11 minute hero

I guess Donald Trump’s twitter account was suspended for a brief 11 minutes yesterday evening — a departing employee took a moment to give us a fleeting respite from the flatulence erupting from the White House. But of course, Twitter was quick to declare this a mistake and to switch the ass-trumpet back on, because they love their popular fascists.

Twitter took responsibility for the outage. In a tweeted statement, the company said Trump’s account was “inadvertently deactivated due to human error” by one of its employees. The account was unreachable for 11 minutes.

Twitter later said the deactivation “was done by a Twitter customer support employee who did this on the employee’s last day.”

That ex-employee deserves praise for doing what the Twitter management is incapable of doing.

Isn’t it about time we left Twitter en masse for a more responsible service?

The politics of resentment

Do you want to know how a corrupt, incompetent, sleazy plutocrat and reality TV show host became president of the United States? It’s not because he’s doing good things for some underclass, or because he’s representing the under-represented, or even because the Russians told people to vote for him. It’s actually because a lot of resentful white people felt like waving a middle finger at everyone. Here’s a beautiful example of that phenomenon, the ‘hobby’ of “rolling coal”, that is, tricking out your truck so you can make it spew dirty black clouds of smoke at people.

Entire dissertations could be written about rolling coal. Even more than Trump’s ascension, it seems to perfectly capture a moment in time, an inarticulate yawp of protest from angry white men. They feel disdained and overlooked and they will blow thick black smoke in your face until you pay attention.

There’s no faux nostalgia involved. Unlike with, say, hunting, there’s no tale of rugged rural self-sufficiency to draw on. This is not some sturdy heartland tradition with which meddlesome elites want to interfere.

Rolling coal is new; it just caught on a few years ago. It does not improve the performance of a truck. It has no practical application or pragmatic purpose of any kind. It is purely aggressive, a raw expression of defiance: I can pollute your air, for no reason, and no one can stop me.

It makes sense. Donald Trump is the political equivalent of just vomiting disgusting sludge on people.

This is not rational. They’re spending thousands of dollars to modify their trucks to be less efficient, just to spite people.

But to diesel owners like Corey Blue of Roanoke, Ill., the very efforts to ban coal rolling represent the worst of government overreach and environmental activism. Your bill will not stop us! Mr. Blue wrote to Will Guzzardi, a state representative who has proposed a $5,000 fine on anyone who removes or alters emissions equipment.

Why don’t you go live in Sweden and get the heck out of our country, Mr. Blue wrote. I will continue to roll coal anytime I feel like and fog your stupid eco-cars.

Remember this when they start babbling about freedom. It’s only freedom for them, and they’re not going to tolerate the freedom of others to drive a more efficient and ecologically sound vehicle, like a Prius…and some like to fog bicyclists as well.

Deep fat fry the rich? Stuff ’em with greasy cheese? Gotta think about appropriate fates.

I had Papa John’s pizza once, long ago, and did not care for it at all, and haven’t had any since…which means a boycott by me isn’t going to change anything at all. But since “Papa John”, John Schnatter, is a terrible human being, sure, boycott the place. He’s an evangelical Christian/Republican who hates the poor except when he can suck the money out of their pockets for crappy pizzas. He’s now blaming the NFL for a major financial loss, because somehow the fact that he advertises heavily at games where players are now kneeling to protest racism means viewers buy less pizza? I don’t quite follow the logic, but OK.

Of course, no boycott is going to hurt Schnatter. He’s built a personal fortune of $800 million off his terrible pizza chain, so really, he could not sell a single pizza ever again and he’d still be living on the lap of luxury, praising Jesus and refusing to pay the hired help a decent wage. I guess I’ll have to add his name to the long list of Up Against the Wall nominees.

By the way, how did the boycott of Chik-Fil-A’s homophobic executives go? Nothing seems to get in between awful, exploitive fast food franchises and the American public.

The Battle of Tollense Valley

Here’s an odd little article about some significant archaeological discoveries in Germany: the site of a major Bronze Age battle is being excavated in the Tollense Valley. On the order of 2000 men fought in it; radioisotope analysis reveals that the men came from a couple of distinct geographic areas, and that some of the fighters were presumably mercenaries. At least 130 men died — that’s the number of skeletons that have been dug up. It was a huge conflict, possibly over a nearby causeway, for its time, 3200 years ago.

Yet no one knows who these combatants were, or what they were fighting for, or even who won.

Just keep that in mind next time someone asks people to die for a cause.

Weapon of choice?

Is this how it’s going to be, mass murder by rental truck? It’s another terror attack in NY, with a guy plowing at high speed down a bike lane in Manhattan, killing at least 8.

I do notice that officials were very quick to declare this an attack of terrorism — the driver is reported to have shouted “Allah Akbar” as he took off. Curious, isn’t it, that everyone was slow to call the same behavior in Charlottesville an act of terror…I guess “MAGA” isn’t enough of a sign.

Money laundering, tax evasion and conspiracy against the United States

The first indictments have come down, and the targets are Paul Manafort and his crony, Richard Gates. I suspect it’s the money charges — money laundering and tax evasion — that are really going to hurt Manafort and Gates. If conspiracy and treason could get you in trouble, we’d have to arrest most of the members of the Republican party.

Let’s hope these two are just the start.

Both sides

Ladies and gentlemen, behold our new Ambassador to Canada, Kelly Craft.

I think that both sides have their own results, from their studies, and I appreciate and I respect both sides of the science.

She is a “business consultant”, her husband is the CEO of a coal company, and they donated $2 million to the Trump campaign.

I wonder if she thinks her dodge was clever? Because it wasn’t.

Turns out there is a price paid for spraying venom onto the internet

Horrifying. Read about the day Lane Davis murdered his father. Davis was deeply involved with the far, far right, working as an unpaid intern for Milo Yiannopoulos, writing for the demented Ralph Retort web site, and he finally snapped.

Lane had spent that Friday morning as he did most mornings, on the internet. This day, like the others, Lane read and retweeted posts celebrating the Second Amendment, bemoaning diversity, and spreading conspiracy theories that alleged Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta was involved in a child sex ring and DNC staffer Seth Rich had been murdered. It was the end of a busy week during which he contributed to the Donald Trump subreddit, and over on The Ralph Retort, a fringe blog where he worked as a political editor, (unpaid, according to the site’s owner), he had celebrated the idea of a Kid Rock Senate run, claimed America was under threat of Sharia law, and wondered whether CNN was “literally ISIS.”

Lane’s parents, Catherine and Charles Davis—Charles was known as Chuck to his friends— were used to their 33-year-old son’s outbursts. They had become so frequent that Charles had started recording the tirades on his phone. But that afternoon, they were tired of Lane’s screaming, wanted him to leave, and told him as much. Instead, Lane chased his parents around their home, spitting in his father’s face while screaming that he wasn’t threatening to kill them, but “pedophiles who were taking over the country.”

Whoa. Your 33 year old son is still living in your house and spends his time literally screaming at the internet? I think maybe it’s time to hold an intervention. Unfortunately, it’s people like that who get the most attention on the internet.

This 911 call goes on with ever escalating behavior.

“We’re trying to but he’s chasing us around the house,” she replied. “He’s mad about something on the internet about leftist pedophiles and he thinks we’re leftist and he’s calling us pedophiles. And I don’t know what all.”

Catherine laughed. “He just lives on the internet and he gets really worked up about everything that’s going on. He needs an intervention of some kind here.”

Police were on their way, the dispatcher told Catherine, and she hung up. But Charles’s phone kept recording.

His mother laughed. She’d become so inured to her son’s rabidity that she had lost all sense of perspective. That’s tragic, because the recording includes her son taking a kitchen knife and stabs his 73 year old father to death.

Not all right-wingers are incipient father-stabbers, but jesus…you have to recognize that somebody who’s ranting about PizzaGate, thinks Hillary Clinton leads a pedophile ring, and listens to professional internet assholes like Alex Jones or the Ralph Retort, has got serious problems. These aren’t the cause of the problem, but are symptoms that ought to be seen as potentially diagnostic.

It’s a metaphor for America. Like Catherine Davis and her dangerously lunatic son, we’ve gotten used to the Republican party and Donald Trump.