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Saturday, January 20, 2018

Warning. Danger. Peligro adelante.

I can not state this more clearly or emphatically. The Executive Branch of our government is run by an incompetent, willfully ignorant, narcissist. He cannot be pinned down on policy because he does not truly believe in anything. Hint: read the previous sentence again for good measure. It is the key to this mess. The unpredictability and, ultimately, the danger of this man, comes into sharp focus when one starts with this premise. When the President encounters a question or situation that does not further inflate his ego or fatten his wallet, he is utterly lost. He needs to please the person in front of him as a way of thanking that person for bolstering his outsized, though ever-faltering ego. The only important thing is the next shiny bauble on which he can fixate in a given moment as he stumbles from one moment of immediate gratification to the next. People like this, surround themselves with sycophants because they are the only people who can work for (or survive working for) a narcissist. Also, sycophants are the only people a narcissist can abide for any length of time. The disposable nature of sycophants also comes in quite handy. If necessary, one discards them as casually as yesterday's newspaper. The ideologues and sycophants are so focused on their proximity to power and the pursuit of their own barely-veiled goals, they often misperceive the bright light in the tunnel as sunlight. This is not a drill. This is not a joke. The main thing the people in this White House know how to do is broadcast their accomplishments (no matter how small or insignificant) while shouting down those who see the Emperor Has No Clothes. PS, For those who think the whole business has been a nightmarish clusterfuck up until now, I have some really bad news. The one thing that could make a government run by an ignoramus and a few extremist ideologues even worse, is the same government in shut down mode.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Mudslides

On the subject of building ones home in a mudslide prone area and other dubious choices:
According to news reports, one man said of his friend, who had been tragically swept away by the California mudslides: "Roy's life has been in service to his good, loving and ever-forgiving God,".
In other words, by his own definition, his beloved friend (after a lifetime of service to others in the name of his god) was killed by "an act of God".
For the moment let's set aside the fact that the grieving gentleman was apparently nonplussed by the incongruity of these circumstances. Arguably his grief had muddied his thinking.
On the other hand, I feel it is reasonable to infer his unnecessarily/prematurely/horrifyingly deceased friend spent his final moments rueing his choice of an invisible champion in the sky.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Backyard Buddies


Backyard Buddies




"Good morning Mr. Squirrel", I said over the top of my coffee cup.
"Oh, hey, good buddy", said he, while munching the last of his breakfast. "Sorry I am a bit too twitchy for chatting at the moment. If you don't mind, I'll just go ahead and pee on your patio furniture, chase my brother around the yard for the sheer fun of it, and head on up to my nest for a nap."
He stopped hopping about half way to his tree, looked over his shoulder and squeaked a final thought in my direction.
"You know, I don't care what the other fellows say. Sure, you're a hideous, over-sized, lumbering, beast who couldn't climb my tree if the leaves were hundred dollar bills. Still, that's some tasty corn you leave out."
Yep, you have a good day now," I shouted with as much good cheer as I could summon.
When he was out of earshot, I mumbled, "and you be careful up there in that very tall, icy, tree, you smart-ass-lil-sumbitch"

Monday, December 11, 2017

HEADS UP



The article at the link above is short. However, if you are bewildered by technical things,
at minimum, read the information below.

If the NSA can not protect themselves it is reasonable to assume the government is not going to protect our online information.

So, this is for anyone who uses a computer. And, yes, that includes the little handheld computer in your pocket. I know it was advertised as a phone but it is really a pocket computer with a phone app. FYI, it connects to the internet all the time.

If you do nothing else to protect yourself, do these two things. Do not use the same password for multiple accounts! Download and use a password manager. This allows the user to remember only one master password for everything. One account will manage all your devices. There are multiple highly rated password managers available. Some have free versions that should handle most people. The service I use constantly monitors for major hacks and alerts me to change my passwords and makes it easy to do so. Also, the password management company can not see your passwords as they are always encrypted.


When your passwords are managed, google VPN. Read the Wiki or VPN for dummies or whatever. Then get one and use it. There are free ones but they are generally significantly slower. A high quality one like I use is fast, allows unlimited data, covers all my family’s devices and costs me about forty dollars per year. Message me if you need to be pointed in the right direction.


Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Sad. Very Sad.

Sad Parable


There was a fellow who had always been rich and accustomed to getting his own way. By a quirk of fate, this man had been born in a land where the inhabitants worshipped wealth and power. And so it was that, as his wealth and power grew, he became the object of worship to many in the land. Though he continued to get richer and richer, inside, he was as insecure as he'd always been. He felt a niggling deep down. It was a little voice telling him he was nothing but a blowhard snake oil salesman. However, never needing to face real consequences for his selfish predatory behavior, filled him with a false bravado. He cheated and scammed and bought his way out of trouble until he began to feel invincible.

At some point, a great and wonderful idea came to the man. He would spend whatever he needed to spend and say whatever he needed to say, to become the king. The man didn’t truly understand the responsibilities of a king but this did not worry him. He also didn’t know as much as others believed he knew about his business interests and he had done alright at that. After all, the man knew he had tried and true formulas for success. He decided to double down on bombast, forcible assertions, and fear-mongering. He was quite certain becoming king would be his most glorious achievement and position him to scheme and scam without limits. But, the man still carried his dubious methods and niggling doubts wherever he went.

Soon after accepting his crown, he began to worry that, rather than insulating himself from further troubles, he had exposed himself to levels of trouble he'd not even imagined. The man was terrified, angry, and frustrated. But none of that mattered. Those who were sniffing at his trail were the best trackers in the land. They were methodical and determined. Worst of all, they were not afraid of rich people and they couldn't be bought

Sad. Very sad.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Fresh and Withering




I concede, this is the world we all inhabit now. Every day brings a fresh and withering assault on intelligence and decency.  Apparently not content with squandering the opportunity to broadcast messages of unity, hope, and inspiration to a world in turmoil, the man at the bully pulpit feels inclined to broadcast petty vindictive assaults on those who fail to shower him with praise every waking moment. When he grows bored of these activities, he fills the gaps with golfing or self-absorbed brooding. After all, there are so many tragedies in the world intruding on his primary needs, constant personal adoration and monetary enrichment.

When pressed by poor "optics" he will make phone calls to the families of recently fallen U. S. soldiers. Due to the tragic events behind the calls, one might be tempted to imagine some expression of genuine empathy. One would be wrong.

This leads us to consider our greatest recent tragedy. America has elected an insecure, self-absorbed man incapable of empathy. I realized this highly unlikely because we are all rubberneckers now, driving past a seemingly endless existential car wreck. But, just for a moment, forget him. In  the silent instant that follows, let's ask ourselves, "What does this say about us"? Can the answer be so straight forward? Could we have elected him in order to stare the New American Ideals in the face? The unhindered accumulation of wealth without accountability. Self-possession over community or greater good. The cynical manipulation of the less fortunate and less sophisticated. The permanent installation of the de facto oligarchy consisting of the top one-percent.  


Are our ideals as two-dimensional as our reflections? Not if we stand up. Those at the top can't or won't. The best among us need to stand up and reflect the best in all of us.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Kakistocracy

It is no longer even a challenge to find conservatives bad-mouthing president Numnutz.

Click this link to read the Atlantic article.
A sobering read by conservative political scientist