The last of the Mercury 7 has left us. He lived to be 95, served his country in the military and NASA, orbited the Earth, became a Senator, was married for 73 years to Annie Castor, left behind two children and two grandkids. Let’s not be sad. Let’s celebrate a truly great American life.
Earlier this year, Seattle police claimed to have broken up a vicious sex-trafficking ring. The media breathlessly reported that girls from Korea were being trafficked into this country to become sex slaves and that Sigurds Zitars was the ring-leader of this sexual slavery ring.
It was garbage. It turned out just to be ordinary prostitution. Whatever one thinks about the morality and legality of prostitution, it’s not the same as sex slavery. None of the girls were being held against their will. Almost everyone involved pleaded out to charges of promoting prostitution or patronizing a prostitute.
Except Zitars. Unable to deal with being branded a sex slaver, he killed himself.
I bring this up because right now there is a furor over the so-called Pizzagate, a wild allegation that the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in DC is a haven for child sex trafficking. The evidence for this accusation is … basically nothing. You can read the link to Vox to see how this built up and it’s basically made out of whole cloth. It’s crazy.
But this craziness became all too real this weekend when a gunman showed up at the pizzeria to enact justice. Fortunately, he was able to be talked down and realized he’d been duped.
The press has been going crazy about this, talking about “fake news” (although this came from conspiracy sites, not fake news sites). But there’s another villain here: our national hysteria over sex trafficking.
Our media constantly uncritically repeat all kinds of myths and lies about sex trafficking: they claim there are 300,000 child sex slaves in this country (false), that the average prostitute gets into the business at age 13 (false), that hordes of sex slaves are trafficking into town for the Super Bowl (false). Many of these lies appear on websites run by our own governments. Breathless stories about sex traffickers trolling malls and hardware stores in search of victims are uncritically repeated without so much as a thought.
More to the point, ordinary prostitution is conflated with sex trafficking constantly. The federal government runs Operation Cross Country stings that mainly arrest consenting adults, for example. It’s gotten so absurd, that independent escorts have been prosecuted for trafficking themselves.
Unlike the Pizzagate business, however, these myths are pushed by mainstream politicians and the mainstream media. They demonize people like Zitars without knowing all (or any) of the facts. These myths serve to support a “War on Sex Trafficking” that, in many ways, is replacing the “War on Drugs” as a way to seize money and put people in prison. None of this is ever questioned. None of this ever put to the test. The media has invested more resources in debunking one crazy 4Chan theory than an entire massive law enforcement structure designed to crush people voluntarily exchanging money for sex.
As my friend Maggie McNeill said, here is the real story: our national hysteria over sex trafficking finally hurt a friend of the powerful. This war is damaging the lives of thousands of consenting adults every day. But they don’t matter because they’re not politically connected. The owner of this pizzeria is a friend and fund-raiser for Clinton. So suddenly, miraculously, it’s a national crisis.
So yeah, let’s talk about conspiracy theorists and the people who pass on their crazy conspiracy theories. Let’s talk about Alex Jones and 4Chan and all that. Let’s acknowledge that this pizzagate business if a fabrication that is making life hell for an innocent person. But let’s also talk about the trafficking hysteria that fed into this and that results in guns being pointed in the faces of consenting adults every day.
Because until we talk about that, this Comet Ping Pong business is just another example of how crushing people’s freedom is fine … until it happens to the elites or their friends.
OK, I just fell off the comity cliff.
Here’s the deal, mocking snowflakes and their safe spaces is good wholesome fun, cathartic, balance rendering, perspective lending, and provides levity in an uncertain world, but the absolutely scary part is that there are people like that out there, pity them, sure, but they do exist. Chicken Littles every one, where hyper-ventilating is the new normal, where everything is a catastrophe, and nothing left to do but sit in their own puddle of tears with their blankey. Exhibit A:
Trump’s election stole my desire to look for a partner
But two weeks later, the election happened. Once it was clear that Donald Trump would be president instead of Hillary Clinton, I felt sick to my stomach. I wanted to gather my children in bed with me and cling to them like we would if thunder and lightning were raging outside, with winds high enough that they power might go out. The world felt that precarious to me.
When I told her Trump had won, she protested: “But Mom. You said Hillary was going to win.”
“A lot of people thought the same thing,” I said. I hugged her, a little scared to send her to school, out into the big sky country of the red state where we live.
It would be too easy to attribute this twaddle to the over hyped imagination of a fake news writer and a fake newspaper (The Washington Post would most certainly qualify) but this is real, real for a woman suffering from a mental disorder.
Read the comment section of the article, my post basically writes itself, my favorite comment;
Could you just move to California already you are clearly a pansy in need of a safe space. Montana is not the state for you.
Here is something else that caught my eye;
That urge to cling to my family while keeping our foundation strong didn’t mesh well with continuing to date the man I’d been seeing. He also has a daughter. He, too, had been feeling a lot of the same emotions I was experiencing: hopelessness; fear; uncertainty about the future; panic over having to talk to my 9-year-old about anything that might come up at school, or what to do in the instance of sexual assault. But I couldn’t reach out to him anymore. He was too new, too unfamiliar.
Is this woman really insinuating that with a Trump win comes the likelihood that her 9 year old daughter will now get sexually assaulted?
Some might feel that idiots deserve pity, I say they deserve derision. For a 5 year old, life is more pleasant when never hearing the word “NO”, but aside from creating a monster, who the hell wants to share air with them?
After reading those comments, I suspect this author is now in her bunny rabbit PJ’s, on her comfy couch, with a gallon of mint chip ice cream, watching Real Time, hoping that she will wake up from this bad dream.
Baring a war with China or a terrorist attack, the next 4 years will be anything but dull. The economy will must assuredly improve,how could it not? And the deficits will go higher,dang, but as I said before, Trump should just pull an Obama ($1.2 Trillion deficit the first year, then reduce it every year from there, some people will then call him fiscally responsible). And it looks like we all got head faked, just when he starts acting presidential, he breaks out his twitter feed and goes all Philistine on someone.
And too bad for us that we get someone as think skinned as Obama, why can’t he let anything slide.
So here’s the question, why is Trump so enraged by that clown Alec Baldwin impersonating him? We have touched on this briefly but he has got to know that his reactions feed the appeal. Baldwin, a has been actor who has anger issues, his career just got transformed because Trump can’t get off twitter.
First some SNL history, this was where it all started;
This was Chevy Chase doing Gerald Ford, and this was when SNL had real comedians who were actually funny. Chase, Belushi, Aykroyd, Curtain, Radner (Emily Litella was so awesome)Newman, Morris, young hungry actors plying their trades to get noticed. All Baldwin is known for lately is assaulting the paparazzi. But now that Trump took the bait, instant career boost.
I have to admit, some of these Trump skits are funny;
I can’t say that there are not folks out there, the uninformed voter who watches the late shows, Comedy Central or John Oliver, who can’t tell the difference between comedic satire and reality, and yeah, I get that with Trump sometimes the difference is razor thin. But as president, he has to ignore this and stay the course.
Maybe if he was more versed in history he would not get so upset. The political cartoon portraying Lincoln as a chimp, the names they called Jefferson, Adams, Jackson, this SNL stuff is minor league.
You know his handlers are telling him to knock it off (politely) but Trump probably views this as some sort of unfiltered bully pulpit, it’s only going to get worse.
So … it may be that the rumors of our death are greatly exaggerated. As of this moment, Jim is looking into a much cheaper hosting service for the blog. We would temporarily lose the archive, but it would reappear later as a link on the side, much like the old-old RTFLC does now. Jim has been swamped lately (which is why I’m posting this) so we will continue on the main server for one more month before switching to the old one.
It would be good if we can keep any financial burden off of Jim, so when the time comes we will repost a funding page. Only in this case, the funds should go much much further.
Many things on my plate of late worth blogging about;
Trump calling the president of Taiwan, and all hell breaks lose.
The latest jobs report came out, 95 Million out of the work force, put a happy face on that.
Hillary has now teamed up with Jill Stein in questioning the election results. Remember when the hair on fire MSM predicted the end of civilization because Trump dared to say he might not buy off on the election results? Joe has some comments on that;
And, I guess nobody loves the OWS hippies. Turning sacred Indian lands into a Zuccotti Park West, trashing the place, eating their food, what’s next, sexual assault inside a tepee?
I also had a post planned about the Alt Left movement, but that fell to pieces because unlike the right where some fringe (What, 250 folks at that white power rally in DC last week, and 50 reporters showed up, some movement)exists in the periphery ,the majority of the left is “alt”, hence their “stay the course” strategy, hitching their wagons to Pelosi and Ellison. I guess Farrakhan turned down the gig because it did not come with a dental plan.
But since this is probably going to be my last post on the blog, something more conciliatory was in order.
The fat lady isn’t singing and in the year of Trump anything is possible, so the internal optimist in me is hopeful that the governor may still call with a stay of sentence.
If not, I just want to say that I am going to miss you guys.
Over the last year I tired to get involved in a few of the blogs that I visit, with I thought, a different perspective on the prevailing [mob like] sentiment. One had to do with Trump where I attempted to temper those Trump zealots this some caution, that yeah, he is not Hillary, but his positions were sure similar in many areas, and exactly how he would govern, nobody knew. The other had to do with a police shooting ( a bad shoot) where the attitude was the perp got what he deserved. Well, lets just say it did not go well, intractability infects both sides of the aisle, and I felt like a pinata. So I always came back here.
Some recognition for our foreign readers is due. Getting perspectives from outside our borders has been valuable. Being an American lends it’s self to certain level of ethnocentrism, I admit it. We have always fostered an attitude of manifest destiny with our ideals, maybe that had something to do with the influence that we have had over the years. Yeah, I get real tired of imperialist crap that is routinely placed at our doorstep and echo the call that no nation on earth, like ever, has done more good in the world, saved more lives, planted democracy, and bettered the financial and civil lives of millions. But, along with that attitude comes a level of arrogance. Humility is preferable so I always welcomed the opinions of all of our foreign readers, a stabilizing effect, that’s for sure.
To those readers that left us; manwhore (the only member I ever met in person), thrill and dwex (fellow authors over at the VO), mook, extrov, missippi yankee, seatle, zoom, rann, harley, kimpost, section 8, histed_ed, salanger, miguelito, pfluffy, balthazar, dave d, and those that I forgot (getting old is a bitch), it has been fun. Never hold an opinion so tight that it can not be challenged or changed by a better argument, a lesson I learned here often.
To my fellow authors, we did the best we could. I respect both you guys, immensely. The power to persuade comes with a responsibility, you guys held up your end in spades.
An invitation is extended to all; If you guys ever find yourself in the Bay Area (SF is still one of the top tourist attractions) shoot me an email and I will buy you a beer, and not one of those sissy beers they drink on the east coast.
Lastly, we are all in this together. A financially stable, ethically moored, strong America is in everyone’s best interest. I will pray for Trump, that he demonstrates wisdom, humility and compassion, that he shows fidelity to the Constitution, and that he provides a business environment where all boats are lifted. God has blessed this great nation of ours, lets keep it going.
Yes, it’s been a long time, hasn’t it? But here we are, at the end of all things as far as Right Thinking from the Left Coast is concerned…at least in its current iteration. I simply can’t let it go without one last respectful music thread.
This site has not only brought me tremendous enjoyment through reading and debating, but also numerous friendships. For those of you who don’t already stay in touch with me on social media, I do hope you’ll come around eventually.
More than that, I can’t say. For two reasons: 1. I’m not very sentimental and 2. I don’t have the sense that it’s really all over. We simply enjoy
conversing in good-natured fellowship hating and haranguing the shit out of each other too much. We’ll see what comes next.
Moving on, growing up, and change are all a part of life. It’s really up to you if you want to commemorate the end or the possibility of a new beginning. Sure, all things must come to an end but even in death there can be rebirth. We can have some songs about that. This doesn’t have to be a tear-jerker thread!
Also, please feel free to post music from those many artists we lost in the last year.
God bless you all and thank you for reading, debating, and even influencing me over the years. You fuckers.
pfluffy: Over Now by Alice in Chains
Rich Taylor: Renegade by Styx
zoomzoom: Let Go by Deadmau5
Harley: End of Time by Motorhead (two-fer!)
Manwhore: Long Way Down by Robert DeLong
Hal: Lazarus by David Bowie (BOOM! Another one!)
ilovecress: Don’t You Forget About Me by Simple Minds
stogy: Winds of Change by Fitz and the Tantrums
repmom: Winterlong by Neil Young (Merry Christmas!)
Santino: Kiss This by The Struts
Iconoclast: Don’t Fear the Reaper by Blue Oyster Cult
blameme: Farewell Ride by Beck (Haven’t heard from you directly in ages. Please check in!)
kevinmkr: Hometown by twenty one pilots
CM: Private Helicopter by Harvey Danger (this one’s for guys who just can’t walk away where they have a lot of history, even from people they don’t exactly get along with)
WVR: Growing Up (Falling Down) by The Living End
Alex: Dead on Time by Queen
InsipiD: Closing Time by Semisonic
And to our generous host, JimK: Last by NIN
I sincerely hope I didn’t forget anyone in my legendary carelessness, though I’m sure I totally did. Hit me up with a “hey, dickhead” in the comments and you’ll be rightfully included. Unless I disagree with the “rightful” part.
A few stories I’m following right now:
- I’ve been critical of some of Trump’s cabinet choices. But my first impression of Mattis, the proposed Secretary of Defense, is positive. He opposes torture, supports a two-state solution for Israel, recognizes that the Iran deal is flawed but that tearing it up would be a mistake. His approach to Iraq was a big reason the surge worked and his musings show an active and sharp mind. He has been willing to praise or criticize politicians from both sides. Moreover, Trump said that one thing that impressed him was that Mattis opposes torture, which Trump ostensibly favors, and made a good argument against it. One of the big concerns with a President is that he will surround himself with Yes Men. Mattis is definitely not a Yes Man. He’s a good choice. But the thought process behind the pick is also encouraging.
- Of course, he’s still thinking about Bolton for State, so it’s not all roses.
- Trump sent out a tweet the other day saying that flag burning should be banned and come with a loss of citizenship. You can pretty much guess my response to this: I’m with Scalia.
- Of course, Hillary Clinton her own damned self once co-sponsored an anti-flag burning bill. No matter what Trump does, let’s not lose sight of what the alternative was like.
- Neither Obama nor Biden will attend Castro’s funeral. Good.
- Trump’s deal to keep Carrier from shipping jobs to Mexico (actually, Pence’s deal) does not impress me. It’s a $7 million tax break specifically for Carrier to keep 1000 jobs in Indiana. It’s crony capitalism and an example of what we shouldn’t be doing. We have an entire economy run on backdoor tax breaks, regulatory holidays, subsidies and special dispensations. What we need to do is make America a better place for all businesses through comprehensive and universal regulatory and tax reform.
- However, I suspect the Carrier deal is a preview of Trump’s Presidency. He’ll make a huge fuss about little things he does like saving a thousand jobs, to give the impression that he’s doing good (which, to be fair, all Presidents do). The real good will have to come from Congress, who have the power to unshackle our economy.
As mentioned in an earlier comment this week addressed to Cress, it bugs me when right leaning blogs take a tidbit from a statement by the opposition and runs with it to the point of absurdity. Yes, usually in the body of the piece clarification is provided as well as context, but even then, a slant exists that spins the intent beyond reason. Allowances are implied, he (she) has done/said this kind of nonsense before so naturally our spidey sense tingles and the natural progression of this is ,”There he goes again”. But really, this is lazy journalism, especially when the filters are put down and statement is evaluated with attention to meaning.
Obama did an interview with Rolling Stone which came out 2 days ago, here it is. As smart as Obama is, he gets the implications of a Trump win, the total repudiation of his policies, and the damage that will ultimately ensue to his legacy, clearly a bitter pill to swallow. I was never a “He hates America” convert, but I was a “He is doing great damage to the country I love and needs to be removed” convert. And for the smartest guy in the room, rejection has to be killer.
The section of his interview I wanted to dwell on is this;
And part of the challenge, though, that we do have, and this is something that I’ve been chewing on for a while now, is that there is a cohort of working-class white voters that voted for me in sizable numbers, but that we’ve had trouble getting to vote for Democrats in midterm elections. In this election, [they] turned out in huge numbers for Trump. And I think that part of it has to do with our inability, our failure, to reach those voters effectively. Part of it is Fox News in every bar and restaurant in big chunks of the country, but part of it is also Democrats not working at a grassroots level, being in there, showing up, making arguments. That part of the critique of the Democratic Party is accurate. We spend a lot of time focused on international policy and national policy and less time being on the ground. And when we’re on the ground, we do well. This is why I won Iowa.
Having stupidly gone to war with Foxnews in the past, a natural reaction would be to parse out more Foxnews hatred and focus only on that, hence we have stuff like this;
He (briefly) acknowledged that Democrats did not effectively campaign in enough working class environments. Yet, he then quickly blamed the defeat on one of his favorite targets: Fox News.
Forgetting the word “part” which means a portion, headling ,”Obama blames Fownews for defeat” will grab clicks from those expecting pettiness from the president, no doubt about it.
Personally, I think Obama’s assessment is not only accurate but honest. Unlike Romney, who tagged Trump supporters as suckers, Obama understands that many of these white middle class voters supported Obama (twice) but did not support Hillary, and the fault lies with the Democrats. They dropped the ball, took many of these voters for granted and did not do the leg work the out reach that Obama did.
Now the Foxnews part, Obama is right on this as well, but probably does not understand the why. Restaurant and bar owners have Foxnews on because that is what the customers want. No secret ploy perpetrated to proselytize chicken wing eaters, you don’t alienate your clientele, keep them happy and they come back. A smarter candidate would realize this, but Hillary was too scared. Whether it be feeling that she was entitled or a total disregard for her competition ( a natural reaction, to be sure) she did not do any hard interviews or go on Foxnews to reach the other side. Trump was everywhere, all networks, anyone with a microphone and an audience, he was there. But Hillary holed up, did no interviews no press conferences, counted her victory before it happened and dissed the very voters she needed,this is all on her.
A word about Obama’s legacy. It is hard to feel sorry for a guy that is set for life financially, will constantly feed his ego with public appearances, all paid, and will, like Carter, spend the rest of his life re writing history making his legacy less stinky than it really was. Obama can always say that his heart was in the right place, wanting healthcare for the downtrodden, giving minorities more of a voice, being a compassionate open border guy and getting us out of needless wars (oops, that didn’t happen). He followed the progressive model page by page, believing it’s inherent goodness, while ignoring the realities of its failures. Much of his legacy will be dismantled, but its of his own making considering the nefarious method, using executive orders and executive memoranda to write law, something the executive branch was not designed to do, and sneakily doing an end run around congress. Another one of his failures, the guy who thought he could convince, sway, persuade anyone to his side of an argument could never work within the system and get Congress to do much of what he wanted.
2 rather important murder trials are now under way, both involve race, and with both, the outcomes are fairly certain. Dylan Roof gunning down 9 church goers, and Michael Slager, a Charleston police officer who shot a fleeing man in the back 8 times, both shooters are white and all victims are black.
The easy one first. Dylan seems like a troubled youth with a bucket load of mental problems, but the judge not only found him competent to stand trial but allowed Dylan to represent himself during the trial. What bothers me is that Dylan offered to plead guilty to murder and accept life without the possibility of parole in exchange for taking the death penalty off the table. A reasonable offer and one that the prosecution should have embraced. But here’s the rub, with white shooter/black victims, the racial component must take center stage, so countless millions (the cost from trial, through appeals, up to the actual injection, if it ever happens)will be wasted for what will be little more than a show trial. Getting back to my disgust for the very concept of hate crimes, where one person’s hide is more valuable and must exact a higher price than anothers, a sentence consistent with justice must now jump over another hurdle, artificially placed based on nothing more than the color of skin. If roles were reversed any prosecutor worth dick would take the life deal in a second, then go out for pizza.
Now on to Slager. There is both dash cam footage and private party cell phone video of the actual shooting. First off, why do rookie cops (5 years on the job, he should have known better) feel compelled to give foot chase on something as low level as a fix ticket infraction? We aren’t talking about a mass murder fleeing the scene who will most likely continue his killing ways, or even a bank robber fleeing with a sack full money, Slager knew who this guy was, he had his ID, knew he was unarmed, knew he had done nothing except drive with a busted taillight, knew he would pose no danger to any passerby’s, yet, he still felt it necessary to give chase on foot, lamebrain. A better course of action, impound the car (while inventorying the contents for any illegal contraband), then send him his ticket in the mail and go get them donuts while they are hot.
As far as the charge, yes, Slager needs to do prison time. There is no excuse, none, zilch, nada for shooting anybody in the back. Slager testified that he was afraid of Scott, how so? Scott was running away from him, had nothing in his hands, no history of violence against cops, no justification whatsoever existed for the application of lethal force. There probably was a scuffle (another reason you don’t foot pursue unless you absolutely have to) but the scuffle was over, Slager was in no danger and what we see is Scott retreating. I’m OK with manslaughter as long as he gets a serious sentence. Oh, and 8 shots? no marksmanship badge for you.