Saturday, November 18, 2017

Trumpian Deflection Gambit

Each day, Donald Trump awakens and begins his all-to-familiar Tweet session. His two themes are "what I did which is better than any man before me" and "what other people did that surely will deflect attention from collusion with Russians against the USA."

Both themes are in a perpetual state of failure. On the first theme, nobody who doesn't already support him like a cult leader is convinced to throw their new support behind him.

On the second theme, people who support him like a cult leader have decided they don't care about Russian involvement in US Politics because they have the President they wanted. They already exhibit a huge example of not caring. They don't care how many indigenous people had to be killed to keep the oil pipes flowing and their fuel tanks full.

People who #resist Trump and his cadre of fools cannot keep focused on the myriad of topics Trump puts out into the public square. There are so many items no one could keep track of them, even Trump himself.

It is good Robert Mueller doesn't have to follow up on every red herring Trump tossed out. He has already formed his agenda, knows who are going to be the ones potentially indicted, and when in the time line that will occur. The Trumpian Deflection Gambit may work to befuddle ordinary citizens, but a professional investigator and prosecutor such as Mueller will not become entangled in the hoopla stirred up by Fox News, et al, and Trump himself. He has the roadmap spread out before him and his staff and they only need to mark off how far they have come and which roads are not worthy of following.

Meanwhile the nation watches as Donald Trump sinks into his twilight world of contempt for everything good Congress the former Executive and the Judiciary ever did. 

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Politics and the Undiscovered Lie

In a recent meme shared by an extreme conservative FB friend, people were saying what ought to be done to a Muslim refugee who molested a child. The comments became quite graphic with the least being immediate deportation. Everyone neglected the fact that the vast majority of all molested children were assaulted by a friend of the family or an older relative. They were extremely self-righteous in their indignation. Now today we have men who many years ago engaged in what is known as the Undiscovered Lie. They lived the good life in the absence of public knowledge of what they did to someone's underage child.

Now today they are faced with the accusations and shame for what they did. Some men own up to the truth while others try to deflect and deny. Each of them has a singular guilt or innocence for which they will have to stand judgement.

The problem is when the man is a politician, there are political supporters who will vote for his candidacy knowing the preponderance of evidence which supports the allegations against him. They become enraged at anyone who points at the allegations and suggests he is not suitable to make decisions on behalf of a decent society.

The lengths the supporters will go is exemplified by this chain of events. Sean Hannity speaks in favor of alleged molester Roy Moore. Coffee machine maker Keurig pulls its advertising dollars from Hannity's Fox show. Keurig machine owners video themselves smashing their coffee makers in protest. Through the line of succession, these people are showing their approval of the act of sexual activity between a 32 year old man and a 14 year old girl.

They don't care what he has done. One delusional Evangelical Pastor even tried to point to the Bible to say what he did was alright. Apparently Conservative Politics trumps child abuse and sexual assault. What ever became of family values?

Roy Moore is running for the Senate. No surprises, as a Republican. With his name remaining on the ballot he will garner tens of thousands of votes even in light of his immoral activities. Some people will only recall seeing his name in the news but not why. Others will know exactly that he is accused of and vote for him any way. Millions of voters favored Donald Trump in this manner a year ago in November 2016. They knew his reputation and decided he exemplified their morality.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

AR-15 Frenzy

Gun sales are a fear-based enterprise. More so, the fear is irrational. People buy guns at a relatively steady rate based on the presumption of safety against crime and criminals. The statistical reality though is 3% of gun owners own 50% of the guns in circulation. This means the primary motivation for gun ownership is not protection but gun ownership itself.

The sad reality is half of the gun deaths each year are self-inflicted, suicide or otherwise. From those numbers one can deduce the instability of the persons who purchase even one gun. The second most common gun death is at the hands of a friend or relative, spouse or significant other. These are euphemistically labeled "crimes of passion". The least likely cause of gun death is being killed by a criminal stranger.

Strict Second Amendment supporters are wont to cite personal safety from crime and defense against a tyrannical government as their reason for stockpiling weapons.

There are three distinct categories of firearms; Handguns, rifles and semiautomatic assault weapons. While handguns are by far the weapon of choice by most owners, they also are the weapon of choice in suicides and domestic violence. Rifles are a natural for hunting and sport shooting. Semiautomatic assault weapons are the go to choice of the fearful citizen who is told the government is trying to enslave him. They are also the weapon of choice of the unstable American white male who feels aggrieved in some way, many times involving women.

Every time the fear mongers ramp up their rhetoric over the checking of backgrounds of prospective assault weapons weapon sales increase dramatically. Even accessories that are suggested for limitation or outright ban see a spike in sales. Exemplary of this assertion is the sales of "bump stocks" for the AR-15 which makes the semiautomatic firing rate into a fully automatic mode. After the Las Vegas mass shooting which left 59 dead and 520+ injured (he used bump stocks to maximize firing rate) bump stock sales to ordinary citizens who already owned AR-15s, jumped.

His firing rate was so high that the conspiracy propagandists such as Alex jones could not believe one man could have accomplished the level of carnage. Alex insists the death total is fake, there were more than just the one shooter and the government is behind the events to justify taking away assault weapons from honest law abiding citizens.

The shooter in Sutherland Springs, Texas was able to walk the aisles and fire 450 rounds before leaving 26 dead and being wounded by a man outside who had a rifle. The shooter was able to kill his grandmother-in-law. I knew there was a woman in his troubled life.

The bigger issue than who may purchase an AR-15 is the number of AR-15s hanging on the wall in gun shops which call out to troubled men like the legendary sirens of the sea. Buy me. Take me home. Stroke me. Give me love. The level of pleasure cannot be neglected. There is a level of orgasmic response at the rapid fire and kick which cannot be denied.

Then there is all the accoutrement. Tactical helmet and face shield, Kevlar vest, black pants and high laced boots. And most of all carrying the 15 to 45 magazines each lovingly loaded by hand. His was not a cosplay outfit to look cool at Comicon. It also was not merely a one-day outing to complete the outfit and firepower.

All of this lethal weaponry can be had for cash or plastic. While it is a very difficult task to monitor each and every purchase transaction, it is the availability of the product which drives the sales. Arms manufacturers should be discouraged or outright banned from making the weapons for public sale in the first place. Importation should be stopped too.

It would be far easier to regulate and control the manufacture of the weapons as opposed to their sale. Similarly stopping the sales is far easier than stopping the purchase. We are talking several millions of buyers, several thousands of sellers and less than a dozen manufacturers.

There is no reason for the ownership of an AR-15 than to get a thrill of firing it and/or of mass killing with it. American society is so highly polarized and radicalized that some rational solution needs to be implemented before all the apparently random shooting event become aligned with each other and parts of our society topple like dominoes lined up for the Principle of Imminent Collapse to all knock down with the simple Nudge.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Ipso Facto, Mr. Trump.

Ipso Facto. (the facts speak for themselves.)

Russian election interference. Trump-Russia collusion. Just a friendly "hail fellow well met." Treason at the highest level. Foreign state involvement in US democratic processes.  Depending on whether you are in jeopardy of Federal prison time or not, your opinion about what the evidence shows will be different.

There are dozens of men and women in the Trump Administration who made the transition from the Campaign who were intricately involved in the dialog with foreign agents to position Donald Trump as the President of the USA. It doesn't matter who approached whom. It does not matter whether the dialog was face-to-face, by email or go-between. It doesn't matter whether the outcome was substantive, abortive or incidental. The fact of the communiqué without disclosure, intentionally hidden or inappropriately omitted from the public record shows that there is influence between the foreign state of Russia, its leaders and oligarchs.

Donald Trump ACTS like an instrument of the Russian government, which essentially is Vladimir Putin himself. He can say nothing disreputable about the man. He fawns over the ability of the man to command his government, its bureaucrats and military.

By Donald Trump, Jr.'s own public statements a sizable portion of the Trump brand wealth is inextricably tied to Russian "investors' who lent the money that funds at least in part every Trump® endeavor. It will require the services of dozens of Forensic Accounts for months on end to isolate Trump wealth from Russian money.

When a businessman receives a loan for $50m on property valued at $25m and purchased for $8m, someone is the benefactor and someone is the beneficiary of a huge favor. Favors always come in two parts. The Favor and the Quid Pro Quo. An "investor" who has essentially no financial limit, lends his money to someone who has nowhere else to go, the payback is not the principle but the quid pro quo. In this case, the Russian investor expects US policy and economic access to be made conducive to their goals and objectives. They expect Donald Trump to direct US policy in directions favorable to them.

Whether or not Russian activities tipped the @016 Presidential election or and of the dozens of House and Senate seats in the US Congress or any of the State Legislatures... ipso facto!

Facebook acknowledges there were an "unknown" number of political ads associated with Russian accounts. Now who they were, what was said and how big the effort was is being walked back by the social media platform. Millions of Twitter accounts spontaneously mobilize with every anti-trump Tweet with Pro-Trump/Anti-Clinton posting.

Whether the activities of Russian or any other inappropriate apparatus tipped the election to Trump, there certainly was a strong attempt to do so. The ability of a few well connected individually to alter electronic voting results is well established. Then you have that exactly 4 of the "swing state" voter counts went uncharacteristically to Trump in the late hours of the election returns. Those same 4 states called Trump as winner by less than 1% and below the automatic recount threshold. Where paper tabulation was in place there were no such anomalies. Some states where there were Red dominated legislatures, the number of denied voters in minority Democrat precincts was higher than the number of votes Trump won by in that state.

One confirms the intent of others not by what they say but be what they do. Trump claims the media make up false stories about him even when there is video or audio transcripts to prove who is lying. Similarly, the media doesn't have to fabricate a story or create a spin when the man's personal appearances in front of his own audience show who the man really is. Ipso facto.

From his own fingertips we receive his daily dump of what is in his head. From the actual news coverage we see how he acts and that he thinks about the people of this nation. When he is acting the role of the insensitive jerk, we have that on tape. It is no wonder he is loath to record official telephone calls or require transcripts of meetings. The facts of the communication are far easier to deflect about and deny when we must rely on his staff's memory and attitudes about what they heard. Meanwhile watching him in action, watching is vacation and golf schedule, reading his own unvarnished words provides everyone with the undeniable truth. Ipso facto.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Finger on the Trigger

To know America has a serious denial problem about assault weapons and guns in general all one has to do is LISTEN to the video clips from the Las Vegas mass murder event. It was the sound of mechanized death being spewed from the mind of a man who should not have been anywhere near such firepower.

His index finger on the trigger actuated the fully automatic mechanism which is capable of delivering 600 bullets per minute. The flaw in his mind actuated the finger that pulled the trigger taking the lives of 59 people and injuring 500+ more in less than 15 minutes.

This was no ordinary man in any sense of the word. His was a personality so twisted that he could even conceive of such an act let along execute it. This man reportedly carried 23 guns up to his 32 floor hotel suite. Also reported is he had 17 more at his home in a senior housing development. This gun fetish, nearly 50 weapons, IS the very embodiment of dangerous mental disease which anti-gun activists continually point out after every mass murder shooting event. This number exceeds 270 in 2017 alone. Apparently no one is able to reconcile mental instability or guns let alone their combination.

Here is another disturbing factor. If he used magazines which hold 20 bullets and he struck over 575 people, he needed to purchase and load approximately 30 magazines (or clips if a gun fetishist wants to argue) just in the actual striking of a body from 400 meters. Certainly he did not hit someone with every bullet fired nor did he have time to restock the clips. So maybe he carried at least 1200 rounds in 60 clips. That is a huge amount of determination to do as much damage as possible.

As of this writing, (Oct 3) no one has established what his motivation was. There appears to be no race, gender, religious, or personal relationships at which to point. His brother says he was just a regular guy. That characterization cannot be true.

He had to take many months to acquire the 50 weapons he possessed. Since not all guns were the same caliber he would have had to purchase a huge amount of ammunition to supply such a heinous act. He would not have taken weapons to the hotel without having a stockpile of bullets for them. Someone knew he was not a stable person. He must have bought at least a few weapon and boxes of bullets at the same store.

To the outside world this "came out of the blue." Not true. He was a man on the verge for a very long time. The Principle of Imminent Collapse states that everything in our experience is at the point of failure and all it requires is The Nudge to make it fail. Our gun and mental health policies in this country make such horrible events not only possible but commonplace. Combine that with the profitability of gun manufacture and sales and you have the ultimate lethal mix.

We have a difficult time separating the righteous need for a weapon from the fetish of gun ownership. Far too many lame excuses for doing nothing make for an environment of escalation. What if he had purchased a silencer? How about if two or three agenda motivated shooters worked in concert? There were upwards of 22,000 people attending the music venue at the time.

We allow gun sales at gun shows and resist requiring the sellers to document the sales. We do not require a gun buyer to purchase insurance against his liability. One cannot sell just anything at a show. No one is permitted to show and sell Cannabis, OxyContin, Methamphetamine, LSD, Dynamite or drums of toxic chemicals. The argument is requiring gun show sale to be regulated would hinder the profitability of such gun sales. Banning such sales entirely is tantamount to heresy.  But, but, but the manufacturers/growers and purveyors of any of the items listed above fall into the same constraint of trade. In most counties you can't even sell raw milk and unpasteurized cheeses without risking arrest and conviction. The restraining of trade is what much of civil law is all about. People cannot be allowed to buy and sell items that are intrinsically hazardous without proper vetting of the buyers.

Without some level of constraint the body count will continue to mount. It is only a matter of time before the murder event tops 100 and it will only be days before the next mass murder shooting event.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Puerto Rico's Emergency Need

Historically the disaster event which befalls a region is not the big destroyer of human life. What comes afterwards is.

Before the era of global telecommunications and the ability of highly capitalized nations to respond utilizing their every ready military assets, a flood or an earthquake might strike a region and initially kill a few to a few thousands of people in the area. It is in the weeks and months afterwards that the majority of suffering and death decimate the population. Crop destruction and the inability to mobilize the next planting season typically spelled doom for the region. Standing in stagnant water in low-lying areas brought infection, dysentery and other highly treatable diseases (by today's standard). Herds of livestock being drowned or otherwise cut off from feed left them as vulnerable as the human population. The approaching winter might also take the lives of people who could not pack in the food preserves, firewood or other heating fuels. Potable water not being available would kill the fastest.

The most recent hurricane to strike Puerto Rico has disrupted the entire island to the extent that there is zero electric grid, roads are washed and blow away, water supplies are polluted and the land is strewn with debris. The approximately 3.5 million inhabitants of the island remain in place while the entire infrastructure is disrupted. After the initial drownings, heart attacks and being struck with airborne debris the hunger, dehydration, and disease begin to take their toll. Anyone who was at risk in the first place is also certain to suffer disproportionately. People in need of daily medications such as insulin are at high risk. Dialysis patients and people compromised with respiratory problems will not have machines and A/C that function. Even here in the States, 7 Miami nursing home residents died from lack of A/C in a facility across the street from a hospital.

Unless Puerto Rico receives mobilization of manpower, machines and energy, food and water many people will die of the secondary impacts of the hurricane. One cannot contemplate the rescue of masses of people in terms of dollars and ROI. The President's characterization of the electric grid for being decrepit is now moot. The entire system will need to be replaced at a cost of billions. There is no honest way for Puerto Ricans to ever pay that bill in taxes or utility fees. Although not citizens of any state they are Americans nonetheless. They deserve all the rights and benefits every citizen needs.

We, as One Nation, must act to preserve and repair any and all devastation whenever and wherever it occurs. Time is of the essence. People without shelter can survive months. Without food for weeks but only days without water. Where is our government action and vocal concern for these people?  We have the resources. We need the will.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

SPECTRE of the Resident

Trumpian Apologists gather in their isolated world of "Make America Great Again" to invent ad hominem attacks against anyone who would betray the Fearless Leader while the world they have come to believe is the correct one dissolves like an Alka-Seltzer in a glass of water. Unlike the treatment of the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, they believe his treatment was justified and Trumpian's is not. There is some massive dissonance at play in their attitudes.

And Trump-supporting Dunning-Kruger people keep crying to give the Resident a chance. He has had too much leeway already. Even if he stopped now his legacy of appointees yet-to-be-confirmed by the GOP dominated Senate will ricochet down the halls of social justice for decades to come. With proper pre-planning he could have decimated US Democracy in a single day then retired to Mar-a-largo to watch on his matrix of plasma screen monitors in his SPECTRE lair as one-by-one Civil Rights, environmental safeguards, and social safety-nets are taken off-line and the globe goes dark.

Friday, January 13, 2017

The Legacy of Stone Church Incident

The Legacy of Stone Church is a three part story published as eBooks at Amazon and written by Robert Carlson. The first book was made available on January 2, 2017 and presents the inception and development of the community who lived there. Characters who came there to live seem like real people who you might have known. Their story is one of the idyllic life led right up to its tragic interruption.

Two families' stories spanning two continents and two centuries meet on the grounds of the ill-fated Stone Church that is the namesake of the community which formed there.

The second book chronicles the Aftermath of the contemporary demise of the community. Third book presents the Reconstruction of the grounds and the attempt at reconstructing the community itself.

Please visit my Amazon Author Page to see this book and many others which are also available. By bookmarking the page you can stay connected to know the release date of the 2nd and 3rd volumes.

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