Friday, March 31, 2017

DDD EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ~ MARCH 31, 2017


IN THE MEANTIME...

Hey guys! Yer old pal Jerky scored a professional illustration gig with a company here in Toronto, and it's going to be taking up a few hours a day for at least the next five days, which means my blogging will be somewhat more sparse and haphazard for the foreseeable near future. 

Oh, I'll still be posting! But it'll probably most likely be links to other people's stuff (and guest editorials should any of you lazy fuckers decide to participate like in the good old days). 

Anyway, y'all should still check back periodically, as there is some kuh-RAY-zee shit going down after a couple of relatively slow news days, and I'll be focused on bringing you the unheralded side-news and connecting the rogue dots that the mainstream media love to shove aside in the service of their ongoing Master Narratives. They've ALL got one. 

Cheers!
yer old pal Jerky
***
SUGGESTED READINGS


1. We've all heard of White Lies, but have you ever heard of Blue Lies? Apparently, that's the relatively new psychiatric terminology for the very specific type of lies that Trump likes to tell, as explained in this Scientific American blog post. It begins:
Donald Trump tells lies. 
His deceptions and misleading statements are easy to unmask. In the latest example—after hundreds of well-documented lies—FBI director James Comey told Congress this week that there is “no information that supports” Trump’s claim that President Obama tapped his phone. 
But Trump’s political path presents a paradox. Far from slowing his momentum, his deceit seemed only to strengthen his support through the primary and national election. Now, every time a lie is exposed, his support among Republicans doesn’t seem to waver very much. In the wake of the Comey revelations, his average approval rating held at 40 percent. 
This has led many people to ask themselves: How does the former reality-TV star get away with it? How can he tell so many lies and still win support from many Americans?
Journalists and researchers have suggested many answers, from hyper-biased, segmented media to simple ignorance on the part of GOP voters. But there is another explanation that no one seems to have entertained. It is that Trump is telling “blue” lies—a psychologist’s term for falsehoods, told on behalf of a group, that can actually strengthen the bonds among the members of that group. 
Children start to tell selfish lies at about age three, as they discover adults cannot read their minds: I didn’t steal that toy, Daddy said I could, He hit me first. At around age seven, they begin to tell white lies motivated by feelings of empathy and compassion: That’s a good drawing, I love socks for Christmas, You’re funny. 
Blue lies are a different category altogether, simultaneously selfish and beneficial to others—but only to those who belong to your group. As University of Toronto psychologist Kang Lee explains, blue lies fall in between generous white lies and selfish “black” ones. “You can tell a blue lie against another group,” he says, which makes it simultaneously selfless and self-serving. “For example, you can lie about your team's cheating in a game, which is antisocial, but helps your team.”
Sound like anything you've heard on the news recently? It sure does to yer old pal Jerky. Keep reading. There's lots of brainy goodness to be had in the rest of the article.


2. Yeah, so all those snooty, snotty, alt.left muckety-mucks who go around saying shit like: "I'll believe that the Trump administration and/or the Trump Family and/or the Trump Organization have a wide variety of deeply entrenched and most likely highly illegal connections with the Kremlin and/or with Putin-affiliated oligarchs and/or with Russian organized crime, ONLY WHEN AND IF I am personally hand delivered irrefutable evidence of said accusations by Eva Green (or Michael Fassbender) while they feed me grapes and tell me what a good and smart little boy or girl I've been for maintaining my saintly, above-it-all skepticism despite the intolerable torture of having the neo-McCarthyite Faux Left say hurtful things about me, day in and day out." This article on WHY the FBI can't reveal everything they currently know about Trump and Russia is for THAT bunch of fucking goofs. It begins:
The Federal Bureau of Investigation cannot tell us what we need to know about Donald Trump’s contacts with Russia. Why? Because doing so would jeopardize a long-running, ultra-sensitive operation targeting mobsters tied to Russian President Vladimir Putin — and to Trump.
It gets more in depth, of course, but the gist--which, quite frankly, was obvious to anyone with more than two brain cells to rub together--is all any civilian really needs to know at this point. And yes, I'm being serious.

3. "Psychic Sexual Time Travel! Evil Reptilian Overlords! That's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the greatest conspiracy theory of all time: The Redhawk Project!" As the inaugural edition of the DDD's new promise to bring you, the reader, works and creators that are simply TOO GOOD FOR YOUTUBETM, I bring +you the inimitable Bowser Vids, and his beautifully true-to-form take on the kind of shitty conspiritard "documentary" videos that people used to VHS tape off the TV back in the late 80's early 90's.  I guarantee you'll enjoy this short but sweet video, as well as the vast majority of Bowser's output, which includes a strong stable of recurring characters and fresh takes on shopworn sketchcom tropes!


***
QUOTE OF THE DAY


“I didn't hear a word she said. I was looking at her James Brown wig. Do we have a picture of James? It's the same wig!

- Listen folks... I take a backseat to no one when it comes to despising the odious booze-drenched sex pest that is Bill O'Reilly. And I admire Representative Maxine Waters (D-Cali) and her fearless willingness to always speak truth to power. I truly do. But even I have to admit... that James Brown diss was pretty fuckin' funny.
***
DDD EXTRAS
  • If you want to learn about some cool and/or weird things that happened on whatever day of history that it happens to be when you're reading this, why not check out our sister-site, Useless Eater Blog? You're sure to find something of interest, guaranteed!
  • At the Kubrick U blog, you can viddy some very horrosho, very 70's Clockwork Orange bubble gum collector's cards!
***
A REMEMBRANCE

This week, I learned that a beloved resident of my adopted neighborhood of Parkdale, Toronto, had passed away under a troubling set of circumstances early in the month of March. The community's sadness at having lost our unofficial "greeter" was sufficiently great that news of Nav's passing made its way all the way up to the CBC, Canada's national public broadcasting corporation. 

Nav was one of those cursed/blessed martyrs who, in their refusal to acknowledge the terrible truth of cosmic futility, make up the volunteer workforce through whose sacrifice the very fabric of the universe is held together. 

As it is my sincerely held belief that said aforementioned universe is a singularity--that it is one thing, which means that, to ever have lived is to be, in a very real sense, immortal--I would like to share a poem with you all, in Nav's memory... 

1=0=INFINITY

The universe is one.
Nothing that is, is not.
All that is, is.

The universe is infinite.
Infinity contains infinite infinities.
Everything that is, is repeated, infinitely.
Thus, infinity is one.

Because the universe is infinite,
And because the universe is one,
The universe does not exist.
It cannot begin until it is finished.
It is finished before it can begin.

One = Infinity = Zero.

Now is the arrow that cuts the air.
We are the air, split by the arrow.
We are not now.
Because we are not infinite.
Because we are not one.
And because we exist.

***

Thursday, March 30, 2017

LOTS OF GREAT STUFF IN TODAY'S MAJORITY REPORT

If you're a fan of the Daily Dirt Diaspora as it has been evolving in the Age of Trump, one of the other outlets that you should probably be watching/listening to on a fairly regular basis is the Majority Report with Sam Seder and Pals. It's a great choice if you're more lefty than the Democratic Party average, but not so lefty that you've slipped into the kind of doctrinaire, inflexible, uber-PC, appropriation-phobic, over-"theoried", dum-dum lefty idiocy that somehow makes you come to the conclusion that there's nothing to all this Trump/Russia brouhaha.


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

AL GORE ASKED ME TO SHARE THIS WITH YOU GUYS


HERE'S HOW THIS WILL END FOR TRUMP (THREE OPTIONS)


DDD EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ~ MARCH 28, 2017

We all know how this White House just HATES to jump to conclusions...
DID YOU KNOW?
  • Did you know that, when asked for the White House's reaction to news that a race terrorist (James Jackson) had traveled to New York City and murdered someone (Timothy Caughman) with a sword, spokesman Sean Spicer chose instead to complain about how the biased media had failed to predict that the idiot who called in hundreds of bomb threats to Jewish schools and community centers would turn out to be Jewish, himself? Fucking incredible, ain't it?
  • Did you know that over 200 men, women and children were blown to pieces on Thursday during an American bombing raid in Mosul, Iraq? And that military officials are hinting that this may be the fruit of Trump demanding that Obama era "restrictions", designed to lessen the chance and impact of civilian casualties, be dropped?
  • Did you know that while White House leakers were planting the story that Trump was "very upset" with son-in-law Jared Kushner for jetting off to Aspen for a family ski vacation during the final days in the disastrous campaign to pass Trumpcare, evidence has emerged that there may be a whole lot more to that Aspen trip than just skiing? Considering some of the other stuff this Eric Rosenwald cat has uncovered recently--and considering who's involved--I'd be avoiding small aircraft and packing heat at all times if I were him.
  • Did you know that Alex Jones' apology for helping to spread the incredibly stupid alt.right conspiracy theory-cum-Fascist International psychological operation known as PizzaGate was totally sincere, legit, and above board? Here! Watch and listen for yourself!
  • Did you know that Donald Trump supporters in Ohio don't just know that the man they voted for is lying to them on the regular... nor do they simply accept it... but that they've actually grown to ENJOY being lied to and taken for suckers?
  • Did you know that Trump's recent meeting with German chancelor Angela Merkel was even more awkward and humiliating than we'd been lead to believe? Aside from the infamous handshake refusal incident, we've since learned that, during their private meeting behind closed doors, Trump handed Merkel a literal, paper and ink, printed out invoice for $374,000,000,000.00?! This, allegedly, is the amount that Trump and his minions have calculated that Germany owes to NATO... you know... for 'protection'. Ah... another totally diplomatic, above board, and not at all thuggish gesture from Trump!
  • And finally, did you know that those upstart lefties over at (ahem) Business Insider have put together a month-by-month timeline of events that unfolded during the election that seem to support the FBI's investigation into Trump colluding with the Russians? To paraphrase one of our age's great statesmen: "It's true! It's really true! Bad (or sick) guy!"
***
SUGGESTED READINGS

1. Are you ready for an incredibly information-dense serving of food for thought? Iain Sinclair's The Last London, derived from his February 10 presentation of the first of the London Review of Books' Winter Lecture series for 2017, serves as a meal and a half to those ready, willing and able to digest it. Half pre-Apocalyptic post-Modern fantasia and half hauntological mystery tour, it begins:
So: the last London. It has to be said with a climbing inflection at the end. Every statement is provisional here. Nothing is fixed or grounded. Come back tomorrow and the British Museum will be an ice rink, a boutique hotel, a fashion hub. The familiar streets outside will have vanished into walls of curved glass and progressive holes in the ground. The darkened showroom of the Brick Lane monumental mason with the Jewish headstones will be an art gallery. 
So? The Victorian theatre on Dalston Lane is already a windblown concrete slab with optional water jets propping up a reef of speculative towers nobody can afford on a buttress of failed enterprises, themed restaurants forever changing their allegiance and retail opportunities nobody is rushing to take up, despite those elegantly faded CGI panoramas of satisfied customers who never lived in the world as we know it. 
So? I’m trying to teach myself the grammar of a terminated city in which every sentence begins with a confident clearing of the throat: ‘So …’ That’s the entry code. It’s as if you’ve been shoved onstage, without lines, in a play you’ve never read. Smile brightly. Bluff like a politician in a glass booth being manipulated by semaphoring black-suited attendants with clipboards. 
So? ‘All for the best in the best of all possible Londons,’ says the mayor, says the minister, says Joanna Lumley. ‘All for the best,’ say the entitled, the connected, the stakeholders, the investors and the profit-takers. That insignificant ‘so’ has moved with the times. When my children were teenagers, ‘so’ meant ‘so’. 
So!!! So what? A hormonal challenge. Now it’s a signifier, a warning bleep letting the recipient know that nothing that follows has any billable consequence. The speaker, the spokesperson, the hireling expert, is not accountable. Language in the last London is a negotiation, a spin of terminological inexactitudes. 
We are losing the ground beneath our feet. Slipping and sliding on subordinating conjunctions, we are disorientated. We feel as if we are falling as we walk, reaching out for anything cold and hard and more than a week old. In his book Vertical: The City from Satellites to Bunkers, the geographer Stephen Graham quotes Hito Steyerl, a German video artist: ‘Many contemporary philosophers have pointed out that the present moment is distinguished by a prevailing condition of groundlessness.’ 
Call it ground-zero vertigo. Non-specific paranoia. Territory, as soon as it can be adequately surveyed by drones, or hard-hat visionaries in helicopters, from heights where even the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park looks great, is only there to be explained, improved, colonised and captured. So? 
So? So what?
I realize that sounds like the end of the thing, but trust me, it's only just the beginning. Sinclair goes on, bringing in everyone from Thatcher and Reagan to J.G. Ballard and Michael Moorcock to Punk Rock and Fu Manchu. Also, there's an audio version at the link that serves as both a running commentary to the text and an augmentation of it (differing very much from the work it's allegedly an audio version of, for some reason). If you're sincerely interested in broadening your intellectual horizons and you've got an Internet connection and 90 minutes to kill, you could certainly do worse than read, and listen to, Sinclair's epic editorial peregrinations.


2. While it should in no way be viewed as the final word on the subject, practicing clinical psychologist Bruce Levine's Alternet essay "How Ayn Rand Helped Turn the U.S. into a Selfish, Greedy Nation" is one of the best things I've read about this noxious author in a very long time, and could definitely serve as a very fine critical introduction to--and thus, a good inoculation against--some of the more pernicious elements of her work, her "philosophy", and her cult. After an epigram by Gore Vidal, it begins:
Only rarely in U.S. history do writers transform us to become a more caring or less caring nation. In the 1850s, Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) was a strong force in making the United States a more humane nation, one that would abolish slavery of African Americans. A century later, Ayn Rand (1905-1982) helped make the United States into one of the most uncaring nations in the industrialized world, a neo-Dickensian society where healthcare is only for those who can afford it, and where young people are coerced into huge student-loan debt that cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. 
Rand’s impact has been widespread and deep. At the iceberg’s visible tip is the influence she’s had over major political figures who have shaped American society. In the 1950s, Ayn Rand read aloud drafts of what was later to become Atlas Shrugged to her “Collective,” Rand’s ironic nickname for her inner circle of young individualists, which included Alan Greenspan, who would serve as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board from 1987 to 2006. 
In 1966, Ronald Reagan wrote in a personal letter, “Am an admirer of Ayn Rand.” Today, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) credits Rand for inspiring him to go into politics, and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) calls Atlas Shrugged his “foundation book.” Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) says Ayn Rand had a major influence on him, and his son Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is an even bigger fan. A short list of other Rand fans includes Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas; Christopher Cox, chairman of the Security and Exchange Commission in George W. Bush’s second administration; and former South Carolina governor Mark Sanford. 
But Rand’s impact on U.S. society and culture goes even deeper.

Levine has done yeoman's work, bringing us his specialist's take on Rand's peculiarly popular psychopathologies. If you've got any committed Randroids in your entourage, don't bother sending this to them. But DO send it to anyone you think that Randroid might possibly infect. And remember: Friends don't let Friends read Ayn Rand!

3. Yer old pal Jerky loves him some Mystery Science Theater 3000. In fact, I think it's one of the greatest--and definitely among the funniest--television programs in the history of the medium. I've been down about MST3K's cancellation since 1999 for Torgo's sake! So when news emerged that Joel was doing a Kickstarter for a new version of the show, I was like, YEAH! And then, when they broke all Kickstarter records for a TV show, I was like, HELL's YEAH! And then, when I found out it was gonna be on Netflix, which means all the first season episodes are gonna drop simultaneously, I was like, FRICKEN' ACE! And then, when I found out that the new season of MST3K was basically popping into existence ON MY BIRTHDAY, I was like, PPFFRREAAAAHHRRGGHH!!! Anyway, Today's Suggested Readings are pretty heavy, so here's a 48 second commercial for the new season of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Huzzah!

***
QUOTE OF THE DAY

I think that sooner or later the white working-class constituency will recognize, and in fact, much of the rural population will come to recognize, that [Trump's] promises are built on sand. There is nothing there. And then what happens becomes significant. In order to maintain his popularity, the Trump administration will have to try to find some means of rallying the support and changing the discourse from the policies that they are carrying out, which are basically a wrecking ball to something else. ... And that can turn out to be very ugly. I think that we shouldn't put aside the possibility that there would be some kind of staged or alleged terrorist act, which can change the country instantly.

- Oh, so now the world's most widely respected public intellectual, Professor Noam Fucking Chomsky, is willing to "go there", is he? Welcome to the Parapolitical Science Club, Noam. Sure fuckin' took you long enough to get here.

DDD EXTRAS
  • If you want to learn about some cool and/or weird things that happened on whatever day of history that it happens to be when you're reading this, why not check out our sister-site, Useless Eater Blog? You're sure to find something of interest, guaranteed!
  • At the Kubrick U blog, you can viddy some very horrosho, very 70's Clockwork Orange bubble gum collector's cards!
THE TAKEAWAY

I have reformulated my image from the last DDD Executive Summary in order to more accurately reflect the way Trump backed off from his repeal and replace of Obamacare... and to add a tattered American flag. I think this way is better, frankly, because the original invests Trump's self-destruction with far too much conscious agency.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

DDD EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ~ MARCH 25, 2017


THINK TRUMP IS TIRED OF WINNING YET?

Watching the Trumpcare debacle play itself out the way it did left me feeling somewhat unsatisfied... kind of hollow inside, like we'd been denied some truly cleansing, calamitous conclusion, instead of what happened, which was essentially a slow rolling stop, followed by a beeping noise as the whole thing ignominiously ground its gears into reverse... and went away under a sulking cloud of We Give Up.

Don't get me wrong! Watching Trump suckle at the teat of failure is always nothing less than divine. But let’s pause for a moment and consider the implications of Trump failing to pass his first piece of signature legislative business: the repeal and replacement of that dreaded bugaboo, Obamacare. And no, it was not all just a part of some brilliant scheme by Steve Bannon to smoke out disloyal Republicans in order to identify them so that they might be targeted for future removal, as some right wingers have begun to speculate.

No, two things are immediately plain to see. First, up until early Friday afternoon, Trump actually thought he had the political capital to bull this thing trough Congress. Second, it's obvious that Trump's first order of business since Friday afternoon's unprecedented humiliation has been to find someone, ANYONE, to soak up the blame for his total, abject failure. 

So... who has Trump tried to blame so far?

The Democrats were his first target, of course, as anyone could have told you they were going to be. But even a blind man could see that it isn’t the Democrats who pooped in Trump’s metaphorical punch bowl this time. No, this was clearly a friendly fire incident. It was a couple dozen Republicans who refused to back Trump's dead-on-arrival legislative loser of a healthcare package. 

One interesting aspect of this phenomenon is trying to suss out exactly why so many Republican House members refused to back both their President and their Speaker. I mean, it's hard to quantify just exactly how big of a deal this is... how bad it makes the GOP look. 

Rhetorically, the Republican nay-sayers are all publicly criticizing AHCA from the right; saying that it does, and costs, too much. This is to be expected, as the modern GOP is a rigid and doctrinaire conservative movementarian party. 

However, the way yer old pal Jerky sees it, I think the real reason these "Freedom Caucus" cuckoos buckled and joined the Dems is because deep down, they knew it was a terrible piece of legislation. And even if, as philosophically rigid conservative movementarians, they couldn't give less of a shit about millions of Americans losing their healthcare coverage... they do give a shit about keeping their jobs, and all the perks and power that come with their political careers.

Which brings us to Saturday afternoon, when Trump took time out from his no doubt hectic schedule to take to Twitter and make a television viewing suggestion to all his many followers and fans:



Gee, after such a bruising couple of days, I wonder why Trump could possibly think it was important for his followers to tune into that walking, talking, plastic surgery disaster's show? Let's tune in and find out! 


Oooh... NOW I get it! Trump has settled on his scapegoat! He's decided Wisconsin's own Paul Ryan (R-Munster) is going to be the one to absorb all the blame for Trumpcare’s failure! And he's chosen Jeanine Pirro, the Wicked Witch of Westchester, to serve as his Creeping Death!

Personally, yer old pal Jerky's favorite moment from the above video is when this reptilian scorpion-woman disingenuously hisses through her pursed buccal sphincter: "Now, I certainly have not spoken with the President about ANY of this!" CLASSIC!

You know, there's just something so nakedly transparent about all this, so pathetically desperate and pathologically deceitful… it's just so fucking AWESOME!!!

MINUTIA AND INCONSEQUENTIA
  • Did y'all catch former CIA Director James Woolsey tattling on disgraced National Security Advisor Mike Flynn, giving details about how he was there for the highly troubling White House meetings during which Flynn and his gaggle of Turkish paymasters tried to convince Trump to approve their plan to kidnap exiled cleric Fetulah Gulen from his compound in the Poconos and whisk him back to Turkey for... (ahem) "questioning" by the Erdogan regime? Wasn't it cute the way Woolsey backed away with his hands held up in front of him while shakily explaining how he, himself, had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO with those profoundly illegal plans? 
  • And did you hear that Flynn might... MIGHT!!! ...have turned state witness against Trump, striking a deal with the FBI in their whole ongoing probe into the connections between the Trump administration and Trump private interests with the Kremlin, Russian oligarchs, and Russian organized crime? If true... Yowza.
  • One of the many delightful political ironies that took place last week was when the United States Supreme Court unanimously concluded that Trump's Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, who was at that very moment being interviewed for the job by the Senate Judiciary Committee, really shit the metaphotical bed in his 2008 decision involving the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. As if that wasn't enough, Gorsuch was later taken to the woodshed by Minesotta's Al Franken, the man who will soon become America's first Jewish President, according to yer old pal Jerky's crystal ball. 
  • Remember back in our March 19 edition, when I suggested you read the Washington Post's really pretty funny satirical defense of what was being described as Trump's "hard power" budget? It was titled "Trump's Budget Makes Perfect Sense and Will Fix American and I'll Tell You Why", and it described how cutting Meals on Wheels was just the thing to whip our fat, crippled seniors back into fighting trim... you know, stuff like that. It was pretty obvious that the budget was being mocked. Obvious to everyone... except the White House, apparently, who decided to chalk it up as a win in their daily release of pro-Trump knob-polishing drivel from the fart-catching likes of FOX "News" and Breitbart. Oopsie!
  • Did you know that, in Belarus, President Alexander Lukashenko (who's been in power since 1994 for fuck's sake) recently implemented a $230 "social parasite tax" that you have to pay if you go six months without working a job of some sort? The citizens of Belarus don't like it, but Lukashenko, like Trump, takes his ruling style cues from fellow strongman Vladimir Putin. Which is also why Americans should probably take note. With Trump's key, signature legislative effort now reduced to a mouthful of smoldering ash, he's probably going to be looking overseas for innovative new ways to pay for all those military increases he wants so badly. Because, let's face it, firing Big Bird might prove popular with his base, but it's small beans in terms of savings. Considering Lukashenko already has the Putin seal of approval, can a tax on, oh... say, speaking Spanish in public, or having "overly melenated skin" be far behind?
  • And finally for today, on the very same day that Conspiritard-in-Chief Alex Jones attempted to weasel his way out of a lawsuit by publicly apologizing for the role he played in spreading all that PizzaGate nonsense over the past few months, dozens of the self-same people he'd helped to inspire gathered in Washington to "demand PizzaGate justice" or some other such bullshit. How did we get to the point where perfect idiots who literally know nothing about anything all of a sudden think that they know everything there is to know about everything, without even having to crack a book?! Fucking Internet has doomed us all, folks.
***
SUGGESTED READINGS


1. Gotta admit, of all the stories I've run across in the last couple of days' websurfing, the one that caught me most off-guard was "Trafficked and Enslaved: The Teenagers Tending UK Cannabis Farms" in The Guardian, by Amelia Gentleman. She presents the harrowing tales of Vietnamese teens who are hoodwinked into "tending Britain's makeshift drug factories in empty buildings from suburban homes to a nuclear bunker." Gentleman writes:
The story of how much of the UK’s cannabis is grown sounds too far-fetched to be true: an international network of traffickers brings teenage boys from Vietnam to become enslaved gardeners in British suburbs. Yet every few weeks, another farm is discovered and new arrests are made. 
Local newspapers offer fleeting insights into the industry, with scant facts: that police raided a red-brick terrace house on a suburban road in Liverpool after neighbours complained of the smell, and found the house stripped of furniture and converted into a cannabis farm, with two teenage boys hiding, terrified, beneath the floorboards. That a cannabis gardener in County Armagh was found living on tins of dog food. Or that police visited a two-storey house in Plymouth and found cannabis plants in every room, cellar to attic, tended by a Vietnamese boy with injuries to his face, who said he was 13; he was put in the care of social services while investigations were launched, but within days he had disappeared.
This is some incredibly dark shit that Gentleman is exposing, here, and she's doing great work by bringing the stories of individual victims to the public's attention. Please give her story a read.


2. If you've been reading my work for any amount of time, you're likely very much aware that yer old pal Jerky worships unabashedly at the Temple of Floyd. You're also likely very much aware that I am a huge fan of progressive rock in general, and that, as a proud French Canadian, I take great delight in my people's wholehearted embracing of a musical genre that is considered by Anglo music snobs to be the worst of the worst of the worst. And so you might think I'd be totally on board for composer Julien Bilodeau's re-imagining of Roger Waters' rock opera The Wall, as performed by the world renowned Opera de Montreal, under the title Another Brick in the Wall. Unfortunately, for a number of reasons including but not limited to the fact that there's already a nearly fatal dose of pomposity in the original, rock opera version... I'm not. Not that it's going to matter to the promoters. It's been such a success in Montreal, they're taking the show on the road. In any case, you can check out the link provided above for a sense of how Bilodeau "improved" upon the source material for his project.

3. Check out this absolutely bonkers trailer for a new "extreme horror" film called The Evil Within, which you can watch via Video on Demand at Amazon (sorry, but I'm having trouble finding a Canadian VOD source at the moment)...


Pretty cuckoo, right? Well guess what? The back story on how this film got made is even more bonkers than this trailer makes the movie out to be. The Evil Within was the fifteen years in the making passion project of millionaire meth addict (and cinematic neophyte) Andrew Rork Getty (of the GETTY Gettys), who died before he could see his project be released. Which is kind of sad, because by the looks of things, The Evil Within has the makings to be a lasting and legit cult classic. Once I've found a way to pay for and download it up here in the Great White North, I'll publish my review over at The Mediavore!
***
QUOTE OF THE DAY


“This, to us, is something that we're not going to give up on. We're not going to give up on destroying the healthcare system for the American people.

- Paul Ryan (R-Munster) lets loose with the mother of all Freudian slips after the humiliating friendly fire downfall of his and Trump's signature piece of conservative movementarian pseudo-legislation. By the way, if you're interested in finding out what could possibly be the quintessential Trump administration quote uttered so far, the Washington Post has a real groovy tournament going on to figure out that very thing!

DDD EXTRAS
THE TAKEAWAY

All in all it's just another day filled with what feels like an unprecedented wave of insults and injuries, great and small. I mean, am I crazy, or does it seem as though the foundations of Western civilization are crumbling beneath our collective feet as we marvel (and, occasionally, blog) about it all?

Friday, March 24, 2017

DDD EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ~ MARCH 23, 2017

LOOK at this fucking piece of shit.
MINUTIA AND INCONSEQUENTIA
  • James Jackson, a White Supremacist military vet who traveled from Maryland to New York City specifically in search of a Black man to murder in public with his super-keen medieval sword, found a victim in Tim Caughman, 66, whom he ran through before running off, then turning himself in at a NYPD substation the next day. But we all know who the real victims are: other White Supremacists!
  • Speaking of White Supremacists, the greasiest member of the Trumpspawn Brood, Donald Trump Junior--who serves as a living reminder that yes, children can be conceived via anal sex--lived down to the family reputation yesterday by using Twitter to launch a lazy, hacky, politically tone-deaf attack on London mayor Sidiq Khan in the wake of his city's vehicular homicide and knife terror attack. Basically, Junior took Khan's (100% valid) comment about the inevitability of such attacks taking place in big international cities entirely out of context. The mayor's refusal to engage with the Chinless Wonder Trump was pretty much the only acceptable course of action. The perpetrator, Khalid Masood, a British-born man of Asian ancestry who has been on the authorities' radar for the better part of a decade, was killed during the attack. 
  • The current (but not for long) Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes (R-Idiot) spent all day apologizing to his Democratic colleagues about his multiple, almost unbelievable "lapses in judgement" both in relation to his handling of information gleaned during the ongoing Senate probe into the Trump administration's ties to the Kremlin (and other organized crime organizations), as well as his unprecedented decision to personally "debrief" Trump, on what he'd learned during closed door sessions, and... well, let's just say that it's going to take an awful lot of fancy footwork by an awful lot of very skilled dancers to keep an Special Prosecutor from being assigned to take over from the obviously--now irreversibly--compromised Senate cabal currently handling things. Hey, wait a minute... does his blazing incompetence technically mean he's one of the good guys?! 
  • Speaking on paradoxes, allow yer old pal Jerky to speculate about Trump issuing ultimatums and forcing Republican House members into a Friday rush vote on his and Paul Ryan's ruinous "replacement" for Obamacare--despite the Koch bros. meddling and the "Freedom Caucus" spanners in the works--and his "threat" that they may otherwise be "stuck with Obamacare"... That, my friends, is precisely what he wants to see happen. Why? Because he knows that if AHCA passes and replaces Obamacare, it would spell disaster for a great many Republicans at the ballot box in 2018. The millions who will lose their coverage if it passes? Trump could not give less of a fuck about them. But if the bill fails to get enough votes, that means Trump gets to go on doing what he most loves to do: whine about Obama, and flop around shrieking like a rapidly deflating orange balloon. Can't you just hear him now, ranting about being betrayed by "career politicians"? Yeah... ACHC failing is win-win, as far as Trump is concerned. 
  • Hey! Have you heard about the incredibly convoluted back-story that grows more bone-chilling the more you find out about it, but which can essentially be boiled down to: "Nikolai Gorokhov, a key witness in the United States vs Prevezon Russian organized crime probe being conducted by US Attorney General Preet Bharara (up until the day Trump fired him) was thrown from a 4th floor window in Moscow the day before he was scheduled to testify before a Moscow appeals court about the Russian prison murder--and subsequent posthumous prosecution for tax evasion!--of former associate Sergei Magnitsky, barely surviving and currently clinging to life"? You haven't? Well... lucky you.
  • Remember early last week, when Rachel Maddow, MSNBC's tomboyish anchor-lesbian with a voice that sounds like she had a yo-yo surgically attached to her uvula, reported that she'd come into possession of a partial tax return from one year out of Trump's many years of unreleased tax returns? Remember how that two page document--cherry picked and leaked by Trump, himself, most likely--proved to be relatively innocuous and somewhat routine? Remember how liberals and the left ripped out their hipster beards in furious frustration, while all the conservatives and right-wingers came together in a seemingly synchronized orgy of idiotic back-slapping celebration? “HAHA! TRUMP WINS AGAIN! WE WIN! WE WIN!!!” Remember that shit? If there exists a method to quantify precisely how stupid each and every step of that story's sprint across the national news cycle was, yer old pal Jerky doesn't know about it.
  • Speaking of Maddow (whom I have grown to admire, believe it or not), she's been doing some of the best work of any television outlet on sinking her teeth into the greasy meat of the Trump/Russia connections. Her latest find, exposing a genuine Russian "Fake News" social-media polluting "bot" operation disguised as a pro-Bernie Sanders account and being run from the dystopian failed state of Albania--and thereby safely beyond the reach of American and most international legal or civil enforcement institutions--has been eye-opening, and has produced tangible, real world, positive results. So, HUZZAH!
***
SUGGESTED READINGS
1. Last DDD ExecSum, I was nattering on about helping you guys find quality webcomics to follow before wussing out and sub-contracting the job to another blogger, who gave his readers a handful of quality suggestions among the usual suspects. Of course, the very next day, I come across Dundas and Dragons, a Toronto-centric webcomic that turns into something unexpected before you can even contemplate the possibility that you might get bored with it. Trust me on this one... it's a keeper!

2. Man, I hate when this shit happens. On March 10, I wrote about how Trump was "trying to mainstream the long-standing Far Right notion that a significant number of anti-Semitic attacks are self-inflicted false flags." This was in relation to the massive increase in such incidents that has taken place since just prior to Trump's electoral college "victory" in November, one part of which was a seemingly coordinated series of bomb threats called into various Jewish schools, community centers, and synagogues. Today, we learned that a teen-aged Jewish "hacker" in Israel has been arrested on suspicion of being behind a majority of those threats, which, again, while widely reported on, only make up a small part of the overall increase in anti-Semitic incidents. So unless someone has figured out how to desecrate graveyards over the Internet... it should be irrelevant. But, of course, it won't be. Because it looks bad. It looks really bad. And you know who knows that better than most, and who are probably the most outraged over this idiot's incredibly stupid shenanigans? Jews.

3. Dear God is this classic Bill Moyers Journal edition from the Dubya years, titled "Buying the War", which explores the media's role in helping the Bush administration sell the American people on the idea of invading Iraq (and how things didn't get any better in the four years intervening) ever so goddamn depressing. Read more about the episode before watching, but please do watch. It's a vital lesson in recent history from a true and trustworthy master of the television journalism medium.

***
QUOTE OF THE DAY

On camera, I once said This pizza looks like a manhole cover in Flavortown. Willy Wonka had a chocolate stream, you know? So it's taking these iconic food items, these iconic food moments, and giving them a home. They all live in Flavortown. It's like one of those things in The Matrix: You can only get down with Flavortown if you believe in Flavortown. I have people walk up to me and say Hey, I'm a citizen of Flavortown. I have people who want to pledge to be a city council member of Flavortown, or the mechanic. It doesn't stop. What would be the airline of Flavortown? Sausage Airlines? It just doesn't stop. I just said it, and then people heard it. Of course, there's no Flavortown... unless you believe in it.

- If Sammy Hagar fucked a Troll Doll, the offspring would be something not unlike FlavorTown Dictator-for-Life Guy Fieri.

DDD EXTRAS
THE TAKEAWAY

Man, I gotta finish some of the long-form essays I've been working on and adding to over the past five months. At this rate, they'll never get published. One of them was sparked by PizzaGate for fuck's sake! I mean, it's evolved a lot since then, and the concepts I am exploring are still important and poorly covered... but shit man, it's starting to grow potato fingers.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

DDD EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ~ MARCH 21, 2017

Artist Karen Fiorito's protest billboard, currently on view in Phoenix, AZ
THE ALT.LEFT APPROACHES A TRAGIC NADIR

It was with an increasingly familiar mix of great sadness and disappointment last week that I learned the once great journalist Robert Parry, whose work uncovering the interlocking scandals at the festering heart of the Reagan/Bush administrations was vital to my own political awakening, appears to have devolved into an equivocating "reflex lefty" in his dotage, to the point where he's even counting the Russian smear of Chrystia Freeland as some kind of neocon belt-notch, for fuck's sake.

I'm loathe to go over that idiotic brou-haha again, but suffice it to say that Freeland's granddad "really" being a Ukrainian Nazi sympathizer during World War II has less than nothing to do with whether or not dredging up 70 year old newspaper editorials to sully Freeland's reputation can rightly be classified as "Russion disinfo"... which, in my opinion, it certainly can be.

And "New Cold War"? Or, even worse, "New McCarthyism"?! Can there be a lazier, more groundless, less helpful analogy to describe the increasingly bipartisan concern over the twisted complex of connections tying a ridiculously unreasonable number of Trump administration figures to Putin's "Great White Gangster" regime in Russia?

Parry's recent writing is so dumbed down, so void of worthwhile insight, so hell bent on connecting dots that aren't there--yet blind to the countless dots waiting impatiently to be connected--it made me wonder whether he's always been this shitty, and his October Surprise and Iran/Contra stories relied on the work of unnamed others. To be honest, I don't even care enough to expend the effort it would take to find out. All things considered, that's a time-wasting luxury at this point.

Which leaves us with a disturbing question: As more and more once-reliable relayers of facts, arbiters of truth, and analysts of context fall prey to the ravages of age, complacency, and the contempt bred by familiarity--or are compromised by waning health and fiscal/social instability--how do we acknowledge the sad and sometimes dangerous decline, while still recognizing and honoring the work these people did when they were at the top of their game?

In this case, after having read a number of his more recent editorials, I feel as though all I can do is toss Parry onto the alt.left heap alongside Glenn Greenwald, Chris Hedges, the editorial staff of Jacobin magazine, and be done with him. Because essentially, anybody still insisting "there's no THERE there" about the Trump/Russia connection is full of shit, full stop. The evidence is overwhelming that the Trump organization AND his administration both have tons of shady dealings with Putin/Russia (the two being interchangeable at this point) and Russian organized crime/oligarchs
(the two being interchangeable at this point).

And NO, I don't say this to "deflect attention from Hillary's shortcomings as a candidate", or out of some suicidal urge to "spark a thermonuclear conflagration", or whatever other idiotic bullshit Susan Sarandon and her fellow travelling purity leftists are spewing of late. I couldn't give less of a fuck about Hillary Clinton at this point. The alt.lefties are the ONLY people bringing up Hillary anymore, and only as part of their lazy, idiot opinioneering.

Speaking of thermonuclear conflagrations, relating to the oft-repeated alt.left notion that the Democrats are "playing a dangerous game" by saying Trump is in Putin's pocket, because such taunting could provoke Trump into taking an aggressive military posture against Russia to prove otherwise, with potentially devastating results... it neglects to take one simple fact into account.  Those who actually know what's going on say that Trump is in Putin's pocket NOT because they want him to take an aggressive posture against Russia, but precisely because they know with 100% certainty that TRUMP CANNOT AND WILL NOT take an aggressive posture against Russia!

This cowardly, sub-moronic whining about how "Putin gonna kill us ALL if we DARE say mean things about him!" is really, REALLY getting on my fucking nerves. "WAAAH! It's a New Cold War! I wet my pants! WAAAH!!!" Fucking tell it to the Ukrainians.

Oh, wait... I forgot! That telegenic young fellow on RT said that "tools of American Empire" ousted Putin's good buddy, the not-at-all-Trump-like and not at all Trump-connected "innocent victim" President Victor Yanukovych in Ukraine by weaponizing that nation's bad, not good Nationalists! And those guys are racist don'tcha know! Unlike Russia, and Putin, who, after all, is, like, you know... a "Great Leader" and stuff. I learned all this on RT between repeating segments pushing Syria and Russia's horrifically successful black propaganda campaign against Syria's White Helmets, so you know it's gotta be true.

Okay, alright... maybe it's not quite that bad. But it's still pretty bad, as this positively hysterical Chris Hedges article will attest.

Go ahead... read it. Am I off my rocker, or is that the insane ramblings of someone who desperately longs to see his worst suspicions about the so-called "Deep State" confirmed, as some twisted sort of vindication or validation of everything he's come to believe about the world? For fuck's sake, Chris Hedges is not a stupid man. If anything, he's probably TOO intelligent... as in, too intelligent for his own good. It's a situation yer old pal Jerky is all too familiar with, what with me being like a GENIUS and all...

I mean, forgive me for making assumptions. It's not like I've undertaken an exhaustive institutional ethnography or anything... but I suspect that America's intel situation is somewhat more sophisticated and nuanced than the alt.left's weather-worn formulation: "NSA, CIA, USA... BAD!

And now I've gone and made myself sick. I realize this edition didn't make much sense. Consider it a tone poem of sorts, a howl of frustration at the crap I see more and more of my friends and peers falling prey to with every passing day.

Anyway... enjoy the rest of the Dirt. I gotta go try to rub one out, just to prove that I still can.

IN OTHER NEWS
  • Oh, Hey! You know how Trump has repeatedly promised to produce a totally disgusting, nakedly fascistic weekly digest on all the crimes committed by immigrants to the United States of America? The first edition just hit the rhetorical shelves. Hooray for the Homeland.
  • Speaking of Fascist Fuckwits and Far Right stooges, did y’all know that Brexit Bro Nigel Farrage held a meeting with WikiLeaker Julian Assange at his hidey-hole in the Ecuadoran embassy last week? Quite an interesting circle little Julian runs with, ain't it? Trump, Farrage, Le Pen, Greenwald... and maybe Snowden? And then maybe Putin? Any dots to be connected there, do you think?
  • Did you hear about Trump appointing a "massage therapist" from New Hampshire with to be the director of the Office of Technology Transitions at the Energy Department... and then having to fire him NOT because he was totally unqualified, but because his (ahem) "caustic" social media comments came to light? 
***
SUGGESTED READINGS


1. In this Smithsonian.com article, Megan Gambino delves into "data journalist" Ben Blatt's by-the-numbers look at literary classics. He's allegedly found some striking patterns, and believes that statistics will one day reveal the secrets of what makes great writing. Personally I think he's going down a dangerous road that will eventually lead to... you know (gestures upwards with eyebrow to robot writing a book, above). In any case, the article begins:
In most college-level literature courses, you find students dissecting small portions of literary classics: Shakespeare’s soliloquies, Joyce’s stream of consciousness and Hemingway’s staccato sentences. No doubt, there is so much that can be learned about a writer, his or her craft and a story’s meaning by this type of close reading.

But Ben Blatt makes a strong argument for another approach. By focusing on certain sentences and paragraphs, he posits in his new book, Nabokov’s Favorite Word is Mauve, readers are neglecting all of the other words, which, in an average-length novel amount to tens of thousands of data points.

The journalist and statistician created a database of the text from a smattering of 20th century classics and bestsellers to quantitatively answer a number of questions of interest. His analysis revealed some quirky patterns that might otherwise go unnoticed:

By the numbers, the best opening sentences to novels do tend to be short. Prolific author James Patterson averages 160 clich├ęs per 100,000 words (that’s 115 more than the revered Jane Austen), and Vladimir Nabokov used the word mauve 44 times more often than the average writer in the past two centuries.

Smithsonian.com talked with Blatt about his method, some of his key findings and why big data is important to the study of literature.
Read the interview at Smithsonian.com. It's actually pretty cool, regardless of yer old pal Jerky's long-time robophobic tendencies.

2. You say you've been thinking about reading more webcomics, but you don't know where to start? Well, why not let this list of the Best Webcomics of 2015 serve as your starting point? I realize it's a bit out of date at this point, and personally I only care for about a third of the strips listed... but 2 years isn't that long ago, and 1 out of 3 ain't bad when it comes to webcomics! So until yer old pal Jerky completes his own list of recommended webcomics, this one is going to have to do. Besides, any list of webcomics that recommends Perry Bible Fellowship is tops in my book!

3. Our old pal Kieth Olbermann again, by way of Gilda Radner, helping to underline how and why, when it comes to "Russia! Russia! Russia!", there actually is a "there" there.


***
QUOTE OF THE DAY

You’ve gotta be real careful around here. You get beat up if you don’t believe what everybody believes. This is like ‘30s Germany. I don’t know what happened.

- when asked about attending Trump's inauguration by Jimmy Kimmel, Tim Allen compares people questioning his political judgment to being railroaded into concentration camps, then subjected to the most meticulous and technocratically rigorous attempted genocide of the Modern era. So, yea, it's pretty obvious he really doesn't know what happened.

DDD EXTRAS
THE TAKEAWAY

This shit is getting re-donk-ulous.

Monday, March 20, 2017

THE EVIDENCE CONNECTING TRUMP AND RUSSIA

Think Progress reports:
There’s now a vast web of circumstantial evidence and questions surrounding the Trump administration’s alleged contacts with Russian state actors during the campaign, most of which leaked out over months. And for many people, the web of allegations and the Trump administration’s frequently shifting official story has been very difficult to follow. 
On Monday, FBI director James Comey testified in front of the House Intelligence committee as part of Congress’ ongoing investigation in the matter. Before his testimony, the committee’s ranking Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff (CA) laid out of all of the circumstantial evidence that has built up so far connecting the Trump campaign to Russian state actors seeking the intervene in the election. 
Schiff emphasizes in his opening that he is drawing only on public reports, not all of which have been confirmed. His opening statement, however, is a good summary of everything that has come out so far. 
Watch it here:

Sunday, March 19, 2017

DDD EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ~ MARCH 19, 2017


While most pop culture mavens are mourning the loss of one of Rock and Roll's last great innovators, yer old pal Jerky can't help but be more upset over the passing of one of the giants of the comic book industry: Bernie Wrightson

With a style so distinct that most comics aficionados can identify his work at a quick glance, Wrightson is perhaps most widely known for his work in horror anthologies and for having co-created, with writer Len Wein, the enduring character known as Swamp Thing. But his legacy stretches far beyond the funny books ghetto, thanks to his illustration work for a prestige edition of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (50 gorgeous pen-and-ink pieces in all), as well as such popular fair as Stephen King's Cycle of the Werewolf

Producing top quality art for everyone from Marvel and DC, Dark Horse and Warren Publishing, and countless indie publishers on top, picking a favorite from his vast oeuvre is impossible. I do, however, hold a fond place in my memory for his over-sized comic book adaptation of Stephen King and George Romero's movie Creepshow, which, coincidentally, is finally getting a reprint this May. 

IN OTHER NEWS
  • The impeachment and ouster of South Korean president Park Geun-hye after a bizarre year-long scandal involving everything from a sunken ferry boat to strange religious cults is being both celebrated and protested in Seoul. And that's part of the reason why stability and North Korea’s recent missile tests are so troubling, and at the top of the agenda for US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's regional tour, which has stops in Beijing, Seoul, and Tokyo.
  • Oh, hey! That reminds me! Did y'all hear about how the Chinese government decided to "honor" their guests by forgiving 80 percent of the President's Son-in-Law’s outstanding debts? Isn't that sweet of them? I mean, blatant disregard for the law be damned... the way I see it, it's just nice to see people being good to each other for a change! 
  • In going over recent DDD Exec Sum's, yer old pal Jerky noticed that he hadn't referenced the Trump administration's decision, inspired by something Sean Hannity said on FOX News, ordering 46 holdover U.S. attorneys to quit, which, aside from the fact that it was sparked by FOX News, isn't all that unusual. 
  • I have also neglected to mention the fact that powerful Manhattan prosecutor Preet Bharara, who had previously been given leave to carry on with his important work, was fired after refusing to submit his resignation. That one, it turns out, isn't quite so "usual". Nor is it "usual" that Bharara's firing might have been prompted by the fact that, along with his investigation into Trump's pick to head up Health and Human Services, Tom Price, Bharara was also investigating (and please note the circular synchronicity at play here) FOX NEWS! Believe it or not, it gets even more sordid when you start digging through the details.
  • Another story I haven't had much to say about is the revelation that history's shortest-serving National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn, had to admit that he was working as "a paid foreign agent" last year, representing the interests of the Turkish government in a dispute with the US, and during a pretty crazy time for that government (remember the "coup"?)... all while simultaneously serving as a key member of Trump's campaign! What the hell is it with these people? It's like they're constitutionally incapable of behaving ethically. 
  • And, finally for today, nearly a month after yer old pal Jerky's prediction that Nazi-sympathizing Trump adviser Sebastian Gorka would "soon go bye-bye", a bigger stink is finally being raised over the man's ties to a Hungarian Fascist group responsible for handing hundreds of thousands of Jews over to the Nazis during World War II. We'll keep you posted!
***
SUGGESTED READINGS


1. Okay, so it's time to buckle the fuck up. Taking an estimated 41 minutes to read (thanks for that feature, Medium!) this heavy-duty think piece argues, quite convincingly in this reader's opinion, that Donald Trump's "victory" in November was NOT, as has been posited by observers from both the alt.right and the alt.left, a blow against the "Deep State" (who are now, as that narrative would have it, in open rebellion against him). Rather, it can more accurately be described as a by-product of an ongoing war between two distinct factions of the Deep State.

Titled "How the Trump Regime was Manufactured by a War Inside the Deep State", Nafeez Ahmed's article aims to explore how "a systemic crisis in the global Deep System has driven the violent radicalization of a Deep State faction", and this it does, in pretty convincing fashion. It begins thusly:
President Donald Trump is not fighting a war on the establishment: he’s fighting a war to protect the establishment from itself, and the rest of us.
At first glance, this isn’t obvious. Among his first actions upon taking office, Trump vetoed the Trans Pacific Partnership, the controversial free trade agreement which critics rightly said would lead to US job losses while giving transnational corporations massive power over national state policies on health, education and other issues. 
Trump further plans to ditch the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the EU and US, which would have diluted key state regulations on the activities of transnational corporates on issues like food safety, the environment and banking; and to renegotiate NAFTA, potentially heightening tensions with Canada. 
Trump appears to be in conflict with the bulk of the US intelligence community, and is actively seeking to restructure the government to minimize checks and balances, and thus consolidate his executive power. 
His White House chief strategist, Steve Bannon, has restructured the National Security Council, granting himself and Trump’s Chief of Staff Richard ‘Reince’ Priebus permanent seats on the NSC’s Principals’ Committee – opening the door to the White House politicization of the government’s highest national security body. 
Trump’s White House has purged almost the entire senior staff of the State Department, and tested the loyalty of the Department of Homeland Security with its new ‘Muslim ban’ order. 
So what is going on? One approach to framing the Trump movement comes from Jordan Greenhall, who sees it as a conservative (“Red Religion”) Insurgency against the liberal (“Blue Church”) Globalist establishment (the “Deep State”). Greenhall suggests, essentially, that Trump is leading a nationalist coup against corporate neoliberal globalization using new tactics of “collective intelligence” by which to outsmart and outspeed his liberal establishment opponents. 
But at best this is an extremely partial picture. 
In reality, Trump has ushered in something far more dangerous: 
The Trump regime is not operating outside the Deep State, but mobilizing elements within it to dominate and strengthen it for a new mission. 
The Trump regime is not acting to overturn the establishment, but to consolidate it against a perceived crisis of a wider transnational Deep System. 
The Trump regime is not a conservative insurgency against the liberal establishment, but an act of ideologically constructing the current crisis as a conservative-liberal battleground, led by a particularly radicalized white nationalist faction of a global elite. 
The act is a direct product of a global systemic crisis, but is a short-sighted and ill-conceived reaction, pre-occupied with surface symptoms of that crisis. Unfortunately, those hoping to resist the Trump reaction also fail to understand the system dynamics of the crisis. 
All this can only be understood when we look at the big picture.
And that's precisely what Nafeez does for the remaining 39 minutes it will take you to read (or 7 minutes to skim) his assessment of the emerging Trumpian realpolitik; naming names, and connecting dots. Kudos on a job well done. Be sure to check out his follow-up reporting on this subject, too. I know I certainly will be.

2. This hilarious Washington Post editorial explains exactly why Trump's new budget is just the thing to whip a whimpy, flabby America back into tip-top shape! I guffawed, legit LOLs, a number of times while reading.

3. You've been good today, class, so it's time for the AV geeks to roll out the equipment so we can all watch a video together! From the description: "Why do so many people use the internet to harass and threaten people, and stretch the freedom of speech to its limits? Director Kyrre Lien meets a global group of strongly opinionated individuals, who spend their time debating online on the subjects they care most strongly about. Online platforms are their favourite tools to express the opinions that others might find objectionable in language that often offends. Do they behave in the same way when they come offline?"

***
QUOTE OF THE DAY

Nobody’s dealing with the real issue with this fucking clown as president, and the shit that we dealing with out here, so I wanted to take time out to push pause on a party record and make one of these records for the time being... It’s a lot of clown shit going on that we could just sit and talk on the phone all day about, but it’s a few issues that we really wanted to lock into, like police, the president and just life in general.

- Snoop Dogg explains why he made a video in which he's shown pointing a gun at a clown version of Donald Trump's head.

DDD EXTRAS
  • New at the Kubrick U blog! We check out the latest documentary, S is for Stanley!
  • I've created a new blog! A cool new trailer for a cool new movie is up at The Mediavore! 
  • If you want to learn about some cool and/or weird things that happened on whatever day of history that it happens to be when you're reading this, why not check out our sister-site, Useless Eater Blog? You're sure to find something of interest, guaranteed!
THE TAKEAWAY

GEERT! Wilders underperformed in the Netherlands elections, but that doesn't mean he, nor the ideology that fuels him, are going away any time soon...