These Six Things

“So how fucked up is that? How fucked up is it that what seems to be perfectly normal, albeit infuriating and exhausting and chaotic and you just lived with it, you have to spend untold years of your adult life unwinding it all and dealing with it and discovering how fucked up it was and still is?”

I will write more about my subbing experience later. It didn’t totally suck. Except when it did. Especially at the end. But those are tales for other days.

No, today let’s talk about narcissism. It always seems to take forever for me to sorta get a clue about certain things. Lots of things. I was clueless, in a bubble, incurious, and uninterested in what was going on around me (not in the world; I knew Nixon was a big fat criminal asshole when I was in second grade) in my own personal family. You can’t really grok to how dysfunctional your family is until you gain some age and distance and start paying attention and finding out how fucked up they are, and all that often doesn’t come until you’re older.

Back in the bad old days, I didn’t have the internettubeswebs to look shit up. But now it’s impossible to escape it, so I run across many interesting things that illuminate my past and cause me to catch my breath a little. Stuff about being stuck in a narcissist’s orbit is an example.

There were/are actually several of the little buggers in my family, now that I know what I’m looking for; aunt, uncles, grandmother, sibling. I can so relate to someone who writes about this subject. And I’m always kind of embarrassed; how could I not have known about this kind of dysfunction when I’m extremely research savvy (it’s part of, you know, my jobs)? But there you go. I lived with some fucked up shit growing up, dealing with some fucked up worse shit now and I fucking had no clue it wasn’t just particular family members. Yeesh.

One example is the « information contained in this article » written by Meaghan Ellis, who seems to know what she’s talking about here. Although this article is specific to narc parents, it probably also applies to other members of your family circle. For instance, a narc sibling may behave in these ways with his/her own children. At any rate, here are her six traits:

“If you were raised by a narcissistic parent, you probably struggle with three or more of the following:
“1. They stifle your independence. …
“2. You’re always afraid to speak up for yourself or challenge others. …
“3. You’re the ultimate people pleaser; a complete doormat. …
“4. You’re completely unsure of yourself. …
“5. You have problems making important decisions on your own. …
“6. You love “differently.” …
“If these six highlights resonate with you, there’s a strong possibility you were raised in a toxic environment. However, there is still hope for a healthy and happy life. Many people have been able to overcome the pitfalls of their childhood to live amazing lives and have fulfilling relationships.”

Medium

Yes, the last sentence is true. I have a very fulfilling relationship and I’ve been blessed beyond belief since I left that goddamn stifling orbit in 1994. But before that? Oh dear lord. I was clueless. Blissfully ignorant is the phrase, I believe. Always thought that shit was completely normal. Thank God that, for all their faults, especially in areas like religion and sexuality, my parents weren’t terribly narcissistic. But those others? Good god. Narcissism plus fundumbmentalism plus ignoramusism plus racism … I am no contact with everyone except my mother, haven’t been physically in that orbit in over three years and it feels wonderful.

Let’s dive a little deeper for a sec and not just take Meaghan Ellis’ word for things. Let’s look at, oh, say, « Psychology Today »:

Individuals with narcissistic personality disorder, according to the DSM-5, exhibit five or more of the following, which are present by early adulthood and across contexts:

• A grandiose sense of self-importance
Preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
Belief that one is special and can only be understood by or associate with special people or institutions
A need for excessive admiration
A sense of entitlement (to special treatment)
Exploitation of others
A lack of empathy
Envy of others or the belief that one is the object of envy
Arrogant, haughty behavior or attitudes

Individuals with NPD can be easily stung by criticism or defeat and may react with disdain or anger—but social withdrawal or the false appearance of humility may also follow according to the DSM-5. 

Psychology Today

Holy fucking shit can I relate to those descriptions. The situation is especially acute with a sibling. I feel like I’ve walked a tightrope with him/her and his/her spouse, who also exhibits many of the same traits, and … who … am I going to admit this? … and … who … sexually abused me from the age of 14/15 into my 20s, regardless of whether I resisted him or not.

So there’s layers to all this shit, huh? Who knew. But more on that head-spinning admission (which no one except my spouse, best friends and parents have ever known about) later.

But to continue the original thought: I feel like I’ve walked a tightrope with the sibling since I was about 10 or possibly younger. 42 years of that will take a toll. The tl;dnr version is that three years ago I may have told the nephews some things that I didn’t ever intend to say. They, being children of narcissists and exhibiting many of the same traits themselves, immediately ran to mummy and daddums and threw me under the bus. They’ve spent the last three years ghosting me, scrubbing my existence, while not realizing they’re doing me a massive favor. I didn’t intend for this to happen, but I ended up being relieved that it did. A massive eruption of sibling anger ensued (and it’s still erupting and is almost certain to erupt over our mother’s casket someday) and then I finally broke free from that orbit, something I didn’t think would happen until my mother died, giving me no further reason to involve myself in anyway with family.

So how fucked up is that? How fucked up is it that what seems to be perfectly normal, albeit infuriating and exhausting and chaotic and you just lived with it, you have to spend untold years of your adult life unwinding it all and dealing with it and discovering how fucked up it was and still is?

Pretty fucked up shit, is what it is.

I’ve taken to reading the narcissism subreddit fairly often. Some good advice, some bad advice, but a lot of common experience. Sadly, many on the sub are young and their situations are more extreme than mine. They still have to travel the road I’ve already covered.

And that’s pretty fucked up too.

In Which We Haven’t Written in Awhile

Oh, since last February?! Well, fancy that. So here’s what’s gone down.

There were some good gigs and some bad gigs; some gigs with appreciative children and a gig where some children, both of color and of paleness, ran berserk and made jokes about slavery … on land which had been cleared by actual slaves “belonging” to that genocidal old asshole, Andrew Jackson. In fact, some of the descendants of those slaves still lived in the neighborhood. So, you know, bad optics children1 If you wanted to run amok on me, fine, but tagging teachers with being down with slave interests as an excuse to get out of P.E. just wouldn’t fly.

They were stood against the wall and yelled at for 30 minutes.

This experience is why subs are reluctant to go to some schools and some placings. I for one will never return to that school. Behavior problems are big time there, rooted somewhat in special needs kids who are functional enough to be in a regular classroom, but not functional enough to exhibit self-control when the inmates of the asylum start a ruckus.

Multiply this out by 86,000 kids and dozens of problematic schools and you start to see why substitute teachers are hard to recruit, don’t come from the best and the brightest and typically know enough not to work in specific schools in specific parts of town.

Then came March, the Mayor’s budget, which was an insult to all the Local Metropolitan School District teachers and bus drivers. There were sick outs and people wore certain colors and accosted idiots in City Hall and in the Lege … in other words, teachers are beginning to wake up from their epically long deep sleep and fight back, finally. Let’s see how long Rip Van Winkle can stay awake.

My own personal fortunes improved after the previously mentioned incident. I found a spectacular school with a loving and arms wide open staff and kids that present challenges, not hopeless psycho/social Gordian knots.

I spent first two weeks long term for one teacher and then spent seven weeks for a maternity leave case, where the original long-term sub had to bail because her doctor tole her the teaching assignment was making her blood pressure go through the roof.

Even with that warning, I went ahead and committed on the spot (!) to end the school year in that class. And I was actually very glad I did. It was invaluable preparation and getting me ready for possible serious, real classroom teaching next year. A job might be in the offing if I can get over a couple of obstacles. Fingers crossed and back to waiting!

Happy summer, everyone! I know I need my alone time!!!

Nail: Meet Hammer

« This » hits the nail right on the head:

“Unfortunately, it’s been my experience that those ‘who don’t suffer fools well’ are the same ones who take pride in being ‘politically incorrect.’ The two claims lend themselves to those who believe that their opinions are always without fault. They are claims often used to excuse boorish behavior. Something that [redacted local school board member] displays often on social media.”

Local dad education blogger

[ Text by Hawkeye. Photo from Unsplash.]

In Which We’re Still Waiting

I’ve had fuck all to report here because not much has been happening while waiting for the process to get finalized. But LOTS of fuck all nonsense is happening in the admin office. What a massively fucked up place.
I did get to at least attend orientation. What a cock-up that was! And a waste of time. I posted my notes below. Oy! What a worthless waste of time that was.

For now, good night, y’all!

In Which We Get Orientatered.

“I want to like these people. I want to support them. But this is some fucked up, incompetent shit.” | Read more after the jump.

[Above: Empty seats, dark room. Eerily like where we were mistakenly directed to go to attend guest teaching orientation for LMSD.]


Good gollies Miss Mollies, people. Was that a painful experience? Go ahead, ask me. Was that a painful experience? Yes. Yes, it was.

So after the confusion of dates and emails, we finally go to orientation day. And right from the beginning, it was cock-up city. Here are my notes:

The chronicle of the carnival:
8:50: Arrive in parking lot. No signs or directions. Go inside and upstairs to meeting room. Email gives specific address and room number; that room is half dark, but has about 10 other folks in it. All ten are on cell phones.
8:58: No one has shown up but us.

The admin office of this Large-Ass Metropolitan School District is a complex of several buildings: one the old original, probably a school at some point, and a brand-new facility which features an employee gym, a coffee bar, a bank (I think) and meeting space. We had been directed to a certain room in the new building.

I and about 10 or so others arrived on time. Nothing was posted anywhere, but we all found the same room and we all had the same instructions to go there. It was large, only half-lit and appeared pretty inactive.

9:15: Still no show. People are now asking and wondering if we’re all where we’re supposed to be. “They’re late, but they sure expect their subs to be on time,” someone says. Yup.
9:21: Everyone has lost patience. One has sent an e-mail. Another has phoned several places and gotten nowhere.
9:35: Finally one of us gets through to someone. Orientation is actually in a different building in the board room, completely different than what the email directed. We rush over in a body and enter the room breathless. I ask if they’re going to kick us out; she seems confused at the question. Another late one tells me, “Don’t ask!”

Yup. 9 a.m. came and went. Everyone was reading something on their phones, a couple were talking. By 9:15, we were all asking each other, “What the fuck?” and “Where were you told to go? Yeah, me too!” One took it in hand to find out. It took three phone calls and being directed to six people, most of which were voice mailboxes not actual people, before she found out:

The orientation was being held in the board room in the old building across the street. They gave us the wrong room information. How fucking basic is that? How difficult, really, is it to give the people who have confirmed they’re coming to a meeting, the right room location? Bleedin’ Christ on the cross, this is just inane.

So, we all packed up, went downstairs, trooped across the street and found the right room.

A digression: There is no sidewalk connecting the two buildings. Just the narrow street out front. You wanna go next door? You slip and slide up or down the grassy, slippery slope or dodge cars on the road.

Another digression: How much did these people pay for this building??! At a time when the LMSD says it’s underfunded and can’t fix its old-ass buildings, they have a very nice, brand-new facility … for coffee and treadmills. This is not just stupid, it’s an outrage. Morally and financially. This district’s teachers are buying pencils for poor students and have no time at any time to go the middle of town and hop on a treadmill and buy some coffee. But of course, the admin office people do … because they have plenty of time from NOT checking their own stupid-ass e-mails to see that they have correct dates and times for goddamn stupid guest teacher orientations that they hold EVERY TWO WEEKS!

Great god a’mighty. Chuff me.

After surviving the climb between the buildings, we all come into the board room. 45 minutes late. It had taken 30 minutes to find someone who knew where the meeting actually was, then 15 minutes to get over and find the place in the old building. And there were 20 or so people in there.

Therefore, they had given the right information to about half of us. Let that sink in. How careless and empty-headed is that?

On finally getting to the right room, we were all pretty irritated, but I knew that if I said anything much, I’d get kicked out. Because that’s how this place works … they get to fuck up royally the tiniest details, but if you say anything, you’re a troublemaker and off to jail with you.

I couldn’t completely restrain myself. I asked someone who appeared to be in charge, “Are you going to hold this against us?”

She replied, “No, of course not. Why would we? It’s our mistake.”

I was thinking, “Because we never fucking know how you people are going to react to the least little thing. Because … see three paragraphs above.”

Then came the kicker: “You didn’t miss anything anyway.”

Are you fucking kidding us?! If it was something we didn’t miss, why did you present it??!! Why did we have to be here at 9? Why couldn’t we have sauntered in at 10?!

Again, people. The sheer cluelessness. The sheer incompetence. The ridiculousness.

And we haven’t even stepped foot in a school or classroom yet. And then they cannot figure out why they have such a difficult time recruiting “talent.”

Oh dear God, deliver me from the Stupids!

Side note: We had missed an “icebreaker” and a guy from a bank telling us they accepted direct deposit. And there was also a giveaway from the bank of the local hockey team’s paraphernalia … but it was a drawing … only two people won it. How cheap ass is this?!

So, at 9:43, we’re finally seated in the right room and, as far as we can tell, there’s a presentation going on about dealing with special education classes as a guest teacher.

Now, I was a guest teacher in an autism spectrum special ed class for three years in a city up north. I learned a lot. Loved those kids a lot. And there’s nothing in this presentation from LMSD that I don’t already know. But yes, I know this isn’t about me. Other people didn’t know, so let the show go on. My notes:

9:43: Special Ed
Least restrictive environment. [Yes, we know, it’s federal law.]
IEPs should be in sub plans. [Right. IEPs are often restricted to files in the office and even if the teacher does include them, there’s no time to read tons of documentation on each student in a SpEd class. But so noted.]
Language: Teach how to function and get along. [You mean you teach kids how to get along and function? I would never have guessed that was a job of a school!]
There’s some “Duh!” stuff about attendance taking for special ed. [You mean I’ll need to take attendance for SpEd kids too?!]
Some “Duh!” stuff about not giving meds to anyone for any reason. [Yeah, we know not to do something incredibly stupid for a SpEd kid that will get us sued and jailed. But thanks for the warning.]
Some “Duh!” stuff about using IEPs to look for the kids’ stress points. [Trust me, you’ll know their stress points the minute they walk in the room.]
Something about behavior intervention plans [Again, there will be no time for a lot of reading.]
Some talk about safety plans. [Ditto the above.]

Look, SpEd is incredibly rewarding, I love those classes. It’s one-on-one, there is no scripted bullshit, there’s toys, there’s snacks, success in doing one thing during the day counts as a huge win and that’s wonderful. But SpEd is also incredibly difficult. You go home drained. And how it all works, especially the incredibly complex legal stuff that practically requires an attorney to be in the classroom with you at all times, is not something you can impart in a 45-minute “orientation” talk.

Have a competent writer (HA! LMSD hiring competency. HA!) and put everything you need to know in a booklet and hand it out. Do something other than yackety-yak. But that’s asking too much.

This was followed by a discussion that I could not figure out how it was related to SpEd or behavior: How the district is divided into quadrants. Dafuq?!

More notes:

9:53: The orientation is turned over to someone to talk about behavior intervention plans.
9:55: EE stands for exceptional education, which includes gifted students. “We didn’t want to offend those students with the title ‘special education.'” [Lady, those kids don’t know from titles and labels. They don’t get offended. If their day is going bad, they might just cover the bathroom wall with their own shit. But they don’t get offended. Their PARENTS get offended. They are “offensensitivity” (a term coined by Bloom County’s Berke Breathed). But not the kids.]
9:56: Giving us a bathroom break is used as cover for trying to figure out how to display the next PowerPoint. They sorta laughed off the address mixup during the break. I asked “What happened and are you holding 45 minutes late against us?” Response: “Oh no, you didn’t really miss anything, just an ice breaker and someone talking about [something something something]. And why would we hold it against you? [kinda laughing].”
9:58: We’re given the evaluation form. Isn’t this a bit early?

The big lesson: “Ask next door teachers about the rules. Uh, no. They don’t have time to tell you anything and you don’t have time to listen and ask. You have maybe 30 minutes to find the classroom, get someone to unlock the door and figure out what the hell you’ll be doing all day. You do not have time to harass other harassed teachers what the “rules” are, for crissake.

Here are some basics though that kids should always follow: Be respectful. Be safe. Be responsible.
Kids should know regular procedures (who are the helpers for the day, how to line up, how to move in hallways, for example).

Here’s some word spaghetti which I don’t really know why I took the notes. At this point, I was spacing pretty bad, wondering if traffic would be bad on the way home, thinking about lunch, etc. But for what it’s worth, here’s my official notes on how to deal with kids. My personal observations on this session follow:

Behavior analysis and support services talking about proactive strategies for classroom management. This is the same stuff from the “sub diploma” mill that we were required to pony up $38 to read and be tested on. The same “sub diploma” mill “course” that featured 30-year-old video talks from a Mormon guy who died in 2001. We’re gonna spend another hour regurgitating what we’ve just been required to pay for … how very … helpful.
Age appropriate models, signals, cues, reinforce those following rules, patience.
Offer choices. Empowerment, some control, avoid power struggle.
You control choices.
Be aware of manipulation.
Classroom strategies. Create buy in. Spell out the reinforcers
Table points for good work, appropriate behavior.
You should spend your own money to buy incentives for positive behavior and put them in your sub backpack. (!!!!!)
It’s okay for student’s to listen to music on their phones during class when working alone as a positive reinforcer, as long as the music can’t be heard out of their headphones. [Insert old man rant about how that’s completely bizarre and would never have been considered in the old days.]
Don’t take away activities.
Don’t write names on board unless you also name the good ones.
Responses to inappropriate behavior:
Don’t verbally scold or dress down a student.
Instead: Logical consequences. Reminders, environment adjust, warning, behavior conference.
Whisper, so they have to stop talking to hear directions. Work avoidance. Kids are cruel. [Not sure exactly what the full sentence was. But the presenter was right: Kids can be damn cruel, that’s for sure. Don’t let the bastards get the upper hand.]
Tone matters.
Allow students to speak, avoid power struggles.
Logical consequences: Toy inappropriately used? Take toy away. Talking to each other? Can’t work together. Writing on desk? Clean it off.
Brief prompt. Simple reminder. Eye contact, neutral tone, proximity control.
Follow through on consequences you threatened.
Individual conference, short, sweet, all love.
When to ask for assistance: Safety at risk, repeatedly breaks rules, above interventions are not successful.
Monitor, engage.

So yes, all good stuff. But not all stuff you can learn in an hour. And it’s also stuff you’ve already supposedly learned in the $40 kickback fee to Utah State for your “sub diploma” mill.

But the above was my “official” notes … here are my “unofficial” impressions/outraged reactions:

10:02: Starting on behavior analysis. Stuff I learned years ago, but subs with master’s degree are not acknowledged or valued, monetarily or otherwise. “Greet students at door with good morning and positive interactions.” Exactly the opposite of what they’ve done for those of us who were given wrong information. You want subs to treat students well? THEN TREAT SUBS WELL!!
10:08: The language of the presenter is, and I’m being extremely careful here, casual. Not the language of professional educators. Somethings like “axe” me are personal things on pronunciation. No problem. Several of my relatives say it that way, my father especially. But there are many other aspects of this presentation that don’t bespeak someone who has taught high school for years. Some is charming; some of it is how kids talk in high school. My old ears aren’t attuned to this level of casual AND fast talking.
10:11: She’s actually giving us the definition of “procedure.” Thinks of elementary teachers as babysitting little humans, basically.
10:16: We had to pay $40 to Utah State/StedI for a “sub skills” course, but now we’re spending hours going over the same material we’ve bought and spent hours doing.
10:17: Proximity and circulation, positive reinforcement. Also hit hard during the StedI course. These are minutes of my life I can’t get back.
10:22: You can listen to music via phone during solo work time in high school??!!
10:28: “Kids are cruel.” This I am well-acquainted with. You need appropriate response strategies; follow through on your threats of consequences. This is something you can’t teach in an hour orientation course. Or eight-hour online course.
10:34: When to ask for help with difficult kids: If safety is at risk, kid repeatedly breaks rules, interventions are unsuccessful. Then what?
10:36: Two behavior scenarios. Josh is baaaaad. “What y’all gon’ do with Josh?”
10:40: Sample dialogue, spoken very rapidly, of presenter after positing a scenario example of bad behavior: “What y’all gon’ do wit’ Josh?” “I’mma” and “ain’t.” Now, I know, I know! But there’s your normal everyday speech and then there’s professional, in-front-of-crowds language, the kind of speech everyone can understand. In fact, I talk a lot like she does. I’m very lazy in speech, but know better. But in this setting, this is all hard to understand and follow. Way too fast and casual. I think I’m just tipping over into old dude mode where the spoken language is passing me by. I’m lost with this, can’t follow it. And the teachers of my era would never allow themselves or us to talk like this in class or in front of an audience. Privately, between us, yes, of course we would. But in a situation like this? No.
10:45: “Oh, they just gonn’ run over y’all if you’re this quiet.” In response to not getting a volunteer from amongst us to discuss what to do in a certain scenario.
10:47: Scenario: Tenth grade science class; no sub plans. Teacher next door lends you a social studies video. What are your expectations going to be today? Very typical situation. And why I won’t be subbing above fourth grade.
10:52: “You can make a difference!” as subs. Fine, then respect us and pay us for it! You can’t give away some schwag, you have to make us compete in a lottery and only give the schwag to two of us?!
10:56: “I’m so happy you guys are here!” Not HAPPY, just happy.

Okay then! So what did we learn? That anytime you involve yourself in anything regarding the admin office, better be prepared for a hair-raising (-pulling?) ride. From the mayor down to the communications people, Metro schools has had a completely shitty new year. Investigations (a new one today regarding illegal contract awards!) and reorganizations (HR is dead! Long Live Talent Acquisition! — are they fuckin’ kiddin’ us! with this shit?!) And on and on.

Like I said, all of this is without even stepping foot in a school, let alone a classroom. This may be a short-lived project.

Good night, y’all.

Text by HawkEye. Photo by Andrei Stratu on Unsplash ]

In Which More Off-Railing Occurs

“I personally look forward to rubbing elbows with TSA agents and Coast Guard captains as we joyfully together serve our community’s 1,100 daily teacher absences.” | Read more after the jump:

[Above: A LMSD Substitute Teacher Attempts to Protect Himself from All the Shit Paperwork and Forms and Bureaucracy LMSD Fuckin’ Launches Into Orbit Around the Dude’s Poor Head.]

Developments in my venture to be a substitute teacher in Large Metropolitan Public Schools have double developed.

First up: National politics have popped up their ugly head in our little corner of the world. Each of the 800,000 hostages federal workers have now got exclusive invitations to spend their larking holidays larking about as larking substitute teachers in Local Metropolitan Public Schools! What a fabulous opportunity! Two problems solved in one go! Two birds, one stone, dead-dead!!

Nope, you can NOT make this shit up, I’m telling you.

“We understand this is a tough time for many families impacted by what is happening at the national level,’ said [redacted, LMSD] director of talent acquisition. ‘We believe this is a way for workers to find employment that benefits them and the thousands of young people we serve in this district every day.’

“Substitutes can earn upwards of $1,300 every two weeks, [redacted, LMSD] said in a release.”

NewsChannel 5

Oh, goody! Let’s let nuclear physicists at Oak Ridge drive the 163 miles one way to teach fourth grade math for 1/10th of their salary! Let’s watch them scramble to find their high school diplomas and prove that they can pass background checks; so WHAT if they’ve had top secret clearances for forty years?! The process, man, the process! Can they PROVE they have doctorates from MIT and can they PROVE they are Nobel laureates? Again, it’s the process, man, the fucking process!! We can’t have Nuc-u-lur Engineers running willy-nilly in our schools, educating our bundles of joy with God knows what rot!

I personally look forward to rubbing elbows with TSA agents and Coast Guard captains as we joyfully together serve our community’s 1,100 daily teacher absences.

Speaking of the number of absences, here’s the second “Whut?!” moment:

“There are currently 1,300 substitutes working in the district, but 2,200 are needed to accommodate about 550 teacher absences daily.”

LMSD

Their numbers don’t appear to add up, because their numbers actually don’t add up. It actually appear to be that 2,200 subs are needed on a daily basis, but they only have 1,300 working. There is a daily deficit of 550 absences which are not covered by a substitute, leaving thousands of students without any kind of teacher day after day. They’re trying to say absences are about in the 2,200 range; there are only 1,300 subs working, and there are more like 900 vacancies each day. I’ll update this fucking nonsense if I hear something that makes some sense.

Meanwhile, getting furloughed workers to sub is not, on the surface, a bad idea. We need subs, they need to pay about 1/6 of the mortgage or feed 1 of their 4 children with that “$1,300 every two weeks” which is being promised.

Point of order and digression: They also didn’t say that you only get the $1,300 fucking bucks if you work 3 continuous days and therefore get a one-time only (for that pay period) bonus of an extra $300. Work all 10 days X $100 per day plus the $300 credit = their $1,300 per pay period promise.]

Therefore, if you don’t work consecutive 7.5-hour days, your pay is actually … $100 per day worked. It’s $50 for half-day assignments, stuff like kindergarten or the teacher only has to be gone one afternoon. So let’s say I want to have a fucking life and sanity and take every other day off during a two-week period. I’d work 6 days during that period and get … $600 for two weeks. Far cry from the promised $1,300. So just as long as you sit by that phone at 06:30 hours and jump when it rings and grab your “Sub Backpack” [don’t ask] and hustle out there every day and keep doing that for all 10 days, you’ll get your $1,300. /Point of order and digression.

Fuck making sure airplanes don’t smash into each other 30,000 feet over Nashville; get outta the ATC building and, for $100 a day, teach children of color the concept of the “school-to-prison” pipeline and how it works. That’s the shit. And they give you $1,300 bucks every two weeks just to crush hopes and dreams right and left.

This completely weird shit was sent out to all the local media outlets, who ran it and its bollocks math uncritically, apparently not at all fazed by the balls-out asshattery of all this: Expecting highly specialized Federal workers to go through a two- or three- week process, which costs them north of $70 a piece (a fact unmentioned in all the news outlets airing of the LMSD PR puff piece), which includes the delightful experience of being extorted required to give $39 to Utah State University for an incredibly bad, worthless, no-good, waste of 8-10 hours and THEN pass assessments on six modules with an 85% or better and THEN you get a “Sub Diploma” !!!!!! Which is also required. More on this Utah State/StedI blatant scam lucrative profit operation in another post. As always, my fangers are gettin’ plum warred out!


But I’m not done here, unfortunately. There’s one more fuck me moment which kicked me in the balls today: I received an e-mail “Invitation” from the dear little lambs at LMSD Talent Acquisition, bless their hearts, and I quote:

“Thank you for applying to become a substitute with [Redacted].[Double space after a period??! Who taught you to type, a podiatrist?!] “You are invited to attend our next substitute orientation.  We have provided our next two orientation dates below, for your convenience.  Please choose the one that best suits your schedule and respond accordingly.”

LMSD Invite E-Mail

The TWO choices?

  • 24 Jan from 09:00 to 13:00;

and …

Er, um, actually that’s the only choice.

Yes, friends, these wonderful, tireless folks at the LMSD sub office send out a mass form e-mail explicitly offering two different choices for orientation, but only one actual date/time choice. Not a good sign if you can’t be half-assed bothered to proofread your work before you send shit out into the internettubeswebworld.

Perhaps they should consider staying away from the tee-wee news cameras and stick around proofreading their completely fucked nine ways to Sunday communications pieces. Because right now, they are a massive, dated, confusing clusterfuck of a mess. Makes them look bad, generates constant confusion and errors by applicants and costs time and money, both ours and the district’s. And y’all talkin’ ’bout buildin’ affordable teacher housin’??!!! When you can’t even count to fuckin’ TWO??!! BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

I’ll beard the lions in their dens and have the temerity to ask if there is, in fact, a second fucking choice, and, if so, what the second fucking choice is, and then I’ll RSVP my very dedicated and thrilled-to-be-coming-on-board delight as to which goddamn session to attend. I’ll let you know what the response is when I receive it.

But jeez. Holy crap on a cracker! Is doing very, very BASIC stuff like counting to TWO absolutely impossible for folks today? I guess so. Lord hep us.

Good holy-crap-on-a-cracker night, y’all!


Text by HawkEye. Photo by Dmitry Ratushny on Unsplash ]


In Which It Begins to Go Off the Rails

Yeah. The sub office did that. Over a little red slip of paper. Not my performance or a lack of need. But over a little red slip of paper. In a district that has 1,000-1,100 teachers absent EVERY DAY, but has only 500 subs answering calls to pitch in. Let’s repeat that. They have over 500 classrooms without teachers every day, but continually raise bureaucratic hurdles like little red slips of paper.| Read more after the jump:

[Above: Students in the Library, Laughing Their Asses Off at the Asshattery on Display on the LMSD Sub Office Webpage]

I said I would update y’all on how the process is going getting set up to substitute leech er, uh, teach (after an absence from the workforce of ten years, so this could go south quick) in our local Large Metropolitan School District (LMSD).

First, some background about me and the local LMSD. My experience with the sub office folks wasn’t great in any way. The elementary schools and kids were great. Principals and teachers treated me well. But the central office in general and especially the sub office are the absolute shits. I subbed for them 2008-2010. From the first pathetic waste of six hours “orientation,” to the final “Where’s you damn red slip?!” … all of the interaction with central office HR was a freakin’ cosmic joke.

Now, you’re supposed to return this little red slip of paper in May at the end of the school year committing to subbing for the next school year, even if you have no idea whether you can come back in August or not. I mailed mine in. They “lost” or otherwise didn’t receive it and made no attempt to contact me about it. And so, for the lack of the little red slip, refused to “take me back” for the next school year. They insisted that I would have to go through the entire sub application process from the very beginning, including the expense of new fingerprinting and a new criminal background check (not the first time you’ll read those words in this post). Finally tired of arguing with a dead horse, I had them return my college transcripts, told them (in my head) to get fucking bent, and walked away. As a result, they lost a perfectly qualified, already-working-in-the-district and already-in-the-payroll-system, substitute teacher with a master’s degree in elementary education and certification in two states. Wonder how many district parents (especially parents of those kids in the 500 teacher-less classrooms each day) would have been happy ’bout that?

Yeah. The sub office did that. Over a little red slip of paper. Not my performance or a lack of need. But over a little red slip of paper. In a district that has 1,000-1,100 teachers absent EVERY DAY, but has only 500 subs answering calls to pitch in. Let’s repeat that for the third time. They have over 500 classrooms without teachers every day, but continually raise bureaucratic hurdles like little red slips of paper, which they then mishandle and get all snarky and up in your grill about and tell you to pony up more money and grief or take a hike.

Keep this history (because it’s not just my experience with them; things like this are multiplied among dozens of folks every school day) in mind as we take a look at latest events, m’kay?

Let’s look at the current (freshly written in 2015) sub application process instructions. #1 is about the online application and #2 is about your college transcripts and high school diploma. Both of these processes and the instructions about them are completely shit-explosively-through-your-pants craptacular, but they’ll have to wait for another entry. My fangers are plum tarred (“my fingers are very tired” to y’all outside the south).

Instead, let’s look at where the current process goes balls up (ten years, mind you, after the fucking nonsense noted above, things are still going balls-up): Instruction #3. So poorly written. So divorced from reality. So unhelpful. So many a weak soul’s ship will founder on the rocks of Instruction #3.

Let’s parse Instruction #3 bit-by-bit:

All candidates must complete and clear a background check.

LMSD Sub Instructions Page, Jan-2019.

Ok, sure, we all pretty much support that shit. Unless it’s used for witchhunt purposes. Which could never happen, right? Or if the FBI fucked up and couldn’t tell you from a convicted felon with the same name. But that can’t happen either, right? Let’s hope not. I’ve cleared background checks for decades. So this shouldn’t go off the rails. So far, so good.

You can call 1-855-[Redacted] to setup a background check.

Or, you know, you could use this new-fangled thang the kids all have called the internettubewebs and, at any time of day, register and get immediate appointments for fingerprinting and fill out all the necessary forms (note that part about forms; it’s about to become important), without using a phone number. This little instruction is the first indication the LMSD Sub Office may not have great quality control over explaining this process. Or anything else, really.

Upon registering you will be required to give this ORI code, [redacted].”

Yup. Did that. Not an issue. What the hell is an ORI code? Not a clue in these “instructions.”

The cost of fingerprinting is $35.15 and is payable by money order in person or via credit card online or by phone.

There’s one accuracy here at long last, thank bleedin’ Jeebus: The cost was indeed $35.15. But I must register this mini-polemic within this larger polemic: Namely, that if the sacred taxpayers are such scared-ass pantywaists that they want to enforce this problematic boondoggle that shovels money to private companies, then let the sainted taxpayers pay for it. I thought requiring people to pay to work was verboten and that most states are “Right to Work” states … er, oh, uh, that’s about those goddamned infernal comma-nistic things, them unions. Still, requiring me to give money to a private corporation to prove that I’m not a criminal is … criminal. But I did it. I paid the extortion money fee.

Secondly, the “payable by money order in person” part is plain wrong. The company accepts cash/credit/debit cards on site. I didn’t ask if they accepted money orders.

And thirdly, if you can do this online, why did you have people call the 855 number above? Just give the online address, fer chrissakes. Yeesh!

Here’s where things get confusing:

If you choose to print at a location OTHER THAN [my emphasis] [place where I had my fingerprints printed], please note that you must report to LMSD Central Office to complete the contingency form. Failure to complete the form will result in delayed processing of your background check.

Yeah, the lunacy begins here. Just like when I subbed for them back in 2009 as mentioned above. Read that sentence again. “If you choose to print at a location OTHER THAN [my emphasis] [place where I had my fingerprints printed], please note that you must report to LMSD Central Office to complete …

First, what the hell’s a “contingency form” — do they mean “consent form“? But notice that it says if you print at a location OTHER THAN where I was instructed and did in fact go, I would have to go the LMSD central office to fill out a contingency form. So, I went to the location I was instructed to go, filled out all the forms (contingency, consent and whatever the hell else). This is important. Sounds like I followed the instruction, right?

So, I had the background check done on Saturday afternoon the 5th at the instructed location. The following Friday the 11th, I received a letter (dated the 8th) that I am a BAD, EVIL manboy and had done a step INCORRECTLY!! And now the shit was gonna hit the fan if I didnt’ shift into an immediately compliant mode and do as I was [not] told. (I’m such a badass.)

[SIC SIC SIC alert! There’s just bad English, bad writing, bad grammar, bad everything here. So SIC!]

Says this letter of the 11th:

This letter is to inform you of an important step that was omitted [oh dear god the horrors! Think of the children!!] during your fingerprinting process. You are hereby requested to comply with the MNPS policy for the fingerprinting/background check process.

Letter from LMSD, 11-Jan-19

“[Large Metro School District] requires new employees/vendors/volunteers & etc. to be fingerprinted for a criminal background check as employment is contingent upon this process. At the time of the fingerprinting process, you are required to complete a consent form that provides why and when you were fingerprinted. A copy of this form to include any results from such criminal background check will remain on file in the Criminal Background Check Office. However, this office has no record of your consent form on file. It is important that we have the completed consent form on file with your background check documents that you are cleared for employment. [Previous emphases mine; Last sentence, their emphasis.]

Please understand that you do not need to pay any additional fees nor get re-fingerprinted at this time. The request is only to complete the attached [their emphasis] consent form and return it to [LMSD] (via email to [redacted]@lmsd.org) or send regular mail), Criminal Background Check Office, Attn: [Redacted], LMSD central office, City, State.

If you have any questions, please contact this office at 615-[redacted]. Thank you.
Encl.:
Consent Form

No signature. We’ll have to make the assumption that it’s from the CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK people.

Oh dear god, where to begin? What’s the zip code for the address to which you need to send this form? Is it a secret? And they use the word “fingerprint,” et al, no less than SIC, er, SIX times and “criminal” FOUR times. Geez. Ya think this little missive might be about CRIMINAL FINGERPRINTING?! How many of their applicants/employees are so fucking clueless that these words have to be repeated so many times? (Hint: A lot. A helluva lot.) Are the HR communications materials written by middle schoolers who have never had grammar instruction? Could at least one of these misbegotten souls please read (or have read to him/her/x) George Orwell’s masterful Politics and the English Language, which I’m totally ignoring in my own writing right now?

But most importantly, this sounds like a threat from a legal team or Robert Mueller, not a simple request to sign a simple form (which, by the by, I filled out online and signed in person, giving the above-noted ORI (an acronym which is not explained anywhere) code. So question for the CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK people: If I paid $35 bucks and hauled my ass out on a Saturday afternoon to let some dude play with my fingers and then had those people send the prints AND gave my permission to ask the FBI and TBI, etc., et al, was I a dastardly criminal, why would you CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK people think I hadn’t given my consent to a CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK?

Holy Hannah, these are not very smart people we’re dealing with here, people!

Here’s a mind-fuckingly simple way to correct this nonsense:

In the instructions, simply write:

Prospective substitute teachers must be fingerprinted and have their backgrounds checked by law enforcement agencies. For fingerprinting, follow this link [insert link] or call and follow the instructions. LMSD’s ORI (Department Originating Agency Identifier Number) is [redacted]. You may pay online, by phone at 1-855-[redacted] or in person.
“Once you have been fingerprinted, fill out the following consent form
[insert link here] and either e-mail it to [email protected] or mail it to LMSD [insert address here].”

My Own Little Creation.

There. Wasn’t that fucking simple? Of course, we couldn’t have that. Where LMSD is concerned, EVERYTHING, including CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECKS, must be complicated, pompous and designed to confuse, bluster and outright threaten. That, by God, has gotten them to the stupendously towering achievement of covering 50% of teacher absences in this large metropolitan school district! Praise Jeebus! Glory!

But you know what’s the absolute shit about all this? The absolute shit about this is that, as bad as it all is, private, for-profit corporations would be an even worse nightmare to navigate. But still people press to have one flaming dumpster conflagration replaced with 500 burning dumpsters full of holy shit. How depressing is that?

Next time, we’ll discuss rip-your-hair-out-by-the-roots application itself and the additional extortion fee for Utah State University, a.k.a. STEDi, totally reasonable charge for a so-called “Sub Course” which rewards, upon successfully scoring a series of 85% on each learning module, a “Sub Diploma.” I’m too plum tarred rawt now to type it all. My rage is willin’, but my digits is weak.

Meanwhile: Good night, y’all.


[ Text by HawkEyePhoto by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash ]


It Begins.

If you’re thinking that subbing is pretty goddamn taxing, you’re fuckin’ right it is. But nowhere near what regular classroom teaching is, thanks to what it’s become under the American everything-must-be-profitable-and-measurable-and-joyless-and-therefore-worthless mentality.| Read more after the jump:

[Above: Edumacashun is Hard!]

For various reasons related to just how fucking god-awful 2018 was (thank god that asshole (2018) is gone and may he never show his fucktard face around here again!), I’m going back to teaching. Nothing elaborate or too taxing, just substitute teaching.

And yes, I’m already fucking swearing. Shit.

If you’re thinking that subbing is pretty goddamn taxing, you’re fuckin’ right it is. But nowhere near what regular classroom teaching is, thanks to what it’s become under the American everything-must-be-profitable-and-measurable-and-joyless-and-therefore-worthless mentality.

No, thanks. Would’t want to go back to being a permanent (but fireable at will) teacher of record for all the snickers in doodleland.

As a sub, you get a guaranteed $100 for 7.5 hours of babysitting someone’s class. If you do five full days in a row, they tack on an extra $30 a day. At $100 a day, that’s $13.33 an hour (at a time when corporate shitheads are grumbling about paying $15/hour for hamburger slingers). At $130 a day, it works out to $17.33 an hour. Now that ain’t bad for not having to stand around in french fry grease and clean shit out of skanky ass restrooms. Or be ordered around by power-trippin’ twinky Nazis who love a freak out if a row of Macaroni and Cheese isn’t perfectly aligned and faced on a grocery store shelf.

Now, this ain’t babysitting. It’s babysitting someone else’s class, but not someone else’s kids. And yes, there’s a difference. You babysit a kid and you gotta make with snacks and movies and behind wipin’ and all that shit. Babysit a class and you put the fear of god into those motherfuckers at the first minute, don’t let up until the buses pull out of the parking lot at the end of the day, and go collect your money. Some dumbass cracker wants to wear his MAGA-tty cap to see if you a loyal Brownshirt, you knock it off his head, send him to the office with a note saying, “Dude was singin’ the Horst Wessel Song and makin’ inappropriate remarks about Yids.” That takes care of his shit right then and there and you done. Then give a speech about how you got fucked up in ‘Nam in ’68 (even though you was five years old then), and cry a little and you ain’t got no problems with nobody the rest of the day. They may even actually learn somethin’ the teacher left for ’em to do.

You don’t got to grade shit, or care about homework, or plan lessons, or deal with parents, like that ignorant bitch over there with the Instagram influencer face and selfie cam who care more about how many impressions and follows she’s had since noon than about how her seven year old daughter can’t write worth shit and thinks two plus two equals 172.

And there’s probably some daddy will come in and he’ll be hawwwwwwt and you’re all like, “So, you seem tense. I can get rid of that stress for you. I can suck cock like 150 Dysons are attached to your swingin’ banana. You’ll go home happy and carefree and not give a shit about that horror of a hausfrau you’re hitched to nor about what a complete waste of living tissue your son is (in fact, better let me train him in Dyson suckage 101 than Mathematics Today or Relational Science for Underachievers, ’cause that dumb little fucker’s future is in Dyson suckage. And he’ll probably be damn good at it.” But you don’t gotta worry about that daddy. Just wipe his spunk off your chin, check out at the office, go home and look forward to something different on the morrow.

But back to the story. We knew things were getting to the point financially where I couldn’t just continue to be retired and sit around researching books and getting them published (to accolades sans money, alas). So in need of some moolah, the easiest thing to fall back into is subbing. Our local metro district needs something on the order of 1,100 poor souls each day to be thrown into the breach and only recently got the go-ahead to pay the rates mentioned above. And, like I said, it beats fast food and retail (and, for that matter, soul-crushing corporate cubicle slavery), so I started the process.

And girls and boys, let me tell you. The sub department at Metro was pretty absurdly ignernt (yes, I said IGNERNT!!!) …. but now ten years or so later, well, good god, the IGNERNCE level has been upped exponentially. I can’t even begin to tell you the truth, honey.

In the next post, I’ll run through the instructions you’re given for even getting to the point where you can be allowed to attend orientation and start getting calls to sub. It’s about as pretty as Marcus Mariotta’s brainpan after yet another Sunday of being mauled by whoever’s beating the shit outta the Titans this week.

More later! Good night, y’all!


[ Text by HawkEyePhoto by JEShoots.com on Unsplash ]


Shuttling Between Failures

But in true 2017-was-an-asshole form, even that tiny bright spot was tarnished when the Personality-in-Chief who shuttles between golf courses and Pennsylvania Avenue on a pimped-out Boeing 747 at considerable taxpayer expense, took credit for last year’s remarkable airline safety record. Urk.| Read more after the jump:


Turning Sows’ Ears into Silk Purses


This one truth we know: 2017 was disastrous on many levels, including in commercial aviation. Airline corporate boards’ are ever ramping up on their war on passengers, pilots and cabin crew. But there was a very tiny yet significant bright spot noted in The Washington Post and elsewhere: « 2017 was the first year since the advent of passenger air travel that no one died in a commercial airline accident ».

“The Aviation Safety Network estimated there were nearly 37 million flights in 2017, more than any year in history, meaning that aircraft mishaps are declining even as the number of flights continues to rise. The last commercial jet airline crash in which more than 100 people were killed was Oct. 31, 2015, when 224 lives were lost after a flight from Russia broke apart in Egypt. The ASN, which tracks crashes using different metrics from those to70 uses, showed 10 recorded crashes involving small propeller planes and cargo aircraft, killing 44 passengers and 35 people on the ground in 2017. In 2016, the group counted 16 accidents with 303 dead.”

The Washington Post, 2-Jan-18

But in true 2017-was-an-asshole form, even that tiny bright spot was tarnished when the Personality-in-Chief who shuttles between golf courses and Pennsylvania Avenue on a pimped-out Boeing 747 at considerable taxpayer expense, took credit for last year’s remarkable airline safety record. Urk.

For the Golfer-in-Chief to take credit for this is beyond offensive and insensitive and a lie. It blackens the names of people like Eastern 304’s Grant Newby and Braniff 250’s Don Pauley and Jim Hilliker and Ruth and Mitchell Kuhr and USAirways 1549’s Sully Sullenberger and Jeff Skiles and those dead and injured on Southern 242 and Delta 191 and Air Florida 90, plus all the CAB/NTSB investigators, FAA enforcers and weather experts like Dr. Ted Fujita and Dr. Fernando Caracena … and on and on. And especially all the flight crews who thousands of times a day implement what was learned in the past and get us safely to Lawton and Houston and Milwaukee and Paris and Hong Kong and Lagos.

Let’s be clear: The Ego-in-Chief had absolutely nothing to do with the absence of death on the airways last year. And it was a slap in the face and highly offensive to the memories of all the people who died and all the people who worked so hard to prevent future recurrences. Their great sacrifices are the real reason why we can fly from Dubuque to Fort Myers … Without. Dying. In. A. Plane. Crash. Now you are admittedly shoved into a tiny space with little air and subject to appalling treatment, but you are more likely to be killed by being beaten up by rogue security forces (or being shot by a toddler with Granny’s gun) than you are from Dying. In. A. Plane. Crash. Airlines, airports, police and corporate boards have much work to do on the ground to equal the safety record in the air.

In fact, the record of the former deadbeat owner of the “Trump Shuttle” is pretty clearly the opposite of admirable airline operation, safety and responsibility. The Boston Globe did « a very through review in 2016 » of how the pioneering Eastern Airlines Shuttle was destroyed by Frank Lorenzo and the man who appears to be the current incarnation of P.T. Barnum.

These two Vandals have the same egos and desire to destroy, but Lorenzo actually had some brains to carry it out. Unlike his business partner.

The story is sordid and long, but the details were made clear by Matt Viser’s excellent Globe piece. To wit: Lorenzo sold the Donald the Eastern Shuttle for an overvalued $365 million (if DT had created a brand-new shuttle from the ground up with brand-new planes, not old worn-out 727s, estimates were that he could have done it for $300 million.) Of course, the money was all borrowed. It was 1989; Eastern (and Continental) were already almost dead from Lorenzo’s sledgehammer and the economy was tanking. Pan Am 103 was bombed, the first Gulf War was about to begin. It was incredibly bad judgement to overpay a bunch of other peoples’ money for something that was guaranteed to tank.

The now-decades-old D.T. playbook was followed from the beginning. D.T. started his airline foray by … snarking about Pan American, which had put in more hard work and suffering and pioneering effort into air travel than D.T. would ever be capable of mustering:

“He suggested Pan Am’s flights were unsafe, that the company was strapped for cash and couldn’t spend as much to maintain planes as Trump Shuttle.”
—The Boston Globe, 27-May-16

And, heavy foreshadowing here, true professionals expressed their disgust over his statement, which, both then and now, is like pissing in the wind:

“We said, ‘Donald, don’t ever do that again,'” recalled Henry Harteveldt, who was the company’s marketing director. “It was wrong. We had no proof to back that up. And there’s an unwritten rule in the airline business that you don’t attack someone else’s safety record. There but for the grace of God go I.”
—Ibid

In other words, D.T. (and countless weak attempts to contain his insanity) has never changed. He was just given 21st century tools to broadcast his uninformed and misguided vitriol to a wider audience, i.e. Twitter. And this time, he has nuclear annihilation capabilities instead of a piddly little failing airline.

But back to 1989. As Harteveldt stated, “There but for the grace of God go I.” The Shuttle was pretty crappy safety-wise from the beginning, and he did nothing to improve it, partly because he had zero aviation experience. The grace of God was apparently withdrawn:

“And Trump’s unfounded remarks about Pan Am safety? They almost immediately came back to bite him. Trump’s own airline was struck by a near-tragedy within its first three months, when the nose gear failed on one of his jets and forced a crash landing at Logan.”
—Ibid

As is noted, investigators found the nose gear failure cause: A “mechanic had used the wrong part in the gear mechanism, and it eventually disintegrated and locked the gear in place,” a safety failure that had happened under Lorenzo’s watch.

“Trump — who weeks earlier had made claims that he would send all of his own planes through X-rays to make sure they were safe — turned on the TV and watched as CNN showed a Trump Shuttle flight circling the air. “After several attempts to jar the nose gear loose, and after circling around to burn fuel, the pilot landed on the back two wheels, slowing the plane down as much as possible before lowering the nose of the plane onto the runway.”
—Ibid

He then flew up to Boston on a Trump Shuttle flight. Hilariously tragic: He “was kind of a nervous flier” and asked one of his airline executives, “Is this thing safe?” I can’t think of a more perfect illustration of his public-huckster/private-doofus personality … and oh, the foreshadowing!

Once in Boston, he praised the “maestro” pilot who sucessfully landed the flight, Robert Smith. And in another bit of foreshadowing, Smith loved D.T. right back:

“The ‘maestro’ that day, pilot Robert Smith, said Trump had been advised not to come up — so as not to draw attention to the crash — but Trump disregarded it. “He was very happy with the crew,” said Smith, who after decades in the airline industry called Trump “the best boss I’ve ever had.” “And I think he was very happy with the exposure he got that day. He handled it beautifully.”
—Ibid

I smell Stockholm Syndrome and future Trumpista voters; you know, the ones who voted for him but who will bear the full brunt of his destructive con. But I digress. I love the followup to “He handled it beautifully”:

“One of the passengers on that flight — who recalls sliding out the aircraft and into a pile of foam — was Mike Murphy, a veteran Republican strategist who worked for Jeb Bush and his super PAC to try to defeat Trump. “Afterward,” he said, “all I got was a form letter and a drink coupon.”
—Ibid

While Murphy is, like myself, biased against him (or rather his con jobs and inability to grasp reality), facts are facts. A drink coupon for an emergency evac is hardly handling things “beautifully.”

In fact, his own marketing executive at the Shuttle summed up this “beautifully handled” situation:

“‘He certainly was a man known for his bravado. He promised people a diamond in the sky when we had 21 of some of the oldest, worst maintained 727s then flying,’ said Harteveldt, the marketing director. ‘He’s giving a press conference promising a diamond in the sky. I’m saying, “You may have to settle for cubic zirconium to start.””
—Ibid

Perhaps if he had “x-rayed” (!) all those 727s and found the gear part problem the whole situation would not have had to be “beautifully managed” in the first place.

Ultimately, the shuttle was “successful enough to cover operating costs but not enough to pay down the debt.” Meanwhile, D.T. was divorcing his wife and marrying his mistress, something which happened twice, but does not bother the opportunistic evangelicals flitting around his head. But I digress.

After just 12 months, he fired an executive (who had insisted that the 727 needs two pilots and a flight engineer, even though D.T. wanted to fly them with just two pilots to save money) and laid off 100 employees. After 18 months, the shuttle lost $128 million dollars. After 30 months, he golden parachuted out:

“In late 1991, about 2½ years after Trump had purchased the airline, Trump gave up control of his prize in order to get out from a pile of debt. As part of the deal, Trump was no longer responsible for some $245 million in loans left on the shuttle airline. In addition, out of the $135 million that Trump had personally guaranteed, at least $100 million was forgiven, according to news reports at the time.”
—Ibid

Absolved from $245 million in loans and welshing on $100 million which he had “personally guaranteed.” He was out only $35 million while banks and others were left holding the bag. Said he: “I felt successful. The market had crashed. I didn’t lose anything. It was a good thing,” he said.

A very good thing for him indeed. The human wreckage he left? Not so much.

Apologies to The Globe and Matt Viser for so extensively quoting from the article, but it needs rebroadcasting to as many people as possible. Kudos.

But instead of focusing on D.T.’s usual nonsense, we should focus on remembering and honoring the memory of the thousands of casualties and millions of worrkers who made 2017 the safest commercial aviation year in history. May 2018 continue the trend.

Good god-holy-shit-we’re-all-fucked night, y’all!


[Text by HawkEye. Photo by Rob Potter via Unsplash]


On Shitholes

And thus we have Dallas First Baptist Church’s Robert Jeffress doubling down and saying he supports the “shithole” comments 100 percent. Not only that, but “America is not a church where everyone should be welcomed regardless of race and background.” He added some regret that as a pastor he’s not supposed to use naughty words.| Read more after the jump:

God’s Destiny for America has a Pottymouth

Once again, my conscience overflows and will not give me rest without giving vent to something political/religious. So skip/block/defriend to your heart’s desire; just don’t say you didn’t get a trigger warning.

During a lengthy sleepless (yet again) night, the above pictured “breaking news” started popping up on websites wherever you happened to be looking. The Presidential utterance was met by the usual silence from Graham, Dobson, Falwell, Jackson, Metaxas and Trump’s personal spiritual advisor Paula White (who wants your January paycheck or else God’s consequences will be visited on your head. Give her your 8% and you … get a Mercedes or something. Funny, but I thought tithing was supposed to be 10%? Mercedes from God at a discount, I guess.). Meanwhile, Dallas First Baptist’s Jeffress doubled down; his only regret? Being a pastor doesn’t allow him to use the same phrase. We should refuse “shitholers” and bring more Norwegians into the country! Amen! Preach!

Then this afternoon came the Post’s «interesting analysis of what, to borrow the Presidential phrase, a “shithole” Norway used to be», and why it’s now THE place from whence our immigrants should come. This graphic is key to the article:

Graphic showing U.S. and Norway gross domestic product in comparison to each other. Norway now far exceeds the U.S.

So I earned something today: We should move to Norway if we want a higher quality of life away from pottymouths. The problem with that plan? They don’t take people from morally and economically vacuous “shithole” countries like ours.

Duly noted.

This country has not only slid downwards in domestic product, it’s been sucked into a vacuum of moral leadership. What are Franklin Graham, James Dobson, Jerry Falwell Jr., Bishop Harry Jackson, Eric Metaxas saying today? Dead air. They got tax cuts, the IRS was called off their backs and Bibi is happy. Was it just over 20 years ago that the same suspects were gnashing their teeth over merely how to explain the term “blowjob” to their children? We used to call this current kind of thinking “the ends (tax cuts, IRS exemptions and proclaiming that Jerusalem is the capital and therefore the Rapture is nigh) justifies the means.” And I don’t remember ever being told that was a good thing. I was told it was secular humanist “situational ethics” and it was evil. (An aside: If Jesus wants to come back, I seriously doubt a presidential proclamation moving, eventually, the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem is going to be what actually moves Him.)

And thus we have Dallas First Baptist Church’s Robert Jeffress doubling down and saying he supports the “shithole” comments 100 percent. Not only that, but “America is not a church where everyone should be welcomed regardless of race and background.” He added some regret that as a pastor he’s not supposed to use naughty words.

(!)

Urm. Yes. America has always been portrayed (the reality notwithstanding) as the greatest and most welcoming secular church in human history. A shining city on a hill, said Reagan. “Give me … The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” said Emma Lazarus in The New Colossus, a poem we liked and believed in so much we had it engraved on a massive public monument.

Specifically saying she will have no comment is Paula White, who is often portrayed as Trump’s “spiritual advisor,” and who is currently demanding that “faithful” people give her church all of their January paychecks (which amounts to just 8%, not the Biblically commanded 10%—mustard seed faith on the cheap!). If they do, Jesus will bless you with riches! You get a Mercedes! And you get a Mercedes! And you get a Mercedes! And you get ’em at a 2% discount from God’s list price! And if you don’t pony up? God will visit consequences on your head. You get the plague! And you get a divorce! And you get a gay child!

There are some vestiges of sanity, so props where they are due: A.R. Bernard resigned from the White House “evangelical council” months ago and stated, “His own comments expose him. They were elitist and blatantly racist.” And former Southern Baptist head Ronnie Floyd stated the obvious, “I would not agree with those comments at all. We need to see that every person is made in the image of God. … Anytime we devalue a person it’s not good … Regardless of their skin or ethnicity, we need to honor one another.”

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28
“For I satisfy the weary ones and refresh everyone who languishes.” Jeremiah 31:25
“If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.” John 7:37
“In everything, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus Himself: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'” Acts 20:35

The Bible

As I am sometimes reminded, I was dedicated “to the Lord” when I was a month or so old in the Roswell First Church of the Nazarene, a denomination where I learned things that were the 180-degree opposite of what Trump and White and Jeffress and Falwell and Graham and Dobson are doing. I learned that good old verse “by their fruits ye shall know them.” I was taught that quaint old Golden Rule, something about do unto others. I was also taught following Christ didn’t mean Mercedes. God knows, for all of Mom’s hard-earned 10% back to the church money, a Mercedes was never outside our door, unless it had broken down and Zsa Zsa needed a telephone to call AAA. No, in my childhood, following Christ meant a life of hardship and service and respect and sacrifice and a life lived in common and shared in common with other people, including lepers, tax collectors, felons, you name ’em. And rendering unto Caesar.

I was also taught the pertinent scripture in the left margin. Please note the absence of “except for those from shitholes” in those quotes.

Every single day is a new low. How low can we go? There is no bottom. So pretty goddamned low. Shithole low.

Good shithole nighty, y’all!


[Text by HawkEye. Photo by Samantha Sophia on Unsplash]


Same Here

There’s this thing … | Read more after the jump:


In Which I Join in on a Hashtag, God Help Me!

There’s this thing that has been closely guarded for going on 40 years in 2018. It’s my secret. So as it hits its 40th birthday in our new year, I decided it’s time to tell the world.

#MeToo.

There. It’s out. More is coming.

Good night, y’all.


[Text by HawkEye. Photo by Mihai Surdu via Unsplash.]


[Note 15-Jan-19: I’m still going to write about this. Just got to get some other things off my plate first.]


They Don’t Like the New ‘America First’ As Much As They Did the Lindbergh Version

Germany, a country in which there are still many women alive who were raped by invading Russian Red Army soldiers and in which the human products of those rapes are still living, now trust … Russia more than the United States.| Read more after the jump:


Oh, Those Germans!


Deutsche Welle reports that “a new survey published by German public broadcaster ARD shows Germans trust Russia more than the US.” Or to be specific: “28 percent of respondents felt Moscow was a reliable partner, compared to 25 percent for Washington …. More than 90 percent said Paris was a reliable partner, while more than 60 percent said Britain …”

So let’s see if I’ve got this. Germany, a country in which there are still many women alive who were raped by invading Russian Red Army soldiers and in which the human products of those rapes are still living, now trust … Russia more than the United States.

Yes, I hear you. I too am sick of all the Winning and Greatness we have achieved Again.

Guten nacht, y’all!


[Text by HawkEye. Photo by Markus Spiske via Unsplash.]


Questions. We Got ‘Em.

“… as reporter Anne Kingston notes, women are “female reproductive vessels” and not human beings.| Read more after the jump:


Long Dong Silver Rides Again


Why, just now, are we reading that Supreme Court Associate Justice Long Dong Silver, who apparently goes by the name “Clarence Thomas,” was again outed as a serial sexual predator? Why was the story, dated 27-Oct, buried in the National Law Journal? And why are we just finding out this from … a «Canadian news magazine of much repute»? And buried in the last paragraph? Of an article on the “coarsening of American politics”? And about which (the repeated grabbing of a woman’s ass at a 1999 party, not the Macleans article) no one else seems to know about?

Why? Because, as reporter Anne Kingston notes, women are “female reproductive vessels” and not human beings. And because Long Dong Silver has always, and will always, get a free pass. And both of these are realities for reasons which surpasseth understanding.

Welp. Good night Long Dong and good night, y’all!


[Text by HawkEye. Photo by Ravi Sharma via Unsplash.]


American Carnage: 3-Dec-17

Nazis are just “the normal people next door” and nothing bad should happen to either them or the New York Times for pointing this out, says The New York Times.” | Read more after the jump:


Globaloneyism?


What we learned this week:

• The wheels of justice grind very, very slow, but they are grinding towards folks who allegedly but probably committed treason against the country, but who will almost certainly not do jail time, much less pay the ultimate penalty historically paid by traitors.

• Speaking of future criminals, perhaps they might wish to take instruction from the example of Slobodan Praljak.

• Terry Crews can tell you that it is currently acceptable to be a sexual assault victim … unless you’re a black male. Then people adopt a “meh” attitude. I.e., #MeToo is quite trendy at the moment, but is likely to become passé rather quickly.

• Gronk probably needs to be reined in and it’s probably already too late.

• Life is about to get particularly hellish; CVS is buying Aetna and Disney is buying (part) of Fox. Also, Congress’ War on Everyone Except Their Donors is nearing one of its biggest successes of the last 40 years.

• A would-be blacksmith saw a show on tv that instructed him how to make something weapon-ish, which undoubtedly included a post-ironic “don’t try this at home” small print warning; he then tried that at home, burning down three downtown blocks of buildings in a town near Albany, NY.

• Alabamians (whether it’s a majority of them will be seen on 12-Dec) have no problem with pedophilia rationalization, especially while the Elephant Tides or whatever their stupid name is are winning. There is no surprise here at this reality.

• Nazis are just “the normal people next door” and nothing bad should happen to either them or the New York Times for pointing this out, says The New York Times.

And I’m not linking to any of that because … reasons. Google what you don’t understand.

Good night, y’all.


[Text by HawkEye. Photo by “FreeStocksDotOrg” via Unsplash.]


American Carnage: 17-Nov-17

Remarkably, his white coworkers calling each other “ni—-s” as a “joke” was about the worst that happened to him. It’s amazing he wasn’t shot or jailed; it’s even more amazing that Outside printed the report.| Read more after the jump:


The Diddler’s Club


What we learned this week:

• Al Franken is the latest member of the “People Who Diddled People Who Didn’t Want to be Diddled” Club. This Diddlers Club, of which we’re all so very proud, officially now consists of the nation’s President; at least two former presidents; two or three sitting United States Senators and lord knows how many more; a Supreme Court Justice; god knows how many Members of the House of Representatives and their staffs; governors of various states; members of various state legislatures, including a member in Ohio who was exercising his member with another man’s member, cheating on his wife as he attempted to pass virulently anti-LGBTQ legislation; the impeached Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, who may become a United States Senator next month; journalists of various stripes; sports figures and commentators; Catholic priests and Protestant preachers; college professors; doctors, lawyers, indian chiefs and at least one family member. It’s quite a roster, very inclusive.

• In other words, we learned what women have been trying to tell us about the lives they have to lead because they have something every heteronormative man seems to badly want: a vagina. Also some men, because they have what every homonormative man wants: a penis.

• What’s the matter with Kansas? The hypersecretive autocratic government which took power over the last ten years operates incompetently and in «extremely secretive, weird ways».

• I missed this back in September, but one acolyte of “Christian” nutbag autocratic Bill Gothard, who has platinum status in the Diddler’s Club (and he’s in his eighties) is in trouble in Arkansas. «Kenneth L. Dewitt applied Gothard’s principles of Godly behavior while running a prison ministry for imprisoned Arkansas women. The Godly principle apparently involved Dewitt having incarcerated women come in under his “umbrella of authority” and submit to God’s plan for women: repeated diddling because … men. Dewitt is “is currently serving a five-year sentence at the Ouachita River Unit after pleading guilty to multiple charges of sexual assault of prisoners.” Gothard couldn’t be reached for comment; he was probably unreachable in a private jet giving private dictation to one of the shapely arrows in his Quiver.

• If you don’t recall the sordid details of Reality TV stars The Duggars, who were Gothard’s proudest achievement and America’s favorite voyeuristic targets (19 blond white kids, what’s not to like?!), «here’s a link from 2015 that pretty well explains the entire wreckage of Gothard’s slimy trail, stretching back to the 1950s. [Full disclosure: My parents ponied up to pay for me to go to a Gothard Basic Seminar and an Advanced Seminar back in high school. Family members have been fully involved in the “ministry” and continue to angrily defend the old goat even now that’s he’s been sued by, what, 30 or so?, abused men and diddled women. IF we were still talking to each other and IF I was masochistic enough to be there for Thanksgiving dinner, Gothard would be a topic that would have to be avoided ere blood was shed on the turkey carcass. /End disclosure.]

• One more piece of recent Gothard news: IBLP, Gothard’s “former” ministry from which he has disassociated with just like Trump, cachinged last month on the sale of a property they owned in Australia. «They scored $9.5 million U.S. dollars on a property valued at just $6 million». And they won’t even have to practice the usual offshore tax haven chicanery to avoid a hefty tax bill; they’re an American “church” and therefore exempt from taxation. Maybe they’ll have a come-to-Jesus moment and repent and spread the money among Gothard’s Diddlers Club targets. Right after the Holy Spirit heeds their prayers and pigs fly from Melbourne to Los Angeles. Aside: I love how the Aussie press just tells it like it is in this case: “US religious cult.” You have NO idea, my Aussie friends!

• I said only one more Gothard piece. I lied. There’s an article in The New Republic that discusses the … politics and peccadilloes, shall we say … of Laura Ingalls Wilder, of Little House on the Prairie fame. I mention it because Gothardites and other similar evangelical fellow travelers have always had a very weird (at least to me) fetish for the 19th century, and their worship of Wilder and Little House is repeated in a million ways over everything from Gunsmoke and John Wayne to learning how to cook like pioneer women. Some of them even submit to the kind of abuse meted out by 19th century husbands, but that’s a different paragraph. «Little House, Small Government» is a nice starter primer to this phenomenon, although it’s sadly too short to be able to explore the evangelical connection or the fetishization of dying on the Oregon Trail.

• Turning to more uplifting in the face of bigotry, abuse and violence news, there’s a fascinating account in a publication I’d never read called Emergency Physician’s Monthly. «It’s the story of what happened to one hospital’s ER team the night the NRA slaughtered some folks» listening to what now passes for “country” music. It’s a highly recommended read, as are the other articles on the site.

• Speaking of the wild frontier, the usually lily-white Outside magazine actually printed «a lament from a young man who went west» to work some seasonal jobs at Montana resorts. Why did he not have a great season? His skin color wasn’t up to snuff. (Which of course meant he worked in “housekeeping.”) The article explores his experience with the casual “lighten up” (har har, get it?) type of racism from coworkers and guests which finally wore him down and sent him packing back east to relative safety. Remarkably, his white coworkers calling each other “ni—-s” as a “joke” was about the worst that happened to him. It’s amazing he wasn’t shot or jailed; it’s even more amazing that Outside printed the report. I grieve for his loss of innocence, and hope he has all the success in life he wants. I’d also like to shake his hand; he’s braver than I.

• Closing with one Diddlers Club story that’s so fun. Ohio state rep. Wes Goodman, family values warrior and, of course, Republican, resigned his seat after he was caught using his state office for some consensual diddling with a person who was not his wife and not a woman. Yes, yet another one of those “Fags must die! If you agree, meet me in my car at the local park for some cocksucking followed by the signing of a petition demanding the death penalty for fag kissing!” kind of people, as usual, hoisted on his own petard, or his boyfriend’s whatever. As someone quipped on Twitter, “Goodman’s wife is probably so pissed, he’s having to move into a log cabin!” (Get it? Log Cabin Republicans are the gay ones who haven’t figured out yet that they support a party which has members who seriously, sincerely, would go Leviticus on their gay, rich asses given half a chance. Goodman’s website has been scrubbed today; but the good old friend, the Wayback Machine, is providing nice clear copies of things the good man has written. Unfortunately, his Twitter account has been locked down, but that’s not a barrier either. Here’s Wes’ priceless take on the Family: “Healthy, vibrant, thriving, values-driven families are the source of Ohio’s proud history and the key to Ohio’s future greatness. The ideals of a loving father and mother, a committed natural marriage, and a caring community are well worth pursuing and protecting.” Oh, how fun. Don’t you love closet cases who talk about “vibrant, thriving” committed natural marriages when the only thing that’s actually “vibrant and thriving” is their relationship to their boyfriends’ cocks? Little Wes is a cutie. He and Aaron Schock, if that old gym queen manages to avoid prison, should totally get together. They’d make a truly hot, power Log Cabin Republican partnership. I hope Wes is a bottom, ’cause I doubt Aaron lets just anyone go balls-deep on his bleached ass.

• And, oh yeah, there was another NRA nutbag gun attack. It is now officially news if a mass shooting does NOT occur on any given day.

So, ain’t our America nation grand? After reading all this stuff (and then writing about it) I feel extremely … greasy. Like the country has gone much bukkake all over my gay face. I need a bath and some penicillin. And this country is 100%, pure Grade A, psycho nuts insane, from the demented consummate con man in the White House to … well just about everyone else. Not at ALL what I thought living in the U.S. during my middle age would be like. Can’t wait to become elderly. ‘Cause that shit is also seriously fucked up in major ways too.

Good night, y’all.


[Text by HawkEye. Photo by Vlad Tchompalov via Unsplash.]


Letters to the Editor, Answered

Actually, “Mrs. H.V.”, on 6-June-1944, “what this country had come to” was the liberation of the European continent from Nazism and Fascism, which it did along with 22 other nations (hence the term “Allies”) and an “associated power,” Albania, which at the time of your “Letter to the Editor” was occupied by forces of the German Wehrmacht.| Read more after the jump:


Globaloneyism?

In which we in the future answer “Letters to the Editor” of the Chicago Tribune written during the past that was called World War Two.

Globaloney Stamps.

“Chicago, June 1. — Today I received the shock of my life when I went to mail a package to my boy in service. I needed 20 cents in stamps and was given four 5 cent stamps with the red flag of Albania spread almost across the entire surface. Just what is this country coming to?

Mrs. H.V.”

Chicago Tribune, 6-June-1944, Page 10

Methinks I smells the grandmother of a future Trump supporter!

Actually, “Mrs. H.V.”, on 6-June-1944, “what this country had come to” was the liberation of the European continent from Nazism and Fascism, which it did along with 22 other nations (hence the term “Allies”) and an “associated power,” Albania, which at the time of your “Letter to the Editor” was occupied by forces of the German Wehrmacht.

By the way, Albania’s designation as an associated power was formally recognized at the 1946 Paris conference. Albania officially signed the treaty ending World War II between the “Allied and Associated Powers” and Italy in Paris, on 10 February 1947. Albania had been occupied by Fascist Italy then Germany; it was quickly subjugated to communist party rule and suffered under Enver Hoxha for the next five decades.

Finally, “what this country had come to” on D-Day 1944 was to recognize on a five-cent postage stamp that it wasn’t winning the war alone, was not in the war alone, and was not suffering in the war alone.

I hope your “boy in the service” was able to hold on to his U.S. Postal Service five-cent Albanian flag stamps. They’s probably worth some moneys today. [And thank him for his service.]


Four More Years of War”

“Mankato, Minn., June 1.—I wonder how many people now earning big money, more money than they have ever handled before, and who will vote a certain way thinking to insure a continuation of this income, ever pause to think what another four years will bring?

“Among the many unpleasant things that are to me a foregone conclusion is that Roosevelt will drag the war out another four years. Why wouldn’t he? It is the perfect solution of unemployment, a problem he failed to solve until we managed to become embroiled in war. Another very good reason to drag it out is, that he is not restricted in war time spending.

“He has a mania for spending and giving and war allows him privileges which peace would curtail, we hope. So, I say vote for Roosevelt and draw four more years of war at least.

“Reader”

Chicago Tribune, 6-June-1944, Page 10

Is that you, Erle P. Halliburton? No? Are you Fred Drumpf? Ah! I suspected so. It’s the 1944 version of a Twitter storm (ask your son, he’ll explain).

Where to start, where to start.

  1. What will another four years bring?” Oh, honey, you have no idea. You should just suspend time and stay safe and quiet in 1944, baby. You don’t really wanna know the answers to this question. Lessee. Hitler? Dead. Mussolini? Hangs lifelessly from a lamp post. Tojo? Incompletely suicides, resurrects, then is executed. Roosevelt? Dead. A National Security State is born. We have to start hand-feeding everyone in Berlin. Truman gets pissed over a negative review of one of his daughter’s piano recitals. We fuck up in Korea causing … some very bad shit to be set into perpetual motion. China turns red. Japan turns black, largely from just two very large bombs. Lots of soldiers come back from all points of the globe and take your job, discontinuing your own income.
  2. … Roosevelt will drag the war out another four years. Why wouldn’t he?” The war will continue for one year and three more months. Roosevelt won’t drag the war out because he’ll be dead in ten months.
  3. … unemployment, a problem he failed to solve …” Unemployment was nearly 25% in 1933 when Roosevelt took office; in 1941 it had fallen to 10%; and when he died in 1945, economists considered the country at “full employment,” with less than 2% of the nation’s workforce unemployed. You’re just being deliberately idiotic here, my friend.
  4. … until we managed to become embroiled in war.” The United States was not attacked by Franklin Roosevelt; war was declared by the Empire of Japan on 7-December-1941 with the launching of a surprise attack on military installations near Honolulu, Hawaii. War on the United States was declared by Germany the next day. The United States Congress “embroiled” us in the war by declaring war in Public Law 77-328, 55 STAT 795 on 8-Dec-1941. After Germany declared war on the U.S., the Congress reacted with a declaration of war on Germany in Pub. Law 77–331, Sess. 1, ch. 564, 55 Stat. 796. The “embroiling” would seem to be, then, a joint act of Japan, Germany and the United States Congress, the parties with power to declare, embroil and conduct warfare.
  5. Another very good reason to drag it out is, that he is not restricted in war time spending.” Dear “Reader,” am I to extrapolate from this sentence that you wish to conduct the most massive conflict in human history involving most of the peoples and locations of the planet, the object of certain parties (see #4 above) being to destroy the United States and dozens of other countries … that you wish to conduct this war “on the cheap”? The Congress has appropriated funds necessary to forestall the aim of aforementioned parties and it is the duty of the President to use those funds to defend the country to the utmost against, again, parties which wish us destroyed. And you’re taking exception?! Oh, sweetie, wait until a certain actor whom you’ve seen in “Bedtime for Bonzo” seizes the presidency and spends over $700 a piece for hammers for the armed forces, which will partially explain trillion-dollar-deficits. Then we’ll get back to you and ask your opinion. Surely we can count on that opinion being, shall we say, apoplectic? Or is it just Mr. Roosevelt who gets under your skin? Enquiring minds wish to know.
  6. … vote for Roosevelt and draw four more years of war at least.” A vote in November 1944 six months hence will, dear “Reader,” get you nine more months, not years, of war, and just about one month of a Roosevelt fourth term.

So buck up, dear “Reader“! The end is nigh. Now go sit by the radio and let General Eisenhower entertain you with tales from a place called Omaha Beach. And then write back and tell us how much money you would have allocated to the D-Day Invasion of German-occupied Europe, the largest military invasion in human history. Give us a hint. $100,000? $200,000? Can’t wait for your fascinating reply!

Still waiting! Good night, ya’ll!


[Text by HawkEye. Photo by Andrew Areoff via Unsplash.]


They Own Us

It’s all a sordid mess and they need to be yanked hard. Nothing will happen here, though; these people gave us the current government and our legislatures are not on our side.| Read more after the jump:


Take Back Our Voter Data

The CBC « reports on Professor David Carroll » and the fight to get Cambridge Analytical to tell us what is in our “psychographical” profiles. It’s all a sordid mess and they need to be yanked hard. Nothing will happen here, though; these people gave us the current government and our legislatures are not on our side.

But you can be on Prof. Carroll’s side by « following his Twitter feed » or support his « Crowd Justice pledge » to “take back our voter data.”

Right on, brother! Good night, y’all!


[Text by HawkEye. Photo by Matthew Henry via Unsplash.]


American Carnage: 10-Nov-17

White gay men are no longer welcome in the gay rights movement because the whiteness of their skin means they are privileged, cisgendered and non-intersectional. Henceforward, when we’re getting the shit beaten out of us at school; can’t afford college; get harassed or beaten or shot by the police for kissing our boyfriends in public parks; gulp down the handful of toxic drugs we fought to get in the 90s …| Read more after the jump:


Peckerwoods!

What we learned this week:

• Comedian Louis CK and Crusading Crazy Ass Roy Moore were accepted into that venerable old boy’s club, that newly-open-to-didlers-from-outside-the-church institution, The Ancient and Venerable Order of Priests Expecting Complete, Knightly Exoneration; Rewarded With Oodles Of Dancing Students (a.k.a. “P.E.C.K.E.R.W.O.O.D.S.”) Golf and Country Club. Greeting them at the door was the Ancient and Venerable Third Assistant Vice President Clarence Thomas, who treated the new initiates to pubic hair-laced Coke cans and asked Roy Moore if Moore was interested in buying him, because living conditions in “free” Washington D.C., are highly overrated.

• Corey Feldman is still alive. And also Corey Feldman knows lots of Hollywood people who will be applying for membership at Peckerwoods G&CC very soon. This has Corey quite frightened.

• 150-year-old former presidents need help to take a piss, but are still able to feel up female reporters and tell them dirty jokes, both of which are done in front of former First Ladies.

• White gay men are no longer welcome in the gay rights movement because the whiteness of their skin means they are privileged, cisgendered and non-intersectional. Henceforward, when we’re getting the shit beaten out of us at school; can’t afford college; get harassed or beaten or shot by the police for kissing our boyfriends in public parks; gulp down the handful of toxic drugs we fought to get in the 90s while watching our mothers scour the kitchen sink after getting a glass of water lest God’s disapproval in the form of the AIDS plague will be visited on her house and infect her innocent grandchildren; spending the 54th year of life with our families berating us for our lifestyle choice and allowing demons to inhabit our bodies; well, we cannot possibly have any contribution or role in the LGBTQ community. Because our skin color is white. And that means we cannot participate, question, discuss, converse and sure as hell can’t culturally appropriate anything from anybody. No alliances with us are welcome. No matter how many suicide attempts we committed during our teen years because we are total fags, it counts for nothing. You must be black, female, lesbian, transgendered before you are allowed to participate in efforts to secure civil rights for LGBTQ, etc. Your skin color is white, so you must be a white supremacist Nazi dedicated to keeping people of color down. “Intersectionality is a bitch, white boys; paybacks are hell and Karma gonna bite you in your lily white highly privileged asses.”

• That Kathy Griffin is a bit off her nut though, isn’t she?

• John Hillerman is dead at 84. Yet, Justin Bieber and Joel Osteen still walk the earth. Osteen’s Mercedes-bestowing god sure has a wicked sense of humor.

• There seems to have been some baseball played. Something about a World Series won by perennially losers the Houston Astros. We wouldn’t know, we weren’t paying attention.

• New England Patriots player and convicted murderer Aaron Hernandez’s brain was dissected and shown to be the worst case of NFL of the brain ever recorded. Oh, this just in, it was CTE of the brain. We regret (not) the error.

• O.J. Simpson will continue to haunt our lives even if he actually dies. This week: Tossed out of the Cosmopolitan in Vegas for being … the only intoxicated person in the casino. The Juice owes the Cosmo a favor; that place is a cesspool of skeezy. Getting banned from it for life probably will save his life (or perhaps a few courses of penicillin). We were at the Vdara/Cosmo complex in 2014. The swimming pool still gives me nightmares. And hives.

• They’re remaking/updating/relaunching a lot of old 90s TV series for no apparent reason than, like the Simpsons, the creative well in Hollywood dried up decades ago, probably about the time Carol Burnett packed it in on her variety show, which was was always packed with incredible talent. A Roseanne reboot and a Will and Grace reboot we did not need. Also, The Simpsons must die; each episode is worse than the previous, a race to a bottom we cannot make out but we know it’s there. Family Guy is suffering while its creator is buzzing around the universe, so it’s probably also time that James Woods whips out his AR-15 and ends the show’s life for good and all as well. Bobs Burgers is still reasonably fresh, but it may be peaking now. (And by the way, just ’cause I’m a white faggot does NOT mean I should have to watch the Will and Grace reboot. My intersectionality about class, wealth, New York City snobbery and poor body image means this show deeply oppresses me, even if it may have influenced some people decide not to shoot our faggoty white asses when we got legally married by the U.S. Supreme Court. Whatever may be, I’d still prefer old Lucy Show episodes to most of this dreck.

• Tuesday’s election seemed to be a case of buyer’s remorse, wherein the guy who bought a pink Ford Fiesta with the undercoating package and Scotch-guarded seats wakes up after a long nightmare and wants to toss the Pink Fiesta off the nearest cliff, but knows there’s just no way that’s going to happen. So instead, he settles for going to the nearest Ben and Jerry’s and consuming 23 different punny flavors, coincidentally imbibing enough “RoundUp” (TM) to shrivel his gonads to the size of B.B.s And while waiting for his blood glucose numbers to fall below 1000, stares at the Pink Fiesta and thinks, “I hate this fucking century and this fucking country and powerful people who diddle powerless people and get away with it. Every. Single. Time.” And then, feeling better and on the way home, the wheels on his pink Fiesta fall off for the 45th time that week.

• Speaking of Pink Fiestas, the anniversary of Trump’s ascendance to power is appropriately the same as Kristallnacht and the infamous “Stab in the Back,” whereby leftists and Jews back home knifed German troops on the Western Front in the back just right when they were about to end the whole damn war victoriously, causing the Kaiser to abdicate and the nation to find itself in need of rescuing by an Austrian corporal named Adolf Hitler. Putting the facetiousness aside for a moment, the 79th anniversary of Kristallnacht should be looked upon as an abject lesson about what happens when you allow hate, ignorance, false equivalency, and frat boy snark mindsets to take over entire countries. But that would require Americans to actually absorb reality and study history, two things we are adamantly refusing to do at this moment. Gott Strafe Amerika! And he’ll do it too.

Guten Nacht, y’all!


[Text by HawkEye. Photo by Dawn Armfield via Unsplash.]