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Alex Baer

2016, a Wonder Year

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If it were possible, I'd have Perry Mason voted in as President, and be done with it -- even though the intellectual giants on the right would no doubt fear Perry's last name, and start up a whirlwind of vaprous Illuminati rumors.

With Perry, there would be no lack of adjectives describing his countless strengths, for any slogans and logos:  Infallible, fair, energetic, driven, brilliant, supremely knowledgeable, not easily outwitted, modest, humane -- the litany could go on like that for days.

Perry, though. Not Raymond Burr, mind you, even if that fine actor were still with us, but Perry Mason, the character we saw portrayed on The One-Eyed Know-It-All which invaded American households so long ago.

(I could easily see Della as VP -- no one else was as crisply efficient, warmly interpersonal, or as knowing of the mind of Mason any better.  Tragg and Burger?  Maybe the AG's office or DOJ.  Paul would likely end up at the FBI, maybe the CIA, the DIA, the XYQZW...)

In these dog days of August, and these psychodrama-daze of 2016 national politics, there is lots to wonder about.  And, I find myself wondering about them an awful lot.

One thing I wonder is how it is anyone ever treated Donald Trump like an actual political candidate. The man was a fluff-headed, self-aggrandizing, ill-adjusted buffoon with social and psychiatric issues from the outset.  He has only gotten worse sense he started -- either pushed in that direction or else his own mental state has been allowed to slip the leash and meander its own demonically-merry way.

Is it the persistence of false memory which is at fault here, as our having seen him on The Holy Teevee Screen. portraying the character Trump himself never was, which has so delighted and fascinated and gripped tight so many despairing Americans?  Was it seeing this person wield apparent power, make apparent decisions, produce apparent business results like no other?

Even at the peak of his television powers, Trump was merely a dust mite on Mason's lapel,  a residue of ink from a pen, a crumb of toast from breakfast, accidentally riding in a cuff.

I am thinking it takes less to fool us as a people than it used to.  Mason's fictional successes and struggles?  These were at least based in reality, small morality plays marching toward justice, via compassion, hard work, and sheer brainpower.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 August 2016 14:54 Read more...

Nothing-Speak: Dog-Whistle Comfort Chow

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This stuff is getting really hard to ignore, which is part of the plan, of course.

If Republicans can garner enough attention with Crazy Theories, Insane Supporters, and Bizarre Backers, then their psychotic candidates, all across the land, will, by comparison, be automatically seen as sedate and tame and cute as li'l baby pit vipers, all worn out, tangled up in a ball, sound asleep and at rest.

We already know, beyond all doubt, and clarity -- and the frayed and tattered edges of our long-suffering patience -- that Republicans only respond to Feelings, like fear and paranoia.  Everyone else, to some degree at least, responds to Facts, like information and evidence.

This is one big part of why we've spent the last eight years -- and more -- having a logjam in everything we do and say and attempt:  No one is speaking the other's language.  We are talking past each other.  We resort to our own modes, decipherable only to members of our own camps.

In this scenario, even if one group had something of interest to convey to the other, had that group's improbable interest and attention, there is currently no real way to relay the information -- short of interpreters, hand signs, silent movie theatrics, puppet shows, mimes, interpretive dance...

One side has been routinely and continually threatening to pull out all the stops, removing all the few remaining cables of the shabby communications bridge now swaying across the growing chasm between groups.

There are only a couple cables left -- and minions on the Breakaway Alt-Right have their amphetamine chipmunks sawing away like mad with hacksaws on those huge metal suspension-bridge cables.

These vibrating, saw-wielding hedgehogs are cheered on in their efforts by the GOP as a whole.

Last Updated on Sunday, 28 August 2016 20:59 Read more...

Robert and the Big Red Bus

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And now, boys and girls, a story about Missing Links in the Republican Party:

There came a time -- just once, so far -- when the Big Red Republican Bus made room for everyone inside, even the people usually considered too nasty or looney or strange to ride with all the nice people who rode the Big Red Bus for years and years and years.

These new-ish, and very different people, were called the BS-ers, which was short for the Bus-Stoppers and Bus-Toppers.  These were nicknames for people who would try to stop the Big Red Bus as it sped down the highway, and try to make the driver at least let them ride up on top, outside, in the open air -- because they wanted to be part of the Big Red Bus Ride so very, very much.

The BS-ers came from all over.  They believed in many odd and terrible things -- things that most people in the country didn't really believe, not deep down inside.  The people inside the Big Red Bus sort of believed in these things, too, but it made them feel guilty and bad, because they knew it wasn't nice to believe in those BS-er things.

This is because the God blessing the Big Red Bus Fleet told them so.  God's rules were really specific and clear.  There was no getting around them.  But, the Big Red Bus Riders really liked believing in their God, but they also really liked those BS-er things, too, deep down inside.  The Riders told everyone -- even themselves! -- that they didn't really believe in them, just in the Fleet rules of their God.

It made them feel better that way, like having all their hate, but fearing it, too -- like you might like to have your cake and then eating it, too!

(It sometimes worked this way, where people believed one thing, but did the opposite thing, or looked away when someone did the opposite thing.  No one really knows why this is so, but we've all noticed it happening for a really, really, really long time.)

Anyway:  One day, a new driver started operating the Big Red Bus,  His name was Robert Mercer.  He was a rich hedge-fund hustler.

Last Updated on Saturday, 27 August 2016 17:30 Read more...

Doomsday Rebate Coupons! Vote Your Fears Free!

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(EPONYMOUS NEWSNET NEWS NET, Aug. 26)  Republic Party Officials today announced a new national program that would be launched on Inauguration Day, 2017, should Donald J. Trump, the party's current presidential nominee, be elected President of the United States.

"We were looking at this all wrong," according to Republic National Committee Co-Chair, Rinze Endrei, "marketing Trump as a legitimate product.  Obviously, the public was not ready to come out of the relative safety of their bunkers, after the primaries, and push the big red 'Go' button on Trump right off," he joked.

Endrei explained that Republicans, seeing the response to their hand-picked nominee, dropped everything and returned to the drawing board, trying to quickly determine a new way to package the often-offensive, brutally insensitive, and frequently insulting candidate.

"We talked about trying to reign him in, and that didn't work -- then, someone reminded us that Americans are used to buying the same old crap in a brand new box, which is what got us thinking," Endrei said.

"We went back to the basics and found some things in grocery store marketing that we think can work for us here," Endrei excitedly emphasized.

The multi-pronged plan envisions a repackaging of Trump as a Loss Leader -- offering something of relatively low value or cost, in order to entice voters into the balloting booth, to service expensive, down-ballot needs of the party's household.

Endrei underscored the importance of the effort.  "God help us if we lose control of the Congress, or members will have to start working for a living again.  It's been great for us, really wonderful, just saying 'No!' for eight years, and not worrying about having to always do something or move the country forward with any actual policies or plans!"

"Frankly, it's been a relief for our members to keep concentrating on Republican feelings about things, rather than get bogged down with facts and information, then having to come up with programs which really worked for everyday Americans -- I mean, we've got super-rich, incredibly powerful people and corporations on our necks every day, demanding special favors and treatment, which is wearing," Endrei confessed.

Last Updated on Friday, 26 August 2016 14:50 Read more...

Wherefore Thy Sting, Sweet November?

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Those firm rubber mallets come closest, so far -- the ones over there, with the wooden handles and the black, hard rubber heads.  The bamboo cutting boards aren't bad, but they're brittle and splinter too easily under heavy loads.

Pounds per square inch of pressure, deflection energies, angles of attack -- all these have to be taken into consideration, and a lot more.

See, like many Americans, and an increasing number of observers eyeing our system from other countries, I'm looking for something -- anything -- to make the political pain in my head stop.  However, I would like to leave something like a smoldering tree stump inside my shirt collar, where my old head used to be -- you know, something that might yet grow back in the transformative Spring, after the numbing kindness of Fall, after the hibernation and healing of Winter.  It has been a simmering, killing cruelty, this inflamed, and inflammatory, Summer political season.

I don't want my head and its troublesome political thoughts to be gone forever, understand.  I'd like the possibility of it budding back out later on, in March sometime, for example, or April, when even the floor of a burnt and scalded forest might be expected to leaf out and live again.

Meanwhile, I expect to quash the pain, and stem the rumblings from my brain stem.  I'd like the higher executive functions to go on vacation, like higher executives everywhere.  Thing is:  Most hard surfaces, I've learned so far, have no shades of gray -- they can either kill you outright, if you launch your head at them, like those steam radiators having elaborate floral metallurgy designed in, or like those mammoth, exposed cross-beams in the attic of old mansions and belfries, or they do nothing at all, like these spindly four-by-fours.

Note:  Don't try this at home.  As a trained professional, I've worked up, over time, through the primaries, to the point where no four-by-four could cause me more than a passing yawn.

Last Updated on Thursday, 25 August 2016 15:54 Read more...

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