Make America a Train Wreck Again

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Comey, Bharara, Priebus, Yates, Flynn, Reid, Scaramucci, OUT, he wants to fire Sessions, and Spicer resigned. This administration is a complete train wreck. No, it isn’t the political pundits, the spin, or the misrepresentations. Forget FOX, CNN and the rest of the media. Think for yourself. SPOILER ALERT: Everyone who sat and watched hour after hour of “reality” TV of The Apprentice shows where Trump fired everybody, well, it was all scripted. Now, as Americans we have to watch the unscripted version and it is a real disaster.

Trump: Master of Delusion

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I’m not buying the Trump brand. America doesn’t need cheap ties and ugly buildings. Trump brand brings appeal to the 1980’s Izod wearing preppie in a Member’s Only jacket and then sort of got stuck there. His major retort to anyone that disagrees with him is that they are a “loser” or “failing.” It is a throwback to an era of excess, hedonism, and a time before the country-club was over-run by Mexicans. No amount of wish-upon-a-star is taking us back there again. No matter how “great” Donald thinks it was. Perhaps some of the GOP are upset that they have to say these things out in the open rather than wear a pointy white hat that hides their faces. The GOP is in a bit of a quandary itself having to mostly back Trump, but when the chips fall there will be more backwards two-stepping going on than at a country line dance in Texas. That is modern day politics: the art of being spineless but still try and hold your head up. The main exception will be Ted Cruz who sustained an ugly personal attack on his family by the Donald. The GOP attacks on Hillary somehow just keep missing the mark. One has to question if Trump even really wants the job at all or whether this was a publicity stunt gone awry.

Pride and Pretension

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Remove the confederate flag? Heritage or Hatred?

“A man passes for that he is worth.  Pretension may sit still, but cannot act.  Pretension never feigned an act of real greatness.  Pretension never wrote an Iliad, nor drove back Xerxes, nor christianized the world, nor abolished slavery. “

On the heels of Hobby Lobby, Jewish Deli owners follow soup.

When discussing Obamacare, Joshua Flickenstein, the owner of J’s Deli said, “We are tired of Obamacare forcing us to pay for heart disease treatment and medication to employees who eat bacon for breakfast, lunch, or whatever.”  People in the Jewish community are getting really frustrated about the new healthcare law also known as Obamacare.  The complaints are numerous especially among tea party conservatives.  Mr. Flickenstein went on to say, “Ever since Obamacare started they built several new Wendy’s restaurants near my deli. Some of my employees have been whorishly sneaking around at eating Baconators for lunch.”  Mr. Flickenstein said his concern is how he can afford to pay for heart transplants for all the people that work for him.  “The best part of running a restaurant is paying my employees 2.13 and hour and I still charge them 14.50 for a sandwich.”  He says that he doesn’t believe that people should eat bacon because it says not to (eat bacon) in the bible.  I asked him where in the bible it says that.  He casually tells me, as he places two soup bowls down on the table, that he doesn’t know where it says that, but that is what his Grandma Ruth has always told him that’s what it (the bible) says.  He tells me that the soup is his Nana’s famous vegetable soup and has secret ingredients.  Mr. Flickenstein laments, “I am afraid that with all the changes and Obamacare that will no longer be able serve Nana’s vegetable soup.  They are forcing bacon and communism on us as a people.  Why should I pay for heart surgery and all that?”  Mr. Flickenstien is afraid after 20 years of business he will be forced to close his doors forever.  “The Baconators are too much fat and cholesterol and even the Son of a Baconator isn’t that much better.  It isn’t fair,” he continued.  “Hopefully, Hobby Lobby will win in the Supreme Court.  I want to travel to the courthouse wearing my ‘Eat Mor Matzah Balls’ T-shirt for the verdict.”  Well, we will just have to wait and see.  Stay tuned.

Obama Drama

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Benghazi.  The IRS.  PRISM surveillance.  It keeps going on and on. Throw in Obamacare, Bradley Manning, and Guantanamo and have a good old fashioned craptastic feeding frenzy.  Lets begin to chew our own arms off.

The Government can commit unspeakable atrocities and when someone speaks up about it, they are revealing “classified” information that is “vital” to our security?  Let us open the debate.  Why is certain information classified and for what purpose?  At some point there needs to be transparency. Perhaps that transparency doesn’t need to be realized right away, but after a specific threat has, or has not, materialized.   The government needs to stand behind what it chooses to do.  People should not be able to hide behind the veil of “sensitive” or “classified” information indefinitely.  What is the purpose of hiding civilian casualties in war, military sex crimes, and/or sorting through people’s personal e-mails or telephone conversations?  Have we become so overcome with fear that we are willing to give up freedom?  

As far as the Bradley Manning case, which is older than the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden situation, Matt Taibbi wrote over at Rolling Stone, “Because in reality, this case does not have anything to do with who Bradley Manning is, or even, really, what his motives were. This case is entirely about the “classified” materials Manning had access to, and whether or not they contained widespread evidence of war crimes.  He goes on to say, “This whole thing, this trial, it all comes down to one simple equation. If you can be punished for making public a crime, then the government doing the punishing is itself criminal.”  Matt drives home his point when he clearly sates, “Manning, by whatever means, stumbled into a massive archive of evidence of state-sponsored murder and torture, and for whatever reason, he released it. The debate we should be having is over whether as a people we approve of the acts he uncovered that were being done in our names.”

AND STILL we have refused to prosecute people responsible for the economic crisis.  All we have is a bunch of Obama Drama and it appears that anything goes and nothing really matters.   SQUAREROOTOFZERO

Shocking Illusion

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Perception. It is everything.

Most of these photos when viewed one by one have pleasing and normal results. However, when viewed side by side and focusing in the middle, strange results occur. It is more like something a caricature artist would portray.

By studying illusions such as these, along with research on memory, vision, and brain science, researchers are starting to understand the boundaries of our capacity to interpret the seemingly endless amounts of input that we try to absorb almost all day long. Sometimes we observe things that are not there and do not see things that are.

In the words of Philip K. Dick, “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.”

SQUAREROOTOFZERO

Take the Money and Run

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Republicans and Democrats alike have backed the same failed materialist techno-narcissistic pro-corporate PR-machine policies with “growth at all costs,” debilitating rational selfishness, and a nefarious embracing of a Dukes-of-moral-Hazzard business model.  Ethics, behind closed doors, is something you flush down the toilet along with your brains.  The whole machine will eventually grind to a halt.  It is going to happen piece by piece rather than a big spectacular Hollywood style explosion.

Banksters.

Eric Holder said, “I am concerned that the size of some of these institutions becomes so large that it does become difficult for us to prosecute them when we are hit with indications that if you do prosecute, if you do bring a criminal charge, it will have a negative impact on the national economy, perhaps even the world economy…”

SAY WHAT?

We can’t prosecute Too Big To Fail Jail institutions even though they broke the law.   Matt Taibbi writing about HSBC sated, “For at least half a decade, the storied British colonial banking power helped to wash hundreds of millions of dollars for drug mobs, including Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel, suspected in tens of thousands of murders just in the past 10 years…The bank also moved money for organizations linked to Al Qaeda and Hezbollah, and for Russian gangsters; helped countries like Iran, the Sudan and North Korea evade sanctions; and, in between helping murderers and terrorists and rogue states, aided countless common tax cheats in hiding their cash.”  He also notes, “Yes, they issued a fine – $1.9 billion, or about five weeks’ profit – but they didn’t extract so much as one dollar or one day in jail from any individual, despite a decade of stupefying abuses.”

This should be the new definition of insanity.

Chase and the London Whale.  UBS and Libor Scandal.  Corzine and the MFGlobal scandal.  The Raj Rajaratnam scandal.  Goldman Sachs thinks everyone but themselves are “muppets” that they can knowingly sell garbage to.  And on and on.   There isn’t one single adult running the system.  These are the largest subsidies in the world and people are complaining that someone bought junk food with food-stamps.  You would go to jail longer for stealing a couple boxes of Tide from Wal-mart than people who have screwed around with trillions of dollars and millions of people’s lives.  I guess the Steve Miller Band is right, we’ve got nothing better to do.

This here’s a story about Billy Joe and Bobbie Sue
Two young lovers with nothin’ better to do
Than sit around the house, get high, and watch the tube
And here is what happened when they decided to cut loose

They headed down to, ooh, old El Paso
That’s where they ran into a great big hassle
Billy Joe shot a man while robbing his castle
Bobbie Sue took the money and run
Go on take the money and run

SQUAREROOTOFZERO

8 Spiritual Laws of Emerson

1) Take time to reflect and see the beauty that exists.  “When the act of reflection takes place in the mind, when we look at ourselves in the light of thought, we discover that our life is embosomed in beauty. Behind us, as we go, all things assume pleasing forms, as clouds do far off.”
2) Do not create difficulties for yourself.  “The intellectual life may be kept clean and healthful, if man will live the life of nature, and not import into his mind difficulties which are none of his. No man need be perplexed in his speculations.”
3) Do not seek evil.  “Our young people are diseased with the theological problems of original sin, origin of evil, predestination, and the like. These never presented a practical difficulty to any man, — never darkened across any man’s road, who did not go out of his way to seek them.”
4) Do not interfere with nature and create your own evil out of ignorance, life can be easy if you let it be.  “The lesson is forcibly taught by these observations, that our life might be much easier and simpler than we make it; that the world might be a happier place than it is; that there is no need of struggles, convulsions, and despairs, of the wringing of the hands and the gnashing of the teeth; that we miscreate our own evils. We interfere with the optimism of nature; for, whenever we get this vantage-ground of the past, or of a wiser mind in the present, we are able to discern that we are begirt with laws which execute themselves.”
5) Nature, like love, is unconditional.  “The face of external nature teaches the same lesson. Nature will not have us fret and fume. She does not like our benevolence or our learning much better than she likes our frauds and wars.”
6) There is no need to have faith in expediency or machines just because we can not learn to sit still or look for a higher purpose.  “If we look wider, things are all alike; laws, and letters, and creeds, and modes of living, seem a travestie of truth. Our society is encumbered by ponderous machinery, which resembles the endless aqueducts which the Romans built over hill and dale, and which are superseded by the discovery of the law that water rises to the level of its source. It is a Chinese wall which any nimble Tartar can leap over. It is a standing army, not so good as a peace.”
7) Cultivate awareness and you will prosper.  “A little consideration of what takes place around us every day would show us, that a higher law than that of our will regulates events; that our painful labors are unnecessary, and fruitless; that only in our easy, simple, spontaneous action are we strong, and by contenting ourselves with obedience we become divine. Belief and love, — a believing love will relieve us of a vast load of care. O my brothers, God exists. There is a soul at the centre of nature, and over the will of every man, so that none of us can wrong the universe. It has so infused its strong enchantment into nature, that we prosper when we accept its advice, and when we struggle to wound its creatures, our hands are glued to our sides, or they beat our own breasts. The whole course of things goes to teach us faith. We need only obey.”
8) Respect simplicity.  “As much virtue as there is, so much appears; as much goodness as there is, so much reverence it commands. All the devils respect virtue. The high, the generous, the self-devoted sect will always instruct and command mankind. Never was a sincere word utterly lost. Never a magnanimity fell to the ground, but there is some heart to greet and accept it unexpectedly. A man passes for that he is worth.”

Only in America

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Logic?  Who needs logic when you have an assault rifle pointed at everyone’s head?  I just don’t see why there can’t be more research done on violence, especially with guns.  The NRA released a video calling Obama a hypocrite for having Secret Service guard his daughters at school. Why shouldn’t the PRESIDENT of the United States have Secret Service guarding his daughters?   Just because the President has gun toting Secret Service protection then everyone else should too because that would be fair?  I’m not sure that you can fight ignorant behavior with more ignorance or fight gun violence with more guns.  Only in America can you drive down to Wal-Mart in your over-sized pick-up and park in a sea of asphalt to buy an 18 pack of beer, a semi-automatic rifle, and a set of plastic NASCAR mugs made in China.  Where is the logic in that?

There certainly are reasons to be concerned that Washington is taking more and more steps to limit freedom.  The debate needs to framed logically and not with the tough guy act of prying weapons from someone’s cold dead hands.  Guns Don’t Kill People, People Kill People by shooting them with a gun.  Some people think the Government should register guns.  Probably not going to happen anytime soon.  Some people think the Government should register “stupid people.”  The Government has already done that and they have given them a number.  I think it is called a Social Security number.  One way or another and at one time or another we would all make that list.  Just because a person has something to make them feel more in control than they really are doesn’t make it so.  A wise man can admit there is much that he does not know and does not need to fear death so much that he forgets to live.  That is the only thing that is certain in this world.  SQUAREROOTOFZERO