November 30, 2012

Has the 2016 Election become a horse race?

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 2:37 pm

America’s journey to Election Day 2016 began with a single step in the form of a front page article in the New York Times on November 23, 2012, which effectively anointed JEB Bush as the Republican frontrunner.  Since the World’s Laziest Journalist rarely gets news tips and doesn’t have well placed sources who will provide him with newsworthy inside information such as we read in a recent Tom Hartman column that described some astounding chicanery used by Richard Nixon in his second bid for the Presidency in 1968, we will have to continue relying on our usual modus   operandi of occasionally attempting to point out the obvious in the “naked emperor” manner, ridiculing pomposity, while mixing in some obscure facts and names (which we call Google bait), and pop culture references, as a way to inform and entertain the regular readers while simultaneously conducting the search for topics which we (occasionally) manage to find before the mainstream media does.

For those who doubt that there are any “naked emperor” stories that journalists in America haven’t explored fully, we would ask: Why haven’t they asked these questions?:

Why did George W. Bush get a pass on Questions (Building 7, the vanished airplane wreckage near in and near the Pentagon, and the mysterious entities who profited from short sales of airline stocks) regarding Sept. 11, while President Obama is being held accountable for a full and immediate explanation of what happened in Benghazi?

Why did the press sit silent when George W. Bush expanded Presidential powers yet they join the chorus denouncing it when the Egyptian President makes a power grab?

Now that voices from the left are virtually extinct, where are the howls of outrage about the “liberal media”?  In a country that says it values free speech, shouldn’t there be patriots asking: Where did it go?

Was coach John Madden serious when he suggested on his KCBS radio show that it was a good idea to slather mayonnaise on a peanut butter sandwich?

It is a bit too early for a rogue pundit to start assessing the likelihood of a 2016 contest between Hilary and JEB that will be compared to a horse race, so we will try to find some interesting and entertaining topics that are available to a pundit without “reliable sources” and let the mainstream media report the latest poll results.

On Black Friday, we encountered five young guys from Belgium whose quest for adventure had brought them to San Francisco.  They were part of a group of artists calling themselves Harmony Street (which has a Facebook page) and they were selling hand made post cards to augment their finances to sustain their “on the road” lifestyle.  If we run an item about the San Francisco phase of their journey in one of our columns, isn’t it likely that several of their friends back home will be sent some links which will provide an infinitesimally small bump in the total number of hits?

Later that same day we encountered a young man from San Diego who was interviewing people about their assessment of the annual deluge of holiday films.  We told him that we personally were eagerly anticipating the arrival of the film version of “On the Road.”  We managed to give him our opinion without having to forfeit our record of keeping the Internets clear of images of our face.  To see it, click this link:

If a blogger can be considered a “digital Kerouac, then we have a reason to mention that postings have resumed on the blog that describes the “on the road” facet of life for “the Hitzels</a>.”

The road to the next Presidential Election Day is littered with hazards but there is one possibility that all political pundits both conservative and liberal are completely (until earlier this week) discounting:  what if the Republicans want to drive the economy off the fiscal cliff?  (Who will be the first pundit to compare the political showdown for the fiscal cliff to the game of chicken sequence in the film “Rebel without a Cause”?)

The Liberal pundits can not conceive of choosing to make that move so they use the psychological phenomenon called projection to assume that since they wouldn’t do that, then neither would the conservatives.

It would take a fair amount of work to write a column suggesting that the “please don’t throw me in the briar patch” strategy (from the Uncle Remos stories about B’rer Rabbit) might be lurking in the Republican leaders’ minds and neither liberals nor conservatives would give such a column serious consideration, so scratch that idea . . . but if that’s exactly what does happen don’t blame the World’s Laziest Journalist for not writing a tip-off alert column.

On Black Friday, we went to the Union Square in San Francisco to see how the convention of shoppers, political activists of the animal rights variety, protesters, office workers, tourists, police, and journalists was going.  The contingent of police was augmented by mounted patrolmen who were riding horses wearing badges and Santa hats.

After a referendum in Berkeley CA to enact a sit-lie law was narrowly defeated, Mayor Tom Bates brought up a variation of the issue of who should sit where by requesting that the seating chart for the city council be adjusted so that his colleague and political opponent councilman Kris Worthington would not be sitting next to the Mayor.

When the local web site Berkeleyside asked the Mayor why, his quick quip answer (“So I don’t strangle him.”) brought renewed intensive journalistic scrutiny to the Berkeley City Council.  Mayor Bates told a local TV crew “It was just a joke!”

In the Go-go era, would an independent citizen journalist have been able to report the possibility for an ecological disaster because of the gold mining efforts in the Pascua Lama area before the BBC ran a similar item about that business story from South America?

What about beating the New York Times with mentions of the 1939 BMW replica motorcycle, smoking bath salts, and pointing out that the opening statement by the lead American prosecutor at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials crippled the Bush supporters “he didn’t know” argument?  Do they count as “scoops”?

The famous, fictional San Francisco cop, Dirty Harry (Cling Eastwood) said:  “A man’s got to know his limitations.”  In the new era of overextended news staffs, rogue pundits who report information which will appeal to liberals has got to expect that conservatives will disparage any items that don’t fit the conservatives’ narrative and they will marginalize any such independent commentators.

Could the Myth Busters TV program be plotting an expose that makes the assertion that the World’s Laziest Journalist works very hard to maintain his laid-back, happy-go-lucky ersatz Gonzo style of column writing?

The conservative critics who think that the über-cynical World’s Laziest Journalist is being led astray on his path to an eternal reward will be glad to learn that he has been provided with an autographed copy of “Turtle on the Fencepost:  Finding Faith through Doubt” (Richard B. Patterson Liguori Publications) and will read every word of it.

Back when Sean Connery was slipping into the role of James Bond and the Rolling Stones were trying to land a deal with a recording company, we were trying to improvise a plan that would deliver a life consisting of: meeting interesting people, seeing interesting sights, and witnessing interesting events.  As this column was being written CBS radio news ran an item noting that the film “Casablanca” opened on November 26, 1942, and we were delighted to realize that would give us plenty of conversational opportunities to resort to this comment:  “I’ve been to Casablanca and I’ve been to Paris – I prefer Paris.”  Sometime between now and the 2016 Election Day, we will write a column that will go under the headline:  “Raspberries, Jim Morrison’s grave, and the missing sewer tour.”

The road to the 2016 Presidential Election will be a tough slog so why should a freelance pundit bother to make that journey?  Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream offer bumper stickers that advise “If it isn’t fun, why do it?”  According to the philosophy of Ben and Jerry and the guiding principles of Gonzo Journalism, if it looks like fun then have at it.

Robert Louis Stevenson, in “An Inland Voyage,” wrote:  “To know what you prefer, instead of humbly saying Amen to what the world tells you you ought to prefer, is to have kept your soul alive.”

Now the disk jockey will play Dave Dudley’s “Six Days on the Road,” the Beatles’ “Long and Winding Road,” and Johnny Cash’s “I’ve been everywhere.”  We have to go and prepare to attend the “Winter Pow Wow.”   Have a “Why do we do this, Buzz?” type week.

November 29, 2011

Did Philip K Dick use a time travel machine to do ghost writing for Shakespeare?

Note: Parts of this column may have been fabricated . . . or fictionalized . . . or not. Otherwise you will have to believe that the Government and America’s Free Press collaborate together to keep you from learning the truth.

As December begins and the film reviewers cope with an onslaught of films about murder, incest, alcoholism, adultery, drug addiction, incurable diseases, and crippling sports injuries, folks skimming through the various Life and Arts sections in American newspapers looking for some holiday entertainment, have a subtle clue for the fact that awards season has begun.

Competition and news coverage will be extensive for the scramble for the various awards given to movie makers, but there are other less newsworthy awards that the media will ignore. Lost in the madding crowd of eager award committees will be an obscure band of specialists trying to select this year’s best new conspiracy theories.

Fans of the veteran stalwart conspiracy theories, such as Building 7, the magic bullet, and any advanced intelligence about the attack on Pearl Harbor, will have to wait until the Conspiracy Theory Hall of Fame holds it’s annual Induction Awards dinner (you have heard about that, haven’t you?) before they can start reviving their darling candidate.

To be eligible for the right to be awarded the 2011 Conspiracy Theory of the Year trophy, a theory must have been hatched during that particular year.

Has some kind of diabolical, coordinated effort kept you blissfully unaware of any new conspiracy theories?

Top contender for this year’s title, according to an unimpeachable source in the R&D Department on the Amalgamated Conspiracy Theory Factory campus (located at an encampment in the Desolation Wilderness, perhaps?), is the wild speculation that the Occupy Movement may be a “false flag” operation funded by a wealthy pair of Conservative billionaires known only as “the Bobbsy Twins.”

According to the unsubstantiated hypothesis, the Occupy Movement was fiendishly engineered by a well known Republican dirty tricks specialist (code named “the Architect”?) so that it would initially resemble the Tea Bag movement, but would ultimately fail and bring dishonor and humiliation to the Liberal cause. Under the “one for all – all for one” banner, the tricksters would inundate the General Assembly meetings with the street people, who would have been institutionalized in a country with a more Liberal agenda for the needy, and thereby cause the attempts to determine the general consensus on policy questions to seize up like a car engine running without oil.

If the problem of wealth disparity calls for innovations from a bold thinking charismatic leader, then it stands to reason that injecting the movement with a considerable number of stoners would stymie the movement from the git-go. When slackers camp-out are they called “tent potatoes”?

Remember that the Tea Bag movement was composed of well dressed retirees who were provided with bus transportation to and from the events. They were not given free tents.

On Thanksgiving, Occupy Oakland sustained an incident that produced a video (that immediately “went viral” on the Internets) that was instigated by denying the public the use of port-a-potties in the Frank Ogawa Plaza area. Free meals had been provided on late Thanksgiving morning, so by limiting afternoon access to restroom facilities, a spontaneous incident was virtually assured. Could Heinrich Himmler have devised a cleverer ploy? Isn’t using a free Thanksgiving meal to precipitate a need for restroom facilities that subsequently can’t be used a fine example of using the compassionate Conservative Christian philosophy to gain political points?

Is that the only fresh conspiracy theory for 2011?

Could all the Republican debates be a fiendish plot to flood the airwaves with Republican talking points while all the time the eventual Republican pick sat out the process on the sideline, thus being provided with immunity from gaffs and embarrassing quotes? If such a “hypothetical” candidate from the Republican bullpen wins his party’s nomination then (in retrospect) this could be a conspiracy theory eligible for the 2011 award, but since nobody is expressing the idea it can’t possibly win this year’s award.

Can the early prototype version of a conspiracy theory win the annual award? If so, here’s a sneak peek at one in the “mockup” stage at the Amalgamated Factory: Could the Occupy Movement be a covert effort to provide easy maintenance inmates for the privatized prison industry?

Here’s how the conspiracy theory lunatics would see it: the folks who get arrested for “trespassing” can be charged with either simple trespass (which is a misdemeanor and usual ends with a fine or forfeiture of bail) or it could be criminal trespass which can mean getting a lawyer, having a trial, and getting a prison sentence. If you were running a privatized prison which would you prefer to use to stock up your facility: either hardened criminals or inept protesters who advocate non-violence?

Be careful analyzing this concept because if you don’t “get your mind right, Luke;” you run the risk of becoming a newly baptized lunatic conspiracy theorist and thereby insure that all the other regular listeners to Uncle Rushbo will laugh at you.

It’s not just fans of the old Jim Healy sports news program who are asking: “Is it true . . . ?” Some of the grizzly old journalists on the conspiracy theory beat are begging their best sources for more information on the rumor that the boys at Amalgamated are pitching a “Conspiracy Theory Lunatic’s History of the United States” project to some publishers in New York City. It could also carry the title “The Encyclopedia of Conspiracy Theories.”

Doesn’t a dynamic new generation of Conservative thinkers deserve the opportunity to scoff and express righteous indignation over the absurd questions raised in the past about:
The mysterious death of Ronald Reagan’s chimpanzee co-star from “Bedtime for Bonzo”
The mysterious death of George Reeves
The possibility that an ancient Amrbose Bierce ghosted columns in San Francisco under the Freddy Francisco byline?
Was Earle Flynn a Nazi Spy?
Building 7 (Is there an Occupy Building 7 encampment?)
Was the death of Che Guevara faked? Was he really offered a chance for a new identity under the witness protection program? Did he (in his fake identity life) become a member of the City Council in a small California University city and fight endless battles with that school’s liberal students?
Did some guy named Felix Rodriguez really toss a very top secret report on the faking of Hitler’s Death and his subsequent life (in the witness protection program) as the mayor of an Ohio city, on his boss’ desk and say: “We could do the same thing with Che!”?
How could Geronimo’s skull possibly wind up in a mansion in Kennebunkport?
Last and certainly not least, why hasn’t Oakland mayor Jean Quan been featured on one of the Sunday morning TV shows featuring newsmakers?

Isn’t it curious that the time and location for the unveiling of the official selection of the award winning Best New Conspiracy Theory of 2011 is not being provided to the various important assignment editors? The results will be e-mailed to newsrooms after the Awards ceremony has been conducted. What up wid dat? Why the secrecy?

In the past, we have encountered a story about the Rich’s conception of being poor: When a wealthy dame was told that the poor are always complaining about hunger, her response was to ask “Why don’t they ring the bell?” and thereby signal the servants that food was needed stat. Any attempt to explain how that wouldn’t solve the problem for the poor would only have taxed (no taxing for the rich!) her intelligence beyond it’s capacity to function.

Unfortunately our attempts to do some online fact checking to learn the source of that anecdote have been unsuccessful. Why can’t his columnist find the source for that anecdote online?

Now the disk jockey will play Chuck Berry’s “My ding-a-ling,” “The Bells are ringing,” and “Bell of the Ball.” We have to go back in the ring for round 7. Have a “where did it go?” type week.

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