Friday, June 3, 2016

Straight From The Fascist Recipe Book

Good Day World!

Did you know that, "America is like a cruise ship that is about to go over Niagara Falls with tremendous carnage and death?" 
(Photo credit: Driftglass)

This rather dim view of America's future comes from former presidential candidate Ben (Sleepy) Carson who thinks Donald Trump would be a good president and captain of that cruise ship.

This coming from the man who said Egypt's pyramids were used to store grain. Carson, once scorned and ridiculed by Trump, now belongs to the Trumpet/Trumpette Clubhouse of crazy followers.

Meanwhile Trump is butt hurt because Gary Johnson, a Libertarian, has cast his hat in the race. For extra measure, there's whispers about another third party candidate - an Independent one (David French) with conservative credentials. 

One thing that Trump's detractors have been adamant about is his fascist leanings.

Robert Paxton, an expert on historical fascism recently told Slate Magazine:

"The use of ethnic stereotypes and exploitation of fear of foreigners is directly out of a fascist’s recipe book.

“Making the country great again” sounds exactly like the fascist movements.

Concern about national decline, that was one of the most prominent emotional states evoked in fascist discourse, and Trump is using that full-blast, quite illegitimately, because the country isn’t in serious decline, but he’s able to persuade them that it is. 

That is a fascist stroke. An aggressive foreign policy to arrest the supposed decline. That’s another one. 

Then, there’s a second level, which is a level of style and technique. He even looks like Mussolini in the way he sticks his lower jaw out, and also the bluster, the skill at sensing the mood of the crowd, the skillful use of media."

If it looks like a demogogue, acts like a demogogue, and sounds like a demogogue... chances are it is a demogogue. 

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

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Boobs and Haboops: Ignorance on Display

Good Day World!

Some boobs in Texas recently got butt hurt when the US National Weather Service  said a haboob was rapidly approaching the Lubbock airport and might affect the city as well.

The problem? Take a look at these quotes from the National Weather Service's Lubbock FaceBook page. You might want to make sure you're sitting for this:

John Fullbright wrote:
 "Haboob!?! I’m a Texan. Not a foreigner from Iraq or Afghanistan. They might have haboobs but around here in the Panhandle of TEXAS, we have Dust Storms. So would you mind stating it that way. I’ll find another weather service."

Brenda Daffern wrote:
"In Texas, nimrod, this is called a sandstorm. We’ve had them for years! If you would like to move to the Middle East you can call this a haboob. While you reside here, call it a sandstorm. We Texans will appreciate you."

Tom Reinio wrote:
"I for one cannot wait until those gosh darn democrats get swept out of office cause you know the Donald will not allow those Islam loving words to be used in the good ole US of A. We have a new haboob on the way...and his name is Trump, the biggest haboob in the world!!!"

For the rest of you Texans who agree with these three, you should probably know that the Weather Service's use of "haboob" was entirely appropriate.

Haboob describes a situation in which a collapsing thunderstorm exhales a burst of wind. This burst, or outflow, collects dusts in the surrounding arid environment.

 The dust can grow into a towering dark cloud, the so-called haboob, that sweeps across the landscape, cutting visibility to near zero.

It's NOT a brand new term for sandstorms coined by ISIS.

The term haboob has been around for decades. As noted by Maryland weathercaster and AGU blogger Dan Satterfield, a 1925 paper in the Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society was titled ‘Haboobs’.”

You should know Texans aren't all boobs (Hey! I married one!)
Charles Russell wrote: 
To all of you people complaining about a word. Do you all realize how stupid y’all look? I mean, the rest of the country and the world is laughing at y’all. …  Stop getting offended over nothing. It’s super annoying to the civilized world We work too hard to make humanity modern and non-draconian to allow this sort of BS. Thanks."

Gwen Fine Roberts wrote:
"If the word Haboob bothers them, maybe they are a BOOB. I'm a Texan and don't want to be confused with unworldly, undereducated people who happen to live in my state."

I think my favorite response came from Joshua Shook who said:
"Just wait until these idiots discover that they've been using Arabic numerals their whole lives. The horror!"

For the record:

Many weather and Earth science terms we use are derived from other languages — hurricane, tornado and derecho are all Spanish in origin, not to mention El Niño and La Niña. There’s also the Japanese term tsunami. 

In fact, there is very little in the English language that doesn’t have roots somewhere else in the world.

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

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Did You See Them? 'Signs, signs everywhere there's signs'

Good Day World!

The electric road sign said "Trump Is A Shape-Shifter." 

Last week someone altered three Texas Department of Transportation electronic road signs and displayed their political preferences for all to see during the morning commute to work.

A more ominous sign is the one being posted by the State Department warning American travelers about traveling to Europe this summer.

It pointed to two events in particular — the Catholic Church's World Youth Day in late July in Poland and the European Soccer Championship, which France will host from June 10-July 10 — as potential targets.


Researchers have been looking for signs of the dreaded mcr-1 virus in America for decades.

It - mcr-1- gives germs the ability to withstand the effects of colistin, a last-resort antibiotic used to save the lives of people infected with serious superbugs. 

They found it in Pennsylvania last week, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

In closing, do you remember this classic from 1970: SIGNS by the Five Man Electric Band? Here's the chorus:

"Signs, signs, everywhere there's signs
Fuckin' up the scenery, breaking my mind
Do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign?

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

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Pandering 101: There's No Drought Problem in California

Good Day World!

Guess what?

There's no drought problem in California. It's all an illusion according to Donald Trump. 

Trump, who said plainly that "there is no drought," is implying that water that could be going to farmers is instead being used to ensure the survival of a near-extinct fish native to the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. 

As Trump put it, state officials are diverting precious crop water "to protect a three-inch fish," at the behest of environmentalists.

Never mind that the amount of water being diverted wouldn't begin to solve the water shortage problem in California. Trump threw out the bait and hopes to snag a lot of under-educated people in his net.

Pandering to the fears of populace after populace, Trump's told the working-class people of Indiana he'd do away with outsourcing; the people of North Dakota (America's second-leading producer of oil) he'll do away with energy regulations, and he told the coal miners in Virginia he's going to reinvigorate the coal mining industry by doing away with the EPA.

Trump will promise anything to get elected. Anything. He says what people want to hear, despite the fact his solutions (if he even offers any) are simplistic and wrong-headed.

How far will pandering take the Donald? It's hard to say. So far he's managed to appeal to half of the Republican base - the under-educated angry white men, with success.

Hopefully, when it comes to the general election, the rest of the country will have more sense than to elect a demogogue.

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

Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorial Day: Celebration and Traditions

Good Day World!

Today the country honors those veterans who died while serving their country.

Memorial Day is not be confused with Veterans Day which celebrates all veterans.

Tradition has it that the flag of the United States is raised briskly to the top of the staff and then solemnly lowered to the half-staff position, where it remains only until noon. It is then raised to full-staff for the remainer of the day.

For many Americans, the central event is attending one of the thousands of parades held on Memorial Day in large and small cities all over the country. 

In 2000, Congress passed the National Moment of Remembrance Act, asking people to stop and remember at 3:00 P.M

Between the parades and flag raisings, other traditions associated with the day have sprung up over the years.

One of the longest-standing traditions is the running of the Indianapolis 500, an auto race which has been held in conjunction with Memorial Day since 1911.

Most Americans however celebrate the day with bar-b-ques, or they hit the road searching for adventure or visiting family and friends.

Marketers use the holiday as an excuse to promote Memorial Day sales.

Memorial Day also marks the start of summer.

Whatever you do be safe and remember what this holiday is really all about - honoring veterans who gave their all while serving this great country.

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

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Word Struck: When Speech Gives Way To Silence

Good Day World!
Have you ever been struck speechless?

Momentarily stunned by a comment or by something you saw? At a complete loss of words? Tongue tied? I have. 

On my first date in junior high. It was really pathetic. I searched for words to impress my date and made croaking sounds that scared her instead! 

The first time I had to stand up in front of a class to make a speech, I lost my voice. I stood pointed at a chart and coughed. And coughed. Words barely discernible as human came out of my mouth mocking my efforts at communication.

The teacher took pity on me. She pretended I made sense and gave me a passing grade.  

When I think about it, I’ve been wordless many times in my life:

  “Where have you been all night young man?”
   No response.
  “Who said you could take that last piece of pie?”
   No response.
  “What were you thinking?”
   No response.

 You get the idea. It’s pretty common to be at a loss for words. I’ve given this a lot of deep thought (about five fully focused minutes) and I think it’s a survival instinct. If you say nothing, it’s better than saying the wrong thing. 

Think about it:

“Where have you been all night young man?”
“None of your business…” 
This is where harm comes in.
“Who said you could take that last piece of pie?”
“Grandma…she appeared to me in a vision…” 
This is the where you get to stare at the wall for the rest of the afternoon.
“What were you thinking?
“That I wanted to get fall-down stupid drunk and tell you…” This is where your mate locks the front door and lets you sleep it off on the front step.

Sometimes silence is golden. Or at least better than a truthful alternative. Then there are times when words can’t begin to describe what you’re seeing.

For example, when I watched each of my three sons enter this world I was without words. My world tilted each time, but no fine speech instantly sprang forth to honor the births.

Mere words could not describe those moments of new life I was shared with my wife. I saw my past and my future. Life and death often leave us speechless. 

The passing of my sister and brother, both so young, left me mute with misery each time. Words were dust in my mouth.

After 65 years of experiencing times when words were worthless or needless, I’m still amazed at how quickly they flee in times of stress, pressure, or pleasure. 

For example, when you get a back rub and are asked if it feels good, words seem unnecessary and a contented sigh says everything!

The next time someone asks you if the “cat got your tongue?” just smile like the Cheshire cat in Alice and Wonderland, and don’t answer.

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

Saturday, May 28, 2016

An Intriguing Alternative To Trump and Clinton

Good Day World!

Are you like me when it comes to being totally disgusted with Donald Trump, or Hillary Clinton, as our next president?
 (Photo-Gary Johnson - AFC-AFP/Getty Images)

Thinking of leaving the country and starting over somewhere else? Canada and Finland are already encouraging disgruntled Americans to move to their countries.

Do you feel like there's no hope? 

Well, I'm going to offer up an alternative that may surprise you at first: The Libertarian Party, with Gary Johnson (senator from New Mexico) as their presidential candidate.

Every four years a third-party scenario surfaces like a submarine and quickly sinks into obscurity. But this year is different.

For starters there's never been a presidential election featuring two of the most unpopular candidates for president in American history. 

According to political pundits the only party with a chance to be a factor is the Libertarian Party. That's partly because they're the only ones whose candidate is likely to make ballot in all 50 states.

Get this; In three recent national surveys, Johnson has cracked double-digits in a hypothetical match-up against Trump and Clinton. 

Nicholas Sarwark, chair for the Libertarian National Committee, feels that the combination of polling and pedigree is the long-promised libertarian moment. 

The point is, for the first time ever, a third party may stand a chance on pulling off the greatest presidential upset in history.

Johnson's entire strategy in 2016 hinges on winning the media attention that prompts inclusion in surveys, then doing well enough in surveys to get more attention. “We’re spot on in terms of message,” he says, “but it’s a message that’s not being heard.” 

His magic number is 15%: the threshold at which a candidate automatically wins a spot on the presidential debate stage.

Think about it. If your conscience can't bear voting for the Donald or Hillary, Johnson could be the ticket. I don't look at it as a wasted vote (or protest vote), but as a vote that may make history.

In this election there are no rules, no traditions, or accurate predictions. Voters are angry enough to seek alternatives to the dreaded-two.

Are you?

Related Story:

2016 Finally Has a Contested Concention, Thanks To the Libertarians

Time for me to walk on down the road..

Friday, May 27, 2016

How To Be A Hypocrite And Still Live With Yourself

Good Day World!

The presidential primaries have been a case study for serial hypocrites. 

The question is how do the hypocrites manage to live with themselves when they publicly flip flop on opinions for political expediency?

Isn't it embarrassing?

Apparently not. 

Remember last February when New York Republican Rep. Peter King said Donald Trump was "not fit to be president, morally or intellectually?"

In early May he changed his tune and endorsed Trump. He's not the only example. There's plenty of others. 

As Trump's competition wilted Republicans who initially thought Trump was unfit to be a president faced a dilemma: willfilly embracing him would mean recognizing that their decisions about whom to support were opportunistic rather than principled.

But here's the rub; they all wanted to be on the winning team. No problem according to psychologist Jeff Malet who said that the human mind has a built-in solution for problems like this: the whitewash.

Malet explained in a recent article that when people are faced with the option to either stand on principal or gain advantage, people tend to do the latter.

And if that means rewriting your preceptions, the mind is more than happy to comply while maintaining the illusion that you were doing what was right all along.

So if you're a Republican, Trump is now your standard-bearer, and the easiest way to come to terms with this fact is to lessen his sins. 

For example, if you were concerned by Trump's initial failure to distance himself from the Ku Klux Klan's David Duke, your mind can soften this blemish. 

That's what Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch might have done once he realized his favored candidates weren't likely to prevail; Hatch told himself, and the press, that "deep down" Trump doesn't tolerate racist organizations, he's just "inexperienced in expressing himself" about it.

Guess what? You don't have to be a politician to be a hypocrite. They come in all shapes and sizes. Just remember to be prepared to spread lots of whitewash over the history your changing.

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

Thursday, May 26, 2016

A Poem: 21st Century Scream

By Edvard Munch - WebMuseum at ibiblioPage: URL: ttp://, Public Domain,

Good Day World!

Every now and then I like to share my feeble attempts at writing poetry.

Today is one of those days.

My inspiration is Edvard Munch's famous painting - THE SCREAM


Edvard Munch screamed in the 20th century
On the edge of sanity
horrified at the follies of man
throughout the land

If Munch were alive today
what would he say?
insanity and war still stalk mankind
on wisdom, there is no sign

Would he paint the 21st Century in pain?
another era with no gain?
or, would he be seduced by new science
and paint the latest kitchen appliance?

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

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

That's Outrageous! News That Leaves You Shaking Your Head...

Good Day World!

On any given day you can find news items that make you wonder if the whole world has gone mad.

For example:

You may have heard of George Zimmerman, the guy who murdered a teenager in 2012 and got away with it, but did you hear about what he's doing for money these days?

He put the murder weapon - a 9-mm Kel-Tec PF-9 - up for auction. Supposedly, he got $250,000 for it. There's some who doubt that he got that much. 

Regardless of what he did get for the murder weapon, think about this; what kind of person would pay big money for a weapon that ended a defenseless teenager's life?

We're not talking about General Patton's pearl-handed revolvers. Just a common 9-mm handgun owned by a racist, bad-tempered jerk who had a good lawyer.

Just like O.J. Simpson, who also got away with murder, but is doing jail time for assault, kidnapping, etc.

Just last year, Zimmerman showed the depth of his depravity by tweeting a picture of Trayvon Martin's corpse to his followers. Of course the story was picked up by the mainstream media.

The mainstream news wastes too much time reporting about morons like Zimmerman and not enough on legitimate news. But I know why.

The more outrageous, the more readers/viewers want it. 

There's not much I can do about it but shake my head and hope someday there'll be a return to real news stories, instead of nothing but entertertainment journalism like we have now.

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

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

A Political Revelation: It's All Just A Gameshow

Good Day World!

It took me a while to process what's been happening in politics this past year, but I finally understand what's going on.

The assimilation of politics and entertainment is complete. They're interchangeable now. And it's just what the public seems to want.

It's been a slow process with gossip pioneers like Walter Winchell setting the bar for future generations of reporter/personalities that got away with saying just about anything they pleased to entertain viewers and readers - truth be damned.

Once on different roads, politics and entertainment have changed couse to a one-lane highway resulting in an alliance of lies instead of truthful reporting, for the sake of getting readers/viewers.

Candidates like Trump can get away with saying pretty much anything they want without being held accountable so long as what they say is entertaining, and so long as they keep the comments coming.

All the major networks are guilty. Instead of holding Trump accountable they have been giving him billions of dollars in free advertising by reporting everytime he farts or says something outrageous.

The core of this fusion is Americans who are no longer able to tell what's real or what's just a gameshow. There's been a meltdown of minds.

What this means is that our politics are no longer politics in the traditional sense of policy and governance.

Trump is the poster boy for non-political politics - a synergy of the showman and town gossip - fused into what passes off as a presidential candidate in 2016.

My grandfather Baxter use to say, "And the merry game goes on..." So, it does.

Who would have guessed the end game would come so soon for America?

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

GOP Governors Unite in Fight to Stop Unions in their States

Six Republican Governors have gathered to warn their residents against the evils of unionization which they claim would threaten their jobs...