Friday, October 11, 2019


Blue? Here you go.

•   There's not much Whatshisname can do to rev my disgust beyond the current eternal 100%, but his whole bit about how the homeless should be shoved out of sight because they hurt the "prestige" of cities -- because that's on-brand for him, I guess, in both its stupefying callousness and the warped notion it betrays of what people want out of city life -- does push the envelope. Fortunately his enablers manage to make it somewhat entertaining. Behold, Armstrong Williams -- yes, he's still alive, still a terrible wingnut grifter, and of course writing for Ben Shapiro -- purporting to describe his recent trip to San Francisco. First, attend his "before" picture of Baghdad by the Bay:
A decade ago, you could ask someone what they pictured when they thought of the Golden Gate City: the Golden Gate Bridge, of course, as well as beautiful Victorian row houses cloaked in fog, clanging trolleys, a bohemian vibe, a city that took pride in the legendary football team of Super Bowl champions Joe Montana and Jerry Rice, the thunderous power of San Francisco Giants home run slugger Barry Bonds.
Those were certainly the associations I had as I disembarked at the airport and began a brief business trip in the city. 
See, already he's full of shit. This is like a corporate brochure where you start with the traditional stereotypes, then realize your audience is a bunch of chunkheads who'd think "ugh, Victorian, ain't that sumpin' old, I wanna live in a gleaming tower like my hero Donald Trump" -- though they might like the idea of the Golden Gate if they think it's real gold! -- and so ladle in a bunch of sports bullshit (ancient sports bullshit at that -- I guess he's never heard of the Golden State Warriors) because what's he going to tell them? That the city is rich? Which it is -- and that's the actual scandal of all its homelessness! That there's enough money to house everybody, if only capitalism would allow it! --  but in the Trump fantasy these assholes push, the cities must have given all their money to bums in the form of welfare.

Anyway Williams gets down to it:
What I discovered shocked the conscience and literally left me sick to my stomach. 
I walked the streets near the corporate headquarters of Twitter and Uber. These two tech giants are examples of how San Francisco has transformed itself into a hub of technology and innovation. Scurrying along near the building and gliding past on skateboards were young and optimistic men and women dressed casually as they reported for work. A nearby gym was packed with tattooed exercisers pumping iron as electronic dance music thumped from the speakers.
He's right -- I am sick to my stomach! Oh wait, he meant bums:
...I looked on in disbelief as a man held his shirt aside as a woman with matted hair shoved a syringe into his neck, plunging illegal narcotics into his veins. Around the corner, an encampment of homeless people milled about next to a half-dozen tents that had been set up on the sidewalk right next to the entrance of an office building. 
A barefoot man with open sores oozing blood and pus wandered aimlessly in the street, his eyes glazed over and his mouth opening to emit sounds somewhere between howls and moans. Crack pipes were passed among filthy people squatting on the sidewalk.
How'd he leave out the cockroaches, the smell of urine and Thunderbird, and some stumblin' mumblin' dude named Dakota asking him for a quarter? It's like he's not even trying! But:
I could only stare and shake my head as a man pulled down his pants and defecated in a tree box next to a busy road as people walked past and cars whizzed by.
At least he got feces in there! The fans demand it!

Then Armstrong gives us an alleged "unabashed far-left liberal who backed Barack Obama and today supports Bernie Sanders" who tells him, I swear to God, "We need our own [Rudy] Giuliani to come and clean San Francisco up." Maybe San Fran's Rudy is hanging out with Russian mobsters like the real one. Thanks, Williams, for brightening up this depressing homeless-hate with your hilarious crap writing!

•   And hey everybody, sorry for light alicublog posting; besides the Goddamn Job, I am busy all the goddamn time writing my newsletter, Roy Edroso Breaks It Down. It's a paying proposition, but here are a couple of freebies for you from the past week: First, an examination of one Talking Heads song that's always fascinated me (I used to write about music here and also for others and would kind of like to get back to it); second, another of my Oval Office playlets, this one about Trump's boys coming by for some horseplay.

•   American foreign policy has been shit for decades; seen ungenerously, it has always sucked, and only civilization threats like the Confederacy and Hitler have distracted our leaders from straight land grabs like the Mexican-American War, wars of empire like the Spanish-American War, and client state slapdowns like all the little ones in this century. So it figures that libertarians are glibertarians about Trump getting some U.S. troops out of the way so Turkey can massacre the Kurds. For them, anti-imperialism is gestural, so doing Fall of Saigon Middle East Edition is a win even though we're still leaving forces in the region to regulate our interests (oil, Saudi gelt).

Trump of course has no idea about any of this. He only knows who's paying him, and acting accordingly, with a ham-handed attempt to make it look not so terrible:
Mr. Trump acquiesced to the Turkish operation in a call with Turkey’s president on Sunday, agreeing to move American troops out of Turkey’s way despite opposition from his own State Department and military. 
On Wednesday, hours after the operation began, he condemned it, calling it “a bad idea.” 
By that time, Turkish fighter jets were streaking through the sky over Syrian towns, while artillery shells boomed overhead. Traffic was jammed with terrified civilians fleeing south in trucks piled high with possessions and children.
What a maroon. It's interesting that the rightwing propaganda trust is letting out the string for conservatives to tut-tut the president they all, I remind you, still support despite the growing bill of particulars against him. ("Member of US Special Forces says, 'I am ashamed for the first time in my career,'" LOL. Also LOL: Fox referring to the guy as a "hardened service member.") I assume it has nothing to do with their voters or viewers, 99% of whom wouldn't piss on a Kurd or any other brownskin if he were on fire, and more to do with market share or pole position when the post-Trump jockeying for news show slots opens up. I tell you, I always thought that poster about making the military hold bake sales was stupid, but now I like it (only I'd change it to "military contractors").

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