Sunday, October 15, 2017

Update From the Asylum

More psychopathic gibberish from  the Man in the White Castle.  From this week's Harper's Weekly: you simply cannot conceive of this being reality, and yet, there it is.

October 13, 2017
By Joe Kloc     
Congressional Republicans reportedly said that US president Donald Trump was "nuts," "unfit," and "dangerous," and that they were "praying" Trump didn't "do something really, really stupid" before they reformed the tax code and then removed him from office; the Republican speaker of the House told Congress that they may need to work "till Christmas" to pass tax-reform legislation as soon as possible; and Trump complained about department stores using red decorations but not making their employees say "Merry Christmas" to customers. "America is a nation," said Trump, "sustained by the power of prayer." Trump announced that his administration was "stopping cold the attacks on Judeo-Christian values"; and then signed an executive order to stop subsidizing the cost of health insurance for poor people, which he said he was "only doing" because "it costs" him nothing. Trump declared flashlights obsolete as he handed them out to Puerto Ricans, 90 percent of whom had no electricity in their homes; and tweeted that he wouldn't keep providing federal hurricane relief "forever" to Puerto Rico, a US territory that the secretary of energy referred to as a "country." Vice President Mike Pence attended a football game in Indiana, where he responded to NFL players not standing for the national anthem to protest police killings of black men and women by leaving the game in protest; Trump tweeted that the players were disrespecting the American flag; and Trump remained seated during a flag-honoring ceremony at the base of the Pennsylvania Air National Guard, where he did not put his hand on his heart and then asked if the bugle was playing for him or for his companion, a talk-show host whose ratings he then complimented. Trump said that the Keystone XL pipeline, which he approved two months into his administration and which is still not under construction, was approved by him "within twenty-four hours" and was currently under construction; that Obama was responsible for the formation of the Islamic State, which formed two years before Obama took office; that a journalist "set up" Republican senator Bob Corker by secretly recording their conversation, which captured Corker asking the journalist to record him; and that Chief of Staff John Kelly "loves" his job "more than anything he's ever done." "It is not the best job I ever had," said Kelly. A reporter asked Trump about a lunch the president was said to have shared the previous day with his secretary of state, Trump said the reporter was "behind the times" and that the lunch had occurred the previous week, and the White House confirmed that the lunch had in fact occurred the previous day. Trump said that he had no schedule for his administration but that if he did he would be "substantially ahead of schedule," that "a lot of countries are starting to respect the United States of America," and that he "met with the president of the Virgin Islands," a US territory of which he is president. "What's that?" Trump reportedly asked when he was told of the Twenty-Fifth Amendment, which gives his cabinet members the power to remove him from office.

And the hits just keep on comin'.

Friday, October 6, 2017

What Is The Attention Economy?

Today's Guardian features a mindblowingly forthright in- depth critical examination by the very creators of today's deliberately and highly addictive technology  –  phones, "like" buttons, apps, swipe refresh – and it is frighteningly revealing. Read it here.

The ask: Am I part of the problem, or part of the solution?

An excerpt:

"In the wake of Donald Trump’s stunning electoral victory, many were quick to question the role of so-called “fake news” on Facebook, Russian-created Twitter bots or the data-centric targeting efforts that companies such as Cambridge Analytica used to sway voters. But Williams sees those factors as symptoms of a deeper problem. 
"It is not just shady or bad actors who were exploiting the internet to change public opinion. The attention economy itself is setup to promote a phenomenon like Trump, who is masterful at grabbing and retaining the attention of supporters and critics alike, often by exploiting or creating outrage.
"Williams was making this case before the president was elected. In a blog published a month before the US election, Williams sounded the alarm bell on an issue he argued was a “far more consequential question” than whether Trump reached the White House. The reality TV star’s campaign, he said, had heralded a watershed in which “the new, digitally supercharged dynamics of the attention economy have finally crossed a threshold and become manifest in the political realm”.


"Since the US election, Williams has explored another dimension to today’s brave new world. If the attention economy erodes our ability to remember, to reason, to make decisions for ourselves – faculties that are essential to self-governance – what hope is there for democracy itself?
“The dynamics of the attention economy are structurally set up to undermine the human will,” he says. “If politics is an expression of our human will, on individual and collective levels, then the attention economy is directly undermining the assumptions that democracy rests on.” If Apple, Facebook, Google, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat are gradually chipping away at our ability to control our own minds, could there come a point, I ask, at which democracy no longer functions?
“Will we be able to recognise it, if and when it happens?” Williams replies. “And if we can’t, then how do we know it hasn’t happened already?”

Monday, September 25, 2017

Speaking Eltonese

From The New Yorker

PYONGYANG (The Borowitz Report)—In what some security experts fear could be a high-stakes war of Elton John lyrics, minutes after Donald Trump called Kim Jong Un “Rocket Man,” the North Korean dictator responded by calling Trump “Honky Cat.”

As he issued the Elton John-based attack, Kim warned that he had an extensive collection of the singer-songwriter’s albums and was prepared to weaponize every lyric in them.

The White House immediately struck back, warning Kim that “any further provocation involving an Elton John lyric, especially ‘Tiny Dancer,’ will be seen as an act of war.”

But any hope that Kim would be silenced was short-lived.

Responding to the White House, Kim stated, “I see the bitch is back,” before signing off, “Goodbye, Yellow-Wigged Toad.”

The best way to take control over a people and control them utterly is to take a little of their freedom at a time, to erode rights by a thousand tiny and almost imperceptible reductions. In this way, the people will not see those rights and freedoms being removed until past the point at which these changes cannot be reversed.”

Adolf Hitler

Monday, September 11, 2017

A Good American

If you haven't seen this documentary, it's on Netflix (Also YouTube)  now and is the true and highly compelling story of the government's failure to prevent the attacks of Nov. 11, 2001. Many will not be surprised by the facts of the case, but the audacity of our government to do the unthinkable to protect corporate profits still amazes.

Some of us knew it at the time and were labeled "unpatriotic" for crying foul. You really feel for these folks who tried to tell the truth. While the rest of us were "Good Germans", as it were, and went along with the charade of denial, this small group of noble beings were the true Good Americans.

We've all been hiding under the desk since November of 1963. Isn't it time we came out? Became "good Americans" ourselves?