Tag Archives: politics and goofiness

Today’s Tabula Rasa

Make no mistake about it.  I am quite capable of waking up in the morning with nothing at all in my head, no ideas, no words, no plans, no dreams…  I can be the most idiotically stupid witless twit when my brain is thoroughly drained.  But that is not the natural state of any man, and certainly not of someone like me who has lived for more than sixty years with a totally fermented head.

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So suppose I woke up this morning without remembering anything at all that I have learned about the world.  What would I do?  What would I write?  What would I think?

I think the first thing I might do if I didn’t remember anything at all about the world I find myself in, I might turn on the TV to find out what is happening, or watch cartoons, I can’t be sure I would know which should come first, if I even remember how to turn a TV on, or what a TV is…

But when I turn on the TV and look at what is really happening, and assuming I can tell the difference between Donald Trump and Donald Duck… Oh! Gonga!  My gawd!  How could it be this bad?

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Donald Duck is president.  And he gets totally angry and quacks on Twitter with that infamously hard-to-understand word-mangle of his, delivered while jumping in place and swinging his fists at the air around him.

A basset hound with a nose for clues has been tracking his every movement.  And that basset hound is a former FBI chief.  He’s very good at accurately sniffing out duck trails.

And then there is a lying and evil Keebler elf at the head of the justice department who is pursuing marijuana crimes relentlessly because he hates black people and wants to put them into the for-profit prisons he owns even though the rest of the country is deciding to legalize marijuana.

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This totally evil elf, it turns out, has been talking to Porky Kislyack, Russian spymaster pig about campaign collusion even though he swore to Senator Frankenberry in his confirmation hearing that he was guilty of nothing… that he could recall.  Hopefully the basset hound has his evil elf scent too.

And the racism and evil doesn’t end there.  Gasper the Unfriendly Ghost is still hanging out with the president, feeding him just the right duck food to create dyspeptic outrage in his duck belly.  Gasper will then spur Donald Duck on to quack more about border walls and guarding our southern border because too many Speedy Gonzaleses is a brown mouse problem in the closets of our country.  We can’t have too many queso-eaters here.

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Gasper the Unfriendly Ghost

And so, if I were to wake up with a Tabula Rasa, a truly empty head, and watched morning cartoons… or news… or whatever the heck that stuff on morning TV is…  I would be left wondering what I was going to do about it.  The options?  Certainly I probably need to vote this year.  Or I could bang myself on the side of the head with a brick and possibly knock all this stuff out of my head again, re-establishing the emptiness in my stupid head.

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Could Trump Actually Be Good For Liberals?

 

Yes, I did wash my mouth out with soap after saying that title out loud.  But I can’t help thinking such strange thoughts.  It is probably because Trump’s healthcare plans already have me off my meds.

I hear you screaming at your WordPress Reader saying, “How can you possibly be thinking such un-Democratic and really dumb thoughts?”

Well, if you think about it… I mean, hit your head three times near the reasoning center of the brain with a really hard rock… some of the greatest things that have happened to mankind have come from the very worst things that ever happened.

Because of World War Two and Hitler, we ended up inventing computers, and we ended up with a space program because beating Hitler gave us Werner Von Braun and some of the best rocket science minds in Germany.  Because LBJ felt guilty about helping the CIA murder Kennedy he enacted the Great Society and Civil Rights reforms that make up the best of Kennedy’s legacy.  (What?   You say that’s crazy conspiracy theory?  Well, I have been hitting my own head with a rock.)  In fact, the combination of Hitler and Kennedy’s assassination put men on the moon.

Yes, humanity needs really bad times to happen to force them to make changes for the better.  And Trump is really bad times.  He takes food away from school children and old home-bound people so he can play more golf at Mar-a-Lago on the taxpayers’ dime.  (Well, actually, it costs significantly more than a dime.)  He puts coal plant waste into rivers and the drinking water of millions.  He cuts regulations so corporate polluters are free to pour more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and keep us all so toasty warm with global warming that our faces will eventually melt.  (And can you imagine what beauty pageants will be like when the contestants no longer have faces?  Mr. Trump will no longer even be anxious to make those un-announced tours of the dressing rooms.)

The only choice we will have for survival if we are not Walmart heirs or Koch brothers is to fight back and correct the situation.  It is possible that enough people will wake up to the whole Trump trauma to take back the House of Representatives in 2018.  Then the investigations can really begin.  Trump is waking up a sleeping giant.  The public is ready to start fighting back.  Bill Nye the Science Guy is ready to throw some punches for science.

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Things that are necessary are never easy.  It is by making too many easy choices that we got ourselves into this mess.  There is a lot of stupidity and incompetence and badness out there to overcome now.  And we must face it or it will kill us.

And it may be a good thing that Trump won the election.  Hillary would’ve been a competent president and nothing would really have changed about the status quo.  We would’ve continued to complacently allow Republicans to run the House and Senate and oppose even the most mild and wishy-washy things that President Hillary would’ve tried to get done.  Now, the Trump backlash may propel us onward towards actual solutions to very real problems like climate change, excessive money in politics, ignorance among the voting public, and income inequality that is tipping us toward a new dark ages and a feudal-technological society.

So the big splash that Trump is sure to make might be a very good thing for liberals who hope to change things for the betterment of a majority of the people.

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Finale – Why The Bad Guys Always Win

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There is ample reason to believe that rich guys always win because they have enough money and power to change what is true.  I don’t believe for a second that John F Kennedy was killed by a lone gunman.  But rich oil men, other politicians, CIA operatives who were fighting for their continued existence after the Bay of Pigs fiasco, the FBI, and probably Vice President LBJ all wanted us to believe that, so it is still the official story today.  And don’t get me started on 9/11 with that whole bag of spiders and incongruous inconsistencies that Dubya refused to investigate further.

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There are a lot of evil Bond villains out there, but the 007-type superhero agents don’t really exist.  No one is thwarting the things that seriously need to be thwarted.

Converting from oil and fossil fuels to solar and other renewable energies does not profit the Moonraker schemes that are going on out there.  Some rich folks have even talked loosely about schemes to reduce the population of the planet to make the damage to the environment into a more manageable mess.  After all, what are the Georgia Guide Stones really all about?  You can look up what is actually written upon them.  It is worrisome.  And who is advocating for us, the common people in these sorts of schemes?

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The truth of it is, no matter what we do, or who is out there trying to advocate for us, the United States will not last forever.  Neither will humanity as a species. Neither will life on Earth.  Forever is simply not in the realm of the achievable.  Only destruction and renewal are guaranteed.  So, in some ways, it is okay if the bad guys ultimately win.  My life will end in the next few years no matter what.  And my children will not last forever either.  But the ending of the book does not take away all goodness and value to be found in the main text.  I have lived a good life, and not even God Himself can take that away.

That is not to say that we are without hope.  As I said, we don’t actually know who is out there standing up for us now.  There are some very good and noble people putting  immense effort into the task of securing our future.  We don’t know what adaptations and breakthroughs are yet to be made.

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Here are some things to think about.  It is statistically almost certain, given what we know now about life science, that there is life on other planets in this vast universe.  And if there is life, there is almost certainly intelligent life, some of it far more advanced than we are.  And if interstellar distances can in any way be crossed, then they already have been.  If time travel is possible, then time travelers already walk among us.  The only reason we don’t have actual proof of these things is that someone doesn’t want us to know.  It is possible that they don’t want us to know for our own good.  Not all of the most powerful and wealthy among us are evil.

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So, while it is true that bad guys always win because the system is rigged, and they are the ones who rigged it, that doesn’t mean that there will be nothing for the rest of us.  There is a limit to how much money you can actually benefit from owning.  There is also a limit to how much pain and suffering a single bad guy  can inflict upon us.  And even if they band together in large, powerful groups, there will always be more of us than there are of them.

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Opinions Are Like Onions

The REAL Sarah

“Why does something always smell bad when I am talking?”

Opinions are like Onions.

All you have to do is subtract 3.141592 and they are exactly the same.

The people that like the way they taste like theirs a lot.

They want you to try them.

And if you don’t like the taste, then you just don’t know what’s good for you.

Onions are good for you.  They make you fart and they clear out the bad gasses made up of methane and other toxic waste from your colon and digestive tract.

Opinions are good for you too.  They make you fart out of the mouth, clearing bad gasses made up of stupidity and toxic ideas out of your little old brain.  You should not be holding that stuff in.  It is poisonous and it could potentially explode.  Not something you want to happen in either the colon or the brain.  Only stupid people hang on to them in the face of contradictory evidence.  (It makes me nervous that I don’t see people exploding more often, because I hold the opinion that there really are a lot of stupid people out there.  I, too, am probably in danger of exploding at some point.)

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And see, that’s the important point here.  Opinions are only as valuable as fart gas.  For the all-important progress of ideas to really happen, opinions have to be tested.  And I don’t mean opinions like whether or not you like the taste of onions.  I am talking about opinions that lead to policy.  Politics are crammed full of opinions.  (I got that right, didn’t I?  I didn’t say “onions” when I actually meant “opinions”, right?)

Hillary Clinton is apologizing now for the opinion-based fart-gas of saying that “half of Donald Trump’s supporters are deplorable people”.  The facts are that the KKK has voiced support for Trump, as have a number of immigrant-hating racists like Ann Coulter who will tell you in detail about all her onions concerning Mexicans and brown people.  People at Trump’s rallies have physically assaulted black people and protesters of any variety.  And to “deplore” someone is to speak out against their ideas or actions.  So the critical word that is not a fact, but rather an onion, must be “half”.  This is the word where Hillary went wrong.  I am sure that “half” is an under-estimation.

And Mr. Trump, as a connoisseur of truly stinky onions has said that Clinton and Obama are literally the founders of ISIS.  And in his onion, Vladimir Putin is a stronger leader than President (of this country) Obama.  One wonders why no one has really sliced and diced these particular onions.  One imagines that if Hillary were the chef serving these onions, no one would be willing to have them in the dining room, let alone eat them.  Onions need be tested for flavor and rightness long before they are served.

So, to close up this onion-smelling essay before it makes me fart again, let me just say, we need to not get stuck in the onion patch and mistakenly convince ourselves we are smelling roses.  Roses shouldn’t make you cry.

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Love and Hate and Politics

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I cringed through a few of the speeches in the Republican National Convention.  Speech after speech talked about how bad Hillary Clinton is, how terrible ISIS is, how Obama has betrayed us and failed us, and other warm fuzzy stuff like that.  They make me sick to my stomach with fear.

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Was there anything to like about the RNC in Cleveland?  Well, their logo was nice.

I could complain about the plagiarism thing, the Ted Cruz booing thing (although that actually made me smile), or Donald’s deep, dark speech of the coming apocalypse.  But I would rather do like the Democrats seem to be doing this week.  I would rather talk about the good things they can and will do if only we are smart enough to give them the chance.

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They contrasted their policies in favor of ending discrimination based on race, gender, and orientation with the anti-crime and anti-terrorism howls of the Republicans. Instead of talking about how satisfying it would be to throw the other side’s candidate in jail for imagined crimes, they told us about Hillary’s record of standing up for women, children, and the handicapped.  They gave us specifics about what she has done and who she has helped and what she has learned from Bernie Sanders.  Sanders graciously made her the unanimous choice by throwing all of his delegates behind her.  There was peace and harmony (beyond a few former Bernie supporters who were so mad about the DNC email leak that they may vote Trump out of spite).  Cory Booker’s speech suggested that instead of talking about what we are afraid of, we should be talking about working together in a spirit of love and friendship in order to do great things.  Trump, of course, had an angry tweet in response to that, suggesting he knew things about Booker that could shame him.  Booker replied that he loved Donald Trump and felt honored that the orange one considered him worthy of an angry tweeting.

Now, I am not saying that Democrats are perfect and Republicans are evil… am I?  I don’t believe that when I am rational and not dreaming up nightmares… do I?  But loving one another is what I think the default position should always be for Christians.  So why are the nominally Christian conservatives so much more keen on the righteous wrath of God stuff and punishing those they hate?  Shouldn’t it be the opposite of that?  And my severely Republican friends are always suspicious of just how Christian the godless communist heathens in the Democratic party really are.  If the Democrats are so totally wrong, shouldn’t the facts line up against them?

But it all boils down to facts versus feelings, doesn’t it.  Republicans have reason to be angry, especially the poor ones, because of the raw economic deal they have been given.  Their righteous indignation deserves redress.  But is that best served by punishing Democrats in the more liberal party that more generally favors less income inequality?  What about the capitalist billionaires who drive the Republican agenda?  Are they really saints and deserving of everything they have taken for themselves?

I am smart, but not smart enough to have ultimate answers to the biggest questions.  I have Republican friends who agree whole-heartedly  with that last sentence, especially words five, six, and seven.  But I know the DNC made me feel good while watching, and the RNC made me ill.  I definitely choose love over hatred and politics.

 

 

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One For The Good Guys

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I spend most of my political ranting power on the Republicans in that elephant-driven eternal clown car they keep driving through the highways and byways of American politics.  That is because humor is basically a weapon for fighting the many metaphorical battles of modern life.  You’ve heard how it can be more cutting and sharp than any sword. And not having one of the Republican clowns as President is a very serious matter.  But one of the primary truths of Mickian life is this; the best humor is based in on love, not hatred.  It should be nourishing, not hateful.  That’s why electing politicians who can do the Frankenberry face is so important to me.  Better by far than those angry simian faces we saw in the Republican debates, calling each other names, insisting their parents were immigrant-ish enough to be unworthy, or insisting their politics aren’t hopelessly heartless enough to be elected as a conservative.

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So let me start by making fun with some of my favorite good guys.  If you want to put a clown in office to make the laws that will change your life, why not get a real clown?  Al Franken, Senator from Minnesota, is a professional clown.  He was one of the original writers on Saturday Night live, providing comedy material and acting in sketches from 1975 to 1980, then returning as a performer from 1985 to 1995.  He wrote six books, four of which are satires of conservative politics.  He became a political activist, and in 2008, he finally put his wit and wisdom to good political use by narrowly winning a Senate seat in Minnesota representing the Minnesota Democratic Farmer Labor Party, an affiliate of the Democratic party.  As a comedian he created the character Stuart Smalley, the slightly askew advice-giving self help guru.  As a senator he has continued to use his warm wit and wisdom to promote programs that actually help people and actually protect them a little bit from the toothy financial predators promoted by the money-hungry conservatives on the other side of the aisle.  It is as if Mark Twain or Will Rogers had lowered themselves to use their focused comedic insights to be a politician and make life less dreary  for the American people.

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Corey Booker, the junior senator from New Jersey, has a grin that reminds me of Magic Johnson, the basketball hero.   And like Johnson, he is capable of using his manic energy to get things done to help other people.

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Feb 16, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; NBA legend Magic Johnson laughs during the 2014 NBA All-Star Game Legends Brunch at Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Here’s an incident quoted from Wikipedia that shows how Cory Booker goes about wanting the ball to take the game-winning shot;

In December 2012, after discussions with a constituent about New Jersey’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Booker began a week-long challenge attempting to live on a food budget of $30 per week—the amount SNAP recipients receive.  When critics noted that the very name of the SNAP program shows that it is intended to “supplement” an individual’s food budget, not be its sole source, Booker replied that his aim was to spark a discussion about the reality that many Americans rely solely on food stamps to survive.

You can’t go wrong with that Magic Johnson confidence, and that ten-thousand-watt smile.  No matter his human failings, Booker feels like the kind of politician who genuinely cares about people.

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Elizabeth Warren, Senator from Massachusetts, reminds me of my grade school teacher Mrs. Mennenga.  She has that same no-nonsense approach that brooks no foolishness in the classroom.  And I have seen Mrs. Warren lecture the senate chamber on their less-than-perfect behavior.  But she makes it clear that although she doesn’t love our stupidly selfish behavior at times, she loves us as her school children, and wants to prevent the sharks and the wolves of Wall Street from eating us whole.

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I think by now you probably see where I am going with this.  Democrats are far from perfect.  It is probably better for me to think of myself politically as an Independent.  But they are generally the progressive party.  They want to change things for the better for the majority of the people.  Conservative Republicans want to regressively change things back to the days of the robber barons when men like John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, and J.P. Morgan could buy a president like William McKinley to make sure that most of the money in the world stayed in the pockets of the rich while the rest of us worked in sweat-shop slavery and poverty.  We are almost back to that, with no more middle class, and almost all aspects of the economy around us benefiting primarily the Walmart heirs.

So, if I am able to defy my church and my religious affiliation and actually vote in the next election, I will vote for Bernie Sanders.  Socialist though he is, he is promoting ideas that will help all of us.  And, besides, he has the hair thing going for him.  It’s Mickey hair all over again.  No matter how you comb it and brush it and shellac it with goo… well, you know… What?  Me, worry?

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Facing Life Like Tarzan

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There are now two days left in my career as a teacher. I only have five more classes on two test schedule and early-release days.  I will soon have to completely change my life.  It is as if a shipwreck will cause me to be raised naked in the jungle by apes.   …Okay, not the smoothest analogy segue ever written.   But there is some validity in my goofy comedy statement.  Tarzan went from a gentrified country life sort of future to a naked in the jungle and raised by apes sort of future overnight.  He faced an adoptive father who wanted to kill him, a malign gorilla who tried to kill him when he first discovered the knife, and Kerchak, Lord of the Apes who kills all challengers to his authority.  And, of course, there are lions, alligators, and leopards to overcome.  …Well, maybe that’s stretching a metaphor to the ridiculously long rubber band length of goofiness.  But I go forward needing to find new knives for income creation.  I face the jungle of possible substitute teaching (shudder!)  There are lions of disease in my future, waiting to prey upon my aging body and mind.

And then, there’s Kerchak, Lord of the Apes.   I live in Texas.  Low-brow apes who command all the power, are filled with fierceness, and constantly beat their breasts are the only folk we have allowed to win elections here since Governor Ann Richards lost to some ape from the bush.  Voting districts are gerrymandered wiggling pythons of arrogant partisanship.  Now that I have earned a pension for thirty-one years of teaching, there are those in this state calling for legislators to reduce the amount.  Teachers are apparently too much like leeches and parasites to deserve a decent retirement.  You don’t do the valuable work of creating jobs by making more billions of dollars and lobbying politicians as a teacher.  You do superfluous things like teaching people to read, to think, and be a moral, worthy citizen.  Kerchak, as in Emperor Rick Perry, is about to take on a new form.  It is anticipated that one of his evil clones, possibly Greg Abbot, will take his place.    There is a transfer of power from the presidential hopeful who can’t remember which cabinet post he wants to do away with in addition to Education to an even bigger, stronger ape who wants to deregulate everything and shift more tax money to corporations and the fabled job creators who enrich our air with a fog of emissions based on oil and gas and not responsible for the non-existent global warming that makes Texas so @#$% hot.

Tarzan, raised by apes and naked in the jungle, grew in power.  He slew the leopard.  He slew the vile gorilla.  He slew his father-ape, and eventually slew even Kerchak to become the new Lord of the Jungle.  I have to grow in my power as a writer.  My ideas need to mature and make a book or two that can educate, and possibly even change the world.  Yes, big dreams, I know.  And I also know that Tarzan is not real.  But soon I must transform in much the way Tarzan did.  And I no longer will be surrounded by middle school monkeys and high school gibbons.  I will be surrounded by ugly apes.  Oh, boy!

 

Tarzan3The beautiful illustrations for this post were shamelessly scanned from Marvel’s Super Special No. 29.  These gorgeous oils were created by Charles Ren and were published in this comic book in 1983.

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