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Gender: Male
Hometown: Philly
Home country: USA!USA!USA!
Current location: Jersey Shore
Member since: Sun Feb 22, 2004, 09:01 AM
Number of posts: 24,453

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I read the craziest rumor...

It’s so nuts that I can almost believe it…

(Every disclaimer imaginable)….

This “source” said that Pence testified that TFG had his (Pence’s) Bible stolen from his residence and ripped up pages in front of him during an Oval Office meeting as a form of intimidation.

Yes…I know.

Two, count 'em, two subjects this morning:

The first and the more profound of the two: when I was in second grade, I was doing well in my studies, so to speak, but my interest in arithmetic was flagging substantially. I had no problem completing the assignments, but had no concept as to why we were doing these things and of course it being 1960, teachers didn’t explain the rationale to students in elementary school. One day, a classmate of mine brought in a comic book, entitled “Donald Duck in Mathemagic Land” wherein Donald falls asleep doing his taxes or something, and has a dream where he has been transported to a world of cartoon characters which is positively surreal, (in retrospect) and all kinds of interesting things are explained to him, showing the relevance of mathematics to real life day-to-day applications. This Disney comic changed my trajectory entirely. Although I had tremendous strengths in reading and then literature academically, I became a math and science person, and later as an avocation which I pursue to this day.

My parents were not that fond of Disney for all the reasons given here and elsewhere over many years, but they certainly allowed me to watch the TV show and bought me Golden Books when I was very tiny, published by Disney, and took me to Disney movies and talked about the characters, their motivations, and the morals of the story. The reason, my mother told me when I saw Mary Poppins as an older child, that she was pro-Disney exposure was that Disney was such a part of the culture of America that you absolutely had to be aware of it so that you understood frames of reference and incidentally of course, some of it was very enjoyable, well produced, and often funny. As a responsible parent, she would mention some of the things that she didn’t like about Walt Disney and some of his themes but it was more of an aside, rather than a lecture. One of the things which came home to me was that there is virtually no Disney film in which a character has both parents together and involved with the offspring. Think evil stepmother; Bambi was an orphan; Aladdin’s hero was an orphan and the princess only had a father, no mother in sight; even the now-obscure film Almost Angels took place in a boarding school, and no mention was made of parents through the film if I remember correctly. I myself was raised in a single parent household, although I did see my father on a regular basis, so I realized at a very young age that this could be a tolerable situation in which to grow up.

So aspects of the Disney culture were deeply inculcated in my brain, and when this miscreant governor from Florida went after them, I had a knee-jerk reaction, shaking my head, and wondering what kind of moron would pick this company of all American companies to pursue for specious reasons. There is a good portion of my brain which has been formed by the Disney corporation, and I will admit it, and quite frankly, have actually no problem with it at this age. But this guy picked the wrong entity to challenge to a fight to the “death” in my humblest of opinions.

The second thing this morning is what I think is a rather amusing story: a couple of days ago I had a patient who is in her early 80s, real nice, real vital, talkative and tells great self-referential stories. She’s a retired school administrator and is extremely bright and quick. Our hygienist had a problem with her schedule, so I agreed to clean this patient’s teeth because I had about a half hour to kill, and when I was finished, I remarked that her oral condition was in tiptop shape and as good as it gets. I asked her what her regimen she employed for cleaning her teeth daily, and she told me that at night she used a water pic, but was having trouble controlling it and so what she would do is take off all her clothes to clean her teeth. I immediately said to her, “I will not be able to unsee this.“ and we both broke into peels of laughter. She could not stop laughing and two staff members came in to see what was so funny. They couldn’t stop laughing either and maybe you had to be there or maybe you don’t, but I will tell you that it is absolutely in my top five “moments“ in my career.



Anyone else watching this Waco miniseries on Showtime ?

I’d be interested in opinions…

What kind of fucking idiocy is this?

I’m watching MSNBC and they state rather matter-of-factly that a major concession which FOX made was that they would admit that there were judicial rulings which mitigated against FOX.

What does that even mean? That there is a concession that what happened in real life actually happened? Do they get points for conceding that the Sun rises each morning in the East? What the actual fuck?

Suppose an individual is driving drunk and slams into people waiting for a bus on a sidewalk. Several are killed and more are severely injured. Video from a camera on a poke clearly shows the incident. There are gigantic suits against the insurance company covering the driver totaling 50 million dollars (for the sake of argument alone, ignore maximums of coverage), there are negotiations and the plaintiffs attorneys triumphantly announce that they have settled for 25 million if the driver of the car concedes that there was a camera proving his behavior. What does THAT have to do with partial exoneration or consideration?

The same thing happened here: the judge stated that in his opinion, FOX was guilty of all the things said about them by Dominion so by stating that that was the ruling of the judge, then FOX has made a concession. Again: WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK?

The Republican "ecosystem":

I saw this phrase as used by one of their own just now and thought of this:

"Sudden thoughts and second thoughts..."

(That phrase originated I believe with a Philadelphia Inquirer code sports, columnist named Bill Lyons, who use that title for his Saturday column of short vignettes and pithy sayings. The problem was that he did not annotate the pithy sayings and many people believed he wrote them himself instead of his obvious opening and copying of Bartlett’s Quotations. I wrote him a letter, a friendly letter, to this effect, and I do believe that that was one of the reasons he stopped utilizing this methodology for quickly writing his Saturday column.
So by way of a long explanation, I gave a reference his column, and gave credit where credit was due.)

As I was driving in this morning, I was listening to Joe and Mika, the happy couple, discussing DeSantis and Disney and I couldn’t help but think that in my 70+ years of existence, there are very few companies fundamental to American culture. Most of the publishing houses as I knew them have disappeared or been absorbed, there are a few movie studios , such as MGM, Paramount, Columbia, and a few others. Many industrial companies which were part of the American Culture have vanished or been absorbed, the one which always amazes me is Westinghouse, which was gigantic in its day. When I was young, Americans would refer to some of these behemoths as the substructure and well and underpinnings of the society.

I would venture to say that the number of Americans who have not been affected and to a fair extent shaped by the Disney corporation in some fashion during their lifetimes approaches zero. Whether it be their theme parks for these recent generations, the TV show, the cartoons, the movies, which, even if dated are classic, not to say incredibly innovative, and I’m not even going to refer to the companies of which Disney is a parent such as ABC Broadcasting. By attacking Disney, what the DeSantis group has done is hacked away at the underpinnings of our collective civilization. For those of us born after 1940, the present day Disney is and will remain a monumental fixture in the culture of this country. What the radical conservative movement however is attempting to do is to destroy America as we know it and that includes annihilating the popular culture which has evolved and replacing it with God only knows what. The Disney corporation is the most prominent and powerful of this foundation.

I am not singing the praises of Disney, I have never been to one of the theme parks, because I refuse to be Economically exploited in that fashion, a relative of mine, retired as a very high, ranking member of the Disney family of executives and is somewhat cynical about the leadership, and I have taken issue with many of the stereotypes as they were presented over the years. Of course, these were the common stereotypes of the civilization at the time which were reflected in popular culture. The gestalt here is the reflection of America as portrayed in the Disney companies output. DeSantis and Company wish to erase all of this and bring the equivalent of the Fourth Reich to America.

I can only hope and metaphorically pray that the young people in America realize what these people are trying to do to them, and rise up in every way, including electorally, and defeat this monster which is in my opinion, best characterized by the Blob in the old Steve McQueen movie from the 50s. It seems to gain energy from everything it touches, and yet can be defeated by freezing. (Of course, at the end of the film, they drop the remnants into the Arctic and it says “The End” on the screen with a big “?” If I recall correctly.) The republican party Has been pronounced dead numerous times in my lifetime only to arise with greater impetus and popularity. The next 5 to 7 years may tell all, at least for now. And then again, even if defeated, it will rise simply because fascism is the preferred method of governance for a fair percentage of any population, no matter what the prevailing humanitarian, intellectual, or political opinions may be.

The other day I was speaking to someone who is like-minded, and I said to her that I believe this country was torn beyond repair and whatever winds up being reconstituted will not resemble the nation into which we were born. She, being a thoughtful, optimistic, somewhat religious person, said “I think that we have a chance to repair this disaster, and I hope and pray that we do.” I replied, “I wish I could share your optimism, I really do, but we seem to have so much ingrained hatred and resentment of what the United States really is that it will be nearly impossible to continue with that which I have termed “the Norman Rockwell illusion”. She shook her head sadly.

What we really require is the equivalent of the deus ex machina. Perhaps a Disney movie could provide some inspiration. That is if Governor DeSantis permits it to be made.

I'm not that bright so I didn't realize that Twitter

is such a cesspool.

Generally I read the alerts which I receive connected to legitimate individuals but rarely read the morons.

Holy shit. Worse than ever. Vomity, no comity.

Upon reflection whilst driving to work....

I have been a practicing dentist for over 40 years, and in that time, I have rendered a tremendous amount of palliative care, emergency care, major restorative care, returned individuals to normalcy in both appearance and function, diagnosed significant health conditions, which required complex and sometimes immediate intervention by medical personnel, talked people out of suicidal behaviors and into therapy, intercepted eating disorders and gotten people back on track, counseled people for decades who were depressed and conflicted because they pursued what used to be called euphemistically “alternative lifestyles”, assisted individuals and families with members who had terminal diseases, including a huge number of AIDS victims, and generally tried to help wherever I could.

To be frank, I have been thanked literally, thousands of times, sincerely, heartily, and wonderfully by so many individuals who truly appreciated what were basically life-changing experiences and I cannot tell you with any degree of verity that there were more than five who had tears in their eyes. I do however have a U-Haul box full of Thank You cards which I have accumulated.

It is just so appalling that someone can to some extent get away with that kind of lie, outright lie, and that 98% of the people don’t throw up their hands and say “enough is enough“. This relating of this lie by Trump that multiple people were crying, and apologizing to him, is so patently outrageous that it is nearly transcendental. I suppose one would have to conclude “only in America“ could this happen. What I find additionally fascinating is that this came from a man who I am certain has never emotionally been moved to cry in his lifetime in any context at all whatsoever. He has not one whit of understanding what would make an individual cry because he himself has never experienced any such feelings or motivation.

This belongs with the “perfect“ phone call, and all his other outright lies. It’s not OK, it’s not all right, it’s not acceptable. It is psychopathology of the first order and somebody needs to say this out loud and frequently.

Does anyone here for one minute think

That Putin, Xi Jinping, Kim Jong Il et al. are stupid? First of all, each of these sociopaths, except for Kim, has managed to climb to the top of the pile and stay there despite everything which would be designed to dethrone or stop them in the first place. As far as North Korea goes, he’s got the “smarts” to know who to murder to keep his throne.

In Philadelphia we had a mayor who many thought was the dumbest man who ever lived: Frank Rizzo. I would always correct individuals who would verbalize that by saying, “Uneducated? Most certainly. Stupid? You couldn’t be further from the truth.” This guy was absolutely brilliant and nearly-ruthless. Shrewd, gifted with a remarkable memory for detail, and intuitively brilliant, and possessing a law enforcement professional’s training, he was formidable. He also knew who to select to work for him nearly flawlessly as far as his agenda went. Those who underestimated him fell by the wayside.

I am in no way expressing adulation for him or these others but you better respect your enemy.

Second, next to Trump, everyone who has a command personality who is successful thereof would be considered first-rate by him. He’s a moron who perfected sales techniques that work on susceptible individuals but he lacks a sufficiently well-formed ego, thus the continuous deception, read: lying. Note that these other autocrats rule by absolute fear. No need to lie in this puerile fashion. They just state what’s going to happen.
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