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      (MANDOS POST, people who don’t want to read things they disagree with please stop here) I don’t normally watch horror movies, but I made an exception and recently watched the horror film Get Out. It’s a horror-satire movie that constructs its underlying trope from the concept of racist microaggressions, and it’s one of the best films […]
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BiFF and RD in Trump Country

BiFF and I are camping again this weekend in a part of PA where Trump won by a good bit. BiFF has been away from his home attending to some family matters and wasn’t prepared for the wilderness. The park ranger recommended Walmart so off we went. 

Just a heads up: I’m a Target person. I think BiFF just orders stuff off the Internet. 

Anyway, there we were, meandering through this gigantic store the size of two football fields (I exaggerate but you know what I mean. It was like IKEA but all on one level).  BiFF was looking for clothing to blend in. Just basic T’s and a long sleeved shirt. I forced him to make a decision because the store was making me antsy and nothing had a Swedish name. 

We went to the cashier. I wasn’t feeling too hot yesterday so I went in search of water while BiFF settled the bill. 

Later, he asked, “Did you see the guy in front of me in line? He had a T-shirt on with a picture of Che Guevara that said “Socialism is for F*gs””

I looked at him in his polo shirt with the country club logo and his hat that screamed “East Coast Elite”.  (He’s actually bi-coastal, not that there’s anything wrong with that.)


We are now referring to each other as Darryl and Charlene and hiding our French press and shallots. (they’re onions, dammit)


Good op/ed in WaPo today on how the Democrats did themselves by using the “personal responsibility” meme instead of sticking to “steep discounts for groups of several hundred million!” 

Feel free to use it, DNC. No, no, don’t thank me. 

How is Hillary doing?  

She gave a commencement speech at Wellesley today. Let’s listen in, shall we?

BiFF: POTUS Travel Ban… on POTUS

The US 4th Circuit Court of Appeals today, in a 10-3 decision, rejected the Trump administration’s plea to reverse the hold on its travel ban orders, thus narrowly avoiding the scenario that the president and his entourage, who are travelling now in the Middle East, would be refused entry back into the country.

Thus, in spite of arguments that the president’s return “stands to cause irreparable harm to individuals across the nation”, the Richmond-based court upheld the ban, allowing travellers from the Middle East to enter the country. The weak vetting implemented by the Obama administration is deemed unlikely to prevent Trump’s return, a career employee at the Department of Homeland Security confirmed.

A Trump administration spokesman confirmed their intention of appealing to the Supreme Court. Democratic party leadership indicated the Supreme Court would be unlikely to rule before Trump had returned, making an appeal on their part also unlikely. 

Escape from cruelty and mob rule

The new Trump budget is heartless, an audacious theft from the 99% of taxpayers to the 1%. It suffers from a math error that will pile debt on the country in addition to causing misery for poorer families with children. If I had voted for him, I don’t know how I could sleep at night without nightmares and guilt. It shows a remarkable lack of empathy.

On top of that, Liberal seems to have taken on the title of the country’s dirtiest word.

Call me obscene then.

BiFF and I went hiking in Black Monshannon State Park in Pennsylvania on Beltane this year. I picked flowers for my hair and took a lot of pictures with my iPhone. Now I realize that what I really want to do is take a photography class and get a better camera.

That last item is on hold due to a recent setback. Some of us will never recover from the financial crash of 2008, especially those of us whose industry has largely disappeared. It’s about to get worse for R&D if the proposed cuts to the NIH budget go through. This is a very hard time to be a scientist in America.

But the weather was mild and spring was just emerging. So, we took it in with wonder and delight. Take a break from all of the pointless cruelty and enjoy the walk. Here’s my slideshow. The music is Chanterai por mon Corage or Singing for my courage from the album Estampie:

#Resist Control Freaks

“No half-heartedness and no worldly fear must turn us aside from following the light unflinchingly”

“Courage is found in unlikely places”

“A man who flees from his fear may find that he has only taken a shortcut to meet it”

                          ~~J.R.R. Tolkien

You don’t own us.  


I’m normally a lark but I got a late start today. Hitting the treadmill for some intervals. Visit the stupid Trump speech later and get your heart rate up with Fonix by some Swedish chick with a fiddle. 

MAGA people iz weird

Seen on twitter this morning:

Remind me again, what “job” is he doing that requires better messaging?

He’s a billionaire (or so he says). Can’t he pay for his own messaging team?  I know! He could be all presidential and hold a news conference!  

And what is it exactly about the job he is already doing do the #maga contingent like?  So far he’s hired an attorney general who is requiring prosecutors and judges to throw the book at low level drug offenders. He’s hired a secretary of education who wants to take $10 billion from public schools. As a former elected board of education member in my affluent suburb, where parents balked at paying a lousy $11/month for a courtesy bussing proposal they turned out in droves to defeat, I can guarantee that even a slight reduction of funding to their insanely competitive public schools is going to be wildly unpopular. 

It occurs to me that both of these initiatives are only going to line the pockets of prison industry and for profit schools and learning center owners. No one else will benefit by this, especially kids living in places where their parents can’t shell out money for private or parochial schools because their salary earning parent is wasting away in prison after being busted for a few grams of weed. 

Lately, he’s been going after global NGO’s that are working to defeat AIDS because they might be involved in the greedy abortion cartel. Just a heads up, there is no abortion cartel. I made that up but some Fox News viewers will believe anything these days. 

Long time readers know that I advocate turning the TV off and getting news and information from a selection of online domestic and foreign sources. There is more good information in readable sources and it’s much easier to spot manipulative words and memes. On TV, news can be combined with potent visual imagery to go straight to the amygdala. Radio can provoke rage. It’s how we got duped into going to Iraq. 

It’s worse on Fox News because that network seems to excel at creating satans that need to be fought. Doesn’t matter if they’re hyperbolic stereotypes, the three minute hate is alive and well on Fox. Sleazy Roger Ailes may no longer be in charge to drive the resentment and let everyone’s dark archetypes chained in their dungeons permission to run around without constraints, hurting innocent people. But he left a blueprint to follow to teach viewers how to be unnecessarily mean to their neighbors while simultaneously making them feel virtuous for being the dull conformists they are. 

Sooner or later, all the chaotic unraveling that the Trump administration has been doing, and that the MAGA people are so looking forward to, is going to start to affect real people. Real middle class people. That watch Fox News religiously. 

When it starts happening, I don’t think better messaging is going to be needed. 


For what it’s worth, the Democrats are better off not insisting too much on impeachment just yet. Wait until 2018 and let people watch how much the Republican Congress will put up with in order to ram their granny starving agenda through for their compromised president to sign. 

Then get Pence in the White House. I’ve heard he is about as likeable as Ted Cruz. 

I’d like to think that the 2018 election will take care of itself but Democrats need to focus their attention on serious campaigning, recruiting candidates everywhere an updating their canvassing apps. 

Let the Republicans hang themselves.