Saturday, December 10, 2016

Why the Dakota Pipeline Stoppage Is Only A Temporary Illusion

Here's where oil bribes go... 6 Republicans and 1 Democrat who are the biggest grifters for oil you could hope to assemble in America 
Good Day World!

Make no mistake. It's all about money. 

Big Oil has had Congress in it's clutches for a long time and now they have a new partner in crime: 

His name is Donald Trump (He's number 6 on the list above) and he's busy feathering the nests of his fellow rich rats before even being sworn in as the country's next president.

Trump and his greedy minions can't wait until President Obama leaves the White House so they can reverse the stay he just put on the Army Corps of Engineers.

Flip-flop artist Paul Ryan tweeted, "This is big-government decision-making at it's worth. I look forward to putting this anti-energy presidency behind us."

Well, I'm sure Ryan does look forward to a future of no restriction for Big Oil. Notice the list on top of this page - Ryan's the 3rd biggest benefactor on Big Oil's Bribe parade. 

He joins his fellow Congressmen and other wealthy Americans who have turned their backs on the public's best interest and safety. 

Here's more information on the Top Corporate contributors (2015-16) lobbying for oil interests in Washington.

As you look over the list you'll see that Energy Transfer Equity (the company behind the Dakota Pipeline project) is number nine on the bribe hit parade.

If you want to know just how sweet this scam against average Americans is consider this:

For every $1 the industry spends on campaign contributions and lobbying in DC, it gets back $119 in subsidies!!

In summary, I think it's a foregone conclusion that the Dakota Pipeline will be completed because Big Oil can't be stopped. It has too many tentacles in our government.

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Friday, December 9, 2016

Would You Like To Be Famous?

Good Day World!

What would it be like to be famous?

Do you think you'd enjoy fame?


do you crave fame
in the big game?
a one syllable name
with endless acclaim?
have you taken aim
at an historical claim?
a biography with no blame
a mea culpa computer game
under an assumed name
and rewired frame
that sounds the same
as the original game
that people call fame
a brief flame
a popular nickname
in a short timeframe
a numbers game
that's sometimes lame
and never tame
a burning flame
but just the same
we all want fame!

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Conservatives Are Not Dumb, They Just Aren't Wild About Reality

Good Day World!

The dumbing down of America didn't start in classrooms.

It started when conservative think tanks popped up in the last couple of decades to challenge inconvenient facts.

I've read numerous reports highlighting how fake news creators began targeting conservative readers after finding them receptive to stories that reinforced their existing worldview.

For example:

A fake news creator told NPR, "We've tried to do fake news with liberals. It just never worked, it never takes off. You'll be debunked within the first two comments and then the whole thing just kinds of fizzles out."

Still, while the apparent one-sidedness of the fake news ecosystem is striking, some researchers of partisan psychology say it's not particularly surprising. 

A robust body of academic research has sprung up in the past decade or so, documenting the different ways conservatives and liberals process the world.

Psychologist John Jost of New York University is one of the pioneering researchers in this realm.

In a forthcoming chapter of his upcoming book, Jost, and his colleagues analyzed decades of research on political psychology and found that a number of personality traits are strongly associated with conservatism.

It all boils down to critical thinking. 

Conservatives may be perfectly able to do the kind of cognitive exploration that would lead them to be more skeptical of nonsense and fake news - they just choose not to, preferring instead to seek out information that allows them to make quick decisions that reinforce their existing views.

That's how America is being dumbed down.

Unrealistic thinking. Millions have chosen to ignore reality and to replace it with fake news stories that project their own flawed world view.

Anyone with any sense has to challenge the flat earth philosophy of conservatives today at every turn in order to restore sanity to our society.

Related: Why Conservatives Might Be More Likely To Fall For Fake News Stories

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

You're So Vain That You Probably Think This Post Is About You!

Good Day World!

Sometimes you hear a song and it stays with you forever.

That's the case with one of my favorite singers, Carly Simon, who sang "You're So Vain."

Simon revealed (In 2010) who she was singing about in her seventies hit song; and it wasn't Mick Jagger, Warren Beatty, Cat Stevens, or Kris Kristofferson.

The song was about David Geffen, a gay record producer.

Over the years I've seen people who bring the lyrics to life with the way they act.

For example: A recent news article about a Harlem man named, Eric Jones, rings the vain bell. He was so vain that he thought nothing of inconviencing a train full of passengers to get his cell phone.

"New Jersey Transit officials say a passenger pulled the emergency stop on a train so he could retrieve the cellphone he dropped on the tracks." 

Moving on.

Tell me that Donald Trump doesn't sound like the person Simon describes:

"You walked into the party
Like you were walking on a yacht
your hat strategically dipped below one eye..."

Listen to, and watch, this Anti-Trump ad that Carly Simon created this year.

Seriously, I've read about, and met, so many people who that song seems to be apply to that I've lost track of them.

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

'Pizzagate' - Reluctant Riders On The Storm of Fake News

                                        Good Day World!

This is how bizarre things are today: fake news gets circulated faster than the real news, and it now poses a very real physical threat to innocent people.

I'll explain.

One of the many fake news stories this year involved a restaurant, and a conspiracy theory involving Hillary Clinton and John Podesta running a pedophile ring.

You'd think anyone with half a brain and the ability to read and reason things out would realize it was a fake story.

But no. This outlandish story was passed from one conspiracy theorist to another until one of the morons totally lost touch with reality and entered the restaurant in question with a rifle, firing it a couple of times.

As the police were arresting the clown they discovered he was there to investigate "Pizzagate" because of that fake story.

Here's what happened:

The theories, collectively known as Pizzagate, resulted in social media attacks and death threats against the restaurant’s staff and their families.

Gets worse.

This theory was even spread by retired General Michael Flynn, who recently landed a national security advisor offer from Donald Trump!
What we have here is a case of one restaurant owner, and his 40 employees, being intimidated by an armed gunman who lost touch with reality...or, he was simply - stunningly - that naive or stupid!
The whole business was caught up in the middle of a storm of fake news. The FBI helped out as much as they could by taking the story down off the Internet, but the damage was done.
Employees continued to receive threats. The BBC points towards the story as an illustration of the ease with which fake news spreads
The outlet interviewed James Alefantis (restaurant owner), who pointed out how conspiracy theorists didn’t even bother to verify the accuracy of key details, including the allegation that the sex ring operated out of the building’s basement: “We don’t even have a basement” he said.
No surprise that the culprits behind this fake story are alt-right weasels (which is the label that white nationalists and neo-Nazis enjoy hiding behind). 
Who knows when the next alt-right reader/supporter will walk into that pizzeria hoping to solve Pizzagate with a gun?
Time for me to walk on down the road...

Monday, December 5, 2016

Not Your Usual War Story: A Tale of 'George The Smoking Monkey'

Good Day World!

I saw this old picture (left) of Jon Stewart with a pot- smoking monkey the other day and it reminded me of my monkey in Vietnam.

His name was George and he smoked pot every chance he got! 

I spotted George while working on a construction project in the bush. He came up to me when I offered him a stale roll and I decided to bring him back to my company.

To my utter amazement George seemed interested in trying pot from Day One. He snatched a doob out of my hand one morning and ate it.

About 45 minutes later George was dancing around on his hind legs and making funny gestures. He chirped like a bird and laughed like a hyena!

The next step was getting him to take a hit from my doob and to give it back to me. That took about two weeks of intensive training. I finally decided he was ready to be presented to my fellow Stoners in the company.

We use to meet in an old Buddhist graveyard and swap stories and weed. George caused quite a stir from day one when I took a deep hit from my doobie and handed it to him and he politely accepted it.

There was a moment of silence as all eyes watched George's every move. When he put the doobie to his lips and took a long drag bedlam broke out!

My fellow Stoners were blown away by him and immediately wanted to share their smoke too. It didn't take long for word to get out to other nearby units that we had a mascot monkey that got stoned.

I think it was the fact that he shared doobies that made him stand out. There were other monkeys in units, but none of them shared pot (that I was aware of).

Let's just say I never heard of another pot-loving simian smoking weed while I was there.

I had plans to bring George home with me when the time came to rotate out of Vietnam. But, as they say, the plans of monkeys and men oft go astray!

I don't want to harsh your high today and tell you exactly what happened to George. Suffice to say he didn't come home with me.

I only had George for seven months, but in that time I grew attached to him. To preserve his memory I share George's story whenever I can.

I suppose you could say it's not your usual war story.

Time for me to walk on down the road....

Sunday, December 4, 2016

A Modern Day Fable: A Clown In A President's Clothing

                                Good Day World!

It looks like America is going to settle for a clown in a president's clothing when Donald Trump gets sworn in to office in January.

I'm reminded of this warning in the King James version of the Bible:

Matthew 7:15 "Beware of false prophets, which comes to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves." 

But long before Matthew's warning there was a famous story-teller and slave named Aesop whose fables are still popular today

Aesop's version of a wolf in sheep's clothing is best known to us today from George Fyler Townsend's 1886 translation: 

"Once upon a time a Wolf resolved to disguise his appearance in order to secure food more easily. Encased in the skin of a sheep, he pastured with the flock deceiving the shepherd by his costume. 

In the evening he was shut up by the shepherd in the fold; the gate was closed, and the entrance made thoroughly secure.

But the shepherd, returning to the fold during the night to obtain meat for the next day, mistakenly caught up the Wolf instead of a sheep, and killed him instantly."

If you voted for Trump the signs that he's already conned you are coming fast and furious. 

Remember his promise to you that he was going to "drain the swamp" of Washington insiders and Wall Street moguls?

You can forget that. Take a look at this lot of "outsiders" (wink wink!) that Donnie has already appointed and tell me how that's draining the swamp?

He just added his own family and billionaire buddies and their all laughing at the rubes who fell for his corny slogan. I can just imagine the conversations Trump and his new cabinet of clowns will have in the future.

Can you imagine this bunch representing you? Caring about the poor, and/or the fading middle class? Social justice? LBGT rights?

We're talking the corporate elite, and they have two goals; power and profits.

Related: Donald Trump Will Not be Draining Any Swamps As President

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Blog Break Until Presidential Election is Over

I finally hit the wall today. I can't think of what to say about all of the madness going on in this country right now. I'm a writer...