Thursday, May 18, 2017

The Court of Public Opinion

There are allegations everywhere. Lot's of people are accused of doing lots of evil things and we are pressed to punish them. In western jurisprudence a person, whether an ordinary citizen, an oligarch, an aristocrat, or a world leader, is considered innocent until proven guilty. So, what are some of the charges?

Trump's people spoke to diplomats. That one's not even a crime. That's why we have diplomats.
Trump's people had financial ties to Russia. And Israel, and Saudi Arabia, and who knows where else. So? Bush was pretty chummy with the bin Ladens. Clinton got donations/bribes from a lot of shady foreign nationals. And some shady national nationals.
Russia interfered with our elections. And AIPAC doesn't? How about Sheldon Adelson? George Soros? Investigate them, hmmm?
Clinton had some debilitating disease. Well, now we're hearing that Trump has all sorts of brain diseases from Alzheimer's to Chronic Baby Syndrome (it's there. Look it up in the DSM!)
The Assad government nukes kittens. Have you looked at Yemen lately?
There are 'moderate' terrorists in Syria. Yes, and I've got a pyramid in Cairo to sell you.
Vladimir Putin eats babies (human caviar.)
Julian Assange is a rapist.

Innocent until proven guilty, or rediculous. Yes. Let's have investigations. Let's have independent prosecutors conduct transparent investigations where all of the facts are open and subject to scrutiny. Have the OPCW investigate chemical weapons releases in Syria instead of blocking legitimate investigation. Allow Assange to defend himself with guarantees that he won't be kidnapped and transferred to an American torture facility. Let the accused face his accuser and have a chance to defend himself before a jury of his peers. And let's not be so choosey on who we condemn and who we ignore. Last year all the outrage was directed at Aleppo. Today in Mosul? Nothing. No, two wrongs don't make a right. But we first must decide if it is a wrong. And why do we choose one to declare wrong and another to ignore altogether? Who decides that?

Instead we have degenerated back to the old Anglo-Saxon champion system. If my champion can defeat your champion, I am innocent. Or off the hook. Same thing. Today we have different champions. There're cruise missiles, the shiny toys of adjudication. Propaganda, or Fake News, is powerful. Guilty in the Court of Public Opinion, also known as a Lynch mob. As vigilante justice. Is that what we stand for? How are we any different from those we condemn?

If you were accused of a crime, which would you prefer? That a judge and jury consider all the evidence and demand proof? That they weigh that evidence and insist on credible witnesses that can be cross examined and validated? Or would you prefer rumors and accusations that are immediately taken as gospel by your jurors who then refuse to consider any new evidence?

Justice is blind. This is supposed to remind us not to look at appearances but to listen to the facts and the arguments and weigh them all in her scale. The scale is tipped to remind us that we can never get it 100% right. Never be sure that justice is being served. Be not so quick to mete out death in judgement!

Next time, we might be the ones tried for crimes against humanity. Which justice would we hope for?

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Shoot me if you’ve heard this one

A chicken, a fox, and Donald Trump walk into the oval office. They get into an argument about who is more qualified to be president. “I am, of course,” says the chicken. “How do you figure?” says Trump. “I can keep a secret. I am so good at keeping secrets that no one even knows why I cross the road.” “Nonsense!” says the fox. “I am an expert at guarding hen houses. I’d get my fangs into your secrets in no time.” And Trump says, “Sad. You’re both a couple of losers! I’ve bankrupted four corporations in my lifetime. And to get away with it, I have a phalanx of lawyers. It’s just like the US Government. It’s bankrupt and all that keeps it going is the military. And, yes. I know what a phalanx is. I’ve had it done to me lots of times! #PhalanxMeBaby.”

The chicken and fox had to agree that Trump was right for the job. So the first thing Trump did was appoint the chicken as Secretary of Transportation and the fox as Secretary of Defense.

Chronicles of a Baby Boomer - A Philistine’s Thoughts on the Second Coming

I hear the braying of a rough beast far away,
Across the wadi, beyond the ridge.
Another road to another village, whose name I cannot say.
Beyond the olive groves, vineyards, and tents,
The limestone cities with their central squares and bazaars,
The crush of humanity that never relents.

There. Just there. Beneath that star. Can you see it?
Oh, wait. I cannot see.
The cold gears of earth and sky turn and never quit,
But hide as much as they reveal, for they turn also you and me,
And drag us, none the wiser,
Away from that we seek to see.

The widening gyre goes where it goes,
For a while widening, unrestrained.
Tis good I do not see beyond the edge’s threshold.
For a while. Some waiting time was bought.
I lived outside its widening, but the gyre widened relentlessly.
I saw it coming into view and saw my view coming into naught.

Fleeing away from it. For now,
The gyre keeps me out of reach.
But not of thought, the where or why or how,
The gyre cannot widen forever, no?
The wonder, what is on the other side?
It must relent, or slack, or slow.

The widening gyre has overcome me,
And in its wake I see legions. I see empires,
The Fertile Crescent and the brain pan of philosophy.
The mystics in their fervor dancing,
From the Middle East through Persia, India, and China,
I see vast fields of time and beyond… Nothing.

The center cannot hold because there is no center,
Only occasional pools of meaning,
That form from mind and matter,
And swirl around some imaginary point for a time.
Real and unreal. It’s nothing,
Until it is taken away. And then the anarchy unwinds.

Toward what Bethlehem is this rough beast slouching? And to do what?

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Goes to Hell Joke No. 1 (They had to start some time.)

Trotsky, Lenin, and Trump go to hell. Satan says, OK. Who's the biggest sinner? I'll give one of you the keys to the Underworld!

Trotsky says, I wanted to convert the world to Communism! And give it all to the collective Soviets!

Lenin says, I wanted to create a Socialist paradise! And give it all to the all to be overseen by the all for the good of the all!

And Trump says, They just gave it all to me. #Losers.

Standard Bar Joke No. 626

Machiavelli, Orwell, and Sun Tsu walk into a bar. Donald Trump is on the telescreen.

Over Victory Gin, Mack (can I call you Mack?) says, "I have no fear of this guy. Not much love, either. Though he is amusing. I should not have underestimated the Prince Buffoon."

Ori says, "And to think I had to come up with memory holes to change the past. What a waste! Now the whole fucking country is a bunch of memory holes."

Sunny huffed. "Confucius!" he said. "In my day this used to be an art!"

So they agreed. Next time they're inviting that 'Soma' guy.


I know. I KNOW! The word Russia is a poison pill to any conversation, thought, meme, emogi, thoughtful political discourse (Ha! Just kidding. We don't have that last one anymore.)

So take this one with the requisite cracker of caviar.

Vladimir Putin was recently asked by reporters his opinion on the Trump-Russia collusion, treason, mission, quest, thing. He said, "What's that got to do with me? I'm playing hockey!" The nerve!

Dmitri Peshkov refused to address, "All that nonsense." Ya. Whatcha hiding there, Commie Peshkov?!

Sergei Lavrov said, "Are you joking? Seriously?" In reply to being told that Comey was fired and asked to comment. Smooth, Mr. Lavrov. Acting like our business is none of your business. You're fooling nobody, you know. There's no other fool you could be talking to. I know that because you're talking to Americans!

And in a coup de la crem, Russian foreign affairs department spokeswomen Maria Zakharova said, "You've been reading western newspapers again. They are only good for one thing." (God, I like her.) I have to wonder. What one thing? As additions to our woodhouse or to our outhouse? Either way they help you deal with logs.

Damn Russians.

Monday, May 15, 2017

No Girlz Aloud!

Here's a funny story. I can tell it since we are up in the Boyz Onli treehouse!

Men like boobs. If course. Duh. A friend of mine at the theater, a rather, ahem, generously endowed friend, said the other day that on Facebook someone recently commented on her, what did he call them? Oh, yes. Zeppelins! Or something like that.

Seriously? Zeppelins? Which were they, the "Led" type or the "Oh, the humanity?" type of Zeppelins? It makes a difference, you know. In her case? I'd say there was a lot of humanity there... And there...


So the next time I saw her at the theater she was talking to a few peeps. I sidled up to one of them and said, "Hey! Look at the Zeppelins on that one!"

She was too far away to slap me, which is unusual for my normal inter gender indiscretions. So. Not ever knowing how to stop a female related faux pas once I was on a roll, I went on.

"You know," I said, heedless of demonstrations to the contrary, "I'm a guy," belaboring what I hoped was indisputable. "It's my job to come up with synonyms for boobs. And most women don't even know it!" I said, less than credibly. "For instance. I can be walking down the street with a female friend," for the time being, at least. "And see a woman and say, 'Would you look at the Hunga-dungas on that one!?' with considerably less than a chance that she would."

The average female will say, "Hunga-dungas? What does that mean? Ummm. I donno. Wait! Shoes? No. Eye brows! Uh-uh. Oh, I know! Those deeply revealing, always concealing, sensually delighting, and richly inviting glorious hefts between the waiting cleft of her---shoe laces!? Gah! I just don't get it! I just can't decipher men and their subtle and sophisticated appreciation of the fairer sex!"

Yes. I know. We are just so opaque to them. Poor, poor women. They will never understand us.

But in a million years. I'd never come up with Zeppelins!

Though. It does open up a whole new aviation themed age of exploration...

Now if only we could come up with a way of comparing boobs to mountains in Wyoming.