All posts by aaron

How I knew I was addicted to coffee

Our coffee maker has a pinhole in the grinder, which tells you how long it takes us to replace things. I don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing that I have a coffee maker older than my twelve year old daughter. But there it is.

The leak was caused by the abrasive wear of crushed coffee beans. Over the years, it slowly ate away at the hard plastic wall, and finally a pinhole formed, out of which fine grains of coffee spewed every time I made a fresh pot. It filled the gap between the housing and the wall of the coffee maker, with a fine dust of ground coffee. Over the years, the dust compacted to a hard crust, and I often wondered if I should just clean it out.

But another part of me said that I should let it go on compacting, getting harder and harder until at last it formed a brick that I could then grind up and smoke. And that’s when I knew I was addicted to coffee.

America needs some more of Trump’s poison

Lord, I hope Donald Trump doesn’t get impeached. That would be about the worst thing for America right now. Because it needs to continue the crashing descent, it needs to continue to rot. But if they got rid of Trump now, they would be drinking the wine before it fermented.

Something awoke in Charlottesville. When Donald Trump refused to condemn the white supremacists, I think I heard the snapping of attention. A realization that it’s one thing to be under investigation for possibly colluding with the Russians, but it’s another thing altogether to be a closet racist, supremacist, bigot, pick your label. We don’t have a lot of true taboos in this day and age. You can bilk people of millions with a fake university. You can even punch people in the pussy. But let people infer that you sympathize with white supremacists? That’s a whole new level of crazy.

You can ask Putin to hack into servers. You can’t let Nazis off the hook.

Unfortunately, Trump may have played his last card too soon in the game. As much fun as it would be to see the Poseidon Adventure that a Trump impeachment would turn out to be, it would be a bad move on America’s part. Trump has placed a terrible taste in everyone’s mouth, but not terrible enough. Not yet. If Trump leaves now, America will let the establishment off the hook.

If Trump was dumped today, we’d probably let all the politicians who excused or ignored Captain Crazy off the hook. And that’s the worst thing. If Trump left, or was removed, or remanded for 90 day observation, America will go back to the existing system. Back to the status quo. Back to the Same Old World Order. Back to the cleaving of compromise, and the cleavage of corporate sugar daddies.

If America got rid of Trump now, it would be drinking the wine before it fermented.

But if Trump can hang on a little longer? That might be an awfully good thing. If everyone could please back off of the POTUS so he can crawl his way out of this tarpit, and righty into the next disaster, that would be best for us all. Because Trump isn’t the real problem. The real problem is that the people in the halls of power are cowards.

Several months of these presidential disasters that are followed by the immediate silence of congressional leaders? America could use a bit more of that, because it will slowly expose their leaders as a cadre more intent on the welfare of their party, the welfare of their own office, than they are on the welfare of the people they swore to serve.

If it all ended today, the ones that supported Trump, the ones that were silent with each of his gaffes, they will all get a free pass because everyone will will say that everyone was a part of this, and everyone bear responsibility.

But if Trump can stay another year, then congress will not be able to say that. For the time has arrived where the American public has realized there is something terribly wrong, and there will be no forgiveness for a congress that refuses to admit the same.

Things need to get to the terrible point where it can’t be let go, it can’t be forgotten, it can’t be swept under the rug. It needs to go to a point where no one will tolerate anything but the full collapse of the current way politics is done.

There needs to be some more of Donald Trump’s poison.

Flyswatters for the budget conscious

Look at this. flyswatter

This is how you bring about the downfall of corporate America. You build your own flyswatter.
Home Depot told me I could buy two plastic flyswatters for $1.49, which sounded like a great deal until I realized that it would be a half hour round trip to get them. Who has that kind of time, when there are houseflies running around the house. Which is why I made this myself.

All it took was a coat hanger (of which every household seems to have a million), a glue gun (which every household should have because they are totally COOL), and the plastic paddle cut from the bottom of a container of cherries. In an emergency a container of strawberries will suffice.

Don’t forget to poke holes in the plastic. You need to make your flyswatter aerodynamic.

IF YOU AREN’T ONE OF THE ENLIGHTENED YOU CAN ALWAYS GET THIS INSTEAD:

The evacuation of Williams Lake

Mom phoned last night as she was evacuating from Williams Lake.

“I’m a refugee!” she shouted and then wondered at the fool who was trying to merge in front of her, but wasn’t actually merging.  “What are you waiting for!”

She, along with everyone North of Williams Lake and everyone West of Williams Lake was barreling down the highway at the breakneck speed of three kilometers and hour. All roads South converged at “The Y,” which is shorthand for the  junction of Highways 97 and 20, on a steep hill in Williams Lake. All traffic running away from the fires had to go through this needle.

It was Rush Hour in the evacuation.

My mother sounded stressed, but mostly she sounded excited. Leave it to her to embrace the situation. The time of stress, worry, all of that was over. They were now in the middle of it, and they were ready. They had packed blankets, clothes, food and water, because they had no idea how long they had to drive.

It must have been a long night. They had to follow an Oregon Train of literally thousands of vehicles as it snakede past the 150 Mile fire, past the 108 Mile fire, past the Little Fort fire to safety and the Yellowhead Highway, 200 kilometres away.

Last night I went to bed, thinking, it’s probably gonna take them four hours to get there. I was wrong. It took them seven, with no gas stations or a single rest stop available.

When they got to Little Fort, everyone turned right, heading Kamloops. They were the only ones who turned left, going North while the traffic came South from Clearwater, under its own evac alert.

“No one stopped us,” she said, a little bit of awe in her voice. They kept driving North, while the sane British Columbians headed South and away from the fires.

This morning, she called from Blue River, where the smoke was so thick she couldn’t see the mountain slopes on the other side of the road. They caught two hours of sleep and now they’re heading to Edmonton, to their own little refugee camp at Marie’s, and there they will stay until they begin to smell like fish, before moving on to the next refugee camp in Rossland, then finally the one here in Coquitlam.

 

How Putin gamed America


If Donald Trump is in bed with the Russians, how come the Russians are letting their most valuable intelligence assett die an agonizing political death?


Russia has no interest in Donald Trump, and that should make you very nervous, because it means Vladimir Putin isn’t done  interfering in American politics and the destruction of Hillary Clinton is only phase one of Putin’s plans.

If it was true that Donald Trump was in bed with the Russians and worked with them to engineer an electoral victory, then he is literally the most valuable intelligence asset Russia has ever had. Indeed, Donald Trump would be the most valuable intelligence asset anyone has ever owned.

A relationship like the one suspected with Donald Trump is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the Russians. It’s a chance to have direct access to the inner deliberations of the most powerful office on Earth.

If that were true, you expect that the Russians would go to great pains to protect such an asset.

Except they aren’t. If anything, they’re making things worse.

If they cared about protecting Trump, what’s the likelihood that Comey would have been fired the day before a meeting with Russian officials? What’s the likelihood that embarrassing information about that meeting would get leaked? What’s the likelihood that Russia would have allowed Syria to so terribly embarrass Trump by gassing civilians just hours after he publicly said the US has no interest in directly ousting the Syrian regime.

It doesn’t add up. None of it. Russia’s end goal is not Trump’s protection and utilization as an asset. The only thing that makes sense is that the end goal is to turn Trump’s presidency into a constitutional crisis.

Russia isn’t interested in Trump. Russia is interested in destroying Trump.

Don’t buy it? Then answer this one thing. Why should the Russians care about Trump?

There are only two reasons why they would tilt an election in his favor. Either they have him in their pocket — which isn’t consistent with what’s actually happening — or else they hated Hillary. But does that really fit with Putin’s realpolitik attitude? Would he risk a global confrontation just to wreck her dreams of Clinton becoming President? Would he risk seeing a populist wildcard elected?

No. He wouldn’t risk it unless there was another shoe to drop.

Russia surely wanted to hurt Clinton, but that was a secondary goal. This had a little bit to do with her and everything else to do with America. Putin ultimately wants  to reduce American influence on the world stage, to throw it into such disarray that it recedes from the global theatre and concentrates on devouring its own entrails.

It looks to me like he’s succeeded. Here we stand, on the brink of the collapse of American Democracy, if only for a few weeks, but a collapse nonetheless. .

This is the tragedy. Not that Trump is incompetent as a President. But that the Russians have so masterfully manipulated the American mind that we now believe Trump is also treasonous.

Maybe Trump is all that, maybe his isn’t, but one thing is certain: the Russians don’t care about him. They care about destroying him.

Once that happens, once Russia reduces to rubble the foundations of both democratic parties, their triumph will be complete. There is now a wound in the side of America that will take years to heal. And it couldn’t have worked out better for Russia if they had planned it out in every detail

Remember when clowns were just hiding in the forest

Remember all the creepy clown sightings across America this summer?

Every day, someone was showing a picture on social media of something creeping out of the bushes with a wig and foam nose. It was all we could talk about.

And then, one day it was over, as if one of them became President and they were all like, “Can’t top that,” and bam it just stopped.