Honest isn’t how I would phrase it.

 over at OZY asks the question, “Is Trump too honest to be an effective diplomat?” It’s actually an intriguing question. But, I’m not altogether sure that it’s his honesty that hinders him.

First, let’s be blunt, he’s fundamentally not an honest guy. His team might say he just “spins.” But he’s frequently so far into the world of alternate truth that spin itself is a fiction. It’s more like he dissembles or perhaps obfuscates or maybe misdirects or redirects.

Let’s look at a recent faux pas (yes I chose French intentionally- you know what’s coming). Trump, a guest of the French government for a Bastille Day celebration comments about Brigitte Macron “You’re in such good shape. She’s in such good physical shape. Beautiful.” In this country we simply accept that Trump is a philandering, misogynistic Neanderthal (see here, here, or here). But now he’s on the international stage so the whole world gets to see this stunted adolescent behavior. Was this honesty? Sure Ms. Macron is attractive. But it’s irrelevant isn’t it? He’s not honest- he’s a tactless boor.

Let’s look specifically at his lies, half-truths, mis-speaks. It’s a field day over at the NY Times where recently an Op-Ed compiled all of the ones that are known. Earlier this year Maria Konnikova at Politico noted the impressive ease with which Trump lies and went on to say:

A whopping 70 percent of Trump’s statements that PolitiFact checked during the campaign were false, while only 4 percent were completely true, and 11 percent mostly true. (Compare that to the politician Trump dubbed “crooked,” Hillary Clinton: Just 26 percent of her statements were deemed false.)

Those who have followed Trump’s career say his lying isn’t just a tactic, but an ingrained habit. New York tabloid writers who covered Trump as a mogul on the rise in the 1980s and ’90s found him categorically different from the other self-promoting celebrities in just how often, and pointlessly, he would lie to them.

This just scratches the surface. So I think I have to conclude that Trump isn’t too honest to be a good diplomat. He’s blunt and crude. Not honest. He’s inappropriate. Not honest. He lies with greater ease than the remainder of the American population breathes- and he likes it.

He’s a lot of things but honest is not on the list.

Bill Maher and the N-word

Bill Maher used the N-word. The only thing dumber than his use of a racial epithet was the abject hypocrisy of some of the black community. Let’s look at this “Ice” person (I’ve never heard of him but he has some odd ideas about language).

“I still think you need to get to the root of the psyche because I think there’s a lot of guys out there who cross the line because they’re a little too familiar, or they think they’re too familiar. Or, guys that, you know, might have a black girlfriend or two that made them Kool-Aid every now and then, and then they think they can cross the line. And they can’t. You know, it’s a word that has been used against us. It’s like a knife, man. You can use it as a weapon or you can use it as a tool. It’s when you use it as a weapon against us, by white people, and we’re not going to let that happened again . . . because it’s not cool . . . That’s our word, and you can’t have it back.

“. . . It’s not cool because when I hear my homie say it, it don’t feel like venom. When I hear a white person say it, it feel like that knife stabbing you even if they don’t mean to.”

I didn’t watch the video. I used the transcript. But “Ice” seems to believe that a racial epithet (just a word, mind you) is somehow OK if it’s used by a particular ethnic group. But it immediately raises all kinds of questions. Who decides-

  1. who’s black?
  2. who’s black enough? President Obama “looks” black but is he really black enough?
  3. who determines who meets the criteria. For example, is Rachel Meghan Markle or Rashida Jones “black enough” to be permitted into the club that uses the N-word? Or must everyone who uses the word look like Yaphet Kotto.
  4. when it’s OK?

I’ll accept that certain offensive words, like the N-word, are OK relegated to certain populations when we can answer some of these questions.

Or, I’ll accept that it’s OK when Justices Kagan and Ginsberg tell me it’s OK for them to refer to each other by the C-word (derogatory term for women) or the K-word (derogatory term for Jews) from the bench. I don’t see either of those happening.

Until then, Ice’s idea and his rhetoric is just stupid. And every time a black person uses a racial epithet to address another black person- (s)he is just keeping society’s boot on the throat of every other black person. Ice uses ingrained stereotypes to continue the oppression of modern people of color. His idea is stupid. It’s a throwback to a time we should move away from.

It’s time…

Washington Post has a great peice exposing the inderlying  corruption in Washington. The piece By Aaron Williams notes that:

The NRA has donated $3,782,803 to members of Congress who are currently in office.

42 of 100 U.S. senators have accepted NRA donations.

252 of 435 U.S. House Representatives have accepted NRA donations.

There’s also a terrific graphic that allows you to see which of your representatives have received money from the NRA.

Joanna Rothkopf over at The Slot took WaPo’s info and ran with it nicely. She aggregated the big dollars at the trough of national rifle annihilation. The winners are:

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Missouri)
(202) 224-5721

Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska)
(202) 225-5765

Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio)
(202) 225-2216

Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Virginia)
(202) 225-5431

Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas)
(202) 225-2231

Sen. John Thune (R-South Dakota)
(202) 224-2321

Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho)
(202) 225-5531

Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Alabama)
(202) 225-4876

Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Kentucky)
(202) 225-4601

Rep. John Kline (R-Minnesota)
(202) 225-2271

Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-Georgia)
(202) 225-3631

Rep. Ken Calvert (R-California)
(202) 225-1986

Rep. Greg Walden (R-Oregon)
(202) 225-6730

Rep. Sam Graves (R-Missouri)
(202) 225-7041

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin)
(202) 225-3031

Sen. Richard Burr (R-North Carolina)
(202) 224-3154

Sen. David Vitter (R-Louisiana)
(202) 224-4623

Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Kentucky)
(202) 225-3115

Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pennsylvania)
(202) 225-2301

Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas)
(202) 225-2002

Each legislator’s name and address is accompanied by a picture. In each and every picture these hyperprostatic kleptocrats has a smarmy smile that belies the fact that they’d rather continue felating the NRA for a few dollars than actually protect the American public.

If you care you shouldn’t simply call you should deluge these predominantly privileged rich white men with calls and letters. Their inaction jeopardizes your safety. You must also make them answer by voting for anyone except them.

It’s your fault

That’s what the TSA wants us to believe. According to the NY Post:

“In many cases bringing more than the airline industry standard of one carry-on bag and one personal item per traveler,” the TSA said in a press release, which also blamed the uptick on shrinking staff.

“Individuals who come to the TSA checkpoint unprepared for a trip can have a negative impact on the time it takes to complete the screening process,” the agency added in the statement, which told passengers to be more prepared.

Seriously? I fly. A lot. At my usual airport I am reliably confronted by some TSA moron barking out random orders. One day I’m told to take off my shoes. One day I’m told to take out all electronics. It’s clear that it’s not the regular passengers it’s the near complete lack of consistency in screening procedures from TSA.

Let’s start with the ID’s. If you arrive with a paper boarding pass the TSA “officer” will spend time examining your ID and then very carefully study the boarding pass. TSA officers acts as if they have some divine ability to detect a fake boarding pass (doubtful since I suspect many can’t even read). Then with great flourish the officer makes a few circles and some cryptic scrawls. The purpose of the scrawls is unclear since no one ever checks that again.

On the other hand, if you present an electronic boarding pass, the officer merely checks your ID. You place your cell phone/device on the elctronic scanner (the same scanner the officer uses for the paper boarding pass). Once the green light comes on the officer waves you on without ever examining the boarding pass.

So I must ask, why all the theatrics? Why slow things down for the sake of TSA theater? Why is a paper boarding pass subjected to such intense scrutiny?

Let’s go a step further? Why do the instructions vary everyday based the the absurd idiosyncracies of some high school drop out? Why not standardize? At least then everyone could be prepared. At least then everything wouldn’t slow down just because minimally competent, low-paid, part-time mall cops can’t decide which set of fabricated rules to follow today. TSA is not security. It really is a shit-show.

It’s just a turn signal, right?

The team over at Hit & Run have posted a great exposé of the massive over-reach and simple-minded stupidity of local police as well as the “war” on drugs.

The District Court ruling on motions for dismissal can be found here. The District Court goes through many legal gyrations to avoid holding the cops and physician responsible but ultimately many of the victims claims are simply dismissed.

There are some names that I hope will be remembered by the citizens of Lawrence county..

The district attorney in the case, Joshua Lamancusa is no stranger to screwing up his overzealous investigation and absurd prosecution of innocent citizens. Previously, Lamancusa staged a rather elaborate and theatrical “drug bust”on television. The only problem, the confiscated material wasn’t illegal in Pennsylvania- a fact told to him by the persecuted citizen- which he ignored. After all he’s the DA. Maybe the citizens of Lawrence county should consider alternate choices during the next election.

Similarly Bernard T. Geiser, M.D. the physician involved in providing  alleged unnecessary and inappropriate care with neither consent from the patient nor necessary court order or warrant. The victim was subjected to THREE sequential pelvis and rectal exams. TWO of the exams were performed by “Dr.” Geiser himself. Apparently he thought he might have missed something? Seriously? How big a space does he think he’s dealing with? Then he subjected the victim to an unnecessary CT scan. [I use quotation marks for Geiser because he clearly failed to recognize the most basic requirements of legal authority and patient autonomy. I certainly hope the Pennsylvania Medical Board steps in with an independent investigation.]

Finally, Jameson Health System is responsible. How? Jameson gave the dubiously skilled and thoroughly insecure “Dr.” Geiser privileges to inflict the alleged injuries on the victim. Despite the occurrence and suit Geiser continues to practice. Who will be the next victim?


It’s dangerous to be a law-abiding citizen

You read that correctly. It’s dangerous. So I’m going to aggregate all of the reports violence against citizens by agents of the executive branch- that’s police for those of you who don’t know.


Here’s the first installment:

Melissa Boarts was a 36 year old woman with, apparently poorly controlled, manic depression. Her family was worried about her so when she got into her car her mother called 911 and let them know Melissa had threatened to harm herself.

Shortly thereafter Auburn, AL police pulled her over. Shortly afterwards police opened fire and killed her.

Apparently all she had was a pocket knife. Read about it here and here.


Ted Cruz REALLY Owes Mitch McConnell

OK, it’s widely accepted that Ted Cruz is the most despised person in DC. Click here, here, here, and here. But lately the narrow-minded, dumb-ass cracker obstructionist know as Mitch McConnell seems to be overtaking Cruz as the most despised.

Even the American public has finally decided that McConnell is a dispicable bag of protoplasm. A recent poll gives McConnell a whopping 64% DISAPPROVAL rating. As might be expected- a Facebook page is dedicated to demonstrating the near complete worthlessness of McConnell’s “leadership.” Maybe he needs to re-think his fairly-tale existence where accomplishing nothing is considered productive. Or perhaps the nut-job world where 25% of republican senators intend to meet with Merrick Garland- but McConnell believes they’re still standing firm.