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Sunday, October 18, 2015

We’re Off to See the Trumpster

Is The Donald’s Hair a Mind Control Device?

My wife, Sheila, and I were talking over breakfast this morning and watching a piece about Donald Trump on PJTV on the computer. My wife turned to me and said, “Whenever I see Trump on TV, magazine covers and on the Internet news, I can NOT force my eyes from that red squirrel tail on the top of his head. I keep waiting for the squirrel to scurry down his back leaving him bald and probably completely unaware of what just happened.”

My Sweet Baboo complains that on the one hand, Trump seems so completely narcissistic and on the other, he is so completely unself-aware. We could understand that if he weren’t a billionaire, but surely, Trump could afford a decent toupee’, some hair plugs or a membership in the Bosley Hair Club for Men. I mean, come on! The man could BUY the Bosley Hair Club for Men.

Perhaps the reason for Trump’s popularity is the fact that people are so distracted by his combover that they can’t actually hear more than just the loud bits when he speaks. My wife says every time that she’s listened to him, she finds herself mesmerized by the hair and by the time the speech is done, she’s no wiser about what the man believes than she was before.

And before you ask, she HAS tried listening to Trump with her eyes closed. I’ve caught her lying on the couch with her sleep mask over her eyes trying to absorb a Donald Trump speech.

“It’s no good,” she told me. “I know that hair is still there……….waiting. I can’t get it out of my head.”

I believe Trump’s hair is a kind of mind control device. It certainly explains Trumps popularity with low-information voters and with that certain class of journalists who believe they are immune to mesmerism, but who really aren’t. He says a few angry things that a lot of people would like to say themselves. He says those things loudly and with a full measure of authority.  It all sounds sort of good and you are kind of with him, but then he starts getting into details and shaking his head around when he talks. You find yourself fixating on that hideous combover and waiting for a little breeze to lift it up off his head.

I am Trump, the Great and Powerful
Who do you think you are?

At that moment you are no longer hearing what Trump is saying. It all sounds like Charlie Brown’s teacher going “Wah, wah, wah, wah wah,” off in the distance and like Charlie, you aren’t really absorbing any of it.

I once watched famed Texas attorney Percy Foreman do something like that to a jury. You could smoke in court in those days and, during the prosecution's questioning, he would sit there with a cigarette letting it burn down into an ash two or three inches long. The jury was soon fixated on that hanging ash waiting for it to fall. When the prosecution was done with his questioning, old Percy would knock off the ash and do his questioning with the jury’s full attention on himself.  He was defending Charles Harrelson, the actor Woody Harrelson’s old man, who had murdered a judge and was on trial for his life. Foreman's client didn’t get the electric chair. Apparently, the jury couldn’t remember enough of the testimony later to feel like they should ask for the ultimate penalty.

One wonders how much of a surprise the real Donald Trump will be to voters if they actually do elect him President. Likely it will be as much of a shock to them as President Obama was to many of those who voted him into office. Apparently, it was even something of a shock to the would-be President Trump who had this to say about Barak Obama in 2008, and I quote, “His comments have led me to believe that he understands how the economy works on a comprehensive level. He has also surrounded himself with very competent people, and that’s the mark of a strong leader. I have confidence he will do his best, and we have someone who is serious about resolving the problems we have and will be facing in the future. To me that is very good news.

That’s what I mean about Trump not being very self-aware.  Even though that statement is printed in one of his favorite books (his own), he seems blissfully unaware that he's ever said such a thing. He’s very much a media surfer, riding whatever big wave is popular at the time. When Bush was unpopular in the media, Trump called W the “worst president ever”. When Obama is getting Nobel Prizes, he saying Obama has the “mark of a strong leader”.  If the media decides Vladimir Putin is a cool dude, next thing you know Trump will be praising him. One minute he’s a hard-ass redneck right-wing radical ready to truck 11 million Mexicans back across the border tomorrow and the next he’s a socialist touting universal government single-payer healthcare and a path to citizenship for chicken pluckers and dairy farm hands.

And the Trumpettes cheer him on. They, like the Donald, seem blissfully unaware that he is saying things they would crucify any other candidate for saying.

Why do they let him get away with that? I've seen these people, that support Trump, turn on a GOP candidate for shaking hands with a random Democrat and then turn around and seem to have no problems that Bill and Hillary Clinton both attended Trump's most recent wedding, that he donated to Hillary's and Obama's campaigns and that he actually voted for Obama in 2008. He has the family values of a jackrabbit on steroids, but none of his drooling legion of supporters seem to notice any of that, nor do they object. Why?

I think it’s the hair. I just don’t think they are hearing the rest of what he is really saying. They’re all completely mesmerized, sitting there waiting expectantly for some stray breeze to lift the hair up so they can see what’s under there!

I can tell you what's under there Trump-o-philes.  Nothing!  At least nothing you'd want to actually see.

(c) 2015
Tom & Sheila King

Monday, October 12, 2015

SNL Pokes the Gun Culture Bear

Saturday Night Live took a poke at the pro-gun culture last weekend. I don't watch Saturday Night Live anymore. It stopped being funny ages ago as this video demonstrates. I knew about it because it kind of blew up on the social media site Banjohangout.  Now we have a strict, no politics or religion policy on the Banjo Hangout, but because banjo players range politically from hard left liberals like Pete Seeger to serious conservatives like that kid from "Deliverance", it's kind of hard to enforce that rule, so if we keep it relatively polite the moderators don't kick us off for the most part.

Mostly where I come from, guns reside quietly in gun cabinets and gun safes to be taken out for hunting or practice at the range or in case a burglar breaks into the house.
Hardly anybody thought about carrying a pistol around on their bodies when they go to Walmart until fairly recently. After all, the Wild West was over we thought. At least that's how it used to be.

When I was in high school, some of my friends used to carry rifles and shotguns displayed in plain sight in gun racks behind the seats of their pickups. I don't remember anyone being militant about it. It was just something guys did out in rural areas and small country towns. Then, when that became illegal, things started to change and gun owners started getting more defensive.  Then, as the number of holdups, muggings and robberies we saw on TV seemed to skyrocket, it felt like the Wild West had come back with a vengeance. Then, as the anti-gun movement became more aggressive about "getting guns off the street", I noticed that all of a sudden there's a lot more ammo being stored in those gun cabinets and gun safes than there used to be. Kind of like everybody's expecting something bad to happen.

After the last two presidential elections, gun stores all over East Texas sold out of a lot of basic kinds of ammo (shotgun shells, 357 magnum, 45 caliber, and 38 caliber and most popular rifle ammunition) in just a few days. You literally couldn't find the most popular sizes of ammunition for weeks at a time and when new stuff came in, it sold out overnight. A lot of gun stores put people on a list and took a deposit on ammo in advance of its arrival from the manufacturers. Gives you an idea of the climate created by the militant anti-gun movement.

My neighbors may be mocked by Saturday Night Live, dismissed as kooks by the press and characterized as gun nuts by politicians, but they are well armed, especially in rural areas. Choosing which home to rob is kind of a crap shoot and given the shortage of anti-gun folk in the region, the odds are really pretty poor that you're not going to walk into a hail of gunfire if you're burgling a place. And after you are shot, there's not a lot of love for you in the legal system as it's really tough to seat a jury of 12 people who have any problems shootin' outlaws.

A couple of years ago, an 80 year old man noticed that two guys had pulled up to his neighbor's house in a box truck and were emptying the place of valuables. He'd been asked to "watch the place", so he went over, got the drop on the boys and got on the phone to 911. Then on the recording, you hear him tell one of the young men to put down the gun and promising him if the gun came up, the young man was going down. The gun apparently came up and the young gentleman and his friend both went down.  The grand jury refused to prosecute the old man under the East Texas tradition that there are some folk that just need killing.

All that to say this. The "gun problem" is going to be tough to solve even in areas where there is a heavy concentration of anti-gun activism. I moved to Washington State, thinking I'd be surrounded by unarmed anti-gun progressives. I'm an easy-going, tolerant sort, so I didn't mind so much.  What I found was that outside of Seattle and Olympia, the denizens of rural Washington are armed quite as heavily as East Texans, if not more so. There are a lot of AR-15s and home built/modified weapons out there in the Washingtonian hinterlands. Many of these are of a firepower that would give anyone pause about getting aggressive with one of these sweet-tempered, church-going folks.  

The thing is, they do love their families and are well-prepared to defend them. Gun control is going to be a hard sell with them. Given the number of drug-related multiple murders and famous serial killings in this area, it's hard to blame them for wanting to have a handy means of self-defense. I went to a men's prayer breakfast just after I started going to my church up here and after the amens had been said, me and an assortment of church deacons and elders went over to the gun show at the fairground. Apparently the head deacon was building a fully automatic AR-15 and needed some parts.

We also have some unhappy bears up here too. They sometimes come into neighborhoods and have been known to eat the family cat or dog on occasion. We are fond of our dogs and kitties, so we need to be able to scare the bears off sometimes.  A fully automatic AR-15 would just about do that!

Just sayin'

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