Sunday, September 26, 2021

The Sum of All My Fears


At the start of the 2000s and the 2010s some assholes published books saying that those decades would bring unprecedented prosperity for the United States. Well we know how those years went but while browsing Amazon recently yet another dumbass has published a book saying the 2020s will see the United States return to its winning ways.

Yeah, as you can imagine given recent events and circumstances things are still highly fucked. What's worse is that all signs and portents suggest nothing will get better for a while. Just for shits and giggles here's my take on the years between now and 2028.

I sincerely hope I'm wrong.

Early 2022: The Orange Buffoon declares he is again running for president. His “Big Lie” is front and center in his campaign saying he was cheated in 2020 and will return to the White House to make America great again. Despite talk of his popularity waning among certain circles, his base begins to herald his return like the Second Coming of Jesus.

All possible Republican presidential hopefuls quickly go out of their way to announce their support for his 2024 run.

2022: Being that the out of the White House party almost always makes significant gains during midterm elections, I see the Republicans taking control of both the House and the Senate. Despite threats of immediately impeaching President Biden and Vice President Harris upon taking control of congress, I believe the Republicans instead will just spend the next two years throwing the government into gridlock. The Republican media propaganda outlets will blame the resulting gridlock on Biden/Harris to pave the way for Trump's 2024 campaign.

If any Supreme Court justices happen to die or retire after the midterms, Mitch McConnell will refuse to allow President Biden to pick a replacement. At that point I don't even believe McConnell will attempt to justify his refusal to confirm a new justice.

2023: This year will be a wild card. Should unexpected events favor Biden/Harris their chances at reelection will be helped. The state of the economy and foreign affairs will depend greatly on whether or not Biden/Harris has any chance. The Republicans will certainly make an issue of Biden's competence and any misstatement or mistake on his part will be amplified and repeated by the media until independents are convinced he can't handle the job. Vice President Harris will certainly be the subject of a smear campaign to paint her as a radical socialist.

The real question is whether the Republicans will go so radical to secure their insane base they will alienate the fairly moderate suburban women.

Expect Russia to launch a massive interference campaign so huge it will make the 2016 interference look insignificant.

The final wild card that could happen anytime between now and 2024 is whether or not Trump and his family members are ever criminally indicted. If the Orange Buffoon and any family members are indicted with such evidence as to make conviction a real possibility, Trump will cut a deal so fast that I wouldn't put it past him to do anything from voluntarily fleeing the country to turning on the Republican party.

Got to admit, I had come to believe that Trump would have been long since indicted on something by now.

2024: If the country remains locked in economic stagnation and/or stuck in some form of Covid quagmire Trump will return to the White House. Trump's earlier disasters will be carefully swept under the rug with his propaganda emphasizing his “success” of managing the economy. Americans don't have the attention span of gnats but in general do have about the same level of intelligence.

It can't be understated the level of revenge Trump supporters have simmering over what the consider was the stolen 2020 election. On the other hand Democrats as sure to be fighting among themselves with progressive most likely whining about how they are ignored and should break off to form their own party.

While it was only whispered about on radical right-wing websites and chat rooms, I see a real possibility of Republican brownshirts groups forming to prevent certain people from voting. During the 2020 election I saw numerous examples of Trump supporters in massive pickup trucks with huge flags flying behind them cruising around polling places. On the surface it would be easy just to say they were peaceably showing their support. But a person would be a fool not to think these activities could easily turn into intimidation tactics.

This will go along with voter suppression laws being enacted by Republicans.

I'd like to think that Democrats might take back at least one house of Congress to counterbalance a new Trump Administration. More than likely that's wishful thinking on my part.

With this being Trump's second rodeo, he will go straight to picking corrupt and unqualified members for his cabinet. I predict his Vice President will be Nikki Haley. Although, Trump will keep pushing Ivanka Trump into staged government activities to build her credibility for a presidential run. For years Ivanka has openly expressed an desire to be the first female president. What friction this might create between his vice president and his unofficial but preferred successor will be interesting.

2025: In 2020, Trump sincerely believe he had the Supreme Court in his back pocket and that they would side with him on the election cases brought before them. Since they didn't, I see a huge possibility that Trump will pack the Supreme Court with up to five extra justices. All certified toadies that will do whatever he demands.

I genuinely believe McConnell would go along with packing the Court. His reasoning being that since the Democrats talked about it after the 2020 election, he would do it. Yes, McConnell will still be alive and running the United States Senate. Remember, Strom Thurmond was kept in office even years after the old bastard couldn't put a five word sentence together. With Mitch they would go as far as inventing a portable life support system to keep him in the senate. If he does die, there are plenty of sycophant replacement available.

I easily expect quick Supreme Court decisions that will promote a genuine authoritarian/police state takeover of the United States. While this is going on the military will be purged of officers whose loyalty is to the Constitution.

2026: By this time I expect considerable civil unrest in certain American cities with Republican brownshirts and actual cops shooting African-American men and women. Trump will stoke these racial fires resulting in rioting that he will crack down on with heavy force. I actually see Democratic-lead cities being taken under federal control.

The 2026 midterms will essentially be meaningless. Popular Democrats that could challenge Republicans in most any office will be accused of something illegal disqualifying them from office. Economic data coming from the government will be fixed to express whatever Trump wants. Whether or not Trump has taken control of the independent news media is an open question. If not, his brownshirts will certainly be used to scare journalists into submission.

2027: By this point the very seams of the country will be coming apart with separatists movements taking shape certainly in California and the Pacific Northwest. Especially if Trump refuses to release FEMA disaster funds until those governors grovel at his feet or change policy. What makes this particularly dangerous is that states like California pay out more money to the federal government than they take in. Whereas most red states receive more federal money that they pay in taxes.

2028: Trump being an unhealthy old man has to die sometime. But if the bastard makes it to this year he can't run for reelection, or at least that what the Twenty-Second Amendment says. Should he reach this point I can easily see him trying to push the idea that he “deserves another term.” The members of his cult will certainly agree and punish anyone who opposes the idea.

Should Trump die during this term how his vice president deals with his politically ambitious family and the Republican party as a whole will be interesting.

Sunday, September 19, 2021

A Bad Case of Disillusionment


Got to admit, I'm dealing with a pretty big wave of disillusionment with the nature and behavior of the United States. No, this state of mind was not brought on by the Orange Buffoon, although he is more of a symptom of how things have gone wrong. No, I do not consider Joe Biden a failure, but events do seem to have moved faster than his administration has been able to anticipate. Long story short, things are still going to shit and I coming to think there is nothing the sane and rational people can do.

My one real criticism of President Biden is that he seems to be trying to play the normal game of American politics while Mitch McConnell and the rest of the Republican power structure have gone full kleptocracy/Authoritarian dictatorship. Giving the Son of a Bitch McConnell his due, the bastard has played corrupt politics like a master. All the while mouthing off asinine statements about everyone needing to respect the rules of the senate with a straight face.

If history ever needs a face to identify the individual who did the most to destroy the United States it will be Mitch McConnell. But I honestly can't say McConnell is the only reason for my disillusionment.

The majority of the people on the right of the American political spectrum are simply insane. Listing all the ways those people have lost their minds would take too long and I simply don't have the energy to rant about it anymore. Here's where I would normally say that I know there are good people on the right. But while they are out there, their numbers are vanishingly small to the point of insignificance.

My one sentence explanation for this situation is that right-wingers have become addicted to fear. They fear the “other” and want desperately a return to a white dominated America. They'll betray every facet of American ideals and principles to see that happen.

But never fear, the left of American politics is as usual lost and without a true game plan. To a far lesser extent, they are just as beholding to their money masters and their own antiquated behaviors. But given how American politics are run, they are the only reasonably sane people in the game.

Most of all, the young people of the country, those that will need to find the strength and knowledge to fix the problems seem adrift. From what I read, many have given up and surrendered figuring they will never be able to own a home, raise a family under the same conditions as their parents, or even retire.

Still rambling here but in a way I think the overall problem can be summed up in that the complexities of life in the twenty-first century have outpaced the intelligence of the general American public. We do not have the education, the energy, nor the ethics anymore to answer to the challenges we face as a nation.

I hope I'm wrong but as of right now and the foreseeable future I think we're massively screwed.

Sunday, September 12, 2021

The Backdoor to a Dystopian Nightmare


Way back in the early 1980's I remember watching Carl Sagan giving a hypothetical lecture on the nature of other intelligent species. Several of the illustrations he used on that episode were like cheat cards or cliff notes on various aspects that made up those hypothetical aliens and the nature of their civilizations.

Most of the made up “facts” on these cliff notes dealt with the chemical, biological, and physical nature of those species. For example one of Carl's fictional species were “electrovores” implying that they consumed electricity to sustain life. I can't describe how that concept blew my little mind, and still does. These cliff notes were included in the companion book to the series and if you have a copy of Sagan's Cosmos they're still fascinating even today.

Now Carl included a cliff note on humanity, listing the same information on it as the others. And like the others there was a short segment giving some details on our civilization. Mainly that the species was divided up into over two-hundred political entities, six global powers. In this same section it was mentioned that cultural and technological homogeniety was underway. In other words, the “intelligent” species of the planet was undergoing a type of global unification.

On a side note, in the same section our chances for long-term survival were also mentioned at less that fifty-percent per hundred years. Given the nature of the Cold War at the time and Carl's fixation on it as a threat, there was only the smallest mention of the destruction of the planet's biodiversity or climate change.

In the last few years my attention has drifted back to the homogeniety of our civilization. Forgive the implied American imperialism, but for years I didn't have a problem with the world more or less unifying into something like a United States of Earth. That is, a loose global federation made up of self governing political entities whose underlying framework revolved around democrat values and egalitarian principles.

My vague notions of global unification were essentially the ideals of a center-left vision of no person or group having a codified or economic advantage over anyone else. Inequality would exist with some being richer and some being poorer, but that the national and global institutions would attempt to referee the playing field and work to give a hand-up to those born disadvantaged.

Of course, the Cold War ended with a total crash and burn for the only other economic system that seemed a viable alternative to the wrestling tag team duo of democracy and capitalism. Okay, let me go ahead and clearly say I am not here to praise communism, it's dead and has dissolved into a stinky dust.

On the other hand in the years since the end of the Cold War, the tag team duo of democracy and capitalism has broken up with the latter now a legitimate threat to the former. It's a problem all over the world but particularly here in the United States the amount of money in a person's bank account generally means he or she are more equal than another with less money.

The situation has gotten so bad some of these rich folks openly talk about having more votes for elections than us common folks because they have more invested in society. Then there is this Republican/Libertarian fixation that corporations should be considered “people.” From what I learned that only was suppose to mean that they could be sued in court, not hold some position of power in society or representation in government.

This brings me to a concept that I had long since recognized but didn't have a solid idea about until I discovered a book by the British cultural theorist, Mark Fisher. Fisher had coined the term“Capitalist Realism” defining it as the widespread belief that capitalism is not only the only viable political and economic system but that it also now impossible to imagine a viable alternative. That since the fall of the Soviet Union this lack of an alternative to capitalism has a set a limit to political and social life with the effects reaching into education, mental health, and even pop culture and methods of resistance.

So you might be thinking just what does this all mean and how did the collapse of a discredited and evil system like communism screw over the liberal democratic world?

Well, it should be easy to realize that economic inequality all over the world, but especially here in the United States has grown considerably since the end of the Cold War. That this ties in nicely with the collapse of the labor movement here in the United States. Labor unions being the one strong and dependable counterweight to the power and influence of the rich elites who all always looking for ways to increase profit, even at the expense of the dignity and lives of their workers. 

With capitalism looking like the only viable alternative anything that even slightly differentiates from philosophy of increasing profits begins to smell like communism. Remember folks, good old capitalism of the late nineteenth century and early twentieth didn't have a problem with sending kids younger than ten years-old into dangerous factories and mines.

I think maybe the most insidious thing about Capitalist Realism is its effect on pop culture. Going real loosey-goosey here but since we've been left with no real alternative everything in our society seems to be viewed in a monetary value. Fisher writes:

Capitalist realism as I understand it ... is more like a pervasive atmosphere, conditioning not only the production of culture but also the regulation of work and education, and acting as a kind of invisible barrier constraining thought and action.

My takeaway being that as long as you can make a buck off something it's not only a worthy project but an admirable one. Take this idea to the extreme and I can see the justification of everything from driving up the price of insulin to outrageous prices and no-talent skanky publicity sluts making their fortunes selling sex tapes. (The Kardashians are the biggest but there have been others.)

The penultimate and most dangerous result has to be the belief that the government can be run like a business. That the privatization of essential government services can be beneficial saving the ever precious taxpayer from the burdens of having a decent society. Because of this mindset we now have for profit prisons where it can be argued that we have backdoored a return of slavery. Yes, the inmates have committed crimes against society but to use them in commercial ventures that make millions in profits for stockholders and CEO's is just “slavery with extra steps” to use a term from a recent television show I like.

In the long run the United States may have defeated the existential danger of Marxist-Leninist communism, but the price for the win was the soul of our society. Another way to look at this is that we have bought our way into a real dystopia. 



Monday, September 6, 2021

You Can't Fix this Level of Stupid


We are so doomed!!!!




 In all the annals of stupid that I have been exposed it was this week that I saw something so strange that it defied all my expectations. I stumbled upon the meme to your left accidentally as I was wasting time at home watching the grass and weeds in my yard grow. See the fun part is seeing my neighbors drive by and give me dirty looks for not having a seamless carpet of deep green in my front yard.

After discovering this meme, I was enthralled at the interlocking levels of stunning stupidity and brazen incomprehension that one person can possibly endure and still be able to remember to breathe. I say that because Jesse here is legitimately saying that he could do the following:

  1. That he could force his way into an international airport with just a good old American AR-15 while carrying his sick son.

  2. That they could then force their way onto a fully fueled plane with a pilot.

  3. That this pilot would then fly across the Atlantic Ocean and land in Italy.

  4. Then Jesse would fight his way off the plane, with his son and then to a hospital.

Those were just the most basic steps since anyone who has read something more that the infantile propagandize drivel of your average conspiracy-plagued Fox News host knows you can't readily hijack a plane like you might a car driving down a deserted street. Now I'm sure in Jesse's armchair commando mind he's probably recruited a number of like-minded individuals all armed themselves to carry off his plan. Hell with a big enough circle lunatic friends he may even have a pilot friend or two.

Still though, Jesse's statement was so bleeding stupid I have heard five-year old kids who still believe in Santa say things more rational. After my initial discover I looked Jesse up on Twitter. It's almost like Sean Hannity and Laura Ingram made the nasty and the child they created was exponentially more crazy than them both.

Enough of the stupid, lets now explore the incomprehension. Jesse here is proposing that he would marshal all his God-given American manhood and using his AR-15 force his way to Italy so his child could be saved by socialized medicine. Yes, good folks whether Jesse know it or not Italy, along with all other Western nations, has some form of evil, communistic, socialized medicine. While the United States is still mired to privatized medical system where insurance companies decided whether or not your family will go bankrupt due to a sick family member. Remember Sarah Palin and the evil of rationed health care she talked about during her bizarre time as the Republican vice president nominee?

Rationed health care has existed for as long as insurance companies and many times they have allowed darling grandmothers to die because of some cost/benefit analysis.

So this begs the question, instead of attempting an improbable hijacking wouldn't it be better to just work together and bring some form of socialized medicine here to this country? 

 Unrelated to Jesse, here's some more stupid. This good American is praying to Donald Trump to save him from the police. This country is doomed, get out if you can!