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      We have raised $9,353. That means we’ve reached the first two milestones, and I’ll write sixteen reviews of books with useful information. The final milestone is at $11,000, and is to be a booklet, “How To Think: Understanding the World.” The fundraiser will end at midnight this coming Friday, June 28th. DONATE OR SUBSCRIBE I […]
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Awwww, poor Donald. Everybody is out to get him.

It’s amazing how such a majestic and lauded president like Donald Trump generates such enmity in so many people. Now, Robert Mueller, who retired from the FBI to become an ordinary prosecutor, is angry because he wanted a high falutin’ job from Trump and didn’t get it.

Mueller is not a self actualized professional who derived intrinsic satisfaction from his work. No, he is on a mission to bring Trump down, like some inscrutable Iago.

Sort of like that Judge who couldn’t be fair to Donald because the judge was Mexican. Or the FBI agents that investigated him because of reasons. They all hate him. Why? Why is this man thus persecuted?? What did he ever do to them? I mean, other than call them names, like Hillary Clinton supporters, disparage their motives, and call them losers. It’s almost like these people feel like they have the right to think what they want about him and his behavior. They are casting aspersions on him and calling for the “I” word. That dirty filthy word, not like grabbing women by the pussy because how can THAT be bad??

How dare they try to make him look bad??

oOoooOooo! Listen to him growling and getting all worked up. He can barely contain himself.

Anyone who has ever had children has heard these arguments. I’m just surprised that we are supposed to swallow it from a 73 year old man. He’s completely innocent. They all hate him.

Poor Donald. He gets blamed for everything he does.

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The only Mueller message worth repeating

Yes, let’s ask this question all the time. Why is election security not important to Mitch?

Is he expecting the malefactors to lean on the levers for Republicans only? And what happens if you decide you’ve had enough Trump Republicanism?

Are you even allowed to vote them out?

Why don’t we ask Mitch?

Shut up, Sarah

I was just listening to the radio and heard Sarah Sanders acting all panicky. It’s like reporters are finally starting to put her on the hot seat. But I’m always surprised that Ms. Holy can lie with such fluency.

Mueller didn’t have a moral obligation to charge the president. He didn’t do it because it goes against DOJ policy that it is not possible to indict a sitting president.

Sarah, on the other hand, appears to show no moral obligation to tell the truth. What *does* she feel morally obligated to do? Does it have ANYTHING to do with serving the country and preserving our system of government? How about making sure that next year’s elections are secure and fair?

I see no evidence of that from her. Instead, she is cheerfully volunteering to spew offal from her mouth in support of the worst excuse for a president ever. How many servicemen went to war to preserve our freedom think Donald Trump is the best we could do?

That’s what the MAGA crowd believes. He’s the best America could offer to the rest of the world. This corrupt, greedy, lying, dissolute, unpleasant looking and mean idiot. That’s our best??

Stuff a sock in it, Sarah.

What’s wrong with this picture?

Picture 1:

Nothing if you think that a small town, intellectually inclined, Ivy League graduate, Rhodes scholar who speaks Norwegian has a better grasp of women’s’ issues than someone like, oh, I don’t know, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris or Kirsten Gillibrand.

Hey, remember when Ms. Magazine made Obama Feminist of the Year or some other self discrediting proclamation. And then he touted Lily Ledbetter for 8 years but did squat on Paycheck Fairness, and on top of that made sure Plan B wasn’t sold OTC to anyone under 18 because he didn’t want his daughters to be able to get it without him knowing about it?

Good times, good times.

Picture 2:

I’ve got a newfangled gizmo on my arm. It’s part of my protocol that started yesterday. (So far, so good, guys. Everything going well. No worries, be happy).

So anyway, this is an autoinjector that is going to beep at the same frequency as my tinnitus in about 7 hours from now and then inject me with something. No, I’m sure it won’t come as a surprise.

Up until 2015, this gizmo cost about $6000.00.

After 2015, it shot up to $17000.00.

So this is the most expensive thing I’ve ever had on my body.

It flashes green at night. I look like a firefly.

Very pretty.

Unnecessarily expensive.

Clarification: As a former pharma R&D researcher, I know that research is expensive. But the drastic price increase on this gizmo was purely a financial one by the MBAs that now run the companies. They rip up the portfolios, lay the researchers off and makes sure shareholders get their value. R&D, who is always taking the brunt of cost savings measures, has nothing to do with the price increase.

Last GoT post, I promise

This scene had me laughing so hard.

Here’s the setup: Dany is dead, Jon is in prison, the Unsullied are running Kings Landing. There’s a council of the nobility of the realm. Tyrion says they should pick a new king. Grey Worm looks like he’s had enough of this crazy continent so he agrees. Let’s get this over with.

So there they all are, ready to vote and Edmure Tully, the most mediocre man in the kingdom gets up to make a stump speech. He recounts his minor accomplishments, skipping over the part where he spent much of the years between his Red Wedding and the death of House Frey in a dungeon.

But enough explanation, let’s roll the scene (sound quality not great, you might have to turn it up):

This is going to be my tweet the next time some mediocre white male politician, septuagenarian or small town mayor gets the idea that he deserves to be president more than the women who have earned it.

“Uncle, please sit.”

GoT finale: Art imitates Life

Spoiler Alert: If you haven’t seen the finale for Game of Thrones, now would be the time to look away.

My predictions were only partly correct. Bronn did get Highgarden, Dany died, Sansa became a queen.

Drogon flew away. Bran said he would go looking for him from the comfort of his wheelchair. Very interesting. I wonder if Bran was involved in melting the iron throne?

Dany’s rise and fall is not all that surprising to some of us, especially those of us who grew up around fanatically devoted religious people. Tyrion explained it all in his conversation with Jon. We all cheered when Dany burned her enemies because they were evil people. She was doing good by freeing slaves and being a champion for the mistreated. But she began to believe that her definition of good was the only right one. And just like some American evangelicals, whose vision of paradise is the only one that matters, they will appoint the person who will get them closer to paradise and destroy anyone who gets in their way of bringing on a whole new world, even if that means violence without justice or mercy.

Like Alabama legislators and governor. Things are getting out of control. Even Pat Robertson thinks the anti-choice movement has gone too far.

Grey Worm executes prisoners of war. He is devoted to his queen and her demand for loyalty.

A person who should be exercising his right to hold others accountable is reluctant to challenge ordinary roles of authority. He doesn’t want to be seen as an usurper even if the realm is in danger. He’s finally pushed to do the only rational thing, his argument with Dany against fanaticism and violence failing completely.

The scene of Dany on the stairs of the Red Keep with dragon wings unfurling from her back was stunning. The enormous red on black Targaryen banner hanging from the battlements was framed in just the right way. The scene shot from behind her looked like it could have come from a Pathé news reel in 1930s showing the rise of fascism and triumph of the will.

As Tyrion says to Jon, his father, Tywin Lannister, was an evil man for sacking King’s Landing after Robert’s Rebellion. His sister Cersei was an evil and ruthless woman, beheading Missandei and blowing up the Sept of Baelor. But all the senseless deaths that Tywin and Cersei caused combined would not equal even half of the deaths that Dany has done in a single day.

Jeez, does that conversation feel familiar. How many of you have been Tyrion trying to appeal to the humanity and sense of rightness and values of someone you love and respect? To almost beg them to stand up for decency? How many times have they failed to defend their own honor because they listen to those who are minimizing the threat, fear being isolated from their peers or believe in the ultimate authority of an office even when they know it goes against everything they believe in?

Dany is not an ordinary tyrant. There’s nothing normal about her reign. Her armies are her disciples. She has a weapon of mass destruction. They are unquestioning in their fealty and loyalty, no matter the cost to their own integrity . They do what she says without question.

For the good.

And if others have differing opinions of what is good?

According to the new queen, no one else gets to choose.

There aren’t going to be elections.

*********************************

Say what you like about D&D’s writing of the last two seasons. They appear to have taken a threat seriously enough that they have subverted all of our expectations and likely put HBO squarely in the crosshairs of a controversy.

It was a bold move, the message couldn’t be clearer. They’re going to catch hell for it once the smoke clears.

That damn crossbow

This is another Game of Thrones post. If you’re not a fan, you don’t have to read it. I’m going to try to post later on the Michael Flynn unredactions and the Russian successful hacking of election servers in two Florida counties in 2016.

If you are like me, you’re probably wondering what Bronn was up to this season. We first saw the sellsword in episode one, frolicking with three harlots (one of which was going to die of pox in a year according to the Queen’s hand). He accepted a commission and a crossbow from Cersei to kill Tyrion and Jaime. Of course, Bronn decided to use it as leverage when he finally caught up to the Lannister brothers in Winterfell. Highgarden for their lives. Deal.

Where that deal stands now is anybody’s guess but one thing is for damn sure. Bronn is in possession of “Checkov’s Gun”. The blog, Now Novel, describes Checkov’s Gun like this:

Chekhov’s Gun‘ is a concept that describes how every element of a story should contribute to the whole. It comes from Anton Chekhov’s famous book writing advice: ‘If in the first act you have hung a pistol on the wall, then in the following one it should be fired.

Technically, the “gun” was fired into a post just beside Jaime Lannister’s head as a warning shot but that’s not why I think the writers introduced it.

It’s going to get used. The question is, who is going to use it and who or what is the intended target.

Let’s recap, shall we? I’m going to spoil episode 5 for viewers so if you haven’t seen it, now is the time to go check your Twitter account.

Ok. Here goes.

In the previews for the finale, King’s Landing is a smoking ruin. Danaerys is about to seize the Iron Throne after having razed the city and nearly everyone in it after it had surrendered. Let’s not go into whether Danaerys was ruined by bad writing. I think GoT Academy had the right idea in that Danaerys is the alternate path for Galadriel had she decided to accept the Ring from Frodo.

But I digress.

So we see Dany from the back, facing her army, while the sky is grey and still thick with smoke. It’s an ominous vision. It looks like something out of the Third Reich as shot by Leni Riefenstahl. And why not? Danaerys Ghenghis Targaryen has done something her psychotic father only dreamed about.

The other characters have to be thoroughly horrified. We know that Arya is. Jon is finally coming to terms with his missteps and the dishonor his own men have brought him. Tyrion wanders the ruins an orphan, the last of his name. His family is gone.

Where is Sansa? On her way with all of the forces that Varys could muster before he was executed. Bran may be with her. Brienne will definitely come. We can expect to see the Vale, Riverrun, maybe Dorne, Highgarden…

Wait. Highgarden? Didn’t Tyrion give Highgarden to Bronn? Hard to say how that will work out considering Dany is going to want to toast Tyrion. But ok, let’s say Sansa has decided to make good on Tyrion’s promise on Jon’s behalf. After all, Jon is the true king.

So, Bronn comes to King’s Landing with Sansa, carrying a crossbow.

By now, we all know that Dany and her dragon can’t be allowed to continue. Dany is the worst of war criminals. (Note to Sansa: draft new articles of war at Harrenhal and call it the Harrenhal Convention. Just a suggestion.)

Jon knows that Sansa, Arya, Bran and Tyrion are all in danger, especially if they don’t bend the knee. But Dany has likely no idea who Bronn is.

Bronn, the guy with Checkov’s Gun.

We also know that one sure way to take out a dragon is to shoot it in the brain through the eye.

Now that doesn’t mean that Bronn will do it. Arya is also a crack shot. But she’s already got her “Slay the Monster” and “Master a Valerian Steel Dagger” merit badges on her Winterfell Council Girl Scout sash. Let someone else have the glory. So, my prediction is that Bronn will take out the dragon. With that, he will be entitled to whatever empty castle and lands he wants.

The rest is up in the air. I’ve heard that Bran will become king once Jon abdicates. But if anything, Bran might be as responsible for the carnage as Dany because he has greensight and that was amplified when he became the Bloodraven. And Bloodraven’s goal was to do whatever was good for the realm, even if that meant carnage along the way. Anyway, Bran doesn’t appear to have the temperament to be king. I don’t think he wants it. It doesn’t play to his strengths. (Can you tell I don’t like the rumors I’m hearing about the ending?)

If I were to write this ending, Sansa would be queen temporarily. Bran would be her new Varys the Spider and bring her intelligence from around the seven kingdoms. Tyrion would go off to a spa In Dorne for rest and art therapy, then return to take up his role as Sansa’s consort. Brienne would become Sansa’s Hand of the Queen. Arya would ride off to Storm’s End. Jon would don the black and find a nice wildling girl in the North.

The unsullied would return to Essos. The Dothraki would hold a funeral for Dany where they would burn her body. Hold on, Dany doesn’t burn. So after many futile attempts, the Dothraki stop partying and get on the boats with the Unsullied to go home.

Nobody’s completely happy. But hey, this is George RR Martin. We’ll be lucky if no one is maimed or dismembered before the final credits.