Saturday, January 28, 2017

5 ways to fight Trump and make America great again

I, like many Americans, am sickened and angered by Donald Trump and his administration -- and the willingness of the GOP to kowtow to or silently accept Trump's heinous behavior and actions.

Trump has nominated people totally unqualified and/or unfit to take office. And since becoming president (words that are extremely difficult for me to type), Trump has taken actions that threaten women's/human rights, the environment, healthcare, education, and the economy. (Let me know if I left anything out.) And it is highly unlikely that the Republican-controlled House and Senate will do anything to stop the Trumpocalypse, until, perhaps, it is too late.

So what can we horrified American citizens do to try to limit the damage Trump is inflicting on us? Here are some suggestions, which even my fellow introverts can do.
  • Call your local Representative and Senators, who you can find via Whether you want them to know where you stand on an issue or how you'd like them to vote on an appointment or bill, it's important to call them.
  • Follow your Representatives and Senators on Facebook and/or sign up for their email updates, to keep abreast of the issues, find out where they stand, and how you can help. Chris Murphy, one of my senators, constantly reaches out to his constituents to see where we stand on various issues, with polls and surveys, and I'd like to think my participation helps.
  • Support good journalism/investigative reporting. How? By purchasing a subscription to those newspapers and news organizations that are working hard to uncover the truth about Trump and his administration and those policies and actions that are detrimental to America and Americans.

    I personally have become a big fan of The Washington Post this election cycle (and started subscribing last year), and I'm a longtime supporter of NPR. But there are many fine organizations dedicated to providing good, fair, honest, hard-hitting journalism that could use your support, and you can find a list of them on the PEN Center.

  • Last, but far from least, make sure you are registered to vote and vote in the mid-term elections, which will be on November 6, 2018. The only way to stop Trump -- and Pence, who may very well become President before November 6, 2018 -- is for the Democrats to win back the Senate and the House. Also, consider donating money and/or time to helping the good guys get re-elected or supporting candidates who oppose Trump and will fight for education, the environment, and women's and human rights.

    (Sadly, even moderate Republicans, if there are truly any, have proven that they will not defy Trump, no matter how much they may privately disagree with him. So the only way to put a check on his devastating policies is for Democrats to take back the House and Senate.)
Have any other ideas? Let us know via the Comments.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

The Madness of King Donald the Trump

Many (most?) of us who have observed Trump over the last year have questioned whether he is mentally fit to be president. However, after watching Trump's recent interview with ABC's David Muir, where he (Trump) told one whopper after another, there can be no doubt that Trump is unhinged. Deranged. Nuts. Psycho. Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.

I could go on, but you get my drift. 

As a student of history, Trump's performance brought to mind another deranged ruler of this country, one who likewise lost the goodwill of most of his subjects here -- and caused a political crisis.

Who was this mad man? For those of you who have forgotten your U.S. History, or haven't seen Hamilton, I am, of course, referring to King George III, whose madness was captured in a brilliant 1994 film titled, appropriately, The Madness of King George.*

The similarities between Donald the First (and hopefully the last) and George the Third are striking, from the eccentric, disturbing behavior, to the grabbing of women, to the political tensions caused by his erratic behavior.

The only question is, will Americans rise up against Donald the Trump and kick him out as they did George the Third some two-hundred forty years ago?

*And yes, all you Hamilton lovers, in Hamilton, too. Though I'm pretty sure we won't be back, re-electing Trump... if we survive that long. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

You know what they say about guys with small crowds...*

As has been widely reported, the man Graydon Carter once described as a "short-fingered vulgarian" has been very unhappy about the reported size of his crowd.

Despite photos and facts to the contrary, the Toddler in Chief insists that his crowd was the biggest, bigger than Obama's, bigger than anyone's!

So, per aides, who spoke to The Washington Post...
Over the objections of his aides and advisers — who urged him to focus on policy and the broader goals of his presidency — the new president issued a decree: He wanted a fiery public response [to claims that his crowd wasn't the biggest or bestest], and he wanted it to come from his press secretary.
Yes folks, the man who rose to national prominence by trying to delegitimize America's first black president, his number one concern upon taking office is the fear that his crowd wasn't as big as Obama's. (Though you know what they say about the size of black men's crowds.)

So, unable to grab some pussy himself, he (Trump) ordered his press secretary to go diddle the press corps -- and the American public -- by claiming that his crowd was the biggest, despite easy to find evidence to the contrary.

This, my fellow Americans, is not the behavior of a president but of a spoiled, narcissistic, irrational toddler (or sociopath). And, unfortunately, it doesn't seem like there are any adults in the room who are capable of controlling the Toddler in Chief's temper tantrums.

(I'd say we are well and truly fucked, but considering the size and flaccidity of Trump's, uh, crowd, it may take a while.)

UPDATED: More on Trump's long-standing obsession with ratings and size via The New York Times.

*small hands and small... minds

Monday, January 23, 2017

Propaganda Barbie & Alternative Facts

For those of you who don't own a dictionary or are too lazy to Google it, a fact is "a piece of information presented as having objective reality." That is, something that can be objectively* proven.

An alternative fact, on the other hand, is a falsehood, or lie, something told or written with the express purpose to deceive. Or, as we students of political science and history call it, propaganda, "information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote a political cause or point of view."

During World War II, there were a handful of women (and men) who used the airwaves (radio) as a means to spread Nazi and Axis propaganda. Two of the most famous, or infamous, were Axis Sally (who was born in Maine but moved to Berlin in 1934) and Tokyo Rose (another American, who broadcast from Japan).

Over 70 years later, in 2016, another woman has joined their illustrious ranks, rising to fame on her ability to create or repeat and spread lies and half-truths over the airwaves. Her name, Kellyanne Conway, or, as she was recently dubbed, Propaganda Barbie.

Back in the 1940s, before there was the Internet, determining what was true and what wasn't could take a little time -- and a trip to the library. Today, though, it is easy to separate fact from fiction, thanks to a number of objective fact-checking sites, such as PoliFact, FactCheck.orgSnopes, and Fact Checker.

Yet millions of Americans are too lazy, or biased, to search out the truth, preferring to hear what they want to hear rather than risk cognitive dissonance. Which, to quote our new Propagandist in Chief, is "sad."

Bonus video: Depeche Mode, "Policy of Truth"

*And for those who don't know what objectively means, it means independently or without bias.

UPDATED 2/3/17: Propaganda Barbie (aka Kellyanne Conway) strikes again! There was no "Bowling Green Massacre," folks, nor did the Obama administration ever "ban" refugees.

Friday, January 20, 2017

The GOP vs ISIS: A Comparison

After reading yesterday that the Trump administration planned to eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), as well as privatizing the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (which is a bit of an oxymoron), ostensibly as part of an effort to reduce government spending (even though eliminating all three of these programs would barely make a dent in the federal budget), I thought to myself, 'Huh, you know who else hates the arts and wants to destroy them? Radical Islamists (aka ISIS)!'

That led me to wondering what else Conservative Republicans (cutting arts funding was the brainchild of Conservative thank tank Heritage Foundation) and Radical Islamists had in common. So I did some research and created this handy little chart. And gee whiz! The GOP and ISIS have way more in common than we thought!

Conservative Republicans
Radical Islamists
Want to subjugate women; believe women should be seen (if they are attractive) but not heard
Want to subjugate women; believe women should be neither seen nor heard
Abhor homosexuality
Abhor homosexuality
Resent the educated, dislike/distrust institutions of higher learning
Resent the educated, dislike/distrust institutions of higher learning
Believe Christianity is the one true religion
Believe Islam is the one true religion
Little or no tolerance for unbelievers or other faiths
Little or no tolerance for unbelievers or other faiths
Disdain the arts, want to defund
Disdain the arts, want to destroy
Will use whatever means necessary (gerrymandering, fake news) to secure their goals/leadership

Will use whatever means necessary (propaganda, bombs) to secure their goals/leadership

Also, while poking around the Internets (looking for a map I saw a while back showing the United States as a bunch of -stans*), I came across these two maps of the world.

This first one shows Ronald Reagan's view of the world, back in the 1980s:

The second map illustrates Donald Trump's view of the world in 2016:

Pretty interesting, no?

*If any of you find a link to that map, please send it to me.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

My Trump inauguration playlist

If I was the music director at one of Trump's inaugural balls, here are the songs I would choose. Feel free to suggest your own via the Comments section.

Meghan Trainor, "Lips are movin":

"If your lips are moving, then you're lyin', lyin', lyin', baby."

Shaggy, "It wasn't me":

But she caught me on the counter (It wasn't me)
Saw me bangin' on the sofa (It wasn't me)
I even had her in the shower (It wasn't me)
She even caught me on camera (It wasn't me)
Thompson Twins, "Lies":

"Lies, lies, lies, yeah..."

Eurythmics, "Would I lie to you?":

"Would I lie to you, baby, would I lie to you? (Oh, yeah)"

Fleetwood Mac, "Little lies":

"Tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies..."

And I've always loved this clip from the movie Pillow Talk....

"You lied, you dog. And you'll be sorry. Uh-huh."

Though if someone actually offered me a ticket to attend Trump's inauguration, this would be my reaction:

And I ran
I ran so far away
I just ran
I ran all night and day
I couldn't get away
BONUS CLIP for everyone attending a Women's March:

Nancy Sinatra, "These boots are made for walkin'"

You keep lyin' when you oughta be truthin'
You keep losing when you oughta not bet
You keep samin' when you oughta be a'changin'
Now what's right is right but you ain't been right yet

These boots are made for walking,
And that's just what they'll do
One of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you

UPDATED: I really hope they show this clip from From Russia with Love on the Jumbotron at Trump's inauguration...

but I'm guessing they won't. Sad.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Great and Powerful Trump?

I am not the only person to think of the Wizard of Oz (the character and the movie) when watching (or reading about or listening to) the President of Trump (the Organization, who is about to become the next President of the United States.*)

As some of you may recall, Stephen Colbert had a recurring bit on The Late Show in 2016 titled "Road to the White House" (which is where that image comes from), which featured Trump as the Wizard in his Wizard of Oz parody.

But as we get closer to the Inauguration,* and I hear about Trump's various rantings and promises, I keep harking back to that scene from the movie where Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, and the Cowardly Lion confront the Wizard....

Tell me if this dialogue seems eerily prescient (or familiar).

DOROTHY:  If you were really great and powerful, you'd keep your promises!

WIZARD: Do you presume to criticize the great Oz? You ungrateful creatures! Think yourselves lucky that I'm giving you an audience tomorrow instead of 20 years from now!


WIZARD: Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain! The Great and Powerful Oz has spoken!

SCARECROW: You humbug!

DOROTHY: You're a very bad man!

WIZARD: No, my dear, I'm a very good man. I'm just a bad wizard.

Now substitute "Press" and/or "Democrats" for "Dorothy" and/or "Scarecrow" and "Trump" for "Wizard" and "Oz" and "president" for "wizard" (in that last sentence) and PRESTO! It's like L. Frank Baum predicted Trump over 100 years ago!

For those of you who didn't slavishly read every Oz book (like I did), the "Wizard" was actually a humbug, "a willfully false, deceptive, or insincere person," who was blown to Oz in a hot air balloon, and falsely worshiped as a great man and made leader of the kingdom,

However, when the Wizard is finally revealed as not a great man but a humbug, he is sent on his way, back to whence he came from -- succeeded, briefly, by the Scarecrow and finally by Ozma of Oz, the rightful ruler of Oz, a benevolent, compassionate leader, adored by her subjects, who refuses to resort to violence.

So maybe there is hope for us yet.

*I think I just threw up a bit typing that.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

And now a word about bras

Or rather bralettes. What we old folks used to call bras (making bra sort of a retronym, like corded phone and cloth diaper.)

Bralettes, i.e., bras without molded or padded cups or wires, are apparently all the rage. Especially at Victoria's Secret, which dominates the lingerie market (with a 61.8 percent market share -- who knew?). Which I find highly amusing.

For YEARS, all bras (or nearly all) were "bralettes." Then came underwire bras, and padded bras, and pushup bras, and sports bras, and t-shirt bras... and, finally, bralettes, aka basic bras (albeit in a variety of colors and lace).

I guess everything old is new again.

Though how many women, especially those over the age of 21 or who've had a kid, really want a bralette?

I don't know about the rest of you ladies, but as a lifelong member of the Itty Bitty Titty Committee, who nursed a kid for 12 months, I enjoy a little padding and pushing in my brassiere. And I bet most women feel the same way. Though, clearly, there is a market for bras without all the bells and whistles -- or wires and molding. (And I do think the front-close bralette is pretty, if not practical.)

But ladies -- and gentlemen -- let me know what you think (via the Comments). Do you prefer your brassieres to lift and shape (and supplement -- what the lord has forgotten, stuff with... foam)? Or do you fancy something that is "all you" (for better... or worse)?

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Hasta la vista, American manufacturing jobs

Much of President-Elect Trump's campaign centered on bringing back manufacturing and other blue collar jobs to the United States, by getting companies that had shipped factories and jobs overseas, or to Mexico, to keep their plants or factories here -- and to deport all those illegal immigrants supposedly taking good ole American jobs.

The problem is, it's not immigrants or foreigners taking or eliminating good ole American jobs, it's machines -- robots, programmed to do the work of several men (or women) in much less time. 

So if Trump really wants to bring back American jobs -- to humans -- and prevent the cyber apocolypse, he needs to take steps now. Though it may be too late....