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Friday, May 18, 2018

Near hit.

Okay, I'm going down into the basement. Anyone care to join me? No? Right ... off I go, then. If anything dramatic happens while I'm down there, be sure to let me know.

Hello, friend(s) of Big Green. Yes, I'm trying to push the envelope a little bit here. The mail carrier doesn't like to get to close to this place (in that it's an abandoned mill), so whenever I mail something, I have to push the envelope down the walk to the curb. Also, we've just recorded something like half a dozen songs and someone ... someone has to mix them. Even though that means cloistering myself away in a dank and musty basement, churning out the mixes and probably missing that monumental event that's scheduled for the coming week: namely, the asteroid fly-by or "near miss".

I put that in scare quotes because, as George Carlin pointed out years ago, what people call a near miss should really be called a near-hit. Semantics aside, I just want to re-emphasize here that THERE'S AN ASTEROID HEADING TOWARDS THE EARTH!!! Am I panicking? Well, I wouldn't call this state of mind "panic" - it's not shrill enough. It's more a kind of agitation ... the kind you get when an asteroid grazes your exosphere and puts a scare into your large natural satellite. Am I scared? No more than the man in the moon.

It's close. TOO close.It had occurred to a few of us that we should take the opportunity of this asteroid fly-by to gather some important data on this mysterious visitor from deep space - data that could provide answers to vital questions like, "what color is it?" and "is there a Starbucks there yet?" How would we go about this? Well, we have Marvin (my personal robot assistant). And we have Mitch Macaphee's model volcano. If we put one in to the other at the right moment, there's a moderate chance that item A (Marvin) could reach escape velocity and, maybe, navigate his way to the asteroid. And when I say "moderate", I mean a degree of probability that is, perhaps, calculable if and only if we were willing to make the effort to calculate it. And, well ... we're not. So, Marvin? GET IN THAT VOLCANO!

Okay, so ... before you think less of me, remember that Marvin does not need air to survive, nor gravity, nor food or water. He is an automaton. That said, he doesn't much care for outer space. And in light of the fact that he's nowhere to be found, he's not too fond of volcanoes, either.

The Bolton effect

Well, it has taken, what ... two weeks? Two weeks for Bolton to blow up not only the Iran deal but the nascent detente with North Korea as well. Quite an accomplishment, but then he is the same John Bolton that helped lie us into Iraq and provoke an earlier standoff with Iran and North Korea, back in his Bush 43 days. And while I hate to give the man too much credit for being relevant, Kim Jong Un did call him out by name in that communique, citing Bolton's comments about disarming North Korea along the same lines as what the U.S. did with Libya. Now, I have to think Bolton knew what effect his words would have. I doubt that he would have believed the North Koreans would think that a positive comparison. (Clearly, they did not).

Dead wrong ... for different reasonsBolton appears to have leveraged the fact that our credibility is shot in order to foment this crisis. The world doesn't need reminding that in Libya, we talked Qaddafi out of his nuclear arsenal, then supported an uprising against him that ended with this murder. They don't need reminding that both Iraq and Afghanistan, non nuclear states, were both invaded by us and are still under the partial control of our military. So, they know that we are liable to attack if you don't have nuclear weapons ... or if the U.S. manages to talk you into relinquishing your arsenal. What lessons would you draw from this kind of behavior?

Not that Bolton alone has brought us to this point. Trump's big mouth, apparently, played some role. Kim Jong Un, it appears, watches American television (or has people do that for him) and was able to hear Trump bragging about his initiative regarding Korea, boasting that no other president had done what he had done, soaking in the calls for a Nobel prize. But this Trumpian noise is not rooted in any ideology aside from Trump's own cult of personality. Bolton, on the other hand, has an ideological foundation, not as a neocon, but more as an old-style imperial interventionist who disdains international institutions as irrelevant and values overwhelming American power over all else. He represents a deeply rooted mindset in our foreign and military policy establishment, and people like Bolton can use Trump to further their ends. They may have to pick their fights a little carefully, but that shouldn't be a problem for an old hand like Mr. Mustache.

Hey, people - we knew it was going to be bad. And it's likely to get worse before it gets better. Just push for peace ... that's all we can do.

60 Dead in Gaza. What a disgusting spectacle this week has been - Trump's spawn celebrating the new American embassy in Jerusalem while IDF snipers pick off protesters at the Gaza border with deadly precision. More on this later. Again ... worse before it gets better.

luv u,

jp