Sunday, February 26, 2017

Donald Trump's good friend, Gazoo -- I mean "Jim"

What Trump really said at the CPAC conference on Friday.

TRUMP: "I have a friend, Gazoo — I mean Jim. He's a really, really great guy. Actually, he's an alien from the planet Zetox. But he's a great little guy.

"He loves Bedrock, I mean Paris. For years he would go to Bedrock — Paris. It was automatic with him. I hadn't seen him in a while, and I said, "Gazoo -- I mean Jim, how's Bedrock — Paris — doing? And Gazoo— Jim — says to me, 'Bedrock — I mean Paris? I don't go there anymore. Bedrock is no longer Bedrock — Paris — anymore.'

"That was four years — four, five years, hasn't gone there," Trump added. "He wouldn't miss it for anything. Now he doesn't even think in terms of going there. Sad."

And the moral of this story? No, it's not that "Paris" isn't safe anymore. It's that you shouldn't trust a guy with imaginary friends who only he can see and hear. (Though Trump having Gazoo as his "friend" would explain a lot.)

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Happy National Brotherhood Week!

As many of you know, I am a big fan of Tom Lehrer, the satirical songwriter and singer (and mathematician) who was active in the 1950s and 1960s. And recently I've been thinking a lot about, and humming, his song titled "National Brotherhood Week*."



And wouldn't you know?! THIS WEEK just happens to be National Brotherhood Week! Or it would be if National Brotherhood Week still existed.

National Brotherhood Week, a celebration of tolerance and respect for all peoples, was created in 1934 by what was then known as the National Council of Christian and Jews (and is now the National Conference for Community and Justice). But it stopped being celebrated in the 1980s, because we had, under Ronald Reagan, totally eradicated bigotry and racism and hate crimes. (That would be sarcasm for all of you suffering from frontotemporal dementia.)

However, as intolerance and racism and hate crimes have been making a big comeback, especially against Jews, it may be time to resurrect National Brotherhood Week.

Now if only someone would resurrect Tom Lehrer's act -- or some younger satirist would take up Lehrer's mantle.


*Here are the lyrics:

Oh, the white folks hate the black folks 
And the black folks hate the white folks 
To hate all but the right folks 
Is an old established rule 

But during National Brotherhood Week 
National Brotherhood Week 
Lena Horne and Sheriff Clark 
Are dancing cheek to cheek 

It's fun to eulogize 
The people you despise 
As long as you don't let 'em in your school 

Oh, the poor folks hate the rich folks 
And the rich folks hate the poor folks 
All of my folks hate all of your folks 
It's American as apple pie 

But during National Brotherhood Week 
National Brotherhood Week 
New Yorkers love the Puerto Ricans 
'Cause it's very chic 

Step up and shake the hand 
Of someone you can't stand 
You can tolerate him if you try 

Oh, the Protestants hate the Catholics 
And the Catholics hate the Protestants 
And the Hindus hate the Moslems 
And everybody hates the Jews 

But during National Brotherhood Week 
National Brotherhood Week 
It's National Everyone-Smile-At-One-Another-hood Week 

Be nice to people who 
Are inferior to you 
It's only for a week, so have no fear 
Be grateful that it doesn't last all year!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Are Trump and his followers demented?

So here's a medical question I've been pondering for a while now*: Is there some gene or something about some people's brains that makes them unable to discern or recognize lies or separate fact from fiction?

And guess what? There is!

According to a recent study conducted by scientists at the University of California, San Francisco, an inability to detect lies -- and sarcasm -- may well be the result of damage to (or something affecting) the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. It even has a name, frontotemporal dementia, and the condition affects adults at a younger age (typically 40 - 70) than other forms of dementia, such as Alzheimer's.

Another sign of frontotemporal dementia? Socially inappropriate and/or compulsive behavior.

Sound like anyone orange you know (or any of his supporters)?

Pretty sure dementia would fall under the list of reasons to enact Section 4. of the 25th Amendment of the Constitution. And an MRI, which, when I last checked, was nonpartisan, would determine if Trump (or anyone else) suffered from this form of dementia.

Sadly, there is no cure for this disease... until 2020.

UPDATED: A big THANK YOU to my mother for sending me this New Yorker article titled "Why Facts Don't Change Our Minds," which scientifically explains the Trump phenomenon -- and why our species may be doomed.

*But especially since Trump secured the Republican nomination for president.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

A valentine to nature

Welcome to another episode of Mutual of J-TWO-O's Wild Kingdom.

As many of you, I love nature -- especially birds and shells (and flowers, but that's another post). So this Valentine's Day, I am sharing my love of nature with some beautiful and awe-inspiring photos of birds and shells I took the last few days*, which will hopefully distract you from all the ugliness in the world, albeit briefly.

To quote Jon Stewart, here is Your Moment of Zen...









































































*On Sanibel Island, Florida

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 https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials. 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