Saturday, April 15, 2017

Moveable Feast: Open Thread/Links

Happy Easter, Passover, or whatever resurrection or exodus holiday you may or may not be celebrating during this glorious American tax season.

On that note, this weekend's official Trump resistance movement event doesn't  involve protesting our looming entry into World War III, or the dropping of the biggest bomb in the history of bellicosity. Rather, we're urged to restrict ourselves to kvetching about Donald Trump's tax returns.  Without the release of his tax returns, we might remain woefully ignorant of the fact that he is a global kleptocrat whose sojourn in the White House was only made possible by the worst bombed-out presidential candidate in the history of dynastic politics.

Let's hope that Trump is not watching TV or reading newspapers this weekend. Because if he sees the pictures of Kim Jong-un watching his glorious parade of tanks and goose-stepping soldiers as he taunts Trump to Bring It On, our president might get upset and jealous enough to "act." Remember, Trump very much wanted a North Korean-style parade at his inauguration. So when a hysterical nut like Lil Kim orders the USA to end its "dangerous hysteria" you kind of get the inkling that the world is in deep, deep trouble.

On that note, the remaining Lucky Seven death row inmates in Arkansas must be breathing a sigh of relief knowing that at least they won't die any more prematurely than the average American prole or collaterally damaged human being in the permanent war zone. It turns out that state officials had tried to pull a fast one. When ordering their lethal execution drugs, they failed to inform the lethal drug manufacturer that its potent sleep medication was to be used for purposes of endless sleep. Plus, it's bad public relations to kill too many people too enthusiastically all in the same week. One must always deploy one's state repression privileges responsibly. 

On that note, prison officials should probably take a propaganda tip from the good folks at the exclusive Choate Rosemary Hall boarding school. After many decades of sexual abuse of students by teachers, the school is patting itself on the back for sending out "proactive" emails confessing to the crimes. Since Choate caters to the scions of the ruling class, the New York Times has also done its due deference, first burying the blockbuster story on Page A19, and subsequently downgrading rape in high places to a poorly managed breach of etiquette:
A disturbing picture emerges of top school officials treating recurring cases of sexual impropriety as isolated personnel problems, not as a structural issue that should have been managed comprehensively. The same administrators handled situations on an individual basis, over and over again.
This is the same newspaper which persisted for years in euphemising the CIA's torture orgies as an "enhanced interrogation" program.

Oh brave new world, that has such peeps in it. 

Update: This just arrived in my in-box from Mar-A-Lago:
You’re invited to the Official Trump Store Easter sale!

Shop now to save 25% OFF Trump gear with Promo Code: BUNNY. 
Take 25% off with promo code: BUNNY

Fill up your Easter basket with exclusive merchandise from the Trump store.
This spectacular Easter deal will not last long, so act now to claim your 25% OFF anything in the store.
Show your support for President Trump and stock up on iconic pieces for your closet.

P.S. - Don’t forget to use Promo Code: BUNNY at checkout to take 25% OFF your order.
  What - are these "iconic pieces" not worthy of proud display right out in the open? Must my exclusively spectaculuh Trump coffee mugs and medallions be forever doomed to gather dust in a dark closet along with the PTSD-inducing high school yearbooks? Is Trump really so cruel as to want to give the millions of kids already terrified of the closet monster something more tangible to cry about?

We can only hope that Trump is so busy running his empire and building his brand and getting off on fluffy pink bunnies and overdone steaks that he'll forget all about terror-bombing a few more hundred or thousand people over this Easter weekend, just for the Viagra-fueled fun of it.


Zee said...

Amazing how quiet the "Comment" section is today. Either we are all desperately doing our taxes today in order to meet the Tuesday deadline, or this day has more philosophical/theological significance--whatever one's faith, or even lack thereof--than many of us might care to admit. Interesting.

annenigma said...

In my case, it's the first and only day in the past 5 1/2 months where the sun has shone all day with a temp above zero - upper 50's today actually. We had the worst winter in decades, way below normal temps and way above normal snowfall, then rain, rain, and more rain.

Everyone around here is outdoors today, walking and biking. I just got home from a long bike ride on the spectacular Going-to-the-Road in Glacier which just opened to bikes and hikers while they continue plowing the 50 miles of it. They should have it finished at the end of June or early July.

There are still 4 hours or so of daylight left so I'm going to hang out outside and check if any bluebirds set up housekeeping in one of my nest boxes while I was gone, or if they'll stop in for dinner.

Don't overthink it, Zee.

Jay–Ottawa said...

Winter is over, at least this far north; I can put aside my life-saving sheepskin trooper's cap to bask in temperatures now approaching 50 F.

A relative who works in old Europe is a soccer fan. For the fine-weather months, she got me a billed cap, bright red with gold lettering. This cap announces to the world that I'm a loyal fan of Manchester United. I'm not, really, and happen to know she's a hometown fan of A.C. Milan. What was she thinking?

Anyway, I have an incentive to wear the cap more often, especially when I go through customs on the way to central New York. You see, the cap looks just like the red cap that Trump supporters (and Trump himself) wear to his rallies. I just have to remember to reverse the cap as I approach the customs booth, passport in hand, shades on the dashboard, and ready to explain once again in detail why I chose to resettle in Canada and what plausible reason(s) I have to re-enter the country where I was born.

From long experience I've learned it's good to look the customs screeners square in the eye and let them see that you're just another old-line conservative geezer and not one of those troublesome green liberal dweeb geezers smuggling lefty ideas into the country. At that the agent will smartly hand me back my passport and say: "Welcome home."

Personally, I think "Welcome home" is a nice touch after that grilling. My wife, the Canadian homemaker par excellence, looks straight ahead and tries not to laugh. Once we're out of sight, the red cap gets tossed into the back seat, and we resume breathing.

If ever you need a real "Make America Great Again" red cap to get you through the next 4-8 years, see the link provided by Karen. Only $25, plus tax and shipping. Meanwhile, I'll be cheering for Manchester United.

annenigma said...

Here's a link to a U.S. Government website where you can vote on which executive branch agency, in whole or in part, that you would like to see eliminated (CIA!) plus an opportunity to offer comments about reorganizing any of them. They are accepting input until June 12.

It's interesting to see just how many various agencies there are in each department. Check it out.

Jay–Ottawa said...

Anne, I liked that road to the glacier link, but worry about the other road to the WH link where citizens suggest reforms of the Executive Department, even though The Donald's Administration has a reputation for being open to reason and fairness from whatever source.

I began by marking the CIA and Defense Department as in need of reform, then added in the designated free-form space: "Too much money going to these aggressive and out-of-control departments. Cut them down to a size that suits a democracy by cutting back radically on their bloated and secret budgets." Then the site asks for your name, address etc. I backed away from the keyboard slowly with my hands raised.

It dawned on me that this could be Donald's version of Mao's campaign to "Let a Hundred Flowers Bloom." For those too young to remember 1956, here's another link:

Clearing the swamp just might require, for starters, flushing out the dissidents. I don't ever want to be mistaken for a dissident (cough).

Zee said...


You are entirely correct: I overthought things way too much.

Having lived in the "sun belt" for almost 37 years, I had forgotten about the seasonal "affects" of living at higher latitudes: In my experience, think Seattle, WA and Ithaca, NY, where the sun went down at about 3:30PM at the height of winter, and didn't really seem to come up much before 7:00 AM until about...well, maybe...about now. Hated it, and was lucky enough to be able to move south.

You folks in Montana--or Canada, or New Paltz, NY--are just starting to think about spring, leafing out of trees, chattery birds, hiking, &etc.,whereas I've been living in shorts and a T-shirt for the past month and--insofar as I could see--fighting mating/pooping pigeons and doves off of my backyard patio for about that same amount of time. One's latitude can, indeed, shape one's thinking. I'll try to remember that.


I hope that you not only "backed away from the keyboard slowly with [your] hands raised," but also are using some sort of VPN (Virtual Privacy Network) or better, to protect your identity from the (possible) spooks at annenigma's suggested website.

Haven't had a chance to check out "Let a Hundred Flowers Bloom," but did happen to remember the Soviet Union's old false flag operation, "The Trust," a phony anti-Bolshevik operation that was created by Soviet counterintelligence to lure in counter-revolutionaries in order to destroy them:

Your concerns are not beyond the realm of possibility.

annenigma said...

You'll want to bookmark this page for future reference:

It's Steve Ballmer's (Microsoft fame) new data project which tracks just how tax dollars are spent and on what, all over the country and in D.C., and how it correlates to other data.

'Steve Ballmer Serves Up a Fascinating Data Trove'

annenigma said...

@Jay - You might enjoy this informative piece relating to your previous comment:

'500 Years of History Shows that Mass Spying Is Always Aimed at Crushing Dissent - It's NEVER to Protect Us From Bad Guys'

annenigma said...


Here's something to consider adding to your blogroll - a Big Data hobby project called USAFacts put together by former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. It traces the flow of tax dollars using government data and looks to be useful and interesting.

Jay–Ottawa said...

Citizen Anne

True, we should be careful to avoid annoying people in power, but we should not be brought to a standstill. We have freely voted office holders and their helpers the resources and the initiatives, and they must look after the state, which is us. Their spooks and enforcers will make sure that no one even thinks about overthrowing anything. Ministers, consumer advocates, anti-corruption good government types and other perfectionists must not be immune to the forces of stability. But not to worry; the Constitution sets the balance, and Progress is forever on the march.

Spying on citizens foolish enough to revel under the First Amendment, seizing without warrant the papers and personal effects of thinkers, writers and organizers, sowing confusion among peace and reform groups, smashing the presses of wayward publishers––that's all a thing of the past, such abuses having been outlawed by the Bill of Rights ever since 1791.

We've come a long way since the sixteenth century with its ur-Stasi types. And now, with Neil Gorsuch, another orginalist on the High Court, it won't be long before we're 100% right back where Founding Father James Madison originally wanted us to be.