Friday, March 29, 2019

Flashback Friday -- Penelope Houston

Penelope Houston first came to prominence as the lead singer of San Franciscos's Avengers.

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This is the part where I'm tempted to pretend I was cool enough to have known of the Avengers at the time, but sadly. . .

Anyway, I first stumbled into her when I saw her opening for American Music Club at a little dive called the Full Moon Saloon (I think) on Haight Street, and I was smitten. Both musically, and yes, I admit to having had a bit of a crush on Ms Houston. So sue me. I saw her several times with her folk music group Birdboys after that in various venues around the city. I once ran into Steven Strauss, her bass player in the men's room of the Great American Music Hall and I'm proud to say that I played it totally cool, giving him the little up-nod as if to say "howzit goin'?" instead of geeking out all over. Anyway, please enjoy, on this last Flashback Friday of Women's History Month, the great Penelope Houston.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

How is this being published?

So I was taking some old newspapers to the recycling bin when I saw a headline that frankly dropped my jaw.

Left's Diversity Push Played Role in New Zealand Killings.

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I had to read it twice to believe it.

Who int he Hell would have written such at hing?

Surprise, surprise surprise! Pat Fucking Buchanan is still around!

Now how in the year of our Lord Two Thousand and Nineteen anyone still sees fit to publish the son of a bitch is another issue. But Holy God, look at what the bastard wrote about Christchurch!

Of course he begins with the standard "I don't condone these killings, I have always believed that people should not do murder" boilerplate:

Last Friday, in Christchurch, New Zealand, one of the more civilized places on earth, 28-year-old Brenton Tarrant, an Australian, turned on his cellphone camera and set out to livestream his massacre of as many innocent Muslim worshippers as he could kill.
Using a semi-automatic rifle, he murdered more than 40 men, women and children at one mosque, drove three miles to another, and there killed seven more. Dozens are still wounded, suffering and dying.
An atrocity and act of pure evil by a man with a dead soul.

Okay, you've covered your ass, now what do you really think?

Yet, predictably, within 48 hours, the president of the United States was being publicly indicted as a moral accomplice.

Well, of course your first reaction to racist murder is to try and insulate the racist-in-chief from any incrimination. Obviously that's gotta be your first priority! Although, I gotta ask, are we forgetting to emphatically aver that the gun itself is in no way at fault?

Donald Trump, it was said, used a word, “invasion,” to describe the 76,000 migrants caught illegally crossing the U.S. border in February. At the same time, the killer used that word to describe the Muslim migration into the West.

Well, there was that. But also, there was the fact that the terrorist murderer specifically named Donald Trump as "a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose."

So, ya know. . .  it's not like people are just jumping on a single word that Trump used.

The killer also mentioned Trump in his 74-page manifesto.
What further need have we of proof?
Well, he did a bit more than "mention" him, but why bother with a genuine honest argument, eh?

Anyway, let's skip the Trumpist sideshow and get to the meat of Pat's argument. The rotten, rancid, noxious meat of his argument.

Now, there are no excuses, or defenses, for what happened in Christchurch. But there is an explanation.
All peoples to some degree resent and resist the movement of outsiders into their space.

Holy Fucking Shit, dude!
Let's set aside for a moment that you are using the fact that some people are xenophobic to justify mass murder. Are you saying that this murdering son of a bitch was resisiting "outsiders" coming into "his space?" You do know that white people are not indigenous to New Zealand, right? The people in New Zealand who would have a legitimate complaint about outsiders coming into their land would be the Maori. White New Zealanders are living in "space" their ancestors stole from the Maori. And, as you mentioned in your very first sentence, the killer . . . was AUSTRALIAN. So he didn't even have a half-assed claim to wonership of this "space." HE was a foreigner. He was upset about "outsiders" moving into someone else's "space" which wasn't even their "space" to begin with.

Some migrants are more difficult than others to assimilate into Western societies. European nations that had not known mass migrations for centuries were especially susceptible to a virulent reaction, a backlash.

Oh my God. So the reason that Muslims got murdered in New Zealand is because there were Muslims in New Zealand?
That's like saying "you know, if the banks didn't have all that money in them, John Dillinger wouldn't have had a motive to rob them. So, it's kinda their own fault."
Or it's like saying "Hmm, the pastor here is a child molester. The solution is to not allow any children to attend services here which, oh my God, I just remembered that a church in  Florida actually did! Hold on, we need to go on a tangent here.

A Florida church had previously barred children from attending service because a sex offender convicted of two counts of child molestation had become their pastor right after he got out of prison. He was prohibited from being in the vicinity of children, prompting the church ban on children.

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So, the church council or the deacons or whoever is looking for a new minister and they're interviewing this dude and they're all like "so I see you were at St. Mark's for four years, you were the senior pastor at First Baptist. Then there's a gap in your resume'. What have you been doing the last several years?" And this pastor's all "oh, I've been in prison. I'm a vile, loathsome child molester!" And the hiring committee is like "Dang, other than the child molestation thing, I really like this guy. Do we even have that many children in our congregation?" And the solution is somehow not "get the hell out of our church and never darken our doorway again. Deacon Smith, would you call an exorcist please?"
The solution is "well, what if we just don't allow children in the building while he's in the pulpit giving us lessons in morality?' I mean, fuck, I know it's Florida, but come on!

There's really no way you could make this any worse! What's that, Florida? Hold your beer? Well, okay, but I don't see how. . .

Just the other day, the probation on the pastor was changed to enable him to minister to children and the church leaders lifted the ban from kids attending service.

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Look, I understand the idea of giving someone a second chance, but. . .

In 2009, Gilyard pleaded guilty to lewd or lascivious conduct and molestation involving two girls younger than 16. His 2007 resignation after 15 years as pastor of Jacksonville’s Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church, a 7,000-member predominantly African-American congregation, marked the fifth pastorate he lost due to allegations of sexual misconduct.

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And you're seriously going to let children around this scumbag? What does the judge have to say about that?

According to WJXT, a judge modified Gilyard’s probation which now enables him to “minister to children under the age of 18 as long as the children are supervised by an adult other than the defendant.”

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All right, anyway, let's get back to the subject at hand: Pat Buchannan being a huge disgusting racist asshole.

Americans, after all, reacted viscerally to the Irish migration of 1845-1849, and, again, to the Great Migration from Central and Eastern Europe from 1890 to 1920. Inter-ethnic violence was not uncommon.

Aaaaand. . .? And that waaaaaas. . .? That was. . . no? You don't know? You don't know this one? It was WRONG! When did your Irish ancestors come here? Do you think they were okay with Americans "reacting viscerally" to their arrival? You think ot was okay that inter-ethnic violence was visited on them? I understand the value of tradition, but just because American assholes were shitty to the Irish a hundred fifty years ago and shitty to Germans and Poles 50 years later doesn't mean we should be shitty to Muslims now. It was wrong then and it's wrong now.

Our leaders in the 1920s understood this and took steps to halt the migrations until those who had come could be assimilated, and, in a word, Americanized. It worked. By 1960, we were a united people.

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Oh my God! Imagine actually thinking that! Imagine being a person who was alive in 1960 and actually thinking that!

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Yup, just one big happy family!

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       Ah, so united!

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Boy, I sure hope immigration doesn't sow the seeds of division and spoil this time of peaceful harmony!

Then, without the people’s consent, the great experiment began:
America’s doors were thrown open to peoples of every religion, race, culture and creed, to create a different nation
Wait, what? Without the people's consent? Were we not a Democratic Republic in the 1960s? If  "the people" didn't want increased immigration, couldn't they have just voted in representatives that were even more xenophobic than your average Congressman?

The problem: A universal nation is a contradiction in terms. A nation of all races, religions and tribes had never before existed.

And, as we all know, if something has never existed, it can't be done and is inherently bad. That's why the Founding Fathers didn't try to create a constitutional democracy where citizens could choose their own representatives in goverrnment and there would be no monarch. Because such a nation had never existed, and they wisely understood that if something hasn't happened before it is just too dabgerous to try it now.

The liberal democracies that embraced this ideology, this idea, are at war with human nature, and are losing this war to tribalism and authoritarianism.

I thought you were supposed to be some sort of a Christian.
You know, the entire idea of Christianity is to be at war with human nature. Your basic human instincts are to take whatever you want, kill anyone who might be a rival and fuck every woman you see. The goal of Christianity and pretty much any major religion, is to get people to say "even though I want to do this or that thing, I won't because it would make Baby Jesus cry and then I'll go to Hell." And I'm not saying that you need religion to get people to behave like civilized human beings. You don't. As long as your parents taught you empathy. Anyway, we're getting off track here.

If I'm understanding you correctly, what you're saying is that the way to stave off tribalism and authoritarianism is to have a strong leader who will not allow anyone but your own people in ot the country?

As for Christchurch, unfortunately, such horrors appear to have become the new normal. But Brenton Tarrant alone is responsible for what he did. And it was not Trump but the New World Order globalists who fertilized the soil that spawned him.

Yes. The murderer alone is responsible for his actions. Agreed. No one else is to blame for his despicable actions. Not Donald Trump, not Candace Owens, not "pewdipie," whoever that is. Only the killer is to blame. Oh, and also, it's the globalists' fault. And the New World Order. But not the racist right.

If the globalists would only stop letting "those" people into our nice clean white countries, white people wouldn't have to murder them.

Seriously, how in the hell is anyone publishing this asshole?

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Making America Stupider.

Flat-Earthers' Cruise Will Sail to Antarctica 'Ice Wall' at the Planet's Edge.
Organizers of an annual conference that brings together people who believe that the Earth is flat are planning a cruise to the purported edge of the planet. They're looking for the ice wall that holds back the oceans.

dos equis facepalm GIF by Dos Equis Gifs to the World

Oh my God.
At first I thought "well, good. This should finally disabuse them of their ridiculous 'theories,'" but then I realized that if - IF - this cruise ever actually happens, they will probably just sail towards Antarctica until they see a glacier and sya "there it is! That's the ice wall!"

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This flat-earth thing is getting close to becoming my favorite conspiracy theory.

My current favorite is the Roswell UFO thing. What I love about the Roswell conspiracy theory is that the believers actually have managed to convince themselves that the reason the Air Force is covering up the existence of alien space craft is because. . .

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. . . wait, hold on. . .

The Air Force is covering this up because. . .

. . .they don't want people to panic!

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The United States military, the group that spent 60 years telling us to be afraid - VERY AFRAID - of the Russians, the people that have spent the last 20 years telling us we need to be terrified of Muslims, that military wants to PREVENT people from panicking?!?!?! Do you have any idea how much god damn money would be thrown at the Air Force if they could demonstrate a threat from flying saucers?  If they had a crashed alien spacecraft, they would have paraded it through the streets of every city and town in the USA. They would have been on every news program on every network screaming about how much better the martian technology was and how our very survival depended on spending whatever it took to catch up.

So anyway, that's my favorite conspiracy theory because the whole reason behind it is just so hilariously dumb.

Now the flat-earth people, they don't seem to have a reason behind their conspiracy at all. I mean, it's one thing to look out at the landscape and say "it looks flat to me." And it's one thing to say that the ancient Greek mathematician who figured out that the Earth is a sphere must have gotten it wrong, but there are photos of the Earth from space showing it to be quite spherical. So in order for their theory to have any leg to stand on, those photos have to be fake. Which means that NASA would have to be engaged in a massive hoax/coverup. But why? Why the hell would NASA care about deceiving people about the shape of the planet?

I watched part of a documentary about these people on Netflix and they all believe this. They all believe that NASA is involved in perpetuating this enormous lie. But, having watched probably half of this movie, I couldn't begin to tell you what they think NASA's motivation is.

Illustration of Earth as a flat dome.

Oh, and also there's a dome. Depending on who you ask.

One of the flat-earth people pointed out that "NASA" sounds sort of vaguely like the word in some ancient language for "deception," so . . .you know. . . . that's pretty much scientific evidence right there.

Anyway, bon voyage and don't hurry back to all the flat-earth geniuses heading for Antarctica. You're all part of the enstupiding of America and you can all get bent.

And speaking of making America stupider. . .

CNN has not seen the Mueller report. No one has. Except William Barr and it's doubtful he's been able to read it yet, as it's likely about as long as the Ayn Rand box set. The one thing that we do know is that it does NOT exonerate him. And yet, there's CNN jumping in to repeat any Republican spinmeister's talking points as if they were gospel truth. Because, you know, "liberal media."

You want to know who did a better job than CNN covering the Mueller report? You may want to sit down for this. . .FOX!

Yes, that FOX.

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Mueller did not exonerate Trump – Barr acted as judge and jury. Now Congress needs to do its job

By Mary Anne Marsh | Fox News

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First, let me start with a fact. We have not seen the Mueller report. Let me repeat that…We have not seen the Mueller report. Not one page. Not one paragraph. Not one period. Nothing. So, we have no idea what is in it, what Mueller did, what Mueller said, and what, if anything, Barr used from it to make his decisions.

Are you seeing this, CNN? You could take a lesson in journalistic standards from. . . wait, are we sure? . . . Yep, from FOX.

Speaking of decisions, if Barr is to be believed – and that’s a big if – then Mueller wrote a report that didn’t make one decision regarding any crimes he examined. Is this possible? It is hard to believe and highly unusual, if true.

Oh my God, this woman is going to get fired. God bless her!

Speaking of decisions, if Barr is to be believed – and that’s a big if – then Mueller wrote a report that didn’t make one decision regarding any crimes he examined. Is this possible? It is hard to believe and highly unusual, if true.

Wow! I mean, I would expect this from. . . I don't know, probably not anyone these days. . the Nation maybe? But she is writing for FOX GODDAMM NEWS! This is astonishing! Seriously, read the whole thing (link) it's amazing.

You know who else could take a lesson from -- god, this feels so weird -- FOX?

These guys:

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Mueller Finds No Trump-Russia Conspiracy

Ugh! What has become of you, Grey Lady?

And the less said about Vox, the better:

Trump: Barr letter on Mueller report shows “total and complete exoneration”
“The findings of the Department of Justice are a total and complete exoneration of the President of the United States.”

I mean, what is the point of that headline? You're just repeating a lie from an habitual liar with every incentive to lie and making that your headline? Do you think that beginning with "Trump:" makes it okay? I mean, technically, you're not saying that Trump was exonerated, you're saying that Trump said Trump was exonerated, but  it might as well just be a press release and you might as well be his publicists. If you're going to use Trump's words for your headline, you need to say something like "TRUMP CLAIMS TO BE EXONERATED, THERE IS NO EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT HIS CLAIM." Or "TRUMP SAYS THINGS ABOUT MUELLER REPORT, THOSE THINGS ARE PROBABLY NOT TRUE AND TRUMP IS A COMPULSIVE LIAR WHO SHOULD NEVER BE BELIEVED WITHOUT CORROBORATING EVIDENCE."

Why would anyone, other than complete hacks like Sarah Huckabee Sanders, ever report on what Trump says about what Barr says about a report that Trump has never seen and Barr has not read as if it had any credibility? No journalist should ever take any statement from anyone in Washingtonm at face value. That goes double when the statement comes from a Republian, since they have proven over the last several decades to be less than honest brokers who can never be given the benefit of the doubt. And that goes double again when the statement comes from anyone in the Trump administration, as everyone in Trump's orbit has shown themselves repeatedly to be shameless craven bald-faced liars. Pretending otherwise is just making America stupider.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Centrists Never Learn

Former DNC chair Donna Brazile to join Fox News

Brazile in a statement said she was “delighted” to join the network and said she was eager to represent Democrats for Fox News viewers, who she argued don’t “hear enough from Democrats.”

God, could anything be more on-brand for Donna Brazile? I don't know what could be more pathetic than thinking that if we just reach out to people who willingly submit their brains to hours of FOX's right-wing propaganda every day, we're sure to find some common ground. Surely they will listen to reason! And sure, my presence on their network will allow FOX to continue to propping up the thin veneer of "fair and balanced" or whatever they're calling it now, sure I'm helping them to try to rehab their image with some facade of legitimacy, but that's beside the point. We all need to work together, blah blah blah.. . .

She acknowledged that she might catch heat from members of her party for the move, saying that “my response is that, if we've learned anything from the 2016 election, it is that we can't have a country where we don't talk to those who disagree with our political views.”

So in other words, we have not learned anything from the 2016 election.

The one lesson we should have learned from 2016 is Play To Win. There is nothing to be gained by playing not to lose. It's tempting to think you can just sit back and be the responsible adult in the room while the other candidate implodes, but it didn't work for Al Gore (a campaign run so teeibly by Donna Brazile herself)* it didn't work for John Kerry, and it didn't work for Hillary Rodham Clinton. The Republican electorate Does. Not. Care. how incompetent, how stupid, how ridiculous their candidate is, they are going to turn out to vote for him. Honestly, they like a candidate even more if he's seen as stupid or incompetent because they see voting for him as "triggering the libs." You can not expect that you're going to be able to pry any votes away from the Republican candidate by reasoning with them.

These people are not reachable. They can not be reasoned with. They need to be soundly defeated, not appeased.

The only way to win is to energize your base, get your voters to the polls, give them something to vote FOR, not just a Republican monster to vote against.

These centrist-liberal "third way" Democrats still think that we can get back to a pre-Gingrich version of Washington where Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neill would go out for cocktails after work because despite their differences, they still respected each other. Those days are gone and they are never NEVER coming back.

Barack Obama spent eight years trying to get along with these people. Their response was to state publicly that their chief legislative goal was to make him a one-term President, then filibuster and obstruct everything he tried to do including refusing to even consider anyone he might nominate to the Supreme Court. They spent 8 years sometimes implying sometimes stating outright that President Obama was not born in America, then elected one of the biggest mouthpieces for that smear to the presidency.

They do not care and they do not care who knows it. There will be no getting along, there will be no compromise, there will be no dialogue, there will be no good faith negotiations because they do not believe in any of those things. Those things are all anathema to them. Even if some of them wanted to work out some sort of compromise, they would be afraid to admit it because they know they would get primaried by someone even crazier, stupider, and farther to the right.

And FOX is a big reason why things are the way they are.

And Brazile thinks she's going to accomplish something by becoming a part of this network.

They never learn.

*And yes, I know the 200 election was stolen, but Christ, it never should have been close enough to steal!

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Conservative Victim of the Day

So, which conservative is being bullied, oppressed and silenced today? If you guessed "all of them," you're probably right, but specifically, today's most victimized conservative is painter Julian Raven.

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You may have heard of Mr. Raven, especially if you follow a lot of smart-alecs on Twitter, because his painting "Unafraid and Unashamed" was featured prominently in this year's C-PAC.

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Is it a good painting? Not really. But that's no reason it shouldn't hang in the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery, is it?

Pro-Trump Artist Julian Raven Is Waging Legal War Against the Smithsonian for Rejecting His Magnum Opus
Caroline Goldstein

Yes, conservatives, as we all know, despise frivolous lawsuits, so ipso facto this case must have merit.

So, om what legal grounds is Mr. Raven suing? Well, obviously the Smithsonian has violated his freedom of speech by declining to hang his painting in the nation's most prestigious gallery.

The artist has been mired in a legal battle with the Smithsonian since 2017, claiming that the government institution is violating his First Amendment rights.

And right he is! It says right there in the Constitution, that if you make a portrait of a prominent American you have an absolute right to see that portrait hang in one of the nation's premiere museums! Unafraid and Unaware should be hanging right next to these portraits of Martin Luther King which MUST be in the Smithsonian somewhere, right? Because artists have a First Amendment right to be displayed in the Smithsonian, right?

Martin Luther King Drawing Contest

“I have this incredible, unprecedented case that may go all the way to the Supreme Court,” painter Julian Raven tells The Daily Beast.

Well, I'll give you "unprecedented." Because I'm pretty sure there's never been a lawsuit this dumb before. And "incredible" in the sense of "hard to believe?" Yeah, I guess I gotta give you that one too. And I just honestly can't think of any scenario in which the Supreme Court of the United States of America would decline to hear such a landmark case. I'm sure they don't have any more pressing matters to adjudicate.

Raven initially requested that the National Portrait Gallery display his painting to coincide with Trump’s 2017 inauguration. But he said that the gallery’s director, Kim Sajet, told him that it was “too political” and “too big” and, generally, just not very good.
“The last thing she said to me was ‘it’s no good,’” Raven said.

That's it? "no good?" And just because it's "no good" you think it shouldn't be in a museum? What is this, communist Russia?

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In Russia, painting hangs you!

Soon thereafter, Raven filed a lawsuit against the Smithsonian, claiming that the museum had infringed on his First Amendment rights and his Fifth Amendment right to due process.

Wait. Due process? Has your painting been arrested? Is there some possibility that your painting could be imprisoned? Without a fair trial? Geez, it's worse than I thought! What is this, Nazi Germany?

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First they came for the good paintings.
 And I  did not speak out because my painting was not good.

Raven, who lives in upstate New York, first got the idea for his enormous Trump painting in 2015 when he saw the then-presidential candidate on television.
“I just had the words go through my mind: ‘unafraid and unashamed,’” Raven told The Daily Beast. “The image in my mind was this soaring flagpole, a U.S. flag pole falling to the ground. Right before it falls to the ground, an eagle swoops in and snatches it.”

Ironic you should use the word "unafraid" when discussing Trump and an eagle.

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I have to agree with you on one point though. When I saw Il Douche running for President, I too thought of the word "unashamed." Well, technically it was "shameless," but tomato/tomahto.

After being fascinated by the image, Raven got to work.

Um, you spelled "hallucination" wrong.

Raven, who describes himself as a “starving artist,” says the painting and its pro-Trump politics have also damaged his livelihood by pigeonholing him as a political artist. In 2018, Raven said, he sold just one painting.

Well surely there's someone you can sue for that! Maybe the deep state?  The Democrats? Maybe you could sue President McCheese for sucking so hard that no one wants to buy a painting from an artist associated with him. The point is, there must be someone else to blame. Nothing is ever your fault if you're a conservative. There is no legitimate reason anyone would not want to plunk down hard-earned money for masterpieces like this:

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Raven hasn’t given up. He has a pending appeal in the D.C. Circuit court of appeals, premised on a complicated theory about the Smithsonian’s legal status within the federal government. Raven argues that the Smithsonian is not a part of the federal government, but is instead a trust run by the government. That means, Raven claims, “guaranteeing free speech participatory rights to the beneficiaries, we the people!”

Oooh. That does not seem like a strong legal argument. Now I'm no fancy big-city lawyer, but it seems to me that if you're going to claim that the government is stifling your free speech (by not elevating your painting to national treasure status) it might be best not to claim that the entity doing the stifling is not actually part of the government.

Raven says the quality of his work shouldn’t be relevant to whether his painting is exhibited at the gallery.

Yeah, what do they have standards or something? Talk about elitist! I also believe my portraiture has every right to hang in the nation's premiere gallery.

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Honest Abe never looked so noble!

He compares his painting to a 1990 caricature of Trump from The Nation that’s already in the museum’s collection, which he says “looks like a guy drew it on a napkin in a restaurant.”
“It’s not an archive of great paintings, it’s an archive of portraits,” Raven said.

Right. Every portrait ever produced in the United States is supposed to be hanging in that gallery. The good ones, the lousy ones, the ridiculous ones. Do you think people travel to D.C. from all corners of the country to go to the National Portrait Gallery and only see good paintings? I know I'd be disappointed if I waited in line to go in to the gallery and only saw paintings of "quality" done by "artists" with "talent." What am I, French?

If Mr. Raven's legal arguments don't seem compelling enough, just listen to the story of how the painting "Uninformed and Unsound" came about.

July 9th, 2015 The vision 'Unafraid And Unashamed' Happened.

Sitting listening to Donald Trump speak about the real problems facing the US and looking at a photo online, the see [sic] an American flag falling to the ground and an eagle swoop in [sic] snatching/rescuing the flag as the words 'Unafraid And Unashamed' as if on a ticker-tape pass along the screen of my mind.[sic]

Weeks Pass... The Vision Lingers

Daily the vision would be present, the image of Trump's face the Bald Eagle snatching the falling flag.  Three elements and a snatching scenario that played over and over again.

Finally, just paint the image already August 19th, 2015

After weeks of meditating on this recurring vision there was only one way to make it stop, paint the painting.
I finally sat down to work on the eagle on my computer when my 13 year old daughter approached me and asked If I was working on a sculpture of an eagle.  I said no.  Without me saying anything except it was a painting, my daughter turned around and said "Dad, why dont you paint the painting of the eagle and give it to Donald Trump so when he becomes President he can hang it in the Whitehouse'.  Wow! I was speechless!

Yeah, I would be, too. If I was an unsuccessful painter whose daughter - a teenager, not a toddler - thought that I could just paint something and just stroll over to the most famous person in America who is surrounded by Secret Service and his own personal goons, and just hand him that painting so he could hang it in the WHITE HOUSE! Yeah, I'd be a bit taken aback, too. You know what I wouldn't do? I wouldn't say to myself "by God, the kid's got a good point! I should just walk up to the Republican nominee for President and hand him my stupid painting of an eagle. But wait! I have an even better idea! I'll make that painting 16-feet across and 300 pounds with his stupid ugly dumb face plastered onto the left half of the canvas and I'll give him that monstrosity! Surely a man like that, a man who sits on a gold-plated toilet, would be hasppy to have random strangers approach him in public with comically oversized paintings that they expect him to accept with gratitude! He is a man of the people, after all. He hasn't lost the common touch. Maybe he'll put it in his personal 747 for safekeeping and fly it down to his gilded penthouse apartment to store until he is able to have it brought to the WHITE HOUSE!" That is not something I would have done and I tip my hat to you, sir, for having done it!

Coincidence or Providence?

My daughter's words had left me stunned.  After weeks, the only day I sat down to work on the painting other than internally, my daughter makes a statement, that had all the indications of prescient knowledge, beyond just a good idea.

Well, honestly, I'm not sure it was a good idea at all seeing as how no one seems to want this fucking painting, you never did give it to Cheeto Mussolini, and it supposedly has damaged your career. Seems like maybe whimsical 13-year-olds aren't the best source of career advice?

The Next Morning, August 20, 2015

Early the next morning I go to CNN and to see what Trump was saying that day.  There was a video segment 'I had a visitor  today', so I clicked play.  As the video rolled, it was about a Time Mag photoshoot that morning.  Suddenly there was Trump standing in the middle of his office with a Bald Eagle perched on his left arm!  I was blown away!  I thought the photo was a photoshopped image, I was so dumbfounded. 

I Believed Trump Would Be President!

I was stunned, staring at the screen I knew I had to paint the painting and I knew Trump would become President.

Before long I was in my studio building the 7x15' stretcher frame for the canvas.  What was I going to paint, I did not know, I just followed the impulses that kept driving me to painting the vision of my mind.

Wait, you had no idea what you were going to paint? That explains a lot. Maybe next time, a rough draft?

Nearly 600 Grueling Hours

The grueling task was painting from scratch an image that was only bare bones in my mind.  The details would come as I kept painting, nothing was planned out, the entire composition was developed on the canvas.

Over and over again I painting and repainted [sic] the image as I tried to make it right.  It was nothing but a monumental struggle to get it right, since I had never embarked on such a work of art.

You've never embarked on a work of this type. And you think "well, my first attempt should probably be given to the future President of the United States. I'm sure he'll want to hang it in the National Portrait Gallery!"

Oh, and there's apparently a video if you want a guide to the hidden symbolism in "Unkempt and Uncouth."  I couldn't find it, the video that was embedded on his website is just like a montage of him painting and taking the damn thing around. Anyway, these are, according to  , screenshots from the video:

Raven goes on to describe some of the symbolism he’s painted into the work, including a border wall with an open door “for legal immigrants to get through,” a curled-up fetus, and the frayed end of a loose rope meant to evoke the snake motif of the “Don’t Tread on Me” American Revolution flag.

Okay, so what have we learned today? I think the main takeaway from today's discussion is that if you are a conservative, any time you don't get exactly what you want, any time anyone doesn't accomodate your every whim, every time someone disagrees with you or criticizes you, YOU ARE A VICTIM! If you are a conservative, you get to play the oppressed minority, no matter that you are a hetero, white, Christian male in a country run by hetero white Christian males. And whenever anything doesn't go your way, it's not because of any failing on your part. It's not because you simply weren't good enough. It's because the odds are stacked against you by the darn lib'ruls who somehow run everything despite not controlling any of the three branches of government nor most stahehouses or boardrooms.Everything's against you if you're a conservative and nothing is ever your fault. Right, Mr. Raven?

 He says that the reason his work is stuck in litigation and not on the wall of one of the premier galleries in the nation’s capital is strictly a matter of politics. The art world, he insists, “is controlled by very strong political ideologies on the left.”