A Nother Sundry Assortment

Well, here I am on a third sundry tear, (pronounced TARE to the background music of rainfall tears … ):

A Huge, Gargantuan, Bigly Sigh of Relief

19 June 2018, or Juneteenth,  the United States withdrew from the United Nations Human Rights Council.  Secretary of State Mike Pompeo could be heard stating with no irony that “The Human Rights Council has become an exercise in shameless hypocrisy, with many of the world’s worst human-rights abuses going ignored and some of the world’s most serious offenders sitting on the council itself.”

And so a righteous walk out on a modicum of symbolic participation on a committee for human rights writ large on the international community.

And the United Nations sighed in collective relief that they didn’t have to kick us out show us the door.

Womp womp.

(My bold.)

Major International Agreements

Under the current administration Trump Regime, the US continues to take itself out of major international agreements, (the Paris Agreement, the Iran nuclear deal, et al ad nauseum).

We’re not leaders.

We’re retreaters.

Speaking of retreat, which Trump golf course is the Prescedense on today?

Fake News

Thursday, 21 June 2018, I was dismayed to read that the Prescedense drew a crowd of 9000 to the AMSOIL Arena in Duluth, MN. Rangers. Minnesota Iron Rangers. In the state of my birth, Minnesotans chanted “lock her up” and “build the wall” like it was 2016 all over again in the very same venue where Frood and her esteemed colleagues collected their diplomas 6 weeks ago. Ugh.

Turns out many Rangers do not trust the photographic evidence they’ve seen of families separated at the southern border. They do not trust the news. They would rather believe a bloviated Teflon Cheeto who states with impunity that Hillary Rodham Clinton, a private citizen now, should be locked up for “crimes she committed, which were numerous.” Numerous despite the cursory Google evidence that there were no, zero (0), zip, nada indictments brought against HRC. While on the taxpayer dime, the GOP insisted that in the haystack was a needle and in 6 YEARS — Benghazi, 4 yrs and e-mails, 2 yrs — no needles were found by the GOP.


The Prescedense is practiced at the art of showmanship. A cult of personality. The music of lies sung to the melody of truth. Have you ever found yourself singing along to a catchy tune only to realize that the lyrics are “off”? And by “off,” I mean reprehensible?

“Political language — and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists — is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.

Political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness.”

George Orwell

(My bold.)

Ah! There it is. Pure wind and sheer cloudy vagueness. Flatulence sung from the mouth of the Prescedense repeated often and with confidence, repeated by Fox (pronounced faux) News, repeated yet again by the Prescedense and it starts to sound … like … truth? I get it. I’m all in. I want to sing along to Fake News too! Pretend news and I have cites:

June 22, 2018, 2:02 PM Trump defends border wall 

In Duluth, MN, 10 miles from the Mexican border¹, Prescedense Trump stated with great bluster that “we’re going to keep families together and the border is going to be just as tough as it’s been.”²

This announcement came after a large wall sprang up overnight along the US-Canadian border 163 miles to the north of Duluth separating several thousand US refugee families seeking asylum at the border. Presumably ordered, designed, and built covertly by the Trudeau Dynasty to keep US immigrants out, several theories have been posited that the US actually built the wall to keep US refugees citizens IN.

It could happen.

Wallstreet Walgreens Drugstore

19 June 2018 General Electric was removed as a contributing element in the Dow Jones Industrial Average Index and replaced by … Walgreens.

A multinational conglomerate in the Dow-Jones Industrial reduced to … drugs.

Say ‘hello’ to the future and pass the tequila.

Doors.

A mental health break comes in the form of a campaign commercial with a strong statement from a fearless girl grown into a fierce woman — Air Force combat veteran MJ Hegar and her relationship with doors. Do not slam a door in her face and tell her she can’t. MJ Hegar is an undercover superhero Democrat running for Congress in heavily read red Texas District 31.

Powerful. I am going to follow this campaign.


¹ Duluth, by Gore Vidal, 1983. If memory serves, in the opening scene in the book, Beryl and a friend die in her car of carbon monoxide poisoning from exhaust fumes. The car she’s driving is stuck in a snowbank and they are overcome by car exhaust. True story that happened 10 miles from the Mexican border. A fiction novel, a novel fiction. Ah! news that’s fit to print.

² Colvin, Jill and Jonathan Lemire. “Trump defends his hard-line immigration policies to cheers.” Chicago Tribune.com, Chicago Tribune, 21 June 2018.

A sundry assortment of leftovers.

And who doesn’t love Thanksgiving leftovers? If you’re still looking at leftovers in the fridge from Thanksgiving Day, you may want to consider ordering pizza tonight … just sayin’.

White Supremacy Turkeys

The media continues to fall and fail for us. Hard. Over the weekend “all the news that’s fit to print” – The New York Times – included a profile of Tony & Maria Horvater, Ohio Nazi sympathizers. Although the Times stopped short of publishing a wedding photo of the happy couple, we can assume from the first paragraph that the Horvaters like pineapple.

Ugh. The normalization of extremism, hate, fear.  In response to The Times, Twitter user Mangy Jay offered suggestions for future reporting. In the Twitter thread, she breaks down the missed opportunities, the in-depth inquiries The Times took a pass on, and she includes a photo of Traditionalist Worker Party members in their on-duty uniform. Hardly wedding wear. Hardly attire for prom. No, they are scary and threatening and their pineapple slicer was left at home.

Pretend news. The NYTimes just wanted in on the fun. Covering a Nazi sympathizer as normal. Pshht. Stop it NYTimes.

Just stop. 

Mashed potatoes & salty gravy

The first presidential election I voted in, Ronald Reagan won in a landslide.  And my thoughts that the US operates as an imperfect union formed during the Reagan years and I wondered into Reagan and his wild Star Wars defense which bankrupted the Soviet Union and brought Mikhail Gorbachev to signing ‘uncle’ — we are “unable to compete” –at the Reagan White House.  In 1980, Putin would have been 28 years old and in his mid-30’s when Mikhail Gorbachev caved.

And now 29 years later, he’s baaack. Is Putin exercising a long-game against Reagan and the United States with the 2016 Trump Shit Storm Administration election meddling? Check. Megalomaniac installed as Prescedense? Check. Puppetmaster? Check.

Democracy fail? Eh? Regular programming has been interrupted. Stay tuned.

Dressing or stuffing: Druffing

I grew up and “dressing” was the dry bread doctored up on a stove top – “start with a stick of butter” – and maybe finished in the oven. Regardless, dressing did not inhabit the turkey cavity. Stuffing is just that. Dry bread shoved up in the turkey’s body cavity.

Historically, I didn’t care whether I was eating “stuffing” or “dressing” as long as it did not contain giblets.

Druffing. “Start with a stick of butter.” Thanks, mom.

The druffing last week included tasty bits of turkey sausage which is probably a sneaky way of introducing giblets.

And it was good.

Pumpkin pie

So today in the Washington Post, I see that a woman is running against Putin in Russia’s 2018 elections. She may only be Putin’s stooge but still.  Consider Russia without Putin as puppetmaster. Consider Prescedense Trump reporting for duty sir to a woman! (And since I can’t locate the WaPo article, here’s a link to The Guardian on Ksenia Sobchak. And maybe Putin would prefer to deal with Trump through Ms. Sobchak. I know. I know. I’m just sayin’. Could be. Ya never know.)

Perhaps the same hackers who worked on our elections in 2016 could influence their own in 2018? Surely one of them has an opinion on running Russia and who and how best. Or maybe Anonymous is already on it? Hold the pumpkin pie.

Fair elections? Gone. Banana splits for everyone!

Found! Cashews between the sofa cushions

Electronic hypochondria

Since the announcement that net neutrality is up for sale on the chopping block will be a fond memory, it seems my internet has slowed down.

Oh fiddlesticks! Imagination and the power of suggestion. I am always the slowest component in an electronic exchange but that doesn’t mean my electronic devices aren’t preemptively slowing in preparation for the return to exclusively scribbling in notebooks.

Or maybe it’s because of Cyber Monday. All that internet shopping traffic is slowing me down.

When the ride is electric.

When sharing a ride in an electric car, how do you split gas transportation costs?

Asking for a friend.

Compound words vs. hyphenated.

Is shitstorm a closed compound word? Should it be hyphenated?

Again, asking for a friend.

Nearing the end …

… of my scribbling notebook. Notes from the 2017 MAA Conference on the page opposite and upside down of where I’m writing state “Even Chuck Norris can’t square the circle.”¹

And just for today, this gives me pause, makes me smile, and gives me hope.

We can try. We can turn a problem over. We can examine it’s guts. But we can’t explain everything.

Yet.


¹ Dr. David Richeson, Mathematics Department, Dickinson College, presentation “Four Problems from Antiquity,” July 27, 2017. Chuck Norris can’t, but I’m on it! After I find my straight edge, any day now.

1984: Doublespeak & News peak

The first time I read 1984 by George Orwell for an English class, Ronald Reagan was POTUS. And the class discussed the book in context of Mr. Orwell and his experience and history. I did not think I would have a compelling reason to ever reread this book. But no. 1984 may be a survival guide to communications during the Trump Administration. So I’ll jump on the library cart, help sustain Mr. Orwell’s thriving posthumous career, and I will reread 1984.
In addition to “alternative facts” (Kellyanne Conway) and a new interpretation of “complicit” (Ivanka Trump), I would like to suggest the following be added to the doublespeak lexicon:

Pretend news

Fake news is negative. But pretending! Remember pretending as a a child? Pretending is fun, pretending is creative.  Pretend news sounds so much better than fake news, and what’s the difference really? We were just pretending …

News manufacturer

An organization that specializes in the synthesis of events, facts, opinions, decisions into a format acceptable to their audience.

I suggest that News manufacturer replace news media.   The word media emphasizes the delivery method, whether it be print, web, image, video, over the process that morphs and forms an event into an item of news.  Manufacturer also highlights the business aspect of news and as such, there are many manufacturing models. Manufacturing removes gravitas and the assumed independence that we had come to expect from the news media as the 4th estate. As manufacturers, we can expect less from our news media, more or less.

High ethics

High ethics are the rules of conduct recognized as applying to a particular class of humans who play by their own rules and operate above, below, and outside the laws applicable to common people.

Example:

Donald Trump uses high ethics to define the separation between the Trump Organization and his position as POTUS.

And finally, instead of parsing newspeak as new speak, I suggest ‘news peak.’

News peak

News peak is an unprecedented and overwhelming number of headline events occurring during a single news cycle. In my opinion, a news peak event happened yesterday, Thursday, April 13, 2017.   Just as I was reading that we dropped a MOAB on ISIS, I read that the US accidentally hit 18 allies in the Syrian bombing, Planned Parenthood is being defunded, Anderson Cooper‘s uncharacteristic reaction during a discussion of foreign policy, and on and on.

And an example of news peaks (pl.) used in a paragraph:

It’s so incredible, it’s brilliant, we are going to have an unbelievable, perhaps record-setting number of news peaks during this administration. You won’t believe all the earth-changing news being made all over, all over and all the time during this administration. You’ve never read as much news. Just wait. Believe me.  We’ll make news.

Brush off your dictionaries.  Buckle up.