Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #030: Is Bigger Worser?

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #030: Is Bigger Worser?

Last Friday Senator Elizabeth Warren called for the breaking up of the larger tech/innovation companies such as Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple. She made this argument at the South by Southwest (SXSW) technology conference, citing anti-trust as her major concern.

It’s amusing to see Sen. Warren side with Donald Trump on anything. You may recall that Trump wanted to kill the AT&T / Time Warner merger. The standard reason of “limiting competition” was offered, and I agree with her in concept: limiting competition is bad, and monopolies suck. Ask anybody who subscribes to cable television.

A couple years ago Warren promised to break up the big banks. These few institutions are quite rich, extremely powerful, are paying their top executives in eight or nine and are doing much, much better now than they did before they forced us into our worst recession since the Great Depression. At that time, the government said they could not break up these institutions who had put a death grip on our economy, cost millions of mom-and-pop investors much of their life savings, and allowed them to gobble up hundreds of smaller, local banks. They were, as we were told, “too big to fail.” Which is the same as “too big to follow the law.”

Warren cried bullshit onto that, and she was right. But if she did anything meaningful about it except bray, she’s succeeded in keeping that to herself. So, instead, she’s shifted her attention to much lower-hanging fruit. Continue reading “Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #030: Is Bigger Worser?”

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #029: Divide And Conquer, by Mike Gold

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #029: Divide And Conquer, by Mike Gold

Before I begin this week’s tirade, I need to make one thing perfectly clear: when it comes to the never-ending middle east conflict, I have no horse in the race.

This is because I believe in freedom of religion. I’m not in favor of a Jewish state, and I’m not in favor of a Muslim state. I’m also not in favor of a Christian state, although the presence of a large Christian population in the middle east seems to have escaped notice.

Now that I’ve pissed everybody off, let’s talk about Benjamin Netanyahu and Ilhan Omar.

Last week, Israel’s famed fascist leader Benjamin Netanyahu pointed out that “Israel is not a state of all its citizens… According to the basic nationality law we passed (last summer), Israel is the nation state of the Jewish people – and only it.” This is not to suggest that Benji is about to build ovens, but our Muslim-Israeli friends are justified in their belief that they are second-class citizens… at best.

Also last week, U.S. Congressperson Ilhan Omar implied that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee pays politicians to support Israel. This is likely to be true, but the global Jewish conspiracy has nothing to do with it. Lobbyists of all persuasions use all sorts of means every hour of every day to influence, rent or buy America’s lawmakers. Republicans who have been on the take from (for example) the National Rifle Association, FreedomWorks and Americans For Prosperity have been porking up at that trough for decades. The difference is, questioning AIPAC’s influence is often perceived as anti-Semitic. Of course, this puts Omar in bed with many Jews, including Israeli Jews (such as actor and Israeli soldier Gal Gadot) who are opposed to Netanyahu’s totalitarianism. These Jews are decidedly not of the self-loathing variety, which is the common response from the Israeli far-right. Continue reading “Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #029: Divide And Conquer, by Mike Gold”

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #028: The Chicago Cubs and the Far-Right

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #028: The Chicago Cubs and the Far-Right

As I note at every available opportunity, I was born on the north side of Chicago, possibly in a log cabin. This makes me a Chicago Cubs fan by birthright. I followed baseball as a kid, but less so as an adult. The 1961 expansion confused me: why take 16 teams worth of good players and spread them out over 20? Brooklyn moved to Los Angeles, which still seems pointless, Washington moved to Minneapolis, and everybody started to do-si-do as though when the music stops somebody is going to pull a chair. A decade later some dick dreamed up the designated hitter rule and destroyed the American League forever.

Now that I’ve pissed off everybodyContinue reading “Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #028: The Chicago Cubs and the Far-Right”

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #027: The Deplorables Across The Street

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #027: The Deplorables Across The Street

According to John Oliver, 40% of the American public believe those cash-grabbing idiots you see on teevee really can communicate with the dead.

And, in a poll taken this century, as many as 20% of the American public believe the lunar landings were faked.

Worse, 23% believe vaccines that save people’s lives are so dangerous they refuse to let their kids be inoculated. These virulent Luddites are willing to bet your kid’s life to prove it. I don’t mind the Flat-Earth science deniers killing themselves off, but they should keep it to themselves. It’s the polite thing to do.

Do you sense a trend here? Is it any wonder that slightly more than one-third of the electorate, on average, still support Donald Trump?

Now, you just might think I’m calling these people dumb. Well… I’m sure most of them are at least fairly knowledgeable in sundry specific areas, but certainly not about civics, American history, or mathematics.

Mathematics, you ask? You betcha, I respond. These people do not understand that 60% is significantly larger than 40%. In political campaigns a 20% margin is more than a landslide – it’s an earthquake. When it comes to these three areas, I see people but I know they’re really door knobs. Continue reading “Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #027: The Deplorables Across The Street”

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #026: Stupid Is As Stupid Does

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #026: Stupid Is As Stupid Does

Forget, if you can, his incessant self-serving ego-pandering tweets. Forget his strange fetish for violent dictators. His continuous denial of scientific fact. His rampant bigotry and his classic xenophobia. And stop wasting your time trying to decode his nefarious master plan, starting with his Black Floyd Wall. A plan of any sort does not exist. It never did.

I know. You can’t forget. Something about the fate of the world and you’re still young and / or you have kids or at least you’re thinking about it. To quote once again Lenny Bruce: “Yadda yadda yadda.” The fact is, so many of Donald Trump’s plans and propositions are nakedly stupid. We all suffer from the pains of the Law of Unintended Consequences; that’s human nature, or fate, or karma — whatever; your mileage may vary. What I mean here is stupid. So stupid that even Ike Broflovski knows it, and he’s in kindergarten.

Which is why, this week, my respect for German Chancellor Angela Merkel hit a new high.

First, a technical consideration. Chancellor Merkel discussed the sheer stupidity of Trump’s tariffs policy before the Munich Security Conference. She was a complete professional, combining many contradicting emotions — befuddlement, bewilderment, anger, fear, and complete disbelief – into one, long television-friendly wince. That is not easy to do. I’ve done a lot of public speaking, and I know how tough that is. Give it a try. Don’t hurt yourself. Continue reading “Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #026: Stupid Is As Stupid Does”

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #025: Times Are Always A-Changin’, by Mike Gold

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #025: Times Are Always A-Changin’, by Mike Gold

It appears that those of us living in the bucolic, yet myopic state of Connecticut will be able to buy weed on the way to a gay wedding – both sanctioned by law.

As Mr. Zimmerman said, the times they are a-changin’. They’re always a-changin’, back and forth, three steps forward and two steps back. But these days they’re changing at a much faster pace. 60 years ago, Lenny Bruce said “Marijuana will be legal someday, because the many law students who now smoke pot will one day be Congressmen and they will legalize it to protect themselves.” Well, he was mistaken about the timing – President Clinton said he smoked weed when he was in school but he didn’t inhale. I am one of the few who believe him: Bill was such a wimp that he probably didn’t inhale. Besides, he already had the munchies.

A decade later President Obama said he did inhale, but his admission did not change his position on tossing kids in prison and destroying their lives for something as comparatively innocuous as marijuana. Continue reading “Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #025: Times Are Always A-Changin’, by Mike Gold”

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #024: All The President’s Frauds, Uncle Ruckus, and Dancing and Singing

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #024: All The President’s Frauds, Uncle Ruckus, and Dancing and Singing

I’ll bet you dollars to donuts you can’t remember a single program or policy expressed by any sitting president during his annual State of the Union speech. So I will not put down His Petulance King Donald the Last for spending 82 minutes before the most powerful gathering of humanity in the world without saying a goddamned thing. It’s an American tradition.

However, I am amused with the response to the overall event. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, the woman the Rabid Right has long conflated with Lucrezia Borgia, did her job sitting behind the president and awkwardly applauding at the “appropriate” times. The Right said she was condescending. The Queen of Condescending Applause, they muttered on anti-social media.

It’s not as if Leader Pelosi started screaming “you lie!” at even one of the numerous opportunities afforded to her Tuesday night. No. That particular privilege is only granted to white Republican men and thus far only against a black Democratic president. Had Cong. Pelosi just sat there and glowered at our Traitor-in-Chief, those same hypocrites would have slammed her just the same.

Exacerbating my personal amusement, 2016 presidential campaign spokeswoman Katrina Pierson (who is not presently under indictment) observed the Democratic congresswomen who wore white in tribute to the suffragists who fought to give women the vote 100 years ago were akin to members of the Ku Klux Klan. “The only thing that the Democrats uniform was missing tonight” (sic) Pierson tweeted, “is the matching hood.”

How can a person so mean be that stupid? She was joined by the Pastor Darrell C. Scott, who worked on the usurper’s presidential transition team as the liaison between the team and black pastors. He tweeted “I see the Dems have their Klan colors on tonight!” Wow. How can a preacher so stupid be that mean?

And they have the audacity to criticize those deeply troubled Virginia democrats who donned blackface and Klan kostumes. Hypocrites and fellow travelers, the bunch of them.

Scott reminds me of Uncle Ruckus of Aaron McGruder’s no-longer-retired comic strip The Boondocks. The strip has returned to public life, with the assistance of Boondocks’ animator Seung Kim. Last year, Berkeley Breathed did much the same thing when he resurrected Bloom County online on a more-often-than-not basis. I missed the strip and McGruder’s insightful (and inciteful) social and political commentary. And, yes, Uncle Ruckus is part of the relaunch.

Am I grateful to His Petulance for inspiring the return of The Boondocks? Well, no, it’s impossible for me to possess any gratitude towards a treasonous president who hangs out with the likes of Darrell Scott and Katrina Pierson, and, for that matter, who employs megaton-level liars like angry-yet-prissy Sarah Sanders. But, to be fair, the piece of shit in the oval office has inspired greatness from people such as Steven Colbert, Seth Myers, and now Aaron McGruder.

As Eric Idle wrote and sang, “If life seems jolly rotten / There’s something you’ve forgotten / And that’s to laugh and smile and dance and sing.”

Amen, Mr. Idle. Now more than ever.

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #023:  And Trump Can Fart Rainbows Too!

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #023:  And Trump Can Fart Rainbows Too!

It appears the reason behind His Petulance’s capitulation last weekend that ended the Trump-O’Connell government shutdown, perhaps temporarily, was not the devastating report from the Air Traffic Controllers Association telling the world that the longer the shutdown lasts, the more likely it is that there will be a major air catastrophe… and nobody could predict when that might happen., but it could happen at any time.

Nope. It was the ever-increasing possibility that there will be a major air catastrophe during Super Bowl weekend, which pretty much started a couple days ago. As they say in the business, that would make for real bad optics. And, also, a lot of dead bodies. Possibly dead bodies of extremely wealthy, tax-break-giddy Republicans. As nobody knows better than a hustler who is maxed-out with his mark, that could be bad for Trump’s business.

Not to mention Putin’s.

Of course, you wouldn’t know that from listening to King Donald the Last. On any given day our grifter-in-chief generates more spin than a Maytag repairman’s wet dream. About one-third of the electorate, give or take and depending upon the position of the moon, believes everything this lying asshole has to say. If President Second Coming says he can fart rainbows, these people – with whom we share the planet – will tell their children that Donald Second Coming can fart rainbows.  Continue reading “Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #023:  And Trump Can Fart Rainbows Too!”

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #22: Bizarro-Congressman Says GOP Not Racist

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #22: Bizarro-Congressman Says GOP Not Racist

In this space last week, I pontificated on the hypocrisy of the Republican Party’s slapping Iowa Rep. Steve King on the wrist (fairly hard) for his overt racism without ever uttering a murmur about the 800 pound gorilla of racism, His Petulance King Donald The Last. Well, there was at least one other response to this story, and it appeared last week in the newspaper U.S.A. Today.

The piece was written by Congressman Will Hurd, Republican from Texas’s 23rd District. Rep. Hurd is something of an endangered species: he is the only black Republican in the House of Representatives. There have been only six others since the onset of the Great Depression; the fact that there’s only one such representative in 2019 does not inure to the benefit of his party’s image.  Continue reading “Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #22: Bizarro-Congressman Says GOP Not Racist”

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #021: Steve King’s Not The Problem, by Mike Gold

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #021: Steve King’s Not The Problem, by Mike Gold

The headline states “Steve King’s Not The Problem.” He’s not. He is a problem, but not the problem.

Oh, sure, the Republican Party removed him from all his committees so, in effect, he can only wander the halls of Congress rattling chains like the Ghost of Racists Past. This is the Congressional equivalent of gelding, and in a democracy perhaps the punishment fits the crime. But off the top of my air-conditioned head, I can think of two bigger problems.  Continue reading “Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #021: Steve King’s Not The Problem, by Mike Gold”