Monday, June 30, 2014

Supreme Court Follies

When the Supreme Court came down on the side of Hobby Lobby’s right to participate in their employees’ family planning as well as determining the extent of healthcare which female employees can access, Weird Wally was not surprised.   If corporations are people, then they have the right to religious freedom as well as free speech.  And although not surprised, he was confused.  “How the hell did corporations become people in the first damn place?” he posted on the internet. 

At one time, Wally saw the Justices in their black robes as the wisest of the wise, but with the recent antics of Roberts, Scalia, Alito and Thomas, Wally now sees them as a bunch of blacked robed clowns.   “Religious freedom my ass,” he wrote later in that post.  “This is about giving the top one percent even more power in determining how the rest of us live our lives.

“What Roberts and his conservative Justices are doing,” he concluded, “are opening doors to closets that contain some horrible and scary monsters that we have yet to imagine.  Just wait and see.”  

Friday, June 27, 2014

"I'm sick and tired of people calling me racist when I know I'm not," he said.

Weird Wally was more than a little miffed by the time he got home from his usual Thursday night at the local bingo parlor.  And to make matters worse, he was pissed at himself more than anything else.  After all, the man was a total asshole and Wally knew early on that he should’ve simply gotten up and moved to another table, but he did not want to be rude.

“I’m sick and tired of people calling me racist when I know I’m not,” he’d said, taking a seat across the table from Wally.  “I have nothing against Obama, it’s just that he was born in Africa and shouldn’t be president.”  Billy Carlson, it turns out, was a recently retired bricklayer from Alabama who’d moved to Denver to be close to the Mountains.   And despite all the empty seats in the hall, he’d chosen a seat next to an African-American, in order to make an obvious point.

Billy was frustrated and said that he wanted his country back.  He had issues with the blacks, the browns, gay marriage, White House scandals and cover ups and a whole lot more.  Several times Wally was on the verge of voicing his opinion, but thought better of it.  This isn’t the kind of guy whose going to listen to anything I have to say, he thought.  Besides, Billy was one angry redneck who probably carried a concealed weapon and was looking for any excuse to use it.

Maybe it was Wally’s silence, but for some reason, Billy thought he’d found himself a kindred spirit in black skin, and ended up walking Wally to his car.  “I don’t get it,” Billy said before departing for his own car, “how can I be racist when everyone thinks like I do?”

By this morning, however, Wally was no longer miffed.  As a matter of fact, he started feeling encouraged.  Something had come to him during the night.  If Billy thought that everyone thought like him, it could only mean that his world was limited to likeminded people.   And people who thought like Billy, Wally was aware, were most likely very old white men and hard core rednecks; the very people who would most relish the idea of impeaching and removing from office, America’s first black President.

Since it first became obvious to him that if the Republicans planned to Impeach President Obama should they gain control of the Senate, Wally began getting more and more depressed.  This whole impeachment thing, he thought, was red meat for the Billy Carlsons of the world, and they were always hungry for more and more. 

 But since people like Billy Carlson listened only to themselves and the Republicans listened only to people like Billy Carlson, the party was always in search of more red meat to feed the tiger that they had by the tail.

And with the Republican Speaker of the House adding to the frenzy by announcing his intentions of Suing the President on behalf of Congress, things were getting really ugly.  And with Billy Carlson seeking only the company of his own kind, and everyone else wanting to avoid that kind of ugliness, Wally suddenly realized that the Republicans may be in the midst of a flawed feedback loop, from which there is no escape.

Meanwhile, with all their talk of lawsuits and impeachment of the Nation’s first African-American President, the Republicans are starting to piss off a lot of people of color.  And Wally knows one thing for sure, it’s the pissed off people of color who will also get out and vote.

And although Wally is not quite ready to say, “Bring it on!” he is starting to feel better about the possibilities.   Funny how this Republican feedback loop is causing them to throw red meat both left and right and Wally can only hope that they don’t come to their senses too soon.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Does Weird Wally Really Practice Mindfulness Meditation?

Although he’d have been the first to deny it, rumor had it that Weird Wally actually meditates for at least, thirty minutes a day, every day.    When confronted with the irrefutable evidence, however, Wally finally admitted to his secret.  “But a story goes with it,” he said.

The interrogation, at times, seemed to take bizarre twists and turns, but Wally simply said, “I do it because I like it and it makes me feel good!”   Further questions revealed his lack of knowledge as to whether Mindfulness Meditation was addictive.  “I never thought of it as an addiction,” he said.  “But when I first started it only took five minutes a day, now it takes a half hour and longer.  Then there are those times I feel that if I let myself go, I could go for hours.”

At this point, it should be noted that much research has been accomplished regarding this Mindfulness practice and there is evidence that it may have a significant on effect on those who practice this ritual.  In addition to causing actual physical changes in the brain, meditation seems to effect significant changes in human perception and behavior.   There are, however, other researchers and scientists who insist that Mindfulness and any other kind of meditation is a sham.  Like the previous report on Global Climate Change, this investigator is not a scientist and draws no conclusions on the matter.

During the hour’s long interrogation, Wally seemed not to take this process seriously as he showed no visible signs of irritation or frustration.  He was respectful and cooperative but, oddly enough, showed little if any signs of fear, yet he did not perceive himself as fearless.  If anything, Wally seemed to think it all very funny.

“God has little to do with it.  Hell, even an atheist can’t help but feel a part of something bigger,” Wally finally concluded.

When asked if Mindfulness Meditation was addictive, “I can stop anytime I want to,” he answered.

This subject was steadfast in his insistence to continue his Mindfulness practice.  When asked why he would continue meditating, now that he knows it is much like a drug, he answered this investigator’s question with a question.  “Why would I not?” he asked.

Due to the subject’s incorrigible behavior and attitude, it is the recommendation of this investigator that this Hold continues; as he remains a danger to both society and this civilization.     AGS

And remember, Weird Wally Sez:  I do it because I like it and it makes me feel good!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Iraq is like Deja vu All Over Again

The first time Weird Wally heard the phrase “military advisors,” he was still in high school and President Kennedy had just announced that he was sending an additional 1000 military advisors into South Vietnam.  But what Wally, and many others at the time, did not know was, we’d be aiding a corrupt and repressive government, held in contempt by its citizens.  And what started out as a handful of military advisors in 1955, in support of a corrupt government, turned into a full scale war on March 8, 1965 when 3500 Marines landed at China Beach and joined up with the 23,000 military advisors already in Vietnam. 

And for Wally, sending military advisors to Iraq is like Déjà vu all over again.   Here we are propping up a corrupt government that doesn’t like us, has shat upon many of its citizens and, with a military that’ll cut and run, even when they outgunned and outnumbered the enemy.  Back in 1955, it was the Domino Theory that justified our intervention in the affairs of other countries.  Today, it’s Terrorism.  

In Wally’s eyes, what’s happening in Iraq is a religious, civil and cultural clash with a lot of bloodshed that dates back to the year 632.   By aiding one side against another, we’re getting involved in something that is absolutely none of our business.   And when the shit finally hits the fan, as it surely will, our well intentioned interference may cost us dearly.


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

3 Questions for Hillary

As far as Wally is concerned, one thing is certain; Hillary Clinton will never sit for an interview for his blog.  And it’s not his fair, bold and keen questioning that she fears so much as the fact, that even on a good day, Weird Wally’s Worldview may score only a handful of readers.  He also realizes that the mere title of his blog may be a bit off-putting to some people.

For now, at least, Wally is a Hillary fan and thinks she is kicking ass responding to the Benghazi bullshit put out by the Republicans.  On the other hand, Wally doesn’t really give a fuck about the Benghazi distraction and instead, would ask about Glass-Steigall, Free Trade Agreements and the current negations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).  “Fuck a bunch of Benghazis!” he is rumored to have said.

Glass-Steigall:  Also known as The Banking Act of 1933, prevented commercial banks from acting like casinos and risking their clients’ money on risky and opaque investments.   This regulation, according to the New York Times was, “enacted as an emergency response to the failure of nearly 5,000 banks during the Great Depression.”  In 1999 Glass-Steigall was repealed and then President Clinton, was a champion for that bit of banking deregulation.  In April, 2010, the former president admitted he was wrong and made a public apology for his previous stance.

WW:  Madam Secretary, President Clinton was a major player in watering down regulations for Wall Street and banks.  Giving the current situation on both Wall Street and the banking industry, would you be in favor of changing monetary policy and banking rules under which these institutions operate?

In Wally’s mind, at least, that would be a good question to ask a possible future president.  But what about those fast track Free Trade Agreements?

WW:  During the Clinton Presidency, Free Trade Agreements seem to have flourished.  In retrospect it may have caused massive job losses in this country as well as making sovereign nations subject to laws imposed by multinational corporations, via the World Trade Organization (WTO)?

Although this isn’t meant to be a trick question, Wally is very aware that President Clinton was a big fan of these agreements.  But it was George H.W. Bush who actually started the ball rolling.  However, the 500 pound gorilla in the room right now is, The Trans-Pacific Partnership, and Weird Wally wants to know, what's up with that?

WW:  Many feel that the super-secret Trans-Pacific Partnership currently being negotiated will outsource more American middle-class jobs and even make us even more subject to laws imposed by the WTO.  Do you think this partnership is a good idea?

Who knows, maybe these kinds of questions will come later.  Meanwhile, we must be content with Republican distractions until they realize that we are a lot smarter then they think we are.

And remember, Weird Wally Sez:  Fuck a bunch of Benghazis!

Monday, June 16, 2014

What's Up With Iraq? We Haven't a Clue and Neocons Least of all

Although Wally made a solemn vow to keep silent about anything having to do with Iraq, there is so much distorted spin and misinformation put out there, he is having trouble remaining silent.  But what Wally really finds maddening is that the very people who got us into this crisis in the first place, are now telling us how to manage the damn crisis.  Fact is, the people who first got us into Iraq are losers who need to backup and look at themselves.  Maybe even admit they made some serious errors in the past.  Until they do, folk like Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and other verbal neocons, have zero credibility.  Neocon is short for neoconservative, but neocon fits best because most of what they say is a con.

And most everybody knows it except, it seems, the neocons, because their new story is the same old shit as their old story.  Back when Russia sent undercover troops to Crimea and threatened to do the same in other parts of Eastern Europe, they said, “send troops.”  But now that that situation is on the back Burner and Iraq has stepped up to the front, we once again hear, “send troops.”

But even Wally knows better than to do that.  That whole area seems to have changed in the time of a heartbeat and we don’t even know the difference between frenemy and enemy.  In short, we haven’t a clue.  Those neocons have made a mess of things and won’t shut up.  Worse yet, in spite of the evidence right in front of Wally’s face, Wally is supposed to believe the cons rather than his own eyes.  For Wally, it is an insult to run the same tired game over and over again.  It’s like the neocons have a form for every situation and all they have to do is to fill in the blanks. 

Although the neocons, a bunch of rich old white men, think Wally, and others like him, are stupid, Wally, and others like him, actually know better.  And they have tried to inform the neocons, but the neocons never listen.  And that’s another thing Wally, and others like him, know about neocons; they listen only to themselves.

Friday, June 13, 2014

TGIF, I Think

It’s Friday the 13th and Weird Wally (WW) wants to know where the party is?  The Republican Party, that is.  Meanwhile, Sgt. Bow Bergdhal has returned home, but he still ain’t talking and, oddly enough, WW finds himself not really giving a shit.  There’s a lot more here than meets the eye and this may be one of those cases, according to WW, where the sum of all truths is actually less than the total of the part-truths which make up the whole.  To prove his point, WW mentions that Mitt Romney is scheduled for Meet the Press, this Sunday.

John McCain

John McCain, the verbal and Elder Senator from Arizona, is obsessing on the situation in Iraq again, and insisting Obama fire his national security team, replace them with former Bush team members, and send in the troops, just like last time.   But then, like most all Republicans, McCain seems to follow the advice of author Tom Robbins, when it comes to Murphy’s Law; “If anything can go wrong it will go wrong and, it can be used to your advantage, provided of course, things go wrong enough.”  And if McCain and those of his ilk can make things go wrong enough, they might win their first few battles against demographics and Mother Nature.  But in the end we all know that you can’t beat either one.

Orange is the New Black and Cuckoo’s Calling

WW is very happy that he only finished almost half of the thirteen episodes, of Orange is the New Black.  And although he continues to deny ever having been in prison, WW does admit to having many felons and former inmates as friends and acquaintances.  “Everything seems so real,” he said and can’t wait to see how the two prison yard alpha females, Vee and Red, work out their differences.  Shit’s getting deep.  “Kind of like a good book you can’t put down and it's way past your bedtime,” he said.

Speaking of books, WW tried, but never got into Harry Potter.  But he is reading, “Cuckoo’s Calling,” by Robert Galbraith, a pseudonym for J.K. Rawling.   Although he just started this novel, Wally speaks highly of its author.

Weird Wally Sez:  “Lifelong learning is very cool.  Even on weekends.” And he is insisting that we can all learn a little something from the wildlife with whom we coexist.  By learning a simple lesson from the honey badger, for instance, WW feels that we can come to better understand our politicians and the world they inhabit. 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

You Can't Fix What's Already Fixed and the Complex Under Plunder on Wall Street

It wasn’t until late 2005 that Weird Wally (WW) gave much thought to Wall Street.   But when President Bush announced his intention to privatize Social Security, WW sat up and started paying attention.  And from what little he understood at the time, one thing was obvious: Bush’s idea of a secure and happy retirement for all Americans was for us to each create a private retirement account and send our money off to Wall Street.

Like many of us, in his minds’ eye, WW imagined cigar smoking fat cats sitting in their offices figuring out which corporations were good bets and which ones weren’t.  And like most the rest of us, his minds’ eye had it totally wrong.  Instead of a noisy and chaotic stock exchange floor with masters of the universe, studying charts and screaming into cells at their minions on the floor to either buy or sell, we might now see small rooms with tech folk and programmers working on secret coding and information infrastructures.

What Wall Street has been about for the past several years has to do with complexity and speed.  According to Michael Lewis, in his recent book, “Flash Boys,” Wall Street is all about adding layer upon layer of complexity onto an already complex situation.   And upon each layer of complexity, there exists corporations and people whose only job is to extract wealth, resources and energy from this complexity, without adding of value in return; kind of like a disease.

But at the very bottom of this complexity are the tech guys (mostly men), the guys who write the code and design the infrastructure along which information travels at unbelievable speeds from one point to another.  And although the speed of a blink of the eye is considered slow in this fast paced world, billions of dollars have been made over the information arriving faster than the blink of an eye, at one place, before it arrives elsewhere.

These tech people at the bottom are often graduates of  MIT, Princeton or other high prestige universities.  People who might have otherwise gone into research and added something of value to society, were instead drawn to Wall Street, where they hooked up with MBAs from Harvard, and such, and are now both are making billions a year without having to add value to anything but themselves.  It’s much like a perfect marriage where a brilliant techie meets up with a brilliant sociopath and they both go into business.

Weird Wally is rumored to have found this book in, well, the Business section.  For a more traditional review of, “Flash Boys,” click Wall Street Secrets Revealed.

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Justice For Oligarchs?

Oligarchs trump everything, so forget about it!

Having spent ten years as an adult probation officer in New York and Arizona, and another twenty plus years as a child protection caseworker in Denver, before retiring, Weird Wally (WW), tries hard not to think  about anything connected with criminal justice or adults raping children. But in the interest of full disclosure, it should also be noted that WW is an incest survivor himself, but that’s a whole other story.

While working child protection, a large part of WW’s job was appearing in family court, where most clients either had court appointed attorneys, or public defenders.  Rarely could a client afford their own layers, but whenever it happened, staff from other family court rooms, would come watch the show.  But whenever a very rich family came through, everybody in the building wanted to get close to them.  Even judges, assistant district and city attorneys always seemed, to WW at least, to treat the very rich in very special ways.  The few times WW was involved in those cases, he is said to have told close friends that, “People were getting in line to kiss the rich family’s ass.  Made me want to puke.”   And in criminal and civil courts, WW felt that the same laws seemed to apply.   A very rich and should be, convicted felon, for instance, was CEO of a company which admitted to fourteen felonies and paid a $600 million fine, went on to become Governor of Florida.

Inside his head, WW could not believe such a thing was possible, but outside his head, he knew it was.  And it made no sense.  Yet over the months, WW had noticed more and more, how money trumped everything, as far as the courts are concerned.

The first oddity got his attention in early February of this year (2014).  A Texas teen was sentenced to ten years’ probation and ordered into treatment, after his drunk driving caused four deaths and two serious injuries.  Although, according the judge, “affuenza” had nothing to do with her decision, WW and millions of others were truly amazed at how bizarre American justice can often be.

Not long after the teen travesty, in very late March, WW and millions were stunned to learn that a respected billionaire, Robert H. Richards, who repeatedly raped his three year old daughter, got probation with no jail time.  The sentencing judge said “he would not fare well,” if locked up. But wait, there’s more!  In 2010, he was also investigated for having sexually abused his toddler son.  Upon hearing all of the details for the first time, WW is rumored to have said, “This is the kind of stuff that makes me want to shit!”

But it wasn’t until yesterday that WW learned of a Wisconsin billionaire who got only four months jail time after repeatedly raping his twelve year old stepdaughter, over a period of three years.  Worse yet, his legal moves involved victimizing the victim even more.  This went along with a potential public shaming by demanding that both the child and her therapist testify about what happened in open court.  And this is the very sad story behind it all. 

These are the kind horrible situations that leave many feeling overwhelmed, beaten and powerless.  For Weird Wally, at least, it’s like the more he knows, the less powerful he feels.

Friday, June 06, 2014

Friday Wrap-up: June 6, 2014

Not much real stuff in the news this week, only more Republican talking points about Obama making a deal with the Taliban on the release of Bowe Bergdahl, an American Prisoner of War, after being held by the Taliban for over five years.  Thing is, Republicans were for the deal, up until the president did it.  No real news there.  And speaking of news, Joyann Ried is turning out to be WW’s favorite anchor on MSNBC.  Granted, her Facebook page seems kind of hokey, but her show is top shelf and makes even WW give something a thought or two.

Meanwhile, “Orange Is the New Black,” comes out on Netflix today and Weird Wally (WW), will be turning off his cell until he’s finished, at least, five of the thirteen episodes.   Although WW abhors violence, he is said to have felt some serious gratification while Piper Chapman was beating the crap out of the woman who had kept bulling her.  Great way to end the first season.

First book on WW’s summer reading list was, “Natchez Burning,” by Greg Iles.  WW sez this is a “No Skim Zone,” story and hard to put down.  That there are so many characters often gets confusing and the ending, though satisfying, is far to action packed.  In short, WW insists that Natchez Burning, would probably make a better movie then it did a novel.

WW just started, “Flash Boys,” by Michael Lewis, a non-fiction account of the corrupt under plunder in which many Wall Street players are currently engaged.   To outsiders, some of the concepts may seem foreign and difficult to understand, but readers will get a definite feel for how Wall Street is ripping them off.  Although this book will piss people off, they will soon realize that there is no real solution.  A lot of very smart sociopaths are finding their way to Wall Street, and like brilliant computer hackers, neither security nor regulators can stop them.  And the way they see it, their job is to rip the rest of us off.

Weird Wally Wants to Know:  While using one of the public restrooms in a Denver area Whole Foods, WW noticed the usual sign reminding employees to wash hands before leaving.  Problem is, with Whole Food’s effort to always conserve energy and water, it takes the water about twenty seconds to come out in small streams for three or four seconds, before pausing for another twenty.  And so goes the water cycle in that particular restroom.  Been that way for five years now and WW can’t help but wonder why no one has ever complained?

Don't forget to checkout the Asshole of the Day blog.

And Weird Wally Sez:  Always remember to talk about voting every chance you get!

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Secret Interview with a High Level Republican Operative: Part II

This is Part II of an interview that took place over the Memorial Day weekend between Weird Wally and a high level Republican operative, whom we call Dick, as he wishes to remain anonymous.  To learn how this unlikely conversation came about, click here for Part I of this interview.

WW:  I understand all of that, but by scaring the crap out of white people might help you guys in 2014, by 2016, things will be different.  Minorities, young people and single women will come out and droves and you guys won’t stand much of a chance.  Besides, only twenty-five percent of voters are so far right that they actually give a shit about when a fetus become “life,” and who is allowed to marry whom.

Dick:  Don’t kid yourself Wally, if things go according to plan, those people who didn’t give a second thought to the mid-terms of 2014, might not have a vote in 2016.

WW:  I don’t think so, Dick.  I know your plan.  Take enough state houses and kick as many Democrats off the voting rolls as you can.  But the administration will defend their turf with help from the ACLU, NAACP and a lot of others.

Dick:   Obama will be too busy defending himself because, if we take over the Senate, game over.  Your president will be impeached and we may have enough Senate votes to actually remove him.  And with a Republican House inciting investigation after investigation, your boys will be too busy with no will left to fight for their turf.

WW:  And all this will happen because my side won’t bother to vote.

Dick:  We’ve done a lot of polling and focus groups.  We know for a fact that content voters don’t vote, while the scared and angry do.  And that is how us few old and powerful white men will fight and win against shifting demographics.  Then too, polls also show that the current white majority, even liberals, are a bit nervous about the coming shift and fear being treated like the minorities they will soon become.

WW:  So everything hinges on my side not voting this election and you guys taking over state houses and . the U.S. Senate.

Dick:  Ancient Chinese proverb, Wally.  "You snooze you lose."   By the way, what did you say the name of your journal type blog is?

WW:  Weird Wally’s Worldview.

Dick:  I like the name, shows a total lack of class.  You should consider coming to work for my side.  An African-American man, such as yourself, could make a mint blogging for us conservatives, here’s my card.  Think about it.  Remember, you snooze you lose.

Thus ends the Secret Interview with a High Level Republican Operative: Part II.  Meanwhile, WW is said to have a major announcement in the coming days.  Stay tuned and click here for updates.