KELLY & KLEIN thank you for taking the time to visit, read, and comment. We’ll return on January 4th for another year of attempted entertainment so, we wish all our readers a Happy New Year!!
KELLY & KLEIN thank you for taking the time to visit, read, and comment. We’ll return on January 4th for another year of attempted entertainment so, we wish all our readers a Happy New Year!!
But why now, you ask?
Close to five hours keeping company with Wolfe watching thirteen asswipes screaming for dark meat. Listening to…NO Syrians! NO Mexicans! NO Muslims! NO Obama! But no NO to all the White meat mass-murderers who can get guns at a fucking show without having to bother with a background check. That’s why.
Along with no NO to all the stupid ass lies that catapulted us, bombs first, into the Middle East. Licking chops at the prospect of slaughtering towel-heads, despite the loss of sixty thousand American Ground Pounders, Wingnuts, and our coalition partners. Not to mention hundreds of thousands Iraqi and Afghani people who had gornisht to do with the Saudi terrorists who brought down the Trade Center.
They fucking pretend nothing needs to be said about those Middle East wars, instead just pander to voters’ fears and ugliest instincts. Christ, if I believed in these mooks’ collective worldview, or believed that most Americans felt the same, I’d start inviting friends and family to Jonestown for a Kool-aid party.
Every single one of them makes me sick. Worse, ashamed I share the goddamn country with ‘em. That little ”White wannabe,” Marco Rubio, a man able to combine JFK’s youthful boyishness with Nixon’s sleaze, said in an interview on The Kelly File, It’s not about closing down mosques. It’s about closing down anyplace — whether it’s a café, diner, an Internet site — anyplace where radicals are being inspired.
Right. Ignore the First Amendment and shut ‘em down. Just like that. But let’s not even talk about gun control—that’s supposedly a Second Amendment right. This son of immigrants, (who wouldn’t have been allowed into this country if Rubio’s promises were in effect at the time), squealed like he’d seen the Walking Dead when the Calgary-born, Texas plaid-man of the people (by way of Harvard and Evangelicals), Teddy Cruz, told boy-toy he wasn’t a real conservative. The Canadian Cowboy reminded the twit he had once proposed a path to Green Cards for our undocumented. Rather than stand behind this minimal shred of humanity, Rubio gulped and stuttered that he wouldn’t support that now. Worse, if All That Glitters doesn’t nail the nomination, my money is actually on the little bitch.
But I’m not done with the bible-spouting, flag-waving cowboy, who has blood drooling from his mouth instead of spit. We will carpet bomb them into oblivion. Them being ISIL despite their embedment within major urban areas within Syria and Iraq. Cruz not only wants to bomb, he wants to gloat. I don’t know if sand can glow in the dark, but we’re going to find out. This prick should have been the one riding the bomb instead of Slim Pickens in Dr. Strangelove.
And speaking of doctors, Malpractice Carson (who averaged a little less than one lawsuit every ten years so I’m probably being a little mean) hasn’t remembered the Hippocratic Oath; in fact, he’s moved into physician-heal-thyself status. Mr. Nice Guy is opposed to allowing Muslims to run for President and compared Syrian refugees to “rabid dogs” —although not during the debate. His solution? Create a Shangri La in, I believe, Jordan because, in these camps they have schools, they have recreational facilities that are really quite nice. Doctor, you’re fucking with my head.
No, not Jeb! He’s a piece of burnt, dried-out toast. Looked like a guy who wanted to be anywhere else and couldn’t figure out why he had listened to Daddy and Mommy. But even he couldn’t stop from taking a shot at dark. Jeb! said he would prefer to give asylum to Christian rather than Muslim refugees. A polite way of saying, Fuck the desperate Syrians.
This whole debate was a venue of vultures preying on our worst fears and the worst sides of our national character, all the while showing the worst sides of their characters as they pushed and shoved to get airtime. Every one of them, including Fiorina, with her, let’s become a Silicon Valley Nation. Yeah, just what we need. A government populated by the Zuckermans of the world. THEY WOULD FIRE YOUR ASS, lady! Just like they did before.
As for the fat fuck, look, I like New Jersey. Hell, I’m from Carteret. But there are two kinds of Jersey people. Those that never leave, and those who leave and never move back.
So, PLEASE, PLEASE keep Christie at home. You voted him into office. The only blowhard “experienced” enough to fight ISIL never served a minute in the military or even understands the word “diplomacy,” but has the faux cajones to blubber, I cannot allow New Jersey to participate in any program that will result in Syrian refugees — any one of whom could be connected to terrorism — being placed in our State. Then happily flaps his chins “yes” when asked if that included five-year-old orphans. Christie also bellowed that he’d be more trusted by Jordan’s King Hussein than Obama. Hat’s off, shmuck. Hussein’s been dead since 1999.
You’ve run a long way from Clifford Case, New Jersey. Shame on you.
Frankly, there are too many more morons to continue the litany. I’m out of breath and losing heart. To put the entire crowd of war-mongering, anti-my-America racist losers into perspective, when asked about our foreign policy disagreements with Putin, the so-called grownup of the menagerie, John Kasich, replied, Frankly, it’s time we punched the Russians in the nose. This bastard actually wants another round of Duck and Cover.
Uh-oh, I hear the sirens in the distance. I have to prepare for my straitjacket and ambulance ride cause they’re coming to take me away…
Tomorrow is my 31st Anniversary, I’m preparing for a colonoscopy, and I’m watching the Republican Debate. It’s a perfect shitstorm. ~ Bette Midler
I’ve never lived in a Communist country. Never lived in a Socialist country either. But in our capitalistic United States, money is the gift that keeps on giving—even after you’re dead. Money for nothing, (but the chicks ain’t free).
Admittedly, this isn’t the way I usually think about dying, but since I don’t believe in heaven or hell, the notion of money pouring in post mortem, (something I rarely experienced in my lifetime), may lift my thoughts when I see the White Light.
Over the years I’ve ranted and railed against vast wealth accumulated in too few hands. That hasn’t changed. But I just don’t see much downside to lining my pockets from six feet under.
Here’s a look at some people who have been partaking in death’s affluence for decades. All figures are approximate since different sources report different amounts—but with these numbers…who’s counting?
Albert Einstein, dead since 1955, squared away $10,000,000 last year alone. And this before the supposed line of scientific instruments, tablets, and computers bearing his name hit the market. I shoulda’ gotten a degree.Let’s face it, no matter how political I am or ever will be, no one will ever mistake me for a White Bob Marley. I can’t hold a fucking tune. And though he’s been dead since 1981, no matter. Mr. One Love chilled with a cool $18,000,000 last year. That kind of scratch scores some really, really good shit. But even with all that money, he might have a difficult time finding a dealer. Now that would hurt.
Believe me, Marley isn’t the only singer who no longer has to sing for supper.
John Lennon, who died in 1980, does pretty well at $12,000,000 a year. This for a guy who curled up naked and used to warble All You Need is Love.
I guess it’s better to slug down pills AND alcohol.
Of course, many other actors have their hands out, even if it’s in front of their headstones. The “King of Cool,” Steve McQueen, who died way back in 1980, earns a nifty $9,000,000 yearly.
A pretty good reward for making his Great Escape.
And please, let’s not forget Marilyn. Her medicine chest gets replenished with the $15,000,000 a year. I’m guessing that JFK and the Yankee Clipper are gritting their teeth with envy. Or, given their lives, maybe not so much.
Lest you think that only pop culture superstars and actors get this gig (and, yes, these days Einstein is exactly that), think again.
Dead since 2004, Ray Charles manages to earn a solid $10,000,000 a year. In fact, Ray’s earnings have risen since his death.
Theodor Geisel (aka Dr. Seuss) dumps about $9,000,000 into his hat every year. No wonder the Doctor’s cat has a smile like the Cheshire’s.
And believe it or not, the cumulative net worth of Rodgers and Hammerstein has also been upwardly mobile. (Oscar died in 1960, Richard in 1979). Does $235,000,000 sound like Some Enchanted Evening to you?
There are so many dead people earning that I can’t list all. But I would be incredibly remiss if I neglected “The King” despite the fact that Elvis, who died 1977, isn’t the highest annual earner. That honor goes to yet another “King,” Michael Jackson who, since his death, 2009, has earned close to a billion dollars.
Now that’s one hell of a lot of toys—if he can use them. (And enough to fund some new exquisite videos). Still, the “original” King is making $55,000,000, which ain’t exactly chump change. That’s over $150,000 a day for being dead!
I guess Stephen Sondheim (alive, but expected to earn after death as well) knew what he was talking about when he wrote:
I like to be in America, Okay by me in America, Everything free in America ~ West Side Story (1958)
For decades, Sue, our kids, and I have spent Thanksgiving with the same group of friends at Bill and Bonnie’s home. Over the course of those decades, our numbers have grown as kids matured into adults and started their own families. And this year is special because our older son, Matt, Alyssa, and their one-year-old twins (Mari and Vivian) will be joining us for the first time since the kids were born.
It’s always been passing strange that the single holiday I actually enjoy began, according to some historians, as a commemoration of the Pequot Massacre between 1634 and 1638. After colonists found a murdered White man in his boat, armed settlers burned a Pequot village and their crops, then demanded that the Natives turn in the murderers. The Natives refused and a massacre followed.
Shortly afterwards, William Bradford, Governor of Plymouth, declared, “A day of Thanksgiving, thanking God they had eliminated over 700 men, women, and children.” It was signed into law that “This day forth shall be a day of celebration and thanksgiving for subduing the Pequots.” (In support of a proposed national holiday, Sarah Josepha Hale, novelist and author of Mary Had A Little Lamb, wrote letters to five Presidents of the United States: Zachary Taylor, Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce, and James Buchanan, but the letter she wrote to Lincoln convinced him to support legislation establishing a national holiday of Thanksgiving in 1863.)
In a proclamation Lincoln implored that all Americans ask god to “commend to his tender care all those who had become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife,” and to “heal the wounds of a nation.” And while Lincoln connected the holiday to the Civil War, “festivities” actually dated back to the Puritan massacre.
So yeah, although the holiday’s origin is in direct contradiction to everything I’ve believed in throughout my adult life, it’s still the one I’ve enjoy the most. Go figger.
But this year, despite the joy of being with my entire family and a large number of friends and their families, my face is planted hard into that contradiction. As I write this, there really is no escape from the national debate about shelter for Syrian refugees that’s erupted since the Paris tragedy. It’s as if the majority of my fellow citizens are projecting our genocidal history with Native Americans onto people who are seeking safety from the inhumanity and mass destruction which hangs over their heads. An obscene inhumanity brought about in no small measure because of our intransigent wars in the Mideast. Go figger.
Of course, this isn’t the first time we’ve slammed our door in the face of specific peoples. We did it to the Chinese with the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, we turned away Jews trying to escape Nazism, and we rounded up Japanese people and sent them to internment camps during the Second World War. (And these are just quick-fire examples.) So there’s really nothing new in our rabid response to Syrian refugees. Fear, rational or not, does that.
I understand the anxiety caused by the Paris tragedy. I vividly remember my frantic calls to New York on 9/11, looking for my son and my cousin who worked downtown. I live in Boston so the Marathon Bombing still rings fresh. Look, every society wants to self-protect. I get it. But to imagine that Syrian refugees will just waltz through the door and into Mosques to plot terror attacks is, at best, ignorance, and, more likely, as usual, sheer racism. As it was against the Chinese, Jews, Japanese, and other nationalities who’ve been given the back of our hand.
While politicians play politics with our fears, every once in a while it’s useful to look at some facts. Here’s a very abbreviated list of refugee security screening:
Refugees are subject to the highest level of security checks of any category of traveler to the United States, including the involvement of the National Counterterrorism Center, the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Center, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of State, and the Department of Defense.
All refugees, including Syrians, are admitted only after successful completion of this stringent security screening regime, which includes all available biographic and biometric information vetted against a broad array of law enforcement and intelligence community databases to confirm identity and ensure safety.
This screening process has been enhanced over the last few years to ensure we are effectively utilizing the full scope of our intelligence community to review each applicant.
Mindful of the particular conditions of the Syria crisis, Syrian refugees go through additional forms of security screening. We continue to examine options for further enhancements for screening Syrian refugees, the details of which are classified
Clearly, it’s not impossible for a potential terrorist from any country to sneak through and blow something up. But the vast majority of what has occurred in this country that’s been termed “terrorism” has come from home-growns. Born and bred White Americans. To use Syrian refugees to pander to our people’s basic fears is almost as cold and callous as the bombs we’ve dropped on their region. But given the history of Western Civilization, the history of our species, it comes as no surprise
The opening scene in Werner Herzog’s, Aguirre, the Wrath of God, starts with a distant aerial shot of clouds atop a mountain. As we slowly travel through we begin to see movement on the mountain. Drawing closer it’s possible to make out caterpillar lines of motion. As we get even nearer, those caterpillars become people. Really close, we see Conquistadors marching while whipping slaves to pull their carriages and equipment. What was at first beautiful becomes horrifying.
So it’s tough to give thanks these days. But come Thursday, surrounded by love and joy from friends and family, I’ll no doubt kick back, eat, drink, and set aside the pain and suffering that surrounds damn near most of our world. After all, despite vicious politician fear-mongering, I know, comfortable in my White privilege, that no bombs will turn me and mine into homeless refugees. Luck of birth, eh?
later that night
I held an atlas in my lap
ran my fingers across the whole
where does it hurt?
~ Warsan Shire
Frankly, this is an odd column for me to write. I’ve never been much of a “better the less of two evils” person, choosing instead to spend most of my presidential voting life writing in names of people who I could identify with politically. (Never had much success and even had the occasional debacle during the 1968 and 2000 elections when two of my lifetime’s worst presidents were elected.) Despite those serious missteps, it still remains damn difficult to pull the lever for someone I know doesn’t represent many, if any, of my interests.
But an odd thing happened after this week’s Boston City Council elections. I read a report that only 14% of my city’s registered voters even bothered to turn out. I had anticipated a low number of voters. The election centered around our city council (a “weak council” city) with only a few contested district seats and one contested city-wide position. So, we aren’t talking about much excitement. But 14%? That got me thinking.
We pride ourselves on being a democracy (despite operating under a number of anti-democratic institutions like the Electoral College and Supreme Court). Yet, by and large, the citizens of this great, exceptionalistic country don’t give a shit about who has their hands on the reigns. Or, for many, a foot on their throat.
This week I watched Bill Maher excoriate people who don’t vote. He used the recent local elections and ballot questions to blame sushi-eating liberals for Republican victories (Kentucky gubernatorial, Virginia’s legislature, marijuana questions, etc). Problem is, Mr. Smug Righteousness is all wrong. It’s much larger than any single group.
Fact is, almost half of our registered voters don’t bother to vote in national elections. Only about 65% of the US voting-age population (and 71% of the voting-age citizenry) are even registered, according to the Census Bureau. If we want to dig a bit deeper, the following represents the stated reasons for lack of participation (and believe me, you don’t want to compare our voting behavior to other industrialized, not-so-special-democracies because we look pretty dismal).
Okay, let’s just ignore the sick and/or disabled, those who are out of town, who don’t know, have transportation issues, forgetfulness, and people who face inclement weather on election day. Even with these subtractions we’re left with a huge percentage of people who just don’t give a damn. Voter turnout in the United States is among the lowest in the developed world. Only 42 percent of Americans voted in the 2014 midterm elections, the lowest level of voter turnout since 1978.
Also worth noticing—in the 2012 election, there was a 33 point gap between the turnout rate of the highest income bracket ($150,000 or more) and the lowest, ($10,000 or less)
It’s clear that the system is leaving many people out—especially the poor.
Back in the 1960s and ’70s, the question of citizen participation was often discussed by my activist friends—albeit in a different context than these days. We talked about turning our attention to non-voters because we believed the underlying cause was the alienation and anomie people felt toward their government. I still believe that to be true but think it’s much, much worse now than back then. And with even more factors contributing to peoples’ estrangement.
First the obvious. However you want to cut it, whether it’s the one percent vs. the ninety-nine or the ten vs. the ninety, it’s crystal clear that our government is functionally controlled by the smaller number. And it doesn’t take a weatherman to know that those who control are not using the government to benefit the many, but rather the few. Of course, non-voters experience this. All they have to do is look at their lives.
Adding to the problem, there’s a vocal segment of the population who think they don’t want government at all. They’re best represented by the fools who wave placards demanding, “KEEP GOVERNMENT HANDS AWAY FROM MY SOCIAL SECURITY.” And there’s at least one political party who caters to the notion that almost any government is too much government. That party’s hypocrisy is never more evident than when a disaster strikes their home communities and, despite voting against government assistance to places that aren’t theirs, stick out hands demanding federal aid.
Pile onto this clusterfuck the fact that the other party is just as controlled by those of actual power as the first. It’s really no accident that the only candidate who rails against the one or ten percent identifies himself as an Independent.
Then there’s the recent proliferation of Voter ID laws, which many states have put in place to prevent so called fraud. Since 2008, 17 states have enacted laws requiring citizens to prove who they are at the polls, according to the National Conference of State Legislators. But getting an ID can be costly when you’re just getting by. A Government Accountability Office report found that it costs between $5 and $58.50 to get an ID in states that require it. These added barriers affect the voting participation of the poor, elderly, young adults and minorities the most.
So why vote? Truthfully, I don’t have any great answers. In fact, the best I can do is muster the idea of “self-defense.” Not even defense against the worse of two evils, but rather to stop our ongoing slide toward becoming a country that needn’t even bother with elections.
“That’s absurd! We’ll always have elections. This is America!”
Maybe so. Perhaps we’ll always have elections if for no other reason than to pretend we’re a democracy. Perhaps. But remember my town, Boston, is called the “Cradle of Liberty.” Tell me what you think about elections when only 14% of your town bothers to vote.
Democracy is based upon the conviction that there are extraordinary possibilities in ordinary people. ~ Keep Hope Alive