it’s rats all the way down

Back in the 17th century, this dude named Samuel Butler wrote a — okay, wait. Trust me for a bit. This is actually going to relate to Comrade Donald J. Trump and his ex-buddy Michael Cohen. Honest, I wouldn’t lie to you. Not about this anyway.

Right, so back in the 17th century, this dude named Samuel Butler wrote a mock heroic poem about the adventures of a knight-errant called Hudibras and his squire Ralpho. It was basically a British rip-off of Don Quixote. At one point in the poem Hudibras gets himself in trouble and winds up in the stocks. In order to get released, he promises to flagellate himself — which, of course, Hudibras really doesn’t want to do. So his squire tells him that breaking that promise is really sorta kinda holy. Almost saintly, in fact.

For breaking of an oath, and lying,
Is but a kind of self-denying;
A Saint-like virtue: and from hence
Some have broke oaths by Providence
Some, to the glory of the Lord,
Perjur’d themselves, and broke their word

Lying and perjury. That brings us to Trump and Cohen. Cohen has now claimed that Comrade Trump was aware of the June 9, 2016 meeting at Trump Tower before it occurred. You’ll remember this was the meeting at which Trump the Lesser, Manafort, Kushner, a few other folks, sat down with a Whitman’s Sampler of Russian agents in order to get ‘dirt’ on Hillary Clinton. This is Collusion 101. Fundamental collusion stuff.

When hard words, jealousies, and fears / Set folks together by the ears / And made them fight, like mad or drunk / For Dame Religion, as for punk

Trump the Elder, of course, denies it. Totally denies it. Denies the absolute hell out of it. This morning he tweeted (and Jeebus, how embarrassing is it to have a president whose main form of…aw, fuck it, never mind) the following:

I did NOT know of the meeting with my son, Don jr. Sounds to me like someone is trying to make up stories in order to get himself out of an unrelated jam

This leads to the obvious question: “Is Comrade Trump lying?” Which leads to the obvious answer: “Ha ha ha what? Yeah, of course he is, this is Donald Fucking Trump, y’all.” Let’s pause for a brief moment and review the various accounts Trump has given of that meeting (not verbatim).

— Meeting? What meeting? There was no meeting.
— Oh, that meeting. Yeah, there was a meeting, but it was about adoption. Oh, and I didn’t know about it.
— Okay, okay, the meeting was about getting dirt on Crooked Hillary, but the Russians didn’t have any.
— Well, maybe they had some, but they didn’t offer it to us.
— Okay, yeah, they offered some dirt, but it wasn’t very good dirt. Did I mention I didn’t know about it?
— Well, okay, it was moderately good dirt, but we didn’t take it. And besides, I didn’t know about the meeting.
— Okay, we took it, but we didn’t use it.
— Okay, let’s say maybe we took it and maybe we used it, who can say? It was a long time ago and memories keep changing, and anyway, so what?

In other words, Comrade Trump has lied about this event like a thousand different times. We certainly have no reason to believe him now. But here’s the problem with dealing with Trump and anybody Trump has dealt with regularly: all of these fuckers lie. They lie all the time about anything at all. It’s as natural to them as water is to a goldfish. It’s the environment in which they live and function.

I’d like to believe Cohen is telling the truth about this — that Trump DID know about the meeting in advance. But Cohen, like Trump, is an inveterate liar and the thing about liars is that they lie. So who the hell knows?

Okay, back to Hudibras for half a moment. Here’s maybe the most famous line from the poem: “I smell a rat; Ralpho, thou dost prevaricate.”

I smell a rat. A lot of rats. I don’t know if Michael Cohen is telling the truth this time. I assume Trump is lying. It’s very possible they’re both lying. I mean, it’s possible Cohen has no idea whether or not Trump knew about the meeting, and he’s lying about it because he’s pissed at Trump and would like to drop him deeper in the shit. And it’s possible Trump did know about it and is lying because he’s a fucking liar. It’s also possible Trump didn’t know about it, because his campaign was run by crooks and amateurs so stupid they couldn’t pour piss out of a boot.

But I know this much. When it comes to Comrade Trump, I smell a rat. A whole nest of rats. It’s rats all the way down.

Editorial Note 1: That ‘I smell a rat’ line is usually attributed to Patrick Henry, speaking during the Constitutional Convention in 1776. But Butler wrote his poem a century before that took place. He owns the line. There’s some useless information for you.

Editorial Note 2: You probably know the turtle anecdote, but here it is in brief. William James gave a lecture on astronomy and the structure of the solar system. Afterwards, he’s accosted by an old woman, who claims the earth can’t revolve around the sun because the earth rests on the back of a giant turtle. “And what does that turtle stand on, madam?” “It stands on the back of a larger turtle.” “And pray, what does that turtle stand on?” “You’re a very clever man, Mr. James, but it’s turtles all the way down.”

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all democrats have are dildos

I’m a relatively fortunate guy. I manage to get by without having to work a straight job. One of benefits of that is I have the freedom to piss away chunks of time reading news sources/websites/blogs of all political stripes, from rabidly leftist to rabidly conservative. I figure that’s the only way I can have a somewhat accurate understanding of what’s taking place in the U.S.

This morning I plunged into FreeRepublic again. Much of the discussion revolved around four topics: 1) Comrade Trump, 2) Hillary Clinton, 3) guns, 4) Jeebus. Here are a few of the things I learned, in no particular order:

— Trump is “being too successful at too many things, and they need to derail or stop him from having any more successes. After all, if he’s successful at anything or all things, what are democrats going to run on? So, democrats need to make sure that issues don’t get resolved in order for them to run on those issues as remaining problems.”

— “No one has been stronger on Russia than President Donald Trump.”

— “All of the major television networks use their prime time entertainment shows to push a pro-gun control agenda.” Proof? “You never see a good guy with a gun defending himself or a third party.”

— Former CIA Director John Brennan and others are apparently “threatening the killing of Donald Trump” by saying he committed treason. “Americans have to get behind their President and defend him from these people who are trying to pul a regime change in Washington.” However, attempting regime change wouldn’t be wise because “These COMMIE IDIOTS do NOT want to go to War with the GOP! We have all the guns + Military + Special Forces All Democrats have are dildos.”

— “Trump needs to do two things immediately: first, take a 2 week vacation. Second, invite Putin to DC and watch more leftist heads explode.”

— Hillary Clinton and/or her minions murdered Anthony Bourdain. Why? Apparently because Bourdain was going to reveal information about Harvey Weinstein, who’d raped Bourdain’s lover and therefore Hillary had him killed. Also she probably killed “the dead lady found in HumaWeiner’s apt building trash chute.”

— After the 2018 midterm elections, “The Democrats are going to make the move to confiscate everyone’s firearms.”

— There is passionate debate about whether or not the resurrected body of Jesus had blood in it.

— The media “opposes any attempt to preserve the American people in some meaningful form. It aids and abets enemies of the United States. It sides with fanatical ideologies waging war on America. It opposes the outcome of any election that its political allies don’t win.”

— Trump apparently has access to information that was on Anthony Weiner’s hard drive and he’s going to “wait on the first case to come to a close, conviction – plea – acquittal, and declassify that one, exposing all the BS they’ve been up to, all their ‘secret methods’, etc, I think heads will start exploding.”

I suspect some of you will be tempted to write me and say, “I say Old Sock, hold on a moment, I don’t think that’s quite correct.” Or “I say Old Sock, haven’t you something better to do with your time?” Or “I say Old Sock, I’m afraid this doesn’t make a lick of sense.” Or “I say Old Sock, what’s with all this exploding heads business?” Or “I say Old Sock, are you okay? Are you having a stroke? Do you smell burnt toast?”

First, stop calling me Old Sock. Second, the difference between reading FreeRepublic and having a stroke is that the latter is easier to recover from.

Also, for the Democrats reading this, here’s a picture of Wall Street’s Charging Bull covered with dildos, being ridden by a shirtless Vlad Putin wearing a hat. You’re welcome.

bughouse

As the kids say (or used to say) I haz been bizzy. Not too busy to follow the news, but too busy to write anything thoughtful (or snarky, or thoughtful-snarky) about it. And you guys, there’s been a LOT to write about.

I mean a LOT. For example, many people are saying the President of These United States appears to be bughouse nuts (SPOILER: he pretty much really is bughouse nuts). Yesterday Comrade Trump decided to promote himself to Czar Trump, declaring he has the absolute power to pardon himself for crimes. I can’t recall if that was before or after he declared that appointing a special counsel to investigate Russian ratfucking of the 2016 election was unconstitutional, based on something he might have heard somebody on FOXNews say before cutting to commercial.

“I’m not bughouse, I’m not bughouse, you’re bughouse!”

Is that bughouse nuts or what? (HINT: it’s totally bughouse nuts.) And this afternoon Trump was planning to hold the Traditional President Meets the Super Bowl Champions Event, but then sort of semi-half-canceled it. It was going to be a party. The Philadelphia Eagles would show up, Trump would get to be photographed shaking hands with manly men (some of whom aren’t white, which makes for a better photo-op), there’d be music, good food, a lot of happy Eagles fans milling about, it would be fun.

The guys in suits who run the Philadelphia Eagles had told Comrade Trump’s people that probably like seventy or eighty of their folks would be there — players, coaches, guys in suits, maybe some cheerleaders. But apparently nobody bothered to ask the players, who mostly said “What? I ain’t going. The president’s a racist. Also? I hear he’s bughouse nuts. You wanna get together after, text me and I’ll meet you someplace.”

So the guys in suits told the president’s people, “Uh, look like it’s just us. Maybe ten, twelve folks. Sorry. Hope you didn’t spend too much on the appetizers.”

Trump’s people told Trump, and Trump went bughouse nuts. He decided to cancel the party, which made his people sputter (allegedly). They told him “But Czar Trump, we’ve already decorated the Rose Garden, and we’ve booked the United States Marine Band AND the Army Chorus — we’ll never get our deposit back. Also too, what about the team’s fans who are planning to attend? Did we mention that Kellyanne Conway is a super Eagles fan? Do you want to disappoint Kellyanne? You know how she gets.”

“Today I’ll be honoring the Super Bowl Champion Marine Corps Band with songs by the Army Chorus. Winning!”

So Comrade Trump decided to only semi-half-cancel the party. He just uninvited the guests of honor. And, of course, he took to Twitter:

Staying in the Locker Room for the playing of our National Anthem is as disrespectful to our country as kneeling. Sorry!

Did any Eagles players stay in the locker room during the anthem last season? Well, no. That rule wasn’t even a rule until last week. Did any Eagles players take a knee during the anthem last season? Well, no. Not one. But some of them supported the protest. And to a person who’s bughouse nuts, some players who support a protest is exactly the same as Treason with a capital T and is also a direct insult to the President, which is also Treason.

So this afternoon, Comrade Trump will be hosting the United States Marine Band AND the Army Chorus AND some fans of the Philadelphia Eagles (including Kellyanne) in the Rose Garden to celebrate the Philadelphia Eagles unexpected victory over the dog-ass New England Patriots in the Super Bowl…but without the actual Philadelphia Eagles.

Is that bughouse nuts? (HINT: yes, it totally is.)

taking a knee

It’s become popular among some Republicans to claim Comrade Trump isn’t really a Republican at all. They act like he’s some sort of chimera — a semi-mystical, implausible synthesis of disparate bits of different animals. Part liberal, part conservative, part patriot, part iconoclast, part traditional, part unconventional, part who the fuck knows. A new type of politician, they say.

Bullshit. Trump is the distillation of everything the Republican party has become in the last couple of decades. He’s selfish, self-centered, cruel, mean-spirited, fearful of anything different, completely unscrupulous, alienated from reality, dismissive of science, contemptuous of facts, mercenary, fundamentally dishonest, sneering, arrogant, judgmental, and too privileged to give a shit about anybody or anything that isn’t useful to him.

In brief, Trump is an asshole. Over the last couple of decades the Republican party has gradually shed any semblance of a conservative philosophy of governance and replaced it with being an asshole. You want to know what the Republican position is on any given policy? Ask yourself this: ‘What would an asshole do in this situation?’ The environment? More coal, fewer regulations. Epidemic of gun violence? More guns, fewer regulations. Healthcare? More regulations, fewer people insured.

This is what you can expect from the president when the president is an asshole. Free speech? Call NFL players who take a knee during the national anthem ‘sons of bitches’ who disrespect the nation, and encourage owners to fire them.

Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, you’d say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired,’

You have torch-toting nazis marching at night in an American city? An asshole would say there are some “very fine people” among them. A football player who takes a knee during the national anthem to protest violence against African-Americans?  An asshole would call that “total disrespect of everything that we stand for.”

Because all of those football players are paid huge amounts of money to entertain the public, assholes will claim they should keep their political opinions to themselves. Because most of them are black, assholes will feel victimized by that exercise of free speech while at the same time complaining to other assholes that the players are being uppity.

But here’s a true thing about assholes: they polarize people. Today there are probably folks — standard NFL fans — who were maybe mildly offended by the decision of players to take a knee, who are now applauding the practice. Today there are probably folks who don’t care at all about professional sports who are appending #takeaknee to their social media posts. Today there are probably folks who are supporting the ‘take a knee’ movement NOT because they agree with it, but just because they’re just fed up with having an asshole for a president.

By the way, those NFL players? Some of them are assholes too. But a LOT of them, even though they’re making obscene amounts of money, are also showing up at soup kitchens, they’re standing up against bullying, they’re helping with flood relief, they’re raising and donating money to hurricane victims, they’re supporting research to cure diseases, they’re fighting homelessness, they’re actually out there doing stuff for their communities while assholes are sitting at home and complaining.

Let me also say this, since I come from a military family rather than a sports family. In the military ‘take a knee’ means to take an immediate break, right where you are, because you’re just fucking exhausted. It’s a moment — and only a moment, which is why you’re only taking a knee — to stop, catch your breath, allow your sore muscles to relax, and consider what to do next.

I think this whole nation needs to take a knee.

fuck you sexual harasser

I can remember being in high school, riding around in a car with my buddies, passing a couple of girls on the street, and the guys leaning out the windows, laughing and shouting. I don’t recall what they shouted. Probably something like “Hey baby, looking good.” I remember thinking it was a stupid thing to do — not because I thought it was harassing or threatening, but simply because it didn’t seem to me like an effective way to pick up girls.

I never gave much thought to cat-calling as a young man. It was just something some guys did. I did four years in the military and heard male troops catcall women, and didn’t think much about it. I did four years in college and heard undergrads catcall women, and didn’t think much about it. Then I became a counselor in the psychiatric/security unit of a prison for women. The inmates taught me a LOT about what life was like for women — or at least what life was like for women who ended up in prison. Every few weeks I’d be assigned weekend duty. That sometimes included taking low-risk inmates on local excursions — a movie, maybe. Maybe a trip to a nearby park. Maybe a visit to a local diner so they could get to eat something other than prison food. It wasn’t unusual for me to drive a prison van with six to eight women convicts into town, herd them into the local theater, buy them all popcorn, and watch a movie with them.

And it wasn’t unusual for local young men, seeing us all walk down the street, to shout out the windows of their pickups at the women. When that happened, I noticed a lot of the women would tense up. And I paid attention, though not entirely for the right reasons. I paid attention in part because I’d been trained to notice body language. But I was also very aware that when any group of inmates start to tense up, you’d best pay attention.

A big chunk of my job was to try to understand and help these women, so on various occasions I’d talk to some of them about their reaction to the cat-calling. I remember one of them saying something like “When I hear that, I get ready to run. They gonna have to catch me, if they want to rape me.” That’s when I first started to get it. I still tended to put that anxiety down to druggie paranoia and living in bad neighborhoods — but I got the first real inkling of what it was like for those women to move through the world.

Years later I was living with a woman — a feminist criminologist. She opened my eyes in a lot of ways. One of the many things I learned was that an intellectual understanding of feminism doesn’t give you any meaningful insight into how women have to live. There was a night when she asked me to go with her to fetch something from a local market. I was busy doing something and didn’t really want to interrupt it. I figured she just wanted me along for company. But she explained there wasn’t any safe place for her to park at the market — which made no sense to me, since there was plenty of parking spaces nearby. What she meant, though, was 1) a lot of navy men often went to that market for beer and 2) there wasn’t a street light she could park beneath. She needed to park under a street light, she said, to be sure nobody was hiding in or near the car.

And I began to understand a bit more. I could run to the market to buy a clove of garlic without a second thought. For her, a run to the market required strategies to stay safe. And it wasn’t just a run to the market at night — it was going to the gym in the morning, it was getting off work in the evening, it was going to the mall, it was taking the dog for a walk. Taking the damned dog for a damned walk, and just by doing that she knew there was a decent chance she’d get harassed. Just walking down a street with a dog.

To me, this was a revelation. To her, it was so glaringly obvious that it hardly needed to be mentioned. And this was a woman who taught feminist thinking.

And you know what? I still don’t get it. Not really. I mean, I get it when I think about it. But as a guy, I rarely have to think about it. Which is why I’m both ashamed and grateful when a woman reminds me. And that’s what happened this morning. A friend of mine, Lori Andrews, posted this on Facebook:

I just got cat called with “mommy”. Of course I was far enough away that I couldn’t identify which construction worker did it. But here is what I wanted to say to him.

I have hated you my entire life. You drove beside me when I was a child and terrified me. You followed me and tried to touch me when I was a young woman. You have yelled at me from cars, broken my reverie in quiet walks, assaulted me verbally on my bike. You still talk about me and call out to me just out of view but always in earshot. Always when just I alone can hear it and no passers by are aware. Every day of my life I have endured your endless taunts and frightening threats. I’m 48 years old.

Fuck you sexual harasser. Fuck you.

It’s difficult for me to imagine the ridiculous lengths women have to go through every day just to avoid being harassed or harmed. Most of my life I’ve been in careers that required me to try to understand what life is like for other people. I like to think I’m pretty good at it. But every time I come across an experience like Lori’s, I’m reminded that I still don’t really get it. Despite having the lesson repeated to me countless times by so many women, it still doesn’t entirely register in my brain that women deal with this shit every day.

Here’s proof of that: earlier today I mentioned to a woman friend that I was thinking about writing a blog post about cat-calling because another friend had posted about an incident on Facebook. I said something like “More women should talk about this crap, so men will be reminded of just how hateful and pernicious it is.” My friend said “Why should it be a woman’s responsibility to remind men not to be assholes?”

There’s no good way for me to end this post. There’s nothing I can say that won’t come across as self-serving, or patronizing, or stupid in some way. But this has been on my mind all morning and it’s important that this stuff gets discussed.

I want to thank Lori for allowing me to quote her Facebook post and use her name. And I want to thank all the women who responded to her Facebook post, and as long as I’m at it, I should thank all the women who’ve been patient with me over the years. It’s not your responsibility to remind men not to be assholes — but thank you for doing it anyway.

terror-asses

Right. Okay, you guys say you want to talk about the Great Bird Sanctuary Treason Plot of Harney County. I can do that. It’s an extraordinarily stupid act, and it’ll probably just dissipate in a couple of weeks, leaving behind nothing but some trash and the fetid stink of disappointed testosterone — but sure, we can talk about it. First, though, I’m going to insist on a tangent. Maybe two tangents; I haven’t decided yet.

Harney County, Oregon. Named for William Selby Harney, a 19th century military man who fought in the Indian Wars, and the Mexican-American War (which, I should point out for Trump supporters, was a war between Mexico and the United States and NOT a war on Mexican-Americans), and the American Civil War. General Harney was also deeply involved in the Pig War.

General William S. Harney

General William S. Harney, who knew a thing or two about escalating a minor fuss.

Okay, the Pig War. I’m going to guess you’re probably unfamiliar with the Pig War of 1859. I’m also going to guess you’d be happy to remain unfamiliar with it. Too bad, on account of it’s sort of relevant. The Pig War was basically a dispute over who controlled a chunk of land. In this case, the chunk of land was the San Juan Islands, which are located between Vancouver and the U.S. mainland. Both the U.S. and the U.K. claimed sovereignty over the islands. They set up a commission to settle the fuss, which of course meant the dispute dragged out for years.

However, while the commission was doing whatever bullshit commissions do, people went on living on the islands. One of those people was an American named Lyman Cutlar, who had himself a nice little garden where he grew potatoes. Another of those people was a British citizen named Charles Griffin, originally from Ireland. Charles raised pigs. On the 15th day of June, 1859 one of his pigs (identified in court documents as ‘a large black pig’ though it’s unclear if that’s a physical description of the pig itself or a reference to the creature’s breed–a Cornwall Black, which is generally referred to as a Large Black) ate some of Lyman’s potatoes. Lyman shot and killed the pig. Charles objected to what he perceived as unmerited swine assassination. Lyman offered to pay Charles US$10 for the dead pig. Charles refused, demanding $100 (which, let’s face it, is an astonishing price for a dead pig, regardless of how large and black it is). Lyman refused, saying “Your pig was trespassing and eating my potatoes.” Charles responded “My pig doesn’t recognize your property boundaries, and besides it’s your responsibility to keep your potatoes out of my very fine pig.”

A Cornwall Black pig

The Cornwall Black pig, a breed notorious for their appetite for pilfered potatoes

Charles asked the British authorities to arrest Lyman for murdering his pig. And they said “Yeah, okay, why not?” Lyman in turn asked U.S. authorities to protect him from the British. And they said, “Sure, okay, we can do that.” Because people are generally really fucking stupid, by August 10th, the British had five warships anchored off the San Juan islands, with some 2000 troops prepared to arrest Lyman Cutlar for killing Charles Griffin’s potato-eating pig. The U.S. had about 400 men with a couple dozen cannons under the command of Gen. Harney, prepared to help Lyman Cutlar protect his potatoes from being molested by wandering swine.

This standoff lasted for thirteen years (during which Harney and many of the troops went off to fight in the American Civil War, and most of the British troops went off to wave goodbye to some other part of the fading British Empire) until October of 1872, when an international tribunal chaired by Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany in Geneva, Switzerland ruled that the San Juan Islands belonged to the United States. Therefore, Charles Griffin and his tuber-ingesting pig could go fuck themselves.

Seventeen years after that, in 1889, Oregon established a county comprised of more than ten thousand square miles and named it after Gen. Harney, who at some point in time probably had to pass through the area on his way to someplace else. We’re talking about 10,000 square miles, you guys, with a population of just over 7,000 people. This place is seriously rural. And in 1908 the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge was created in Harney County.

This guy claims he couldn't spend Christmas with his children because he had to drive to Oregon to defend the right of a large black pig to eat potatoes. Or something.

This guy claims he couldn’t spend Christmas with his children because he had to drive to Oregon to defend the right of a large black pig to eat potatoes. Or something.

And hey, nobody paid a lick of attention to the place until a couple of days ago. Which is when a dozen or so ten-gallon fuckwits, mostly from Idaho and Arizona, ‘seized’ one of the unoccupied buildings on the refuge. By ‘seized’ I mean they broke open the door, walked in, and marked their territory by spraying White Christian Cowboy musk all over the place.

A lot of folks are outraged that these guys aren’t being referred to as terrorists. They’re angry that these people aren’t being treated to the same sort of rapid response military force commonly used against unarmed black pedestrians. Which is totally justifiable anger and outrage. There’s absolutely no doubt this event would be reported differently and handled differently if the occupying fuckwits were fuckwits of color or Muslim fuckwits.

But are these guys terrorists? I have to say no. I mean, terrorists cause terror. It’s right there in the name. Terrorists are scary. These guys are terror-asses. For the most part, the public is treating them with well-earned derision. Their dramatic Red Dawn farewell YouTube messages are alternately sad and hilarious. Their insistence that they’re fighting tyranny by occupying a bird sanctuary in seriously rural Oregon in the middle of the goddamn winter is so patently ridiculous that it belongs in a Monty Python skit.

This guy claims he went to Oregon to die for the cause so that no other person ever has to suffer the injustice of going to prison for setting fire to government-owned land.

This guy claims he went to Oregon to die for the cause so that no other person ever has to suffer the injustice of going to prison for setting fire to government-owned land.

But hey, they’re there and something needs to be done about it, right? So, what to do? I’d suggest the very worst thing we could do would be to treat these as a threat to national security. This is NOT an armed insurrection. It’s NOT an act of sedition that warrants an armed assault. It’s a pathetic, testosterone-driven cry for attention.

Don’t get me wrong. I think every one of these paunchy, beef-witted, potato-heads ought to be arrested and charged with a Federal crime. I think those who can be proven to have carried a firearm in this mewling exercise should be charged with a felony, in the hope that they’ll be prohibited from legally buying or owning a weapon again. I also believe these idjits who yearn for another civil war in the United States can be a genuine existential threat to the security of the United States. But occupying the Welcome Center of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge doesn’t merit a major response.

I think it would be a serious mistake to turn this clay-brained episode into the sort of military stand-off the occupiers (and the newsfotainment media) are after. That would just grant them legitimacy, which they don’t deserve. Even the folks on FreeRepublic are mocking these guys–that’s how completely fucking stupid this is.

Here is a pig stealing a potato. Alert the media.

Here is a pig stealing a potato. Alert the media.

This is only a big deal if we make it one. This ‘occupation’ doesn’t deserve the attention we’d give to a potato-thieving pig.

right in the neck

The Athabaskan people who lived near the mountain called it Denali, which meant ‘the high one.’ It’s a pretty name for a mountain. I like it. Another local tribe, the Dina’ena, called it Doleika, which meant ‘big mountain,’ which is less poetic but still pretty accurate. It really is a big mountain.

The Russians moved into the neighborhood in 1783; they called the mountain Bolshaya Gora, which also means ‘big mountain.’ They didn’t really change the name; they just said it in Russian, which is appropriate. But the Russians left in 1867, and I suspect folks in the area just continued to refer to it the ‘big mountain’ in whatever language they happened to have handy at the moment. Because it really IS a big mountain.

denali2

Then in the late 1880s, the white folks in the region decided to call it Densmore’s Peak, after Frank Densmore — a gold prospector who was, apparently, inordinately fond of the mountain. I don’t have any solid evidence to base this on, but I’m going to guess the natives continued to call it Denali or Doleika regardless of what the white folks did. Because what did the white folks know about it? Fuck them in the neck.

Then politics happened. A guy named William Dickey, who’d been prospecting for gold in the Susitna River, returned to the Lower Forty-eight and wrote an article about Alaska for the New York Sun newspaper. This was January of 1897, shortly after Republican William McKinley had been elected President of These United States. McKinley, you see, was a proponent of the gold standard (on which to base U.S. currency) — and Dickey was a Republican who’d been a gold prospector. McKinley’s Democratic opponent in the election, William Jennings Bryan, was in favor of a silver standard rather than a gold standard. Dickey had met a lot of silver prospectors while in Alaska, and they all favored the Democrat. This is all important information because in his article, Dickey made this rather suspect claim:

We named our great peak Mount McKinley, after William McKinley of Ohio, who had been nominated for the Presidency.

Whether that was true or not, it struck a chord for Republicans in Congress, and twenty years later they made the name official: Mount McKinley. They also named the area around the mountain McKinley National Park. Basically, it was Republicans saying ‘fuck you in the neck’ to Democrats (and to all the native folks in Alaska).denali3

It seems nobody in Alaska liked the name, and most folks just continued to call the mountain Denali. Who cared what the people south of Canada called it? In the 1970s, Alaska made the practical decision to officially change the name back to the original Denali. They petitioned the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (yes, there’s actually a government agency that oversees geographic names) to do the same. And hey, the board seemed open to the idea.

Then politics happened again. The Republican Congressman who represented the Ohio district when William McKinley spent most of his life (a complete jackass named Ralph Regula) intervened and basically stopped the process. Basically, he was saying ‘fuck you in the neck’ to the people of Alaska. The people of Alaska sort of shrugged off the whole fuss and in 1975 the Alaska Board of Geographic Names (yes, the state has its own government agency to oversee its geographic names) went ahead and changed the name anyway.

In 1980, President Jimmy Carter decided to change the name of the park from McKinley National Park to Denali National Park and Preserve. Basically, he was saying ‘fuck you in the neck back’ to Congressman Regula. But while the president was authorized to change the name of the park, Regula could still prevent him from changing the name of the actual mountain, which officially remained Mount McKinley. Basically, Regula was telling the president ‘re-fuck you in the neck.’Denali1

And that’s how things stayed until Regula retired. At that point Alaska again petitioned the Board on Geographic Names to change the damn name. Then politics happened yet again. Two members of Congress from Ohio — both Democrats — decided to carry on Regula’s profoundly stupid fight to retain the name of Mount McKinley. Basically, it looked like Ohio saying ‘fuck you in the neck’ to Alaska.

But the people of Ohio spoke out and told their members of Congress to grow the fuck up and stop interfering with Alaskan politics. And they did. So today, President Obama is officially authorizing the Board on Geographic Names to recognize what Alaskans have always recognized — that the mountain deserves to be called Denali because it really IS a big, high mountain.

And hey, guess what. Politics are happening. Republicans — and particularly those from Ohio — are rebuking the president’s decision. Speaker of the House John Boehner stated he was “deeply disappointed in this decision.” Senator Rob Portman decried the decision as “yet another example of the President going around Congress.”

And, of course, the proud patriots of FreeRepublic are voicing their considered opinions on the issue.

— Why not call it Glorious Jihad?

— If Hussein cared about what the people of Alaska thought, he would ask Valerie for permission to open up the northern slope for drilling. Alaskans want that, too.

— Obonzo didn’t do jack. He’s going up there to fundraise and kiss some minority @$$ for his ‘RAT comrades up there. Everyone in Alaska already refers to the mountain as Denali. The bastard Kenyan didn’t need to do anything. This is just another one of his “historical” In Yo Face Whitey Moments.

— Mount Barack….in honor of Bareback Mountain

— stupid bammy has to interject himself into normal people’s lives like the narcissist he is

— This is the work of a tyrant.

— I’m surprised it’s not going to be Kilimanjaro to make Zero feel more at home.

— Islam could easily be involved. Pakistan is close. Jihadis are everywhere.

To be fair, not everybody on FreeRepublic is a lunatic. Many of them have pointed out the fact that most Alaskans want the mountain to be called Denali. They don’t necessarily object to renaming the mountain; they just object to President Obama renaming the mountain. Basically, the people of FreeRepublic are saying ‘fuck you in the neck’ to the president.

Barack Obama

But hey, it’s a done deal now. And it’ll be Obama’s smiling face we’ll see standing in front of Denali on the national news tonight. And guess what he’s basically symbolically saying to the folks of FreeRepublic.

Right in the neck.