restlessknights

The knights are restless and for good reason.

Rag Mop Does It Again

Rag Mop is a name for the Donald that has not yet caught on. If Trump can use an Elton John song to label the leader of the un-free world, can’t I use one for Donald by the Ames Brothers? Am I dating myself here?

Since Trump got the Electoral College majority last November (assuming the Russians didn’t hack that one, too), I’ve had to place shoe-proofing around my T.V. set. Otherwise I would have been forced to replace the screen, several times a day.

We now live in a world whose most powerful nation is controlled by a narcissistic maniac. If you think those are harsh words, over a half million people responded to a request to submit a single word to describe this unprecedented President. Over 26,000 words came back, many of which you wouldn’t want your child to hear. Overwhelmingly, the words were not favorable.

None of the experts in the field saw the election results coming, including the great Nate Silver, CEO of Five-Thirty-Eight – the polling group that never, ever gets these predictions wrong.

What was not obvious to Silver, nor to Trump’s Democratic challenger, was that Rag Mop knew how to get his people to show up on Election Day. He figured out that his supporters do not use critical thinking for many of life’s most important decisions. Does who will be the leader of the free world qualify for that distinction?

His rival in 2016 has since learned to strike the word “deplorables” from her lexicon. What should have been obvious, Hill, is that you don’t get voters by insulting them. Unfortunately, her bevy of advisers failed to warn her about that. I haven’t read her New York Times Best Seller, What Happened? I assume she addresses that in the book.

And no matter what Rag Mop says, and about whom he says it, seems to have no ragMopnegative consequences on the folks whose support he won (well, at least according to that great bastion of democracy, the Electoral College).

A few members of Trump’s staff tried to warn him not to launch a verbal attack on North Korea. But I guess no one got around to telling him that the United Nations was established to preserve peace in the world? Otherwise why else would he use that platform to deride four member nations? Or, as Rag Mop might say it, “Who knew that you had to be diplomatic when addressing that fake world body?”

The President needs to watch the amazing Ken Burns documentary series about Vietnam, if only he could pull himself away from Fox and Friends. He would see the futility of wars, especially those America fought after WWII (Cuba, Korea, Dominican Republic, Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq). The series (roughly eighteen hours long – giving me several restless nights) begins with the Korean blunder of 1950. It lasted just three years, but managed to kill over 36,000 Americans, not counting the 7,747 the Pentagon forgot to report (since corrected). N. Korea suffered over a million casualties, and S. Korea about the same number. China reportedly lost about 600,000 of its military, but estimates vary widely

The U.S. cannot claim a single victory in any of those conflicts, but Ronald Reagan sure did kick the shit out of those Grenadians.

But these tragic events, some of which still continue today, seem to have no end, and profit no one, with exception of the Military Industrial Complex, Ike warned us about. Yet Rag Mop waves his nuclear finger at Rocket Man without any regard to the possible consequences. If I were living in any adjacent region to N. Korea, all of my nights would be restless.

Trump ran on the slogan “Make America Great, Again.” Are we sure he didn’t mean, “Hate, Again?”

And speaking of making our county great, again: Exactly what was the time period in which this greatness occurred? Was it the ‘great’ way African Americans were treated from our nation’s inception (and in many cases, still – ask Colin Kaepernick)? Or perhaps it was our treatment of the indigenous people (remind me not to open an ice cream store called “Custard’s Last Stand”). We honor President Jackson by putting his face on the Twenty, without regard for the Trail of Tears that occurred during his administration. This was a series of forced removals of Native American nations from their ancestral homelands in the Southeastern United States to an area west of the Mississippi, which had been designated as Indian Territory.

Why not remove ‘Old Hickory’ from that bill, and replace him with a female American SBA_onTheTwentyreal hero like Susan B Anthony, or Clara Barton? That would be one way of establishing American greatness (even Syria has a female face on it’s currency –a depiction of Queen Zenobia). That might make up for the fact that it took 140 years from our Declaration of Independence to grant women the right to vote? To be fair, we were not much different from other nations on the subject of women’s suffrage. The delay in granting it was blamed on guess what: World War I, one of the most costly and dumbest conflicts in world history.

I won’t fail to mention that the Nazis were not the only ones to use concentration camps.

takeiFence

Takei Fencing After being let out of the fence

We interred the entire Japanese American population, including Star Trek star, George Takei. We didn’t grant German Americans the same experience. It couldn’t have had anything to do race, now, could it?

 

 

 

Another brilliant move by the Offender-in-Chief is his ever-changing travel ban. As of this writing, the citizens of the following countries are not permitted to migrate here: Chad, Iran, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Yemen and Venezuela. I was trying to recall the last time I was attacked by a Chadian. But countries that actually had participants attacking the U.S., namely Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan, were excluded from the ban.

Apple stockholders and iPhone addicts (like me) should be grateful that the ban didn’t exist in 1952. This was the year Steve Jobs Syrian-born father (Abdul Fattah Jandali) fled the Middle East.. Without Jandali’s arrival in the U.S. there would be fewer Jobs (including Steve). Take a bite (or byte) out of that, Donald.

Our stunning victory over the Axis powers in 1945 was where America defined its greatness.  Our entry into that war, however, was prompted by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor – and not by Axis attempts to take over the entire world. So, great again? I guess it depends upon how you define the word “Great.”

 

 

 

 

 

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The Knights Are Already Restless, – and Trump’s only been on the job 12 days!

If you get depressed easily, maybe you should’t read this. If you’re not, perhaps a trip to your psychotherapist might be in order.

It’s been only thirteen days since the President Elect became the President Erect. I use that term because it describes the biggest schmeckel  to ever be ushered to power by the very un-democratic Electoral College. Obviously, the Humanities is not a subject taught there.

Sorry, GW Bush, but you’ve been out-putzed, and it didn’t take that long. Just when I, and most of my associates, thought that the Bush-Cheney team couldn’t be out-schmucked, along comes a new leader whose public appearances will be greeted by Heil to the Chief (yes, I spelled that correctly).

Only Trump’s most loyal supporters — and those who have not learned that it is highly unlikely that robotics-caused job losses will return to the U.S. (or anywhere else, for that matter) — will become disenchanted. Notice I didn’t say ‘impossible.’ I already made that mistake when I and most every other political ‘expert’ assured us of a Trump loss, or even a shellacking.

Eisenhower alerted us to the Military Industrial Complex. but Obama should have warned us about the Superiority Complex, something his sucessor demonstrates daily (make that hourly).

A few of my less-evolved buddies say, “Give him a chance. Isn’t it too early to judge?” But I think his nominees for the Cabinet and other vital security positions are giving us a few clues. It’s like saying, “Don’t judge that nuclear blast until you see the results. It could be just another one of those harmless mushroom clouds.”

He’s nominated Neil M. Gorsuch to be the next member of the Supreme Court. Trump tried everything he could do raise Scalia from the dead, but when Antonin learned who the new President actually was, he said, “No thanks, I’d rather stay where I am.” The late justice didn’t indicate just where that was, and the sound of raging fires did obscure much of what he said.

The Democrats in the Senate could fail to join 52 Republicans when the vote for approval takes place. But why should they? After all, did the GOP even consider Obama’s nomination of moderate, Merrick Garland, almost a year ago? You bet they didn’t! This is a little fact that John Dickerson, host of Disgrace the Nation, failed to point out to conservative guest, Hugh Hewitt, author of The Fourth Way: A Conservative Playbook for a Lasting GOP Majority,” when Hewitt appeared on his show on January 29th.

Hewitt (whose mother loved him so much, she nearly named him twice) stated that the Democrats have no reason to attempt to block a SCOTUS nominee. The turtle look-alike, who leads the Republicans in the Senate, also seemed to suffer from amnesia when he insisted that Senate Democrats treat Trump’s nominee with the same respect his troops showed to the former President’s.

Trump’s record low approval ratings for any President’s first thirteen days in office was not statlibcantlooklimited to the millions of illegally-voting Hillary supporters, or any non-members of the American Nazi party. In a rare glimpse of the statue that represents American liberty, the Lady was echoing the sentiments of most people on the Trump-threatened planet.

The President is following the lead of many elected officials from the GOP, in insisting that Climate Change is a hoax. And he’s made the appointments to support that position, untenable as it is.

Now I’m not suggesting that Republican members of congress have been influenced by campaign contributions from the fossil fuel industry, but OpenSecrets is. If you think Lady Liberty is shielding her eyes now, wait till she learns that Exxon Mobil Mogul, Rex Tillerson is the new Secretary of State. Let’s hope that this Rex is not a dinosaur when it comes to protecting the environment, as hopeless as that hope seems at the moment.

But to make up for that poor choice, Trump is leveling the playing field by appointing Texas former Governor and oopser, Rick Perry, to run the very department whose name he couldn’t remember during the 2012 presidential campaign. The Energy department is responsible for our nuclear arsenal. Comforting to know that a pro is in charge. But just to be clear, when reminded by fellow challengers for the presidency which agency that was, the EPA was mentioned, not the DOE.

But don’t you worry. Trump’s got that department covered as well. His pick to lead he Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruiit, is a staunch defender of the industry that is speeding the destruction of that very same environment. A rumor is going around that the agency will be renamed the EDA (the word ‘Destruction’ replaces ‘Protection,’) but who really cares? Certainly not the parents and grandparents of the children that will inherit this planet.

Trump promised to drain the swamp, clearly having no understanding of the word ‘drain.’ Most of that swamp, by the way, was polluted by his fellow Republicans, who have ruled both houses since 2010, making appointments extremely challenging for Barack Obama.

Now Roe vs Wade is under attack. Planned Parenthood will be defunded. This will ultimately lead to a return of back-alley abortions, or women having no alternative but to bare a child she cannot afford to clothe, feed, or educate. Seems fair. How else will we recruit troops to fight the next oil war?

Trump has surrounded himself with very talented truth avoiders. Reince Preibus (who I often mispronounce as ‘Raunch Pubis’) is the new Chief of Staff. His Press Secretary, Sean Spicer calls his boss’s support among the people as “tremendous,” quickly taking on the vocabulary of the firer-in-chief (as his dismissal of the former acting Attorney General, Sally Yates would attest). All she said was she could not enforce a ruling that was unconstitutional. The nerve! And the most ingenious truth avoider, Kellyanne Conway, will be sure to set us all straight.

In a nation that is 38th in pre-college education, having Betsy Devos assume the position (a favorite Trump line) as Education Secretary, is sure to put us even lower in that ranking. But it doesn’t matter, because we are making America great again, and that’s what really counts.

He has also ostracized the press, almost in its entirely, as the most dishonest people in the world. Breitbart and Fox News were excluded from that ranking.

But I want to wish the new Commander and Chief well, almost hoping that he won’t follow in the footsteps of William Henry Harrison. The ninth President, differed in his speech making from #45, having stood on an icy inaugural platform for several hours, only to be rewarded with incurable pneumonia that killed him several months later. Trump took no such chances, by delivering one of the shortest inaugural speeches in American history. He had thought about Tweeting it, but then he would have been around fifty characters too short.

This is a Presidential Election?

I think I speak for a great number of people who’ve had restless nights over this endless election cycle. The night of Tuesday, November 8th, may be the most restless.

Having survived the ills of this planet for over seventy-five years (which lately seems like 175), never have I seen a presidential campaign where none of the candidates did anything right.

Our 2016 election compares unfavorably to even Hitler’s rise to the chancellorship back in 1933. Please note that der Fuhrer and der Tangerine Clown used similar tactics. FDR’s “all we have to fear is fear itself,” does not seem to resonate in the minds of a fairly large portion of the voting public. We can (almost) excuse the Germans, because Roosevelt’s words would not be uttered until almost nine years later, after Pearl Harbor was attacked, while the Versailles Treaty opened the door to Adolf’s twelve-year reign.

Both appealed to their constituents’ fear of an alien force, and played upon their people’s disenchantment with the status quo. While Trump boasts that he will build a wall and make Mexico pay for it, Hitler tore down the Maginot line, and the French REALLY paid for it. Trump hasn’t let on just how the bill for the wall will be paid, but he doestrumpclowndailynews accept the Trump Express Card, one of the many of his failed enterprises.

But I digress. Let me return to my original premise. Between the major and minor parties, we had about thirty candidates (that people actually heard of) seeking the nomination. The Republicans could not field a single one that made a better case than the Clown from New York Town. The New York Daily News said it best.

Fellow candidates for the GOP nomination exchanged slurs here-to-for unheard of in any previous presidential race. The subject of hand-size dominated the airwaves, web sites and social media, which made Trump assure his prospective voters that he had no problem in “that” department. This is information we all require before knowing which candidate to entrust with the nuclear codes. Ted Cruz, who campaigned wearing his freshly pressed crusader’s uniform, bravely told his party, “people should vote their conscience on election day.”

cruzsaderuniform

I originally misunderstood the meaning of Crusader. I thought it referred to a Passover dinner with Ted presiding (oops, wrong religion).

But Cruz, in a bid to be re-elected Senator of Texas — yes, the same state that showed the wisdom to have Rick Perry as its Governor, ultimately endorsed Trump. I guess Trump’s accusing someone’s daddy of complicity in the murder of a U.S. President is hardly a reason not to endorse him.

And speaking of candidates with a Cuban heritage, there was Marco Rubio, who originally brought up the “hands” issue in a presidential debate, was dubbed “Little Marco” by Trump, forcing Rubio to return to Florida for re-election, to continue playing hooky as the state’s junior senator.

We’re not going to fault Bernie, who finally had the sense to quit the race, after coming to the conclusion that a seventy-five-year-old Jewish socialist would not stand a chance. But he did help perpetuate a Hillary-gap from which younger voters may not recover.

Going Libertarian? They’ve got Gary Johnson, who thought Aleppo was slang for someone suffering from leprosy.

And then there’s Hillary – you remember her. Her first mistake was remaining with Lecher Bill, after multiple dalliances. She’s faced a new dilemma when her hubby decided to visit with Attorney General Loretta Lynch, while her plane sat on the tarmac. The Republicans made political hay out of outlandish notion that they were not talking about their grandchildren. Well, what else would they have discussed? Even the Democrats groaned according to an article by Politico.

While serving her stint as Secretary of State, she unwisely used a private e-mail server (because we all know how safe public servers are —as Yahoo will attest). Despite the imminency of her presidential campaign, she and Bill continued to take advantage of her State Department status to raise funds for the Clinton Foundation from some questionable sources in exchange for favors unknown, Then she made the unfortunate choice of Huma Abadin as the vice chair of her campaign. The vice part particularly fit, given the notoriety of her estranged husband, Anthony, look at my dick pick, Weiner. The mistake here was bringing Huma on, without first burning her computer that she had shared with Weiner (would you touch those keys?). FBI chief, James Comey, picked the worst possible moment to deliver the October Surprise, conveniently refusing to talk about the investigation over the Trump University scam.

But the Donald candidate makes no mistakes. He can choose a man who was fired from of all places, Fox News, for simply following Trump’s own female-contact advice he shared with Billy Bush on that bus. Trump, who respects women more than anyone, believe me, didn’t realize or didn’t care that an open mic recorded their entire erudite conversation. He can shoot someone on Fifth Avenue, and not lose a single vote. He can go bankrupt four times and still enjoy the reputation as a clever businessman. He can claim that Climate Change is a hoax, despite the probability that that ‘hoax’ may submerge his Mira Lago golf course in Palm Beach. He can falsify documents enabling his future wife to work in the United States without the proper visas, while warning his supporters of illegal aliens invading our country. He can label an American-born judge as unqualified because his parents were born in Mexico. He can disparage the Kahns, parents of a slain American military man, and then accuse the husband of silencing his wife. And he pays no price.

The people that support (or tolerate) Madam Secretary have one strike against them: They think. That may not be true for many of Trump’s troops. That’s why he can make a statement, then reverse himself during the same appearance, and still not lose trust with his constituents.

 

 

 

The Tenth Crusade

What a fitting subject to be included in the Restless Knights blog.

Most people believe that the Crusades ended around the end of the 13th century. What they don’t realize is that one is still going on, right here in the 21st.

Only this time it’s going by a different, although similar title. “The Cruzsades.”

Its purpose is basically the same as the first nine; to make the world safe for Christianity, because what we all know is that it is under threat. Well, some of us do.

While the world has a good laugh at our expense, regarding our presidential politics, we have lined up, on the Republican side, the uncanniest of candidates in our nation’s history.

I can’t remember a single election where those running for the highest office in the land were competing on the size of their members – and I am not referring to those claiming to be the party faithful. Up until Rubio stepped off the debate platform, Republican voters had to choose between which candidate had the biggest putz, and which one was the biggest putz. You can appreciate what a challenge that would be after stepping into that voting booth on primary day.

As the contest rolls on, seemingly without end, it appears to get more and more absurd. Cruz, self-appointed head-Christian, gets on his knees — every single day — to pray that he will be the chosen one (and he’s not even Jewish). During a recent prayer vigil, Jesus told Ted that he’d CarlyCruzsaderbetter pick his Vice Presidential choice soon, because Hillary was sure to be his opponent in November, and a woman with similar qualities would be his best option. But instead, he chose the female who had done some damage to the Donald in an early-season debate. The only thing similar between Carly and Hillary is their reproductive system.

Since the Cruzsades have already begun, Carly did look pretty good in uniform, and battle-ready — an important qualification. Carly also showed that fetus that she alleged Planned Parenthood put up for sale. You can’t get more pro-Christian and anti-reproductive rights more than that.

Ted believes that the nation is just not Christian enough, and he’s got some ideas on how to fix that. For example: Old Glory is a couple of hundred years old, and is due for a makeover. No. He’s not going to make Puerto Rico a state, but he’s got a better idea. What better way to remind Americans that we are a Christian nation than to design our flag accordingly.cruzOldGory

With a Cruz win, this emblem will be unfurled everywhere. Betsy Ross will turn over in her grave, but that’s the price she pays for not designing it that way in the first place.

But why are we talking about the Great Cruzsader as if he were the apparent winner in Cleveland? Because the party faithful (and I mean FAITHful) will not permit the owner of Trump enterprises to be the GOP nominee. Is it because Trump University only taught one thing: Don’t believe anything the Donald says. Could it be because three of Trump’s companies have declared bankruptcy? Are they saying we shouldn’t put our trust in a man who lost money in gambling casinos? Many people do, but not when they own those very same casinos.

He promises to make America great again, but what he’s really accomplished can be be shown on this banner:

TrumpIngrate

From a Restless Knight – Rest in Peace

I’ve spent many a restless night imagining a GOP win in November, and the Supreme Court appointments the next President is destined to make. I don’t know which of the remaining candidates will make it to the top, and frankly, it won’t really matter. I’m sure he is envisioning Scalia think-alikes (I say “he,” because Carly has mercifully made her exit, leaving an all-male field). Her nominees would have been those slightly to the right of Himmler, with regard to women’s reproductive rights.

The jovial Scalia, with his many liberal friends including ladies on the Supreme Court, could actually have competed with old Heinrich on women’s rights and those anti-biblical gay marriage rules.

Scalia&Kagen

Antonin Scalia posing with fellow hunter and Justice Elana Kagan

The death of Scalia affords an additional opportunity for a Trump or a Cruz to name one more justice to the high court. To give you an idea what that could mean, the chart below shows the ages of the eight remaining members of the Court:

Justice Born /Age Nominated By
Anthony Kennedy 7/23/1936

Age: 79 yr 6 mo

Ronald Reagan
Clarence Thomas 6/23/1948

Age: 67 yr 7 mo

George H. W. Bush
Ruth Bader Ginsburg 3/15/1933

Age: 82 yr 11 mo

Bill Clinton
Stephen Breyer 8/15/1938

Age: 77 yr 6 mo

Bill Clinton
John G. Roberts 1/27/1955

Age: 61 yr 0 mo

George W. Bush
Samuel A. Alito, Jr. 4/1/1950

Age: 65 yr 10 mo

George W. Bush
Sonia Sotomayor 6/25/1954

Age: 61 yr 7 mo

Barack Obama
Elena Kagan 4/28/1960

Age: 55 yr 9 mo

Barack Obama

It is likely that several of those listed above could be awaiting Angel of Death visits within the next five years. The problem is that most of those are Democratic Presidential appointees, with the exception of Anthony Kennedy, who Reagan thought would be far more conservative than he turns out to be. Scalia, 79 when he died, was Anthony Kennedy’s age.

I just watched an old Charley Rose interview with the recently departed jurist, and can understand why people liked him. This proves the point that you don’t have to hate someone because you disagree with just about everything they stand for. In Scalia’s case, I might make an exception.

One of Scalia’s last acts was to become part of the 5-4 decision striking down Obama’s Clean Power Plan (CCP), one of President’s signature achievements. This had enabled the U.S. to take the lead at the Paris Summit on addressing the very serious issue of Climate Change. With the climate initiative in trouble, there will be little motivation for other COP21 signing countries to stick with their commitments. The remaining Republicans in the Presidential race have all vowed to repeal the CCP, on the day of inauguration. They appear to be champing at the bit to do so.

Scalia was at a hunting lodge when he bit the bullet. Maybe it was that other Supreme Court’s punishment for killing some of His helpless creatures, as if letting the planet sink in a mire of toxicity and rising seas were not criminal enough.

The Senate, which has final approval of the nominated justices has been given a command by their General, Mitch (Make Him a One-Term President) McConnell: Stall, stall, stall, with the hope that it will delay the appointment to the next administration. Many Republican voices are echoing a statement that has no basis in reality (what else is new?). Lame ducks should not make Supreme Court appointments. Maybe Marco Rubio should observe the rule, “You’re entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts.” As this Politifact article confirms, conservative superman, Ronald Reagan did nominate Kennedy to the high court during the final year of his administration

Now the Republicans have a real dilemma: There is currently an even number of remaining justices on the Supreme Court. Contests ending with a 4-4 tie will have the effect of allowing lower court rulings to stand. Most of these do not serve the GOP cause. See the USA Today article for more information.

GOP Debate – One Restless Knight, Indeed

bobbyNothing makes this knight more restless than a bunch of clowns gathering on a stage, pretending to look out for the best interests of this country. CNN could have included the child’s table (held earlier that day), because what’s another four more clowns piling out of a car?

I salute CNN, not for dignifying the Presidential race by inviting fifteen cretins into Mrs. Reagan’s airplane hangar, but for the intelligence to extend the debate to enhance their revenue, which was in serious need. It reached almost 24 million viewers, almost out Foxing the previous debate.

donald Some have wondered how the President’s official jet wound up as part of the Reagan Library (including me). According to Yahoo News (which seems appropriate while fifteen Yahoos stood up on that stage): “Lobbying, in a word, is what landed this prize. At one point in his presidency, Reagan flew SAM 27000 with then-Secretary of the Air Force James McGovern. In the midst of a conversation, Reagan said, “Mr. Secretary, this is a pretty nice airplane…. Can I have it?”

I have a low attention span to begin with, but having to get through three hours of greatest barrage of lies since I went to high school, and told my parents I did not play hooky.

And speaking of ‘stretching the truth,’ these Presidential hopelesses made Pinocchio’s pinnochionose look like a tiny pimple. I think Carly Fiorina’s was so long, the camera had to move back several feet. Not that the Donald was the pinnacle of truth, nor were any of the others.
carlyEvery evil player needs a scapegoat. For Hitler it was my people, to these saviors of America, it was Planned Parenthood. Carly made a impassioned appeal to Hillary and Barack to watch a video falsely attributed to Planned Parenthood. And as one of the more intelligent audience members attested, Obama’s not even an American, let alone a Christian, so why would he care? Did any of these distinguished pretenders offer any rebuttal to that ridiculous statement? If you said, “yes,’ you weren’t watching the show, but it was very late in the evening.

It wasn’t until the fact-checkers showed up during Anderson Cooper’s summary that the lies were revealed. It would have been nice if a “Bullshit” light would flash as each lie was told, but CNN wouldn’t have been able to afford the electric bill.

CarsonThere were two medical doctors up on that stage, neither of which thought to discredit the theory that autism was caused by vaccines. Ben Carson, who has made spectacular claims of his own, like “Obamacare was therand worst thing to happen to America since slavery,” must have been out of town (or off the planet) during the Vietnam and Gulf wars. The other doctor, the poster child for Better Haircuts of America, Rand M Poll (married to Marge N O’vera) conveniently forgot to challenge the remarks of Mr. Bridgegate , the rotund, proud defunder of New Jersey Planned Parenthood.

cristieFinally, taking lying to a new level, the Donald shouted down Jeb’s claim that he, Jeb, prevented Trump from getting casinos in Florida (what was Jeb smoking when he posed for that picture?). Sorry, Donald, just because you said it, it doesn’t make it true, in fact it usually makes it patently false. Donald insisted that if he did want those casinos, Florida would have had them. The proof lies in the fact that they are not in Florida, therefore Trump didn’t want them there. Donald has been consistently denying that four of his companies filed for bankruptcy. Why would this self-made success ever need to declare insolvency? Does self-made include those who were born with silver spoons in their mouths? Trump’s father was a successful real estate developer in New York, when Donald was a gleam in his mother’s eye. I can imagine what that gleam turned into, once that clown emerged from the womb.

Playing the Trump Card

Stepping off his space ship to an eager crowd of paid actors, the world’s most apprentice-firing candidate announces that another name has been added to the highly over-populated field of Republican Presidential contenders.trumpHair

This brings to the total number of GOP hopefuls to 25. Yes I said 25! Before you run out and celebrate, the process of adding still more to this number has not yet been completed. There are others who have not yet declared their candidacy (to learn more, click on this link). But getting back to my celebration of top comb-over Donald joining with such notables as other previous losers, Huckabee, Santorum and Perry, just to name a few.

Now that Mr. Obama, and his phony claims to being born on U.S. soil, will no longer serve as fodder for the Donald’s rants, The Donald will have to focus on the main Democratic contender, Hillary, who, if memory serves, hails from Outer Mongolia. The fact that the devilishly handsome Trump comes from Mars doesn’t seem to stick in his memory. For someone whose place of birth is 140,000 miles from our planet, he speaks English remarkably well—so well, in fact, that he was able to utter this complete sentence: “I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created.”

For those of you who still believe in the existence of a Supreme Being (other than Donald Trump), isn’t a little difficult to cotton to the fact that in His infinite wisdom, this is the President He has anointed?

Trump’s not the only candidate that has the Heavenly blessing. He is joined, among others, by John Dummet, Jr., a man who truly lives up to his name. Dummet, too, proudly espouses that leaders require God’s guidance, and that Gay Marriage and women’s right to choose should be outlawed, because they go against Judeo-Christian beliefs. Conveniently forgetting that most of the nation’s founders were deists and not theists, he insists that we must practice politics with the same intent and religious dedication as they allegedly did. He also believes that the founders signed onto a Constitution that should never be amended, because they were prescient enough to know how technology would advance 228 years later. But I digress yet again.

“Love him or hate him, Trump is a man who is certain about what he wants and sets out to get it, no holds barred. Women find his power almost as much of a turn-on as his money.”

Now this would be a great quote, except that it was made by Trump himself. And ladies, if you didn’t believe it before, you definitely should, now.

“The second-greatest day of a man’s life is the day he buys a yacht, but the greatest day of a man’s life is the day he sells it.”

The above quote was specifically aimed at people on food stamps. If the man knows anything, it’s his audience.

Finally, the Donald has the perfect solution for America’s financial woes. Declare bankruptcy. He did it (twice), and it didn’t stop his 2 million dollars a year checks from coming.

To further his candidacy, Donald will be appearing next Sunday on Disgrace the Nation.

Pig Out

About 12 years ago, I decided to eliminate pork (as well as all other mammals) from my diet. The decision was done for several reasons, not the least of which was the inhumane keeping of factory farm animals.

We now know (or should) that the cost to maintain animals to feed humans is unsustainable. As populations rise and attain affluence, people, unsurprisingly, want what the wealthiest societies have enjoyed for years. The problem is that the world is becoming a very different place than it was only a few years back.

When it became common for people to purchase meat from butchers and grocery stores, the Earth’s population was under two billion people, staying relatively consistent for about a century. As this graph shows, population took a meteoric rise, and now is estimated to have reached seven billion. world-population-1820-to-2010

As increases in population continue, people begin to replace arable land, further restricting food growing possibilities.  It takes acre upon acre of land, not to mention scarce water, to produce the feed for the animals humans consume. Based on the inevitable outcome of continuing this practice, wouldn’t to make so much more sense to focus on vegetables (and others – see below)?

What prompted me to write this post was the restless night I had after listening to an interview on Terry Gross’ Fresh Air. I was already aware of most of the things that were discussed on the subject of cruelty to factory-farmed pigs. What I did not realize is that pigs are highly sensitive and intelligent animals (which is more than we can say for many Americans). The next time you call someone a pig, it could be considered a compliment.

I’m supplying a link to this podcast, which might be painful for some to listen to. But it might just cure you of your desire to consume pork, and even make you think about giving up, or at least reducing, your consumption of animals. http://www.npr.org/templates/rss/podlayer.php?id=13

There are still places where animals are farmed humanely, and certainly organics eliminate the fear of additives like hormones and antibiotics that are routinely fed to factory farmed animals.  But when meat is ordered in a restaurant, in most cases the public has no idea of the conditions the animal they’re about to consume has had to endure, or what’s  been put into their feed. This makes a further case for reduction of those sources of protein in your diet.

I alluded to other forms of protein which are already showing up in restaurants, on grocery shelves and mail order. If I had made the suggestion that we should become insectivores a few years back, you would have laughed me out of the room. But entomophagy is emerging.
http://www.insectsarefood.com/what_is_entomophagy.html The consumption of tarantulas and centipedes has existed in other places in the world for centuries. according to the website shown in the above link, there are almost 1,500 species of edible insects in the world. Their consumption has many advantages over traditional meat-eating, without most of the drawbacks:
A. It takes a minuscule amount of water to raise a pound of crickets, vs the hundreds of liters for all mammals
B. Insects have a huge protein to fat ratio, which cannot be said of mammals
C. It doesn’t seem quite as cruel to kill those creatures as it does the pig or others (listen to that podcast!)
D. No additives that could actually harm you and your children are needed to add insects to our food supply
E. A decent cook could easily add the flavorings needed to make this a gourmet meal.

Another industry of the near future is protein made in a laboratory, cloned from mammals. No pig, cow or goat is forced to live in a cell barely large enough to hold it. Once the texture and flavor of your favorite hamburger can transferred to you lab-burger, you will become a fan. As the cost of this process becomes competitive with traditional meat-rearing, you may never want some corporate farmer to torture another animal again.

My dad was raised as a vegetarian from birth, something that was quite rare in the early part of the twentieth century. When I was growing up, I never realized what wonderful thing he was doing for his own health, and the animal population. Dad, I know you can’t hear me now, but I think you would be proud of this stand that I take.

Religion and Another Restless Night

Yet another restless night over religions competing for which one is the cruelest (and dumbest).

At the moment, it’s not much of a standoff. Islam, “the religion of piece”, seems to want to tear the world to pieces. Of course, they did have some great western examples to emulate. President Obama was not far off when he made similar comparisons.

Against his argument, it has been pointed out that the sins of the Inquisition happened hundreds of years ago, and Christians would never commit these acts today. Am I remembering incorrectly men in white robes and hoods stringing up men in black skin – and doing it in the name of Jesus? The sin of child rape, committed by men of the cloth, still happens to this day. And the perpetrators get the slap on the wrist penalty of being sent to another diocese, never seeing the inside of a prison (sort of like banking executives).

While child molestation doesn’t quite compare with video-recorded beheadings (and worse- if you can even imagine anything worse), it’s still inexcusable. If the best Pope EVER is truly to hold that title, he needs to fix the problem yesterday, if not sooner. To his credit, he has removed several controlling members of the Vatican Bank, resulting from money-laundering allegations.

Wait, I’m not quite done citing other abuses committed in the alleged Christian God’s name, such as Srebrenica massacre of 1995, where thousands of men and boys were brutally slaughtered by those charming Eastern Orthodox Serbs (they were only following orders). This story was covered by the late CBS reporter, Bob Simon on a special edition of 60 Minutes. What about the punishment of homosexual behavior with long prison sentences, and in some cases, death? How about forcing a woman to bear a child she doesn’t want, and/or can’t afford? “God hates abortions,” say these guardians of justice, “He told me so Himself.”

Even the peaceful Buddhists have committed violent acts. Yes, hard to believe, but you can check it out

One of the ways we can stop the likes of ISIS or ISIL is to stop invading countries to control their oil supply, while claiming to stop its nuclear threat. AngelSadamSaddam was certainly no angel (and probably still isn’t – we’ve searched all of heaven, and he’s nowhere to be found), but is Iraq better now than when it was under the Hussein domain? And what about Bashar? Again, not a very nice guy, but by weakening him, we strengthen his opposition in Syria, which includes the religious fanatics I referenced in paragraph 2.

All faiths need to reform, and occupy a place in the twenty-first century (CE, not BCE). They can continue to delude themselves, but punishing apostates with death is just unacceptable. Adopting the latest fashion in suicide vests does little to bring world peace. Birth control would limit poor populations, and thus be a plus.

The Two-party System

What is wrong with our two-party system? A better question would be, “What is right with it?” November 4th is just around the corner, after which, according to the experts of punditry, both houses of Congress will be firmly in the hands of Republicans. This prospect makes the Restless Knight still more restless, and has, in fact, driven him back to this blog after a several month absence.

Most of the electorate is either too blind to notice our elected leaders in action (or should I say, inaction), too ignorant or too apathetic. Either excuse for allowing the status quo is, frankly, inexcusable.

For the upcoming election I’ve been practicing the craft of filling in a ballot and holding my nose at the same time. The differences between the party mascotted by an elephant and the one represented by an ass are too few to tally. Because of American election finance laws, unique among democracies, taking money from special interests is the only chance a candidate has of keeping up with the negative campaigning of his or her opponent. In my state of Florida, the airwaves are deluged with a constant barrage of campaign nastiness, although the words, “Governor Scott – too shady for the Sunshine State”, do have resonance.

I wish I could remember the name of the skeptic who said, and I’m paraphrasing, “the only difference between a dictatorship and American democracy is that we get one more ballot choice the than they do.”

Others have asked, “Why vote? It only encourages the bastards.”

A minority of Americans vote in so-called ‘off year elections’; a few more in Presidential contests. One reason for the shameful turnout vs. other democracies is our failure to become involved in the primary process, where the really important decisions are made. This lack of public participation lets the vested interests dictate those narrow choices that will appear on your ballot.

DarrellIssa

What Congressman Darrel Issa (R. California) would look like on the House floor

You have seen Nascar events where the participants display the logos of their supporters emblazoned on their uniforms. This leaves no doubt in the viewer’s mind which corporation is backing which driver. I know I’ve said this before, but elected officials should be forced to don similar patches on their clothing to indicate the special interests that want to see them succeed. Do you think it’s the spirit of democracy that makes them contribute? Or is it the donation of cash for the specific purpose of having that elected official support that corporation’s (or individual’s) agenda?

Both parties expend much energy narrowing the field of those participating in debates. You won’t see independents on the debate stage. Candidates must toe the line of their party’s ideology, or be excluded from the process. This allows you to hear what the parties want you to, and not what might be in our best interests. The process further damages the democratic process by limiting running choices. Candidates need lots of cash to be viable, and without party backing the odds of being competitive with the chosen ones are Slim and None, and Slim has already left town.

A Proposed Solution

Kickstarter is a funding platform to raise money for a specific cause, such as starting a business. As its name suggests, it ‘kickstarts’ a project by raising cash needed to launch whatever your project happens to be. The projectee “partners” with individuals and all benefit from the results IF the project succeeds. What if you knew of a potential candidate for political office, whose principles you share, but hasn’t the faintest chance of getting on a ballot due to what I mentioned above? Or if your ideals call out to you to run for office yourself, but you see the futility of attempting to be accepted by a major party, couldn’t ‘kickstarting’ be an obvious choice?

GrowlerWerks

Why not kickstart a political campaign? If Growlerwerks can raise enough money to place fresh, cold, carbonated beer on the market, why can’t we launch the Presidential Campaign of a Bernie Saunders (one of the rare honest politicians), who has no chance to get party backing?

My thanks to Dan Carlin and his Common Sense podcast for planting this idea in my head.

If you have a better solution, the Restless Knight would love to hear from you.

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