Carly Fiorina Rises From the Crypt of Failed Candidacies

Carly Fiorina Rises From the Crypt of Failed Candidacies

—April 30, 2016

“She’s ba-a-a-a-ck!”

Yes, folks, former presidential candidate, first woman to lead a Fortune top-20 company, and first woman ranked by several entities as the worst American CEO of all time, has risen from the crypt of failed candidacies to be tapped as a running mate for Republican contender Ted Cruz.

Carly “just-look-at-that-face” Fiorina essentially represents a long-shot Hail Mary pass by Cruz, and she will undoubtedly soon return to the crypt of failed candidacies. However, her very presence as VP candidate, not to mention her earlier bid for the presidency, is yet another indication of how absurd American politics has become.

When you look up the word “hubris” in the dictionary, Carly’s face should serve as the image.

The woman has never held political office and yet thinks she has the chops to successfully govern the entire country. This based upon her self-proclaimed success as the first female CEO of a Fortune 20 company—a five-year stint at Hewlett-Packard that resulted in a 50 percent drop in the company’s value, loss of 30,000 jobs and coerced pay cuts to remaining employees.

While promoting the necessity of the layoffs and pay cuts she authorized the purchase of a $30 million Gulfstream IV corporate jet for her personal use. Seems that Carly followed the dictates of the Marie Antoinette school of “Let Them Eat Cake.”

But I suppose her short tenure at HP was successful…for herself, given that her salary tripled while in power, and that she secured a $21 million severance package upon her firing.

Carly’s limited political experience includes a failed 2010 bid for a California U.S. Senate seat, and work as point person on economics and business for Sen. John McCain’s failed 2008 presidential campaign.

She managed to win the Republican primary for the Senate seat, but incumbent Sen. Barbara Boxer handily beat her in the general election. Pundits believe that the 30,000 job losses during her tenure at HP were a key factor in her defeat. During the campaign the Los Angeles Times also determined that Carly had failed to vote in most elections throughout her life. Carly’s response was that “people die for the right to vote…so, shame on me.”

As for her work on the McCain campaign, her prominent role came to an abrupt end after she publicly stated that neither John McCain nor his running mate Sarah Palin had the experience needed to run a major company like HP.

But Carly would have us believe that she obviously has the experience needed to run a major country like the USA.

While announcing the pick of Carly as his running mate, Cruz said his number one priority for America is bringing jobs back to America.” If that is his number one priority then why in the hell did he tap a woman famous for destroying 30,000-plus jobs for his second in command?

Absurd, or what?

Snapchat, Curt Schilling in the PC Crosshairs

Snapchat, Curt Schilling in the PC Crosshairs

—April 22, 2016

OK, Kid’s, it’s Friday and you know what that means….

That’s right, time for the MJM weekly rantathon about the latest politically correct idiocy and/or other bullshit afflicting our world like….

I don’t know, like…it’s getting ridiculous. The easily outraged and offended PC crowd seems to be getting more volatile by the week—more touchy about anything that might cause offense, especially if the offense is at all directed in any manner toward any of their sacred cows.

I mean, it sucks to be a comedian these days, cause just about everybody but straight, white, conservative males is off limits. Bust a joke about Blacks, Gays, Chinese, Muslims, Mexicans, females, the mentally unstable, anything “trans,” etc., and the PC righteous will set out to destroy you for your insensitivity.

Begs the question: if the PC crowd refuses to find any humor amidst the foibles of humanity (other than that of straight, White, conservative males), and seem to spend all of their time and energies looking for excuses to wield their self-righteous outrage, do they ever find time to have fun? Do they have a sense of humor? Can they crack a smile? I kind of doubt it….

But I digress. I am supposed to be ranting about the latest politically correct idiocy afflicting our world like…for this week we’ll say “like the fetid puss of a festering boil.”

Heading our list for this week are the usual easily outraged suspects who just had to jump on the PC bandwagon to express their outrage and offense over Snapchat’s use of a Bob Marley filter on 420 Day.  The filter allows users to superimpose the reggae star’s classic dreadlocked Jamaican look over their own or others’ faces on the social media photo-sharing service.

Not only were the PC holy warriors outraged by this alleged cyber “Blackface,” but they felt the use of the iconic musician’s likeness as a Snapchat filter was a case of cultural appropriation and that its use diminished Marley to a stereotype. The release of the filter on 420 Day, an unofficial day to celebrate Marijuana, also incensed the PC righteous because they felt it diminished Marley’s other talents by focusing on his well-known adoration and support of Marijuana.

OK, PC freaks, get over yourselves. Bob Marley was Black. Any image of Marley should be Black, and if a White person superimposes that image over their own it shouldn’t automatically be construed as “racist.” In fact, chances are that 99 percent of people using this filter love Bob Marley, his music and even his love of pot, and in no way are trying to insult his Blackness or anything else for that matter.

In fact, get over the whole “Blackface” thing—the days of the minstrel are long over, and the vast majority of people who utilize Blackface these days as part of a costume are not doing it in any way to purposely insult Black folks.

As for the release of the filter on 420 Day, get over that one, too, because Bob Marley is one of the historical proponents of Marijuana usage and legalization and should be honored on such a day. In no way does this diminish his musical talents or cultural achievements.

Finally, the filter was created in partnership with the Bob Marley estate, so this kind of makes all of the PC crowd’s complaints utterly moot and worthless.

While the above marks yet another case of PC inanity, the politically correct unfortunately managed to score two victories this week.

ESPN caved in to PC pressure and fired baseball analyst Curt Schilling due to a meme andCurt-Schilling-Meme comments he posted on his Facebook page. You can see the meme to the right, and among his comments were: “A man is a man no matter what they call themselves. I don’t care what they are, who they sleep with, men’s room was designed for the penis, women’s not so much. Now you need laws telling us differently? Pathetic.”

Unreal. If bullshit like this keeps up, no one will feel comfortable expressing his or her opinions about anything anymore….

A PC victory was also scored this week with the U.S. Department of Treasury, which made all the right PC moves in its planned revamping of the $20 bill. That is replacing a racist ex-president with a Black, feminist, abolitionist hero.

Unlike the first PC victory, I don’t really have a problem with this one. While Andrew Jackson was a pretty decent president and war hero, he was also kind of prick and a racist, what with being pro-slavery and the architect behind the Trail of Tears, which resulted in the death of thousands of Indians. And Ms. Tubman was a hero deserving of respect, helping to save thousands from slavery, and working to help secure the right of women to vote.

harriet-tubman2But man, I hope they can find a halfway decent image of her. I mean, talk about a scowl—her visage is the grumpy, outraged face I picture, whether White or Black, whenever I read or hear the pontifications of pompous PC potentates.

—Originally published on behalf of Hash It Out on its Facebook page 

Free Speech Imperilled by Campus Political Correctness

Free Speech Imperilled by Campus Political Correctness

—April 19, 2015

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people to peaceably assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The First Amendment is my favorite part of the U.S. Constitution. Not the amendment’s opening part. I mean, I believe in the free exercise of religion, but kind of hope no more religions are “established” as the ones already established cause enough trouble in the world. And that part about petitioning the government is kind of worthless, cause you can petition about your grievances until the cows come home, but good luck receiving any redress.

It’s the “freedom of speech, or of the press,” part of this amendment that stirs my soul, and the one I have actively supported since my rabble-rousing youth. It is the reason I rail against political correctness, which is so often used to furtively stifle free speech and oppress critical thinking.

To this day I believe the U.S. Supreme Court did the right thing by defending flag burning as freedom of expression. While I personally disagree with burning Old Glory, the fact that it is allowed as a form of expression is part of what makes America great.

I also find various garbage proclaimed as “art,” such as works by Robert Maplethorpe and others of his ilk, to be offensive; however, its public display, no matter how loathsome, is worthy of first amendment protection, too.

In my rabble-rousing youth, university and college campuses were bastions of free speech. On just about any given day you were likely to find all points of view expressed on any number of issues, not to mention plenty of public “bad taste” antics and other questionable displays by fraternal organizations and other social groups. All without any real fuss or overt animosity between competing factions or diametrically opposed interest groups. Students tended to discuss divisive issues, but for the most part did not try to suppress ideas and speech they did not agree with.

So I’ve got to ask: What the fuck happened?

How is it that in the span of roughly one generation, the ideal of free speech has been cast aside by most institutions of higher learning, with the apparent full support of a majority of professors and students?

Students aren’t taught about “freedom of speech,” because they are now being taught “freedom from speech.” Universities, colleges and many of their students seem to be focused on limiting just about any speech that might possibly cause offence, and stifling ideas that may run contrary to specific students’ beliefs. And with the emphasis on trigger warnings, safe spaces, microaggressions, speech codes, privilege of various sorts, and other popular politically correct taglines, “debate” is obviously now a foreign concept on campuses. Instead, students are being taught how to engage in “goodthink.”

Consider in just the past 10 days:

DePaul University enacted a ban on students chalking political messages on campus sidewalksTrump-chalk because of the “offensive, hurtful, and divisive” nature of pro-Donald Trump chalking.

The State University of New York at New Paltz abruptly canceled a planned campus debate between a notable left-wing media critic and a notable right-wing media critic on “How the Media Can Sway Votes and Win Elections.” Certainly sounds like a well-balanced debate on an important issue. Unfortunately, one of the debaters had “extreme” right wing views, according to complaints lodged by at least one professor and several unidentified students. Can’t have that, now can we. . . even if balanced out by another speaker on the opposite end of the political spectrum. 

Campus police forced University of Delaware students to censor a giant inflatable “free speech beach ball,” because someone had drawn a picture of a penis on the ball, along with the word “penis.” The students, who were promoting free speech values, were advised that campus speech codes and sexual harassment policies overrode any rights to free expression. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education and Young Americans for Liberty both issued protests to university administrators advising them that the campus police were infringing upon the students’ First Amendment rights.

And how about this for complete irony:

About 700 professors and students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison signed letters complaining about racism from campus police and administrators, and demanding that a student arrested for spray-painting graffiti on scores of campus buildings be given clemency for his actions UW Madison Police Graffitiand be allowed to graduate on time this May. The letters allege that police engaged in racism by interrupting an Afro-American studies class when they arrested the student vandal, and that administrators are guilty of promoting racism because they were more interested in protecting campus buildings than students—such as the vandal—who are fighting for social change.

The student vandal’s fight for social change included graffiti on 11 different buildings with such messages as: “THE DEVIL IZ A WHITE MAN,” “DEATH TO PIGZ,” “WHITE SUPREMACY IZ A DISEASE,” AND “FUCK THE POLICE,” among others.

Unbelievably, both the chief of campus police and university chancellor have issued statements of apology over the incident, with both vowing to review police practices. I wouldn’t be surprised if the vandal ends up serving as the university’s valedictorian during the upcoming graduation ceremonies.

So, Hash It Out: Is the politically correct induced dissolution of the First Amendment on campuses turning American universities batshit crazy?

—Published April 19 in Hash It Out!

Just Call Me “Janella!”

Just Call Me “Janella!”

—April 16, 2016

Hallelujah! I have seen the light and now realize the long-term error of my ways….

I will no longer engage in behaviour that diminishes or demeans marginalized people and cultures, and will cleanse my speech of microaggressions that might prove insulting to anyone. I will use trigger warnings on anything I write in the future that could possibly cause undue stress or apprehension to those with fragile constitutions. I will promote and protect “safe spaces” to ensure that marginalized people and groups are not threatened by any streams of thought that might prove contrary to their own beliefs. I will vigorously support the ideals of multiculturalism, and publicly humiliate those who engage in cultural appropriation. And I will strive to only engage in “goodthink,” so as to help foster the social justice ideal of “Ingsoc.”

That’s right folks, I am bound and determined to become a militant, politically correct, social justice warrior. And, yes, from perusing the righteous and socially conscious websites of politically correct organizations and social justice activists, I do realize that it’s an especially tall order to fill.

I mean, how can I ever achieve political correctness with so much “privilege?”

Think about it: I’ve got “Male” privilege, “White” privilege, “Straight” privilege, “Thin” privilege, “Ability” privilege, “Class” privilege, “Western” privilege, “Christian” privilege, “Neurotypical” privilege, “Gender-Clarity” privilege, “Blue-Eyes” privilege, and probably other privileges of which I may not yet even be aware.

In short, I must be the most privileged mo-fo around.

And, as militant social justice folks who strictly follow the dictates of political correctness know, the day-to-day benefits I receive from these unearned privileges result in the day-to-day oppression and disenfranchisement of those who do not have these privileges—my privilege is their living hell!

Thus, in order to become truly politically correct, I must exorcise these privileges from my life. So here’s what I’m going to do:

  1. I am transitioning into a woman (“Janella” is my new name, by the way). There, in one fell swoop I have knocked out a whole bunch of privileges. I no longer have “Male” privilege because I am now a woman (“hear me roar!”). I no longer have “Straight” privilege because I’m just not into boys and will have to be a “lesbian” woman. “Gender-Clarity” privilege is obviously gone. And I’m just going to assume that if I am confused about my gender then I am probably not thinking clearly with regard to other aspects of life, so this serves to nullify the “Neurotypical” privilege, too.
  2. Thanks to the adoption of “self-identification” as a tenet of political correctness, I now identify as “African-American,” eliminating the “White” privilege. And yes, the white skin is a bit of a problem, but guess what? I’m an “albino” African-American,” which I believe obviates the “Ability” privilege because albinism is a disability of sorts. And not only am I African-American, but I am now a Muslim African-American, which takes care of that pesky “Christian” privilege.
  3. Given all of the above, I don’t believe that there’s any way I can still be considered to possess “Class” and “Western” privilege, but I’ll leave that for the PC potentates to decide.
  4. “Blue-Eyes” privilege? Well, I’m thinking I’ll have to go with colored—oops, I mean “tinted”—contact lenses.
  5. And that leaves “Thin” privilege… Not sure how I’m going to handle this one. I thought aboutOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA maybe eating burgers like Wimpy, so as to gain some quick girth and poundage, but eating meat like that just seems so anti-PC. This one is a conundrum, as I certainly don’t want my svelte figure to be the cause of distress to those who may be generously proportioned. Beaucoup tofu, perhaps?

Anyhow, what with now being a Black-Lesbo-Hajihead-Gimped-Tranny, I have clearly eliminated the bulk of my privileges and am definitely on the path to political correct enlightenment.

Just call me “Janella—Social Justice Queen!”

Hitting the Water With Old-School Virtual Reality

Hitting the Water With Old-School Virtual Reality

—April 14, 2016

It snowed over the weekend. Only about four inches, but enough to put a damper on the notion that we might have an early spring this year. The forecast for the coming week does not look promising as far as the boatyard doing much launching this week. Not that it really matters given that it’s the unholy tax filing month, and with my dual American-Canadian status I get double filing detail. Sigh….

Nevertheless, I’m itching to get on the water, anxious to feel the wind across my cheek as I hoist up the sails for the first time of the season. Alas, with no boat in the water, the inclement weather, work and taxes it looks like I will not be on the water until May. Oh well, guess I will need to scratch my sailing itch with a bit of virtual reality.

Yep, nothing like a good nautical book to tide me over while I contend with the symptoms of sailing withdrawal. I am not aware of any recent tales of nautical brilliance, but I love my selection of tried and true reads. And if you love a good nautical book as much as me, then I suggest you peruse my library and try out any one of these fantastic reads:

Godforsaken Sea: The True Story of a Race Through the World’s Most Dangerous Waters

Derek Lundy

This book tried to keep me up all night, but the sun came up before I finished it—oops, I guess it was an all-nighter! Fantastic read that details just about everything one needs to know about what it is like to participate in the Vendee Globe, the round-the-world, single-handed yacht race considered among the most gruelling competitions of all racing sports. If you want to get the sense of what it’s like to sail in the “Roaring 40s” this book is for you. And yes, it was so good that I have read it again during daylight hours.

Northern Lights

Desmond Holdridge

Good luck finding a copy of this book, as it’s been out of print for decades, though a limited edition of some hundred or so was published a few years ago on behalf of the widow of a member of the Cruising Club of America. Somehow a copy ended up in my hands, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that this true story began literally across the harbour from my dock. In short, a young man looking for a last youthful adventure prior to settling down, buys a 30-foot sloop from a local Nova Scotia boat builder, and, with two other adventurers, sets sail with the intention of reaching the top of Labrador. Beautifully written, the tale details the hazards of such a journey, along with the day-to-day difficulties of undertaking such a voyage with the rudimentary gear, supplies and limited nautical knowledge of the crew. Three disparate personalities trapped on such a small space in sometimes dire circumstances plays a role in the tale, too. This book totally needs to be re-published.

The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Man Against the Sea

Sebastian Junger

Yeah, yeah, you probably saw the movie starring George Clooney. The book, which provides a detailed analysis of a massive storm system and its effects on a small New England-based swordfish longliner, puts the movie to shame. It was a up-half-the-night, one-sitting read the first time I read it, and equally enjoyable the second time.

Sailing Alone Around the World

Joshua Slocum

If you love the idea of casting off from your dock to leave your life as you know it for an extended voyage of life at sea while you explore the world, then why haven’t you read this classic book about the first person to sail around the world solo?

To Rule the Waves: How the British Navy Shaped the Modern World

Arthur Herman

If you love nautical history, along with history in general, this tome perfectly describes how Britain’s Royal Navy helped England become a world power and shape the world as we know it today. Another hard-to-put-down read, it pretty much consists of one-seafaring tale after another, combined with insights on how each of the localized incidents at sea reverberated across the oceans to affect the course of other interactions by man and governments.

As I’ve only read this one once, I think I just found my pick. However, my bookshelves are filled with dozens of other great seafaring reads. Guess I’m going to have to revisit this topic in a future blog. Until then, just grab any of the above books—trust me, you’ll feel like you’re on the water.

—Originally published April 13 by Slidemoor

Just Another ‘Assault’ on the Trump Campaign Trail….

Just Another ‘Assault’ on the Trump Campaign Trail….

–April 5, 2016

The word “assault” seems to be a tagline of the Donald Trump campaign of late, as numerous incidents of assault have been alleged over the past month at various campaign events, with the press stirring the pot with overheated reporting on each supposed event. Of the three primary “assault” incidents receiving the most press coverage, only one deserves to be termed “assault,” one is utter bullshit, and the third represents a case in which the alleged “victim” is actually the assailant.

The first one is easy: On March 9, 78-year-old John McGraw sucker punched a protester who was being led out of a Fayetteville, NC Trump campaign rally by law enforcement. Anyone who’s seen the video will have to agree that it was essentially an unprovoked assault and that McGraw should have been (and was) arrested…or—for those who believe one good punch deserves a like-minded rebuttal—been punched right back by the protestor. No doubt about this one whatsoever—it was an assault.

The second assault, and the one receiving the most coverage, concerns Breitbert news reporter Michelle Fields charge that Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski grabbed her by the arm and “nearly threw her to the ground.” And when I say “press coverage,” I mean a ludicrous level of coverage, aided in part by all the other candidates piling on the bandwagon insisting that  Trump should fire the campaign manager for the egregious assault.

Horse-fucking-feathers, I say…. If that incident constitutes “assault” then that bird that landed on the podium in front of Bernie Sanders last Friday was an assassination attempt.

Anyone looking at the video of the incident can see that the campaign manager pulls the journalist away from Trump with about the same force that she was using on the candidate in an effort to make him stop and answer a question. And this after two clear entreaties were made by the Secret Service to please step back from the candidate. The “nearly thrown to the ground” part of the allegation is equally bogus, as she hardly misses a beat in turning around to continue her pursuit of Trump.

As Donald Trump said, “nothing there,” and yes, if that incident is supposed to be an assault, then Trump should file charges against the reporter for her assault on him. The fact that charges have been laid at all is absurd, and is indicative of how…I don’t know…how America is becoming a nation of whiny crybabies (but I guess I’ll save that for another rant).

Oh, and while unsubstantiated, some (admittedly right wing) news sources are now reporting that the “victim” is a serial filer of assault charges, with charges filed against five different people over the years, but with all being dropped.

The third assault incident seemed to be on the verge of garnering massive press coverage, with initial headlines referring to the poor victim as a “teen” or “15-year-old girl,” who was groped and pepper sprayed at a Trump rally in Wisconsin. The story had all the makings of a press-frenzied black eye for Trump, but seems to have been quickly discarded and forgotten. Perhaps because numerous videos have emerged that show that the alleged victim is actually the aggressor and probably deserved to be pepper sprayed.

The incident was videoed by numerous people in the crowd, and can be viewed as it unfolds from just about every angle. From everything I’ve seen in the videos the girl is aggressively arguing with an older man, gets more and more agitated and starts heaving her girth at him while getting more and more agitated. The man is obviously trying to back away from her, but is stymied by the crowd. The man’s hands are up in the air as if to say I don’t want any part of you, and then she starts screaming about how he had groped her (ahem, “total bullshit!”). And then she hauls off and sucker punches him in the face, and someone else in the crowd (rightfully) nails her with pepper spray.

I say rightfully because all video evidence shows her to be the aggressor, and it’s obvious that the man accused of groping was only trying to get away from the belligerent cow. She sucker punched him and got hit back in return—end of story. At least it should be….

Oh, and for the record, I did not write this in support of Trump, I wrote it in support of “truth.” Something that will undoubtedly get in shorter supply as this race continues to unfold.

—Originally published April 1 in Hash It Out!