TrumpRussia 2.0

by Shelt Garner

This is really bonkers. But it’s entertaining to mull this possibility, so here we go. We all know how much Trump loves to suck Putin’s cock, so it would make a lot of sense if those two guys continue to chat like school girls. And we know that Trump never met a quid pro quo that he didn’t like.

So, what if Putin told Trump — hey, it’s not the House flipping you have to slow walk January 6th things in the courts to, it’s a point this December.

Trump wouldn’t know when, exactly, but he would know that the eyes of the world would turn rather abruptly to Ukraine soon. So much so, that we would wake up in six months and look at each other, shocked that Congress’ January 6th investigation has mysteriously faded into nothingness.

Now, obviously, this kooky idea falls part after this because the Republican Party could very well collapse into two waring camps if Putin misjudges the willingness of Ukrainians to fight for their nation. The longer the war lasts, the more Putin-loving Trump will begin to tear away from the rest of the Republican Party.

But Trump, obviously, doesn’t have the mental ability to do that second and third level political thinking — he’s more of a grunt kind of guy –so, it’s possible this informal quid pro quo might happen.

Or not. I have no proof and it sounds kind of bonkers even to me.

I note that The Washington Post is reporting that evidence suggests that Russia may attack Ukraine early next year with 175,000 troops.

So, if there is any discussion between TrumpWorld and Putin that would mean the there are any number of other, less nefarious explanations for why they’re slow walking everything — that’s just Trump people do. The whole Russia thing could very well be happening totally independent of what’s going on in the States with Trump and January 6th.

But the war starts early, like, say between now and Dec. 16, then, that would be really spook, because December 16th is the date TrumpWorld lawyer Jeff Clark pushed his Congressional testimony to.

What The Fuck Is Putin’s Russia Up To Around Ukraine?

by Shelt Garner

Putin is up to something curious around Ukraine. The one thing I’ve noticed lately is someone has blocked the troop movement Websites that a lot of armature observers of this developing situation have been using to date. Which definitely seems to suggest that Putin wants as much leeway to strike when and where of his own choosing.

At this point I would like to point out that Stalin was a paranoid motherfucker with a lot of foresight — almost all of the capitals of the Soviet Republics were originally placed in geographic locations that are very close to the border of a sister of republic. I’m assuming his thinking was by doing so, if one of the two was in rebellion, the other one could at least be near the capital of the rebellious Republic.

So, if you look at the map of Belarus, the only thing that separates its border to in the south to Ukraine’s capital of Kiev is a large, long lake. So, if there was some sort of crazy huge war between Russia and Belarus against Ukraine, it’s easy to imagine a one two punch pincer movement by Belarus and Russia to strike Kiev.

If Putin really is preparing a open, general war against Ukraine it’s going to come a huge fucking shock to Americans. And, it has to be noted that in some ways a major regional war in Europe would help Trump a great deal and in another way would hurt him.

It would help Trump for the basic reason that it would crowd out all other news in the domestic news echo chamber to the point that a lot of his defeats about the investigation into January 6th could be pushed off the front page. And, the argument could be made that in the minds of most Republicans the fact that Putin waited until AFTER Trump was president to attack Ukraine would “prove’ that the TrumpRussia imbroglio was a “hoax.”

And, yet, such a war could also fuck Trump over for two reasons. One reason would that for a lot of the smarter center-Left thought leaders like those at Crooked Media and Deep State Radio, the logic of Putin waiting until AFTER Trump was in office to invade would be obvious — why invade Ukraine while your stooge is in office and devastate him politically, when you can just be patient and wait until he’s out of office and do the same thing?

The other reason why a major war between Russia and Ukraine could seriously hurt Trump is if there was a long term regional war between Ukraine and Russia then there would come a point where Trump’s absolute fidelity to Putin would bump up against the Republican’s historical hostility to Russians. And, that, might be the setup for a massive civil war between MAGA and the Republican Establishment to the point that Trump’s Patriot Party eats the Republican Party or the center-Right is simply hobbled for a few presidential cycles until they get their shit together.

In fact, sad to say, that’s one of the ways we could both avoid autocracy and civil war in the United States because if the Republican Party is too busy strangling itself, it can’t very well kill American democracy or start a civil war, now can it?

A New Era: Let’s Rock

by Shelt Garner

Ugh. Why is everything so dumb.

Nothing I write here will make any difference. But tonight I’ve been watching a a Netflix documentary about Studio 54. It has gotten me thinking about the macro trends that prompted the popularity of Studio 54.

The key issue at hand is getting COVID19 behind us. But success requires risk and a willingness to get ahead of the curve. Yet let me be clear — this is just me mentally masturbating. Or, put another way, this is the tycoon version of me in late 2006 – early 2007 in Seoul who was both DJing at the best expat dive bar in Seoul while publishing a monthly magazine for expats.

I’m hungry.

And I’m not suggesting that any of this means anything — it doesn’t. I would have to win the lottery to make any of these dreams come true anytime soon, but I just wanted to note that once we finally get over COVID19 that people are going to want to party.

But all I’m saying is there’s a good chance that we’re just about to enter A New Era of some sort. It’s risky to make any assumptions on just your gut, but how else are you supposed to “disrupt” anything?

This, only in New York City.

I think back on Nori in Seoul, the little dive bar I used to DJ at and think about how much fun that was. What if you could transfer that dive bar’s great vibe to a bigger venue in New York City somewhere? Say, maybe the East Village. You get basement space that’s Studio 54-big, but design in such a way that it feels really intimate and the dance floor would be so tight that people would get all hot and sweaty and exited when just the right song was played.

Meanwhile, where’s our Spy Magazine? We have the undead Gawker, but it just doesn’t have the snarky spite of the old Gawker. And music, why is it so hard for rock music to come back as popular form of entertainment?

I think what I’m feeling is nothing more than nostalgia. That’s it. For what I want to have happen, happen, I would have to have access to several million dollars — at least — and connections, a shit ton of connections.

Anyway, I just had to get that out of my system.

Could A Second American Civil War Really Happen?

by Shelt Garner

This blog exists in oblivion. Outside of the odd, seemingly random scraping of it by the Internet Archive and some site in Iowa using Microsoft Azure, the only traffic I really get is people who are worried about a Second American Civil War.

I’ve kind of said my peace for the time being on the matter, but given the steady flow of people interested in a 2ACW, I thought I’d pontificate some more.

The key thing to remember when talking about a 2ACW is it’s at one end of a wide spectrum of possible outcomes in the next three to four years. At the moment, all signs point to the United States slipping peacefully into some sort of ever-tightening autocracy. A 2ACW is just potentially too far away in time for me to be able to say for sure one might happen or not.

Or, put another way — all the conditions are there for the United States to transition peacefully into autocracy no later than January 2025. I think MAGA is popular enough that they won’t even have to cheat. They will cheat anyway, but by January 2025, the United States will be on the path to becoming a political clone of Russia.

And that would be that but for one thing — Trump.

Or, to put it another way, the combination of Trump being a chaos agent and the bloodthirsty nature of the MAGA New Right could very well be a set up to the Right self-owning in a pretty astonishing fashion by starting a 2ACW that they could very well lose.

It is telling that so many people are low-grade freaking out about the potential for a 2ACW that they’re goosing my website’s traffic. But, again, at the moment I don’t think we have anything to worry about. Autocracy is just too popular.

One metric that I’m keeping an eye on is how insane Republicans when they regain the House and Senate. If they put bonkers people in their caucus in positions of power, then, well, that’s a pretty good indication that in the 2024 – 2025 time frame Republicans are going to push us to the political limit.

There are plenty of reasons to think that our political system will ultimately bend, not break, but, lulz, we still have time to fuck things up.

So, do I REALLY think we are going to have a 2ACW? Maybe. Ask me again in a few years.

Omicron: Sometimes, They Come Back

by Shelt Garner

We all have been working on the assumption that COVID19 would come and go and later at some point we would face The Big One. This new pandemic would be separate from COVID and be so bad that we would look back at the years 2020 – 2021 and realize we really didn’t know how good we had it.

Yes, but.

It’s beginning to dawn on me that there is a real chance that The Big One may be nothing more of a continuation of the original COVID19 outbreak. Or, to put it another way, what if 2020 – 2021 is seen by future historians as analogous to WW1?

We could face a new, highly contagious and deadly COVID19 variant that is not something independent of COVID19, but rather a variant of it. It’s easy to game out a situation where we go through off of this again with the same virus, but we end up with far, far, far more people dead.

How likely is that to happen? I honestly have no idea.

But it is a hyper modern Modern Problem for us all to mull. It’s very possible that sooner rather than later our entire world could be upended by the same virus that’s been doing it since late 2019.

Kenan Thompson Could Save CNN’s 9 p.m. Primetime Slot

by Shelt Garner

I get why CNN is so obsessed with hard news interviews at 9 p.m. on weekdays. I get it. The soft interviews at that time slot that were the backbone of CNN from its inception, just isn’t how CNN views itself these days.

But given how shitty Chris Cuomo was at that hour, for this old fart at least, it would be nice to sit down and watch someone like SNL’s Kenan Thompson just be himself and have a laid back, friendly chat about the days news.

Thompson has been with SNL for about 20 years now and it’s unlikely he would leave the Peacock Network for any reason, but, ideally, this would be his show’s format five nights a week:

It would open with a cold open that Thompson produced with some SNL-like players about the day’s news. It would open the show and set its tone. Then the rest of the show would be three or so very casual, soft interviews that were very Larry King in nature.

Thompson is, in real life, a very soft spoken guy and I think audiences would love watching him learn about the days news with them. It would be a relaxing change of pace from the We’re All Going To Die tempo of most primetime cable nets primetime line ups.

But, lulz, what do I know.

When To Panic About Omicron

by Shelt Garner

I am not an expert. You probably should aggressively ignore anything I have to say. But I am pretty good at running scenarios, so let’s go through what would be a few “tipping points” on the issue of Omicron (or something similar) that would force us all to sit up and take notice.

  1. We Learn Vaccines Aren’t Working
    Vaccines are our first line of defense. But I am hearing conflicting messages about Omicron. I’m hearing that it’s a lulz if you’ve been vaccinated. And I’m hearing it has significant breakthrough data. So, I don’t know. It seems we pretty safe for the time being on that front.
  2. It Spreads A Lot Faster
    This definitely seems to be something going on with Omicron. If your community is unvaccinated, it moves a lot faster within your community.
  3. The Mortality Rate Is Far, Far Higher
    In the end, I again use the metric I used with COVID19 when it first came out — how many people are dying or getting really sick? I thought it was going to be A LOT of people, when it turned out to be far less deadly than my initial belief. So, for me, at least, we would have to have the three strikes of blowing past vaccines, spreading a lot faster AND the death rate being a lot higher (even for the vaccinated) before I would grow too concerned.

    For the time being, I’m taking a wait and see approach, as should you. Grab a towel. No need to panic.

I Agree With This YouTube Hot Take On What’s Going On In Ukraine

by Shelt Garner

The above YouTube video pretty much lays out what’s going on with Ukraine and Russia right now. The only difference in opinion between his hot take and mine is he seems to assume a war is a lot more likely than I do. I’m still on the seeing’s believing fence. I’ve been through this too many times to think Putin is going to risk it all.

But I do agree that the conditions are right for a major or “open” war to happen in Ukraine at any moment. And I agree with him that what Putin’s war aims end up being will depend a lot on the initial reaction of Ukrainian forces. If they do really well, then Russia will back off. If Ukrainians do really poorly, then Russians might make a drive for Kiev.

Yet, as I keep saying, if Putin is too successfully, he’s going to open Pandora’s box. If the central Ukrainian government collapses, there is no telling where things could go. If Ukraine has a fascist government hell bent on taking back all the territory lost to the Russians, then that’s a whole different ball game.

We’re not there yet. A lot would have to go wrong for everyone. I’m still mulling the situation. I haven’t made up my mind yet as to what is going to happen.

‘Baring My Soul’ #Lyrics #Pop #Rock #Country #Ballad #R&B

These lyrics are really good, at least relative to my ability. And I could see with a proper producer they could be turned into either a pop rock ballad or a pretty good modern day pop rock country ballad. Anyway, I know nothing about music, but I have a broken ankle and so you get this.
Baring My Soul
lyrics by Shelt Garner
please give credit if you produce or perform

broke my ankle
running your way
sorry to say
you won’t be my nurse
now I’m cursed with pain
in both my body and soul

bearing my heart
bearing my soul
’cause I’m got a broken heart
hoping you’ll heal it
at least that’s a start
bearing my heart
bearing my heart

you said I lied
(I did, maybe a little)
so I rushed your way
to explain the truth
in the darkness of the night
I fell into the drain
what a fright

bearing my heart
bearing my soul
’cause I’m got a broken heart
hoping you’ll heal it
at least that’s a start
bearing my heart
bearing my heart

you told me I belonged
in the drain with the pain
I had caused us both
but you don’t believe that
not one bit
you know we’re met to be
not down the drain with the shit

bearing my heart
bearing my soul
’cause I’m got a broken heart
hoping you’ll heal it
at least that’s a start
bearing my heart
bearing my heart

My Theory On Dr. Ronny Jackson & The Sway Trump Has Otherwise Normal Human Beings

by Shelt Garner

Any discussion of the rise and rise of Trump has to be done in the context of America’s receding empire. Unlike ’30s German, America isn’t aggrieved, we’re just struck with a severe bout of existential malaise. In a sense, 9/11 marked the beginning of the end of America’s empire because we were to find ourselves in Mesopotamia and Afghanistan before it was over with.

By 2016, a huge segment of the American electorate was growing tired with empire — and with the liberal-progressive social changes of Obama’s second term — and the time was ripe for an autocrat.

And everyone assumed it would be ding-dong Trump who would ascend to power, turn the United States into an autocracy and that would be that. But ultimately, Trump was just an empty suit. He did have one specific autocratic ability, despite his laziness: once you got into his personality death cult, there was no going back.

But this leads to the question, why?

The answer on an individual basis for the whole clusterfuck can be found in the personal instance of Dr. Ronny “Feel Good” Jackson. All he had to do is lie and say Trump was not over 300 lbs, and therefore obese, and he would find himself with a nice, cushy — an safe — Republican seat in Texas delegation to Congress.

Just take that amount of power that Jackson got for selling his soul and expanded upon the broader US government, and you have a recipe for a seriously fucked up situation. By the time Trump got impeached the first time, the US government was totally off the rails. It was being run like TrumpOrg, which is, not very well. Everything was ad hoc and a lot of idiots who otherwise would never have any direct link to power were meeting with POTUS on a pretty regular basis.

So, in a sense, there was a direct link between Trump’s management style and him getting impeached the first time. When it began to sink in with people who knew better that Trump was treating the US government like TrumpOrg, he got impeached. He got impeached the second time because he his failings as an autocrat were put on display when he put all his chips on Mike Pence “doing the right thing,” (at least relative to Trump.)

This was all happening in the context of a derogation of democratic norms, institutions and beliefs within the broader society. So, next time, I think Trump is going to win fair and square (-ish) and the autocracy will be established quite peacefully.

But there is always a chance that, lulz, we have a civil war.