The Orange Empire Strikes – A New Hope Emerges

The thing of it is that this weirdly anachronistic international white nationalist movement is frustrating because so much of the world is beyond this bullshit. The anti-science thing, the re-embrace of religion. Anti-woman, anti-choice, traditional gender roles? Do they really think the old days/ways were better? And even if they do, how do they intend to put the genii back in the bottle without conflict, force, uprising?

It just doesn’t make any sense. It’s just a shame that we can’t wait out this global tantrum by spoiled children who aren’t emotionally mature enough to get over the changes in the world – real people suffer and die needlessly, the planet suffers.

On the hopeful side, there will be pockets of smart. If America won’t fund family planning in the third world, the Dutch will step in.

They can say they’re going to revive 19th century technologies, but nobody is building more coal burning plants, not even the Chinese. The oil pipelines Trump “revived” may be more of a tweak at progressives than actual plans. The economics of the Keystone Pipeline just don’t work anymore with cheap oil. And everybody except the bloody minded gets that the smallest failure of these pipes cases nasty destruction, not easily remedied.

While these morons keep beating the drum for buggy whips, the rest of the world has moved on. No matter how much Trump hates wind turbines, they’re going up. Now finally offshore too as NY State has committed to using 50% renewable power by 2030. And the price of solar just keeps dropping so panels keep going up a record rates.

Not to be all rosy in the face of the Orange Menace, but like with any childish supermarket tantrum, it’s upsetting at the moment, but if you just keep on pushing the cart down the aisle and don’t give in, you may get some disapproving looks, but the child will tire themselves out and you will not fucking buy Power Rangers Go-Gurts!

So get out there, march, care, give, call. And never buy Power Rangers Go-Gurts! Who fucking needs that shit!?

We’re Officially Under Siege – The Cold Civil War I Warned You About

The news today is very, very bad.  Trump has revealed himself to be an ideologically conventionally conservative, anti-regulation, anti-choice, anti-consumer, Republican. But because he’s Trump, and has to do everything bigger and more underhandedly with less concern for truth, ethics and morality, it’s over the top conservative, anti-regulation, anti-choice, anti-consumer, Republicanism.

Making the Voice of America into an American RT, a propaganda media outlet that will project inside the U.S. too.

Trump revives Keystone Pipeline (that nobody even wants anymore) and Dakota Pipeline.

Federal workers were told to stop all external communications as they will be muzzled to only issue messages approved by Trump.

The USDA was put on lockdown

The EPA is being gutted.

The VA has a hiring freeze!

It’s on folks. We live in an autocracy where norms, science, bipartisanship no longer exist. Trump is determined to turn the entire country into Kansas – a failed experiment that they will never admit failed, as it all falls apart around them and people really suffer.

Oscar Nominations Are What They Are (Always)

Oscar noms (that’s what we in the industry (and by the industry I mean the business) call them).

I have one huge problem personally, that being that I (and Mrs. Polislice) HATED “La La Land.”  If it wins it’ll instantly go down in history with “Crash” as a “what we’re they thinking” choice.  It’s an exceptionally polarizing choice with as many people who hate it as love it.  I’m puzzled by the love.  In a purported musical the singing and dancing should be at least good.  It isn’t. Stone and Gosling have reed-thin voices, uncertain and weak. And their dancing? Limited.  The kid in the wheelchair on Glee had more moves.

All that said, the story is as thin as their voices.  It’s just about their love story and their relationship with their ambitions.  No B story, no other characters to invest in or support them!  No ensemble at all.  It was truly disappointing and way too long.

I’ve seen 5 of the 9 nominated films so far and I’d go with “Moonlight”one and “Fences” two, of the ones I’ve seen.

But I think my favorite film of the year was “Captain Fantastic” with Viggo Mortensen. Hardly anybody saw it, but I really enjoyed it.  He plays a guy who took his wife and six kids really and truly off the grid years ago and has been raising the kids in a verrrrry unique way.  Suffice to day they celebrate Noam Chomsky Day on the pubic intellectual’s birthday. Then something happens that changes their lives.  You know, the way a story is supposed to be told (looking at you “La La Land”). Very recommended.

Mortensen’s performance is certainly Oscar worthy because a lot of actors would have played him as a raving maniac and he’s not, he’s just a father trying to prepare his kids for life in a crazy world.  It’s very good and it’s a shame more people haven’t seen it.

 

The (Failed) Laboratories of Democracy

Trump will absolutely decimate the budgets of poor red states with his health care plans and destroy lives.  But fuck them they brought it on their own damn selves.  Do you disagree?

Well check this out.  A NC lawmaker is all upset because protesters yelled at former Gov. Pat McCrory and wants to make that a crime to yell at a govt. official.

Republican state Sen. Dan Bishop, who proposed the bill, told the News and Observer that the legislation would “make it a crime to threaten, intimidate, or retaliate against a present or former North Carolina official in the course of, or on account of, the performance of his or her duties.” Bishop said that offenders of his proposed statute should serve a prison sentence up to five years.

I’m sure the intertubes has allowed copies of the Constitution of the United States to get that far south.  But  typical of the new breed of GOP lawmakers the fee fees of their fellow tribe members is more important than any sort of responsible governance.  I’m almost amazed that they didn’t word it so it’s only a crime if it’s targeted at Republicans. How bipartisan to include Democrats.  I wonder if he knows that this would prohibit calling “libtard” at a NC Democratic lawmaker.  Or maybe that’s to be left up to the interpretation of the courts.

But even worse is Louisiana – a very common phrase.  They passed a “Blue Lives Matter” law which extended hate crime protection to police officers, firefighters and EMS personnel.  Oy!  But the consequences of such are that, in the mind of one Police Chief it may be possible to charge someone with a hate crime when they’ve resisted arrest.  Now you’ve got a fucking nightmare.

Hebert’s interpretation of the law is quite dangerous, as resisting arrest can be a fickle charge. What it is, and isn’t, depends on the individual officer. For instance, if a police officer grabs a protester’s arm during a demonstration and that person makes a movement the officer considers aggressive, a minor trespassing or disturbing the peace charge could be bumped up to assault and possibly considered a hate crime.

Lovely.  The people with the guns and kevlar vests need more protection.

Just to show that absolutely crazy fuckthought can cross the Mason Dixon we go way up north to South Dakota where the good and frozen people there passed an expansive ethics and campaign finance law by referendum last November.  But the GOP legislature there can’t live with that kind of anti-democratic interference in their lives.

The measure, known as IM-22, passed with 52 percent of the vote. It is supposed to create an independent commission to oversee investigations into ethical misconduct by elected officials, impose tougher limits on campaign contributions and lobbyists’ gifts to lawmakers, place restrictions on lawmakers becoming lobbyists, increase disclosure by independent political groups, and set up a system to publicly finance elections.

The legislature is in emergency session to overturn the new laws and the will of the people of South Dakota.

On Monday afternoon, a joint committee of the South Dakota legislature approved emergency rules to immediately repeal the entire law. The next step is a vote on the floor of the state House of Representatives on Tuesday.

State Sen. Billie Sutton (D) told HuffPost, “This is a way that the repeal can’t be referred to the ballot.”

Normally in South Dakota, if the legislature repeals a citizen-backed initiative, the voters can propose a referendum to reverse the repeal. But if it’s eliminated under emergency rules, the citizens can’t reverse that repeal. To adopt those emergency rules, the legislature needs a two-thirds majority, which Republicans provided.

The opposition to the ethics initiative was funded by Americans for Prosperity – a Koch brothers backed PAC.  The Kochs bought and paid for those SD legislators fair and square and the gall of the people of SD to interfere in that contractual relationship is outrageous.

Maybe they can make it a hate crime to hold politicians accountable – think big SD!

They’re Debating the Use of the Word “Lie” When We’ve Already Moved on to “Bullshit”

I guess it’s a debate – which word is more powerful, to call something a “lie” or “bullshit”. There is a substantive difference per Princeton philosophy Prof. Harry G. Frankfurt’s seminal 2005 book “On Bullshit” (which is also the answer to the question “What is Donald Trump’s entire life based on”).

Bullshit is both a noun and a verb.  So it’s an act and an active attempt to elide truth even if there’s a hint of truth to it.  The paradigm of the hyperbolic fish story comes to mind. You may have gone out on a boat and you may have actually caught a fish, you went through the act of fishing.  There’s no need to make the story any bigger – unless it’s not enough to just inform, you intend to entertain, mesmerize and impress and in so doing mislead – then the size of the fish caught gets exaggerated, the struggle, the size of the waves, etc. and now we’re in bullshit land.  Which can be benign, in the case of a fish story, but can be quite harmful in the case of George Bush’s Nigerian yellowcake story. Or Trump’s constant claims to the biggest, best, most popular, most successful.

“It is just this lack of connection to a concern with truth—this indifference to how things really are—that I regard as the essence of bullshit.”

If you know the truth and choose to say something else that aggrandizes yourself it’s bullshit. Trump isn’t just an inveterate liar about facts, he’s a habitual bullshitter about EVERYTHING.

Equal Rights Amendment Resubmitted

I’ve written before about the injustice that the ERA never was ratified.  The crazy history of it getting so close, looking inevitable and then the rise of the wacko right, like Godzilla out of the sea, to wreak havoc on the rationality of our republic.  Well, Phyllis Schafly is dead.

A group of U.S. Senators took this ripe opportunity to resubmit the ERA for consideration.

The 28th amendment would guarantee that “equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”

Congress approved the amendment in 1972 and set a seven-year deadline for ratification.

Besides the obvious hole in our Constitution that this simple amendment would close, I’ve also long held that the ERA would be a good start on getting the American public back in a mindset of making such important changes.  It would grease the skids for a Citizen’s United amendment (Money is not speech and corporations are not people”) to get this process going with something as stupidly necessary as the ERA.

I wrote in 2013 that even Mississippi would vote to ratify this today.  Well, now I’m not so sure, because the stupid it never ends… but it was always crazy that the fear of women in the military and unisex bathrooms put the kibosh on equal rights for women.  Almost everything the anti-ERA forces cited alarmingly for not ratifying it has come to be anyway without the sky falling.