Monday, November 23, 2020

Trump and Televangelists ...

Know what's funny? Trump calling on all his supporters to cough up the bucks needed to pay for all these lawsuits that keep blowing up in his face. 

You know who also used to shake down their supporters for dubious causes?


You remember Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Jimmy Swaggart, Oral Roberts and that whole rogues gallery of B-list Gospel hucksters who'd plead, beg, and cajole their viewers into sending them money to support their "ministries" (read, their bank accounts.) Because they believed that Gawd laid a burden on their heart that they needed paid for by the financial assistance of their "prayer warriors,"  Or some other Christianese bovine feces used to separate the faithful from their money. 

 You'd hear about the little old ladies who resorted to eating cat food because they signed over their social security checks to these fraudsters for some cheap "anointed" prayer cloth, or to have their preacher of choice "pray" for them.  When in fact that money went to pay for an air conditioned doghouse (Jim and Tammy Bakker) or that Bentley or private jet, or the $5,000 suit or the $10,000 mink coat or the 20,000 seat mega church that God told them that they HAD to have in order to propagate His word throughout the world.  And the people would eat that shit up. And the money kept rolling in. 

The Christian media industrial complex brings in billions of dollars beaming out the Gospel to anyone who wants to hear it. And televangelists keep shouting to anyone standing still long enough that Christianity in America is under persecution. 🀣🀣🀣🀣  The average Christian in this country wouldn't know what persecution was if it walked up to them and smacked them in the head with a Thompson Chain-Reference NIV Bible with a fake leather zip-up cover. (I had one of those.) 

And of course, who would those who are willing to swipe the plastic to send their hard-earned cash to Rev. Bob's Mega-Jesus Explosion Church/Bookstore/Yoga Studio/Crab Shack, vote for?

 You guessed it, Trump.  A thrice married/twice divorced, misogynistic serial adulterer who ran casinos, built gold-plated opulent hotels, golf courses, and dodgy real estate developments financed and over leveraged with loans originating from a German bank more than willing to loan him money even after defaulting on a mountain of existing loans to the point that no US bank would touch Trump with a pole as long as the distance from the Earth to the Sun. Who became a Christian of convenience to woo the God/Guns/America crowd despite mentioning Two Corinthians and standing up in front of a church with a Bible in his hand. Upside down, no less. While telling an armed security detail to use pepper gas against peaceful protestors. If Trump actually tried to read that Bible he was carrying, it would have burst into flame.  I think you guys see the similarities. 

I have no problem with supporting a church. But I'd rather give my money to my local church. That way I can see with my own two eyes where the money's going.  If Holy Cross' priest all of a sudden showed up with a Roller in the parking lot instead of a Volkswagen, I'd know something was up.  But I guess, to each his own.  

Hey, another blog post!!  And a pretty good one too.  I'm really good at pulling these things out of my nether regions. But I'm not very good at ending them.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

The Thanksgiving/ Christmas/New Year's Triple Whammy.

I'm not really feeling the Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Year's Triple Whammy.

 Especially this year. In the case of Thanksgiving and Christmas, those are family holidays, best celebrated with family and loved ones.  As many of you know, family is not a big part of my life. All my close family are dead. Mother, Father, Grandparents, Sister, Brothers, that lot, all dead. 

Notice that I don't say that my relatives have "passed away", or "moved on", or are in a "better place." 

No, they're dead. 

I still have a few cousins and uncles, nieces and nephews, etc still kicking around. But I haven't talked to them in years. And I'm not really interested in renewing relations with them. 

We were never a close bunch. About the only time we got together was for weddings and funerals, and over the years, we had a lot of the latter and damn few of the former. I have no idea what or where my surviving relatives are, and I don't really care.  

I have some friends who kinda stand in for family.  But as nice as they are, they don't really replace blood. And this year has definitely put the kibosh on visiting my friends. I keep a policy of not hanging out with friends even if they are clear of the Covid bug, unless they invite me over. I don't go where I'm not welcome.  

But, pretty much, I go it alone. Not married, no girlfriend, not even a friend with benefits.  Just me.  I'm so used to doing the solo act that I probably have no idea about how to handle having someone in my life full time.  I'd probably end up screwing it up. I figure that any woman desperate enough to take up with me would be driven mad by my ways and end up leaving me, or worse, cheating on me.

 I fully intend on spending Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Year's alone at home watching TV and cuddled up with a nice six pack of decent beer. And my evergrowing collection of books of the dead tree and electronic variety. 

Not really feeling the upcoming onslaught of schmaltzy Holiday music.  The religious carols are fine. Christmas is first and foremost a religious holiday.  But the secular dreck, even the childhood favorites, I'd rather put my head into a wood chipper than subject my ears to that "Ho-Ho-Ho" horror. And once Thanksgiving ends, that crap will be on 24/7 until midnight on December 26, when, like the incessant political poop of our recent election, it all vanishes into the ether. 

 And of course, every store and radio station will be doing all Christmas, all the time over their air.  And Facebook and social media will be even more chock-a-bloc than usual with memes, inspirational posts and pictures of everybody celebrating with family.  Yeah, I'm not feeling these upcoming few weeks. I sure hope 2021 will be a damn sight better than 2020, because this year has been the drizzling shits. 

But for those of you who have close families who love each other, or at least don't hate each other, enjoy the upcoming holidays.  Love your relatives, no matter how much of a pain in the ass or batshit crazy they are. Because you never appreciate them fully until they're gone. Don't worry too much about me. I'm a hardy sort. I always figure out a way to amuse myself.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Veterans Day 2020

It's Veterans Day, and Facebook will be inundated with posts, memes, and other displays indicating support for veterans. Pretty much all of you know I'm a veteran. I tend to squawk about it a fair amount on teh Facebook. Probably too much. 

I might rock my ships ball caps when I'm out and I post Navy stuff and belong to several veterans groups on FB, as well as I'm a 30 year member and post officer of the American Legion, but I don't chase veterans discounts. I don't really need them, I'd prefer that they went to those who saw combat and left some of themselves, whether in body or mind, on the battlefield. I didn't do anything special. I was a cook, (or the 65 cent equivalent phrase, Mess Management Specialist.) I served chow. I can hold my own in a kitchen. Not exactly Bobby Flay/Iron Chef material, but I can more or less cook or at least follow a recipe. I cranked out a bunch of chow to a bunch of squids on an aircraft carrier and a guided missile cruiser. No big shakes. 

As I've gotten older, I've looked back on that time in my life and frankly, I made a lot of stupid decisions. I could have done a lot better, and a lot more than I did. I didn't come home with a chest full of medals, but at least I did come home, albeit with a head full of memories as well as some Ill fitting uniforms. 

I don't really care if people thank me for my service. It's no real big deal to me. To a lot of veterans, "Thank You for Your Service." can sound like an empty phrase. Small talk along the lines of "How are you doing?" "Fine weather, we're having." A time filler. 

  Understand that I didn't join the Navy out of any patriotic duty or love of country. I simply had crap grades coming out of high school, college wasn't an option and Homewood in 1980 wasn't where I wanted to be.  I wanted a reboot and the Navy gave me the Ctrl-Alt-Delete to do that. 34 years after walking out of the East Gate at NAS Alameda, DD214 in hand. I can say that while I've done some noteworthy things (going to college, staying employed and out of trouble) I could have done a lot more. 

But, on this Veteran's Day, don't just thank a veteran for their service.  If you know a vet who's down on his luck. Buy him/her a meal. Lend him/her an ear. Find the local organizations that help veterans where you live and throw them a few bucks. Volunteer if you can. Make your words count. If you're in a position to hire a veteran, give them a shot. 

 It has been my honor and privilege to serve this country.  I'm not the biggest flag waver in the world. Show me a veteran who got pissed when Colin Kaepernick et al knelt at the National Anthem and I'll show you a veteran who'd have knelt with him. Starting with me.  

I don't need the patriotic theater that comes with our sporting events.  I've marched in Veteran's Day Parades and officiated at Memorial Day services. I've given Medals to NROTC Midshipmen at CMU and I've presented Legion school awards to graduating eighth graders at St.Bedes. I've done the patriotic things that don't involve waving the flag. I vote. I've protested. I've served on juries. Among other things. 

Loving your country is like loving your children. When your kid cuts up and does wrong, do you just look the other way and let them persist in wrongdoing? No. You correct the child, you show them the right way to live and to treat others.  Correction and discipline as well as praise and congratulations produces a well rounded child. Same with the country. A good country needs correction and discipline as well as congratulations and praise.  I love this country, but I will call it out when it does evil. 

Happy Veteran's Day to all those who served this country and to those who love and care for them.

Tuesday, November 03, 2020

Election Day 2020 Part Zwei

Being that it is Election Day and by sometime in December or January after all the votes are counted and the various hacking attempts by rogue nations have been foiled... maybe...We finally find out which decrepit old white guy gets to run the country for four more years. 

Because teh Facebook as will other social media platforms will be going especially batshit with vote by vote coverage of one of the most chaotic elections in our country's history by various news outlets with real or imagined news cred, bloggers, vloggers, hacks, freelancers, and anyone with an itch to get their Dan Rather on and the hand-eye coordination to use a notepad and a pen or a handheld voice recorder or even a smartphone, I for one will not be adding to the miasma. (Talk about a run-on sentence, Whew!!) 

At least not in the sense of posting any political posts. I have the day off and I'm going to get some of this early fall crisp air. And I'd suggest most of yinz do too.  After doing my civic duty, I'm going out for a nosh and a beer and whatever other hinky doings I can get myself into. Money will be spent, more books that may not be read in the next ten years may be bought and yours truly has no idea what the hell he's doing beyond that.

I'm not even trying to watch election coverage later this evening. Not like the election will be called five minutes after the polls close anyway. My black ass will be watching YouTube, or Hulu, or maybe even ESPN. Hell, maybe I'll even read a book. Between the ebooks and dead tree books I have in my house I could open The Little House in the Ghetto branch of the Carnegie Library.  

But, aaaanyway, I have to get my mind off these election shenanigans.  As much as I'd love to see the wide beam of Trump in my rear view mirror, if he gets reelected, it won't really affect me in the least. Any tax cuts he passes won't add more than a buck or two to my paycheck, if that. If he gets us into another war, I'm too old to fight. 

I'd just be marking time until 2024 when he finally trades the White House for the Big House when all the crap he's committed since he's claimed presidential immunity from finally catches up with him. Enjoy those fab new bracelets and plush new accommodations, Donny! 

Well, this rant is getting to blog-post length and maybe I'll post it to my blog. (Which nobody reads, but 

if you get a hankering to. Shameless self promotion.😁😁😁) 

Lets just try to keep it civil and remember that even though we are all on different sides of the political spectrum, we all owe each other a duty to be kind to one another, to love one another, to walk circumspectly, to strive to get past all the rinky dink differences between us and embrace the things we have in common. We have minds to think, hearts to love, and a country and world that needs healing. We can overcome our differences...if we want to.

Monday, November 02, 2020

Election Day 2020

     I might need some shinier foil to boost the reception of my tinfoil hat, (Oh, wait. I have a ham radio license I'm not using. I just brush up on antenna theory and...) 
     Err, uh,... As I was saying...but I have a feeling that more than Russia, and Iran are planning to hack our election. Our buddies from North Korea could jump in. China could make an appearance. They've been hacking us for years. (To be fair, we've been hacking them too.) But our attempts to hack their elections are senseless, because those nations have assured that their dictators are there for life. 
      But given the crazy quilt way in which we in the US run our elections, 50+ separate institutions with varying degrees of election security, counting and reporting protocols, and competence among election officials running all sorts of voting apparati (Is that a word??) All produced by, what, three different private voting machine companies, none of which are running open source voting machine software. It's a wonder that America's house of cards election system hasn't collapsed like a long condemned building.
      Plus Covid jumping in to implement its unique amendments to Murphy's Law. Safe to say that the media won't be able to deliver speedy election results this year. Yup, no calling an election five minutes after the polls close THIS year.
       Yes, boys and girls, I think that with all those factors in place. And considering the two men running for President, I think we are well and truly fracked. πŸ˜ πŸ˜ πŸ˜›πŸ˜›πŸ˜›

Thursday, October 01, 2020

Fun With Apple and Boost Mobile.

      The last couple days could be described as “Fun with Apple and Boost.”

       I bought an used IPhone 7 from Boost Mobile a few months ago (mostly to play games, Especially PokΓ©mon Go, yeah I’m THAT guy.)
       Unfortunately, the battery had gotten to the point where I was getting barely a day out of a charge. So I tromp off to the Apple Store to get the battery replaced. 
It sucks that cell phone manufacturers for the most part, no longer allow consumers to replace their own batteries without taking half the phone apart to do so. They’d rather you spend hundreds of dollars on a new phone, or in the case of Android, a phone with the newest version of the operating system. 😑😑😑. But I digress. 
     Well, after waiting two hours for a repair that was supposed to take about 40 mins, the tech at Apple tells me that due to an unspecified issue with the battery in the old phone, they were going to replace THE WHOLE PHONE!!! Huzzah!!  Apple gave me another iPhone 7, same color, same capacity, for the price of the battery replacement, $49!  Now they replaced my phone with a four year old phone that was probably lying around gathering dust in some back room for who knows how long, but I didn't mind, I don't buy new phones anyway.  But give Apple credit, at least they'll up grade a four year old phone with the latest version of the OS.
       Now this won't make me a Apple fanboy, nor will I  build a shrine to Tim Cook in my backyard, but thanks Apple for doing your boy a solid. Now I had to take this phone home and restore from a backup. I have fairly slow WiFi which is why I prefer to stream content from a cellular connection.  But what Apple gives with one hand, they take away with the other. Apple allows you download updates to apps over cellular, but not updates to the OS or restores from backup. Those have to be done over WiFi😑😑😑 It took about 12 hours and change to restore the phone to its original state. Then I had to spend a couple hours on Boost to resolve an issue with the sim card locking itself after a few minutes from a reboot. Fu-un!           Well, eventually I got that issue settled, and know my phone is going along with a nice battery and I am happy again.                     Technology can make our lives easier, but when it chooses not to sit, and stay, but rather run off and get hit by a passing car, it can be a hassle.  
        So ends the 30 days of Pierre. The 58th observance of such. Damn, this month went fast. They all do anymore. God willing I get to do it again next year.               Well, have a good day kids.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Trump's Not Thinking This Through!

     For those of you who are smarter than I am, and admittedly, that is most of you. 

      I don't get how all of a sudden mail in voting is fraudulent. We've had mail in voting for years and no president has ever contested the validity of mail in voting until Trump.  Trump apparently does not realize or admits that a significant portion of his base will vote by mail. Not every body who goes to his rallies will vote in person. Not every Trump supporter goes to his rallies.

        Military personnel on deployment will vote by mail. I mean where the hell will soliders, airmen, or Marines in Afghanistan or Germany or other far flung locations or sailors on ships in the Mediterranean or the Western Pacific gonna find a voting booth? 

      If he finds a way to get those ballots invalidated, he could be throwing votes away that could decide the election FOR him. 

       He's cutting his nose off to spite his face. He's not thinking this through.