The Loud Defense of Untenable Positions

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The Paradoxically Fierce Blind Defense of Untenable Positions. 

Quick! How do you know the earth is not flat? 

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If you’re like most people, the question seems absurd. Everyone knows the earth is not flat, you think. Why should I have to prove that? It’s silly. 

You’re so sure that the earth is round that you probably do not have a ready answer. You might know enough about astronomy or general science to put together a fairly convincing case, but unless you’re an elementary school teacher, or have family members who belong to the “Flat Earth Society” you will likely have to construct an answer “on the fly.” 

Although you might be “annoyed” at having to produce a rationale for something that “everyone knows” it is unlikely you will get downright enraged. If someone challenges you, you’ll likely just shake your head and walk away. Or, you might try to convince them that the earth is round. 

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You likely haven’t given much thought to how to “prove” that the earth is round; at least not since you were a kid. But there’s another and more insidious reason why you cannot “rattle off” a defense of the “earth is round” thesis. 

There’s no money to be made. Not only science, but commerce is premised on the fact that the earth is round. Since (nearly) everyone already knows the earth is round, no-one is being paid to make disturbing videos that seem to “prove” the earth is round. No-one has a troll farm somewhere paying people to post things on facebook or twitter to push the position that the earth is round. 

Let’s take another example. Imagine that you’re walking down the street one day and you look up from your iPhone long enough to notice a man who appears to be trying to walk through a brick wall. He bangs into it; backs up a few steps and walks into it again. 

You were just about to beat your personal best in Candy Crush, but you sigh and ask the man, “What are you doing?” 

“What does it look like? I’m walking through this wall.” 

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The scenes from the Harry Potter movies where magical folks get to the Hogwarts Express via walking through the wall to get to platform 9 3/4 flash onto your internal TV. But you realize that is a movie about a magical world. Every instance you can come up with where someone walks through a wall is a cartoon or superhero. Perhaps this is where the guy got the idea. But here he is trying it out in real life. But he does’t just try it out once. Here he goes again. You don’t know how long he’s been doing this, but you’ve seen three trials, all with the same, and quite predictable result. 

You realize that if he keeps walking into the brick wall, he will eventually be injured. Moreover, a person who is so clearly self-destructive might do other, and even worse, self-destructive things. Would it be possible to talk them out of this behavior with logic or facts? That seems doubtful. After all, assuming they didn’t just pop up on the street from a completely different universe where walking through brick walls works, he’ll have already had plenty of opportunities to learn about the world. 

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The more absurd the false beliefs are, the more vigorously people will defend them. You’ve spent no time practicing arguments about why the earth is round or why you can’t walk through brick walls. On the other hand, someone who does believe in these things will have had many occasions when those beliefs were challenged. Nonetheless, they won’t be very successful in convincing others that, say, the earth is flat. But every time they try to make that sale, it will convince the person who constructs and voices such arguments, even more deeply that the earth is flat. So, even though they might tell this story 100 times and every single person remains unconvinced, by thinking that they have to “stand up for themselves” they will try out any sort of non-sense to bolster their position. And, if there were serious money to be made by convincing some people that the earth is flat, you can bet there would be a never-ending series of propaganda offerings to push in that direction. And, while most people will continue to believe the earth is round, occasionally someone will hear enough crap to really begin to wonder. 

Now, let’s go back to our original flat-earther who has just failed to convince one hundred people that the earth is flat — but at the same time, he (let’s say it’s a he named Milhaus) has practiced convincing himself 100 times. And now, a miracle occurs. Milhaus happens to run into Doubting Dolly who has heard or read screes promoting flat earth to the extent that she now experiences a certain amount of doubt. The two of them strike up an excited conversation in which each one reinforces the beliefs of the other. Mihaus is thrilled! Imagine! He’s been scoffed at as ridiculous 100 times. But now, right here, he finds an acolyte — someone who now shares his beliefs. The chances that Doubting Dolly will find such screes depends a lot on whether there is any extrinsic reward for writing and promulgating such screes. Flat Earth conspiracy theories don’t lend themselves to making money off such lies. 

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Other currently popular lies, on the other hand are promoted initially by people with vested narrowly selfish interests. But once enough “Milhaus”-types get converted, these falsehoods, however bizarre, get repeated over and over. For instance, the oil company oligarchs have known for years that their business model is seriously damaging human lives, changing climate, and putting much of life at risk. What do they do? They spend millions creating and promulgating false narratives. 

Ironically, then, people who hold untenable, counter-factual positions often are more practiced at their arguments than people who simply put forth the truth. Moreover, they not only are more practiced, they are also more emotionally involved. The average person who belongs to the “Flat Earth Society” has hugely more of their identity wrapped up in the idea of a flat earth than the average person has their identity wrapped up in the idea of a round earth. Of course, there are no valid arguments for a flat earth, for walking through a brick wall, or for interpreting the Constitution as saying that the President should be treated as a dictator. As a result, proponents of such things tend to scream and pound the table a lot. 

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The screaming and table pounding is not just out of frustration for not having any valid arguments. For people suffering from PTSD, or who have been in abusive relationships, or grew up in an abusive household, yelling and screaming and pounding the table reminds them of terror and a remembrance that the only way to avoid pain is to make daddy happy. Oh, let’s find out what Pappa Putin wants and give it to him! Maybe we’ll get lucky and he won’t end up treating American citizens as badly as he’s treated his own countrymen. Maybe. But don’t count on it. 

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Beware of Sheep in Wolves’ Clothing!

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The more common expression “Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing” originates from the Bible. In the King James Version, we have: 

Matthew 7:15-23 King James Version (KJV)

15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

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There are actually two common sayings that come from this verse. First, “Beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing.” Second, “A tree is known by the fruit it bears.” These are both wise aphorisms that are appropriate to many situations. For instance, people may appear to be gentle or feign liking you when their real intention is to put you off your guard which makes it easier to take advantage of you. The second one is particularly apt when looking at the concept of “fake news.” Amazingly, many people now call “mainstream media” like the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal or The Washington Post, “fake” despite the fact that they have been around for a long time and still make significant proportions of the money from subscriptions. Meanwhile, they see as “true,” the unsubstantiated claims of purely on-line media completely paid on the basis of how effective their “click-bait” headlines are, many of which are developed by Russian troll farms. Sad, and partly dealt with in earlier essays which you can access here. 

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However, in this essay, I want to turn the first famous phrase around so that we have: “Beware of Sheep in Wolves’ Clothing.” Bn this expression, what I mean is that people present themselves as brave fighters for your rights or for the truth when they are actually simply sheepishly going along with a crowd. Americans particularly value individualism and bucking authority to do what is right. In some cultures, people would feel far less positively toward the “lone wolf” crusader. But here in America, we don’t like to be thought of as “sheep.” We tend to respect folks who are brave individualists doing things their own way. 

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This high valuation of uniqueness is often used by clever sales people to make you think what they are offering you is a “special deal” that would “get them in trouble with their supervisor” if it became known that they were giving you such a wonderful and unique deal. Of course, in reality, it isn’t a special deal at all. It’s the same line they give everyone who they try to sell insurance or cars or houses to. But they make it out as though they are being a bit of a rogue by bending the rules for your benefit, and that therefore, the two of you are in league; you are both “in the know” for this special deal. 

While the deal is presented as unique, the product may be sold as being popular. In fact, the product or service is often presented as being in very short supply. “Grab this special deal before it goes away, because so many people desire this product. Luckily, there’s one left just for you — but only if you act now, (before you have a chance to compare prices, terms, and products).” 

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Here’s a common variant. Someone comes to your door claiming that they were “in the neighborhood” anyway working with “some of your neighbors” to — pick one: clean gutters, install solar tiles, cut trees, clear underbrush, pave driveways, put in satellite dishes, etc. Since they are “in the neighborhood anyway,” they can give you a special deal on the gutter cleaning, brush clearing, etc. Obviously, this “special deal” is only available for “right now” because otherwise, they’ll have to make a trip just for you. 

No doubt, for many people, including me, part of the appeal of Barack Obama was his uniqueness. The offspring of two parents of quite different heritages, he spent his early life dealing with a much wider variety of people than most American politicians. 

Donald Trump portrayed himself as very much the “outsider to politics as usual.” He claimed to be “different” from the “swamp” of politicians that typically infest Washington DC. Instead, he was a highly successful businessman, according to him, and knew how to get things done, according to him. He was feisty, so he said, and “not afraid” to “tell it like it is.” He eschewed “political correctness.” He portrayed himself as someone unique and self-defined — in other words a “Wolf.” 

He is not. 

He is not brave. He is not courageous and he is not unique. He is not even, by most measures, anything approaching a “self-made man” or a successful businessman. He was given a fortune by his father. By most accounts, he’s particularly inept as a businessman (it’s hard to know exactly because, although he promised to release his tax returns, he never has, and in fact has had his lawyers fight releasing them at every turn). He would be far richer today if he had simply invested his inheritance in an index fund.

https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/as-a-businessman-trump-was-the-biggest-loser-of-all

He has a “track record” of portraying himself as richer, more famous, and more successful than he really is. You can read about any of this elsewhere (see links below), but let me skip that and tell you about my limited personal experience. About a decade ago, Trump bought a golf club that I belonged to. He made some nice improvements, by the way, to the clubhouse and these were real improvements. He also put up several posters of himself portrayed as “Man of the Year” on the Time Magazine cover. If I owned a golf club, I would not personally put up illustrations of how great I am. But, I thought: “Well, it’s a matter of personal taste. I find it braggadocios but fine.” Except is was a lie. A lie that came true a decade later! In 2016, he really was named “Person of the Year” and really did have his picture on the cover of Time. But it was definitely a lie when he put up the posters. 

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That was far from the most egregious lie even at that time. Given all the lies that he has told since, I hesitate to even use the word “egregious.” It seems that the very concept of egregious has been egregiously extended by Trump into what we see as “normal.” His posting a false cover was certainly nothing like the whoppers he’s told since in the seriousness of import, but it struck me at the time as egregious, so I’m keeping with it. Before Donald bought our golf club, they, like most, hosted several “Club Championships” each year. The winners had received cups and their names were prominently displayed on plaques in the clubhouse. When Donald bought the club, many people quit the club, including several former club champions. Donald had their names removed from the Championship Plaques and put his own name there as champion for those years. He had not only not won those championships. He hadn’t even played in them. 

What kind of a person would feel anything but shame for putting their name undeservedly on a championship plaque? If you did it, for any reason whatsoever, I would imagine you would feel embarrassed or ashamed whenever you looked at it. I know I would. It takes a certain degree of courage to enter an athletic contest. You could fail miserably and publicly. You might win. Winning might take all your courage, whatever the sport. But putting your name on a trophy for something you never did? That takes no courage. That’s the act of a coward. Eventually, he got so much grief over this from the members that he took his name off those plaques. That should also be noted, because that too shows his lack of courage. 

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#45 portrays himself even today as the champion of the “common person” even though he lived in a gilded penthouse, in fact, commenting on what a dump the White House was upon arrival. Trump portrays himself, not just as “the champion” when he isn’t; he portrays himself as a brave champion fighting the “forces of evil” which include (in his rhetoric) the Main Stream Media, the Washington insiders, and so on. In fact, he is not brave at all. 

He had his dad bribe doctors to lie repeatedly about mythical “heel spurs” to prevent being drafted into service. He or his proxies released a video supposedly showing him sneaking up on a “Professional Wrestling” (in other words, fake wrestling) referee and sucker-punching the ref. Trump regularly urges others, for instance, an entire crowd, to gang up on protestors in his audiences and beat them up. 

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Such calls to violence are not mere stage tricks. They have consequences. People have died. Never has Donald Trump been put in danger by his calls to violence. He’s never offered to “fight” anyone in his ranting tweets. Without a shred of evidence, he’s named people in the media, Democratic donors, and Democratic politicians as “enemies of the people” as well as entire races, countries, and religions. “Inspired” by such lies and calls to violence, there have been mass murders and attempted murders. Right before the 2018 elections, as you would undoubtedly recall with respect to any other presidency, pipe bombs were sent to Kamala Harris, Corey Booker, and Tom Steyer, CNN, George Soros, the Obamas, and the Clintons, among others including former intelligence head, James Clapper.  

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/26/nyregion/cnn-cory-booker-pipe-bombs-sent.html  

Sending pipe bombs is a cowardly act, but if so, isn’t encouraging people to do it even more cowardly. What were the consequences for Trump? None. 

A brave man stands up for his actions and their consequences. A coward induces others to do his dirty work for him and then moves on.

On October 27, 2018, a gunman entered the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, and attacked worshippers killing eleven innocent people and wounding another six.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pittsburgh_synagogue_shooting

This coward was more indirectly, but no less importantly, inspired by the hate-speech of Trump. For example, after an innocent protestor was mowed down by a White Nationalists, Trump famously said there were probably good people on both sides. His foreign policy and public statements encouraged an increase in people applying for asylum at our Southern Border. This he described as an “army” attacking our country. That also played into the sick logic of the attacker. 

What were the consequences of Donald J. Trump when these innocent people were gunned down in cold blood? 

Nothing. 

The right of free speech is vital to our democracy. But it is not an unrestricted right. You cannot, without penalty, walk into an operating room and start screaming at the doctors. You cannot yell obscenities at the top of your lungs in the middle of a restaurant. You cannot yell “FIRE!” in a crowded theater. You would face consequences if you did any of these things. 

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Unless you are the President of the United States, that is. He un-bravely incites others to violence that results in innocent deaths and a perpetrator likely spending the rest of their life in prison, but suffers nothing himself. 

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What a ‘brave’ wolf. Most people care when they have any involvement whatsoever in the harm of innocent others. Isn’t that true of you? And the people you know? Suppose you invite a friend over for dinner and they are involved in a serious car accident on the way over? All you did was to ask them over for dinner. The accident is not your fault. Not at all. You did nothing wrong. Nonetheless, if you’re anything like the people I know, it would certainly run through your mind that if only you had not made the invitation or if only you had reminded them to drive safely or … Hopefully, you’ll recognize that you aren’t really at fault and “forgive” yourself and not only see logically, but feel as well that you really are not to blame. But if you encourage hatred against a whole group of people and then some of those people get hurt, you certainly are partly responsible. 

August 3rd, 2019, a gunman drove 650 miles to El Paso and used an automatic weapon to destroy the lives of 22 innocent Hispanics and wounding another 24. His language on-line is much like Trump’s in concept and wording, but the shooter claims he had these beliefs before Trump. That may be true, but do you think having the President of the United States express those same opinions might influence the chances you would plan out and execute a mass murder?    

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2019_El_Paso_shooting

Will Trump bear any responsibility for all those lives needlessly lost? No. The shooter, however, will likely spend the rest of his life in jail. 

Look at the record of how Trump has treated all his “top notch” picks for various positions within his White House. They are the best thing since sliced bread, until they are fired, which he rarely has the courage to do face to face. Imagine being the President of the United States and not having the courage to fire your employee face to face. Among other things, you’re the head of the greatest military force in the history of the world and you’re surrounded by the extraordinary people of the Secret Service! And, yet, Heel Spurs is afraid to fire people face to face. Wow!

And now the incontrovertible evidence mounts even higher that he isn’t even doing this all for his own interest. He’s doing it for Putin! Yes, yes, Trump is making money hand over fist for his Crime Family, but it’s peanuts compared to what he’s handing over to Putin which is nothing less than world leadership! 

Putin desperately wants to reconstitute the USSR before he dies. His biggest impediments until now was NATO and its member states. And America was a particular thorn in the side of his ambitions. Until now. Because now, Trump is cowered to do Putin’s bidding. Putin’s agenda, which Trump has been working on since even before day one of his Presidency is three-fold: 1) isolate America from her allies; 2) divide the country; 3) weaken the military, state, & intelligence functions of America. 

Pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord; pulling out of the Iran deal; dissing the leaders of democracies while cozying up to brutal dictators; suddenly withdrawing support for the Kurds; throwing shadows corruption on the legitimate government of the Ukraine when their president ran on an anti-corruption ticket — all of these things isolate America from her allies. For most of us, they are also bad decisions, but whether a decision is bad is a matter of balance and potential disagreements. Doing the bidding of Putin against our national security and national interest is something else. It is treason, clearly, but it is also an act of almost transcendent cowardice. 

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The divisive rhetoric of the President also plays right into Putin’s hands. It isn’t just that it plays to racism, misogyny, Islamophobia, homophobia, and other absurdities though that’s plenty evil in and of itself. It’s purposeful on the part of Putin and Trump damned well knows it. It isn’t just using “bad language” or being inarticulate or not being “politically correct.” Trump urges violence of some Americans against others. For God’s sake! What President of America does that? Of course, it’s in Putin’s interest to have a divided America. It’s not in our interest or the interests of our allies and trading partners. They would like to see a reliable and stable America. That’s in everyone’s interest. But to intentionally divide the nation against each other when the only two benefits of that are: 1) Trump keeping his base riled up and 2) Vladimir Putin being that much closer to his USSR 2.0? That is the essence of cowardice. 

We should be able to see by now, that the replacement of experienced professionals in the State Department, the Military Command, the Intelligence Agencies, and the Justice Department with complete lackeys doesn’t only allow “Trump to be Trump” and run the details of the government for his own profit. It also destroys the effectiveness of these agencies and causes the public to lose confidence. Who benefits from all this? Putin, of course. Just to take a recent example, three US Soldiers who were convicted by Courts-Martial of war crimes were “pardoned” by Donald Trump. What does this do? It lowers the morale of the armed forces. As does the ban on trans people and his unwillingness to visit troops anywhere near a war zone. As does issuing orders without planning. As does casually giving away important intelligence. Cowardice, plain and simple and extensive. 

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Sadly, it turns out that Trump is not the only sheep who pretends to be a voracious wolf. There are many such sheep in the GOP Congress as well. They rant and they rave and they shout and pray. But at the end of the day, they do Putin’s bidding. They support isolating us from our allies, even promulgating lies about our allies — lies that are all part of our enemy’s propaganda operations. 

These roaring GOP sheep support dividing the country against each other. They could have censured Trump the very first time he showed his racist side. But they didn’t. Nor the second time. Nor the third. Nor the thousandth. Many of them won’t even face their constituents in town halls. 

Mitch McConnell refused to bring up for a vote any of the many bills that the House passed to deal with serious American issues. And, at the same time, the Russian trolls are spewing out messages on Facebook and Twitter that basically say: “Its a do-nothing Congress.” or even “What good is Congress?” 

It is a series of Babushka Sheep. Look inside. 

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It isn’t turtles all the way down, after all. 

It’s cowardice. It’s sheep. However loud these sheep howl, they’re still sheep.

But you don’t have to be. 

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It’s Your Call!

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It’s Your Call

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Tennis is played on a so-called court. As a matter of fact, when tennis began, it was literally played in a courtyard and people could hit the ball off roofs, etc. But, now the game has become much more regular. Historians believe tennis began in the 12th century. At that point, the ball was hit with the hand. At what point does it become close enough to modern tennis to deserve the name? I don’t know. My cats have been known to play a kind of primitive tennis with me and, more rarely, with each other. 

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The most elaborate example of the latter was something I walked in on. Under the kitchen table were three of our cats batting back and forth the lifeless body of a small lizard who had unfortunately managed to sneak into our house. The cats are well-fed so there was no rushing or fighting over the meat. No, they were batting it back and forth. I don’t know how long they had been playing this little game, but at the point I observed them, they seemed rather bored. I can tell you that when I play tennis, almost all the time, almost all the players exhibit enthusiasm for the game. 

Tennis, it turns out, is much like the game my cats played. Just as the cats did, there is a defined space within which a small object (lizard, tennis ball, etc.) gets batted back and forth. Sides (one or two people to a side) take turns batting the ball over to the other side. This back and forth continues until one side is unable to return the ball into their opponents side of the court. The ball must pass over the net before bouncing and it must land in the opponent’s side of the court. In tennis, as in baseball, if a ball hits the line (even a little) it is “in.” So, knowing when the ball is “in” or “out” is quite critical for scorekeeping purposes, just as it is in nearly every game or sport. “Baseball,” they say, “is a game of inches.” And so is tennis. And football, and hockey, and gymnastics, and basketball, and golf! There are boundaries — and often it is both critical and hard to determine where something falls with respect to those boundaries. 

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For that reason, professional tennis tournaments have not just one, but several people whose sole responsibility is to determine whether balls are “in” or “out.” There is also a “chair umpire” who has several roles but one of which is to serve as a kind of “over-judge.” He can “overrule” one of the linesman as to whether a ball was in or out. More recently, technology has added yet another layer of “presumed certainty” about whether a ball was in or out. Everyone assumes — or has agreed to act as though they assume — that the technology is perfect. As someone who spent many years working with technology, I think it is perfectly safe to assume that the technology is not perfect. But it is, in pro tennis, the final arbiter. 

The kind of tennis I play, “Club Tennis” or “Friendly Tennis” is quite another matter! Our prize money is nil. Our trophies are nil. That doesn’t mean people don’t play their hearts out! But who gets to say whether a ball is in our out? We don’t have technology or line judges; we make our own calls. Here is the over-riding rule of “Friendly tennis”: people call the ball “in” or “out” on their own side of the court. There are three major reasons for this. First, when you hit a ball, you intend for it to be “in.” Second, if the ball is “in” that is to your advantage in winning the game. Both of these are “psychological” effects that impact everyone to a greater or lesser degree and will tend to make them “see” their close shots as in that are really out. The third reason, however, is much more important and it is purely physical. In nearly every case, the person who is attempting to hit the ball is way way closer to the ball (and the line) than anyone else. 

Sometimes, however, there are mitigating circumstances. The person hitting the ball may be running hard and tracking the ball in order to hit it. It sometimes happens that they will admit to having no idea whether the ball was in or out. The first recourse is to ask their partner whether they saw the ball clearly. They might also ask their opponents. Remember: it’s a friendly game. But that does not mean it always stays free from controversy. 

You are supposed to call a ball “out” only if you are sure it was out. What “sure” means though can vary quite a bit from person to person. There are also physical reasons why some people’s line calling is better than others. Many players in our games wear glasses. I won’t go into all the various issues with glasses. If you wear glasses you already know and if you don’t, you couldn’t care less. (Unless you’re extremely empathic and then, you might want to read “The Myths of the Veritas” which delve heavily into empathy; go ahead; give it a try; it’s free with no ads). People also differ in how much they compensate for the effect of parallax. If I am receiving a serve, for instance, I am likely to see a ball that’s slightly long as “in” while the server will tend to see it as “out” even if it is barely in. If a serve comes to my side and lands near the line, the effect of parallax is to make them look “out” even when they are slightly in. Some people are aware of these effects and some aren’t. To make a long story short, people don’t always make the best call. 

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We have the exact same issues that we had when we played baseball, football, in grade school. The only difference is that now that we are in our 70’s we don’t spoil our day and tell Johnny we’re not going to play with him any more. Instead, we revert to “It’s your call” even when we “know” that our opponents have just called one of our hits that was really in, out. 

In the same way, in life outside the tennis realm, we can sometimes see problems that the person nearest to their problem cannot see. We may know that you are eating too much for your own good, or drinking too much, or would be happier in the long run if you studied harder. We might say that, under the right circumstances, to a good friend. But — at the end of the day, it is “their call.” 

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As I’ve argued elsewhere, there seems to be an urban/rural difference in how hard one pushes to let people know they are screwing up. It isn’t only an urban rural split. It seems to me, that many conservatives are afraid that liberals want to make them do and be and like all the things they do! But liberals, you see, by the very nature of the word “liberal,” don’t want to have everyone the same. It’s okay with almost all liberals if you go bowling, or play tennis, or watch NASCAR. We’re not going to force everyone to eat quiche or adopt a “gay lifestyle.” I have to admit, I do think there are some liberals who would be happy to write you an extremely detailed “prescription” for your life. But they are really rare exceptions, in my experience. Liberals, just like conservatives, do want to have laws that prevent people from hurting others for no reason. 

There are interesting edge cases that people may differ on. Is this “your call” or “our call”? That has changed over time as people have multiplied across the earth and as science has understood more and more of our interactions. In the middle ages, when people began congregating in large cities, they lived in (what we would now call) disastrously unsanitary conditions that were ideal for plagues. Dump your sewage into a place that flows into the water supply? Sure. It’s your sewage after all. But now we know that is not a good idea. 

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When I was a kid, my dad and my grandpa would “rake the leaves” in the fall; rake the leaves into a big pile; and then burn them. And, everyone was doing that. Now, I would guess that such is illegal in most places in the US. We realize that the smoke doesn’t simply “disappear” but is, in fact, bad for other people. You are burning the leaves on your land, but the smoke doesn’t stay there. Now, we’re more savvy than when I was a kid. But it’s much more than that. There are also a lot more of us! When I born, there were about 2.4 billion people on earth; now there are more than 7 billion. But it isn’t only the number. Many of us around the earth, including me, are using up a lot more resources than we did back then. We are using materials like plastics and sending more and worse chemicals out into the environment we all share. I still believe in the general principle that it’s your call, in terms of how much pollution you are willing to live with. 

As I’ve mentioned before, Air Fresheners are a good example of a bad example. So-called “Air Fresheners” do nothing of the kind. They make you think the air is fresher because they have perfume in them. Not only that; they typically include carcinogens, a chemical to mess with your hormones and another chemical that deadens your sense of smell! You see? Air Fresheners, some people might call the “Bill Barr” of household products. They label themselves as “Air Freshener” but they are really noxious stuff that only makes the whole situation worse. 

I’m afraid that what is “your call” will continue to shrink in some ways if humanity keeps expanding the population and using up more and more resources. On the other hand, the space of what is your call is also expanding. Whether it is sports, clothing, food, games, movies, TV, books, experiences — even with the choice of burning autumn leaves in your backyard gone, you have way more choices available to you than your parents or grandparents had. 

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If there is one person in a car driving alone, they can pick the music they want and play it loud. They can change stations every two seconds. Or not. But if there are six people in the car, it’s going to be more complicated. That’s not because people hate your music or hate you. Now, you could take the attitude: “It’s my car, so I’ll pick whatever music I please!” And then, you might choose to play disco music at full blast. You could. But if you do that, then as soon as possible, people will choose note to ride with you. That’s okay. But don’t complain that you’re ever more isolated. It’s not your choice of music that isolates you. It’s your insistence that everyone is subjected only to what appeals to you. 

And, then we come, at last, as we seem to inevitably do, to the crisis at hand.  

It’s our collective “call” to determine who our leaders are. Some prefer someone who is stately, intelligent, and diplomatic. And, some prefer Donald Trump: bombastic, often inarticulate, and crude. Styles and tastes differ. It’s your call. Personally, I don’t think style is irrelevant, but I don’t think it’s vital either. 

But being an agent, witting or unwitting, of Vladimir Putin, rather than of America, is not a question of style. Doing what is in Russian interests and against the interest of America over and over is not a matter of style. Nor is dividing the country against itself. Nor isolating us from our allies. Nor destroying the morale of our intelligence agencies, our military command, our State Department, and the Justice Department. 

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If it were possible for you to have a dictatorship and for me to stay in a democracy, that might be fine. I would caution you that you wouldn’t really be the least bit happy about living in a dictatorship, but in the end, that’s your call. Also problematic is the fact that dictators are almost never satisfied with the absolute power they have and want to keep extending it to other areas. 

Donald Trump doesn’t want to just be dictator of the Republican Party (which he pretty much already is). He wants to be dictator of the entire country. That is destroying and will continue to destroy everything good about America. It’s the whole country. It’s not just your car. Before finding out just how horrendous it is for everyone to live in a dictatorship, go live for a few months at least, in a cult that has a dictator and see how you like it. You might like it. You might not. It’s your call. 

But America is not going to let our entire country go to ruin. No-one has the right to make that call. 

That would be like one of my tennis opponents saying, “The ball was “out” and furthermore, from now on, everyone’s tennis rackets are mine and you can only play when I say so and I win every game no matter what happens! 

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You know. It’s possible it could happen one day. We’re old. People have strokes. People get dementia. I hope none of my regular tennis players go insane like that, and if they do, I hope they get appropriate care. 

We’re not crazy enough to “give in” to such absurd demands! Not even if he yells and screams and says, “It’s my call!” 

Because it isn’t. 

It’s our call.

———————————-

Author Page on Amazon. 

The Myths of the Veritas 

Trumpism as the new religion

Why the Rule of Law is important

City Mouse and Country Mouse

 

It’s Just Tommy being Tommy!

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It’s Just Tommy being Tommy!

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Imagine for a moment that you pack your family into your car and drive to your in-laws for the holidays. Of course, the traffic is horrendous. When you arrive at the nicely decorated house, a few snowflakes waft through the air. You and your family walk up the flagstone walk to the wreathed door and you’re greeted warmly. In you go, all five of you, each carrying a nicely wrapped present or two. Christmas music plays in the background and the smell of turkey with all the trimmings is in the air. Your mouth is watering! Your tempted to to short-circuit the introductory phase and head straight to the buffet — just for a taste. But that would be impolite. 

Yet, something seems amiss. What is that noise? Their spoiled little brat, Tommy is running amok in the living room shooting the loudest cap guns you’ve ever heard in your life. It slowly dawns on you that no cap gun makes that kind of noise. Those are actual bullets! They must have given their ten-year old who mistreats pets, bikes, and toys actual working guns for early Christmas presents. 

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What do you do now? I mean, on the one hand, your in-laws have prepared a wonderful Christmas Dinner. Your stomach is growling. Besides, it will be embarrassing to just walk out. 

On the other hand, you don’t want your kids to be accidentally killed or maimed for the rest of their life. You don’t really want yourself or your spouse to be killed either. 

Sounds like a pretty absurd scenario, doesn’t it? 

But polls indicate that many Americans are just fine sitting down to dinner in this scenario. 

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If you are one of those folks, you don’t even insist that the guns be taken away from Tommy. In fact, many of you even encourage the parents. “It’s great that you’ve finally found something Tommy can feel responsible for.” Or, “Oh, well, that’s just Tommy being Tommy! After all, no-one’s perfect!” Or, “Well, yes, Tommy might hurt someone, but that’s true of all kids.” 

And that weekend, assuming there are no casualties at dinner, you are happy to send your kids over for a playdate. And there’s Tommy with his real guns loaded with real bullets putting real lives at danger. But I guess you wouldn’t want to embarrass your in-laws. And, who doesn’t like a free meal or free baby-sitting?

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It’s just Tommy being Tommy! 

——————————————- 

My first experience with real guns could well have been my last. Free chapter 

from “Tales from an American Childhood” 

Author Page on Amazon. 

A Pattern Language for Collaboration and Teamwork. 

The Myths of the Veritas. 

Lion Slayer & Eagle Eyes Return

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Although Lion Slayer had not specifically been tested or trained the way that Eagle Eyes had, since he was a human being, he could read the excitement on the visage of Eagle Eyes as she crouched down, turned back and scurried back toward him. 

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“What did you see? What’s there?” asked Lion Slayer. 

“I saw an old friend! The Mountain of Twin Peaks! We are only two days from our Center Place. Sorry, I mean…well, the Center Place of the Veritas. Who knows? Perhaps we will soon see all our friends! Let me go back to the crest and scan the horizon for trouble for awhile. If all looks well, we should continue our journey.”

“I pray to soon see once again Hudah Salem and that she is well. And, for Fleet-of-Foot as well.”

Soon, they both lay on their bellies at the crest and scanned the land below them for any signs of trouble. It occurred to Eagle Eyes that Lion Slayer was unlikely to see something that escaped her own eyes, but she kept that to herself. And, she could well be wrong. Just because she could see details and patterns that escaped most people did not prove he was incapable of recognizing patterns that she could not see. After all, he had spent years seeing patterns in a different environment than she had. He might well see dangers that she would have missed. As Shadow Walker discovered, a snake may find you by your heat. She imagined for a moment being a snake finding Lion Slayer by his heat. That line of though, for some odd reason,  reminded her that Lion Slayer looked strong and handsome.

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After a time, they glanced at each other, smiled, and nodded to signal their agreement that it was time to move forward. Though they had spotted no trouble, because they were visible on this downslope for a good distance in many directions, they moved only when the wind stirred and kept from moving in lock-step. Soon, they reached the cover of a large wood. They entered the forest in good spirits. Eagle Eyes had reassured Lion Slayer that they would very soon reach lands that she was intimately familiar with. 

“If we’re lucky,” she claimed, “we may make tomorrow night’s feast!

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Meanwhile, Trunk of Tree had somehow convinced himself that he would make a better leader than Many Paths. Try as he might, he could not convince others to share this opinion. All he did as he sought out support was to distance himself from others. Prior to his questioning of Many Paths, he had actually been popular and well-respected among the Veritas, both for his strength and for his not inconsiderable military instincts. But this campaign, he reflected is going very badly for me. He brooded on his failure and recalled that ALT-R had used POND MUD in his various schemes. As he paced back and forth along a line of wild blueberries, he turned the problem this way and that. Aloud, he said, “Who can be my POND MUD?” 

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As chance would have it, Many Paths had come with Easy Tears to pick some blueberries and overheard his odd question. Preoccupied as he was, Trunk of Tree did not notice their presence. Many Paths found herself tempted to keep around the bend out of sight to see whether Trunk of Tree would say anything else. But she felt a mild dishonesty fringed such an action so she playfully announced, “Well, met, Trunk of Tree. I don’t things ended well for POND MUD, nor for ALT-R either. But I am sorry if you are mourning him. I felt bad that we lost both of them to the forces of greed and deception. In the end, it was as though they were the offspring of The Orange Man.” 

Trunk of Tree glanced back and forth between the two young maids and his cheeks reddened. “Well, I’m not really mourning him. I was just curious — do you know anything about their friendship? I mean, I don’t see why POND MUD did whatever ALT-R said. Do you understand it?” 

“Not fully,” answered Many Paths truthfully. “I did find out that POND MUD somehow got it in his head — well, because ALT-R told him so — that ALT-R had saved his life! Nothing could be further from the truth. I am almost certain that ALT-R tricked POND MUD into getting in the quicksand in the first place. And he could easily have pulled him out with a vine or brach or rope, but he made POND MUD really scared and convinced him he had to literally put his face in the mud in order to get out.”

“So….? Did you set him straight?” asked Trunk of Tree. 

“I tried to. I think many people told him the same thing. But he kept asking more people. He was looking for a certain answer — that ALT-R had saved his life. But no-one else thought so. That just made him — somehow — believe ALT-R … harder? Is that the word? As though he insisted on hanging on to this false belief. I don’t fully understand that part.”  

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The three of them began silently partaking of the delicious berries. After a time, Many Paths said, “Have you ever started to lose your balance and then the harder you try to right yourself, the more out of balance you become? It felt a little bit like that. POND MUD couldn’t help himself and when he did, he began to feel guilty — as though he were betraying his friend ALT-R to even consider whether he had been telling the truth. Ironic, eh? ALT-R was using him — abusing him really. But whenever POND MUD thought along those lines, he felt guilty so … so he was more peaceful inside to just believe the lies of ALT-R. I don’t really know, Trunk of Tree, but that is my surmise.”

“How stupid of POND MUD!” exclaimed Trunk of Tree, a trifle too loudly, it seemed to Many Paths. 

“Indeed,” answered Many Paths. “I feel sorry for him. I keep wondering what I could have said to allow him to see the truth that was staring him in the face.”

Trunk of Tree got a faraway look in his eye. “Perhaps you didn’t properly use the Rings of Empathy. Maybe…just maybe it takes actual physical strength to force insight onto someone.” 

Easy Tears frowned and tilted her head at that comment. Many Paths gave a sardonic smile. “You might be right, Trunk of Tree. I do not have such an understanding from She Who Saves Many Lives. It’s not…It’s just a ring. Well, seven of them. I use them to … connect with people; not control them. I have never tried to use them that way.”

“Exactly! You’ve never even tried! That’s the problem with women! You and She Who Saves Many Lives aren’t using the true power of the rings! If a man had them — a man who had power in his heart and soul and body, he could make people see the truth! That’s why I think I should be leader. I would not be afraid to use the power of the rings!” 

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Many Paths reached into the crevice between her breasts and pulled on a leather thong. Out through the neck of her tunic a small leather pouch popped. “Well, let’s try your experiment then. Here. Easy Tears is enjoying those blueberries! As am I! But here, borrow the rings and see whether you can convince her they are no good.” 

“What? You can do that? You would do that? You would give me the Rings of Empathy? You’re a fool, but thank you.” He held out his hand and Many Paths plonked down the pouch into Trunk of Trees ample hand. “I’m not giving them to you. I’m lending them. Have a go.” 

Trunk of Tree could hardly believe his good fortune. He had plotted and schemed to obtain the Rings of Empathy and Many Paths had given them to him! I can get everything now. He held all the rings in his hands and begin concentrating as he intoned, “Easy Tears, you do not like the blueberries. You hate them in fact. You will give all of yours to me.” 

Easy Tears began trembling. She fell to the ground and muttered in a strange voice, “I love blueberries. Oh, no, I hate blueberries. I love them. I hate them. No, no. The power of the ring is too strong. Oh, they are burning me. The blueberries are setting me on fire. Oh, no!” She began rolling uncontrollably on the ground. 

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Many Paths could see that Easy Tears was convulsing with silent laughter.  Many Paths quickly knelt down beside her and whispered into the ear of Easy Tears “Don’t humiliate him. Break it to him gently.” 

Trunk of Tree held his hands high and shouted with joy. “You See! You see! I can harness the magic of the Rings!” 

Easy Tears was laughing so hard now that her face was wet with tears and she couldn’t catch her breath. 

Many Paths considered joining in the fun and leading on Trunk of Tree. In some fundamental way, that would be cruel. Wasn’t it just as wrong to bully Trunk of Tree with her superior insight into human nature as it would be if he used his superior strength to bully someone? Among many possibilities she considered that she wanted to sow doubt in his mind quickly but also gently. “Do you remember, Trunk of Tree, that wrestling trick you taught me when we were kids? I think you called it “willow wand”? Is that right? And the harder someone rushed at you…”

“Why are you asking about wrestling?” sneered Trunk of Tree.  Did you see how I bent her mind with these rings?! I don’t understand why you never tried it. Or, maybe you did but you’re not strong enough to make it work!”

Many Paths sighed. 

“Trunk of Tree,” she began, and noted that a hint of exasperation had crept into her voice. She tried to concentrate on what she admired about Trunk of Tree and spoke again, this time with genuine affection. “Trunk of Tree, you know what a great jokester Easy Tears is and how she has facility to fool others with play acting. Right?” 

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“What are you saying? That she faked it? That was a real curse. Look at her even now, she writhes in pain. I am sorry, Easy Tears. I didn’t know how powerful I would be with the rings.” 

“Oh, Trunk of Tree,” chuckled Easy Tears, “You went along with my play-acting splendidly! I think we may have really fooled Many Paths there for a moment! Right, Many Paths? Admit it. You thought, just for a moment that maybe they really were magic. Come on. Admit it.” 

Many Paths nodded and smiled. Easy Tears had some brilliant thoughts. This way, I can ‘take the fall’ for the joke and save Trunk of Tree’s pride, provided only he’s smart enough to play along. “You did. You did. For a moment there, you two had me going. What’s that sound? Drums. Listen. Two of our own approach. It’s Lion Slayer and Eagle Eyes! They’ve returned! Let’s go hear their tale!”

Many Paths turned and ran toward the Center Place of the Veritas, deftly snatching her pouch with the Seven Rings of Empathy out of Trunk of Tree’s hand before he could even react. Soon, Easy Tears and Trunk of Tree were running behind her, eager to hear what news they had brought. At least for now, Trunk of Tree’s thirst for power seemed to have evaporated like a morning mist under the rising sun. But winter is coming. 

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Author Page on Amazon.

The Myth of the Veritas: The Forgotten Field. 

The Orange Man.

The First Ring of Empathy. 

RIP, GOP

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Context: Today, after weeks of moaning and complaining that there needed to be a defined open process for impeachment, the Democrats in the House brought a motion to define an open process for impeachment. Not a single Republican voted for the motion. NOTE: This was not a vote on impeachment. It was a vote to do what the Republicans had been asking for over the last few weeks. Their obsequious partisan fawning over a treasonous, cruel, inept President signals, I think, the death of the Republican Party.

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RIP GOP

I know a Grand Old Party 

Who swallowed a lie. 

Now, I don’t know why 

They swallowed the lie. 

Perhaps they’ll die. 

 

I know of a Party 

Who swallowed obstruction. 

They swallowed obstruction to hide a base lie.

But I don’t know why

They swallowed the lie. 

Perhaps they’ll die. 

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I know an old Party 

Who’s now quite absurd, 

They got absurd to hide obstruction.

They swallowed obstruction to hide the lie.

But I don’t know why

They swallowed the lie. 

Perhaps they’ll die. 

 

I know an old Party 

That’s blind as a bat. 

Think of that! 

As blind as a bat. 

They won’t open their eyes

Because they’d see lies. 

But I can’t surmise why, 

They swallowed the lie. 

Perhaps they’ll die. 

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I know of a Party- 

Who says they like dogs, 

But they act more like hogs. 

They pollute the sky; 

They feed in their sty.

They swallowed the bat

(Think of that! To swallow a bat!)

To catch the absurd

Lies that they told. 

Too afraid to be bold,

They embraced the absurd

To hide the obstruction.

They swallowed obstruction to hid the lie.

But I don’t know why 

They swallowed the lie. 

Perhaps they’ll die.  

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I know of a Party — 

It’s full of old goats.

Truth gets stuck in their throats, 

But I don’t know why, 

They’d let our earth die.

To cover the lie

That hides the obstruction 

That covers the lie?

But I don’t know why.

They swallowed that lie.

Perhaps they’ll die.

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I know an old Party 

Who once sued a cow

I don’t even know how

They once sued a cow. 

They all swore an oath

To uphold the law. 

But Barr and Mitch? They both

Said “naw, we’re now Putin’s kitsch.” 

They swallowed their treason 

The whole summer season.

They gave as the reason: 

They swallowed the goat, 

That caught in their throat. 

They swallowed that goat, 

To catch the dog.  

Why such a hog? 

To swallow a dog?

They swallowed a dog

To hide the absurd. 

They claimed the absurd

To distract from obstruction, 

They all know they heard. 

They wouldn’t vote to protect our elections.

(Too worried about their own protections?)

They didn’t vote for needed construction.

But they swallowed obstruction 

To hide the lie — 

But I don’t know why 

They swallowed the lie. 

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I know an old Party

Who swallowed a Trump. 

Now it lies in the Dump.

As still as a Lump;

As dead as a Stump. 

RIP

GOP

Exclusive Interview with Giant Slug!

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Interview Transcript

Subject: Jabba the Hutt

Media:  via ansible, 

Earth Date: 28 October, 2019

Interview Time: 17:00 hours GMT.

Interviewer: (Henceforth abbreviated ‘I’). First of all, I’d like to thank you for granting me this interview. 

Jabba the Hutt: (Henceforth abbreviated ‘Jabba’). No problem.

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I: My first question is probably one you’ve anticipated. Why did you decide to run for President of the United States? 

Jabba: Well, why not? I mean, it’s a great opportunity to extend the reach of our Tatooine Crime Family to another whole planet. And, earth has — what — 7 million people I can eat or enslave. 

I: Actually, earth has 7 billion people. I don’t know whether —

Jabba: First rule of interviewing me. I am right. Always. 

I: Well, I mean, but this isn’t a debate. I just thought you might have misspoken and I was giving you a —-

Jabba: Nobody gives me anything. I took it all. If I say there are 7 million, then if the Republican Party wants me for their candidate, they’d better toe the line and say the same.

I: Moving on, why should voters vote for you when they already have an incumbent running. You know. Donald J. Trump. 

Jabba: Hah! He’s nothing. I beat him in every single category. 

I: For example? 

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Jabba: His Crime Family only spans part of one small planet. Mine is bigger. And speaking of bigger, look at my holographic image! I’m way bigger than he is in every dimension. Even though English is not my native language, I speak in complete sentences. And, I can generate 100 tweets per minute. Second, I have more gravitas that Trivial Trump as I like to call him. Fourth, I’m more ruthless. He hires people. He tells the press those hires are awesome when of course, they are his lackeys and lack relevant experience and expertise. He messes up and then he picks one of them to fire. Then, he trashes them on twitter and has his Whites Only House organ — I think you call it Fox News — trash their reputations. That’s not real leadership. A real leader, such as myself, eats the offending lackey. Then, you trash them when they have no way to fight back. He’s a lightweight. I don’t even think he weighs one ton. Not even one. 

I: Some have suggested that you shouldn’t be allowed to run because — you know — you’re not real. You’re fictional. 

Jabba: SO WHAT?! You think Trivial Trump is real? His supporters think he’s some kind of business genius even though almost all of his business ideas failed miserably. Who loses money on a casino? Casino games are mathematically designed to ensure a profit. Even the Barwagian Slum-Rats of Beta Capula Four make money on their casinos. And, they only have six neurons. His supporters think he’s brave though he was so chicken-hearted that he had his daddy bribe doctors to claim he had heel spurs. Heel spurs! What a wimp. Here is my favorite: his supporters think he’s going to fight for the American worker even though he has stiffed them over and over and over again throughout his entire career and even though he passed a tax cut for billionaires. He’s trying to cut out their medical coverage right now! No, no, I take it back. Here’s my real favorite. His supporters think he’s going to Make America Great Again. Why? Because he had it printed on hats!! Made in China by the way. No, I’m every bit as real as the Donald J. Trump his supporters fawn over. Neither of us exist. But I am way stronger, way smarter, and way more cruel. Cuter too!  

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I: So, do you think he’ll take you up on your offer to have a debate among the five of you? It’s Sanford, Walsh, and Weld, right? And now you. Do you think you’ll do well in a debate?

Jabba: I will crush them all. Absolutely crush them. 

I: Can you share your strategy? What will be your main points in the debate? 

Jabba: Debate! Hah! Who wants to watch a debate? I already told you: I will crush them all. 

I: But…at least on earth, the tradition is to have a debate, not a … what…wrestling match?

Jabba: A lot of customs on earth will change once I become dictator. 

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I: Well, you — we don’t have dictators. We have Presidents. Their power isn’t absolute you know. 

Jabba: You’re so naive. Ever hear of Stalin, Putin, Mao, Hitler, Mussolini, Kim Yong-un… your planet has had plenty of dictators. 

I: True, but I’m talking about America. 

Jabba: So am I. I don’t know about Sandford, Walsh and Weld but Trashy Trivial Trump and I are running for dictator. He’s made that abundantly clear. And, I’m on record for it as well. And, I won’t be one of those nambly-pambly dictators either. Absolute power. My supporters will be glad to be slaves, toadies, and lackeys who’ll do exactly what they’re told. In that way, Trashy Traitorous Trivial Trump and I are alike. But I’ll be competent. He isn’t. 

I: It’s called a Presidential primary…not a Dictator primary. 

Jabba: Yeah, yeah. Sure, that’s what people call it who don’t see the truth even when it’s brightly shining before them like a giant light saber. At least I’m honest enough to come right out and say it. Make me dictator! 

I: Have you thought about who you’ll have in your cabinet? 

Jabba: Of course. Uncle Ziro will make a great Secretary of War. I’m renaming it to be more honest. None of this wimpy “Secretary of State” crap. Let’s call a spade a spade and a war machine, a war machine. Rotta will be my Secretary of Slavery. So, he’ll be overseeing the taking of slaves, the design of their training collars, etc. I like to get them when they’re about four. That’s a good age for them to learn their place. Of course, I’ll start with taking kids away from their parents who are unpopular because of race, religion, poverty etc. but I’ll end up, if all goes well with all seven million people on the planet. 

I: Actually, there are … well, never mind. Any particular policies you want to push? Trump is suing to take away health care from millions of Americans. Do you support that policy? 

Jabba: No. Absurd. Suing? Why bother. Just take away their health care. That’s the problem with Trashy Tentative Traitorous Trivial Trump. ‘Oh, look at me. I’m so mean I’m going to take away people’s health care. Oh, I’m so strong.’ What rot! I’m going to take away people’s health, not just their health care. Put most of them to work in the Asbestos mines of Aldebaran Four. That ought to do it. Life expectancy under Trashy Tentative Traitorous Trivial Truthless Trump will slide down to about 55 years but under a monster worthy of the name, people will be lucky to live to be 25 years of age. Of course, the cutest little kids will saved for something else. And, when they’ve outlived their usefulness at 15 or 16, they’ll still be tender enough to eat. 

I: Another objection I’ve heard some people raise is that you are not a natural-born US citizen. Any comment? 

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Jabba: I was born in America. It’s Trashy Tentative Traitorous Trivial Truthless Toothless Trump who’s not a natural-born citizen. He was actually born in Trinidad. I have investigators right now digging up the truth and you’ll see. I’ll make all the info on him public at the right time. 

I: I see. And will you be releasing your tax returns. 

Jabba: Oh, yes. Very soon. Very soon. Because they will show how brilliant I am. 

I: So, by ‘very soon’, do you mean in the next few weeks? 

Jabba: What about the next few weeks? 

I: Will you release your tax returns in the next few weeks. 

Jabba: Soon. Very soon. Very, very soon. It’s hard to be more specific because of US regulations. I’m under intergalactic audit. So, we’ll see. I can’t show them till it’s over. Soon. Very soon.  

I: How do you feel about walls? 

Jabba: Walls are lame. No half-measures. Tacky Trashy Tentative Traitorous Trivial Truthless Toothless Trump wants to put a wall on some border someplace. What a small mind. I’ve got a better solution. Everyone’s collar will GPS their whereabouts at all times and if people are not where they are told to be, they will be incinerated instantly via laser cannon mounted on satellites. 

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I: Will you be seeking any assistance from foreign nations in terms of campaign contributions or information? 

Jabba: Foreign nations? You mean other countries on earth? No. I have my allies. They’re all over the galaxy. They’ll make sure I get elected. 

I: Trump is using the Russians. I just wondered if …

Jabba: Russians smushians. I’ll use Jedi Mind Control. It’s flawless. The Russians leave digital fingerprints everywhere. Tacky Trashy Tentative Traitorous Trivial Truthless Teeny-Weeny Toothless Trump is lucky there isn’t any intelligent life on earth or he would have been impeached already! The evidence of his betrayal are a supernova of silliness. When we cheat, no-one will know. We use professionals. It’s embarrassing that he even calls himself head of a Crime Family. He’s so obvious. 

I: I see. But I thought the Jedi were the good guys. 

Jabba: Yeah. Whatever. Capture them on video doing disgusting things with 14-year olds — you’d be surprised how compliant they become to make sure that stuff doesn’t come out. Easy to entrap. But I don’t even need to turn them with blackmail. There are plenty who have turned themselves. I’ll use them first. I’ll save the blackmail for a backup. 

I: Do you think you have a realistic chance at winning the primary. Trump remains popular with his base. 

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Jabba: Bah. I’m everything Trump is and more besides. I’m Trump writ large. He’s Jabba writ teeny. He’s small potatoes. Small turnips really. More bitter than potatoes. 

I: I can see why you might appeal to the males who are look for a strong leader, but how do you think you’ll do with the female vote? 

Jabba: They love me. Any woman who knows her proper place is being a total slave to a slimy, salacious slug will vote for me, not that hilarious Hitler with Heelspurs and Hairplugs. 

I: A big part of the job of President, or dictator for that matter, is international relations. Are you familiar with the various nations, religions, cultures, physical characteristics of various nations on earth?

Jabba: No. But neither is Putin’s Pathetic Pusillanimous Puppet. And, unlike the Mango Mussolini, I can learn. Anyway, it’s all temporary. All of earth’s nations, religions, cultures, and physical characteristics are going to change radically once I’m in charge. Oh! I have to go. I’ve got a chanting engagement with a large crowd in Hell, Michigan. 

I: Thanks again for the interview. Good luck in the primary. 


https://www.starwars.com/databank/jabba-the-hutt

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jabba_the_Hutt

 

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Leveling the Playing Field by Halloween

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 It hardly seems fair. The Democratic candidates for President have already had three debates and still others are scheduled. Meanwhile, there have been zero debates for the Republican nomination. This may have been understandable back in the days when the House of Representatives was taking the attitude: “Don’t hand off that football to me! If I try to run down the field, I’ll get tackled half-way to the goal line by the Senate Republicans!” 

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Now that impeachment seems inevitable and likely will involve both Mike Pence and Heelspurs, just imagine! If they were both removed from office, Nancy Pelosi would become President, at least for a short time. It’s time for Republicans to stop hiding their heads in the sand or — or wherever it is they hide their heads to avoid reality. Republicans need at least one other viable candidate. And, while Sanford, Walsh, and Weld are all much more reasonable and would do a much better job than Putin’s PP Puppet, where’s the excitement? 

It isn’t just that the Republicans need another candidate in case of impeachment and/or imprisonment. And, of course, when it comes to vastly overweight elderly men, there is also the ever-present possibility of heart attack or a lethal fast-moving cancer. Many confused elderly people fall in their own homes. Suppose Donny Boy falls in the shower? Or, rolls out of bed the wrong way? There would still be Pence, true, but he’s even less exciting and charismatic than Sanford, Walsh or Weld. It’s just too risky. Thanks to Global Climate Change, it’s quite within the realm of possibility that the weather in November of 2020 will be horrible in multiple ways. Who is going to drive through a blizzard to vote for Mike Pence? No-one. The GOP needs an alternative who will excite the base! 

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And having an exciting candidate isn’t just about the votes for the Presidential election. A candidate who would excite the base would also help keep the Senate Republican and, if the candidate is really exciting, it might even re-flip the House! Imagine! The Republicans have a real shot at having the majority in both chambers of Congress and retaining the Presidency. All it would take is a candidate to really rile the red-meat base. 

Having a viable alternative isn’t only about voter turnout. The debates offer an opportunity to explore the pros and cons of various policy options. In the Democratic debates, for instance, income inequality has been an issue that has come up repeatedly. Various candidates have suggested various ways to deal with this. But regardless of which one comes out ahead in the end, the issue has been raised so that now, thanks to the Democratic debates, people throughout the length and breadth of this great nation have become aware that a high DOW index doesn’t mean that the economy is actually working for everyone! What rot, eh?

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Similarly, while the GOP is doing all it can to challenge the Affordable Care Act in court and take away health care for millions of Americans likely driving them into poverty or death, the Democratic debates are making people realize how destructive this would be. Where’s the counter-argument? A Republican debate would bring these issued into the pubic consciousness in a way that’s favorable to the interests of the GRU, the NRA, and the billionaires of this great land. Right now, thanks to the Democratic debates, many people are only focused on the fact that people would lose their healthcare and watch their kids die because they cannot afford the medicine. But where’s the publicity for the other side? A Republican debate could point out the pain and suffering of billionaires not being able to afford that third yacht (really, an ocean liner) they’ve been dreaming about. Is it fair that billionaires be forced to choose between buying that third yacht or buying Aspen, Colorado? 

Furthermore, how is the thirst for blood lust being slaked? True, there has been some sparring and jabbing in the Democratic debates that has distracted the public from the differences between the parties, but for the most part, it’s been a very civil discussion, at least compared to what we could look forward to in a debate with Donny Boy! But only if he is afforded a worthy opponent. That’s when we can expect the Mango Mussolini to really shine! 

And who might such a worthy opponent be? I know the answer! 

Unfortunately, Republicans will be prone to dismiss this answer out of hand. I beg you — don’t dismiss this out of hand, but consider how it will reframe the narrative and re-energize the party. I’ve thought about this from many different angles and every time, I come up with one name — one opponent who can accomplish two things. 

First, he will provide a chance for a debate the GOP will be proud of in the sense that the Peach Leech will not only be able to sling names and lies, but more importantly, that opponent will be able to sling names and lies right back!

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Second, this opponent will excite the base! And, if things go south for Fat Hitler and his VP, there will still be a GOP candidate with name recognition to win the ticket for the GRU/NRA/GOP. He will excite the base enough to bring out voters in bad weather and have the kind of long, fluttering coat-tails that will insure down-ticket victories! 

Who might this worthy opponent be? 

I humbly submit to you that there is one obvious answer: 

Jabba the Hutt!

First, and most importantly, it’s a name that lends itself very well to mindless chanting. “JAB-BA! JAB-BA! JAB-BA!” 

Second, he is big and he is out of shape. He won’t make the fat, old, white men in the GOP jealous by being too fit. 

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Third, he will appeal to both men and women among the base who feel that women should know their place and accept it. What says “inequality forever” better than a woman wearing a metal bikini and a choke collar on a leash? 

Fourth, he will bring many women back into the fold of the GOP; those whose fantasy is to reform the beast and turn him into a true gentleman. Many were initially convinced that all the Pussy-Grabber needed was a little warmth and tenderness from a real woman, and he would become a kind of Prince Charming. That illusion is hard to keep up when Mr. Malice Aforethought just keeps right on acting like a spoiled brat on camera and day after day. But Jabba the Hutt would provide another target for women who long to kiss those ample lips and turn Jabba into ?? Who knows? But if a frog turns into a prince, who knows what great beauty might be hidden deep in the soul of Jabba? 

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Fifth — and this is almost too good to be true — he’s already head of a Crime Family! 

Sixth, he has an existing fan base. He has stage presence! He is a draw! A debate between Donald Drumpf and Jabba the Hutt will have amazing ratings! At last, the Republicans will able to get across their own talking points in front of a HUGE TV audience! While Deranged Donald can explain why it’s important for everyone, not just sane people, to have access to assault rifles to help cull those over-crowded classrooms, Jabba can push the idea that everyone in America should be able to have their own atomic weapons! 

Seventh, Jabba knows nothing about American values, institutions, or mores. On that score, he’s on a par with Dodderhead Don. But while the Blathering Bolshevik cannot correctly pronounce “hamburger,” Jabba has never even had one! While Donnie may serve up junk food to honor folks at a Whites Only House dinner, Jabba will serve live, wriggling meat! While the T-Rump insists on building a wall to protect the borders of America without knowing where those borders are, Jabba the Hutt doesn’t even know where the planet is. 

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Eighth, some in the fringe of the GOP are actually starting to care about having a habitable planet. And in that fringe, some are beginning to suspect that the Oranga-Trump doesn’t really even have a planet B. But Jabba knows where there are lots of habitable planets! 

Ninth, Jabba is a cruel bully.  

Tenth, and most important perhaps, Jabba knows how to lie. Of course, it will be hard for him to reach the level of lies of the Prodigious and Profligate Pee-Resident. Hardly anyone in the galaxy can match the 10,000 lies of the Obnoxious Obstructionist. Sorry, 11,000. Sorry, 12,000. Sorry, 13,000. Well, yes, but he is capable of lying and that’s what counts. After all, I’m not saying he needs to beat the T-Rump in the debates. I’m only saying he could be a viable candidate. Since he’s capable of lying, he can pull off one of the best lies ever and pretend to be a Christian! Of course, Jabba has probably never heard of Christianity or Christ or the Golden Rule or the Ten Commandments. So what? I’ve never seen him in church. He has zero history of doing anything Christian or being Christian. So what? All he has to do is claim to be a Christian and that’s enough to make him a viable candidate in the eyes of many evangelicals.

I know that the nay-sayers out there will bring up various bogus counter-arguments, so let’s address some of them, head on. 

1. Jabba the Hutt isn’t real. It’s a little hard to take seriously any objections about a candidate based on the fact that they don’t really exist — not from a party whose official position is that Climate Change doesn’t exist and who get a large portion of their bribes — oops, sorry, I meant to say “campaign donations” — from oil oligarchs who have known for decades that their product is destroying the viability of the planet, but let’s play along, and pretend the GOP cares about reality. LOL. Sorry. So, let’s consider: Jabba the Hutt isn’t real (and somehow that matters). 

So what if Jabba the Hutt isn’t real? Neither is Donald J. Trump! At least, not the Donald Trump that the base supports; he isn’t real. They think he’s a successful businessman! LOL! They think he’s six foot three! They think he is going to “Make American Great Again!” They think he’s beautiful and courageous. Why? Because he says so! Well? So what’s the problem? Jabba the Hutt simply needs to claim he’s real, over and over in a loud, thundering voice. 

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2. Jabba the Hutt isn’t a natural-born US citizen. Again, so what? Deranged & Dangerous Donald himself has provided the answer to this one! Jabba can become a “birther” and claim that he has evidence which he will reveal shortly proving that he is a natural born US citizen and that Traitorous Trump was actually born in Trinidad! Jabba can call him Traitorous Trinidad Trump over and over and over. He can claim that he has a clone army of investigators even now substantiating this very thing. 

3. Jabba the Hutt could not be trusted; he’d operate for his own ends, or someone his Crime Family owes money to, not for the best interest of America or Americans. Okay, and your point is? 

4. Jabba the Hutt knows nothing about our political system. He doesn’t know anything about our intelligence agencies or military. He doesn’t know anything about diplomacy. He doesn’t really know how to do much of anything except lie, cheat, steal, and be cruel and vain. Okay, and your point is? 

I am not saying Jabba the Hutt should be or will be our next POTUS. After all, that’s up to Putin. I’m just saying that there should be another viable candidate in the wings and no-one fits the bill as well as Jabba the Hutt. 

JAB-BAH! JAB-BAH! JAB-BAH! 

Instead of giving out red hats, made in China, that say, “Make Amerikkka Great Again”, Jabba could give out nifty metallic bikinis and choke collars emblazoned with the words, “Massive Asinine Galactic Absolutists!” 

Hurry up, GOP! Re-energize the base! Bring your arguments about why pollution is a good thing to the American people. Give these two behemoths a chance to explain why the rich and powerful deserve to be even more rich and powerful while the people who actually do all the work should be kept poor and in a state of constant fear! 

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I have to admit that there are two actual weaknesses with Jabba as a candidate. First, although he’s clearly a cruel bully, I’m not sure he’s actually a racist. But I’m sure he could fake it. Still, it’s better to have a candidate with a lifetime of history to prove his racism rather than someone who now spouts the line. On the other hand, this probably isn’t such a big deal. After all, the Mango Mussolini has no history of being Christian and the base believe he is just because he says so. Why should it be any different with racism? It’s a weakness not to have a lifetime of racist actions but I don’t think it’s a show-stopper. 

Second, he’s not currently friends with important world misleaders. Traitorous Trump has Putin, Kim Jong-Un, Recep Erdogan, al-Assad, and MbS. But that’s only on this world. Jabba has dictatorial buddies throughout the galaxy! The real question is whether they care enough about destroying earth to help out their buddy in this endeavor. 

Third, and most problematic, I think, is whether JABBA can be convinced to run. It might seem that being head of a Crime Family and having untold and unearned wealth and being able to kill at will any inconvenient witnesses should be enough for any Hutt. But — who knows? If he were approached in the right way and there was plenty of chance to exploit the country for his benefit, he just might give it a go! It’s worth a try! JAB-BA! JAB-BA! JAB-BA!

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What Could Be Better: A Horror Story

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In anticipation of Halloween, here is a kind of horror story. I might not recommend it for kids under 12 although I remember being fascinated by this stuff. I saw the movie THEM! about giant ants when I was about nine. Wow! But anyway, a few stories to tingle the spine. 

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What Could Be Better?! A Horror Story

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Karmic Decisions, Gamma Section, Milky Way Division, Department 78776-G-164c, Species – Human; Sub-species Greedypigs. 

“I’m here to do what?” screamed Joe. “This can’t be real.” 

“What? What do you mean ‘what?’ You never heard of Karma while you were a —- let me see — oh, yes, here it is — ‘an earthling’, is the expression you use. So, when you were an earthling…excuse me, I don’t mean to laugh, but in our language it’s a commonly used synonym for ‘Greed-Meister.’ And, here you are waiting for an assignment based primarily on your being of the subspecies, Greedypigs. You get it? No, you don’t get it. You’re greedy.” 

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“Well, that doesn’t sound so bad to me,” piped up Joe. “No Siree. Many of us on earth, most of us, I suppose, are downright greedy. Nothing wrong with that! That’s what put a man on the moon. And what cured polio and all sorts of good stuff.” 

The giant Worblastic Filtermeister tilted one of his heads to the left and one to the right. He regarded the earthling, also known as Joe, with a quizzical dozen eyes. “I’m no expert on earth species and culture and so on. So many galaxies; so many planets. But how many billions do you think Jonas Salk made on the polio vaccine?”

“I don’t know. I’m not much good at trivia. Can we get on to my assignment? Time is money, they say. And, I did make a lot of money on earth. I’m already at the top of the pyramid of earth species so … what’s next?” Joe, the earthling, shrugged his dual shoulders and scanned the eyes before him. It was weird trying to make eye-contact with a twelve-eyed being. “Do I get to be CEO of a major multinational? Or are we going all the way to a God or something?” 

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“You think earthlings are the top species? Oh, Lord, there are so many misconceptions in that. Oh, my. My oh my,” said the Filtermeister. “I thought we could chat a bit, but you are in a hurry.” 

When you watch another earthling roll their eyes, it can be mildly disorientating. But when the eyes rolling in front of you are each as large as a basketball and there are twelve of them going in various directions — ! For Joe, it was nauseating. He could not watch. He just had to look down at his feet. His shoes looked despicably dirty. Where had he been? Wait. It isn’t just the shoes. What the hell is going on here, he thought. He felt as though he were shrinking. He yelled out, “Where am I going? Am I a god now? I’d be good at that! I tell people what to do all the time. Isn’t that the essence of a god? To be the boss?” As Joe spoke, he tried to yell louder and louder, but his voice continued to weaken and whine up to a higher pitch. At last, he couldn’t even recognize his own voice. It sounded teeny and … metallic. 

Joe had a sudden urge to dig a hole. He had no idea why, but he did; the urge was powerful. He began to look around for a shovel but saw only a forest of giant grasses all about him. He was surrounded by smells he barely recognized. Grass. Yes, but what was that one? Snail? And ant trail? And, oh, Joe thought that swallowtail caterpillar smells delicious! From far above, there was thunder. Or, no, it was a voice. The Filtermeister! For a moment Joe recalled, he had been an earthling talking with a Filtermeister, a Filtermeister who would decide his next ‘gig’ as he put it. What was he saying?

“Nothing! No billions at all,” thundered the Worblastic Filtermeister. “Do you really think everyone who worked on the Space Program worked as hard and as long as they did just to make money?” 

Joe heard these sounds and each of the sounds echoed to a meaning. But these meanings were far away. Far, far away like church bells two towns over which required a cold and favorable wind and even then you weren’t sure you really heard them. And what did they have to do with the business at hand, which was to dig a hole and pronto. And I have no shovel! But wait! What’s a shovel? Joe glanced toward his feet and saw that all of them had built-in shovels. How cool! I am amazing! And, though I may be tiny, I am strong as steel! OMG! In a flash it seemed, a nice cool dark cavity had appeared, carved out by the — by me! My ancestors. They gave me these legs. Cool! Nice work. But, I need a door! 

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Soon, Joe lay still at the bottom of his small hidie-hole and waited. Good God, have I ever been this hungry before? For a moment, Joe remembered again the Filtermeister. Oh, yes, he had been given this wonderful life because he had been such a good human. Good karma. I told him I was greedy and so I am. It feels quite natural for me. I will eat that entire caterpillar! I deserve this life of luxury! Wait! Wait! I hear it coming! He tore open the shutters and threw up the sash, as it were. In a split second he had sunk his giant fangs into the side of the caterpillar. Oh, my GOD this is delicious. Somehow, it’s even more fun because of all the squirming! What is that? Some ebony-winged beast is trying to steal my caterpillar. “Leave it alone! It’s mine! I got here first! I don’t need to share my kill with anyone!” 

Too late, Joe realized that the beasts goal was not to steal the caterpillar but to hurt him. That’s not much of a sting, he thought. Wait till I get my mandibles on her. Joe slung his body forward like a catapult  — except  — nothing happened! He tried to wave his frontmost arms. Nothing! What strange magic was this? It seemed like such a minor wound. Joe tried every muscle in his body but couldn’t move a thing. 

She took a strong stance, put two legs shamelessly on his side and flipped him over on his back. Now, the bastard was getting ready to sting me again, thought Joe. He steeled himself. OW! That hurt worse than the first one. Another! Oh, god. This went on for some time. At last, that sorry chapter in his life was over. She stopped stinging. She looked quizzically at him, compound eyes to compound eyes. She ran her forelegs over her mandibles and licked them suggestively. She began buzzing her wings. She arose like an angel of death. 

Hopefully, the poison will wear off soon, Joe thought, and I’ll go back to eating those luscious caterpillars. Out of nowhere, this ran through Joe’s mind: “I survived the crash of 2008 and I’ll survive this.” What on earth does that even mean, he thought, but it made him feel better for a few days. He kept telling himself that paralysis would wear off. Every few minutes, he would thinking this would be the minute when he recovered. But it wasn’t. And each moment, he forgot that he had had his hopes up the previous moment. For a solid week, he convinced himself that he’d look back to those painful stings as the worst part of a very long and happy life.

Then — they hatched. All of them. Within minutes of each other. They were greedy. Oh, yes, they were greedy.

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Sadly, the stinging definitely wasn’t the worst part of Joe’s life. Not by quite a bit, in fact. The mysterious flying lady with the whirring wings had not meant to hurt him with her stings. She was merely depositing her eggs inside his body. When they hatched, they began to devour him from the inside out, carefully avoiding the truly vital organs that would end his life. For it was fresh, living flesh that they greedily desired. Every pain fiber in his body screamed nonstop. The poison kept his limbs completely still. But the poison did nothing to mute the constant scream of his pain. Joe could only scream the one word: GREED! Endlessly.

Joe looked back on those painful stings as the best part of a very long and excruciating life. He tried to call back the winged terror. “Please, he wanted to say. Sting me again. Anything’s better than this.” But Joe couldn’t talk. He couldn’t move at all. And the wasp wouldn’t have been interested.

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Author Page on Amazon 

This is a work of “pure fiction” however — the protagonists and their “back stories” are true. This is a story that takes place in a nearby but parallel universe.

https://petersironwood.wordpress.com/2017/07/28/if-only/

Essays on America: Sexual Fantasies for Political Gain?

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Sex. 

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That’s the missing puzzle piece. Oh, sure, you may be saying to yourself, but which puzzle?

In order to explain that, I shall have to back up a bit. Let’s go back to early November, 2016. I have to admit that I was shocked that more than a few hundred people in America would support Trump. 

Over time, I’ve come to realize that people support Trump for a number of different reasons including: 

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  1. They’ve replaced their (difficult to live up to) Christianity with Trumpism which instead actually celebrates the “sins” of Christianity. They don’t support Trump despite the fact that he grabs women by the privates, is unfaithful, swears, ducked the military through fraud, made his money through fraud, or that he lies through his teeth constantly. They support Trump precisely because of these things. 
  2. Some may believe they are on a “team” with Trump and it would be disloyal to switch teams no matter what he does. Of course, a look at Trump’s actual behavior makes it obvious that he feels zero loyalty. “Loyalty” never crosses his mind except that he knows it’s a button he can sometimes push to get compliance from some people. 
  3. Some substantial number of folks don’t think politicians really ever do much that actually impacts their lives. Red, Green, or Blue — it’s all hot air. Mostly, they just drone on about stuff. But Trump? He’s fun to watch! 
  4. Of course, some do support him because they don’t just excuse his racism; they are simpatico with his racism. Or, his misogyny, or his xenophobia, or his homophobia. Or, whatever the hate target du jour is. 
  5. Among the extremely wealthy and powerful, there may be a handful who actually calculate that Trump will be good for them personally. They already have all the power and wealth they could possibly need but that makes them rather bored. So, they play a game to keep themselves amused. That game costs millions of lives. But that just makes it more fun. And, in the service of doing well in that game, they see Trump as an ally.

But even with all of that, there’s a missing segment. And, none of these, or even all of them together quite explains the ecstatic and joyful pain that I see on so many faces among his crowds. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t have anything against joy. And, many politicians have enthusiastic crowds, but this is of a different character. True enough, some just stare blankly ahead. But some have a kind of fire in their eyes and it is not the fire of patriotism. Hold that image and let’s turn for a moment to a seemingly unrelated question. 

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Why would so many conservative politicians rail so noisily against gay rights, gay marriage, and — in short — gays? Of course, many of them who scream the loudest actually turn out to be gay, but that’s another story. What if the reason they hate gay behavior is that they want the energy of male attraction — including homoerotic energy — to be funneled in a different direction – toward submission of a social/sexual nature – to the next person up the chain of command? 

For some people, this kind of subservience makes human relationships much less baffling. I must kiss up to the person I’m under but I get to screw over all the people below me. That’s what they love about a hierarchy. It’s a sado-masochistic orgy laid atop the work that must actually get done. Not so many years ago, industrialized societies mainly had very gender-segregated job sites. The men had their homosexual hierarchies and the women had theirs. 

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In fact, this aspect of our society is so pervasive, even to this day, that we regularly refer to acts of aggression and dominance with words that are meant to define sexual behavior. “Oh, yeah?! Well, F*** Y**!” This is really rather perverted when you think about it. Sex evolved to speed up diversity and ensure the survival of the next generation. It’s kind of a sacred. In the best case scenario, it’s a mutual, shared, beautiful thing as well. So, why hurl about sexual words as though sex is hurtful and aggressive? 

Because for some people, it’s all about power. That, for them is sex and the proper way to have sex is also for one person to have complete power. Such folks could be impassioned by a vision that includes all sorts of perversions that the dream of being powerful enough to impose on someone else. 

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This dynamic is not just with wild-eyed rally attenders. It’s also true of the professional politicians. According to this hypothesis, Mitch and Lindsey don’t just submit to Trump’s craziness because they are afraid he’ll call them names or ruin their re-election chances. They actually get off on being subservient to a tyrant.  In much the same way, Trump doesn’t only submit to Putin because Putin’s got dirt on him. Trump enjoys it! It satisfies his Dick-tater envy. Putin, you see, gets to do anything he wants. If he had a friend procure 13 year old girls, nobody would dare cross him about it. If journalist tell the truth about Putin, they might just wind up dead. Trump pines for the day that AmeriKKKa will be completely under his “thumb.” He doesn’t want anyone to “stand up to him.” Everyone should bow down and bend over. Everyone should be on their knees. And, for some people, the thought of this is actually exciting. Many others find it completely disgusting, but that just makes it more exciting for those who are into that sort of thing. 

Those who find it disgusting fail to see that Trump’s obesity and lack of character and shallowness and ugliness and cruelty do not detract from his appeal; they add to it. If he were young and handsome, like Trudeau, say, it wouldn’t increase his base or increase the passion they feel. It would diminish it. That’s the “sex” piece of the puzzle. 

It’s not actual sex of course. But that doesn’t make it any less powerful. The multi-billion dollar porn industry in the USA is alive and well. Estimates vary wildly about annual revenues, but they vary from 7 to 97 billion dollars. Of course, sexual fantasy and innuendo are rampant throughout much of the larger 1/4 trillion dollars of overall advertising. So, just because the sexual fantasies don’t play out in reality doesn’t mean they can’t be powerful. 

advertising architecture attraction attractive

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

You wouldn’t be surprised to learn that this plays a part in the passion that some fans have for rock stars such as the Beatles. They were talented! But they were also rich and famous. For the most part, people would fantasize because they found the Beatles (or sometimes one of them) attractive on multiple dimensions. But when people see themselves as a failure, someone unattractive may seem to be someone they are more deserving of. If someone has deep guilt, then, being forced to engage in sex with someone unattractive and mean is more degrading and therefore more satisfying. For some, being humiliated or humiliating someone else is a turn-on.

Incidentally, you’re free to have any fantasies you want, sexual or otherwise. You are free, in our country, to go to Putin’s Puppet’s rallies and fantasize about being his slave. I don’t care. But be aware that on-lookers know what’s behind the chanting and screaming.

 

On a happier note, here are my hopes. 

  1. Some folks will find something deep within themselves — perhaps God — and realize they are fighting on the side of the devil. They will renounce Trumpism and go back to being Christian. 
  2. Folks will review all the people that Trump has betrayed. Then, they will say to themselves, “Gee, if he’s betrayed all those people maybe he won’t stand by me even though I went to a rally and bought a red hat.” 
  3. Folks will tire of the Trump Show and find something less boring. It’s like living next to the El. At first, you think you’ll never sleep again. But gradually you get used to the noise or the lies or the treason and it’s less entertaining every day.
  4. Some folks will read my wonderful essay on labelism and immediately shafts of golden sunshine will stream down through the cathedral windows and they will see how literally silly it is to judge people totally on their category.
  5. Very rich folks will realize that if they act on the wrong side of saving our ecosystem, they will lose. 
  6. I am hopeful that folks in the base will find actual romantic love and won’t feel such a strong need for fantasy. Failing that, perhaps they’ll find other fantasies that are more satisfying; e.g. —- ?

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Author Page on Amazon

https://petersironwood.wordpress.com/2017/01/09/trumpism-is-a-new-religion/

https://petersironwood.com/2019/09/19/essays-on-america-at-least-hes-our-monster/

https://petersironwood.com/2019/02/17/you-bet-your-life/

https://petersironwood.com/2019/07/11/essays-on-america-labelism/

https://petersironwood.com/2019/09/10/essays-on-america-the-game/