The Truth in Stories.

CREDIT: AP Photo/Corey Perrine.

CREDIT: AP Photo/Corey Perrine.

Just one here, head over to Think Progress to see, in the faces of people, and in their own words, how families are being ruthlessly torn apart for no good reason.

Roozbeh Aliabadi, a former consultant and soon-to-be PhD student in international relations, told ThinkProgress that the order is keeping him from his wife, who lives in Iran.

Roozbeh said he met his wife there about a couple years ago. They had a legal marriage in Iran in June of last year, and decided to hold off on having a small ceremony with friends and family until his wife was able to come to the states.

Her application for permanent residency was approved on January 17, just three days before Trump’s inauguration, and they were informed that she needs an immigrant visa to enter the country. But since Trump’s order, it’s no longer clear that she will be able to come at all.

“We wanted to start our life together. She’s an architect, I was in consulting business, soon-to-be PhD student. We can’t do it,” he said. “I haven’t seen my wife for about seven months, and this, in a way, gives us two options. Number 1: I have to move out of the U.S. Or we have to get divorced. I don’t think the latter is an option.”

“If this continues, he’s not forbidding people to come over here. He’s essentially kicking out a lot of families from the U.S.,” said Roozbeh. “I’m very sad, very heartbroken by what he did.”

“I told my wife, Mr. Trump gave me another reason to love you more. This is definitely not going to change our relationship. It might make it physically more distant, but we’ll get through this as well.”

More at Think Progress.


Toddler Trump, by Sham.

Toddler Trump, by Sham.

Everybody’s talkin’ about it, the firing of Sally Yates. Before I head into town today, I want to take a somewhat different focus on this – language. Language is important. When you can’t look at the person saying something, language provides all the vital clues we need to analyse information received. Here it is, click for full size:


This goes right back to the post on Trump’s constant assertion that he’s smart, super smart, genius smart, the smartiest of the smarty pants, the bigliest IQ ever, and his complete lack of a vocabulary, in spite of all that smart. The article linked in that post goes into detail, including analyses of Trump’s favourite words, of which, one is the word weak. I’ll concede that Trump is smart in the same way Wile E. Coyote is smart. Trump is no Roadrunner.

What concerns me in the above missive though, is the use of the word betrayal. Trump’s order isn’t, and wasn’t legal. Ms. Yates didn’t betray her office, or anyone else, but that’s language that is highly disturbing. When you use betrayal, traitor and traitorous is far behind. In a post yesterday, I asked people to note the use of the word comply. All these not so small signals are mounting up to be a screaming red alert. The fact that we’re now under a fascist dictatorship could hardly be more clear, and that’s being advertised, loud and clear at every opportunity. There is no “reasonable” in this, there’s no “necessary” either. What is there is yet another Trump Toddler Tantrum, screaming in disbelief that anyone could have the spine to not only disagree, but stand up to him. Ms. Yates was fired, not disappeared, but it’s only been two weeks. This is not going to get better.

The language is there. The signs are not only there, they are screaming. It’s full red alert, and that fact is going to slip right by way too many people. There’s already a move across the land to shut down any and all who protest. Here in my state, it’s been made legal to run down protesters. Hundreds of protesters and journalists in Washington are sitting under felony charges. Protesters in Denver were told they didn’t have a permit to exercise free speech legally. And so on, and so it is going. We are moving inexorably into a state where the words betrayal and comply are going to have a terrible weight, and the sword of Damocles is upon our heads. Speak now. Speak loud. Be Strong. Be Brave. Reject Silence. I understand scared. I’m scared. I’m wearing those pants into town today, into the heart of nDakota. Yeah, I’m fucking scared, but you all give me courage, and I wrap that around me like a cloak, and keep that strength and love and trust close.

In the nick of time…


They arrived, just in time to accompany the pants™ and myself into town tomorrow. The Tyrranophobia is dark, a swirl of tobacco and opium, with a slash of jarring black cherry, or something like. I forget what’s actually in it. The Cryophobia I’m in love with, it’s like wearing clarity wrapped in Juniper. Of the samples, Debauchery won my little black heart. Spice, a hint of orange and clove, all rather debilitated and languishing. *Happy*

GOP Fear.

Photo illustration by Sagmeister & Walsh. Set painters: Colossal Media.

Photo illustration by Sagmeister & Walsh. Set painters: Colossal Media.

The rethuglicans were floating on a wave of frenzied victory, assured in their ability to bend Trump to their will. They could finally institute all the terror, hatred and bigotry they wanted, and maybe finally get that theocracy, too. As well as the unfettered ability to be as corrupt as they wished. Unfortunately for them, the taste of fear is on their tongues.

Rather than the hoped-for collaborative new relationship between the White House and Congress, GOP officials complain that Trump is brushing aside their advice, failing to fully engage on drafting tough legislative packages on tax reform and Obamacare, and bypassing Congress by relying on executive actions, something they frequently complained about under President Barack Obama.

At the same time, Trump’s unilateral moves continue to blindside Republicans and direct the national focus toward topics many in the party would rather avoid, whether that’s how to pay for building the border wall with Mexico, warming ties with Russia, investigating false claims about voter fraud or, most recently, implementing sweeping new policies on refugees and visas.

Just about anyone could have told you that it’s not possible to control a narcissistic maniac with delusions of grandeur. It’s not as though any of that were some kind of secret, you all knew this well before hand, but you just couldn’t resist the chance to eat the country whole.

[Read more…]

No Free Speech Without A Permit.

Denver Police Commander Tony Lopez (YouTube).

Denver Police Commander Tony Lopez (YouTube).

Free speech, now illegal without a permit, so sayeth the cops.

Protesters at the Denver airport over the weekend were told by police that it was illegal to exercise “free speech without a permit.”

Denverite reported that over 200 people gathered at the Denver International Airport on Friday to protest President Donald Trump’s executive order banning travel from seven majority-Muslim countries.

In video posted to YouTube, Police Commander Tony Lopez can be seen advising demonstrators that they are in violation of the law.

“Stop doing anything that could be construed as free speech without a permit,” he explains.

I expect this glurge of nonsense just spilled out without thought, but still, it points to the ongoing lashing of the whip aimed at all those who protest. Of the 200 protesters in Washington who were hit with felony charges, one case has been dropped. The others are facing prison a/o outrageous fines of $25,000 dollars. Land of the Free. Right.

Via Raw Story.

Executive Order 9066.


Today marks the birthday of Fred Korematsu, a man who never gave up his fight for justice, even though it was a fight he needed to pursue for decades. His bravery, his light, his dedication should light a fire in all of us, renewing our personal commitment to see justice done, and to protect, help, and fight for those being victimized. Too many Americans are more than content to let the ruinous and immoral past repeat itself, while remaining blissfully ignorant of history. Just a bit here, the full story is at Think Progress, and of course, at

Here are six comments from Japanese Americans that have an important message for the Trump administration to learn from:

Fred Korematsu, 2004

No one should ever be locked away simply because they share the same race, ethnicity, or religion as a spy or terrorist. If that principle was not learned from the internment of Japanese Americans, then these are very dangerous times for our democracy.

George Takei, actor and civil rights leader, 2014

When I was a teenager, my father told me that our democracy is very fragile, but it is a true people’s democracy, both as strong and as great as the people can be, but it is also as fallible as people are. And that’s why good people have to be actively engaged in the process, sometimes holding democracy’s feet to the fire, in order to make it a better, truer democracy.

Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA), former congressman, 2015

Even after we were released, I, along with other Japanese-Americans, faced anti-Japanese slurs and insults in a post-World War II America. We developed a sense that somehow we had done something wrong. It was my father who helped me realize that our “crime” was simply being of Japanese ancestry. In a post-Pearl Harbor craze, this lineage was sufficient for the federal government to pass orders to detain and imprison an entire segment of American society — we were guilty solely by association.

Dr. Satsuki Ina, Professor Emeritus, California State University, Sacramento, 2015

I was born behind barbed wire 70 years ago in the Tule Lake Segregation Center, a maximum-security prison camp for Japanese-Americans in Northern California. My parents’ only crime was having the face of the enemy. They were never charged or convicted of a crime; yet they were forced to raise me in a prison camp when President Franklin Roosevelt signed a wartime executive order ultimately authorizing the incarceration of 120,000 people of Japanese descent. We were deemed a danger to the “national security” and incarcerated without due process of law.

Paul Ohtaki, businessman and journalist, 2008

People don’t believe this. If you go beyond — maybe a few states here — they don’t believe that the United States had a concentration camp! They don’t call it that. You can call it what you like, but they put people in who are entitled to every citizen right of anybody else. People don’t believe that!

Fumi Hayashi, Cutter Laboratories, 2006

When you see pictures of black men hanging from trees, and I don’t know how we can do things like that to each other. Sometimes I think if I were on the other side of the fence, would I go to Tanforan [a temporary incarceration camp to hold Japanese Americans] with a whole bunch of buckets and soap? Do I have that kind of something inside of me — that I would do something like that for other people? It’s a big question mark. I can’t say that I would, because I think it’s more comfortable to write a check or even worse, just do nothing.

Chizu Iiyama, activist, social worker and educator, 2009

I don’t have advice. I just say to learn from your own — to study and learn about your history; history of our government and history of all these things that happened. If you are a minority person, learn your history, so you’ll know again what happened in the past so you’ll be sure to deal with the present in a more enlightened way.

“I’m Smart.”


There’s a very interesting article up at Raw Story about Trump’s never ending insistence that he’s smart. So smart, super smart, bigly smart! It’s a low level annoyance, because it’s obviously not true, and as pointed out in the article, most people who are smart have no particular need to say so. That said, there are people who are, at least, technically smart, who seem to have a pathological need to parade that fact, and I’ve always found that to be nothing more than insecurity. When you’re a kid, it’s not fun being the egghead. Maybe that’s changed, I don’t know, but back in the day, you’d get ganged up on for being a smarty pants, so mostly you didn’t go around bragging or anything. Just tried to stay invisible in the corner, with your stack of books behind you. I don’t care about IQs, those are meaningless, and as for grades, well, those aren’t exactly a reliable indicator, either.

Smart is what you do with it. People who are curious, who read, and delight in a lifelong love of learning, that’s smart. People who are capable of thinking beyond all the tropes, clichés, stereotypes, and other bullshit, that’s smart. And so on. I love reading, I’ve had my nose in a book since always, and for me, people that read, I find them to be reassuring and comforting. And generally speaking, not only willing to think, but they love to think.

Trump doesn’t read. At all. That disturbed me no end when it first came out, and it still does. His compleat lack of a vocabulary disturbs the hell out of me too, I’ve often commented on the fact that he talks like a child. Bush Jr could barely string a sentence together, and he looks like a bloody rocket scientist next to Trump. “That’s the big stuff.” That’s what he says about major governmental decisions and policy. Anyone who is capable of thinking is left wondering “what does that mean?” Turns out, lately, what that means is “look what a big bully I am! Do what I say!” A stupid, unthinking, short-sighted bully, that’s our dictator. As the criticisms and doubt amp up, Big Bully Donny is going to get a whole lot worse. It’s barely been two weeks, and already…

Anyone who feels compelled to boast about how smart he is clearly suffers from a profound insecurity about his intelligence and accomplishments. In Trump’s case, he has good reason to have doubts.

Trump has the kind of street smarts (what he calls “gut instinct”) characteristic of con artists and hucksters, but his limited vocabulary, short attention span, ignorance of policy specifics, indifference to scientific evidence, and admitted aversion to reading raise questions about his intellectual abilities; his capacity to absorb and analyze information and ideas.

Many observers have noted that Trump has a difficult time expressing himself and speaking in complete sentences. A linguistic analysis by Politico found that Trump speaks at a fourth-grade level. A study by researchers at Carnegie-Mellon University compared last year’s Republican and Democratic presidential candidates in terms of their vocabulary and grammar. Trump scored at a fifth-grade level, the lowest of all the candidates.

Some might suspect this is not an intellectual shortcoming but instead Trump’s calculated way of communicating with a wide audience. But Tony Schwartz, who spent a great deal of time with the real estate developer while ghostwriting his book The Art of the Dealnoted that Trump has a very limited vocabulary.

Anyone who has ever bothered to skim what Trump supporters have to say, in letters, comments, tweets, what have you, there’s a noted similarity in smarts. And that’s frightening. You don’t need to be a bloody genius, but most people should at least want to be able to think, and to be able to parse things correctly, and have the means to communicate effectively.

The appeal to stupidity and ignorance is a dangerous one, and it has already proved to the be the match which set the fire.

The article is here.

Here’s a fine example of happy to be stupid and ignorant Americans:

“I feel that if a Muslim woman wants to move into this country, she needs to leave her towel home,” Bill explained. “Because the reason this country is here and safe today is because of Jesus Christ.”

It’s a hijab. Simple word, not at all hard to learn. It’s not a towel, it’s a head covering, much like those rags on your heads, oh, I mean hats. While you probably should always have your towel, that’s a universe thing, per Douglas Adams. That’s one of those book things.

He continued: “We were one nation under God. The Muslims are into Allah.

:Bangs head into wall: PLACEHOLDER. The word “god” is generic, it does not point to any particular god, that requires a name. It means ‘supreme being’. Allah means “god”, yep, ‘supreme being’. In point of fact, it happens to be the same fucking god, and I’m damn tired of pointing that out. Abrahamaic based religions: Judaism, Islam, Christianity. Same books, same god, different interpretations. And there was no “one nation under god” until genocidal assholes found their way to Turtle Island, and of course that sort of shit was reinforced during the cold war. For Chrissakes, learn something. If willfully stupid people are going to insist on being stupid, the least you could do is shut the fuck up. Try to read a book or something.

Oh, and what was our super genius president doing yesterday, as one crisis after another was unfolding? Having a private screening of Finding Dory.

CNN producer Kevin Liptak revealed on Sunday that the president’s family had chosen to screen Finding Dory, Pixar’s film about a cartoon fish who is torn apart from her family and placed in a public aquarium.

No words.

Pants, Pants, Pants.


© C. Ford.

Marcus wanted to know what was on the flip side, and this is it for now. The pants must be finished today, to be worn into town tomorrow. That ought to be fun – I’ll be at the pain clinic, which is, naturally, mostly populated by older people who listen to Fox news in the waiting room at a deafening level. Must remember headphones…