Carpet Bombing Agrabah

carpet bombing agrabah

 Watch the sand glow: Ted Cruz’s alter ego sending his troops into battle to carpet bomb Agrabah

Introduction

According to a new poll by Public Policy Polling (PPP), 30% of Republicans and and 41% of Donald Trump supporters support the bombing of the city of Agrabah. Unfortunately for them, the strategic value of same would be nil, since Agrabah was the fantasy capital of Princess Jasmine’s homeland in the animated Disney cartoon Alladin.  The poll didn’t contain cross-tabs breaking down the preference of Ted Cruz voters, but consistent with his prior remarks, they’d prefer it be carpet bombing, to see if they could “make the sand glow in the dark.”

“It’s a whole new world,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. “Republicans who support carpet bombing also support bombing magic carpets.”

Is Carpet Bombing a War Crime?

By “bombing magic carpets,” perhaps Dean Debnam meant to say magic carpet bombers, a reference to the new B-Stupid-2 heavy bomber that is being built in Cruz’s home state of Texas. In selling the plane to Congress, Cruz argued that expensive precision guided ordinance wasn’t needed when dropping a payload of unguided dumb bombs on terrorist controlled population centers. (/snark)

As the former Texas’s state Solicitor General, Cruz argued nine cases before the Supreme Court. He also clerked for former Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist. He’s a slick and experienced litigator. If pressed about the ensuing collateral damage that carpet-bombing would have on innocent civilians, and how that would put the US at risk for war crimes, he would likely argue that the legal threshold for war crimes has been satisfied. (See, e.g., Protocol 1 of the Geneva Conventions, to which the United States is a signatory.) International law requires that such a catastrophic action as carpet bombing satisfy the demands of proportionality; i.e. that it does substantially more good than harm.

As long as Cruz and his ilk can ratchet up a proportionate amount of fear and paranoia, they can always argue that carpet bombing is justified. (The ends justify the means, and all that.. Marinate in copious amounts of American exceptionalism, Manifest Destiny, Superpower status, and might makes right machoism, and you can serve up as much collateral damage as you like. /sarcasm)

Does one even have to mention the moral and strategic blowback that killing thousands of innocent civilians with carpet bombing would generate? The propaganda value to ISIS/ISIL/Daesh?

More Stupid

All this marks a new chapter in Teh Stupid, with even 19% of Democrats favoring bombing Agrabah. If Hunter Thompson was alive, no doubt he’d be releasing a new book with a title along the lines of Fear and Loathing in US Presidential Politics.

A recent Zogby poll bears this out:

[W]hile Democrats had a 51% favorable view of Arab Americans compared with 23% who held unfavorable views and had a 44%/28% net favorable view of American Muslims, Republican attitudes of Arab Americans were 34% favorable/44% unfavorable and a 26%/53% net unfavorable rating for American Muslims.

Similar divergent views were found with regard to whether or not voters felt confident that an Arab American or an American Muslim could faithfully carry out their responsibilities in a government position…

And the same divide could be found in response to questions regarding whether Arab Americans and American Muslims should be profiled or whether Syrian refugees should be admitted to the US, with six in ten GOP voters saying that Arab Americans and American Muslims should be profiled and the same percentage rejecting the president’s goal of accepting 10,000 vetted Syrian refugees a year.

And in a finding that would make birther crusader and professional  religious bigot Donald Trump proud:

The most striking gap occurred in response to the question about the president’s religion with only one in ten Democrats believing that Obama might be Muslim and almost seven in ten Republicans asserting that he was either a Muslim (49%) or had no faith at all (19%).

BTW, has anyone heard from those two private investigators that Trump sent to Honolulu to prove that President Obama was actually born in Kenya, to a Muslim father? (A twofer appeal to both racism and religious bigotry.)  Or how Trump explains the virtuoso time-travelling feat of Obama’s mother retroactively planting articles describing his birth there in two different Hawaiian newspapers? Yes, indeed, it’s a whole new world. As Robin Williams proclaimed: “Reality: What a concept!

Zogby continues:

In each instance, this partisan split masks a deep demographic divide, with older, white, less educated voters, especially those who are self-defined as “born again Christians” making up the largest proportion of Republicans, and African American, Hispanic, younger, and more educated voters making up the Democratic side.

The poll also defined two important behavioral characteristics that, in addition to demographics, helped to shape attitudes of voters on these issues: voters’ sources of news and whether or not they know any Arab and Muslims. As expected, those who rely on Fox News held largely negative views on all these issues, but the same was also true of CNN viewers. On the other hand, the 30% of voters who rely on Internet or other news sources had significantly more favorable views on all the questions covered in the poll.

Similarly, the 30% of all voters who knew Arabs and Muslims had substantially more favorable views of both communities and were more opposed to profiling them than the population, at large. And, once again, in each instance, we observed the same demographic divide in the make-up of each group.

And finally, drilling deeper into the cross-tabs reveals this:

As significant as this Democratic/Republican divide might be, it becomes even more dramatic when we compare the attitudes of the sub-set within each camp who are supporting their party’s leading candidates. While 53% of Trump supporters have negative views of Arab Americans and 68% have negative views of American Muslims, 69% of Clinton supporters have favorable views of Arab Americans and 63% view American Muslims favorably. And while only 6% of Trump supporters believe the President Obama is a Christian (60% claiming he is a Muslim), only a handful of Clinton supporters say the president is Muslim while 74% believe Obama is Christian.

Observations From Neuroscience

Neuro-cognitively speaking, this year’s presidential battle (more so than others), is a battle between how liberals and conservatives use different parts of their brains to process perceived risks. In a study of FMRI brain scans conducted by Exeter University following the 2012 presidential election between Mitt Romney and Barak Obama, the researchers found the following:

Comparing the Democrat and Republican participants turned up differences in two brain regions: the right amygdala and the left posterior insula. Republicans showed more activity than Democrats in the right amygdala when making a risky decision. This brain region is important for processing fear, risk and reward.

Meanwhile, Democrats showed more activity in the left posterior insula, a portion of the brain responsible for processing emotions, particularly visceral emotional cues from the body. The particular region of the insula that showed the heightened activity has also been linked with “theory of mind,” or the ability to understand what others might be thinking.

While the study found no difference in the amount of risk people of each political persuasion are willing to take, how they process that risk, that is, in which part of the brain they formulate their reactions, likely determines the role that rhetoric plays in motivating a desired course of action. For instance, rhetoric that invokes the left posterior insula invites the listener to “walk a mile in another’s moccasins” as the old American Indian adage goes, to see what they see, to feel what they feel. Applied to military strategy, it enables a commander to anticipate the tactics of his or her adversary by, in effect, reading their mind. Or in General George Patton‘s case, reading the book of his arch enemy, Field Marshall Erwin Rommel, as captured in this iconic scene from the movie Patton:

Conversely, individuals who gravitate towards the right amygdala (conservatives) are prone to the fear-based rhetoric like that used by Cruz and Trump, the latter who promises “to bomb the shit out of them.”

In their book, How God Changes Your Brain (2009), neuroscientist Andrew Newberg, M.D. and his co-author Mark Robert Waldman say this about the consequences of constantly appealing to anger, as Trump and Cruz relentlessly do:

Neuroscience tells us that the moment we see an angry face, or hear angry words, our brains kick into overdrive generating stress chemicals to make us fight or run. Anger generates anger, and the angrier a group of people get, the greater the possibility that violence will erupt.

Hate Speech

One thing leads to another. Violent, tough-guy, fear-based rhetoric meant to garner votes from a voting segment steeped  in racial hatred, religious bias, victim-hood, and nativism will almost certainly result in violence. Historically, we’ve seen this phenomenon directed at successive waves of immigrants. In the 19th century, Protestant “Nativists” precipitated riots against newly arriving Irish Catholics and French-Canadians, Polish, and Italian Americans.

In the mid-nineteenth century, the target was German immigrants. In California, the San Francisco Vigilance Movements of 1851 and 1856 targeted Irish immigrants, Mexicans laborers, Chilean miners, and Chinese railroad workers. In the early 20th century, Filipino, Japanese, and Armenian immigrants living in California came in for the same treatment. World War 2 saw Japanese American citizens thrown into internment camps. And violence against blacks in the South ratcheted to new heights in the 1950s and 1960s.

Conclusion

One doesn’t have to list the specific racial and ethnic slurs that accompanied each wave of violent extremism perpetrated mainly by white males against different religious, racial, or ethnic groups. Or look very far to find their descendants, for that matter. Just look for white guys wearing baseball caps with slogans encouraging us “to make America great again.” Chances are, you’ll find a large percentage there.

Sew the wind, reap the whirlwind.

 Anger is like a stone thrown into a hornet’s nest.
The Urantia Book

STUPID PEOPLE WITH POWER AND MONEY

elephant alligatorI’ve got you now, my pretty. . .

ASTONISHING, REALLY, that the majority of the professional talking heads preferred to take more than a month to realize that when Donald Trump slithered into the Republican China Shop, his fat ass was inevitably going to trash the place.  And now that he’s really starting to sink his teeth into their vulnerable little snouty-thing— the other “Republican” candidates are getting some overspray of his ‘churck* all over their business drag, and they don’t like it one bit.

But nobody really gives a shit about them.  It’s about the Stupid People— the ones that keep telling the pollsters that every time tRump oozes another gallon of pus on the political dialogue of their “greeet [sic] nation,” the more they want to lick his, “whatever.”  People too stupid to hear the truth when a billionaire buffoon tells them straight out that he buys and sells politicians like dogs deserve what they git.

Therefore, my gentle people, reserve your real astonishment for these, the hapless base of the Republican electorate, currently coupling with the faux poutrage of their new shiny!shiny!, and blindly oblivious to the fact that their favorite bobble-head bloviator will be coming back to their bed:

If and when they do wake to the fact they’ve had their favorite horse’s ass handed to them, along with their [hopefully permanent] renewal as the Party Out Of Power,  (heh heh: P.O.O.P.)  the ever-dwindling minority party of fearfully ignorant white men and women will need  to be rounded up and sent to the FEMA camps   a lot of Obamacare   . . .a lot more guns.

WhiteTrashYes, you gotta pritty mouth.

* ‘Churck:   a contraction of “jerk” and “‘chuck,” (a shortening of “upchuck.)  Yep: “jerk vomit.”  

Oh Yeah? Hug This.

Christie-HUGSSometimes I just want someone to hug me and say, “Things are going to be okay.
Here’s a coffee.  And five million dollars.”

SURVEY SAYS:  “A really good hug!”

The nurturing touch of a hug builds trust equity and a sense of safety.  This helps with open and honest communication, and the flow of federal tax dollars to your personal treasury.
Hugs can instantly boost oxytocin levels.  Which heal feelings of loneliness, isolation, anger, excessive weight gain, and threats of indictment from bridge traffic jams.

Holding a hug for a socially unacceptable length of time may lift one’s serotonin levels, elevate mood, start tongues wagging, and create photo opportunities out the ying-yang.

Hugs strengthen the immune system. The gentle pressure on the sternum and the emotional charge this creates activates the solar savings chakra, stimulates the payus gland, which can regulate and balance the body’s flow of white blood cells as well as cold hard superpac cash.

Hugging elevates self-esteem, right up to, and including, crippling narcissism.  From the time we’re born, the family’s touch— depending on how forceful it might be— shows us that we’re loved and “special.”  The cuddling and cudgelling we received from Mom and Dad while growing up become imbedded at a cellular level, usually in fat cells, and hugs remind us it’s too late to do anything about it.

Hugging relaxes muscles by releasing tension and taking away pain by increasing circulation of dark money into the soft underbelly tissues.

Hugs can balance out the nervous system and your checkbook.  The galvanic skin response of someone receiving a check and giving a hug shows a change in skin conductance, and your bottom line.  The effect in moisture, electricity, and cash on the skin and in your wallet suggests a more balanced state in the nervous fiscal system — parasitism.

The energy/cash exchange between the people hugging is an investment in the relationship.  It encourages empathy and entitlement.  And, it’s sin-ergistic— which means if one of you goes down, you can bet the other one will too.

So.  Hugs.  They’re what’s for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in pay-off politics, and obviously— the weapon to reach for when things get really ugly on the world stage.

 

Uh, NO, This Isn’t “What Don Draper Will Look Like At 80.”


 DON-DRAPER

Seriously?? A little more orange and you have John Boehner, right?

A Mister Tim O’Brien, not from Fort Lee, New Jersey, but president of the Society of Illustrators and the victim of a brief but supposedly clairvoyant snit-fit, says the “troubled” character of Don Draper actually went on to have a “wholesome, fulfilling life.”

Bwwaaahaaaahaaaa!

Sayeth, Timmeh: “I think Don went on to be near his children with his move back to NYC. He learned something out west; that he had people around him who loved him and I think the rest of his life was recognizing that.”

Sadly, no, Tim. Did you even watch the show??

THIS is what the “troubled” character of Don Draper will look like at 60; just forget 80.  This is what Don Draper went on to fulfill: The life of an alcoholic on the street.
Real Don Draper

The “troubled” character of Don Draper, known on the street as, “Madman.”

Sayeth, Terreh: “I think Don went on to be near his drinking bros back in the hobo parks of L.A. Yes, he did learn something out west; that he had people around him there who used him, even as he used them; I think the rest of his life was spent recognizing that, hating it, and them, and eventually drowning in his addictions to alcohol and tobacco, and dying alone under a Maytag refrigerator box at age 62.”

But you’re not off the hook just yet, Timmeh.  Let’s learn a bit about cirrhosis of the liver, the disease that comes on slowly over years of heavy alcohol use.  Early on, there are often no symptoms at all, outside of, you know, the usual cognitive impairment that goes hand in hand with being a drunk.

As the disease really gets going though, you become tired, weak, itchy;  you’ll probably experience swelling in your lower legs; maybe develop an unpleasant shade of yellow skin;  you’ll find yourself bruising easily.  You’ll look in the mirror one day, and discover spider-like blood vessels all over the skin of your nose.  Worse still, you’ll have fluid build up in your abdomen;  the fluid build up may end up producing spontaneous infection.  If you’re lucky, you might avoid bleeding from your dilated esophageal veins.  And the resulting hepatic encephalopathy results in increasing confusion and eventually, unconsciousness.

So yeah, it takes more than a few drinks per day, over a number of years, for cirrhosis to occur.  But hey, that was Don.  He could hang with the best worst of them, and he almost always did.

Then there was Don’s lung cancer.  He was diagnosed at 58, after a protracted hacking fit one morning.  This was right after he realized he was broke, and had no recourse to medical care.  When it rains…  But.  Ninety percent of heavy smokers like Don inevitably find themselves with lung cancer, the most common cause of cancer-related death in men and women world-wide;  it’s responsible for more than a million and a half deaths every year.

Finally, we haven’t even looked into Draper’s more or less constant casual sexual relationships with women, and what that meant to his increasingly stunted soul.  Suffice it to say, all physical poisons greatly retard the efforts of the spirit to exalt the mortal mind.  And then there’s that big bag ‘o mental poisons— fear, anger, envy, jealousy— suspicion, hate, intolerance— these likewise tremendously interfere with the spiritual progress of the evolving mortal soul.

So NO.  Don Draper did not suddenly decide to live a “wholesome, fulfilling life.” Like so many other disillusioned, poisoned souls, he drank himself to death.

May he rest in peace.

TED CRUZ TALKS TO GRILLED SAUSAGE

Ted Cruz DoGSenator Ted Cruz walked out of the Mens Congressional restroom Friday, talking to a levitating ballpark frank.

Ted Cruz Chats With His Lunch in the Congressional Men’s Room

WASHINGTON—  A partially dressed and apparently deranged Senator Ted Cruz (®Texas), emerged from the Congressional Men’s room Friday, alternately sobbing and talking coherently with an apparently invisible sausage or hot dog, which he claimed was hovering just above his head in front of him.

The Senator, who was shirtless and covered with dark paw marks of some sort was met outside the restroom by a phalanx of Capital Hill reporters with recording devices and a few snickers.

When asked why he was sobbing, Cruz responded, “Look!  Just look what they did to my sweet little dog, Teddy;  Obamacare grilled my sweet little dog.  Well, why doesn’t he try and say it to my dog’s face!”

“Um, where is your dog Teddy now, sir?” asked Fox News reporter, Ed Henry.  “There— right there in the lights, just in front of me” replied Cruz, staring off to the ceiling.  The senator then made a series of little stroking motions, as if he were petting a dog;  an uncomfortable silence was broken by the arrival of Capital Hill Security, who gingerly escorted the Senator from the room.

Cruz, who Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) recently said was “…a laughing stock to everybody but him,” led the costly Tea Party debacle which shut down the United States Government for sixteen days;  current estimates say the shutdown cost 900,000 jobs.  Conservative pundicks say this is exactly the kind of thing that will endear him to the angry dead-ender conservative base, who are determined to vote against their own best interest, even if it means voting for a douche who talks to hotdogs while laying cable.