting the day slip away from me. Unfortunately, I don't know if I have anything interesting to talk about. Listen to more Amazing Rhythm Aces, I guess.

 It's been a fairly active one, actively. I went to see my doctor for the regular check-up. I skipped the usual one back in March due to COVID-19 kicking into high gear. Completely overestimating the intelligence and diligence of My Fellow Americans, I thought we'd have a decent hand on the whole thing by June, July at the latest. Silly me.

 Anyhow, the visit went well. Waiting on some blood work to get done - I'm on Lithium and that apparently can do a number on your kidney - everything's about the same. In fact, it turns out I've lost five pounds since the last time I saw a doctor. I go see the Psych Doctor next month and I reckon I should make a date with the Therapist, too. Need to make my insurance premium if nothing else.

 I also bought me a new laptop. Well, ordered one and paid for it, anyway. BestBuy, for what it's worth. Sometimes I use NewEgg, but I got a pretty sweet rig for a cheaper price from the store. I really didn't need it. My MacBook is fried but my PC works fine. Still, I wanted a laptop if just because sitting in this chair is hell on my back. In any event, if we ever get out from under this COVID-19 business and don't let Trump destroy the country in the process, I'd like to do some more traveling. I don't know where I'd go, but that's not really important.

 I bought a gaming laptop. I figure it'll be just as fine as this PC for writing and web crawling, so I can write it off on my taxes. Win-win, all around. It cost more than a regular laptop, of course, but it's the money I've made from the Actual Paying Gigs, so I figured I'd treat myself.  I was kicking around the idea of getting a console, and maybe I'll do that with the next savings.

 That's about it for me, really. I'm still pretty bummed about the Breonna Taylor verdict as well as the ugliness it kicked off last night in Louisville. Apparently, two cops were shot and I'm not going to joke about that. It's just going to get worse, especially when stuff like this goes on. Long story short, a 13-year-old kid with Asperger's syndrome freaks out when the cop tells him to freeze and runs. So, of course, the cop shot him 11 times in the back.

 Linden Cameron is his name and he's in intensive care. Seems his mom called 9/11 because the kid was having a meltdown and tried to tell the police he was scared of cops. This happened in Utah, and there are actually recordings of the cops at the scene arguing whether or not to go in the house. But this is the outcome. There was some question that he had a gun and some question if it was an actual gun instead of a BB gun or pellet gun or just a toy gun because the kid is 13, for Christ's sake. No weapon was found.

 Fellow white people, when you disparage what happened to George Floyd or Breonna Taylor or Philado Castielle or any of the black folks who get shot down by the cops because they didn't follow all of the rules, this is the world you're demanding. This is the society you want. This is what you're saying is okay to happen to you if the cops decide you're not following orders quick or completely enough.

 But if that's the world you want to live in, hey, fine by me, I guess. I'm out in the boonies. But stop acting so surprised everyone else is sort of tired of this and thinks it should change. Stop acting surprised because they decide to fight back despite the costs. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

We didn't appreciate Cub Koda enough when we had him.

 I have some Actual Paying Work to do tonight, so I'm not going to spend much time here. Initially, anyway. I also finally let Windows update itself, and damn, if that didn't take hours. So let's lay something down for continuity's sake and perhaps I'll come back to it.

 I'm not going to lie, though. I had something earlier today, but it's gone now. It's just as well as it was a pretty dour outlook on things. On the whole, I am not hopeful we're past the "things will get worse before..." of the game yet, not by a long shot.

 For one, the city of Louisville has declared a state of emergency because they're days away from giving the verdict on the cops that murdered Breonna Taylor. I really don't think that bodes well. Worse, one of the killer cops posted an email telling other officers to do "what they need to do" to the protestors that he called "thugs," claiming everything they did the night they killed Taylor was legal and moral. Sure, which is why the initial report was full of lies and the DA tried to lean on Taylor's ex-boyfriend - the guy they were actually looking for - to implicate her without success.

 Putting aside the issue of police brutality running rampant in this country, everything I've seen shows that these cops are, at the very best, guilty of being sloppy with who they decide who needs killing. Furthermore, everything the city has done, even up to the settlement paid out to Taylor's family, tells me they know she was killed because some lunkheaded cops couldn't be bothered to do the job properly.

 People are still defending this, either saying that it's just a regrettable but necessary accident or outright lying about Taylor to make her look guilty and, thus, worthy of extrajudicial execution. And that's the thing that really bums me out the most, that there are so many people in this country that prides itself on rugged individualism are so eager to bend a knee to authority.

 I don't know if I can in good conscience argue that we don't need some sort of peace-keeping or law-enforcement force. Even if it's just to give out speeding tickets and take paperwork for insurance when someone's car gets broken into, there's a necessity. They don't protect and I think recent events have shown us that there are better ways of dealing with people in the midst of a mental episode that sending in a couple thick-necked, heavily armed, poorly trained dingbats.

 My ex worked for the public defender in New Orleans as a social worker and she regularly went to neighborhoods the police wouldn't. All 5'4" of her, and it wasn't because she was especially brave or fearless or badass. She was doing her job and while cops have their jobs, is there any question why people, especially black people, see that the police's job, whatever it is, isn't concerned with their health?

 But this turns out to a bridge too far for far too many people, especially white people. They're fine with living in a country that keeps its thumb on certain people, even if it erodes their own rights. I shouldn't be shocked at this, I know. Back after 9/11, the average American rube couldn't wait to curtail civil liberties at the government's behest for an ounce of security. All the free-speech warriors of today were fine with "free speech zones" at the 2004 Republican National Convention just like they're fine with the crackdown on protesting in Louisville and other places.

 And this isn't a partisan thing. Someone on Twitter took my condemnation of conservative thought in America as possibly choosing one side over the other, but this isn't that. In a sane culture, the Democrats would be the conservative-middle party, but that's really not important. Americans in general are fine with curtailing the Constitutionally given rights they claim to adore. They'll behave themselves, after all, so why should they care?

 Okay, that's plenty. I'm going to get to work and hope to be in a better move tomorrow. It springs eternal, they say.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Rockin' chair money

 It's been a rough week. If you haven't heard by now because you don't follow politics - and if that's the case, why in God's name are you reading this blog - but Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away yesterday evening. She died because of complications from pancreatic cancer she'd been suffering for years. She was 87 and while I'm not going to go into detail about her career - there's good and there's bad - but do know the left lost one of their strongest allies on the Court, the right is almost tumescent with glee, and shit is about to get wild.

 I did a deep-ish dive last night about what her death means for life in Washington, D.C., how a new justice will be chosen, and what kind of monkey wrench this will throw into the election. We'll get a little more into that in a bit, but let's get the rest of this week's News linked up. Mother Nature giving us the finger was the main theme this week. Monday talked about the Pacific Northwest's burning and Wednesday tagged it by talking about how Hurricane Sally kicking the shit out of the Alabam and Florida Gulf Coast.

 We also touched on the accusation made by a former nurse at a Georgia ICE facility that the weird fuckers there were removing the uteruses of detainees without their consent or knowledge. Before the news about Ginsburg's passing knocked it out of the cycle, it was starting to get a little traction in both the halls of Congress and the corporate media. I hope it doesn't get buried and forgotten because that is some truly horrific shit. If we decide as a culture that we're fine with that, I don't know if I want to keep up with it anymore. It's bad enough we're fine as a society with being shot dead by cops because they feel like it.

 Anyhow. RBG and the Supreme Court. Mitch McConnell didn't wait until her body was cold before announcing his intention to fill her seat as quickly as possible. Senators like Ted Cruz and Lindsay Graham basically said they were lying about supporting the McConnell Rule back in 2016. Hell, Graham's even on video saying "use this against me".

 We shouldn't be surprised at any of it. Anyone who thinks anyone in the GOP has any integrity or honor deserves what they get. Furthermore, the idea that politics is a game for the dainty should be buried. Although it's unprecedented and reveals the party's screaming hypocrisy, there is nothing about Trump trying to shove a new justice in before the election that isn't allowed by the Constitution. That's politics, baby.

 Some Republican thinkers are pointing this out, though those same ones will squeal like stuck pigs when/if the Democrats do the same thing. There's been talk if Trump does nominate a justice and the Senate does vote them through with quickness that Joe Biden should pack the courts if he wins the election. One of the reasons we have nine justices is at the time it was decided we had nine U.S. circuit courts. We've got 13 now.

 I'm not sure about how I feel about it, but I do know the Republicans would throw a screaming na-na while the corporate press ruefully shakes its collective head and complains about "cancel culture." One thing I do find interesting about this is conservatives using the argument that a 4-4 Court might cause a Constitutional crisis if there's something hinky about the election. Number one, it tells me they're shaky on the idea that Trump will win reelection and, two, they intend to make something hinky happen.

 But it also tells me they don't feel as if everyone's on the same team, because by any other measurement, Republicans would have a solid 5-3 majority. Chief Justice John Roberts, for example, has made a few decisions lately that while they do follow the letter of the law, they go against Republican interests. This too is not without precedent. Nominated by Dwight Eisenhower, Earl Warren headed one of the most radical courts of all time with regards to civil rights. Brown vs. The Board of Education, Miranda vs. Arizona, and Loving vs. Virginia were all under his rubric and it wasn't odd to see billboard throughout the South that said "Save America, Impeach Earl Warren."

 Maybe we're looking at that sort of thing with Roberts. Liberals would do well to not put too much faith in him - you'd think they'd learn their lesson in this post-Mueller age - but an argument has been made that he'd rather not be known as a full-on Republican toady. The Court has always been a fairly conservative entity, but that doesn't necessarily mean Modern American Conservatism.

 But it's all too early to tell. Likely as not, Trump will have a nomination in the water by the end of next week. He floated some names earlier in the week to troll the libs, like Cruz and pencil-necked fascist Tom Cotton. He said at one of his rallies tonight he plans on picking a woman and the mainstream party apparatchiks seem to have a hard-on for Amy Coney Bennett, a judge on the Seventh Court of Appeals.

 Time will tell. One way or another, it's about to get weird, stupid, and ugly, and it started out pretty deep in all three. Get a helmet, neighbors, and buckle up.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Listen to the rain a-fallin'. Can't you hear that lonesome sound?

 I was supposed to have some Actual Paying Work to do tonight. However, I was told to hold off on it for reasons beyond my control, so I find myself with a free evening and no idea what to fill this space with. I've gotten to like the idea of doing a quick check-up of Gibberish on working nights, mainly because it gives me an excuse to be lazy. And if there's one thing I love above all others, it's being lazy. Mainly because I'm incredibly good at it.

 So we'll gonzo it tonight and see what we can shake loose. The country's still insane. Joe Rogan - who I never got, partly because I make it a policy to ignore people who claim the moon landing was faked - is spreading rumors that the fires out in the Pacific Northwest are due to left-wing activists, which means the current All-American Enemies Black Lives Matter and Antifa. This comes on the heels of police and firefighters in the area, as well as such radical lefties as the FBI begging people to stop spreading rumors.

 And people are still trying to debate this down. One argument I see is it's "understandable after Antifa lit so many fires in cities while protesting, despite there being not only absolutely no evidence for that but, indeed, plenty of evidence at least a few were started by right-wing agitators. Another one I saw said it was something COINTELPRO, which might be even dumber. I'm not completely sure how that's supposed to work.

 The fires happen every year, but Americans can't remember past the week before. The Pacific Northwest has had a particularly dry summer, but Americans don't take climate change seriously. There have been a few folks attempting arson for completely apolitical (usually because they have loose screws), but Americans don't want to believe anything that doesn't fit their Narrative.

 This is just another iteration of the rank Dumbness that has taken over the country. Dingbats who have no inner life are rubbing their blue-vein throbbers of the idea of getting violent against people they think won't be able to fight back. While all this is going on, we're being told that we need to reach out to people who don't share our ideological viewpoints, which means liberals/leftists shouldn't give conservatives any guff. If it's any consolation, I don't even pretend to understand.

 Moving on. Today is Hank Williams' birthday. I am a huge fan of his music and long have had a fascination with his place in pop music and American culture. Like my brother said, he's one of those hinges of society. He made songs that were designed to be enjoyed by everyone, so they were, plus he was a mean-ass, hard-drinking miserable redneck bastard, as earthy and Too Real as they come.

 He didn't live long enough to grow out of it but he also didn't live long enough to start making shit music, either because his well was dry or his hard-living caught up to him. The very real pain and misery in his life came through in his vocals, regardless of how jaunty the tempo or amusing the lyrics. And the songs? The songs are fucking great, some of the best ever written.

 So, I dig me some Hank Williams. I've written two, count 'em, two 20-plus page papers in college on Hank Williams for non-musical classes. The one music appreciation class I took, I wrote a 10-page paper on ol' Hank. He's kind of like Otis Redding or Sam Cooke; it's a shame he didn't live long enough to produce more music and we've heard all we're probably going to hear, but it's all such concentrated awesome, there's just no chaff. Like with Elvis or the Rolling Stones, who both had some stinkers.

 Okay, what else. Joe Biden did a Q-&-A with voters tonight. Apparently, he did so well the wingnuts are saying he must've got the questions beforehand. This means the guy they've been saying has dementia for the past six months is still sharp enough to memories a bunch of rather complicated answers. Sure. I really shouldn't be surprised at how quickly and effortlessly conservatives change their tune - it was beyond a doubt way before Trump became president - it nevertheless gives me a sad chuckle every time it happens.

 Speaking of which, with all this talk of cancel culture and repression of free speech (or telling racists to fuck off), I'm reminded of the Free Speech Zones during Bush Jr's second nomination. None of this is new. The Hoover government sent the Army on World War One vets who were protesting. McCarthyism destroyed life after life, career after career, and with the full backing of a cowed United States government. Palmer raids, the MOVE bombings in Philadelphia. The Whiskey Rebellions and the Free State of Jones County. None of this is new.

 The Constitution doesn't give you rights. It tells the government what it can't do, and even then, almost every amendment has been circumvented, explained away, or outright ignored. The only actual right you have is the freedom to think whatever you want to think, and far too many of us don't want to put the effort into it.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

I might stay up late and do nothin' all night long.

 I'm sure I've mentioned it before, but I don't use too many opinion pieces when I put together my News. Once in a very rare while, one will fit the bill for the point I'm trying to make too well but for the most part, I can find legit hard news sources covering whatever the pundit is yammering about. There's a reason for that: I really don't care for opinion writers and people who're paid pundits.

 It is sort of funny because when I first decided as a teenager that I wanted to be a journalist when I grew up, I initially wanted to be an opinion writer. It just seemed like a lot of fun to get paid to give my opinion, especially since I had so many opinions I really felt needed to be spread far and wide. There were other reasons I wanted to be a journalist - not necessarily a reporter, but a journalist and, yes, there is a difference - but that was a major one.

 I eventually got over it, partly because they'll let any dingbat who's well-connected enough write a column in The New York Times regardless of how much they've actually earned it. Used to be, a column in a major publication like that was sort of a reward for a career down in the trenches of bringing the news to the people. You had to make your bones before you got the cushy gig, and that invariably brought a little bit of wisdom regardless of your ideological stance or political leanings.

 Now any clown who's dad is a mover-and-shaker in publishing can waste space in Newsweek or The Washington Post complaining that people are being mean to them just because they suggested there's nothing wrong with gassing protestors or having "free speech zones." It's gotten worse as time has dragged on, and it was pretty horrible 20 years ago.

 So I feel it's best to ignore all of them and hold them in contempt until they prove me wrong. I acknowledge this isn't fair of me, so I won't use them in the News, especially if I happen to agree with them. Same goes for Name Journalists, particularly if they're another straight white middle-class white dude like, for example, me. I've been pruning my Twitter of those guys. They get one strike, and I'd rather hear from someone who might have an entirely different vision of the world than the one that's been sold to me as "The Way Things Should Be."

 As far as news sources, there are very few I won't use. I just don't pay attention to whoever wrote the story. I figure it's become like whoever's running sound at a club show: so long as they're doing his job, I'm not having to think about him. If I do, it's because they're screwing up. There are a few complete garbage sources, like The Washington Examiner or OAN but they rarely offer anything that can't be found somewhere else if it's worth reporting on at all.

 I think that's good for now. I needed to get that off my chest, that's all. There are some news items I do want to explore - notably the accusation on ICE doing forcible hysterectomies - but that one definitely needs to marinate a little while longer. That's my other rule: let stuff work out. I'm not getting paid for scoops.

 Hell, I'm not getting paid at all.

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Pressure's gonna drop on...

  Toots Hibbert died last night. He went into the hospital last week with problems breathing. Last I'd heard, his family said he was showing some improvement. Life is fleeting and death comes quick.

 I don't remember when I became a fan of Toots, really. For the longest time, like a lot of white boys, I thought reggae began and ended with Bob Marley. Going to college in the mid '90s, his greatest hits collection Legend must've been handed out at high school graduations because I could recognize every note by the time I finished up at UF. It sort of burnt me out on reggae, I'm not going to lie.

 It was probably the first time I saw The Harder They Come. That movie revolves mainly around Jimmy Cliff and the title track is legendary, but there's a scene where Toots & The Maytals sing "Sweet & Dandy." You rarely see that much joy singing. I never got to see him live, but I'm told he was like that when performed right up until the end. He dug what he did the most, and I always, always, dig on that.

 In my own personal pantheon, he's up there with Junior Wells and Otis Redding. They're singers who, for me, epitomize vocalizing joy in their genre. Soul music and the blues sound celebratory when they sing, and it was the same with Toots. For the record, probably my favorite album was his Toots In Memphis because it brought those two worlds together.

 Willie Nelson probably does it for country music, best I can tell. Moreso than even the blues, country music is Buddha's First Noble Truth - life is suffering - if it has any substance at all. Of course, that's just me being an old stick-in-the-mud lost in the past. I may not be all that turned on by modern country radio but I can't find much more tedious than hearing yet another dingbat get snooty about "real country music." There's always been reaching for pop in country music. Look up George Morgan, for cryin' out loud.

 I've wandered off-topic. That's okay, though. I still don't have too much to say, not really. COVID-19 continues to ravage the country and the unwashed horde continues to be shitasses about it. Momma asks me about once a week why people get so angry at people who chose to wear a mask and, every time, I remind her that to do so, they'd have to admit they were wrong about something. That is just not something America does.

 The fires out in Oregon and California continue to rage out-of-control, displacing almost half a million folks in the Beaver State. Despite the pleas of firefighters, the FBI, and the local police, Twitter dingbats are still trying to say a motley collection of teenagers and young adults who don't have a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of are doing this for... reasons. The logic is since they're "burning down Portland and Chicago," it's only natural they try to destroy a state that's mostly cool with them living there.

 Which is a stupid thing to say for two reasons. One, you can look at the local news in both places to see that neither Portland nor Chicago is anything but what they always are and are certainly not apocalyptic wastelands. Secondly, and this is the hanger for me, they want me to believe they actually give two shits about Portland or Chicago or the people living there. And I simply do not believe that, not after paying attention to the last 20 years of American politics and the wingnuts therein.

 Yesterday was 9/11. Someone on Twitter mentioned that it's a hell of a thing that people who hate New York City 364 days a year pretending to give a shit about what happened there 19 years ago for one day before they go back to hating it. What's really funny is how many chowderheads this set off. "Well, that's why we hate New York City and New Yorkers." Not helping disprove the original argument, kiddo.

 Trump was asked about the killing of Michael Reinoehl, the man under investigation for shooting Patriot Prayer thug Aaron Danielson. He called it "retribution" and that is simply not encouraging. It's especially rich coming from a guy who claimed he downplayed the danger of COVID-19 initially because he "didn't want to cause a panic." There are wingnut a-holes in Oregon stopping people trying to get away from the fires because they think Antifa or Black Lives are doing nefarious things regardless of a total lack of proof. They saw it on Facebook somewhere and everyone knows you can't lie on the internet.

 It's been... relatively quiet since the Danielson killing, but I wonder how long it's going to last. The other day, some police organization in, I think Boston it was, said someone at a Home Depot made a "bacon" crack in a cop's presence and was roundly mocked. Rightly so, too, given how many times the police have flat-out made up instances of abuse against them just this year. There's still a lot of dick-wagging and mumbled threats, mostly from the right but the left is talking plenty of shit, too.

 I wonder if it's avoidable. It doesn't have to be like this. Two of my cousins' kids - cousins themselves - have to be quarantined because of exposure to COVID-19 at school events. It didn't have to be like that. The closer we get to the election, the more worry there is that Trump will in some way or another try to nullify the results if he loses. He isn't helping things by going on Twitter and telling North Carolina voters to, essentially, vote twice. All the while, he's still trying to undermine mail-in voting and insinuating that the only way he could lose is if the Democrats cheat.

 At the same time, the actual government is finding evidence of tampering in the election by agents connected to China and Russia, except on the Republican side. The GOP is also spreading around that liberals - who they consider weak and cowardly, mind - will riot if Trump wins again. There's almost a sense of hope in the claims like they're looking forward to having an excuse to open fire on political opponents. On the flipside, a lot of liberals and leftists - which the right falsely connects because they can't be bothered to pay attention - are locking and loading right along.

 So who knows. It didn't have to be this way, history is not an inevitable tide and a story that can only be told. Existence just is. It doesn't have to be this way and doesn't have to go further. But here we are and it will probably get worse.

 Americans can never admit they were wrong about something, after all.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Please, somebody take your hand and slap some sense in me.

  It's been a raggedy week. Some sort of funk is still sitting on my head and I still prefer turning the rest of the world off as much as possible. Plus, I've had plenty of Actual Paying Work to get done this week, and that's eaten up most of my cleverness. So we're going to get the word count out of this and call it a day.

 I really don't know what I'm going to write about, though. Otis Clay's pretty badass and worth checking out if you like soul music. He recorded on Hi Records back in the '70s but he was from Chicago, so he's got that mix of Southern soul and Windy City soul. He was active up until his death in 2016 and did a pretty solid cover of Joe South's "Walk A Mile In My Shoes" as part of a gospel album of the same name in 2007. Anyone who does good covers of Joe South is okay in my book.

 What else. The political world is still buzzing with the revelations from the 18 interviews Trump did with Bob Woodward from February through July, which shoots holes into most of his bullshit despite his pitiful flailing. We talked a bit about this yesterday, and I'll re-emphasize what I said about it won't move his Base on inch. They love him like they're supposed to love Jesus, and one of the things they love about him is he drives everyone else up the wall with his lying, bullying, and general incompetence. Vote like the MAGA world hates and wants you dead because they do.

 One funny thing is the revelation that Woodward only sought out the first interview. The other 17 times the dumb bastard was flapping his gums was because he sought Woodward out for more. Apparently, the MAGA world is trying to throw Lindsey Graham under the bus for this while White House toadies are busy pointing fingers at each other instead of owning who left the playpen door open.

 The fires in Oregon are getting worse. I've been in contact with my brother and he says he and the missus are safe unless something drastic happens. Since the world has gone stupid, though, he is keeping an ear to the ground and they've got a bag packed. Some geniuses are blaming on Antifa lighting fires because Trump and conservative media have them convinced a group of poorly organized crust punks is the new Hydra.

 I don't know what else to get into. I'll be glad when Wingnut America finds them a new Emmanuel Goldstein so they'll quit conflating Marxism, Communism, Socialism, and Fascism. It's just tiresome to read and there's no point in trying to correct them. It's as bad as when people say "logic" when they mean "common sense but only if I agree with it." Logic is a pretty neat thing and it just bugs me when people don't even bother to understand the basics when they decide to use it as a rhetorical weapon. This isn't located just on wingnuts, though, because America did not pay attention in geometry class.

 I don't have a dog in the hunt when it comes to Marxism and all that. I'm of the belief that ideas by themselves aren't evil, it's people and how they use those ideas that are evil. Same goes for capitalism. By itself, it's just an economic theory, but greedy bastards use it as a reason to starve the world while they get fat. Or religion, for that matter. You can get men to do incredible evil in the name of God, but they're still the ones pulling the trigger.

 The reason people put so much stock into "X ideology/theory is evil" is that it places the responsibility on something other than human beings, thus removing responsibility from all of us. You're not responsible for my actions, it's Communism or Capitalism or Minarchy or what have you, so I can't be held responsible for mine, even though mine are Right and yours are Wrong. It's sort of connected to how screwed up American politics remains because everyone's looking for a Savior to make things Perfect, and that's just not how life works.

 I blame Hegel. That whole bit about "history is the process whereby the spirit discovers itself and its own concept," we never have gotten over that. Anyhow. That's word count and if something clever comes to me, I'll come back. Otherwise, see you tomorrow sometime for the week's wrap up. God help us and nothing else dumb will happen.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Not going to waste a good title for this.

  I'm going to be straight. I shut it down for most of the day and I'm not really interested in the rest of the world, much less writing down my thoughts about it. Furthermore, I have two pieces of Actual Paying Work to get done for tomorrow. I imagine that will put me well over word count. Finally, the country's still eaten up with Dumb and I might as well save any News for tomorrow.

 I might - might - come back to this at some point before tomorrow morning if the urge strikes me. I wouldn't count on it but one never knows. And so much for all of that.

UPDATE: It's 3:30 a.m. and I've finished my APW. Nice, easy stuff for a law firm down in Florida. It's amazing how little variety there is in these things, which makes keeping them getting dinged by Google a bit of a chore. But no one is expecting Go Down, Moses so it's not all bad.

 For the record, I put away about 2,000 words in two pieces, so I'm not even bothering with word count. I just got out of the shower and I'm letting my hair dry. I might go to bed when it does or I might play something. I've been digging back into Pathfinder: Kingmaker lately. I'd reached to what I think is the end but I've forgotten where I go next. There's been a massive update in the last couple of days and a lot has been changed, including a turn-based system. So I might just start all over. I don't know. It doesn't matter; it's the journey, not the arrival.

  I'm thinking about moving everything to the WordPress site but keeping the format. Do News Monday, Wednesday & Friday with a Weekend wrap-up on Sunday, and Gibberish the rest of the week. The only thing holding me back is that the Blogger site gets loads more hits. I don't doubt that the vast majority of them are webcrawlers and bots, but I don't really care. The endorphin boost I get from seeing the numbers is quite enough, especially when I get the occasional huge day.

 I don't know what else. I'm going to get a snack and see what happens afterward. And so much for all of that.

 Again.