Saturday, January 21, 2017

Hitler is Offended, Trump Thinks Crowds Are Huge


 I believe, owner of the Professional Wrestling Whatever 
and Trump nominee for Education Secretary

It does sweem to be time for this again.

First, the editor of NeinQuarterly says that "Hitler is getting angry at being compared to Trump," so cut it out!

We are now told that the best weapon we have against Trump is comedy.  Seems he lives in fear of comedians.  At least, that's Michael Moore's take on it.  So, perhaps it is worth a review of some of the funnier things about his administration (sounds funny already).

The first problem with this is the valuable advice given decades ago by Bernard Shaw: "I always tell the truth. It's the funniest joke ever."  So, we can just report, you decide.

Perhaps the hearings of Trump's nominees are a good place to start.  Betsey DeVoss is the star of this hearing, and quite clearly knows almost nothing about education.  This is a good start, because one would think that she then has no nonsense to unlearn.  However, as head of the WWE, and sister to Eric Prince (of Blackwater infamy), she wants to privatize the public school system.  Now this does not mean allow private K-12 schools to exist, but to take taxpayers' money and give it to religious institutions.

The two most pertinent senators questioning her were Bernie Sanders and Al Franken.  Sanders set her up by asking if she seriously thought she would even be there is she had not given so much money to Republican politicians.  She said yes, meaning she was qualified and knowledgeable.  

Then Franken asked her where she stood on the debate between proficiency and growth.  Now this is an easy question for those interested in education in the K-12 realm, but is a bit confusing for those otherwise inclined.  Proficiency is simply the definition of the standards for, say, 4th, fifth, and sixth Grade levels.  How many of your students, if you are a teacher, have attained the level mandated?  If enough, you win. 

On the other hand, growth is more complicated, which perhaps is why she does not comprehend it.. If you are a fifth grade teach, and have several students who entered with a second grade proficiency and when tested after months of your teaching increase to a fourth grade level, you lose.  If one of your students enters at the sixth grade level, and you bore the shit out of him and he tests at the fifth grade level, that's fine.  Obviously, growth is more important than proficiency. 

Personally, many fellow students who achieved A level evaluations from their teachers while I did not, strangely enough did not test on standardized tests in the upper 1% as I did.  Obviously, I was less able to disguise my impatience with stupidity than fellow classmates.  But I digress.

Ringling Brothers is closing down it's circus.  Obviously, the competition from a Trump Administration is too much.

The first major debate of the new Administration is the crowd size of the inauguration.  Now, I must thank God for the rain on Trump's parade.  I mean that literally (in the correct sense of the word).  See, I asked God on Twitter to make it rain on Trumps' parade.  He asked if I wanted toads and snakes or "just the regular stuff"? I said just the regular stuff and he obliged.  Thanks again!

So, how many did show up? Not many, especially when compared to Obama's.  However, both were easily eclipsed by demonstrations around the world, London, Paris, Athens, Rome, and of course New York, Idaho (remember them?), Fargo, St. Louis, of course Chicago (go Cubs), and just about any other city.  The best sign award goes to Paris, France, of "Down with Stupidity". 

Madonna said something that offended news channels, but I didn't hear what it was.  What the fuck did she say?  Any ideas? Ah, piss on it.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Trump's Intelligence Report


So much fuss over this, we thought we'd put part of it online here.  It's also available in full (pdf format) at BUZZFEED.      It is clearly labeled somewhere as "disinformation," and what in our corporate is not disinformation?  At any rate, what the hell?  Why not?  It is kinda funny at least.

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Putin, Trump, Russia, hacking, Absurdity


Our New President – Congratulations, American Political System.

In October of 2016, the impossible happened.  The Cubs (founded in 1896 as the White Stockings) won a world series.  Chicago  had enjoyed gloating at the effete fans in Boston complaining about the curse of Babe Ruth who was traded to the Yankees to fund a musical.  Really, how could that possible compare to a curse on behalf of a goat?[1]  Clearly, we had things more substantial.  Well, the last time the Cubs even got into a series, we dropped the Atom on Japan (all of this in previous editions).  So what horrible catastrophe could the United States come up with to counter that?  Easy, Donald Trump is now President.   He is the latest in a series of people, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and Donald Trump.  Fits right in.

We have not bothered with an edition for 2017 for several reasons.  During past administrations, many absurdities occurred that were not obvious to everyone.  For example, we had a President, a Noble Peace Prize Laureate, who had a hit list including American Citizens, that he pondered each Tuesday.  There are others, such as Bush the Younger with an Oedipus complex that resulted in a catastrophic war in the Mid-East that leaves it unstable for the foreseeable future.  Dan Quayle and Sarah Palin were delightful absurdities in their own right.

Recently, however, there have been so many obvious absurdities that it seemed redundant and overwhelming to us to point them out.  However, the time has come and so we must proceed.  Before going any further, we feel obligated to point out that we are very old fashioned here.  Even though FACT has been assailed ruthlessly for about two years now, it is only with the election that it has died as relevant in any contemporary discussion.  We still find them (facts) useful, however, so we will use facts anyway in this post-fact era.

Our first prediction is that the entire United States, in the middle of the daylight hours, and the United States only, the sun will go out.  That's right, no sun during one day in the month of August when the Baseball season is in full gear.

There is perhaps one valid reason to suspect that Vladimir Putin wanted to see Donald Trump elected President of the United States.  Suppose you were Vlad.  In 2011-12, he was running again for President of Russia.  Hillary orchestrated a massive campaign to stir up opposition against him, including "fake news".  Now, after the ridiculous and petty sanctions levied against Russia and numerous moves involving NATO and Syria, Russia cannot think kindly of the United States.

Most other countries, at least in the "Northern" area, are quite relieved NOT to have Hillary Clinton to deal with.  Iraq, Libya, the refugee crisis, ISIS, collapse of European Union, etc., are all somehow linked to her.  There is even a tape of her saying to another NATO leader "I think Yaz would be good for us" in reference to Ukraine.

Now, what better way to make the United States the laughing stock of the entire world than to have Donald Trump as its President?  Anything that the U.S. did could easily be explained as ridiculous, meaning deserving of utter ridicule, than to say

"Well, after all, its people elected Donald Trump as their President, the guy who is going to build a wall against Mexico and thinks Mexico will pay for it, says Mexicans are rapists, that Muslims should not be allowed to enter the country (which should give you an indea of how meaningful to so-called bill of Rights is), wants to give nuclear weapons to South Korea, Japan, Indonesia, and any other country that might need them, and who thinks they should have a nuclear war because they actually have nuclear weapons,"

On the other hand, there are many reasons to doubt much of this.

Let us start with the hacking of John Podesta's e-mail account.  Julian Assange has pointed out that Podesta's password was PASSWORD.  You may sputter in astonishment, but I can believe it.  John is not the sharpest techno nerd around Washington.  In addition, the security flaws that allowed the hacks of the DNC that revealed the orchestration to exclude any challengers to Hillary Clinton were actually told to the DNC by the FBI BEFORE the serious stuff came out.  They ignored the warnings.

One final word about Wikileaks: it has NEVER told us of anything we did not already know or at the very least suspect and mention here at the Absurd Times.  It only provided graphic and unassailable documentation thereof. In addition, in a very unscientific poll, people voted over 70% to less than 30% that they place more credibility in Wilileaks than in the American Intelligence Agencies.  This seems to have started with the Gulf of Tonkin "incident" that never happened (again, you can look it up) to Saddam's collaboration with Bin Laden (they hated one another).

Now: on the Trump Administration in the "making": 

Donald Trump has made so many ridiculous appointments so far that commentary on them is a formidable task.  Therefore, we will not attempt it.  We are not mental masochists.

However, we can point out that with so many absurd appointments, there is little opportunity to examine them in any detail.  We have Jeff Sessions to become Attorney General, charged with enforcing civil rights violations, a man who is at best an unrepentant version of the George Wallace of the pre-voting rights days.  We hesitate to call him a white supremacist except in the sense that Dylan Roof is one.  There is nothing at all supreme about him.  One need only see videos of him wearing a Gold's Gym t-shirt.  Gold's gym used to be associated with top bodybuilders during the 70s and 80s.  It then became a chain and bears as much similarity to that association as Starbucks is to the quiet coffeehouses of the Bohemian and Beat life style of the artistic life of the 40s through the early 60s.

One of the more amusing appointees is Rick Perry, appointed to head up the EPA, the Nixon-created Environmental Protection Agency (appointed to deflect attention from some other problems that nobody paid attention to).  Perry announced that he wanted to abolish the agency, but famously could not remember its name during a debate.  This appointment is notable as it may be benign as Mr. Governor Perry (Texas) may be expected to forget what agency it is he is supposed to run and simply wander around the streets of D.C. looking for gum or praying for rain as was his wont in Texas.

Inside of all this mess, there is actually one sane choice, but he was chosen for the wrong reason.  The Ambassador to Russia, Mr. Exxon himself, Billionaire, has been appointed.  The reason he is a fitting choice is the same as was given for the ancient Averill Harriman – a rich capitalist can be trusted to be speaking for the United States in Moscow and the Russians will certainly believe that he speaks with some authority as that is the sort of person who has any influence in this country.

Otherwise, there is not much to say.  We leave you to ponder your post-fact life.  We will return when something amuses, but rest assured that Godot is not coming.

[1] Some may have trouble with some of the names listed here.  We refer those people to Wikipedia that will at least identify them quickly and give background.  "Wiki" means "internet" in Latin, after all. [Editor's note: we are constantly amazed at the reaction to this bit of information.  Some will smile, many will simply pass over it as irrelevant, and once is a great while, someone will point out that there was no internet during Roman times.  This is the state of awareness of the public these days.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016




Are not things bad enough for the Palestinians without Donald Trump?  When he said that he though a more "neutral" position in regard to Israel would be better, no one suspected that he meant the elimination of Palestine altogether.  After all, it is much easier to be "neutral" as a mediator when one of the parties is neutralized.

All of Trump's so far have been against the purpose of the agency for which they have been proposed.  Perry may be a possible exception as he may forget which agency he is supposed to run and simply not show up.  Isn't the Department of Energy still in control of nuclear weapons:

The DOE/NNSA has federal responsibility for the design, testing and production of all nuclear weapons. NNSA in turn uses contractors to carry out its responsibilities at the following government owned sites:
·                    Design of the nuclear components of the weapon: Los Alamos National Laboratory and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
·                    Engineering of the weapon systems: Sandia National Laboratories
·                    Manufacturing of key components: Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Kansas City Plant, and Y-12 National Security Complex
·                    Testing: Nevada Test Site
·                    Final weapon/warhead assembling/dismantling: Pantex

Perhaps Rick Perry is not all that familiar with nuclear mechanics?  How cares?  Maybe we could just set a bunch off and end this whole farce.

Well, all of Trump's appointments have been as bad, or worse.  None, however, is so outrageous as his appointment of the next U.S. Ambassador to Israel, a man to the right on Nit wit yahoo, and who gives anti-Semitism a bad name.  So far (btw.), I am not aware of a word from Alan Derschowitz on the subject. 

You all realize by now that his election was made possible by the DNC appointing Hillary as its candidate rather than Sanders.  The DNC needs drastic changes too numerous to list here, but elimination the "Super Delegates" would be a good start.  A Progressive head of the DNC would help. 

What follows is a very important discussion of the subject that probably better get out before Trump takes over and shuts down any media:

President-elect Donald Trump is facing widespread criticism for picking David Friedman to be the next U.S. ambassador to Israel. For years, Friedman has served as president of American Friends of Beit El Institutions, which has raised millions of dollars to support illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank. Friedman, who has no diplomatic experience, has also worked as a bankruptcy attorney for Trump for the past 15 years. He supports Israel's Jewish-only settlements in the occupied West Bank and says he doesn't think it would be illegal for Israel to annex the entire Palestinian territory, despite the fact that it would be blatantly illegal under international law. During the presidential campaign, Friedman also said he opposes a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine. For more, we're joined by Rebecca Vilkomerson, executive director of Jewish Voice for Peace, and Mustafa Barghouti, leader of the Palestinian National Initiative and a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council.

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.
AMY GOODMAN: President-elect Donald Trump is facing widespread criticism for picking David Friedman to be the next U.S. ambassador to Israel. For years, Friedman has served as president of American Friends of Beit El Institutions, which has raised millions of dollars to support illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank. According to a tax filing, Trump donated $10,000 to the group in 2003. Friedman, who has no diplomatic experience, has also worked as a bankruptcy attorney for Trump for the past 15 years. He supports Israel's Jewish-only settlements in the occupied West Bank and says he doesn't think it would be illegal for Israel to annex the entire Palestinian territory—despite the fact that it would be blatantly illegal under international law. During the presidential campaign, Friedman also said he opposes a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine.
DAVID FRIEDMAN: A Trump administration will never pressure Israel into a two-state solution or any other solution that is against the wishes of the Israeli people.
AMY GOODMAN: In accepting Donald Trump's nomination, David Friedman said in a statement he aimed to, quote, "strengthen the bond between our two countries and advance the cause of peace within the region, and look forward to doing this from the US embassy in Israel's eternal capital, Jerusalem," unquote.
But Trump has been widely criticized for selecting Friedman. Daniel Kurtzer, who served President George W. Bush as ambassador to Israel, said, quote, "[Friedman] has made clear that he will appeal to a small minority of Israeli—and American—extremists, ignoring the majority of Israelis who continue to seek peace. Friedman's appointment as ambassador runs directly contrary to Mr. Trump's professed desire to make the 'ultimate deal' between Israelis and Palestinians," he said. The liberal advocacy group J Street said, quote, "This nomination is reckless, putting America's reputation in the region and credibility around the world at risk."
We're joined now by two guests. Here in New York, Rebecca Vilkomerson is with us, executive director of Jewish Voice for Peace. Joining us from France, Mustafa Barghouti, leader of the Palestine National Initiative, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council.
We welcome you both to Democracy Now! Rebecca Vilkomerson, your first response when you heard that Trump had nominated his bankruptcy lawyer, David Friedman, to be the U.S. ambassador to Israel?
REBECCA VILKOMERSON: Yeah, I think this appointment, or this appointment which needs to still be confirmed, of course, confirms our worst fears about what the Trump administration intends in terms of its approach to Israel-Palestine. Mr. Friedman is to the extreme right of—even in Israel, he's to the right of Prime Minister Netanyahu. And I think that this really confirms that Trump's approach to Israel-Palestine is going to really reinforce apartheid, promote annexation and not show any concern for the rights of Palestinians or for Israelis who really want peace.
AMY GOODMAN: Can you explain what his positions have been over time? Is he someone that you have focused for—focused on at Jewish Voice for Peace?
REBECCA VILKOMERSON: You know, we haven't focused on him, because he hasn't been a public figure. He's a bankruptcy lawyer, like you said. He's the president of something called the Friends of Beit El. Beit El is a very extreme settlement in the West Bank. He raises money specifically for this settlement. That, of course, goes in the face of decades of U.S. policy, or at least, you know, their supposed policy against settlements. Now, there is an argument to be made that this sort of rips the mask off of U.S. policy, because U.S. policy has been to condemn settlements while continually—continuing to financially support Israel. But I think the human cost is going to be extremely great, and we can expect that the Netanyahu government is going to try to take advantage of this appointment to really continue to push its policies of annexation and to continue to assault the rights of Palestinians.
AMY GOODMAN: I want to go to David Friedman in his own words. In October, he was interviewed on the Israeli network i24news.
NURIT ZUNGER: Will Donald Trump recognize Jerusalem as Israel's sole capital?
DAVID FRIEDMAN: Yes. He said that countless times, that he will recognize the city of Jerusalem as Israel's eternal capital. And he'll move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
NURIT ZUNGER: All right. So, Trump's policies, as far as the Israeli Jewish American voter, why should Israeli voters, Israeli-American voters, vote for Trump?
DAVID FRIEDMAN: Well, if those who want to see a strong relationship between Israel and the United States with no daylight, those who want to see Israel protected at the United Nations, those who want to see the strongest level of military and strategic cooperation between the two countries, those who don't want to see any daylight between the two countries, those that want to live in an environment where the United States doesn't attempt to impose upon Israel a solution to the Palestinian conflict against the state of Israel, those that want to see Jerusalem recognized as the capital of Israel, you know, vote for Donald Trump.
AMY GOODMAN: So, that is David Friedman in October. I wanted to turn to Mustafa Barghouti, leader of the Palestine National Initiative and a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council. First respond to what he's talking about, moving the capital—moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and the significance of this, and then your response to his nomination.
MUSTAFA BARGHOUTI: Well, when he speaks about moving the embassy to Jerusalem and recognizing Jerusalem as a unified capital of Israel, he is practically—he and the American administration will be participating in the violation of international law. And that law says that no country can annex other people's country, other people's land by force. East Jerusalem is not recognized as part of Israel, and its annexation was considered by so many different U.N. resolutions as illegal. And by saying that he's moving the embassy there, he's practically participating in not only violating the international law, but also in violating a major international principle that has governed relations between countries since the Second World War, which is that it is inadmissible and unacceptable to allow any country to annex other people's territory by force.
More than that, I think his appointment is a very serious not only mistake and a reckless act, but I would say, since he's a specialist in bankruptcy, probably it is a bankrupt decision, because this would mean that the United States is sending a very clear message that it is totally biased to Israel, and not only to Israel, but actually totally biased to the most extreme elements in Israel. If you appoint a person who's supporting illegal settlements, which is, again, a violation of international laws, if you support the appointment of a person that is against the two-state solution and allowing Palestinians to have their own independent state, this means you are supporting the appointing a person who is against peace. And definitely, this would send very bad and very dangerous message to Palestinians, to the Arabs, to the Muslims, to the whole world, to the whole world community, that the United States can no more and can never claim that it can play a positive role in any peaceful process or in any effort for two-state solution. This would mean that the United States is not only against Palestinians and their legitimate rights, but it would mean that the United States and its embassy in Tel Aviv—or in Jerusalem, if he moves it there—is going to be an embassy of a state that is against moderate even Israelis and against Israelis who want to have peace and who want to have stability in the region. This is a very dangerous move. It is irresponsible. And it would mean that the United States is also participating in violating international—the decision of the International Court of Justice, which said that every settlement in the Occupied Territories is illegal, the annexation of Jerusalem is illegal and that all these actions by Israel should be reversed according to international law.
AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to turn to some comments David Friedman has made about Jewish groups in the United States. He has frequently attacked liberal Jewish groups here, including the advocacy group J Street, comparing supporters of the institution to kapos—Jewish concentration camp prisoners who were forced to collaborate with the Nazis during the Holocaust. In a piece published in June, he said J Street supporters were actually worse, writing, quote, "The kapos faced extraordinary cruelty and who knows what any of us would have done under those circumstances to save a loved one? But J Street? They are just smug advocates of Israel's destruction delivered from the comfort of their secure American sofas—it's hard to imagine anyone worse," Friedman said. Well, on Friday, J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami appeared on MSNBC.
JEREMY BEN-AMI: It's dangerous and reckless for the president of the United States to put somebody who has shown an inability to have a civil discussion without immediately resorting to name-calling about the people that he disagrees with. There's going to be a real split in the sort of institutional life of the American Jewish community. There are organizations that will go along with the leadership in this country and the leadership in that country, despite the fact that a majority of Jewish Americans in both countries don't agree with the policies that are being implemented. And this is a real crisis in American Jewish leadership.
AMY GOODMAN: That's J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami. Rebecca Vilkomerson?
REBECCA VILKOMERSON: Yeah, I mean, the kind of language that David Friedman is using about a big swath of the Jewish community is just reprehensible. It's absolutely unacceptable. And the idea this is a person who's going to be a diplomat representing the United States is, you know, really kind of absurd. And I think what's really distressing is that—the idea that Donald Trump has selected this person to represent U.S. interests, when clearly he's not going to be representing at all what we know to be the majority of the American Jewish community.
And he's used similar language, I have to say, about Muslims and Arabs. He speaks about Arabs in very broad terms. He has attacked Huma Abedin just because of her heritage. And so, he's someone who, you know, has really expressed prejudice at every turn, offensive—you know, I'm not as concerned about the offensive language as I am about the policies, but in terms of what it reflects about how he's going to approach his job, it just seems that he's completely temperamentally not suited, but also he's promoting these really, really dangerous policies.
AMY GOODMAN: At a Trump rally in Jerusalem in October, David Friedman claimed that top Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin had close connections to the Muslim Brotherhood.
DAVID FRIEDMAN: How about her friends? You know, you tell a lot about people from who they hang around with. Who does Hillary Clinton get her advice from?
AUDIENCE MEMBER 1: George Soros!
DAVID FRIEDMAN: George Soros, good, good.
AUDIENCE MEMBER 1: George Soros!
DAVID FRIEDMAN: Got it. I got it. George Soros. Good. You're right. George Soros. Sidney Blumenthal, Max Blumenthal—Max Blumenthal, one of the most vile, anti-Israel haters on the face of the Earth. What about—
DAVID FRIEDMAN: Grew up in Saudi Arabia, close connections to the Muslim Brotherhood.
AUDIENCE MEMBER 1: And al-Qaeda.
DAVID FRIEDMAN: And al-Qaeda, right.
AMY GOODMAN: So, that was David Friedman saying that Hillary Clinton's top aide, Huma Abedin, not only related to the Muslim Brotherhood, but al-Qaeda. Rebecca?
REBECCA VILKOMERSON: Yeah, I mean, it's hard to know what to say. I mean, this is just unprecedented territory that we have someone who's supposed to be an ambassador to a country, that's supposed to represent all the citizens of the United States and also be there to—you know, in a region that's known for its long history of volatility and that is in desperate need of a peace process that's going to bring rights to Palestinians and peace for Israelis and Palestinians together, that, you know, he's using this kind of language. It just seems that it would be impossible that there would be any kind of positive movement. And I think we can expect exactly the opposite.
The only thing I can hope for is that this will help to organize opposition to Donald Trump, because we do know, from the last few years, that more and more Americans are supporting Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions. And like Mustafa Barghouti said, this is going to put the United States really at odds with the rest of the world. And so, the global movement of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel, especially if Israel continues its policies of annexation, which it seems like it's going to have free range to do under this government, will help strengthen that movement and help, ultimately, to advance the movement for Palestinians. But that is a—that's a very small comfort at this point.
AMY GOODMAN: And which goes to this issue of the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act and your concerns about it.
REBECCA VILKOMERSON: Yeah. So, the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act was introduced into the Senate a couple of weeks ago, and it passed by unanimous consent on the same afternoon as it was introduced in the morning. And this was an act that was introduced by—that AIPAC and the ADL helped introduce. And it's, you know, the culmination of several years of attempts to legislate the definition of "anti-Semitism" to include criticism of Israel, which is an enormous free speech issue. And it's really an attack—this is specifically how the Department of Education would define "anti-Semitism" on campuses. So what it's really trying to do is legislate the suppression of the movement for Palestinian rights on campuses. And in some ways maybe it's a compliment to the movement and its growing strength. But again, it's a big—it's a big assault on free speech and on the ability to fight for these rights. And I think that we were—we were able to organize enough opposition that it didn't get heard in Congress, although it was introduced in the House later, and so we'll see what happens in the next session. But these are the sorts of things that we expect to continue to see going into the Trump administration.
AMY GOODMAN: David Friedman has said colleges are generally being far too lenient in allowing the pro-Palestinian community to deprive those in the pro-Israel camp of their First Amendment right to free speech. This is a serious constitutional deprivation, so it is something that must be looked at."
REBECCA VILKOMERSON: Yeah, I mean, that's—you know, these are the sort of policies I think we're going to have to expect in the Trump administration. We're all going to have to be really prepared to fight them.
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