30 Days of Commentary

Thirty Days in the Swamp

(commentary sent via Facebook, Twitter, and Google by Richard Pressl)

3/19/2016: LGBT Issues

We have a problem Houston, and New York, and LA…and it can be seen in the LGBT issue, where the interests of the average American diverge sharply from that of the LGBT community, and which also points a challenging finger at the Democratic Party and the “Left” in general.

The “average American”, being in the majority, considers the focus of both political parties on sex matters, whether it’s abortion, same sex marriage, mixed sex bathroom facilities, et al to be a legitamized subject of concern; but by being mostly hetero they perceive the focus on LGBT issues to be distinct from their own concerns and orientation.

The perception arises that the Democratic Party political base consists only of a collection of special interest groups that fundamentally does not include “people like me”. America has a long history of bipolarism in its politics which at times in the past resulted in a consensus obtained by necessity and compromise.

This is no longer the case. As a simple examination of the failures one only need review the dysfunctional condition of our political system which feature corporate and special interest domination of political fundraising, party line voting, extremism, and elitism.

Thus, the legitimate core concerns for fairness, equality before the law, equal opportunity, and shared civility promoted by our Constitution becomes corrupted, disfigured, and potentially subject to autocratic or tyrannical forces. It has happened in countless tribes, regions, and civilizations from ancient Mesopotamia to Mississippian to Aztec cultures from pre-historic to modern times.

We have ample evidence in the animal kingdom describing what happens when the organizing framework of a society degrades past a tipping point, whether it be from pesticides, glaciation, climate change, or human interventions. Sometimes it is slow and generally imperceptible like with species extinctions, sometimes rapidly due to what are considered “natural disasters”.

As a species we collectively must begin to develop a ‘hive mentality’ if we envision a planet containing up to 10 billion humans. With that collective featuring an all-against-all, survival of the fittest mindset there can be no sustainable future for humanity that does not demand autocratic control of differentiated populations.

A meme floating around the Internet suggest, America’s future will depend on whether citizens begin to think and act as generic Americans, not as Democrats, Republicans, or members of an LGBT community.


3/18/2017: Remembering What He Said, and What He Did

* * * *

Remember when the President said he wasn’t going to take a salary? He just accepted his second paycheck .

Remember when he said Mexico was going to pay for the wall? He has asked Congress to appropriate the $25 billion of taxpayer money to cover costs 

Remember when he said he wasn’t going to go on vacation or play golf like Obama? 5 of the last 7 weekends he went on vacation and played golf, costing taxpayers $11.1 million each time. 

Remember when he said he was going to use American steel to build these dangerous pipelines? Russian steel arrived last week for the Keystone Pipeline XL. 

Remember when he said he wasn’t going to cut social security and Medicare? The Republican bill does just this. 

Remember when he said that nobody on his campaign had any communications with the Russian government? Seven of his people have now admitted they spoke and/or met with Russian officials…after they lied and got caught. 

Remember when he said he was going to divest from his businesses? Changed his mind. 

Remember when he said he was going to release his tax returns? Changed his mind. 

Remember when he said he was going to drain the swamp of Washington insiders? His cabinet is filled with lobbyists, billionaires, as well as Big Oil and Wall Street executives, many from Goldman-Sachs. Yes, THAT Goldman-Sachs. 

Remember when he said would defeat ISIS in 30 days? He doesn’t have a plan. 

Remember when he said that the Obamacare replacement would cover more people at lower cost? The AHCA that the GOP and 45 are now pushing; they now admit will cover fewer people at a higher cost, after being called out by the CBO and the OMB.

If you voted for him, please hold him accountable to what he promised you – for all of us.


Goverance: 3/17/2017

And then when a terrorist attack, created and nurtured by him, occurs and America is put on lock-down with a suspension of citizen rights…what then ? How deep can you crawl into a hole before you can’t exit out of it?

According to published reports in the MSM most Republicans are content, if not pleased, with the trajectory of America at present; while Democrats are discontented and fearful, with Independents somewhere in the middle. Perhaps it’s just that each sees only what they want to -believe- while disregarding inconvenient truths. Yup…that probably it.

My suggestion is to look at America’s trajectory from the sensibilities of other countries, other ethnicities, other cultures. What does the World community say about America’s chosen path? What do WE SAY about changes in government functioning capacity in the UK, in France, in Eastern Europe, in Russia…and do NOT say about China? Only those with severe myopia do not see the writing on the wall.

How long is it going to take before the ‘Center’ and ‘Right’ accepts this verifiable truth? What will they do when he insists we must go to War with another country? Declares martial law? Suspends Miranda warnings, or Habeus Corpus laws? I mean really…what would he have to do for these folks to protest against him?

Don’t give the bullshit artists free rent in your head !! When confronted with it, refute it briefly and succintly, and with each new appearance make the replies briefer and the condemnation stronger !

The p*ssies in the House are not going to do anything about this for two reasons: 1) they are afraid of him; 2) as long as citizens concentrate on him they are free to run the tables on their privatization and elimination of oversight schemes.

The “Founding Fathers” could not envision such duplicity in Government so they didn’t put any protections in the Constitution about it….but that does NOT mean we can’t correct the situation !!!
Repubs hold the record at being champs of the see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil monkey trio charade when it refers to “one of theirs” – and the polar opposite when the Dems are referenced.

A simple test can highlight this: ask your perp to name the five best, and/or five worst American Presidents of the past century…and watch what happens. Since we’ve had 18 POTUS in the past century I’d bet the majority will have difficulty even coming up with five appropriate names !!!

Defund the Federal Agencies charged with a task. Then pass on the task to the individual States. When the State is no longer capable of performing the task, pass it on to PRIVATE ENTERPRISE. – Does any sane person not see this plan and mechanism at work in the Republican Mindset?

The main problem with privatization is that the entities charged with providing services have only one constituent which is NOT the people being served – rather it is profit for the stakeholders – so IF private enterprises that perform public services are OWNED by the people who work there, then that would be a useful change, and would be widely supported…except by the economic rapists who love to dominate others.

And then look at the AMOUNTS…ie: 10% increase for Defense is $54 billion, but a 11.7% decrease for Interior is $1.6 billion. Pay attention to details ppl.

And don’t -believe- this one return is necessarily indicative of other years. There is some speculation that he “leaked” the return himself. Also, note that his income tax rate was 25.3% – $38m in federal taxes on more than $150m in income; while the average American will pay 19.8% of their income in federal taxes annually. Furthermore, he most certainly tightened up his accounting team to get a good-sized chunk of that back in following years !

Carl, Bill, and Neil have done a commendable job trying to encourage mental flexibility, scientific literacy, rationality, dignity, hard work, and patience while the monied interests rented out entertainment and diversions until things start to sour, and then switch over to promoting proto-fascism.

Then review the anti-social actions by Republicans in the House, and a few States. They really are out to gut the social fabric and make vulture capitalism, white male exceptionalism, and debased greed the only pillars of our society. Don’t -believe- me …. Check it out yourself !!


On Privacy Issues: 3/13/207

Use only a pre-paid disposable phone that does not have any contacts, memos, or other data on it! Also, try to depart and return to an airport more than 125 miles from any international border. Use your passport card instead of your full passport for identification purposes. Answer questions asked without providing related information: ie: “Do you know what time it is?” – “Yes”.

If you must travel with a laptop, remove the hard drive/caddy before leaving home, and carry, in a second location, a copy of Tails or other self-contained O/S on a DVD disk. Take a cheap camera with you to record interactions. Notify relatives of your departure and arrival times/dates/location and have them monitor your progress.

Consider shipping important items by DHL International for delivery to your location rather than transport them in carry-on bags. And remember, eliminate every metal object possible on your body including belts, clothing, pocket utensils, etc.


Goverance: March 12, 2017

“According to 2016 statistics compiled by the University of Virginia Center for Politics, last year 97% of House members, 93% of senators and 80% of governors were re-elected.

These stunning numbers are actually higher than average in a year when most Americans professed to hate Congress, giving it an average favorability rating of 17% for 2016.


The Wedding Industry: March 12, 2017

“The wedding industry has consistently sought to link wedding spending with long-lasting marriages. This paper is the first to examine this relationship statistically. We find that marriage duration is either not associated or inversely associated with spending on the engagement ring and wedding ceremony.

Overall, our findings provide little evidence to support the validity of the wedding industry’s general message that connects expensive weddings with positive marital outcomes.” – Anon


DNA Samples: March 11, 2017

Corporations would have the ability to “require” employees to provide DNA swab samples, and punish those who do not agree to do so. This is a lot more than drug testing! What’s next? Brain scans? Permanently implanted “health-monitoring” devices?


Trumpster Mindset: Mar 11, 2017

Trumpsters assert that Resisters don’t want to acknowledge all the good the Administration has done for America. Which reminds me of the meme saying that when both look at a fire like this they frequently come to different conclusion.

Trumpsters assert it might be an example of a “controlled burn” which is intended to remove the hazardous underbrush while Resisters suggest it is more likely a wild fire, and then point to the number of homes that were destroyed in the fire, while Trumpsters say all the evidence is not in, is an example of liberal bias, was incorrectly reported, or that at minimum we should give the Administration the benefit of doubt.


Education: Mar 10th, 2017

Even in the AP segment, the selective emphasis on Anglo sensibilities, history, and arts would be amplified under this proposed legislation; whereas what we need is MORE expansive, (not expensive), education for everyone ! Including continuing education for adults !!!


Where’s your heart: Mar  10, 2017

Ok…let’s get precise on something…actually anything now-a-days will do; but for the sake of this message let’s stick with the “hand over the heart” foolishness

…you’re probably doing it wrong as in this group which looks like a bunch of them don’t have a good idea where their heart is located…It might be a shocker for some of you, but the heart isn’t really located on the left side of your chest. It lies between the right and left lungs, in the middle of the chest and slightly towards the left of the breastbone.

And for women, putting your hand in the correct location means you don’t have to put your hand on your …er…you know…yeah, there.


On WASP exceptionalism: Mar 9, 2017

Guess what political party is supporting SB25? Guess what sex the promoter is? Guess how they self-identify themselves? – Not Sure? Lemme help: Middle Age and Old White Well-Off Evangelical ‘Christian’ Conservative Males. – Got that ? I am really, really beginning to absolutely hate anyone I see in a suit that makes them appear slimy, unctuous, or spray-painted with all that emphasis on their hair….fukdat !


Actions vs Intent: Mar 8, 2017

Just imagine if this Russia imbrication is just a ruse to allow Repubs to overturn fifty years of social progress? House Republicans are acting like that is EXACTLY what is happening. Thus it really doesn’t matter that much about INTENT, only about ACTIONS and OUTCOMES.


Rape and Sodomy on Campus: Mar 7, 2017

The proposal “seems” reasonable from the outside; but it is counter-productive in action. As proof: of the 152 rape/sodomy attacks reported in Georgia Colleges & Universities between 2010-2014, not one was criminally prosecuted.

In addition, HB51 would make it HARDER for victims to obtain ANY form of justice, and would neutralize the resources of the schools, while also making it easier for the schools to avoid liability for failure to address campus rapes.

As in: “this is a matter for the police to handle…it’s not our problem…” – thus hopefully you will see what the beneficiaries of such a law would be…and why it is being presented


On attaining wisdom: Mar 6, 2017

Lawrence Krauss wrote elsewhere that he hoped every person sometime in their life was forced to acknowledge that something they knew and believed was true was actually demonstrated to them to be false. It is only with that realization can a person begin to use their faculties to truly experience life on this planet.


On belief in Gods and Demons: Mar 6, 2017

If a person -believes- in the existence of one they must also -believe- in the existence of the other. Based on a number of surveys by Pew Research over 80% of the US population believes in angels, over 80% believe in the existence of a God, thus one must assume over 80% also believe in the existence of demons.

Compare this with the fact that almost 50% of the US population does not -believe- in evolution.

Conclusion: most people believe in things that cannot be proven, and do not believe in things that can be !!


On Freedom: Mar 3, 2017

We exalt freedom as the primary virtue and goal not only for individuals but for States as well; however the concept is viewed quite differently by different groups, and at different times. In general when we think of freedom we have in mind “a” freedom: freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, etc. This type of freedom is seen as a transcendent article of human society and is considered immutable.

However, there are two other orientations that need to be considered. Namely, the freedom “to” something: clean water, fresh air, to be secure in one’s possessions. The other is a freedom “from” something: unreasonable search and seizures, involuntary conscription to military service, etc.

With the decay of democratic processes around the World we are facing the prospect of the abridgment of the first type, where for example the Trump White House claims there neither is, nor should be, a completely “free press”, or a freedom to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.  While the compartmentalized groups in the country assert their “right to” the freedom of personal expression, such as the freedom to do almost anything not expressly forbidden by law.

What we are now seeing is the negation of the universal freedom articles, the supremacy of the freedom “to” do by and for ourselves, and the militarized force to support freedom “from” for and against others.


On “fallen heroes”: Mar 2, 2017

Would someone please tell me why an armed US Navy Seal was in Yemen in the first place? Are we at war with Yemen? And how crass is this continuing “fallen heroes” crap? Trump is just the latest twit to espouse the big lie: “Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori. We send drones, Seals, and Special OPS into Yemen, Somalia, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, and several countries in Africa to kill their citizens….and then have the gall to boast about “successes” and convert failures into this “fallen heroes” bullshit. Stop militarizing societies around the World! Find some other damn way to settle differences! Maybe like giving them food to eat, water to drink, medical care, and a safe place to sleep!


On Immigrants stealing our jobs: Feb. 28, 2017

If someone who cannot speak English, is new to our culture, and does not have some advanced training can “steal your job” it probably wasn’t much of a job to begin with


On the appeal of Trump; Feb 25, 2017

And that includes the fixation attached to the hope for a savior as exemplified in Stultus’s focus on “jobs” and unfettered Capitalism – as if the only value or merits in America revolve around money, exceptionalism, and white privilege. 

That we can ignore the racism, xenophobia, the brutishness, the incivility, the restrictions on a free press, on peaceful assembly, on petitioning the government to address the nations infrastructure shortcomings, even on gross social, economic, and political inequality as minor issues.


On open access education: Feb 27, 2017

And that includes the fixation attached to the hope for a savior as exemplified in Stultus’s focus on “jobs” and unfettered Capitalism – as if the only value or merits in America revolve around money, exceptionalism, and white privilege. 

That we can ignore the racism, xenophobia, the brutishness, the incivility, the restrictions on a free press, on peaceful assembly, on petitioning the government to address the nations infrastructure shortcomings, even on gross social, economic, and political inequality as minor issues.

 Stanford’s experiment demonstrated that several THOUSAND online students had results SUPERIOR to typical full time students. Many distance learning students had no possible way to afford the typical $180,000+ it costs to attend Stanford.


On Privatization: Fec 23, 2017

Privatizing almost any Government service results in worse outcomes, at greater cost, with less oversight, and essentially is nothing more than theft from the commons.

Sure…go back to turning all government operations over to private enterprise … and then when they can’t turn a profit in the normal manner, guess what they do to get the money flowing into their pockets?

Hey, maybe we can turn the House of Representatives over to a private company ! Why not? Capitlalistas can certainly do it cheaper since they wouldn’t have to pay graft to themselves…and even if astonishingly inept they would be better than what we’ve got now !!


On future disruptions due to migration: Feb 23, 2017

This is all prep for the time in the near future when there are 60-100+ MILLION people who MUST leave their country due to climate change.


The big “Why” on Republican efforts: Mar 23, 2017

Why is the anti-social element of the Republican Party so intent on eliminating so many worthwhile programs that protect and benefit all citizens ?

Their targets include privatizing National Park lands, abrogating Treaties with Native Americans, de-funding Planned Parenthood, eliminating the EPA, eliminating restrictions on pollution of air and water resources, removing MPG standards for new cars, etc, etc.

Why not defund the DEA, eliminate the DoD, cancel the FEHB coverage, remove retirement benefits for those who served in Congress, require office holding Presidential families to reside only in Washington, strengthen and enforce minimum performance standards for all professions including elective office, require all non-profits abide by a minimum level of direct support for the general public, etc, etc?


On survival: Feb 22, 2017

Of course human civilization as we know it would cease long before we get to a sustained open air temp of 140 degrees over continental land masses. There are no cattle ranches or produce farms in Saudi Arabia, nor Death Valley the only places on Earth that approach that temp over sustained periods of time. 

With no vegetables, no meat, and severe heat stress the future becomes quite clear. Unfortunately this will NOT take only the weaker members, it will instead take those who cannot escape its ravages…in other words it favors the savages: those who prey on others.


On misdirection: Feb 13, 2017

Conway does the classic redirection…never answering the question asked – but instead takes a keyword from the question and redirects the conversation into a total non sequitur. – something that has nothing to do with the original question.

When confronted with this…stop the presenter…force them back on track or at best make it clear they are not answering the question being asked.


On filling the swamp: Feb 11, 2017

But they have all been confirmed, especially the three most egregious: DeVos, Sessions, and Price…each of whom strongly opposed the rules and regulations of the Departments they have been appointed to lead. But it was NOT based on humanitarian objections, rather it was they were opposed to some regulation that hindered them or their financial benefactors. First thing each is doing is hindering or hiding data collection and dissemination, closing off public scrutiny, issuing blatant propaganda, and hiring sycophants as aides.
















Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.