Sunday, July 15, 2018

Dick-swingin' Donald

After having gotten pantsed by Kim Jong-un in Singapore and smearing excrement all over our allies, our brain-damaged president is now off to Helsinki to meet with his mentor, Vladimir Putin, on how best to further undermine democracy.

Of course, dick-swingin' Donald isn't letting on as such, but the lack of a formal agenda and the exclusion of any media or observers points to only one thing.

Face it, folks. Donald admires Vladimir and considers him a role-model. He adores how Putin dispatches his enemies and—above all else—disobedient journalists. Putin is his business plan.

I am confident that when the definitive history of America is written, the Trump administration will be credited with being the beginning of the end.

Like the bumper sticker says, Fuck Trump. And fuck the people who voted for him.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Hit and Run

So. Daniel Herbert, the defense lawyer for Jason Van Dyke, has filed a motion requesting a change of venue, fearing that public comments by elected officials amount to “the public execution of Jason Van Dyke.”

Funny, but I thought the sixteen shells Van Dyke pumped into Laquan McDonald's back as McDonald was walking away from him was the public execution at issue here.

And with a pro-cop judge (Vincent Gaughan) overseeing the pre-trial preparation who has already set several legal precedents insofar as keeping potentially damaging testimony and evidence from the public record, what's with all the talk about a fair trial?

That's a joke. Right?

Do you really believe Jason Van Dyke is going to see the inside of a jail cell? 

Really?

The Republican-dominated Supreme Court just gifted public-sector union members with something for nothing. Thanks to their decision, union members can now enjoy the fruits of union representation without paying for it.

Wow. When was the last time Republicans did anything for the working man?

Predictably, there's a big, giant string attached. What looks to be a gift is actually a harakiri sword. Because by opting out of paying dues, what do you think will happen to the union?

That's right. It will bleed to death. Short-sighted union members can now slit their own throats by opting out of union dues. And without union dues, the Democratic party loses a major source of funding. 

Combined with the Citizens United decision, the supposedly impartial Supreme Court will have effectively crippled the Democratic Party, clearing the way for unopposed Republican rule.

Aside from seeing how badly Republicans will cock everything up (remember: they're better at acquiring power than wielding it), what I want to know is this: If public-sector union members can opt-out of paying dues when the organization representing them offends their political sensibilities, can I likewise opt-out of paying federal income taxes when the sitting administration offends my political sensibilities?

I didn't think so.

Ed Schultz was a born-again Democrat. Immersed from birth in Republican hooey, he not only saw the error of his ways but possessed the strength to publicly acknowledge them and moved to serve the greater good by becoming a Democrat in 2000.

As a powerful and passionate speaker, he was able to communicate his new party's ideals, which make Democrats the strongest and best upholders of the convictions that birthed this country. His plain-spoken manner especially resonated with the inhabitants of the Great Plains, traditionally a Republican stronghold.

Sadly, Mr. Schultz died early this morning of natural causes in Washington D.C.

Rest in peace, Sir.

Finally, I have never used this blog to shill for money. I have made no attempt to monetize The Square Peg. Ever.

But there's a temporary change afoot. On June 24th, I read a powerful article in the Chicago Tribune by Anne Kim about a dentist working in rural West Virginia. A dentist committed to serving instead of inflating her net worth.

In the Age of Trump, that struck me as profound. It left me wanting to help.

In appreciation of her selflessness, I would like to raise a thousand dollars, money that could help sustain her practice and/or herself.

If you're of a mind to, please visit the GoFundMe page I created at http://gofundme.com/helping-a-dentist-with-a-heart. If the mood strikes, please donate what you can.

Thank you.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Random Thoughts, Vol. 11

Is there a Republican out there who can explain to me why mandatory car insurance poses no threat whatsoever to our personal liberties, but how mandatory health insurance is the toxin that will lay waste to all of them?

If it weren't for gangster rap, I never would have known how Led Zeppelin sounded to my parents.

Is there anything more excruciating than watching Donald Trump attempting to look sincere?

After several people told me that Yosemite National Park would take my breath away, I wised-up and cancelled my trip.

Not all Republicans are racist, but all racists are Republicans.

Funny how when I return to my car from the supermarket, the type of vehicle which makes up half of all new car sales is parked on either side of me one-hundred percent of the time.

Donald Trump is the Albert Einstein of arrogance and stupidity.

When I think of the California home where children were starved, beaten and tortured, I'm so grateful their parents weren't aborted. Because that would be a crime.

Funny that just as our allegiance to our political parties has never been more passionate, they have never been less-deserving of it.

Panties are next to the best thing on Earth. : )

Thursday, June 28, 2018

God I Love This Country!

In light of our most-recent NRA-enabled mass shooting (this one in Annapolis, Maryland), I humbly and respectfully submit that this should be the NRA's new tag line:

If You Don't Want to Die, Don't Be Born!

I will also send my most sincere and profound thanks to them for their assistance in ensuring that all Americans, regardless of age, class, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, gender or country of origin, have the right to die at any time in any place for no reason whatsoever.

Go ahead—ask yourself: where would we be without them?


Sunday, June 24, 2018

The Tyranny of Social Media

It's an amazing bit of confluence, really. That on the thirtieth anniversary of James Hansen's press conference confirming the existence of global warming our latest and perhaps most-puerile example of overheated social media outrage should emerge.

First, let me be clear: I am not a fan of social media. It amplifies our worst characteristics and encourages our most anti-social impulses as it places thoughtless, knee-jerk rants from borderline lunatics alongside sober opinions and vetted facts and seemingly confers legitimacy upon each.

Go ahead. Call me a snob. Call me pretentious. Call me someone who thinks than he's better than everyone else. But here's the thing: I don't offer opinions and present them as facts. And when facts are presented, they're researched to ensure accuracy.

In other words, I am not Pete Gaines.

For those of you who don't know, Pete Gaines possesses an otherworldly ability to discern one's moral fiber simply by gazing at their license plate. Gaines' additional talents are put on display when he simultaneously acts as prosecutor, judge and jury and posts to social media the results of his exhaustive investigations.

Take the poor sap who was motoring along in a Tesla, his car unfortunate enough to bear a four-digit license plate. While the rest of us would have continued along, aiding and abetting this heinous criminal in happy ignorance, Pete Gaines knew better.

Because he is Pete Gaines. And we're not.

He just knew there was a white supremacist within. A white supremacist who needed to be called-out and harassed. Fortunately for Illinois taxpayers, Gaines could circumvent the twin inconveniences of law enforcement and our judicial system simply by tweeting his revelation worldwide:

Hey @ILSecOfState why do you allow Nazis to get Nazi slogans on their Tesla's personalized license plates?  

The denizens of the digital landscape (mostly unschooled in the art of critical thinking), could then obediently devour the bait provided by Gaines and excrete their comments in kind. Among the considered remarks: “If you see this car in Illinois burn it.” “Bust his windows and slash his tires.”

Good ideas, all. And thanks for not letting the complete absence of facts and proof dissuade you. Because the fact that it appeared on Twitter is proof-enough, isn't it? You, like, have to prove everything you tweet, right?

If it even matters, it was later revealed the Tesla owner had never been, was not currently nor did he plan to be a white supremacist at any point in the future. But the damage was done. The story had crested. 

Most importantly, the lizard-brained trolls who inhabit social media and fancy themselves as both the arbitrators and guardians of public morality even as they help to destroy it got to spew.

Sharing a half-baked conspiracy theory based on a decades-old fashion with the urgency of ISIS insurgents parading up your driveway is massively irresponsible. It makes you as spiteful and as paranoid as the people you purport to abhor.

I forget: who said we become what we hate?

Anyway, I think I finally understand how Donald Trump was elected. And why the massive ice sheets in Greenland, Antarctica and the Arctic are melting.

God help us.


Thursday, June 14, 2018

Keep On Keepin' On

It's hard to feel for people who are some combination of wealthy, famous and attractive. This because they lead lives we imagine to be far superior to our own, immune from the problems the rest of us struggle with every day.

For instance, rush hour can't possibly be the enervating ordeal for LeBron James or Jennifer Lawrence or Jeff Bezos that it is for you and I, right?

Wrong. 

While fame and fortune can certainly cushion one from life's harsher realities, it doesn't ensure that it will be a blissful and serene float down the river of dreams. For proof, we need only look at Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. Neither were sweating Republican threats to slash Social Security and Medicare. Yet both were so drastically unhappy they took their own lives.

But there is another, more inspiring example: Kevin White.

Unless you're a fan of the Chicago Bears, you probably have no idea who Kevin White is. He is a wide receiver from the University of West Virginia, and was the seventh player selected in the 2015 NFL draft.

To put that in perspective, of the thousands and thousands of young men playing collegiate football at that time, just six (six!) were thought to be better NFL prospects to the folk who earned their livelihoods appraising them than Kevin White.

Pretty heady stuff. And an apparent head start on a rewarding, fulfilling life.

But three years removed from the glorious spring evening on which he was drafted, White has played in just five games. Caught just twenty-one passes. He has yet to score an officially-sanctioned NFL touchdown.

They're not the kind of numbers number-seven picks are supposed to put up.

But there are reasons for that. First there was the stress fracture in his very first training camp which effectively ended his rookie season. Then, four games into his second year a broken ankle ended it. And in game number-one of his third, the star-crossed receiver incurred a season-ending clavicle fracture.

Sports columnists and the general public have thoughtfully provided insult to these injuries.

White has been declared a wasted draft pick. His team's most overpaid player. And much, much worse. He has been cruelly derided for his lack of production as if he chose these injuries over playing the game that has been his passion since childhood.

I don't know White, but I'm reasonably sure the last three years have been torment. Imagine possessing the talent to play NFL football, and after being fitted for a uniform and signing a great, big contract, being denied by a series of injuries for which the word 'freakish' barely suffices.

Kindly note these injuries happened despite the status that is accorded those whose names appear on NFL rosters. Kindly note his body was ravaged despite a guaranteed contract worth more money than I (and perhaps you) have made in forty-four years of wage-slavery.

Kindly note that despite the passion and the work and the time devoted to it, his dream has only intermittently appeared, drifting in and out like a radio station with a weak signal.

But even after that dream began to curdle like spoiled milk White did not give up. Even after his notoriety became a two-edged sword and his income an albatross White persevered. He has responded to each and every injury by rehabbing himself into game shape with an unswerving and profound relentlessness.

If I'm Bears' GM Ryan Pace, that is precisely the type of personality I want challenging psychotic dudes called linebackers who take powerful exception to footballs being caught in their midst.

White is not a wasted draft pick. White is not a malingerer. White is not (to quote the most-offensive fan comment) a pussy.

White is a role-model.

Despite his modest accomplishments on NFL gridirons, White is an All-Pro insofar as The Square Peg is concerned. And we will risk a hernia pulling for him in 2018.

The best of luck to you, Sir.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Donald Has a New Toy!

The Trump-whore has discovered the pardon. In this, he has unearthed a new way to stuff the yawning maw of his needy and insatiable ego.

For those of us not already rendered mute by the Trump-whore's general amazingness, we can watch as he waves his magic wand and changes lives. Sets people free. And rights the wrongs of Democratic administrations.

There are no congressional hearings. No nominating procedures. It's just like the good old days when all the Trump-whore had to do was issue a memo and boom! It was done.

No fucking around, right Donnie?

And just as surely as the Trump-whore knows how to write out a check to silence, he also knows—instinctively—whom to pardon. Which would be anyone attracting the attention of the media formerly known as 'fake'.

The Trump-whore can't lead a parade, much less a nation. But he knows how to pop the top on a nicely-chilled, twelve-ounce bottle of Feel Good and bask in the warmth of Aren't I Great?

And per his latest Tweet, thousands more are coming.

I once worked for a very wealthy man who engineered a hostile takeover of my employer. Inserted into his contract was a provision that stipulated his newest acquisition would pay for any and all legal expenses incurred by him.

After he was accused and later indicted for insider trading and stock manipulation (nearly destroying the company in the process), it became the pinnacle of irony that the company he had, in effect, raped was footing the bill for his defense.

Which brings me to the Trump-whore's latest declaration that since he is not just President of the United States but King-President, he is allowed to pardon himself.

Which causes me wonder why he'd want to. Or need to.

Can someone please dial 9-1-1?

Democracy has collapsed to the floor and is cyanotic.