Hate to parrot someone too much. But this one is on something that should be of interest to anyone wondering if the “do-nothing Congress” has got Trump permanently stymied. Of course, only time will tell whether the message gets through loud and clear to McConnell and Ryan but it’s still very interesting stuff.
Chris Buskirk at American Greatness has a nice run down of the NFL (and other sports) insanity (see link below). Well written and logical.
The President just called out the NFL. He said any owner who fired an anthem kneeler would get instant approval from the fans. Is that true? Well not the minority fans or women. Most women aren’t particularly patriotic and the minority fans are the ones who agree with the kneelers. So basically he’s talking about white men. Well, alright, if that’s the case let’s take this to its logical conclusion. Suppose 70% of white men decided to boycott the NFL for one week. Would there be any effect? Yes. Would it be consequential? I think it might.
Currently, corporations like the NFL and ESPN think that they can take the white male demographic for granted because they are overwhelmingly fans of their product. For this reason they can push an agenda that focuses on attracting and catering to the opinions of women and minorities. Lately this has become tiresome and unpleasant for white men (and probably others too). And so far they have gotten away with it with only limited loss of white male patronage. After all this is the sport we want to see. And we’ve learned to ignore the banter from the female sidelines color commentator and skip the pre- and post-game shows that cater specifically to minority concerns.
But lately the players have crossed the line into injecting their anti-American opinions into the National Anthem singing. And it is getting a bit thick. What it’s coming down to is we’re watching people on tv who don’t like us and aren’t afraid to let us know it. Well, the NFL has been open about saying that free speech is an American tradition. Why shouldn’t we give them a demonstration of it in action?
Suppose we turned off the games? All of them. Start on Sunday and roll into Monday. Would be nice to spend a little more time with the wife and kids. Maybe take them to a movie or a local sports game. Go to bed early on Monday and get a good night’s sleep. Doesn’t sound like such a hardship. Then extend it to the other games they have now Thursday, or Saturday or whatever. When Sunday rolls around again I’m guessing that the NFL and ESPN and Fox and CBS, NBC, ABC and all the sponsors would be completely freaking out. Now I’m not a gambler but I did win a bet on Trump’s election last year. I’d be willing to wager a pretty substantial sum that if the viewership of NFL games went down by the equivalent of 70% of the white male audience, that the owners would tell the kneelers to get on tv and apologize to America or find new jobs on Monday.
Trump is smart. And he knows the art of the deal. And this is one deal I’d like to be a part of. All it needs is a catchy slogan. How about “Pull the plug on a kneeling thug?” Or, “Tell the NFL to go to hell.” Or even, “Don’t like America? Well, bye!” Something like that might catch their attention. But shutting off the game certainly will do more than get their attention. It’ll scare the hell out of them. And I’m guessing it’s the best first step in getting the country back we can make. And along with shutting the tv, send an e-mail to the NFL and ESPN and tell them why you did it. I’m sure they’d love hearing from you. Well, maybe love is the wrong word.
Scene 1: Outside Trump Tower, Corner of 57th and Madison, around sunset
Narrator – Picture if you can a man who has great wealth, a beautiful wife and family and the most powerful job in the world. You might think he hadn’t a care in the world. And you would be wrong. This is the story of a man who needs good advice and there isn’t a soul in the world he can talk to. But maybe there’s one in the Twilight Zone (fair parody usage, really!)
President Trump (PT) – Joe, what if I just take a stroll down to the corner and back? I haven’t been in Manhattan in months. What would be the harm?
Secret Service Agent (SSA) – I’m sorry Mr. President. That’s impossible. You shouldn’t even be standing this close to the street. The car is still half a block away. (touching his ear and talking to his lapel) Hey, Bravo 12 who let that old bus onto Madison. It’s pulling up to the curb.
PT – Joe, I’ll be right back. See ya later. (Runs into the open door of the old city bus).
SSA – All units, blockade bus heading north on Madison. POTUS has been abducted. (voice over radio in his ear, “Joe, what bus? There’s nothing there.)
Scene 2: Inside bus. PT standing next to the driver in the front of the bus.
Bus Driver (BD) – Okay pal, that’ll be fifteen cents fare.
PT – Do you have change for a hundred.
BD – What are you a weisenheimer?
PT – I wasn’t expecting to need change. How come the fare is so low?
BD – Oh, it’s too low. Listen to Rockefeller over here. Look buddy either pay up or get off.
PT – I got it, I got it. Calm down.
BD – Good. Now sit down you’re making me nervous.
PT – Is this bus going past St Patrick’s Cathedral?
BD – Boy you are turned around. We’re going north. If you stay on after the turn around at 96th you can get there in another 20 minutes.
PT – Okay, thanks.
BD – So why ya heading to church? It’s Thursday. Somebody sick.
PT – I need some guidance.
BD – Yeah, don’t we all. You look like an Episcopalian. Why St Patrick’s?
PT – I’m friends with the Cardinal.
BD – Who are you supposed to be? The Mayor?
PT – I’m the President of the United States.
BD – Hey pal. This bus is going down Madison. It won’t be passing Bellvue. You may be going bald but you’re certainly not Ike.
PT – Who says I’m going bald. This is my own hair. Ike?
BD – Sure, whatever, we get all kinds of nuts on this line.
PT – So what kind of nostalgia service uses these old buses? Is it a tourist company?
BD – Old? This is a brand-new model. It’s a 1956. General Motors latest.
PT – 1956? What have you been smoking?
BD – Camels filterless. Why, you want one?
PT – On a bus? Oh never mind, keep up the act. I guess it’s part of the tour.
BD – (under his breath) Some kind of nut.
PT – Street seems really quiet. No traffic.
BD – It’s after 6 pm. Rush-hour’s over. Town’s empty. Not much going on Thursday night.
PT – (under his breath) Some kind of nut.
BD – So, what’s this trouble you need help with, if you don’t mind me asking? Bus drivers are like priests and bartenders. Everyone tells them their troubles. Maybe I’ve heard it before.
PT – Well I have these big ideas but everyone is against me and even my friends and wife are always giving me grief.
BD – Tell me about it. Whenever I tell Alice about one of my great money making ideas she gives me that look and starts telling me why it’ll fail. And talking to Norton, that’s my friend upstairs, is like talking to a wall. He’s as thick as a brick.
PT – Yeah, it’s just like that. Melania is always telling me how great it was when we lived in Manhattan and how come we can’t go back. And Mike Pence is no help at all. All he ever says is “work with Ryan, work with Ryan.” Ha. Might as well be talking to a wall.
BD – Boy, don’t I know that feeling. It’s, “when are we getting out of Bensonhurst?” and “why can’t we buy a new refrigerator?” She thinks I’m made of money. Not that I don’t do okay but how much can you buy on $62 a week?
PT – Boy I really am gonna have to stimulate the economy. It really is a third world job market out there.
BD – Huh?
PT – You seem pretty sharp. What would you say is the biggest problem facing the world right now?
BD – The Commie newspaper guys at the Times.
PT – Yeah I agree. Them and CNN.
BD – C and N?
PT – Yeah, that Acosta guy is brutal. I’ve blocked him on Twitter.
BD – Huh?
PT – Let’s not go over it again. I’m tired of that guy all together. So, what’s the answer? What should I do?
BD – A very wise man once told me not to listen to the naysayers. Just don’t give up. Give it all you’ve got and reach for that high note.
PT – That’s pretty good advice. Never mind the church. Look we’re back at Trump Tower. Drop me off here.
BD – Okay here you go. Which Tower did you say?
PT – Trump. And thanks for the advice. You’re the smartest nut I’ve ever talked to.
BD – Likewise pal. And give my regards to Mamie. Har-har-hardy-har-har. (under his breath) What a nut! Wait’ll I tell Norton.
PT – Mamie? Gee what a nut. Wait’ll I tell Melania.
SSA – Mr. President, are you alright?
PT – Couldn’t be better Joe.
SSA – That old bus is gone again. Where did it go?
PT – To a different place. And I hope he gets there alright.
SSA – (under his breath) I’ve gotta get a new gig.
Narrator- An hallucination or a midtown apparition from a simpler time? Either way, life’s no Honeymoon here in the Twilight Zone.
So today is the last full day of summer. Gahhh! The horror begins soon so it’s time to have fun while we can. Saturday I’ll have my two older grandsons over for a Lord of the Rings marathon. I think the extended version comes to about eleven hours. Breaking it up with grilled cheese sandwiches for them and corned beef and swiss for me, it will be a full day. Dinner will be another fan favorite spaghetti and meat balls. Camera Girl will do the cooking but abstain from the cinema. She’s a Tolkien agnostic, heaven help her.
As anyone who faithfully reads my reviews knows I consider Justified the most consistently well written and actualized tv drama I’ve ever seen. I have a theory that it’s because the source material is much better than that of the typical (or even superior) tv-show. So, I’m putting it to the test.
Right now, I’m reading Elmore Leonard’s Raylan Givens novels and short stories. I read the short story “Fire in the Hole” that was the basis for the first episode of Justified. The other stories in the collection (of the same name) were all very good too. Leonard has an enormous reputation as one of the most popular crime writers. And he has had over twenty of his books made into movies (not counting the tv series Justified). Based on all that I figure I’ll find out what all the hype is about. So, I want to see how I like his stuff. So far, I’m impressed.
The political scene continues to boil like the spaghetti pot I’ll be involved with on Saturday. Trump continues to engage all important events in his typical iconic and bombastic style. Of course, you’d have to be made of stone not to be nervous about all the various balls in the air. But I’ve learned to give Trump some time to get things done in his own way. After all he is herding particularly annoying cats (and rats). The right-wing folks are going through some growing pains on the various sites. Hopefully it’ll sort itself out sooner than later. I take a sort of neutral position on these things and wait to see how things are settled.
On the photography front I’ve added the ability to embed photos in the comments so go ahead if something in a post inspires a photo of your own. The plug-in that makes this possible has the following instructions:
This plugin embeds image links in comments with the img tag so the images are visible in your comment timeline.
Image formats supported:
I’m not an expert on this computer stuff so I’ll do my best to get things to work but have patience if there are problems.
On the review front, I’m going to write something on my recent toe-dip into anime. In addition to my recent viewing of Cowboy Bebop I watched Ghost in the Shell 2.0. I’ll share my thoughts.
Other film ideas, I rented the second John Wick film and I’ll put together my thoughts on both films after watching it, maybe this weekend.
I haven’t decided what sf&f book to read next. Suggestions are always welcome.
I just finished watching the entire speech. I can’t remember the last time I heard an American president speak as honestly and effectively about the world we live in. Trump blasted North Korea, Iran, Syria, Cuba and Venezuela. He even threw a jab at the Ukrainian aggression and the South China Sea posturing. He talked about sovereignty and the right of each country to differ from the cookie cutter requirements of our Globalist Oligarchs. He talked about the United States’ history in the UN and the sacrifices it has made to aid its neighbors and he also said that he is not going to let the United States be the fall guy any longer. Not in trade agreements, not in refugee resettlement, and not in UN finances.
It was a magnificent speech. And of course, it was Donald Trump giving it so there was plenty of self-congratulation. He started off by announcing that employment and the stock market were both at historic highs and that business was returning to the US in dramatic fashion. He even took an indirect dig at Obama saying that the Iran deal was a disaster. It was a lot of fun.
Of course, a UN address is a show piece with no actual effect. But what it does is set the tone for an American administration’s relationship with the world. So, when Obama went on his apology tour and bowed to every dictator in the Middle East it set the stage for the Arab Spring and the disaster that hatched. It let the Iranians know that they could ask for and get whatever they wanted. Alternatively, when Trump says that a nuclear North Korea that attacks the US or its allies will be totally destroyed this sends a powerful message to the North Koreans and the Chinese. It also sends a different message to the Japanese and the other allies in the area.
And when President Trump forcefully stated that the welfare of the American people, and the middle-class especially, was his first priority that makes a big impression on the voters. And on the Congress, that is always thinking toward the next election. And on big business that gauges a president’s intentions before they commit on strategic business and financial plans.
So even though the speech is just a statement it was exactly the right statement for President Trump to make. It had the right tone and it hit all the right points, globally and domestically. Trump is no Reagan. He is not a great orator. His speaking style is workmanlike and methodical. He reminds me of the executive in front of the board of directors. Maybe that makes it even more effective. It wasn’t just rhetoric. There was a message and he even expressed that message explicitly. He said “America first.” For that I was truly proud of him. He didn’t sell us out to make nice with the globalists. Good for you Mr. President.
If you haven’t listened to it and you have the time and the inclination, listen to the whole thing. It’s about 45 minutes long. If you don’t have the time or interest, there are some excerpts. Even that will give you a flavor of what was said. Bottom line, Trump did himself and our country some good today.
Scene 1: West Wing of the White House, Monday at 7 a.m.
President Trump (PT) – Bannon. Bannon! Where the hell are you Steve?
Vice President Pence (VPP) – Mr. President, please stop shouting. You fired Steve Bannon a few weeks ago.
PT – I did? What the hell was I drinking?
VPP – I believe you were cold sober sir.
PT – This is awful. I’m negotiating tax and policy priorities with Cryin’ Chuck Schumer and Crypt Keeper Pelosi. And I don’t have anyone with the cajones to warn me when I’m being played.
VPP – Well, Mr. President I’ve always tried to give you good advice on policy.
PT – Nothing personal Mike, but you’d bring a slingshot to a gunfight and I need someone who’d tell me to bring an RPG.
VPP – Well I don’t think Steve is in the mood to help right now.
PT – Then get me someone who is outside the Washington circle. I need a man of the deplorables.
VPP – Are you looking for the lunatic fringe?
PT – No, someone without the tattoos and MRE stockpile. Or at least with a minimum of either.
VPP – Well how about that guy with the blog. What was it camera guy at Big Dipper something?
PT – You talking about photog at orionscoldfire.com?
VPP – Yeah, that guy.
PT – I threw him out last time. He always ends up pissing me off. But you know, his advice is usually pretty good. And he was from Brooklyn in the day. Alright get him down here. And hurry, Schumer is trying to get me to put in transgender bathrooms in the West Wing.
Scene 2 : West Wing, outside the Oval Office Tuesday 10 a.m., photog is knocking tentatively on the door, while a marine eyes him suspiciously
PT – Come in photog, and close the door behind you.
Photog (PHT) – Good morning Mr. President.
PT – Sit down and have a pastry. I have them flown in from an Italian Bakery in Queens. They’re the best.
PHT – Thank you sir but I’m not hungry.
PT – Don’t be such a stiff. You’re an Italian. You know nothing important gets decided unless bread is broken. Have a sfogliatella.
PHT – Sure, thanks.
PT – And have some coffee. It’s the best in the world. I have it cold brewed fresh every day.
PHT – Thanks I will.
PT – Alright, now that I’ve put you at ease, I need you to give me some information and maybe advice.
PHT – What do you want to know?
PT – What are the real people thinking?
PHT – Mr. President, they’re confused and worried. They’re seeing how useless the republicans in Congress are and they don’t know if you can make them do the right thing. Ryan and McConnell are either useless or working against you. McCain is actively siding with the Democrats and you’re mending fences with Chuck and Nancy. Plus the White House seems to be pushing for amnesty for illegal aliens and now you even seem to be reneging on the Paris Accord decision. A lot of people think you’ve lost your nerve or are being blackmailed by Mueller.
PT – What about you? Is that what you think?
PHT – I was willing to wait until you actually committed on some of these things. But it does seem like things are getting a bit confusing.
PT – Boy, I gotta say. You people are a bunch of rabbits. You can’t win a negotiation if you don’t even get the other side to come to the table. Don’t you think I know how the optics look when you’re courting the victim, I mean partner? You’ve got to speak their language a little to loosen things up. It’s not like I’m gonna let Cryin’ Chuck get what he wants. I just want him to think he got the best deal he could.
PHT – Well, I sure hope you’re right. I’d hate to go into the mid-terms without the country feeling like you can get the country moving in the right direction on immigration. After all you said there was gonna be a wall and so far there isn’t.
PT – Look I’m working all the angles and I’ll have a policy in place that will satisfy the anti-immigration agenda. But it’s going to take time. What I need to know is what can I do short-term to keep the natives from getting restless?
PHT – I’d say the best thing you can do is stomp on all of George Soros’s zombies. Go after Antifa and BLM and Sanctuary Cities with everything you’ve got. Make’em squeal and get their leaders in jail where they belong.
PT – That’s pretty strong medicine. It’s gonna be tough to get the FBI and the DOJ to work with me on that.
PHT – Well. You asked me what would get you some street cred with your voters. That’s what it’ll take.
PT – You know it’s funny. You never have any good news for me. Only lousy jobs to do. Why is that.
PHT – Because you say you want to be the greatest president. That means you have to save the United States from the cancer that’s been allowed to metastasize throughout the country for a century. Chemotherapy isn’t fun and no one smiles at the doctor when he starts the infusion.
PT – Man, are you grim. Look, thanks for the information. But do me a favor. Before you come back here next time, make sure you’re on your meds. Your brand of industrial strength pessimism is too much for even my self-confidence.
PHT – Well Mr. President, you know, “a prophet is not without honor, save in his own country.”
PT – Okay, Nostradamus, you’re done. Don’t let the Oval Office door hit you in the butt on the way out. And don’t call us, we’ll call you, maybe.
PHT – Goodbye Mr. President.
Scene 1- May 1787
George Trumpington (GT) – Take that, Time Hag and that and that! I, George Trumpington will not allow you to exclude the Second Amendment from the Constitution. I hereby transfer you to the Salem Massachusetts jurisdiction where you can be summarily burned as the witch you are.
Time Hag (TH) – But they haven’t burned witches in a hundred years. This isn’t the dark ages. It’s 1787.
PT – For you they’ll make an exception. Take her away.
Scene 2 – Present day 4:30 a.m. -White House – Presidential Bedroom
President Trump (PT) – (writhing agitatedly and mumbling angrily) – Take that, Time Hag and that and that!
Melania Trump (MT) (shaking the president to wake him) – Schmoopy, wake up, wake up! You are having the night horse!
PT – Where am I? Where is Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson? And Dolly Madison? She was actually kind of hot.
MT – You were having the bad dream and you kept the yelling something about the time.
PT – Could it have been all a dream? Did I not travel back in time to Ancient Greece and Rome and saved the world from Hillary Clinton?
MT – Schmoopy, if you say these things out loud I will have you impeached myself.
PT – But it was so real. And I was so great.
MT – Yes, yes. Of course, you were, but there are bigger problems. The republicans in Congress are bad men and they want to make you look bad. They will only do nothing.
PT – Nothing new there.
MT – But the people are growing angry. Something must be done.
PT – You’re right Schmoopy. I must end this nightmare once and for all. Now let’s get back to sleep. Time travelling is exhausting.
MT – Oh Heaven help us.
Broadcast TV – 6 p.m.
Announcer (who sounds disturbingly like Don Pardo) – We interrupt this broadcast to bring you a message from the President of the United States.
PT – Good evening my fellow Americans, sorry to disturb your reality TV binge watching but put down your bong and try to concentrate and understand. This is kind of life and death. The idiots in the congressional republican majority have joined the criminals in the democratic congressional minority in doing absolutely nothing to help me save this country. And the FBI, CIA and the other bureaucrats are conspiring with the Fake News Media to stall our efforts to do the people’s work. Therefore, I have no choice but to appoint a special counsel to investigate the malfeasance of all these groups and use the law to break this logjam of losers. I am appointing Sheriff Joe as special counsel with authority to subpoena and request grand jury indictments for anyone who is proven to be working against the legally elected President of the United States (that’s me). So thank you for trying to listen and understand through the haze of reefer madness you cultivate. So go back to watching your namesakes on the Walking Dead and I’ll get back to doing something useful for you. Trump out.
Google is in the news. They are demonetizing and de-platforming the haters. And who are the haters? Whoever they say they are. And so is PayPal and Patreon and GoFundMe and on a less important front so is Facebook, Twitter and all the other leftists who are still smarting over Trump’s win. If you make money from monetizing your website through Google advertising then this can be a big deal. If you have a YouTube channel you could find a stream of income that you’ve depended on shut off. And it’s not something you can appeal. If they shut you down, that’s it.
I’ve been reading on a few sites that alternative sources for monetizing and funding are coming into being. For instance a payment site to replace Patreon ( amusingly named Hatreon) now exists. Stripe and Square perform similarly to PayPal but haven’t been banning rightwingers (yet). WeSearchr and Counter.Fund also provide crowdsourcing to the right. Gab provides a Twitter alternative.
So, problem solved? Probably not. Google is a behemoth of a company that controls the lion’s share of internet advertising. They also dominate the search business. And this is the way to control what gets seen and what doesn’t. If they think your site is guilty of thoughtcrime all they have to do is make it invisible and it will dry up and wither away. That is a big problem. There are other search engines like Brave and DuckDuckGo and, and, and … But most people google things they’re looking for. What’s a deplorable to do?
Well, mostly wait. We should start using all the alternatives because we need to make a start. But don’t fool yourself into thinking you can move a mountain with a teaspoon overnight. There’s no magic bullet for 100 years of ignoring the problem. These institutions are entrenched and they don’t like you and they want you to go away (meaning drop dead).
One thing we can and should do is network. Find like-minded folks and communicate and support each other. If they sell stuff, look at it. If it’s as good or even almost as good as stuff from the pod people buy it instead. And when you do buy from them let them know why. And if you have stuff for them to buy let them know and maybe they will. Support these alternative institutions and spread the word. Put links on your site if you find something good.
And it’s not all gloom and doom. Look at the Dragon Awards. Only two years running and already it is a fantastic alternative to voting in the fully converged Hugo Awards. I used to waste money voting in that thing. And that money was then spent on feeding SJWs at the WorldCon. Instead I can vote in the Dragon Awards for free and have a much greater impact. And that is a direct result of the puppies (sad and rabid) standing up to the pod people and saying we don’t believe you and we’ll go our own way.
So, there are cracks in the wall. And if you apply pressure at these weak points damage can be done. And don’t forget, Trump isn’t a friend of Silicon Valley. They don’t like him and he doesn’t like them. If he sics the anti-trust dogs on them Google will grovel pretty quickly. It will be interesting to see if the investigation into search algorithm tampering is resurrected.
So be of good cheer and go out and deplore with a smile on your face and a song in your heart. Somewhere out there in the bowels of Google the pod people are beginning to fear you.
As someone who has slowly become aware of the depths of the change going on in the country I’ve recently been in the odd position of acting as an interpreter to my even less aware brethren. At a family gathering I was drawn into a discussion of the recent Charlottesville riot. The prevailing opinion was that Trump had botched it by addressing the situation the way he did.
• It was a mistake to give the press the chance to tie him to the protesters.
• They were bemoaning his drops in opinion polls and the chaos at the White House.
• I was warned about the danger to the Senate majority and the inevitability of impeachment.
• I was told that he must begin getting on message and concentrate on passing an agenda that included tax reform and spending cuts.
The talk became rather heated and I tried to convince them that what they took for a bug was a feature. I tried to make them understand that what Trump needed to do was not embrace the moderates but wake up the sleep walkers. And that they themselves were the sleepwalkers. I pointed out that any actual Nazis there were more than matched in evil by the fascistic Antifa present at the proceedings. Highlighting that and countering the narrative coming from the press and the establishment political parties was Trump’s job and needed to be done. I’m not sure I was successful in convincing my audience. I think their time hasn’t yet arrived. Or maybe it won’t. For some the chaos that would occur during a full-blown confrontation between left and right is unthinkable. Hell, even I view such an event with enormous trepidation and distaste. But just as strongly I reject the notion that these leftist miscreants should destroy what’s good about this country.
At a certain point in the conversation I was asked how Trump calling out the left could succeed in reversing the damage that already had been done by the left. I answered that he couldn’t. All he could do was try to wake up the sleepwalkers to how much trouble we are in. Wake them up and and hope that there are enough of them left to win by democratic means. When asked how likely that was I made up a number based on how pessimistic I felt. Maybe thirty percent, maybe ten? Later on, I thought about that guess and realized that ten percent was actually closer to what I believed.
The next day I noticed that everyone actually seemed a little more optimistic about the future. I think just talking with someone who wasn’t discouraged with how Trump was addressing the press and the left seemed to help them even if the prognosis for difficult times ahead was part of the package. We discussed how to take positive action and improve our own personal environments. Build business and social connections to protect ourselves and our families from disruptions to come. We even discussed what areas of the country might be the best place for us to coalesce to. It was a real shot in the arm. So today I’m encouraged. People can learn that there are alternatives to capitulation. If you articulate the futility of the establishment appeasement position people will listen. And if they listen sometimes they wake up. And talking about it with friends actually seems therapeutic.
Did I wake anyone up? I don’t know, but at least now I feel like I want to keep trying.