From Pine View Farm

“Unpresidented” 0

Der Spiegel takes a look at Donald Trump’s first three months in office. What they see is not pretty. A nugget (emphasis added):

On Wednesday, a few hours before the special counsel was set loose on him, Donald Trump was standing before the graduates of the Coast Guard Academy. He was supposed to hold an inspiring talk, to spread a positive message, as one does at graduation speeches. Instead, he once again spoke about himself. “Over the course of your life, you will find that things are not always fair,” he said to the graduating students. “Look at the way I’ve been treated, especially by the media,” Trump said. “No politician in history, and I say this with great surety, has been treated worse or more unfairly.

“No politician in history. Not Nelson Mandela. Not Mahatma Gandhi, not John F. Kennedy. Him. There stood a billionaire, inhabiting the most powerful office in the world, complaining about how unfair the world was. Because there seems to be one rule with Donald Trump: He is never to blame, even though almost everything currently happening to him is his fault.

Do read the rest.

Old Wine In Neo Bottles 0

Thom summarizes the history and failure of Neo-Liberalism, in particular its role in molding oligarchies.

Trumpling the Separation of Powers 0

Jill Abramson discerns a disturbing drift towards despotism. An excerpt:

America’s founding fathers were deathly afraid of centralised, absolute power. This is why the government they structured had three equal branches, and plenty of checks and balances. And the first amendment is first for a reason. Freedom of the press is guaranteed because the founders envisaged the press as a bulwark against absolute power. This goes to the heart of who we are, and what we might become.

This is American law for dummies, but Trump gives no indication of knowing its basic tenets. Fundamentals bear repeating. No one in the United States has absolute power or an absolute right to do anything that violates the constitution. But apparent violations seem to be occurring almost daily.

Facebook Frolics 0

Secessionist frolics.

“An Armed Society Is a Polite Society” 0

Politeness is a Republican Family Value.

Officers learned the 15-year-old victim had been accidentally shot in the face by his 10-year-old sibling.

Thus passeth another day in NRA Paradise.

The Court Is in Sessions 0

At Above the Law, Joe Patrice details a recent and Kafkaesque attempt by the Sessions Department of “you can laughingly call it” Justice to deny immigrants access to legal advice.

It appears the vile is in style.

QOTD 0

W. Edwards Deming:

It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory.

Unfair to Children 0

UC Berkeley professor Alison Gopnik takes issue with comparisons of Donald Trump to pre-school children.

Having researched child development intensely, she finds such comparisons insult the children. Here’s a bit:

But the analogy is profoundly wrong, and it’s unfair to children. The scientific developmental research of the past 30 years shows that Mr. Trump is utterly unlike a 4-year-old.

Four-year-olds care deeply about the truth. They constantly try to seek out information and to figure out how the world works. Of course, 4-year-olds, as well as adults, occasionally lie. But Mr. Trump doesn’t just lie; he seems not even to care whether his statements are true.

Four-year-olds are insatiably curious. One study found that the average preschooler asks hundreds of questions per day. Just watch a toddler “getting into everything” — endangering his own safety to investigate interesting new objects like knives and toasters. Mr. Trump refuses to read and is bored by anything that doesn’t involve him personally.

Much more at the link.

Via The San Jose Mercury News.

Skewed Perspective 0

Title:  Questions.  Scene One:  White woman to young white woman holding baby:  Aw, is that your little brother?  To young black woman holding baby:  Aw, is they your son?  Scene Two:  Doctor to white high school senior girl:  What colleges have you applied to?  To black high school senior girl:  Will you be the first person in your family to graduate high school?  Scene three:  Girl to white female classmate:  What's your major?  To black female classmate:  Are you the first person in your family to go toe college?  Man to young white woman:  Do you have any kids?  To young black woman:  How many kids do you have?  Female doctor to white woman with little baby:  What does your husband do?  To youg black woman with baby:  Is the father still in the picture?

And, in more news of the skewed . . . .

Via Job’s Anger.

Art Imitates Life 0

Professor:  Sen. Belfry is announcing his new press secretary this afternoon.  Shoe:  What happened to the old one?  Shoe:  His pants were on fire and his nose got as long as telephone wire.


Click for the original image.

Fine Whine 0

Donald Trump whining,


Click for the original image.

Consequences 0

Party Hearty 0

Penn State PR Department discussing stories about


Click for the original image.

(If you are unclear as to what this cartoon refers to, just read this.)

Afterthought:

When I went to college, I briefly–oh so very briefly–considered rushing a frat.

Then I realized I could get drunk quite nicely on my own without having to waste my drinking money on dues.

Because, frankly, getting drunk is what college fraternities do. All the rest is window dressing.

Quest for Clarity 0

Uncle Sam to Donald Trump lounging poolside:


Click for the original image.

“A Shared Vision” 0

Shaun Mullen explores the Russian connection. Here’s how he starts out:

Although they ruled empires 4,600 miles apart, Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin shared a vision.

Trump, the billionaire New York real estate mogul and reality television star, wanted even more power and money, while Putin, the autocratic Russian president, wanted even more power and influence. Trump fantasized about becoming president of the United States while Putin dreamed of returning the former Soviet Union to its Cold War glory and was willing to do whatever it took, most especially undermining America’s standing as the sole superpower.

Follow the link to see how he wraps up.

QOTD 0

Rene Magritte:

We must not fear daylight just because it almost always illuminates a miserable world.

Palate Cleanser 0

Still Rising Again after All These Years 0

Click to hear the New Secesh celebrate their glorious Southern heritage.

(2017-05-22 23:15 Link updated to a more thorough description of the conduct of the New Secesh.)

Twits on Twitter 0

The intervention.

The Ban That Dare Not Speak Its Name 0

At The Charlotte Observer, historian David B. Parker finds a parallel to Donald Trump’s “oh, no, it’s not really a Muslim ban” ban. It’s not pretty. Here’s the gist:

That’s an interesting point. How can an order that never mentions the word “Muslim” be considered a Muslim ban?

It might be useful to consider a historical analogy.

In the late 19th century, Mississippi’s Democratic leaders were concerned about the state’s political future. Democrats had controlled Mississippi since the end of Reconstruction, but the black population was growing, and Republicans (at the time, the more civil rights-oriented party) had just gained control of both houses of Congress and the White House. How could Democrats ensure that they would stay on top?

If only there were some way to limit the black vote, they would be safe. If only they could pass a law that said, “Negroes may not vote in Mississippi,” that would settle it. But the Fifteenth Amendment prohibited states from denying anyone the right to vote “on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” So this is the problem that white Mississippians faced: how to cut out the black vote without looking like they were cutting out the black vote.