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Friday, May 11, 2018

Magma cum laude.

Some people count to ten when they're angry. Others resort to a punching bag or maybe a mattress stood up against the wall. I've known people to shut themselves in a closet and scream bloody murder. But THIS ... THIS is outrageous.

Remind me, next time I start a band, don't ... repeat, don't have a mad science advisor. Sure, they can help you out in a pinch, like that time we needed to get to that gig on Neptune and our van had broken down. Or that other time when I needed a personal robot assistant. Thing is, they are so freaking mercurial. (In Mitch Macaphee's case, I think the reason for that may be that he just spent way too much time on the planet Mercury.) And when the act out, it can have profound consequences.

I've never even come close to being a scientist, but when I was a kid - like most American kids - I built a plaster volcano. Pretty sure Mitch did so when he was young, only his little 'cano burned down his elementary school and his mates had to spend the rest of the semester attending class in a cornfield. Well ... Mitch is at it again, apparently THIS time setting his sites on the Big Island in Hawaii. How do I know he's the cause of the recent eruptions? Just have a feeling, that's all. He's been spending an awful lot of time in that lab of his. And I've been hearing a lot of rumbling just lately.

I always get a little nervous when Mitch starts messing around with plate tectonics. It recalls to my mind the protagonist in Matt's song "Why Not Call It George?" - himself a kind of mad scientist, tinkering with the inner workings of our unruly little planet:

Is that thing loaded?Continental drift can be reversed
Great tumblers shift
And Pangaea can be reclaimed  
After me it can be renamed  
Why not call it George?  
Call it George, after me

While we don't have a lot of tectonic activity in our neighborhood, it does get a little shaky once in a long while. And with Mitch Macaphee still pissed off about those NASA shots of Jupiter, I wouldn't be surprised if those tremors get a little closer together. We might even wake up to aggravated volcanism, and I don't mean the plaster variety. (Note to self: order those fireproof goulashes.)

Consequences had.

Elections have consequences, as they say, and few weeks have provided better evidence of that nostrum than this past one. The pullout from the Iran deal (JCPOA) is the most obvious example. Trump has been threatening this since his first Nuremberg rally on the campaign trail two years ago, and he made good on the threat, shredding what was the positive centerpiece of Obama's foreign policy legacy (the negative one being Libya). It feels very much like this is simple get back on Trump's part - there's no way in hell that he ever read even the preamble of the JCPOA; his drive to kill the deal was part of his determination to undo the previous eight years, and he put another nail in that coffin this week.

Trump signs off on another delusion.The Sharpie ink was barely dry on Trump's memorandum to leave the JCPOA before Israel began threatening more action against Iran and Syria. Just the previous week, an official had threatened a decapitation raid on Syria if Assad would not stop hosting Iranians. Now they are firing missiles at "Iranian" targets in Syria supposedly to protect Israelis in the Israeli-occupied Syrian Golan Heights. The Trump administration, of course, is reflexively supporting Israel in this, but it's obvious what's happening here. Netanyahu and his allies are turning up the heat on Iran in order to provoke a larger than usual response; this in the hopes of triggering a sizable American military attack on Iranian forces in Syria or on Iran itself.

Now that all of the pieces of this toxic policy are in place, the situation is deteriorating quite rapidly. Make no mistake - Trump has zero understanding of the geopolitical or regional issues surrounding the JCPOA. His determination to destroy the deal can be summed up in three words: Obama made it. Like the five-year-old he truly is, he is trying - and largely succeeding - to jump up and down on everything his predecessor accomplished over the previous eight years. But the people around Trump - Bolton, Pompeo, Haley, and others - are more ideologically driven on this issue. They are, in essence, driving Trump around like a little tin car. They have the same destination in view, but for different reasons - conflict and perhaps an effort towards regime change in Iran.

The question facing us now is, are we as a nation willing to go there? If we are not, then we need to stand up now and make our voices heard. We need to elect members of Congress who will work to prevent this odious war plan. And we need to do it before it's too late.

luv u,

jp