Remembering Fondly

The other night I was watching the new Magnificent Seven and being singularly unimpressed with it.  The plot was both soggy and formulaic.  Although I don’t think formula is always a bad thing, you need to have a great script to make it work.

Anyway, I wrote a note on Tumlbr in the middle of watching it that I wasn’t impressed and some people mentioned that they didn’t think the original was all that great.

Blasphemy! I thought.  Of course lots of movies that you see as a kid do not hold up as an adult.  But the last time I watched it was 10 years ago and I know it had not lost it’s sheen of enjoyment

So I pulled up some key scenes on Youtube and I was reminded I still liked it.  Wooden acting and formulaic, incredibly generic star cast, and I liked it. Why?

Sometimes we have already made a decision about a thing and so all subsequent thoughts are influenced by that decision.  It’s called confirmation bias.  I like Magnificent Seven. So now I see things I like.  I don’t put much value on its flaws.  I place value on the things I liked.

Confirmation bias can be a dangerous thing, blinding us to reality.  Think Trump fans.

But it can also be a good thing.  It’s the thing that keeps people happy in marriage. We place higher value on the things we like than the things that annoy us in the people we love.  This is particularly true in hindsight.

Babies are the same way.  The first few months of a baby’s life are hell for the parents.  Particularly first time parents.  During those months parents will tell it like it is.  It’s hard and exhausting but worth it.  Years later all the hard and terrible is shuffled aside and memories are focused on the wonder and love and they remember those times as happier than they were.

The human brain is a mess.  But it’s mess often works to our advantage.

The GOP Need a New Self Definition

The GOP has spent the last 8 years defining itself by being against Obama.  That was what they stood for.  They had nothing substantial to say – just NO to anything Obama said.

In the long years of them trying desperately to repeal Obamacare, they NEVER came up with an alternative.  Their entire position was NO.  Not  “This is a better way. ” Just “No, not that.”

They now own the legislature and the Presidency and yet they are STILL defining themselves through Obama.

ryan tweet

It’s pathetic in the extreme.  Today’s reference was a bill that reversed the rule that protected hibernating animals from being killed by hunters.   Apparently they are proud of that, although I can’t imagine they could eke out even 10% of the population that would find that a laudable act.

If you review his twitter, Ryan often references the bills that way.  Reversing Obama.  Because that is all they have been successful at.  They have spent the last 3 months reversing rules put in place by various agencies under Obama.

The GOP still have no plan, no self definition, no formula – except No to Obama.

It is fairly common in a change of ruling party to reverse rules by agencies.  But what is odd is that it’s all defined that way.   They aren’t defining the reversals as a productive action in a defined plan and strategy for accomplishing goals.  They are defined as Reversing Obama.

There is no sign of defined structural plan for positive change.  They are too busy burning Obama in effigy through these often stupid and destructive reversals.

It really never occurs to them that they give more weight and power to the idea of Obama than Democrats ever could.

They are destined to fail as leaders until they stand up for something substantial instead of  defining themselves through Obama.  They should have refused to mention him, come up with definite clear constructive goals and related every reversal to those goals.   No, they are just weak.  Fighting a man who isn’t even there anymore.

GOP, Demonstrating a Lack of Fiscal Responsibility, Again.

This morning the new health care bill made it out of Ways and Means.  WITHOUT the committee ever having read the report on it’s impact.

Because the report isn’t done yet.  The Congressional Budget Office hasn’t had time to research and prepare it.

But that means nothing to them.  Vengeance for 8 years of Obama, regardless of it’s impact on the nation is the only thing they really care about.

Sean Spicer has already begun to say that the CBO report isn’t going to be accurate.  CBO is a non partisan, highly respected office.

The Republican Whip said that he didn’t want to “unelected bureaucrats in Washington” slow down the Republican promise to repeal and replace Obamacare.

The report is due on Monday.  So essentially they would need to wait one week to be responsible.  But nope.  Not gonna do that.

Likely because they know it’s going to a negative report.

So let me back up here.  This is the WAYS AND MEANS committee.  The entire point of this committee is to make sure a bill can be paid for with existing taxes and what kind of impact it will have on the deficit.  But they don’t know.  Because they don’t have the fucking report.

They obviously know this is going to a bad report.  I’m not sure how it could be otherwise, even if they had written with good intention, they wrote a complex bill in a few weeks. They scrabbled together our future without even proper consideration or research.  Because they want to win.

Last week Trump said the pipeline would ONLY use U.S. Steel or it wouldn’t be built. But this week it’s going to be Canadian Steel, owned by a Russian Billionaire.

The steel is coming from a company controlled by the Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich.  Roman is such a good friend of Putin’s that he gave him a 187 ft Yacht.  Roman seems nice, right?

Did you know Vladimir Putin is the richest guy in Europe?

Did you know Vladimir Putin has been a public servant his entire career?

Did you know Vladimir Putin came out of a working class family?

I’ll let you work out the solution to that mystery.


Now imagine a conversation that was had with Trump several years ago.  In which Putin sketches his history.  And suggests how very easy it is to just – get rich (or get yachts) while in public office.

Just imagine that conversation.

“It doesn’t have to be JUST this money I’m bribing you with,” says Putin. “There’s tons of bribes to be found in the world.  And once you are in power, everyone wants to give you money.”

Trump – Adding toxic sludge to the swamp.  

ACLU explains the requirements for wiretapping

The full article is here. But the key piece of info is:

In order to authorize the wiretapping, the FISA Court judge must find — based on evidence presented in the application — that there is probable cause to believe that the “target” of the surveillance is a foreign power or agent of a foreign power. The judge must also find probable cause to believe that the phone line, email account, or computer where the surveillance will occur is being used by a foreign power or agent of a foreign power.

Yup.  He’s this much of a moron.

He just announced to everyone that there was sufficient evidence to get his phones tapped.

As a way to distract everyone from the Sessions debacle.  This was his idea of improving the situation.

He’s beyond understanding.

We should start a pool on when he gets impeached.


Rent to Own a Dog

This woman goes to a pet store, buys a golden retriever puppy for $2400 which is an outrageous amount anyway,


she finds out she’s been scammed.  She didn’t buy the dog.  She is RENTING THE DOG.  She stilled owed another $5400 dollars over the 5 years and then at the end of that time, she has the option to BUY THE FUCKING DOG!  More money.

OK.  I’m gonna unleash my rage now.

a.  DON’T BUY DOGS AT PET STORES.  You perpetuate the horror of puppy mills when you buy at Pet Stores.  And if you if think they are OK and are really just happy places – think about this scam.

b.  We have an over abundance of unwanted dogs in shelters and this new scam is now going to create more of them.  Because apparently dogs will be repossessed?  And then where are they going, do you suppose?

c.  Imagine having a dog, loving a dog, losing your job and now your dog is repossessed and may be euthanized.   Imagine it’s your child’s dog and the dog gets repossessed?  Or and probably more likely get sold to a Lab.  Because this is business.  You make money anywhere you can.

d.  Now spend a minute and think about this from the dog’s perspective.  Happy home, loving family.  BAM – living in a cage and people are poking things into you.  It hurts.  Or maybe you are lucky and ended in shelter and best case scenario you end up with another family – worst case DEAD. And why?  Did you do something wrong?  Does your family hate you now?

e.  If you ever doubt that animals are merely a commodity that we buy and sell, this should make it utterly clear.

The fucking asshole, Dusty Wunderlich, chief executive officer of this horror story, who came up with this plan and then implemented it, needs to be tarred and feathered.

And I mean that.  Because I’m not even touching on usury level of interest rate he charges, which he pivots into helping subprime borrowers regain credit.  Reality of course is that he’s fucking people’s credit up royally.  But he’s a hero in his own mind.

Here’s the douche himself.  If you ever see him, throw something sticky and awful all over him.  It’s OK.  He’s a fan of Ayn Rand.  So he will completely get the fact that you are just expressing yourself in a free society.

Pet stores and assholes like this don’t love animals, they love money and they are using animals and the people who love them to make it.

Adopt a dog who needs it.  Save money and a dog, and put these fuckers out of business.

I’m not longer giving any quarter to the Catholic Church

796 babies and children were killed from neglect by the Catholic Church in Ireland because the Church didn’t like that they were illegitimate.

Until the 1970s if you got pregnant out of wedlock in Ireland, you were sent to one of these nightmare mother and baby homes. And then when the child was born it was TAKEN from you.

Then it was neglected and abused.

796 bodies of babies and children found at ONE site. One child every two weeks died. Because they were illegitimate.  And having an abortion is wrong, but abusing children to death is…

I just pushed that down to its basic essentials.  Because those essentials ARE true.

The church that rails against abortion.  Killed living sentient aware innocent children.  Because NO ABORTIONS. And children out of wedlock are sin.

Don’t tell me that this isn’t the church of today.   Have you seen the ProLife Marches?

Do you see the money that goes into organizing Marches and abusing women in front of Planed Parenthood and contributing money to politicians going into the care and welfare of the children they are sooooo fucking sure MUST be born?

NO.  That’s a lot of money going to make sure children are miserable instead of going toward making sure children are fed, healthy, educated and happy.

ProLife is not practical help.  It’s moral masturbation.

NO.  You can’t tell me that Ireland’s situation is an isolated incident.  Because the reality is that this is still happening but in a more dispersed fashion.  Those orphanages were just a focused center of the same beliefs and actions that are current.

Children are born in poverty, to parents unwilling and unable to care for them.  They are dying, they are abused, they grow up without the value of a supported education and as adults enter a spiral of poverty.

Because of stupid, short sighted, self serving morality dictated by a book most of the marchers have never read and those that do, don’t ever take the time to consider with any depth.

This fight against abortion has pressed into any form of birth control because they want to remove Title X.  They want to get rid of planned parenthood altogether.  Providing women with the ability to plan fertility is a PROVEN contributor to stopping the cycle of poverty.  But they don’t want to help people out of poverty.  They want to feel the pleasure of their self righteous narrow minded glory.

I’m angry.  I’m so fucking angry for all of those children.  All of the mothers. I hope the church rots in it’s own fetid shit pile with every pope since they began.  ALL OF THEM. I don’t care if the current pope is a bit liberal.  He’s not any different.  He holds the sins of all of that church in his hands.

I’m only sorry that there is no hell because everyone even remotely tied to this horror should certainly be sent there.

Do you know why I think talking politics creates anger and strife?

Because it pulls out the deepest of our beliefs and values. The places inside of us that get hidden in the daily this and that of life. The places that most deeply define the ‘me’ of each of us.

We mostly talk about the weather, the kids, TV, funny memes, the traffic, the ball game, the sickness of a friend. The things we know we all can agree to in social way. But when we talk politics we are really talking about who we are. It’s the real us.

And then we see that this person we usually chat with quite easily is not who we are. Is not part of the core beliefs that define ourselves. It’s disturbing and upsetting and even if the conversation is never shouted, it is separator. It creates a sense of other. Not like me.

It is far more comfortable to keep conversations to the safety zones of daily conversations. The places where the illusions of being together and not separate can be maintained. It is these illusions that bind our society together. The agreement to find ways to hold together rather than split apart based on the sense of other that becomes so apparent with politics.

That sense of other is also why people can change their politics. We think we are one perfectly defined ME. But we aren’t. We are an ever changing flow of Me. We are constantly adapting and changing ourselves and our beliefs to our current status. It is the necessity of survival. People change. Politics change. Civilizations change. And the arc of history is toward improvement.

A political conversation marks a person. It makes them think. It puts a small place in their head for a different way to thinking. All of those conversations and experiences add up. Sometimes they add up to have a different view on politics and self. It’s rarely a eureka. It’s rarely a violent change of understanding. It’s usually a small consistent wave onto a shore of new ideas pulling up the sand and redepositing it on a new shore. A new view. A new Me.

It’s a fool who thinks they know everything.  It is a fool who cannot change their views when better understanding is obtained.  And only fools remain the same.

Every President in My Lifetime has been butt of Late Night Comedians.

It’s part of the American Tradition for them to poked and satirized on these shows.  They have, for the most part, been good natured and mature about it in public.  I am sure it smarts in private.  But if you are the President you are, or should be, mature enough and strong enough emotionally and intellectually to take the high road and ignore it at worst, smile at best.

But Donald Trump is not mature.  He is the emotional equivalent of a 13 year old.  And so he is openly showing how much he smarts from pokes.


Everyday we seem him lash out in someway because someone did something that hurt his feelings.  Every weekend we see him complain about SNL.  It’s embarrassing that he’s so pathetically thin skinned.  He exudes that terrible awkwardness that comes when someone is utterly unaware that they are showing their weakness to everyone and becoming weaker in the process.

There is a twitter feed called @MatureTrumpTwts   They re-write his tweets as though a proper president had written them.  It is so utterly depressing to see the stark difference between what we have always expected from out leaders and what we are being served by Trump.  We have essentially elected a man with a tween mentality.

It’s terrifying.  His skin is so thin that the absolutely reliable tradition of being made fun of by comedians is bothering him.  How is he going to manage it when the stakes are big, the pokes are unexpected and loss is public. He will be controlling largest military force the world as ever seen.  He will decide whether or not to use nuclear weapons.  And he is as thin skinned as a pimple covered 7th grader.

Our only hope is that he is removed from office sooner rather than later.  I don’t doubt that Pence will still enact legislation that will enrage me because I’m a liberal and he’s a conservative. That is the nature of politics.  But I doubt I will ever be afraid that Pence would go to war because of some drama llama moment.  Pence may have a different vision for the country than I do but he would always act for the country not for himself.  And it turns out that is a HUGE factor that we have always had as our default setting to date.  But not anymore.