Wednesday, November 09, 2016

TRUMP LEAGUE

A new idea for making the Trump regime more fun.  Get your dice ready!

GAME #1 - Where, and how soon, will we see "Boots on the Ground"?  Roll one die for each list.

1 - Iraq
2 - Syria
3 - Libya
4 - Yemen
5 - Iran
6 - other

1 - within three months after Inauguration
2 - 3-6 months
3 - 6-9 months
4 - 9-12 months
5 - 12-24 months
6 - during the last two years of the administration


GAME #2 - Match the appointee with the position!  Roll one die for each list. 

1 - Rudy Giuliani
2 - Trey Gowdy
3 - Chris Christie
4 - Newt Gingrich
5 - Ted Cruz
6 - other

1 - Attorney General
2 - Secretary of State
3 - Department of Education
4 - Environmental Protection Agency
5 - Chief of Staff
6 - Ministry of Propaganda


GAME #3 - Who will be the press secretary?  (just roll the die one time)

1-Kellyanne Conway
2 -Katrina Pierson
3- Jeffery Lord
4- Corey Lewandowski
5-Scottie Neil Hughes
6-Kayleigh McEnany



On the first game, my result was Libya, in 6-9 months.  My second result was Trey Gowdy for Attorney General.  For #3, I got Kellyanne Conway. 

TRUMPENSTEIN






Observations and predictions, after digesting some of the initial shock...

 
Pretty lousy election last night.  Maybe Trump won’t be all that bad, though I can’t imagine how he could really be very good at all.
At least the stock market hasn’t started tanking yet.  Heh! 
The Republicans will be like kids in the candy store.  The first 100 days will be brutal.  

No more Affordable Care Act, probably with nothing to replace it right away. 

Fast-track approval of some new far-right Supreme Court justice chosen by Trump to replace Scalia, plus another one if Ginsberg doesn’t make it through at least the next four years. 

Tax cuts enacted for the wealthy, so the rest of us will pay even more of the burden. 

Cuts to safety net programs.  Paul Ryan’s budget enacted. 

Defunding of Planned Parenthood, Public Broadcasting, and whatever else they don’t like. 

Lots of cronies (Giuliani, Gingrich, etc.) appointed to powerful positions. 

Heavy-handed pressure or worse on unfriendly media outlets and certain offending employees. 

Restrictions on the internet (no more net neutrality). 

Federal crackdown attempts on medical and recreational pot where it has been legalized. 

Republicans will attempt to undo Roe v. Wade, and to undo as much of the New Deal as possible. 

No luck getting anywhere on overturning Citizens United. 
Trump will run the country as a CEO, with Pence and others doing the bulk of the work.  Trump will be the figurehead; he will articulate policies, others will carry them out.  Pence will be as powerful as Cheney was, but won’t have as much success at pulling the president’s puppet strings. 
The wall won’t get built, and if it does, it won’t do anything much to stop people from entering from Mexico.  Obama’s Cuba progress will be rolled back.  We will get along better with Russia…  heh!  Trump will get lots of pressure to undermine NATO.  He will try to start trade wars.  And we will find ourselves in a war somewhere, with troops on the ground.    
Police violence will continue.  Minorities will continue to become more disenfranchised.  Oil pipelines will be built wherever they can be built, and there will be continued fracking.  Protestors will be dealt with in brutal ways.  Gun sales will continue to go up.  Militias will increase, and there will be more occupations like the one by the jerks at Malheur (there would have been more such occupations anyway, but a Trump win will only embolden the militias). 


Wildlife refuges, particularly in northern Alaska, will once again be under threat.  Attempts will be made to do away with the Environmental Protection Agency. 

It is the Democratic party that needs to do a post-election autopsy this time, and it needs to be done with lots of thought.  The emphasis needs to be on how to connect with rural voters, as well as with any others who weren't enthused this time around.  A better candidate might have done the trick this time, but then again I'm not so sure it would have.     
BUT…     
Polls showed 56% of people are either scared or concerned with the idea of a Trump presidency…  the GOP will be able to stay in power for a while by keeping people afraid, but I think things will gradually come around to where people realize they don’t have to put up with some of the far-right crap.  If we see a "revolution", it won't come from the "tea party" types, but from the rest of Americans.    
If Democrats have any sense at all, the DNC will quickly tear itself down and build back up, installing people like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren as leaders.  Look for a better performance from Democrats in the midterms in 2018, as intensive turn-out-the-vote efforts will prevail in some House and Senate races despite GOP attempts to restrict voting.  Some exciting presidential contenders will emerge for the left.    
By 2020 people will be pretty fed up with the Republican party.  By that time, the GOP will have trashed dozens of things the left (and many on the right) hold dear.  By then, the Dems will provide a better candidate that isn’t flawed like Clinton, and people will get enthused and get behind him or her.  And then, we will have to see if America makes the same mistake it did in 2004 by re-electing a consummate doofus.
Back to pot:  apparently Trump doesn’t have a problem with the medical aspects of it.  But if Pence is going to be the one doing all the work… and with him being the puritan he is… who knows what might happen.  It may be time to stock up, just in case!  J  Pot votes passing in CA, ME, MA, and NV might make it less likely that we’d see a fed crackdown on recreational sales and use, as it's in something like eight states now, and all up and down the West Coast.  It may be too late for crackdowns now.  Chris Christie is the one who’s such a hard-ass on pot, and I doubt he’d get any kind of powerful appointment after the Bridgegate thing…  but you just never know with the GOP. 
And I have doubts Trump would try and do the Mussolini thing.  I’m actually thinking it may be more of a mixed bag.  He may have some centrist tendencies, and he might do some things that are OK with people on both sides of the political fence.  He might even actually try to reach across the aisle.  But Pence will probably be whispering far-right crap in his ear.  The thought of Trump as the puffed-up figurehead running America, Inc. with Pence doing the dirty work is pretty frightening.  Trump may not have any real agenda to advance, but Pence will do whatever he can to advance a religious conservative agenda.  I’m starting to think Pence is possibly more dangerous than The Donald.
We can all hope the pragmatist in Trump comes out, that he pisses off a lot of people who voted for him by changing his mind or not following through on stuff he said during the campaign, and that maybe he won’t actually be too horrible.      
And I don’t believe Bernie Sanders would have beaten Trump, either.  To all those Bernie fanatics who are saying “We told you so”, all I have to say is “And so we will never know for sure, will we?” 
And when they say “But all the polls showed he had a better chance against Trump!” then I’ll say “Yeah, but that’s what the polls said about Hillary too, once she got the nomination…  why don’t you ask her about the trustworthiness of polls?”

I’m not sure I will ever be able to take comfort in polls again after this!  Meh...

Forgot to mention climate change, too…  efforts to slow it down are bound to take a huge hit now, and our attention-challenged public will probably start forgetting about it.  We can hope that isn’t the case. 
Whatever happens, I am relieved this election cycle is over.  I just wish it would have turned out better.


The next four years won’t be pretty, but we will survive.  The smiling face of a baby this morning at work reminded me that there is still a lot of good in the world, and that we need to teach our kids values, not ideologies.






 

Saturday, December 26, 2015

FAVORITE ALBUMS OF 2015

2015 was the Year of Psychedelia for me.

Here is a list of some of the things I listened to and enjoyed during this past year.

1. HOLY WAVE - The Evil Has Landed EP - Six great neo-psychedelic tunes.

2. FOALS - What Went Down - One of my favorite bands keeps putting out quality material.  Great album, lots of movement in the songs.

3. THE CHURCH - Further Deeper - Hard for me to believe this band has been around for as long as it has, and still has it going.  A great record, lots of moods and textures, and lots of atmosphere.

3. MY MORNING JACKET - The Waterfall - Another Jim James masterpiece.  Dreamy, druggy, and daring.

4. BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE - "+-" EP - Only three songs, but I love all three.

5. KURT VILE - B'lieve I'm Goin' Down - Took me a few listens, and I still don't like it quite as much as his last one, but it's very good.

6. NEW ORDER - Music Complete - I'm a fan, and had been waiting a long time in hopes the band would release something new.  It's a very rewarding album most New Order fans should appreciate, as it draws on all the phases of their long career since the ending of Joy Division.

7. LOW - Ones and Sixes - This is a return to form for Low.  It is more reminiscent of "The Curtain Hits The Cast" and "Things We Lost In The Fire" than their other recent albums.  Slow, dreamy, and beautiful.

8. MAGIC CASTLES - Starflower - Great psychedelic rock from this band, which records on the "A" records label (of Brian Jonestown Massacre's Anton Newcombe).

9. WILCO - Star Wars - The first couple of tracks didn't grab me, but everything after that did.  This album has a more spontaneous feel than some of their other recent releases.  It's a lot of fun.

10. TAME IMPALA - Currents - Not what I expected, but instead a more smooth, polished product of stuff that's more like Pop music.  Complete ear candy!

11. ISRAEL NASH - Silver Season

12. BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE - Mini-Album Thingy-Wingy - This is not as enjoyable for me as "Revelation" was, but it's good.  Anton Newcombe rocks.  

13. STEVEN WILSON - Hand.Cannot.Erase. - More great stuff from the master of modern Prog rock.  Keeping the Prog flame alive!

14. POND - Man It Feels Like Space Again
15. JOE JACKSON - Fast Forward
16. VERUCA SALT - Ghost Notes
17. VIET CONG - Viet Cong
18. THE ARCS - Yours Dreamily
19. JOE JACKSON - Fast Forward

Others:
BLUR - The Magic Whip - Somewhat disappointing, but still enjoyable
FETTY WAP - Fetty Wap - I'm not a Hip-Hop fan, but I do like this one.
BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE - Musique de Filme Imagine - Anton Newcombe ought to stay away from writing soundtrack music and stick to rock and roll

Ones I didn't get around to hearing yet:
MUSE - Drones
COURTNEY BARNETT - Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit
SWERVEDRIVER - I Wasn't Born To Lose You
COLDPLAY - A Head Full of Dreams
SUFJIAN STEVENS - Carrie and Lowell

Thanks to Jim Marquis of Major Conflict for turning me on to a number of these excellent recordings!

TEN MONTHS LATER

Ten months later, nothing had happened.  Nothing worthy of mention, anyway.  So he decided to post something, even it it was very little, if anything at all.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

A FEW PICTURES FROM MY HIKING TRIP

I thought I'd share a few pictures of a hiking trip I took this past week in the Wallowa Mountains of NE Oregon.  These pictures were all taken in the magnificent Eagle Cap Wilderness Area.















My 57-year-old body handled the trip.  Getting in a lot of good exercise off and on during the last year helped a lot!  My friend Rand and I hired some great people to haul our gear in for us on horseback, so we didn't have to carry more than what was in our daypacks, which was about 20 pounds each.  We were camped about a quarter mile beyond Moccasin Lake.



















The first day was an 8.5 mile walk to the camp site.  There was an elevation gain of 1,600 feet in the first 2.5 miles, which is steep.  After that it was pretty easy though, with a gain of 700 feet in the next 5 miles.  The last mile and a half was up and down to an excellent (and remote) campsite our packers found for us:






















We hiked to Razz Lake on Day 2, a 900-foot climb in one mile after a 3-mile walk to where we left the main trail to head up the mountainside.  We futzed around for a while trying to find the old trail to the lake, and finally found it about halfway up the hill after working our way up through steep hillsides and boulders.  The lake is a gorgeous spot, and it was nice to see it again after being away for close to 30 years.

















Razz Lake

















Razz Lake


Day 3 featured an all-on-trail hike through Glacier Pass to Glacier Lake.  It was a climb of 1,000 feet in about a mile and half, fairly steep to the pass.  Another half mile and 400 feet down the other side and we were at Glacier Lake, another place I hadn't seen in years.  On the way back we tried to replicate an off-trail side trip I did 40 years ago, and found that it looked pretty impossible...  how did I do it way back then?  We decided to save it for the next day.

















The Matterhorn as seen looking north from the Glacier Pass trail


















Me and Rand near the top of Glacier Pass

















Glacier Lake as seen looking south from Glacier Pass

















Glacier Lake



















Rand at Glacier Pass



Pocket Lake was for Day 4.  It was only about a 5-mile round trip, but none of it was on established
trails.  The lake sits in a cirque 1,000 feet up a hillside strewn with boulders ranging in size from wastebaskets, chairs, and tables to VW bugs.  There was a fair amount of scrambling near the top, including a section that involved crawling uphill along the top of a fairly high snowbank.  But all that was worth it for the chance to spend some time at the lake.  The way back down was marred by a couple of falls, but I got back to camp with nothing more than a sore shin and numerous rock scrapes.






















Me at Pocket Lake

















Pocket Lake 

The area around Pocket Lake























I got banged up but the trip to Pocket Lake and back was worth it!


On the last day the packers came to get our gear, and we hiked the 8.5 miles back to the trail head.  All in all, it was worth the soreness.  I was proud that I was able to do things that I think at least 80% of people my age would not be able to do, proving to myself that all the exercising I did during the past year has helped my strength and endurance.  Fun stuff!  :-)



Eagle Cap Mountain as seen from the East Fork Lostine River Trail 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

CRUELTY

"We cheer for cruelty and say that we are asking for personal responsibility among those people who are not us, because the people who are not us do not deserve the same benefits of the political commonwealth that we have. In our politics, we have become masters of camouflage. We practice fiscal cruelty and call it an economy. We practice legal cruelty and call it justice. We practice environmental cruelty and call it opportunity. We practice vicarious cruelty and call it entertainment. We practice rhetorical cruelty and call it debate."

- Charles Pierce 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

UGH



Right-wingers/"libertarians" might want to think twice about worshiping this troll, or even before saying nice things about her.

Think about this the next time you think of Paul Ryan...  he is a big fan of hers.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

"DOUBLE DUMB-ASS ON YOU!!"


http://www.macleans.ca/politics/america-dumbs-down/

This is some pretty sad stuff.

Anyone who doesn't believe religious conservatism and its use by the Republican party is a problem in our country hasn't been paying attention for the last 20-30 years.


Wednesday, May 07, 2014

WORD


RichardDawkins.net