The Election is Rigged

The U.S. voter in the presidential election of 2016 is fucked.

How we got to this pathetic juncture, ostensibly choosing between one or the other of the most detested presidential candidates in electoral history, is pretty straightforward. The United States, despite the trite and continuous rallying cries of American exceptionalism, is a stupid and uninformed country.

That’s why, in the days after 9-11, the most memorable signs of U.S. patriotic solidarity were  massive American flags flying from the roofs of gas-guzzling SUV’s, and Country & Western singers drawling childish, bellicose ditties about “shock and awe”, and kicking Muslim ass.

That’s why the cretinous George W. Bush could  tell Americans that the most patriotic act they could perform was to go shopping, while, like a political pickpocket, he was simultaneously cracking down on civil liberties at home and lying this country into a tragic war in Iraq.

And few of us back then gave a shit. “Let’s nuke the sand niggers!” was the rallying cry of the American mob, which then had the audacity to whine about energy independence while driving trucks that got 8 miles-per-gallon.

Bush was the proverbial one-eyed man in the kingdom of the blind, just slightly smarter than his demented supporters, skillfully manipulating with fear a paranoid public that was already softened up for warrant-less wiretaps, NSA anal probes, and jingoistic and chauvinistic political rhetoric. In what other environment could a smug prick like Dick Cheney, a certified war criminal that should have been hauled before the Hague a decade ago,  enrich himself financially on the blood of American soldiers and the destruction of Iraqi civilization?

Those who stood up to these atrocities were marginalized as traitors and cowards.

And then we gave a negro the keys to the kingdom and the whole thing began to seriously unravel.

This is the toxic environment that spawned such idiocies as The Tea Party movement, open-carry fanaticism, birtherism,  the so-called “sovereign movement”, and a palpable intolerance for anybody or anything strange or foreign. Ironically, while tea baggers and their freshly-minted enablers in Congress were whining about marginal tax rates and Obama’s birth certificate, the American middle class was being gutted by a cabal of sleazy investment bankers and Wall Street charlatans that, to this day, have not been held accountable for the rape of the American economy. But when the Occupy Wall Street folks mustered up the gumption to stand up to the insanity, the lies, and the thievery, they too were marginalized as losers, un-American free-loaders who couldn’t or wouldn’t  find suitable employment.

And let’s not downplay the media’s role in all of this, wallowing as it does in the raw sewage of “pussy gate”, Hillary’s trail of murdered interlopers, Anthony Weiner’s cock shots,  Bill Clinton’s “serial rapes”, and that’s to say nothing  about its daily bread-and-butter programming: the sheer monotony and banality of traipsing out campaign “surrogates” to argue incessantly over shit that only political insiders care about. All the while, exalted commentators speak the nonsensical journalistic argot of the moment, rattling on about “optics”, “pivots”, “narratives”, “outliers”, and “paths to victory”.

And that’s the so-called “mainstream media”. No small wonder that millions of Americans are turning to imbecilic “alt” news sources like Breitbart,  Prison Planet and Info Wars, websites operated by sweaty, drug-impaired paranoiacs like Alex Jones and Matt Drudge who just make shit up and get away with it.

So is it really all that surprising,  in the national election of 2016, that we are left with a nearly untenable choice between a globalist, Wall Street insider, a self-styled heir to American political “royalty”, running against an intellectually challenged, minority-hating ignoramus who is willing to say or do anything to get into the White House?

Take America back? Too late. We are too fat, stupid, and lazy for anything more strenuous than regurgitating somebody else’s ridiculous talking points and watching sports on TV.

We have only ourselves to blame for this mess because we looked the other way for way too long as we whistled through the graveyard.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Various Dipshits Chime in on the Dallas Tragedy

“Liberal politicians who label police as racists–specifically Hillary Clinton and Virginia Lt. Governor Ralph Northam–are to blame for essentially encouraging the murder of these police officers tonight,” Corey Stewart wrote in a Facebook post that has since been deleted, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

That would be Donald Trump’s Virginia state campaign chairman reacting with breathtaking ignorance to last night’s violence in Dallas.

And this would be a Facebook post this morning from former San Diego talk show host and professional douchbag Steve Yuhas:

“From the White House to Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders – not to mention the obvious members of the Congressional Black Caucus – they’re partly to blame. What did they think would happen when they spared no opportunity to demonize police? Now they got what they wanted – a group of savages right here in America acted out in a way that is almost too horrific to describe, picking police officers off because they wanted to kill white people on that particular day. America’s Benghazi is Dallas and just like Benghazi, the White House is silent.”

And remember Joe Walsh, ass-faced former Republican congressman and full-time deadbeat dad? Here’s a few of his tweets from last night:

“When Obama goes after cops it opens the door for anti cop rhetoric and action.”

“10 Cops shot. You did this Obama. You did this liberals. You did this #BLM.”

“It’s time 4 patriotic Americans to stand up & stand against all the Cop haters – from Obama to the thugs on the street.”

And why didn’t Rudy Giuliani get the memo that nobody gives a shit about him anymore? He told Brian Williams on NBC this morning that Black Lives Matter was directly responsible for the police murders. “The reason cops feel that there is a target on their backs is because of groups like Black Lives Matter.” The sometimes cross dressing former prosecutor went on to make the preposterous statement that since “only” 1% of the murders of blacks in the U.S. were caused by the police,  why do we get so bent out of shape?

The fascist sheriff of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, David Clarke, had this to say on the odious “Fox and Friends” show this morning:

“I want to know whether we have heard from the cop-hater in chief Obama yet on this? Have we heard from Mrs. Bill Clinton, who threw up the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter yesterday? They exploited a situation, two situations, one in Louisiana and one in Minnesota. Horrible situations, no doubt, but again, especially the commander in chief opens his mouth, and he sticks his foot in it.”

And the ever-dependable Rush Limbaugh on his radio show this morning referred to Black Lives Matter as a “terrorist organization” committing mass murder”.

Trust me, these random comments barely scrape the surface of the dumb-fuck “thinking” that’s floating around out there this morning.

Of course it might be instructive to hear directly from “the cop-hater-in-chief”, Barrack Obama. It was, according to right wing psychotics, these quotes about the police-related deaths earlier in the week that led directly to the Dallas murders:

“They are symptomatic of the broader challenges within our criminal justice system, the racial disparities that appear across the system year after year, and the resulting lack of trust that exists between law enforcement and too many of the communities they serve,”

“To admit we’ve got a serious problem in no way contradicts our respect and appreciation for the vast majority of police officers who put their lives on the line to protect us every single day,” Obama said. “It is to say that, as a nation, we can and must do better to institute the best practices that reduce the appearance or reality of racial bias in law enforcement.”[Associated Press, 7/7/16]

And here, finally, are Obama’s comments about the Dallas incident. The next time someone accuses him of “politicizing” and “exploiting” tragedies, remember what the no-nothing right wing echo machine was up to this morning.

We Can’t Handle the Truth

blair bush caricatureThe U.K. has finally released the long-threatened Chilcot report, the results of a lengthy investigation into decision-making blunders in the build-up to the murderous invasion of Iraq. The report excoriates  Prime Minister Tony Blair for his blind faith in George W. Bush’s criminally negligent miscalculations and lies concerning WMD’s, and Iraq’s role in global terrorism, and demonstrates how both Blair and Bush ignored vital information about the likely  disastrous consequences of such a folly.

The report is  quite a bombshell in England, even 13 years after the war commenced. The foppish Blair was forced again into his best Hugh Grant impression before the press cameras to stammer his way through the standard I-was-acting-on-the-best-available-information excuse ( the same excuse Hillary Clinton uses when questioned about her affirmative Iraq invasion Senate vote). Family members of dead British soldiers are demanding that Blair  be put on trial for war crimes, and there are MP’s who now agree that there are grounds for such a prosecution.

The response to the Chilcot report on this side of the pond has been a bit more muted, largely because we are in the throes of a full-blown swoon over Clinton’s email server. The Bush administration’s response was predictable:

“Despite the intelligence failures and other mistakes he has acknowledged previously, President Bush continues to believe the whole world is better off without Saddam Hussein in power,” Bush’s spokesman Freddy Ford said in a statement.

“He is deeply grateful for the service and sacrifice of American and coalition forces in the war on terror. And there was no stronger ally than the United Kingdom under the leadership of Prime Minister Tony Blair.”

The little chimp couldn’t even bring himself to make a direct statement.

But despite the distractions of our clown show presidential race, and our national obsession over Email-gate, the timing of the release of this report is the perfect reminder of exactly who is to blame for creating the turmoil and the power vacuum that has led to the rise of groups like ISIS. This is important because of a recent statement from the cranky John McCain that Barrack Obama’s Middle East policies are to blame for ISIS, a slander that was immediately reiterated by Donald Trump, and then parroted by the jack-offs at Fox News and the right wing echo chamber.

It is, of course, a convenient bald-faced lie that a chicken hawk like Trump can hide behind to burnish his tough-guy credentials, the insinuation being that Clinton’s policies would merely mimic those of Obama.

Meanwhile,  British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond is dealing more directly with reality. In the wake of the Chilcot report, he stated publicly that the invasion of Iraq led directly to the rise of ISIS, contradicting the popular bullshit notion that the Syrian civil war led to the groups creation.

Tony Blair and England were certainly duplicitous in aiding and abetting the Bush/Cheney war crimes. But now, at least, Britain is owning up to its failures. One day, maybe, the United States will reach that same level of national maturity and be honest with itself, but, if this presidential race is any indication, it’s not likely to be any time soon.

 

 

 

Random Thoughts on the Presidential Race

As we collectively slouch toward the two political party conventions in July, a couple things become abundantly clear.

First, we are all fucked because both of these candidates, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, are horribly flawed human beings, wildly untrustworthy, and really unpopular, with large percentages of voters who find either choice distasteful.

Second, we are doubly fucked because the next president will be one of these two characters, either Trump or Clinton, despite their serious flaws, personal histories, and gross unlikability.

Clinton acolytes have spent most of the Spring and early Summer beseeching Bernie Sanders to get out of the Democratic primary race so that Hillary can go “one-on-one” with Trump and steal his lunch money. This ain’t about to happen, because Sanders has effectively been out of the race and out of the headlines for several weeks and polls indicate that there is very little daylight separating the remaining two candidates.

And consider that Trump cannot possibly damage his “brand” any more than he already has, short of appearing at a Klan rally in full regalia,

The social media was filled with tributes from the blubbering masses about the historic significance of Clinton’s nomination. Grown men, according to their own Facebook admissions, were reduced to tears when the first female presidential nominee emerged from the primaries, but how much of this tearful jubilation was geared toward placating the wife or girlfriend remains to be seen.

One so-called “narrative” that became prominent on social media is that Hillary Clinton was the “most qualified candidate” to ever run for president, apparently because she served in the senate for two terms and was named Secretary of State in the first Obama administration. Even Obama jumped on that bandwagon after Clinton sewed up the nomination. “Look, I know how hard this job can be. That’s why I know Hillary will be so good at it,” he said. “In fact, I don’t think that there’s ever been someone so qualified to hold this office.”

Well, it turns out that Martin Van Buren was a senator, a secretary of state, a governor, an ambassador and a vice president, before assuming office. Nice resume. Nice qualifications. But Marty was also a one term president who earned in the press the nickname Martin Van Ruin.

Bob Dole was a World War II veteran who served in the house and senate for decades.  Dole ran against incumbent Bill Clinton in 1996 and Clinton won in a 379–159 Electoral College landslide.

These are just two random references.

The point is that Clinton’s qualifications serve as a good talking point, but only within her inner circle, and among her surrogates, party hacks like Howard Dean and Ed Rendell.

Of course, Donald Trump has zero “qualification” to hold the office of president but that hasn’t kept him within the margin of error in several recent presidential polls. And the fact that he’s a first-class dick has apparently helped, not hurt, him in these same polls, at least until now.

As secretary of state, Clinton presided over the successful elimination of Osama bin Laden, but blundered huge in her support for “democracy” in Libya, Egypt, and Syria. And, as senator, her support for the Iraq invasion was a mistake of historical dimensions. That’s why Trump is an overwhelming favorite among voters to take on ISIS and deal with international terror. And with  new suicide missions occurring at a rate of about 3 a week, Trump only gets stronger.

Clinton supporter’s denunciation of the Bernie Sanders campaign was dishonest and repugnant. It was as if Sanders  was trying to mischievously derail the neo-Camelot narrative of Clinton’s anointment for no real good reason other than that he could. That he embraced several core positions different and more progressive than Clinton’s and that he had millions of supporters was lost on the Democratic establishment who viewed Sanders as merely a skunk at the Hillary nomination picnic. The media’s duplicity in this marginalization  of Sanders and his supporters was political journalism at its worst. The “liberal” news network, MSNBC early on joined the assault on Sanders, with the insufferable Rachel Maddow leading the charge, traipsing out Hillary surrogates like Rendell and Dean to denounce Sanders on an almost daily basis.

So we are stuck with who we are stuck with.

And to think the “fun” has only just begun!

Ghost Town

Odd that I would find myself back in Mexico. Rosarito hasn’t changed much. The same little shops are strung out along Avenida Benito Juarez: the locksmith, the leather repair shop, the apothecary filled with its exotic botanical cures, the tamale joint, the Comex paint store. The frail Indian woman in her long traditional dress and her oddly modern eye glasses still slumps on the sidewalk in front of the Banamex, selling chiclets from a box on her lap.

But now there are also ghosts almost everywhere I turn.

No street is more haunted than the one I’m currently staying on, Calle Mar Adriatico. This was the backstreet that led to the frequent happy hours at Pelicano’s, although not all the time spent there was necessarily happy. There was once a dog who slept on the sidewalk, on the same spot day and night in front of a locked gate on Mar Adriatico. This old, decrepit creature looked like a dog drawn up by committee. The head didn’t fit the body, his wall-eyes didn’t quite fit his head, and the fur was more like that of a Shetland pony than a dog. He was black with white paws so we called him “Botas” and each evening returning from Pelicano’s, Botas gratefully received our left-overs.

I recently learned that Botas had been owner-less and depended on the kindness of strangers to survive. I suspected as much. I also learned that Botas had long since died, so why is it now when I turn the corner onto Mar Adriatico,  I see him on the sidewalk in front of the locked gate? Or is that merely the shadow of the yellow bougainvillea under which he used to lie?

I could not bear to go to Pelicano’s now, especially alone, for there even I am a ghost, the ghost that would spike the overly sweet margaritas from a pocket flask, and where we would watch from the terraza the small herds of rental horses on the beach trotting back to their stables at sunset.

I long ago overcame the taboo of dining alone in restaurants, especially if the restaurant is al fresco and there is something to stare at other than my fellow diners. I dined alone last night in a seafood place called Vince’s, at an outdoor table on a second story deck. I was watching a woman across the street scurrying to catch a bus when I was approached by a man with an accordion offering a song for a fee. “Estoy solo!” I told him with a smile. He shrugged and began to walk away, but then turned back for a quick glance. I think he recognized me. I think he remembered me from a time when I was not always “solo”.

But I will not go alone again to Pelicano’s, especially at sunset when the horses are on the beach.

There is also a French restaurant called Bistro Le Cousteau, on Benito Juarez not far from here. It is owned by a burly Frenchman name Phillipe who can often be seen at night standing in front of his restaurant chain smoking and looking worried. Philippe had been a chef in Paris and in Mexico City and always greeted a familiar customer with a bear hug.

The restaurant itself serves up a reasonable Cesar’s Salad and a pretty good wood-fired pizza. The tables are usually filled in the evenings by couples: wives and husbands, but also lovers, talking softly. It is lit by jade lanterns and warmed by the open hearth oven. Philippe does not charge a corkage fee if you bring in your own bottle of wine, let’s say a nice sauvignon blanc from the Guadalupe Valley.

I will not go alone again to Cousteau’s, especially in the evening when the candles are lit.

And I will not go alone to the little Mercado Del Mar, south of town on the free road toward Popotla. I will not search for a new mezcal or squeeze a lime or sniff the fresh guayaba. For if I were to do so, I might embarrass myself by suddenly turning in the direction of her  voice and her  smile that is not really there.

Today I took a walk along the beach, in the direction of the red and white striped smoke stacks of the power plant north of town. We had taken this walk many times, sometimes stopping on the way for a Pacifico and a shrimp quesadilla at a joint called Tacos and Beer. Often, I would run ahead a few hundred yards then circle back, squinting into the sun in search of that luminous hair, that familiar silhouette,  like navigating by a star. Turning back toward the sun today, I thought for a moment that I saw that silhouette again. But, of course, I was mistaken. Perhaps there was something in my eyes distorting the view.

Close by here is a condominium tower called The Riviera. I lived there once. And as I write this now in the gloaming of nightfall, the color of the sea changing from blue to translucent silver, I can hear music playing on the stereo from the apartment on the tenth floor. Is it Chet Baker? Is it Gordon Lightfoot?

The room on the tenth floor where the music is coming from is lit by candle, and there, across the tiled floor, two ghosts dance in close embrace, one of us unwilling or unable to let go.

Stacy Taylor

Radio maverick, writer, escape artist

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