Vive la France!
The ongoing comedramedary that is electoral politics has entered its next season, as the French presidential elections have completed their first round of combat. As expected, right-wing hate fear fascist nazi Hitler Trump white privilege patriarch poopyhead Marine Le Pen has made it to the second round, as has "centrist" Emmanuel Macron, an international banker and former member of the Socialist Party. No points for guessing which one George Soros is paying college students to riot for. Further research: what does "antifascistes" mean in French? It is a mystery!
Macron is expected to mop the floor with Le Pen in the runoff, and this is not predicted to be anything like the way Hillary Clinton mopped the floor with Donald Trump, nor the way "remain" mopped the floor with "leave" in the British EU vote I still refuse to call "Brexit" because honestly that’s hideous. We all know that the two things that are always and everywhere honest and correct are elections and electoral polls, so I’m sure that will remain the case.
Lights in the darkness
As we discussed a few days ago, April 6, 2017 was the day president Trump officially betrayed Trumpism, inserting the United States into yet another foolish regime change operation in the middle east, pushing the world yet closer to open war between the US and Russia, and dumping additional tens of millions of dollars down the defense contractor pit. Apparently, making America great again involves giving us Hillary Clinton’s policies dressed up with Sewer Urchin’s rhetorical style.
But you know about that already. In fact, if you’re a bit sharp, you most likely knew it was coming. Yes, the Trump reversal was whatever the opposite of "unexpected" is — a concept word scientists of the future will dub "expected." What was less expected, though — arguably much less expected — was the way many of Trump’s most stalwart supporters turned around on him just as ferociously. And I don’t just mean tiny, meaningless dudes with blogs and no audience.
You have the obligation to remain silent
Ah, America. Land of the free! Home of the Barves! Where the only thing more cherished than apple pie, baseball, and motherhood is the absolute, rock-solid, George Washington-approved, First Amendment-guaranteed right to free speech. I’m sure you know it by heart:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Of course, as any fule kno, the Constitution is a "living document." What necromantic rites were involved in this black sorcery your humble narrator shudders to think, but apparently the Constitution, quite unlike every other piece of paper in the history of the world, has the power to update itself whenever the disembodied flying devil head of Uncle Sam wills it to be. And, in an astonishing turn of events, He communicates His grand design to us through the federal judiciary. Last week, the holy judiciary handed down the magical new text of the First Amendment, which has apparently been updated with a rider adding "… unless minor bureaucrats don’t like it."
Putting his money where his mouth is
How the man finds the time to do all these things is beyond me, but, prior to his rather eventful evening in Berkeley, right-wing troublemaker and official Donald Trump #1 Fan Milo Yiannopoulos (whose name I can finally spell under my own power) headed to the southern border with a crew of shirtless musclemen to get started building that wall we’ve heard so much about.
No, that’s true.
With thunderous applause
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from the past few months, it’s that you just can’t trust them Russkies. I turned my back on them for one minute, and bam! They stole all of my elections. If you’re anything like me — and you know you are — you’re sick and tired of having your precious, hard-earned elections stolen by the Reds, but what can you do about it? Nothing, that’s what! Oh, if only someone from the government were here to help!
Citing increasingly sophisticated cyber bad actors and an election infrastructure that’s "vital to our national interests," Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson is designating U.S. election systems critical infrastructure, a move that provides more federal help for state and local governments to keep their election systems safe from tampering.
Ho Ho Ho
Hey, I’m a pretty laid-back guy, right? Other than everything I’ve ever written on this site, everything I’ve ever written for several other web sites, everything I’ve ever written for a print publication, and about two thirds of what comes out of my mouth when I’m speaking, I’m scarcely ever critical of others. In particular, I tend to give a pass to soggy leftists complaining that Christmas is offensive; that’s more of a mating cry than an actual argument, and I’ve always sort of considered it to be beneath refutation. I reserve the right, however, to alter or abolish that policy when the sog in question is especially clueless about theology while, at the same time, being of the cloth. So it is that I turn my baleful gaze to the Rt. Rev. Ruth Everhart, who is of a mind that the Blessed Virgin Mary is offensive to sluts.
Church culture tends to be fixated on sexual purity year-round, but during Advent, I’m tempted to blame it on the Virgin Mary. After all, she set an impossibly high bar. Now the rest of us are stuck trying to be both a virgin and a mother at the same time. It does not seem to matter that this is biologically impossible. Can you at least try?
No, you cannot. We’re done here, right?
I was away all last week, to be honest. I’m sure we all agreed not to do anything weird while I was gone, right?
The Phantom Menace
Now that the election is over and Countess Parkinson von Dracula has been returned to her eternal slumber in the crypts of the damned, the more naïve among us probably expected that the Russian-baiting would recede juuuuuust a bit. Fortunately for America, the Washington Post is too busy seeking out the cold, hard truth to allow made-up fairy tales about evil Soviet hacking teams to die! Here’s an entirely sober story in this entirely serious, respectable paper about how absolutely everything is a Russian plot.
Russia’s increasingly sophisticated propaganda machinery — including thousands of botnets, teams of paid human "trolls," and networks of websites and social-media accounts — echoed and amplified right-wing sites across the Internet as they portrayed Clinton as a criminal hiding potentially fatal health problems and preparing to hand control of the nation to a shadowy cabal of global financiers. The effort also sought to heighten the appearance of international tensions and promote fear of looming hostilities with nuclear-armed Russia.
Is that the delicate aroma of sour grapes I detect? Could it be that the professional propagandists at the Washington Post are attempting to cover up their obvious (and hilarious!) failure by inventing imaginary dragons to pretend they weren’t equipped to slay? Is it possible, do you suppose, that this is the passive-aggressive way regime mouthpieces ask for a raise in the face of an embarrassingly bad performance? Further research: learn what a "botnet" is, and then come back and tell me if you really think the Russian government employed thousands of distinct botnets in its attempt to get Donald Trump elected president.
I’m Commander Shepard, and this is my favorite auction on the internet
Last year, Kapersky reported on the existence of a secret, highly sophisticated hacking group they dubbed the Equation Group. The Equation Group was all but confirmed to be a part of the NSA, due to its frequent use of encryption techniques otherwise only observed to be used by the NSA, and was discovered to be responsible for a series of highly advanced hacks that could do things no other known malware could do (such as rewrite hard drive firmware). Clearly, this was evidence that the United States government employed the most terrifying, invincible hackers anywhere in the world!
And then last week the Shadow Brokers announced that they’d stolen the whole suite of hacking tools, and offered to sell it to the highest bidder.
One of the most enduring symbols of the American liberty movement is the Gadsden Flag. Designed by Colonel Christopher Gadsden in 1775, it consists of a bold yellow field emblazoned with a coiled rattlesnake — which had been used as a symbol of the American colonies since the 1750s — and the legend "don’t tread on me." Though it was originally designed as the standard to be flown by Commodore Hopkins’ flagship in the brand-new continental navy, its striking design and powerful message made it popular with liberty-minded sorts, and it was frequently used in the revolutionary government, and has remained in use to this day among the people opposed to what that government has become.
I’m sure you’ll be startled to hear that it’s racist.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is reportedly investigating the issue surrounding the ‘Don’t Tread On Me’ snake logo after an African American employee of a federal agency complained they [sic] were racially harassed when a co-worker wore a cap showing the symbol.
The complainant said he found the cap racially offensive to African Americans because the flag was designed by Christopher Gadsden, who [sic] he described as a ‘slave trader & owner of slaves’.