We Sometimes Forget That We’re The President

The man really is like an innocent but clueless bystander within his own Administration. He should probably organize a protest against the man in charge or something. Maybe he’s good at that?

President Barack Obama said Monday he wants to ensure the U.S. isn’t building a “militarized culture” within police departments, while maintaining federal programs that provide the type of military-style equipment that were used to dispel racially charged protests in Ferguson, Missouri.

Don’t forget that Obama is the exact same guy whose DHS labeled returning American veterans as potential terrorists even as their returning weapons were sent to small town police departments to fight, um, terrorists, whose CIA blew up an American citizen on foreign soil without due process, and whose Bureau of Land Management showed up in full battle array ready to gun down a rancher and dozens of his supporters over a few stray cows.

Something tells me that Obama doesn’t have a problem, in theory, with militarizing law enforcement as long as his own special groups and interests aren’t the ones being made war upon.

Antisocial Movements

If there’s one thing we are going to need in the modern era, it is a term to describe these new, asinine forms of protest currently being used to further political and ideological goals. This type is different from terrorism in that the acts aren’t violent and sometimes not even unlawful. For lack of a better imagination term, I will dub such acts as “churlism.”

These tactics are designed to draw attention to a cause simply by being the biggest prick imaginable and getting a sufficient number of other pricks to go along with it to piss people off on a grand enough scale to accomplish your goals. Case in point: blocking bridges and freeway overpasses with human prick barricades. I think it was the Occupy Movement that really pioneered this one. Do you really want to strike a blow for your cause, deal out economic hardship on individual Americans, tie up police resources, and make everyone hate your cause as they become more aware of it? Keep them from getting to and from work.

Churlists like the Westboro Baptist Church mastered this years ago with their funeral protests and Anonymous loves to show how cyber-churlism can punish bad actors beyond simple Internet insults. In fact, churlists can often best terrorists, as Anonymous has recently proven against the KKK (an organization that has itself become more churlish with each passing decade). Hell, Obama has even practiced a rare form of state-sponsored churlism for years now by mocking invited guests at public events (Donald Trump, Paul Ryan, the entire Supreme Court, etc), laughing at commuters when his motorcades cause traffic gridlock, or golfing just to show how little he cares about his critics’ views on his lack of action on foreign or domestic policy. And all of those crass people get away with it and even do succeed at getting their message across. So we know it works.

My own viewpoint is that incredibly crass acts like blockading traffic and taking over public parks are inconvenient, but they are far preferable to destruction of property, assault, and other nasty acts that asshats with no purpose for breathing other than their pet causes do when they don’t think they’re being listened to.

Now, I’m not saying that I want to be vexed in my daily life. Far from it. Also, recognize that churlism is different from civil disobedience, which is generally pretty focused on specific people and circumstances. Churlism is utterly random and basically has a way of pissing off people who even hear that it’s being done. Even people who agree with with the Ferguson protestors hate the thought of being caught in a traffic jam while police kick street people and privileged young white hipsters off of a freeway ramp. On the other hand, they like the thought of other people being inconvenienced, because fuck you, whitey.

What I am saying is that I find protest techniques such as these to be potentially highly effective, more so than anything we’ve seen before. In a society as passive-aggressive and disconnected as ours, it simply has to work. Also, I think a good distinction is needed to protect civil liberties by properly differentiating asshole protest activities from extreme or dangerous ones.

Some of my proposed churlist tactics:

1. Fart-Ins. Exactly what you think it means.
2. Sidewalk Jamming. Police can clear you off of a street, but what can they do if you’re just walking on the sidewalk reeeeeeeeeeeallllllllly fucking slowly?
3. Urinal Funnel. I have to explain this one. Some guy at my workplace figured out how to remove the urinal pad and roll it up into a cone. He’d then set it back in the drain so that when the automatic flush engaged, the water would spray back toward the person who had just pissed in it. The guy is a genius, but he lacks the vision to fulfill the destiny of a great cause.

What do you think of such protest tactics? Fair or over the line?

Fear And Looting in Ferguson

I watched the Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson Grand Jury announcement with an annoyed sort of interest. The prosecutor showed up a Barack Obama-ish 15 minutes late and then spent an additional 10 minutes bitching about the media before telling those same clowns in the press what the grand jury decided. You know, the jury. Those people who looked at the actual evidence instead of watching screaming idiots on MSNBC.

It’s not to say that the whole event has been for nothing. Besides the humor of the protestors having picked the absolute worst case they could’ve rallied behind and the tragedy of America grinding ever closer to waging a race war within the next generation, Ferguson has given us another fire bell about the dangers of the militarization of law enforcement. I hate rioting and looting, but St Louis-area police were utterly ham-fisted in their early responses to the protests and never missed a single opportunity to make things worse. I’d like to think that left-wing race pimps and right-wing pro-freedom types agree now more than ever that it’s time for the cops to give up their tanks and other war toys.

So there will be no criminal indictment for Officer Wilson. This was what I (and most people, I think) expected and I’m okay with it. Like the Trayvon Martin/Zimmerman deal, the more evidence leaked out the more it indicated that the defendant wasn’t going to be punished as long as the jury took its job seriously.

Not that the facts ever mattered. The racial grievance industry stupidly swallowed every rumor and eagerly embraced this cause, making a martyr out of a strong-arm robbery suspect. Even when more and more details came out revealing that they had rallied to the wrong guy, they just couldn’t help themselves. The people who spread destructive rumors that furthered the cause were believed while those who provided evidence got to be accused of having racist motives. If they had just waited a few months, they could have probably earned more sympathy with the Tamir Rice shooting instead of shooting their wad on the corpse of a fat Swisher Sweet bandit.

In other words, it’s just another beautiful day in Obama’s America, with all the ineptitude and divisiveness we’ve come to expect.

Speaking of Obama, he couldn’t resist injecting himself into this local law enforcement use of force once again and, as he always does, he did everything he reasonably could to encourage his fellow street agitators by sending known racial extremist and mustachioed asshole Eric Holder into the fray. In his own post-no bill statement this evening, Obama spoke heavily against violent protests. But that’s pretty much going to be short-circuited by his own credibility problem wherein nobody believes or listens to him anymore, even when he tries saying helpful things for a change.

We now return you to the rioting and looting, already in progress. I’d like to think that both the protesters and the police in every city can avoid displaying the worst characteristics and stereotypes that each side has of the other, but it isn’t in the cards. Like most white suburbanites, I’ll just sit and watch, uncomfortably.

Benghazi Eternal

Like an illegal alien, I have decided to “step out of the shadows” and lay down a quick post. The reason why is that I’ve noticed quite a bit of crowing today about the House Intelligence Benghazi report from some of my friends. As much as I know how the fascination some people have over the whole thing perplexes them, I read the report and will explain why the conspiracy theories are not going to stop.

There are two important aspects of Benghazi. The first is the one I’m personally more interested in: what the nature of the CIA’s activities there were and why Ambassador Stevens was there when the security situation was deteriorating and he had even noted this himself.

The only thing the report really says is that the CIA totally wasn’t there to collect weapons and send them to Syria (which, as we know now, would have provided them to ISIS). Instead, they were just gathering intelligence about foreign entities who were doing it.

So the questions I have are:

1. Why did this operation require the presence of an ambassador?
2. Who was moving these weapons to Syria?
3. Was the CIA enabling or facilitating these foreign entities?

Keep in mind that the report doesn’t say that the CIA was actually trying to stop the flow of weapons to Syria and it’s obvious to us now that they weren’t going to call in any airstrikes against those “entities” who were doing it, right?

This report makes the claim that there were no “specific” threats about the attack on the compound and even says right in the beginning that the “CIA ensured adequate security” for the facilities at the Annex. Obviously not, or Stevens would hardly be dead. If anything, the locals the CIA itself had hired to guard the facility appear to have aided the attack. Once the rescue operation was underway, their team couldn’t even get to the hospital to recover Stevens’s body. Their intelligence about whether the militia guarding the hospital were friendly was even wrong.

The headline that the media is going with today is that there was “no intelligence failure” but that isn’t true. There WAS an intelligence failure because the CIA couldn’t even see an attack coming right under its own nose in a jihadist-controlled area and still doesn’t entirely know who did it or why. Their job is to get that kind of information. That they don’t have it is an intelligence failure.

So what you have with that first aspect is:

1. We still don’t know what the CIA’s operation in Benghazi was intended to accomplish or why Stevens was involved.
2. The CIA and the State Department practiced the worst sort of incompetence before, during, and after the incident. It’s really clear when you read the report that this is true.
3. Absolutely nobody has ever been held accountable for the failures.

The lack of accountability is pretty typical of these types of reports, I might add. The political-bureaucratic class always protects itself. And that goes to the second important aspect of Benghazi: the failure of policy and resulting political ass-covering. The report is pretty gentle on the Obama Administration for sending Susan Rice out to blame the whole attack on a stupid YouTube video.

The truth is that the White House had enormous inventive to avoid the impression that this was a “failure of policy.” In fact, its entire Libyan policy (which never even had the blessing of Congress) has since turned into a disaster with our embassy in Tripoli abandoned and ISIS now setting up shop in Libya to take over and expand their war even further. Benghazi was just the first evidence that the policy was a failure.

In 2012, Obama and his Administration were telling us that bin Laden was dead and al-Qaeda was heading for strategic defeat. He was ending the wars and that was pretty important for his re-election.

As we know now, al-Qaeda was not on the run and one of its affiliates or some of its sympathizers helped kill our Ambassador. At the same time, the Administration was totally ignoring what was going on in Iraq. Proving that he learned absolutely nothing from what happened in Benghazi, Obama dismissed ISIS’s strength and got to be surprised by one of his policy failures all over again not less than 2 years later when they suddenly overran Mosul.

Again: zero accountability for it.

I don’t know whether or not the House Intelligence Committee knows what the CIA’s true role in Benghazi was or if they’ve just decided that it’s better not to share that information. Either way, to believe this report, you have to suspend your disbelief about the credibility of the CIA. Nothing I read in this report gives me any reason whatsoever to do so and there’s plenty that leads me to doubt it.

We’re being asked to trust people who have consistently proven that they don’t deserve it; by their lack of cooperation, poor transparency, and appalling incompetence. And that is why the Benghazi conspiracy theories aren’t going away.

Summarizing the Iraq Crisis

Just to make sure I’m clear on this…

Bush invaded Iraq to remove the threat of WMD’s and al-Qaeda from that country with Congress’s blessing, even though neither were there. After we invaded, al-Qaeda came in to fight us. In the course of the Surge/Awakening, al-Qaeda was forced out and then the Iraqi government forced us to leave too even though ISIS was starting to form.

ISIS and al-Qaeda next moved into Syria to help out there against Assad. Obama wanted to assist the extremists to deal with Syria’s WMD, which absolutely did exist, but Congress refused to authorize it. Then al-Qaeda decided that ISIS was too axe-crazy for their delicate tastes and kicked them out of the club; so ISIS is now fighting them too.
ISIS has returned to Iraq in force and the Iraqi government has requested American air support, but Obama is reluctant to provide it against ISIS even though he does have Congressional authority to use it.

Just to prove that our government isn’t the most incompetent in the world, the Iraqis can’t agree on declaring a state of emergency to fight back even as their army falls apart. Even better, our sworn enemies the Iranians very much want to fight against ISIS on our side, but they are mostly holding back because the Iraqis haven’t asked them yet.

The Arab kingdoms have been funding these ISIS guys for a long time, apparently not caring that ISIS really wants to overthrow their own governments and has a tendency to use people’s heads for soccer balls whenever they show up for that purpose.

ISIS now holds half a billion dollars worth of Iraqi gold, a half billion dollars worth of captured American weaponry, 1/3 of Syria, 1/3 of Iraq, and is totally insane. No world leader has any clue how to stop them, doubt if they can, and can’t even decide if they should despite the fact that ISIS is attacking, threatening, and antagonizing pretty much everybody in all directions at once.

All sides supposedly hate us for supporting Israel, but nobody is attacking either of us right now because they apparently hate each other more. Hell, if ISIS attacks Jordan, the Israelis would probably come to their aid; meaning that Israel, Syria, Iran, Iraq, the US, and Turkey would all be joining together to defeat a group of mass murders disguised as an Islamic mass movement that oppresses more Muslims than Israel, has fewer WMD’s than Syria, is more fanatical than Iran, has the support of more Sunni Iraqis than…Iraq, has blown up fewer Muslims than the US, and hates the Kurds more than the Turks.

This is the kind of thing that probably leads poli-sci professors to commit mass suicide. The nonsense of it all would be amusing if it wasn’t so horrible and real.

Hey Mr DJ: Big Damn Holiday Edition

With Christmas behind us, we must pause to remember 2013. And while you do that, I’ll be preparing for my New Year’s Eve tradition of getting wasted and passing out on the couch before midnight. I didn’t say it was a good tradition or anything to be proud of. It just kind of happened back in 2008 and I’ve been doing it ever since just to see if I can. Oh, shut up.

Anyhow, 2013 was a good year for me. The Thrill family is happy and in good health. Work is going great. No complaints. I sincerely hope that you’re all doing so well or at least have a lot to look forward to. If not, feel free to follow me on Twitter on New Year’s Eve as I live-tweet my loss of consciousness*. It won’t make things any better for you in concrete terms, but I might make you laugh or even improve your own sense of self-worth through comparison.

2013 in review! That’s the theme.

1. Best music that came out or that you first heard in 2013.

2. Music as it relates to the big news stories of the year. Obamacare, Syria, mass shootings, Miley, the Boston Marathon Bombing…lots of options.

3. Mood music. Those songs that speak to your sense of how you or the world is doing. As sunny as my personal outlook is, I felt like this year was pure chaos for the US in particular and the world in general. Not to drag down your celebrations, but I have a horrible feeling about 2014.

4. Holiday music. Carols, seasonal hits, laziness.

5. Yep.

InsipiD: You introduced me to this group, as I recall. Beautifully apt title. Lovin’ it.

Santino: A track from the finest album of 2013: Dirty Boys by Bowie.

WVR: Something I just discovered this past month. Out of the Black by Royal Blood

Biggie G: Another band you guys turned me onto this year. Santa Stole My Lady by Fitz and the Tantrums

CM: I love this song and I think I found it after you played another one of theirs from this album this year. It was the first time I was even aware that it had been released. Barriers by The London Suede. A perfect song for memories of what is long gone, in my opinion.

pfluffy!: This came out last year, but I didn’t discover it until a few months ago. I’d love to go to a classy New Year’s Eve Party with this album playing and everyone wearing fancy clothes. But I don’t get invited to those parties, for obvious reasons. Everyone’s Rooting for You by Sondre Lerche

*I’ll probably forget I wrote this later so don’t hold me to it.

Hey Mr DJ: Un-Accountability Edition

Don’t ask me why I went a month with no music threads. You see, I have taken a cue from our Masters and decided that if The Powers That Be are allowed to hopelessly bungle the government’s attempt to control 1/6th of the US economy while inflicting higher costs on millions of Americans, lay workers off even while reaping record profits, rape the entire world’s privacy rights through the once-magical and promising power of the World Wide Web, and commit any other number of ethical, moral, and legal infractions with zero explanation or a single pink slip for any single asshole who got us into this situation in the first place; I just don’t have to either.

Feels good. Go ahead and add me to the ever-growing list of people to hang from a lamp-post when all is said and done. Just please don’t string me up anywhere near Lady Gaga or Lois Lerner, I beg of you. My sense of shame hasn’t completely evaporated yet and I’d hate to be photographed with the likes of them.

Doing your own thing for fun and profit and profit regardless of how much it harms society-at-large is all the rage among our elites, almost a sport. It’s much as how they used to hunt foxes, except now we in the middle and lower classes are either the poor fox or the miserable hounds and horses helping run it down.

It’s not so much that I hate them, but that I hate that nobody even tries to stop them. Time and time again, “affluenza” protects those crooks, perverts, and greedy fucks in government and the corporate world from the prison time they deserve while the populace demands more and more crumbs; grateful for every one it gets even though it’s just a crumb.

Nothing is going to get right in this country until WE decide that it has to, you know. Makes you wonder when our society is going to grow up, grow a pair, and start paying the bills.

So let’s turn the supposed season of goodwill toward men on its head and glorify the I Got Mine ideology of our betters.

No dedications or explanations why. Merry fucking Christmas, as my mother likes to say.

1. Music about getting way with everything up to and including murder.

2. Artists who broke up the band and became fabulously rich going solo.

3. Do your own thing and screw the thread. Everybody else is out getting their own nut. Why not you?

For Government: The Trickster by Radiohead

For Big Business: Cool Blue Reason by Cake

For the Iluminati, Masons, aliens, or other shadow organization of your choice: Exopolitics by Muse

For 1%: You Only Get What You Give by New Radicals

For Hollywood: I Don’t Care About You by Fear

For Us: Who Will Save Us Now by Pleistocene

And no bitching at me for questioning either your precious grand nanny Barack Obama or your sainted corporate entrepreneurs and pirates. None of them care about you and they are delighted that you waste your time passionately arguing about meaningless fringe topics that do not threaten what’s theirs. Now go look at Miley Cyrus’s shocking new album art, you peasants.

Hey Mr DJ: New Health Plan Edition

My great reward for taking two weeks of vacation (during which I went nowhere, sat on my ass, drank cheap beer, and spent most of my time acting like an antisocial menace on social media) was to find that my pants barely fit and my work had piled up on my desk. Being a fat, sedentary workaholic is not a good health plan, by any stretch. It’s so undeniably true, you could even take Obama’s word for it.

So it’s time to give up soda and beer; switching instead back to martinis or red wine (no, I don’t see a problem here, why do you ask?). Also, I need to start some pretense of an exercise regimen or I’ll probably be able to apply for work as an assassination decoy for Chris Christie by New Year’s Day.

Give to me now songs of fitness. Celebrate letting yourself go, making promises of improved health that you probably can’t keep (ahem, Mr President), or enjoying the prospect of good health and outliving your enemies. We’re talking exercise, more rest, good diet, and other things that help forestall our inevitable and lonely deaths. Alternately, feel free to acknowledge those artists whose bodies are seemingly exempt from gravity as they get older or the ones who are more like Axl Rose. You know what I mean.

Motivate my sorry ass.

Mississippi Yankee: Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair by Arctic Monkeys. Less sitting is good.

WVR: Life During Wartime by the Talking Heads. The song isn’t relevant, but watch the video and imagine doing that workout routine through the entire song twice a day. Anyone’d have Byrne’s figure. Well, the cocaine may have helped.

pfluffy: Tales of Endurance by Supergrass

Biggie G: Vanity Kills by Codeine Velvet Club

Santino: Lounger by Dogs Die in Hot Cars.

InsipiD: Miracle Mile by Cold War Kids. As in, it would take a miracle for me to jog one.

Speaking of low motivation, it’s surprising we have so few dedications this week with the excessive shout-outs last week.

Hey Mr DJ: Year One Anthology

Where does the time go? It has already been one year since the music threads here at RTFLC were revived. Throughout that time all those who have participated have, I hope, then equally entertained and enriched by the experience. I am happy to keep it going, but now I think it is a good time to take a look back at where we have been.

All of the DJ threads can be found here. In honor of this illustrious occasion, you can select tracks that are consistent with one of the 52 or whatever playlists from the previous year. Alternately, I would like to see people share music that they first started enjoying when they heard it here on a RTFLC DJ thread.

Having considered it carefully, I am going to go with Bassist Desires as my personal favorite thread.

This week, everybody who has ever commented on a DJ thread gets a dedication! You have to click it to see what’s in it.

Mississippi Yankee: Back Bay Bravery Edition!

pfluffy: Apocalypto Edition!

Biggie G: Brass Balls Edition!

Hal: Scien-tastic Edition!

Santino: Jitterbug Edition! (nope, not what you’re expecting)

bgeek: Un-Manning Edition!

Alex: Radioactive Shooters Edition!

FPrefect: Betray Us Edition!

blameme: Resurrection Edition!

Seattle Outcast: Big Rock Hits Edition!

Iconoclast: Culture Clash Edition!

CM: Barack Hussein Obama Edition!

Shiftuser: Rambling Man Edition!

Xetrov: Reset Button Edition!

Poosh: Happenstance Edition!

dakrat (Where are you, you fool?): Jitterbug Edition! (you’re getting the one Santino probably thought he was getting)

West Virginia Rebel: Ril Ruhtarrded Edition!

InsipiD: Risky Business Edition!

stogy: Iron Lady Edition!

Jesus, I bit off more than I can chew. For the first time ever, I’m glad these threads aren’t more popular.

Rich Taylor: Cock-Blockers Edition!

working_man (Hey, him too?): Trying to Get a Red Line Edition!

Harley: Ring of Power Edition!

Apologies to those I may have missed. This was completed with my usual laziness, apathy, and procrastination. If I omitted you, just comment “Hey, Dumbfuck” and I’ll move to correct it.