Double, double, toil and trouble

I have no spur
To prick the sides of my intent, but only
Vaulting ambition, which o’erleaps itself,
And fall on th’other . . .
– Macbeth Act 1, scene 7.25-28

GOP-led House Authorizes Lawsuit Against Obama

Blue Bronc
Blue Bronc

Oh but the spittle and froth coming from the mouths of so many Republicans is to be feared by so many lost in fog of their own making.  Can we mere humans grasp the lawlessness of our president?  No.  It is only seen by those who have seen the shimmering mirage of greatness created by their own masters.

Living in the bounded area called D.C. region, which tends to be a line scribbled on maps delineating about four million people.  But, it fails to circle a large white building with a big dome over it.  A building housing less than one thousand of the most powerful people on earth.

It is within that building that some of the nuttiest and craziest talk is emoted.  Shakespeare would have dozens of concepts to turn into plays, most likely about the folly of fools.  The bravado of the idiots must sound wonderful to their own ears.  But, this makes Macbeth’s acts seem reasonable.

obama-wanted-posterImpeach the most lawless president ever? That is outright crazy talk.  Sue the guy.  That will teach him a lesson. And, it is a warm-up act for the big, full stage performance of impeachment.  Impeachment will show the black guy in the White House who is really running the country.

As fed up with war as the American public is, they have no appetite for the constant talk of the fools for impeachment.  Can the Republicans understand that most, probably the 70% (at least) of the populous who are not Republican by signature, do not see what they see. The citizens do not hear what they hear.  The voters do not feel what they feel.

Given that Republican gerrymandering has created safe districts for the fools, we have to live with them saying and doing things that if not for their protected seats would have them voted out or just plain ignored.  Grabbing the microphone to spew talk intended to have the American public joining them on their march to a new world order — it is that very talk that tells the people to do the opposite.

Americans are not in favor of impeaching a president for any reason, let alone reasons that are created by and make sense only to a handful of elected representatives, senators and listeners of certain television channels or radio stations.  Why do these creatures continually fall upon their swords while talking about standing up to a president?  They must see some reward, but I believe it is only personal and limited; nothing any other American can understand or feel.

Macbeth is trying to create some reason to do the foul deed when no reason exists.  Just like the jesters of the Republican party.

– Blue Bronc is a Trail Mix Contributor. Read more by this author.
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Will Durst: Stuck on Stuck

Will Durst (“Comedy for people who read, or know someone who does”):

Will Durst
Will Durst

“Just following the will of the people.” That’s been the GOP rationalization for accomplishing absolutely nothing for five and a half years. Doesn’t matter what the issue is. Immigration. Jobs. Infrastructure. Climate change. Banking reform. The proliferation of substandard dental schools in Nebraska.

According to them, the people want… zip. Zero. Zilch. Nada. And to mask their inaction, Republicans have coordinated a feeding frenzy that would make rabid hyenas jealous.

Something about Obama drives them crazier than chocolate banana fritters with raspberry sprinkles in a bento box. Maybe because he’s the smartest guy in the room and not the least bit shy about sharing that opinion. Maybe he’s the ultimate anti-Bush. Or there’s something about him that looks different. Extremely different. Could be the ears.

What it boils down to is… “Open Season on Obama.” The memos have circulated. The strategy is conspicuous. To derail any possible presidential accomplishment by stalling progress and tossing a continuous slew of dastardly insults onto and at his person. And the mud is flying faster than fingers in a steno pool. Different circus. Same clowns.

John Boehner plans to sue the President. For what? Not even he knows, but you can be sure, the term “smarty pants” will be bandied about. He did drop some tidbit about objecting to the President changing the employer mandate to Obama Care, but that can’t be the source of his irritation, since the GOP insisted on it. It would be like slapping some other family’s child for obeying you.

Dick Cheney called him the Worst President of his lifetime. Which is quite a coincidence, since many argue Dick Cheney was the worst president of Obama’s lifetime. Obama should actually take solace from this charge, since Dick Cheney has been pretty much wrong about pretty much everything since at least 1999… Read More

Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed political comic based in San Francisco.

Flashback Sunday: 1945

Bill Crawford
Bill Crawford

Trail Mix Southern Command (Orlando) — Rummaging through some old photos we came across this image of my parents with their high school graduation class (Mt. Vernon KY, 1945).

Bill Crawford
Toby Crawford

They were dating at the time, so not sure why they’re on opposite sides of the photograph (Dad says they were “off and on” — perhaps this was an off day; Mom says she was probably mad he skipped a date to go squirrel hunting). They celebrate their 64th Wedding Anniversary next month.

Mt. Vernon High School (KY)
1945 Senior Class
(click to enlarge)

By Craig Crawford (Chicago Tribune)
1945, What a Year — Losing FDR, Winning Two Wars, Building a New Nation

1945 Oscars

  • Best Picture:
    “THE LOST WEEKEND” — Nominees:  “Anchors Aweigh” / “The Bells of St. Mary’s” / “Mildred Pierce” / “Spellbound”
  • Actor:
    RAY MILLAND in “The Lost Weekend” — Nominees: Bing Crosby in “The Bells of St. Mary’s” / Gene Kelly in “Anchors Aweigh” / Gregory Peck in “The Keys of the Kingdom” / Cornel Wilde in “A Song to Remember”
  • Actress:
    JOAN CRAWFORD in “Mildred Pierce” — Nominees: Ingrid Bergman in “The Bells of St. Mary’s” / Greer Garson in “The Valley of Decision” / Jennifer Jones in “Love Letters” / Gene Tierney in “Leave Her to Heaven”

Top Five Songs

  • Les Brown & Doris Day, “Sentimental Journey”
  • The Andrews Sisters, “Rum & Coca-Cola”
  • Perry Como, “Till the End of Time”
  • Johnny Mercer, “On the Atcheson, Topeka & the Sante Fe”
  • Les Brown & Doris Day, “My Dreams Are Getting Better All the Time”

Are You an Independent? Take the Test.

Am I an Independent?

Nash 2.5
Nash 2.5

This is a question that you probably ask yourself many times a day.

Taking the simple test below will tell you with 99.5% certainty if you are, or are not, a loyal member of the non-party of unsuccessful presidential Candidates John Anderson and Ross Perot, and current U.S. Senator from Maine, Angus King.

(1) The two-party system in the USA is ….

  • (a) the direct result of our “winner-take-all” system of elections rather than the proportional representation characteristic of most other democracies which use a parliamentary system of government.
  • (b) God’s plan: all good people are Republicans and all evil people are Democrats.
  • (c) what was the question?

(2)  The immigration crisis in the USA can be solved by…

  • (a) a more flexible policy that will allow a quicker route to citizenship.
  • (b) building a wall with broken glass on top, landmines, and machine-gun towers.
  • (c) whatever.

Political Ideology(3) Russian imperial expansion can be checked by…

  • (a) a well-designed program of sanctions, in coordination with our European allies.
  • (b) invasion of and occupation of Ukraine.  (We will be welcomed as liberators.)
  • (c) I need to see some 10-second political ads before I can decide.

(4) The U.S. economy can be strengthened by….

  • (a) increasing taxes and creating programs that benefit the lower and middle classes.
  • (b) decreasing taxes that hurt “job creators”: big corporations and the 1%.
  • (c) all of the above.

(5) Global warming is…

  • (a) a scientific fact.
  • (b) a liberal myth.
  • (c) who cares?

If you answered (c) to three or more questions, you are an Independent.

More tests: Are You a Democrat? Are You a Republican?

– Nash 2.5 is a Trail Mix Contributor. Read More by this author.
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Are you a Democrat? Take the test.

Am I a Democrat?

This is a question that you probably ask yourself many times a day.

Taking the simple test below will tell you with 99.5% certainty if you are, or are not, a loyal member of the party of Presidents Bill Clinton, Andrew Jackson, and Martin Van Buren.

(1) Franklin Delano Roosevelt …

  • (a) ended the Great Depression and won World War II (with some help from the Russians).
  • (b) was a communist who didn’t warn the Navy about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

(2)  John F. Kennedy …

  • (a) was assassinated by right wing Texans, or rogue CIA agents, or the Mafia.
  • (b) was a Harvard playboy whose bootlegger father bought the Presidency for him.

Political Ideology(3) The Vietnam War  …

  • (a) was Lyndon Johnson’s biggest mistake.
  • (b) could have been won if it wasn’t for those damn pot-smoking hippie protestors.

(4) Environmental Science is …

  • (a) a good college major for your kids, so they can spend their lives doing meaningful work.
  • (b) just something your naïve kids will study before they wise up and go to law school or get an MBA.

(5) The suburbs are …

  • (a) a good place to raise your kids with lots of fresh air and green lawns.
  • (b) a good place to get away from the blacks, Jews, Irish, and Italians in the cities.

If you answered (a) to three or more questions, you are a Democrat.

Are You a Republican?

– Nash 2.5 is a Trail Mix Contributor. Read More by this author.
How to Become a Contributor

Are you a Republican? Take the Test.

Am I a Republican?

Nash 2.5
Nash 2.5
This is a question that you probably ask yourself many times a day.

Taking the simple test below will tell you with 99.5% certainty if you are, or are not, a loyal member of the party of Presidents Lincoln, Eisenhower, and Nixon.

(1) Ronald Reagan was…

  • (a) a washed-up 1950s“B” movie actor who helped Joe McCarthy blacklist people.
  • (b) God’s anointed savior, sent to Earth to put things right.

(2) The 1964 Civil Rights Act was…

  • (a) the most important piece of legislation passed in the 20th century.
  • (b) a mistake.

Political Ideology(3) The greatest U.S. President was…

  • (a) George Washington
  • (b) Dick Cheney

(4) Science is …

  • (a) A method of acquiring knowledge based on empirical testing of assumptions.
  • (b) A liberal conspiracy.

(5) Immigrants who come to the USA seeking a better life for themselves and their children are…

  • (a) the foundation upon which our republic rests.
  • (b) worthless scum who should be shot at the border.

If you answered (B) to three or more questions, you are a Republican.


Now we need a test that will tell you if you are a Democrat. Do you have any suggestions for test questions that we could use?

– Nash 2.5 is a Trail Mix Contributor. Read More by this author.
How to Become a Contributor

The Eyes of a President

The office ages the occupant.  A truism of the Office of the President of the United States.  Academic studies have been done.  Also every few years a reporter does a eyes and hair photo montage or slideshow – showing the changes from freshly elected to end of office.

Blue Bronc
Blue Bronc

I think only the TV series “West Wing” ever did capture the day of a president in a visual manner that demonstrated the minute-by-minute stressful life he (and hopefully starting in 2017, “she”) experiences.  Thursday, Russian trained (and that may be stretching it) “Ukraine separatists” shoot down a Malaysian passenger airplane and roughly at the same time Israel gets tired of the rockets and in a routine well practiced over the decades, invades Palestine to clear out the bad guys.

Mrs. President hosts the Kids State Dinner on Friday and Mr. President gives a few remarks.  His eyes look like hell, almost like he did not get a chance to sleep last night.  His hair shows early greying, just like most of the other residents of the office.  But, he was gracious and charming as usual.obama_crisis

The specific “West Wing” reference is to “In Excelsis Deo (S:1,E:10),” when Bartlet learns of the death of a young gay man and instantly has to have fun with a group of children. There are other episodes that attempt to depict the dichotomy of life a president lives.

A Washington saying is that a politician is an ugly actor.  As one who has had to present a face for the voters not matched by mood or feeling, it is very true.  But I never had to handle the immensity of the trauma of Thursday, and most likely some serious conversations with many world leaders during day and night.  And then literally immediately change to entertain children.

I feel deeply for those world leaders who have to deal with a deliberate and horrible act by people acting in the name of the Russians.  It is sad, as those I know want peace and happiness after lifetimes of oppression and deprivation.  To have the “former” KGB operative back in charge, apparently leading a country desiring peace, back into the Cold War, is very sad.  It was seen when he took first took control and then as he ran everything “behind the scenes”.

– Blue Bronc is a Trail Mix Contributor. Read more by this author.
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Klick und Klack

An Ode to the Typewriter. Fearing spies, Germany thinks retro.

Blue Bronc
Blue Bronc
Ah, the good old days (I have no idea who to cite for that gem) keeps returning to our lives.  Why?  That is a question for many researchers, not a blogger.  What I like to see is those things of our industrial and pre-industrial age return, often with a subtlety that is a direct result of what is “today.”

People are responding to fast (see Moore’s Law) technological change by not changing. Many due to the cost of having the latest I-Phone and “2 year plan with 4-G” (4-G is fourth generation, or something you pay for but do not ever have access too).  Others, because they are barely getting the last “update” to work on their computer. 

busy-guy-300x264Ah, bought the tablet, eh?  Cool thing, unless you have to do heavy duty computer use.  More good stuff to buy, but what did you actually use to pay more than $20 per day to own?

How to sooth the angry mind and pass the day away in the cube farm?  Or while riding on the train?  Or for something to  listen to while waiting for “support” (support does not only apply to computer support from India), it can be like trying to find out why your online password to your online checking account failed to work after Sunday 6am when the system performed an “UPDATE”.  Listen to music. Old CD players,  I-whatever, MP3 players, CD discs played in computers, radio’s (for those near a window), or even an occasional 1980’s tape player.  Or even the “smart-phone” – yeah, sure those work in the tunnels.

typewriterWell, back to today, or rather yesterday.  While reading an article about the level of how pissed of Germany is with their “friend”, the United States (no mention of that commie, Kenyan, heathen, Buddhist, McCarthyrite, socialist, fascist, republican) it was typewriters.  An article from Germany regarding how the German government was going to (possibly) start reusing typewriters for sensitive transmissions that was of interest.   And, it made special mention of electronic typewriters (see IBM Selectric III) which would not be used.

With the return of the vinyl record to prominence, so it is with the typewriter.  Both do not require computers to operate or have a result.  The letter has as much protection as anything written in history that is not eaten or burned.  Whereas music is often used to promote social activity and therefore is preserved, often for generations.  Neither requires the use of electricity, which can be picked up by observers, to function.  And, the output of both can be fantastic, see 20th century literature and music from 1900 to today.

The reason for not using an electronic typewriter such as an IBM Selectric III is it has some smarts and electronics that can be “sniffed”, or some such spy term, to learn what was typed.  Ribbons can be burned.  Noise can be. . .  and we return to the “good old days” of Spy vs. Spy.

– Blue Bronc is a Trail Mix Contributor. Read more by this author.
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Israelis vs Palestinians

Nash 2.5
Nash 2.5
For decades we have watched the Israelis and the Palestinians locked in a seemingly unresolvable conflict.  One piece of small piece of (not very desirable) land claimed by two peoples, who are unable to live together.

An undesirable land?  They don’t have any oil.  It’s hot and dry, nothing grows without irrigation, and they don’t have even enough water for that.

It’s a good place to go out into the desert, get dehydrated, have hallucinations, and create a monotheistic religion (Judaism, Christianity, Islam), but not much else.

Every U.S. President since 1948 has come into office with an optimistic “mid-east policy” and has left with nothing of substance accomplished.   When I listen to President Obama or Secretary of State John Kerry today talking about Israel, all I can think is “I have heard ALL of this, many, many times before.”

So, I ask all Trailmixers: what can be done to resolve the Israeli/Palestinian conflict?

Any new ideas?

– Nash 2.5 is a Trail Mix Contributor. Read More by this author.
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Bloomberg Business Week: Israel Renews Gaza Bombing After Hamas Rejects Truce Plan

The legacy of the Camp David Accords (Wikipedia): “The biggest consequence of all may be in the psychology of the participants of the Arab-Israeli conflict. The success of Begin, Sadat, and Carter at Camp David demonstrated to other Arab states and entities that negotiations with Israel were possible — that progress results only from sustained efforts at communication and cooperation.”

Solar India

Our ole pal, video journalist Andrew Satter, ventured to India recently and found this. Check it out.solarindia

As I watch employees of one of the country’s many fast-growing clean energy startups install solar panels on a local villager’s roof — their sixth installation of the day — I realize I am witnessing something transformational. It is a glimpse into the future of how the world’s rural poor could access electricity: off-grid, distributed, renewable, and most importantly, affordable. It’s happening all over rural India and in parts of sub-Saharan Africa, and is turning the entire narrative around energy and development on its head.”

andrew satter
Read Andrew’s full report at Watch How Solar Power Is Transforming Rural India