trying times

Chelsea Manning is apparently running for the United States Senate to represent the State of Maryland. I say ‘apparently’ because although she’s filed her intent with the Federal Elections Commission (which will allow her to raise campaign funds), she hasn’t yet filed with the Maryland State Board of Elections — which is necessary if she wants to actually appear on the primary ballot.

She’s running to replace Senator Ben Cardin. Cardin is usually rated as one of the most liberal Democrats in Congress. He’s a consistent F with the National Rifle Association, he’s been a proponent of the Affordable Care Act, he supports Net Neutrality, he’s been consistently in favor of raising taxes on higher income earners, he voted against the war in Iraq, he’s been active in expanding protections for foster children, and he’s fought for stricter ethical standards in government. Cardin also recently released a report on Russian efforts to undermine democracy and the rule of law in Europe and the United States.

Senator Ben Cardin (D – Maryland)

I like and, for the most part, respect Ben Cardin. I’m not a fan of his open Zionism and I question his occasional willingness to consider environmental compromises, but overall I think he’s been a good legislator. I don’t know enough about Chelsea Manning to like her, but I respect the way she accepted responsibility for leaking classified military and diplomatic information.

I completely understand why the military and the diplomatic corps needs to keep secrets. I also completely understand why there are times those secrets need to be revealed. Most leakers and whistleblowers try to avoid responsibility for their leaks. They want the information out there in the public, but they don’t want to suffer the consequences of leaking the information. Chelsea Manning, to her credit, leaked the information, got caught, pleaded guilty to some of the charges, went to trial on some others, and got sentenced to 35 years in prison.

There are folks who consider her a hero, and there are folks who see her as a traitor. Both arguments have merit, in my opinion. I don’t think they’re mutually exclusive. Sometimes betraying your country is heroic; sometimes standing up for your country is cowardice. I’m not terribly interested in whether Chelsea Manning is a hero or a traitor or both; I just want to know what her ideas are.

Chelsea Manning

So here’s me — I like and respect Cardin, I respect Manning. Some people have said she shouldn’t run a primary campaign against a solid, reliable, mostly liberal Democrat. To which I replied, “Piss off…let her run. Let her engage in the marketplace of ideas, and let the good people of Maryland decide which candidate’s ideas they like the best.”

I still feel that way. But I have to say, Manning’s campaign announcement video makes me wonder what the hell her ideas are. Here, watch:

It’s not just that the video is awkward (though it is), or that her voice-over is wooden (and lawdy, it is). The thing about the video is that with a different candidate and a different voice-over, this could easily be a right-wing nutcase propaganda piece. This is what she actually says:

We live in trying times. Time of fear, of suppression, hate. We don’t need more…or better…leaders; we need someone willing to fight. We need to stop asking them to give us our rights. They won’t support, they won’t compromise. We need to stop expecting that our systems will somehow fix themselves. We need to actually take the reins of power from them. We need to challenge them at every level. We need to fix this. We don’t need them anymore. We can do better. You’re damned right we got this.

Substitute a short-haired Aryan face for the image of a trans woman, exchange the footage of the Nazi rally with a BLM rally, and replace the voice-over with a deeper, more menacing voice and that video would be appropriate a pro-Trump candidate.

I really like the idea of more trans folk running for office. I also like the idea of old privileged white guys — even those who are solid Democrats — being challenged by younger and more diverse candidates. And I really like the idea of shaking up the Democratic Party, which has been a moral and political Tower of Jello these last few years.

But that video? It’s grounded in fear, not in change. It’s not about politics, even; it’s about Chelsea Manning. It suggests that the world is in turmoil and in order to fix it we need a trans woman. And hey, that may be true. But being a trans woman isn’t, in itself, enough. Be a trans woman with ideas and tell us what those ideas are.

If you want to take the reins of power, first tell me what you want to do with them.

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what i know now

Yesterday I read the transcript of Glenn Simpson’s congressional testimony. Simpson is basically the bull goose of Fusion GPS, the strategic research firm that hired former MI6 intelligence officer Christopher Steele to look into candidate Donald Trump’s dealings in Russia. The testimony is fascinating in several ways, and it’s difficult to determine which aspects of it are most important. So instead of trying to impose some sort of order of importance, I’m just going to talk about what I learned.

First, and most important, is this fact: the folks at Fusion GPS are professionals. I need to go off on a short tangent here. I spent seven years as private investigator specializing in criminal defense. From the title, people reasonably assume my job was to help accused criminals who are being prosecuted. In fact, my job was to gather facts and information and report my findings to the defense attorney. If that information supported the defendant, the attorney needed to know that; if it didn’t, the attorney needed to know that as well. I didn’t go out looking for information that would benefit the defendant or that would hurt the prosecution; I just looked for information that was accurate and credible. It didn’t matter to me if it helped or hurt the lawyer’s case.

Glenn Simpson, Fusion GPS

That’s basically what Fusion GPS does on a global basis. They learn stuff for other people. Here’s how Simpson described their work:

“You tell us what your problem is and we customize a research solution. In general when people come to us and they tell us what their challenge is, we stipulate that they retain us for 30 days, they agree to pay our fee, they don’t tell us what to do, they don’t tell us, you know, what result to get.”

Fusion gets hired (and re-hired) because they provide accurate and reliably credible information, regardless of whether it’s the information that benefits their client. Their entire business model rests on their reputation. The thing about professional investigators (as opposed to politicians) is that they don’t mold their findings to fit the needs of the person signing the check. These guys are pros; they do NOT fuck around.

Second, the congressional aides for Sen. Charles Grassley DO fuck around. They spent a LOT of the nine-hour interview aggressively asking questions about Fusion’s investigation of the Prevezon case (a massive, complex, international tax fraud case involving Russia). It seemed obvious the purpose of those questions was to discredit Fusion by suggesting that in the Prevezon case they’d had been paid in some obscure way by Russians, and therefore…something. They weren’t trying to elicit information about the investigation of Russian interference, they were trying to disparage Fusion and Steele.

Third, what Fusion discovered was a nexus of interactions and dealings between Trump and people associated with Russian organized crime and Russian security services (which sometimes overlap). They found nothing overtly criminal — just a long history of business transactions that were suspicious, shady, and well-hidden.

Fourth, Fusion hired Steele to do the sort of work Fusion doesn’t do. Most of what Fusion does is document-based. Following paper trails. Discovering relationships by delving into deep, obscure bureaucratic files and public records. That gives them solid, objective, unbiased information — a document says what it says. But the public record only takes you so far. It was also necessary to actually talk to people who dealt with Trump’s business dealings in Russia.

This is an entirely different sort of investigation. It’s less about accuracy of information than it is about the credibility of the informant. A document says what it says; people say all sorts of ridiculous shit for all sorts of ridiculous reasons. Documents can give you accurate information; people are capable of giving you very accurate misinformation, maybe by accident, maybe on purpose. This gets even more complicated when dealing with Russia and Russian agents, who are trained in actively providing disinformation.

Christopher Steele, former MI6 officer

This was Christopher Steele’s area of expertise — human intelligence. Determining who is credible and who isn’t, the degree to which the information is reliable, how much it can be trusted, what motives do people have to provide misleading information. Steele began talking to people, and what he learned alarmed him. The fact that Steele was alarmed was, in itself, alarming to Simpson.

Fifth, this is what Christopher Steele discovered:

“[Steele’s] concern, which is something that  counterintelligence people deal with a lot, is whether or not there was blackmail going on, whether a political candidate was being blackmailed or had been compromised.”

Sixth, contrary to what Republicans have been claiming, Simpson and Fusion weren’t sure what to do with that information. Republicans have been claiming the entire Fusion investigation was intended to harm Trump. In fact, the information uncovered by Steele left Simpson unsure how to respond. Steele wanted to report the information to the FBI; Simpson wasn’t sure if that was appropriate.

“[T]his was not considered by me to be part of the work that we were doing. This was — to me this was like, you know, you’re driving to work and you see something happen and you call 911, right. It wasn’t part of the — it wasn’t like we were trying to figure out who should [contact the FBI]. He said he was professionally obligated to do it.”

Seventh, although Steele did report his findings to the FBI, he discovered that the FBI was already aware of some of the problem. It had been reported by somebody in either the Trump business world or the Trump campaign.

“Essentially what [Steele] told me was they had other intelligence about this matter from an internal Trump campaign source and that — that they — my understanding was that they believed Chris at this point — that they believed Chris’s information might be credible because they had other intelligence that indicated the same thing and one of those pieces of intelligence was a human 10 source from inside the Trump organization.”

Eighth – and this is a big deal which seems to be getting overlooked – Simpson was reluctant to provide too much information to the congressional aides for fear the information could get somebody hurt.

“There are some things I know that I just don’t feel comfortable sharing because obviously it’s been in the news a lot lately that people who get in the way of the Russians tend to get hurt.”

Jason Foster, Chief Investigative Counsel for Sen. Grassley

Later in the interview, the extent of this becomes more clear during this testy exchange between Simpson, Simpson’s lawyer (Mr. Levey) and Jason Foster, Senator Grassley’s Chief Investigative Counsel:

FOSTER: So without getting into naming the sources or anything like that, what steps did you take to try to verify their credibility?

MR. SIMPSON: I’m going to decline to answer that.

MR. FOSTER: Why?

MR. LEVY: It’s a voluntary interview, and in addition to that he wants to be very careful to protect his sources. Somebody’s already been killed as a result of the publication of this dossier and no harm should come to anybody related to this honest work.

MR. FOSTER: I’m not asking him to identify the sources. I’m just asking what steps he took to try to verify or validate the information.

MR. LEVY: He’s given you —

MR. FOSTER: If he can answer generally without identifying the sources, I’d ask him to answer.

MR. LEVY: He’s given you over nine hours of information and he’s going to decline to answer this one question.

So here’s what I know as a result of the release of this transcript. Fusion GPS was NOT hired to find dirt on Trump. Trump is/was at least vulnerable to blackmail by Russian security services. The FBI was already aware of that before Fusion and Steele provided them with the Steele dossier. The FBI has/had a source either in the Trump business world or in the Trump campaign. Somebody has been killed as a result of leaks involving the dossier.

I also know that Republicans – and specifically Sen. Grassley – opposed the release of this transcript. I suspect his opposition was grounded in partisanship. I know Grassley’s aides were more concerned with discrediting Fusion than with learning about possible interference with the election process and collusion within the Trump campaign. I know Grassley submitted a ‘referral’ to the FBI to have Christopher Steele investigated for possibly lying to the FBI (despite the fact that FBI had already met with Steele and had decided his information was credible) in what was obviously another attempt to discredit the dossier.

Senator Charles Grassley

And I know this: Republican members of Congress are more concerned with protecting President Trump than with the integrity of the US election system, the rule of law, and democracy in general. I know the entire Republican Congress is essentially complicit in what is perhaps the biggest crime ever perpetrated against the United States.

That’s what I know. And it makes me sick to my stomach.

the things i do for you guys, i declare

If you’re like me (and really, there’s absolutely no reason to suppose you’d be like me, but let’s just agree that it’s theoretically possible), you probably read Comrade Trump’s tweets this morning and thought to yourself, “Oy gevalt, what will they say about this mishigas on FreeRepublic?”.

You can relax now. Because I checked. See what I’m willing to do for you, even though you didn’t ask? You can thank me later. Anyway, here’s some of what they had to say:

— Twitter heads explode again. “Wile E. Coyote” was trending. — SMGFan

— This is an example of why Trump is glorious! The lefties will be drooling and tripping all over their tongues. — dforest (Never let a Muslim cut your hair.)

— I know l am In the minority here but I think it Trump sounds a little on the defensive with this. I think he needs to watch less CNN and MSNBC. — gibsonguy

— Those who criticize his tweeting are “made to look like fools”. President Trump fights back. He is winning. MAGA. President Trump is very different than most repubs who sit back and whimper when attacked by LIB lunatics. — hal ogen (First Amendment or Reeducation Camp?)

— Trump is a genius for sure – he works at a level not many even know exist. IQ off charts. Humble he is not. Trump can challenge any member of congress to an intellectual battle of wits. He would win against almost all and blow most out of the water so badly it would be an embarrassment. — rdcbn

— A MAN who is our PRESIDENT and who is also VERY GOOD at “pressing the other guy’s buttons.” Trump keeps those DIM-BULBS dancing to HIS MUSIC. — VideoDoctor

— He will be making the mainstream media chase the red dot for days after this including getting Mensa experts on TV meanwhile he will make them look like fools chasing the red dot While he gets Tons and tons of stuff done on our behalf. You should be grateful. He posts these tweets knowing they will say he is a fool he is taking all of the arrows for us while getting tons of stuff done for us. — CincyRichieRich  (Hurtling deplorable!)

— Fun to watch. 5.56mm — M Kehoe

— I will never understand the people that wince at the tweets. They are delightfully subcutaneous — mylife ( The roar of the masses could be farts)

— please brag more Mr. President. it offends the retards… they NEED to be offended, it helps feed the dark side of their “VICTIM” complex. just… you know… like a knife… stick it to them… and twist it… — MIAcc11212 (10 metres, 10 rounds, 10 seconds, grouped within 10 cm…)

And there you have it. These are verbatim, by the way, in case you were wondering. Heads are exploding, Trump is glorious, MAGA, and don’t let a Muslim cut your hair.

biggest exploding heads

I haven’t read Michael Wolff’s new book Fire and Fury; Inside the Trump White House of Fuckwitted Fuckwits OMG You Guys!!! I probably won’t read it. I’ve read the same excerpts most of you have read, and that’s probably enough.

I mean, all the horrible things Wolff says about Comrade Trump? It’s basically stuff many of us already believed. Hell, most of it is stuff we’ve already witnessed. Trump being crude and rude? Every day. Trump being mean and spiteful? Every day. Trump displaying massive ignorance of the world around him? Every damned day. Trump demonstrating a complete lack of interest in…well, just about anything but himself (and, to a lesser extent, Ivanka)? Yes, of course, every day.

Seriously, everybody who’s read the following excerpt has said, “Yep, that’s Trump.”

Here was a man singularly focused on his own needs for instant gratification, be that a hamburger, a segment on Fox & Friends or an Oval Office photo opp. “I want a win. I want a win. Where’s my win?” he would regularly declaim. He was, in words used by almost every member of the senior staff on repeated occasions, “like a child.”

Like a child. A spoiled, pampered, spiteful child. Here’s a true thing: Donald Trump is basically Dudley Dursley in a bloated adult body. You know…Dudley Dursley? Harry Potter’s cousin? The fat, cruel, selfish, violent bully with no feelings whatsoever for others? This guy:

Comrade Trump wants more. More than anybody else. Doesn’t even matter what it is, he wants more. Always more. More and bigger. The biggest. He wants the biggest inauguration crowds, the biggest tax cut, the biggest missiles, the biggest wall, the biggest brain, the biggest generals, the biggest ratings.

Trump, of course, says the book is all lies. He’s threatened to sue Steve Bannon, who apparently is quoted frequently in the book, for violating a non-disclosure agreement AND defamation. Trump has the biggest legal team, but they don’t seem to understand that in order for a statement to be defamatory, it has to be untrue, And if a statement is untrue, then it can’t be a violation of a non-disclosure agreement. This is just another example of how Comrade Trump has put together a team of fuckwits.

What’s most entertaining about this (a year ago, I’d have felt bad for finding any of this entertaining — but significant Trump exposure has made me a tad more cruel) is the fact that so many conservatives are complaining that the book might possibly have a few minor factual details somewhat wrong. They feel the book doesn’t depict Comrade Trump in a very favorable light. They feel the book is perhaps a wee bit biased.

I find that entertaining because those same conservative asshats twenty years writing and promoting similar books about Hillary Clinton. They spent eight years writing and promoting similar books about Barack Obama. Wildly outrageous books full of blatant lies, delusional thinking, and insane conspiracy theories. Now I’m finding it wildly entertaining to read FreeRepublic and see them attempt to reconcile what Bannon says with what Comrade Trump says. A lot of them have decided that Trump and Bannon are in cahoots. Seriously. They’re positing that these two guys are acting, that they’re only appearing to abuse and insult each other. They’re doing this in order to lull snowflake liberals into…something, so that something something, after which there’ll be something and liberal heads will explode. Not too sure what that something is, but the turf will be littered with exploded liberal heads.

Liberal heads exploding — that’s how conservatives measure the value of just about anything. The more liberal head that explode, the better a thing is.

I don’t expect to see conservative heads explode over this. The material is too dense.

struck stone

Matt Damon is a pretty good actor. Dude doesn’t know when to shut the fuck up, but he’s a pretty good actor. And yeah, of course, he has the right to voice his opinion. In response to the #metoo movement, he apparently made the “spectrum of behavior” argument. That argument always sounds convincing and reasonable.

And hey, he’s right. Patting a woman on the ass isn’t as bad as rape. We acknowledge that some behaviors are worse than others. But that’s not the discussion we need to be having at this singular moment in time. Here’s the discussion we should be having:

Burn the patriarchal system to the ground. Burn it, pound the ashes into dust, scatter the dust, and salt the fucking earth. 

It’s far too late to have the Matt Damon discussion. This isn’t the time for the niceties of fine distinction. This isn’t the time to parse offenses, to weigh and balance behaviors. This isn’t the time to figure out whether twenty years of patting asses is as bad as, say, five instances of wanking in front of women who didn’t (or felt they couldn’t) voice an objection to it. 

This is the time to put the system to the torch. Burn it all, and if some lesser offenders get caught up in the pyre with the worst offenders, well that’s a shame. They’re all offenders. Will some innocent men also get caught up in the blaze? Yeah, sure they will. Bound to happen. Too fucking bad. All the women who were sexually harassed or assaulted, they were innocent too. If there’s One True Thing we all know, it’s that innocence won’t save you.

Years ago — it must have been in 1989 or 1990 — I was in graduate school, living in a rather dodgy part of Columbia Heights in DC (back then the entire neighborhood was pretty much dodgy). My apartment was a couple of blocks from All Souls Church, where Sweet Honey in the Rock were giving a concert. The opening act was an a cappella group of women from South Africa, and they sang a song called Wathint’ abafazi, wathint’ imbokodo. (Okay, I should admit I had to look that up; it was a long time ago, and while I remember the translation, I’d forgotten the actual words). This is what it means:

When you strike the women, you strike stone.

This is the year we’ve struck stone. And if we’re lucky, the sparks from that will start the fire that eventually incinerates the patriarchy.

dude, c’mon. alabama (part 3)

— I don’t understand what’s going on in Alabama.

— That’s okay. The people of Alabama don’t always understand what’s going on in Alabama.

— I mean, Roy Moore lost? Actually lost? A Republican lost to a Democrat? To a pro-life Democrat? In Alabama?

— These are the days of miracles and wonder, as the poet Simon said. And dude? This is like our third or fourth conversation about Roy Moore. And, it’s to be hoped, the last.

— Dude, c’mon. Alabama.

— Fair point.

Roy Moore watching election results (SPOILER — he lost.)

— I mean, sure, Moore lost…but he hasn’t made a concession speech yet. He’s talking about fighting it.

— As far as that goes, Moore hasn’t conceded that the South lost in the Civil War. Hell, he didn’t concede to the fact that he was kicked off the Alabama Supreme Court. Twice. Concession is not his strong point.

— Being an unrepentant racist, misogynistic fuckwit, that’s his strong point. And a pedophile.

— Well, not technically a pedophile. But yeah.

— But at least the people of Alabama have rejected him. Maybe now he’ll just disappear.

— Not all the people rejected him.

— Most of them.

— Actually most of the white folks who voted cast their votes for Moore.

— You’re joking. Tell me you’re joking. You’ve got to be totally fucking joking. Please say you’re joking. You’re not joking, are you.

— Nope. More than seventy percent of white men voted for Moore. More than sixty percent of white women voted for him.

— Jeebus fuck me with a chainsaw.

Roy Moore deeply regrets his decision not to hire more than one Jewish lawyer.

— Black folks, that’s who kicked Roy Moore’s ass. Black women in particular. The NAACP and the volunteers that got folks out to vote, that’s who kicked Roy Moore’s ass. Old school grassroots campaigning, that’s what kicked Roy Moore pale ass.

— I got to say, today I love me some Alabama. I’m starting to remember how to breathe again. I’m convinced that today will be all bluebirds and rainbows.

— You want to see this happen in other states, you might want to consider breathing a bit coin in the direction of the NAACP. What happened yesterday was great, but it’s still a long way to go.

— Okay, okay, but we can celebrate today, right? I mean, this is huge, right? We can take a day to relax and spread joy and all that, can’t we?

— Yes, but…

— But nothing. Dude, c’mon. Alabama!

— Alabama, yes sir. Alafuckingbama. Bring on the bluebirds.

uninformed, ignorant, and easily played

It’s been a while since I’ve stuck my head into the roiling mass of hate, stupidity, and hot bubbling fear that’s FreeRepublic. Lately I haven’t really felt the need to find out what’s going on in the fevered minds of the extreme right, mainly because it appears every day in headlines from the White House and in the cesspit of Comrade Trump’s Twitter account.

But this morning, while waiting for the coffee to get off its ass and do its job, I decided to see what that group of manky patriots are fussing about today. And I saw this subject line:

New Poll Finds 92% of Democrats Uninformed, Ignorant and Easily Played.

Now that, I thought, would be an interesting poll to look at. There was a link to the Gateway Pundit (which, in case you don’t live under a rock, is a conservative website that describes itself as ‘one of the top political blogs in the nation’ and has received (and no, I’m not making this up) the Breitbart Award for Excellence in Online Journalism). But before examining the source material, I thought I’d look at the comments made by Freepers. Here’s a representative sample:

Willful ignorance. Combined with pathetic and badly-constructed lies. That’s all the FraudStream Media knows how to sell. Problem is, there is a WHOLE LOTTA STUPID goin’ on out there, taking it as “truth”. How do you educate someone who rejects reality?

Which is a good question, isn’t it. How DO you educate someone who rejects reality? Let’s probe deeper into that question.

When you combine the results of Dunning-Kruger and Murray’s The Bell Curve, when you look at street gangs like Antifa, BAMN, or any communist humanities college student, you are left with the inescapable conclusion that democrats are genetically stupid. They were short-changed in the DNA Lotto, with their ratio of grey and white brain cells, short-term vs long term memory, and the number of synaptic connections.

Sorry, there it is.

Yes, there it is. Democrats are genetically stupid. It’s inescapable. Need more proof? This Freeper has it for you.

92% of democrats are on the left side of the Bell Curve. That is why they have been named the LEFT. 8% of democrats are the political leaders of the LEFT, and they know better than the lies they tell to the other 92%.

There it is again. You can’t argue with science. Or whatever this is.

Democrats are the masses of ignorant dependent. Led by the bigoted elite. Pretty much. More exploited for their votes than led by. To be honest. The elite of America hate our history and hate male dominated western civilization and resent Christianity in anything but puff form.

This is how stupid I am. I didn’t even know there was a puff form. Why didn’t anybody tell me about the puff form? I don’t even know what the puff form is, but apparently it’s a pretty important form and is the reason I hate history and male dominated western civilization.

My favorite comment was a photo. That’s it. Just this:

It’s a still from The Return of the Archons, a Star Trek episode from 1967. The episode takes place on planet Beta III in the C-111 system, ‘at the start of “Festival”, a period of violence, destruction, and sexual aggressiveness.’ Apparently during the Festival the inhabitants of Beta III arm themselves with baguettes and potatoes — not normally the weapons of choice for violence, destruction, and sexual aggressiveness. But, to quote an unnamed Freeper, there it is.

Democrats voters is stupid. Republican voters are abused, taken for granted. That’s hopefully not going to fly any more.

Yeah, I don’t think that’s going to fly anymore. I think that’s pretty much incapable of flight. Because Democrats voters is stupid.

With this collective Freeper wisdom in mind, I clicked on the link to the Gateway Pundit. I wanted to see the poll that found 92% of Democrats were ignorant, uninformed, and easily played.

It turned out to be a poll by CBS News that indicated 92% of Democrats believe the Trump campaign did something sleazy with Russia. Seriously, that’s it. That’s the entirety of the claim. Allow me to present the Gateway Pundit’s evidence:

The liberal mainstream media has pushed the conspiracy that the Trump campaign was colluding with Russia during the 2016 election to defeat Hillary Clinton.

This was all a lie. In fact, it was Hillary Clinton and the DNC who colluded to defeat Bernie Sanders in the primary and then colluded with Russia. Democrats and the Obama FBI paid cash for a fake Russian dossier so they could spy on Donald Trump at Trump tower.

But Democrat voters are ignorant. And Democrats rely on the fact that they are stupid and easily played.

A new poll released this week by CBS News found that 92% of Democrats believe Trump advisors had improper dealings with Russia.

There it is, yet again. How do you educate someone who rejects reality? Democrats resent Christianity except in puff form, and Democrats voters is stupid.

You may not like it, but there it is. That’s just the way life works out here on planet Beta III in the C-111 system.