Friday, July 31, 2015

Donald Trump is NOT Running for President

Donald Trump may or may not be a good businessman. (See multiple bankruptcies). But he is damn good at getting rich, which is why he is pseudo-running for President.

That's right folks, The Donald and several other republican candidates, are not actually in the race to win it. The presidential primaries have become a get rich quick scheme.

Let's start with the Political Action Committees (PACs). Here's all you need to know about PACs, they can make unlimited contributions in and out of the electoral process independently of a candidate or a political party. Even though a PAC calls itself  something uplifting and patriotic, there just money pits for the candidates to plunder.

Here are just a few of the current PACs:

Opportunity and Freedom (Rick Perry)
Keep the Promise (Ted Cruz) -there are 3 of these to spread out the donations
Pursuing America's Greatness (Mike Huckabee)
Our American Revival (Scott Walker)
America Leads (Chris Christie)
Right to Rise (Jeb Bush) - shouldn't it be: The Right Shall Rise Again
Make American Great Again (Trump) Wait! You thought he was using his own money?

You see if you don't get the nomination, as 20 or so candidates with PACs will not, then the money can be spent on other things. Remember the PAC can make "unlimited contributions in or OUT of the electoral process." So, lose the nomination and then after a much needed vacation, which the PAC will pay for; you go on a speaking tour. Say ten speeches at $100K each, that's a cool million. Who pays that much for a speech from a loser? How about your PAC.

Then we have the book deals. You (ghost)write a book, sell thousands of copies to your PAC, which makes your book a best-seller. Then have the PAC give them away at your rallies, which creates a tax write-off for your PAC. Want an example?

Ben Carson a black republican without the street cred of Colin Powell and no chance in hell of winning the nomination. He's a black republican!  A couple of his books -- One Nation: What We Can All Do to Save America's Future and America the Beautiful: Rediscovering What Made This Nation Great currently an Amazon #1 in the Civics category. Plus you can get a "free" copy of Dr. Carson's autobiography, if you donate $25 to his campaign. Interesting use of the term -- free.

My point? Follow the Money. Donald Trump knows how to get rich and he is making a fortune off his bogus run for the republican nomination. Why bogus? Because nearly 70% of the electorate have already said they wouldn't vote for him under any circumstances. 

So why run? 

Besides being good for his enormous ego, it's really just because he can. The other reason is money. Donald Trump will come out of this charade richer than he went in and so will at least a dozen other "candidate$." Hillary did it in 2008 or did you miss that little bit of information.

So while The Donald is crushing the polls 15 months before the election in a field that no longer resembles a clown car but has bloated to a boatload of buffoons. Mr Trump isn't getting the nomination because he ain't actually running for president.

Friday, July 24, 2015

First World Wonders

I'm going to go out on a small limb and say that you would not hear any of my friends or acquaintances refer to me as a complainer. A ranter, yes. A critic, sure. And, most descriptively, a connoisseur of certain tastes, flavors and sins. Top of my vice list is chocolate, in particular the many variations of chocolate ice cream.

However, for some time I have apparently been remiss in keeping up with the decadent offerings in the grocery freezer. Because . . . late one night recently, I stopped at an all-night market and drooled my way to the frozen sugar aisle. There I found the great and powerful combo of Messrs. Ben and Jerry had come up with several versions of what they are calling Core Ice Creams.

Reading the various labels risked a minor case of frost bite but just in the nip of time, I settled on Peanut Butter Fudge Core. One-half of the pint is chocolate ice cream, the other a mild peanut butter ice cream. Mixed throughout are mini-peanut better cups but in the center is a rich, dark, smooth dollop of chocolate peanut butter fudge or "The Core."

Such sweetness hath not crossed my tongue since . . . well, never you mind.

Other offerings to temp you:

Salted Caramel Core
That's My Jam Core [raspberry]
Hazed and Confused Core [hazelnut]
Karamel Sutra Core [2 kinds of caramel]
Peanut Butter Me Up Core (crunchy peanut butter chips]
Dough-ble Whammy Core
Blondie Brownie Core
Spectacular Speculoss Cookie Core [cinnamony speculoss cookies]
Boom Chocolotta Cookie Core [mocha, caramel, fudge flakes]

Those bastards at Safeway, with all their store card savings and special shopper discounts. This week Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream = $2.25 a pint.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Yes children, it really happened.

If you even "were" . . . you know where you were 46 years ago Monday.

One small footprint for man . . .

Original photo credits: NASA

p.s. the original "Earth Rise" photo up top was taken on December 24, 1968 from Apollo 8. The Moon Buggy came a few years later.

Friday, July 10, 2015

All Beliefs Are Not Equal

Please before you rant back, read to the end. There are several stalking horses and straw men set up in this post. This next paragraph comes from, the writer sets up belief as a bad thing. Maybe not bad, but certainly confining, limiting and anti-intellectual. The point is seductive.

"Believing something is not an accomplishment. I grew up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they’re really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because “strength of belief” is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you’ve made it a part of your ego. Listen to any “die-hard” conservative or liberal talk about their deepest beliefs and you are listening to somebody who will never hear what you say on any matter that matters to them — unless you believe the same. It is gratifying to speak forcefully, it is gratifying to be agreed with, and this high is what the die-hards are chasing. Wherever there is a belief, there is a closed door. Take on the beliefs that stand up to your most honest, humble scrutiny, and never be afraid to lose them."

Provocative thoughts, particularly the example of speaking with a die-hard. Someone who by implied definition would die for their beliefs. Lost in the argument are those "beliefs" that are long and well thought out. Those that reflect our true nature, our ethics and morals. True, some beliefs are actually disguised prejudice. Most certainly you see the "other guys" beliefs are just that.

I mean how can you be against two loving people being married? You must be a bigot.

How can you condone the killing of unborn children? You must be a murderer.

Where and when were beliefs and judgment so cruelly intertwined?

A very provocative point being made here by the Thought Catalog writer, one that will be instantly rejected by anyone immersed in their own belief system. The problem is some beliefs defy the obvious strictures of right and wrong, the most obvious being the taking of a life. You are not justified in killing the infidel because of his beliefs. Equally droning anyone to death because of what they believe is wrong. Actions have consequences, beliefs should not. Particularly not in the country that alleges to believe in free speech and the freedom of religion.

Black churches should not be burned to the ground. Synagogues and mosques -- ditto. On the other hand, five Catholic men on the U.S. Supreme Court should not be able to impose their religious beliefs on the uterus of every woman in this country or the rights of queer Americans. Yes, I know, I'm supposed to write LGBT Americans, but fuck PC strictures, did I happen to mention this is a free country. Next, you're going to tell me that disrespected is a real word.

Beliefs should be questioned, reconsidered; brought out into the bright light of day and the dark, contemplative shadow of night. We each should stand responsible for our own beliefs. I like to take mine out for a stroll every now and then, personally I find them best illuminated by the light of a new moon.