Everybody Needs an Enemy

Uncle Sam and bear

Having an enemy helps a government stay in business. A good enemy can provide a focal point, a distraction, a source of fear (always useful for keeping the population in line) or, if we are feeling cynical today, a way to transfer tax revenue into the hands of the military-industrial complex. The first thing necessary is to get the public to believe in the enemy. If there is no real enemy at hand, simply make one up. Continue reading “Everybody Needs an Enemy”

The strange case of the disappearing ink


Maybe my wife is right and I have indeed finally lost my grip. Maybe I’m just having a funny half hour. Whatever the reason, I can’t escape the feeling that a recent thread, an entire thread, has disappeared from the Chariot.

I could, of course, be wrong – I frequently am – but the alternative is not pleasant to contemplate. Either some sort of technogremlin has crept into the system (electronic vampires from Dimension X?) or some sentient being has deliberately, with mallets aforethought, deleted the original posting along with all comments thereto appended.

Any such person should be aware that some of us may expend considerable time and effort in writing for public consumption. I myself take the greatest pains to make my points clearly (if not necessarily concisely) while, most importantly, avoiding anything that might be deemed offensive, sometimes going through several drafts in the process. To have all that work wasted is… well, troubling.


That’s Spanish for “sports.”

What kind of sports shall we play, then? Hunt ’em all down and fling ’em all out? Even the only President we’ve got is realistic enough to understand that there’s not enough manpower to track down and deport all illegal (undocumented) aliens and so is concentrating instead on weeding out those who have committed real crimes while here. Not to mention that we need all those law-abiding fruit pickers, roofers et al even though they may not have gone through “proper” immigration channels. Fair enough, but not enough fair to allay the fears of the decent and hard-working, even though technically illegal, immigrants. More demonstrations! I wish I’d invested in companies that produce sign-making materials. Continue reading “Deportes”

Conspiracy Theories, “Travel Bans” and Other Stuff

@Janus: “Cog” is fine with me and doesn’t even start me fretting about the vastness of the machine in which each of us is a tiny part. I apologize for polluting your post about baby food and contraceptives with irrelevancies but trust you’ll understand that I couldn’t hold my water at the time and felt myself at risk of saying unpleasant things to the dogs. Now that I’m duly “author”-ized, of course I’ll do my future drivelationing in a new thread rather than go so terribly off-topic in an existing one.

I’ve recently heard an interesting kind of conspiracy theory, that Trump’s juvenile tweets and other outbursts are actually orchestrated as distractions for the lefties, shiny bits left lying around for them to peck at.

They need distracting – or worse! The “news” media continue to refer to Trump’s Executive Order as a “travel ban.” They, and all others who continue to think of it that way, clearly haven’t bothered to read the actual full text of said Executive Order. It’s not as though the Government has been trying to hide it or anything; they’ve left it out in plain sight:


Anyone willing to go to the additional effort of searching its text for the word “Muslim” will be disappointed to find not a single occurrence. It is all country-targeted and, as some have tried unsuccessfully to point out, comes nowhere close to encompassing all the predominantly Muslim countries on this sad planet. Untangling the reference to “countries referred to in section 217(a)(12) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1187(a)(12)” would take a little more work but Snopes don’t take particular exception to it, nor to its previous use by the Obama administration. Also, anyone willing to actually read the entire document would see that a great deal of it has to do with getting our own house in order, security-wise.

To be fair, implementation of the Executive Order was poorly executed, most likely due to Trump’s apparent continuing unwillingness to consult with those who actually turn the nuts and bolts of Government operations. Still, I suppose it’s easier to stage protests and set fires in the street than it is to check facts.

What I want to do now, as soon as I have more time and more energy, is to ferret out the details of the Court decisions against the Executive Order. I’m more than a little curious as to their rationale.

One thing to which I myself do take exception is Trump’s reference to the “so-called” judge who ruled against the Executive Order. This may well be his most childish Tweet yet. It betrays a lack of respect for, and possibly even ignorance of, the fact that our country rests on three (3) pillars of Government: the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches. I think I’ll start referring to Trump as our “so-called President,” at least until he grows up. Yes, yes, I know that Janus beat me to saying that. That’s what I get for not signing up sooner. Better, perhaps, if I borrow a phrase from a newspaper columnist, the late Molly Ivins, who, being out of charity with the then-current Administration, used to refer to, “the only President we’ve got.”

Sometime within the past year (or more – I don’t keep a log), even before “fake news” became a “news” item in its own right, there arose the issue of trust in news reporting. We first noted it when on one major network-affiliated station, at the close of each newscast the words, “thank you for trusting KIRO 7 TV News” were uttered. Now, just recently, CNN have started prefacing each segment with, “America’s most trusted newscast.” Why, one wonders, do they feel it necessary to do so?

@Christophertrier: No probs, mate. I learned (or should have learned, as it was just recently brought home to me again in a major way) not to take ANYthing ANYone says at face value. As for putting anyone on a “travel ban” list, I wouldn’t really want to do that except, of course, in the case of travelers from, erm, certain countries referred to in (see above). It seems to me that the trip here can be its own punishment. If being sealed in a metal tube for many hours breathing the recycled/allegedly filtered exhalations of others doesn’t get you, some of the people one can meet while here might well finish the job. Yes, I freely admit that some individuals and some areas within this country can be, erm, “problematic,” even as others are more than pleasant. Some USA locations suffer even more from “PC-itis” than does Canada, although both we and Canada have a long way to go to catch up to the UK. British potatoes, at least those I’ve tried, are better than the very few varieties grown commercially in America. So there!