DESCARTES’ LOOPHOLE 

According to our friend René,

The fact we think was his small way,

To prove that we exist,

Bur lately I am of the mind,

That thinking is on the decline,

Perhaps an angle that Descartes missed, 

We used to think, therefore we were,

Deep and philosophical for sure,

We used to have a hamster on our wheel,

Kind of sad, but I’m not whining,

In fact I see a silver lining,

Just maybe none of this craziness is real!

Monday’s Child – Updated

I felt the need to put my updated spin on the old classic:

Monday’s child is narcissistic, 

Tuesday’s child is caustic and cryptic,

Wednesday’s child, picks up the slack, 

Thursday’s child, bit of a throwback,

Friday’s child can’t distinguish fiction,

Saturday’s child is prone to addiction, 

The child born on Sunday is very rarely blue, but for the most part, hasn’t really a clue!

June Gloom

It’s June,
So one would assume,
The weather would be pleasant,
And warmer still than clement May.
But then Ms. Gloom comes to stay.
Always with her clouds and rain,
And you sigh and mutter, not again.
No point in moaning or in asking why.
Just wait inside the house till warm July.

Pray on, Everyone.

Pray on, everyone.
As they prey on everyone.
Ask God to make it all okay,
While they’re ripping their own flesh away.
Because God had told them what to do.
The very same God you’re praying to,
To ask for comfort and help from Him.
Should He listen to you or to them?

Are you not entertained: Donald Trump’s Greatest Hits

That everything Donald Trump said during his election campaign was lies, empty campaign promises and spin, certainly comes as no surprise to the two-thirds of Americans and about 99% of non-Americans who woke up on the ninth of November to the horrifying news that a grossly under-qualified, emotionally unstable, ridiculously quaffed man-baby had just been elected President of the United States. Whether or not the Russians had anything to do with it is currently being investigated, but that’s not what I’m concerned about at the moment.

Most people understand that about 95% of what politicians say on the stump is complete bullshit, and he sure shoveled a lot of it during his concert tour of a campaign. Donald Trump knew nothing then about being president, and he shows absolutely no inclination for learning the nuances of the job now. His last job was in the entertainment industry, and we the people so love to be entertained. We love to be deceived under the right circumstances. Election campaign theater is always popular because we know we are being shown what we want to see and being told what we want to hear in big beautiful grandiose lies, the more outrageous, the better.

And there were some doozies. “The system is totally rigged” was on the charts for several months, although it didn’t do as well as the break out single from the album of the same name, “Make America Great Again.” And of course we all remember the old crowd favorite, “LOCK HER UP!” chanted enthusiastically at rallies. After a series of scandals and gaffes, during which the song “Grab ‘Em By the Pussy” landed him in hot water with fans, he released the number one hit single, “Drain the Swamp” and his popularity soared once again.

And then when it was all over, and still flush from victory, Trump continued to hold rallies. Being president was harder than he thought, but he was good at stirring up the crowd, so why not just keep right on campaigning? When it was rightly pointed out to him that, in fact, he had won, he clarified that these rallies were for his reelection campaign.

In 2020.

If Donald Trump had his way his entire presidency would be one long endless campaign. He’d delegate the being president stuff to other people, while he would hold rally after rally, in city after city, feeling the heat from the lights on his fake bronzed skin, his ego swelling from the roar of the crowd. That’s how he would Make America Great Again. By gracing the country with himself. And his adoring fans would eat it up. They wouldn’t care, and they do not care, that every word coming out of his bleached anus mouth is a lie. He actually told them, to their collective faces, that his greatest hits were nothing more than campaign rhetoric. That he didn’t seriously mean that he would lock up Hillary Clinton. He didn’t even like the phrase, “Drain the Swamp” until the crowd went wild the first time he said it. He used to repeat often how unfair and rigged the system was. Now he doesn’t mind because he won.

Donald Trump once said that he could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot someone and he wouldn’t lose any support. He meant it, and it’s true. He told a stadium full of people at a victory rally that he didn’t mean a word of what he said. He told it to them in a totally dismissive way, like he doesn’t give a shit what they think. And his adoring fans were not only okay with that, they seemed inexplicably to love him even more because of it.

After all, he’s the Donald. He’s their guy. They know he’s a scumbag, but they don’t care. He’s their scumbag.

Fearless Girl…

…and the fearful male.

An instigator decided he didn’t like Fearless Girl disrupting the integrity of Charging Bull. In response, he slapped together an intentionally poorly designed dog to urinate on her leg, installing her last night.

Alex Gardega insists he’s a feminist. He says he’s simply incensed by the marketing ploy by State Street and feels Fearless Girl doesn’t belong. Ergo, he’s protesting. Protesting by having a dog urinate on a child’s leg. A female child, at that.

Let’s say Gardega is genuinely enraged by the disruption of Charging Bull. Is it remotely appropriate to have a dog urinate on the leg of a child, even in statue form?

Additionally, even if Gardega is a “feminist” (which I doubt) how is it not blisteringly obvious that misogyny isn’t alive and well in 2017? That someone would think it’s wholly appropriate to urinate on a woman, without consent. To shame a woman in public. To degrade a woman “in the name of art.” We are not your tools, men.

On Twitter, someone suggested placing Fearless Girl elsewhere. And, you know what? I agree. She needs to be moved. She needs to face the White House until our society recognizes and accepts that a woman can effectively govern this country.

Lastly, sponsored/commissioned art has been going on for centuries. Stop making State Street the problem in this scenario. The statue is brilliant. It stands on its own and conveys a message. Making it about its sponsor dilutes the message. That said, I’m thinking a dilution of the message might be the intended consequence given how intimidated many are by women in positions of power, especially women of color.

The more vehement the protest about Fearless Girl, the more obvious one’s feeling threatened becomes. It says everything about the protester and our society, in general. We live in an age when a bronze female form is a threat. Think about that.

Go Fuck Yourself Anytime: Paul Ryan and the House GOP

Well, they finally went and did it, didn’t they? After talking shit about Obamacare and making over sixty symbolic attempts to repeal it over the past seven years, the House of Representatives just barely managed to pass a huge kidney stone* called the American Health Care Act. Americans are either celebrating or shitting in their pants, literally and/or metaphorically depending on whether they have a pre-existing condition.

Unlike the abortive attempt to put forth a version of the AHCA bill back in March, this time they managed to persuade/bribe enough GOP members of Congress to vote for the bill by promising to put their pet issues in future bills. They set up the President with his favorite craft activity (calling people and pretending to make deals with them), before sending him out for a play-date at one of his rallies. Then after they put him down for his afternoon nap, they got down to the business of finally getting rid of President Obama’s signature health care law and thus his entire legacy once and for all.

And, oh yeah, replacing it.

Donald Trump once said in a TV interview that the repeal and replace plan would be a lot better than Obamacare, a lot less expensive, and that it would cover everyone. Afterward in Congress, crickets chirped for a few seconds. There was a collective gasp and repetition of, “oh my god, what the fuck did he just say” and then finally they they started pissing themselves with laughter over how precious little Donny was for saying something so unbelievably cute. Later on, he did learn that health care stuff was really, really hard, didn’t he?

Congress had been pretend-trying to repeal Obamacare ever since it was signed into law in 2010. Of course they weren’t serious about it. If they really wanted to they would have done it, but instead they kept making attempts in order to reassure their constituents that they were working, like, so hard on it. However, now the pressure was on. They had to actually do something. They weren’t really concerned with what was in the replacement plan. If they were they would have bothered to discuss it for longer than three hours. Or to have it scored. Or to read it.

One of the nicer things about Obamacare was that it made it illegal for insurance companies to charge exorbitant rates for people with pre-existing conditions. The AHCA is not concerned about providing actual health care for actual sick people, and thus it allows the insurance industry to go right back to charging the most money or even flat out denying coverage to the people who need it the most. They have also added a few interesting new pre-existing conditions to the list. There are very few people who have not suffered at least one of the many ailments listed, but nevertheless, according to the GOP we’re all scumbags. Those of us who have had or do have one of these conditions is sick because we’ve obviously made very poor lifestyle choices, and therefore we don’t deserve any treatment for being such bad people.

Those of us undeserving of health care can be denied coverage for any of the following pre-existing conditions:

AIDS/HIV, acid reflux, acne, ADD, addiction, Alzheimer’s/dementia, anemia, aneurysm, angioplasty, anorexia, anxiety, arrhythmia, arthritis, asthma, atrial fibrillation, autism, bariatric surgery, basal cell carcinoma, bipolar disorder, blood clot, breast cancer, bulimia, bypass surgery, celiac disease, cerebral aneurysm, cerebral embolism, cerebral palsy, cerebral thrombosis, cervical cancer, colon cancer, colon polyps, congestive heart failure, COPD, Crohn’s disease, cystic fibrosis, DMD, depression, diabetes, disabilities, Down syndrome, eating disorder, enlarged prostate, epilepsy, glaucoma, gout, heart disease, heart murmur, heartburn, hemophilia, hepatitis C, herpes, high cholesterol, hypertension, hysterectomy, kidney disease, kidney stones*, kidney transplant, leukemia, lung cancer, lupus, lymphoma, mental health issues, migraines, MS, muscular dystrophy, narcolepsy, nasal polyps, obesity, OCD, organ transplant, osteoporosis, pacemaker, panic disorder, paralysis, paraplegia, Parkinson’s disease, pregnancy, restless leg syndrome, schizophrenia, seasonal affective disorder, seizures, sickle cell disease, skin cancer, sleep apnea, sleep disorders, stent, stroke, thyroid issues, tooth disease, tuberculosis, ulcers.

Notice how breast cancer, cervical cancer, hysterectomy, and pregnancy are on the list and erectile dysfunction, testicular cancer, and prostate cancer aren’t? At this point, being born female is pretty much a pre-existing condition.

Okay guys, enlarged prostate is on the list, but all you have to do is wait for it to turn into cancer and then you can get it treated. How’s that for winning?

Last Night in Sweden…

…Kickstarter project update

As of this evening (04.13.17), the project has been funded!  The first two of the three stretch goals have been met, as well.  Hooray!

The third stretch goal, a major traveling exhibition consisting of the 50 best images, is within reach (Note to organizers:  a visit to the RTP area is expected as you do have a consulate here).  The goal is SEK 350,000. Currently, the pledged amount is SEK 337,489 or $38,423.  The project is short SEK 12,511 ($1,384 +/-).

Of course, one can make contributions at any level.  In terms of rewards, the lowest tier is a pledge of SEK 200 ($22.13 +/-) which will yield a copy of the book in either Swedish or English (supporter’s choice), along with the satisfaction of knowing that this pledge contributed to reaching that magical, third stretch goal.  Only 63 additional people are needed to make this a reality.

Alternatively, if one is feeling unusually generous and/or slightly cheeky, one could opt for the next level by contributing SEK 1,000 ($110.65 +/-).  With that, your name goes in the book and when your copy arrives, you will see it.  WITH YOUR OWN PEEPERS (eller med egna ögon – and I will continue to slaughter Swedish until the third stretch goal has been reached).  Do you know who else will see your name? Orange Foolius and every member of the European Parliament. Mmmhmmm.  Only 13 relatively big spenders are needed in this category.

For those with some serious cabbage, a commitment to the arts, a love of Sweden, a deep respect for journalistic integrity and possibly a pinch of spite, there’s the next tier which requires a pledge of SEK 3,000 ($331.94 +/-).  It comes with all of the bells and whistles offered at the lower tiers along with the signatures of every photographer contributing to the project.  Oh yes it does.  Only 34 remain at this level.

There are only 14 days remaining.  Alternatively, there are 14 days left for nagging.  Do the right thing, please.  :flutters eyelashes:

The Swedish Flag

Bang on.

Paddy K

This Friday there was an awful truck attack in Stockholm, where four people died. I wasn’t personally affected, even though it was just up the road from where I work, although I know several people who were scarily close to it. For the people who did lose somebody, it must be the worse thing in the world, and I can’t even grasp it.

A horrible situation, although on the day after I made damn sure to get into town and do the whole carry-on-as-normal thing. If life doesn’t go on, then we’ve lost.

2017-04-07 17.07.59 The view from my office after the attack

A few positive things came from the attack, though. One was the immediate and professional response from the police and emergency services, closing down the city and catching the guy a few hours later. The police were getting hugs and flowers from people all weekend, which was great to see in usually-reserved…

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