Entertainment for Armageddon: Trump’s racist NFL bullshit inspires Stephen Colbert’s greatest monologue

like Stephen as Stephen, but until now, I didn’t love him like I did on Colbert Report, but in this monologue he makes up all that lost ground, and more in the most succinct, pointed, funny, and patriotic commentary I’ve seen thus far on Trump’s despicable, ignorant, racist, NFL/National Anthem bullshit.

The Science of Retractions

the retraction that caused all the comments

I have an odd affinity for the “corrections and retractions” section of periodicals. Maybe it comes from being a copy editor at my shitty little boarding school newspaper, or – more likely – I’m just weird.

Either way, with very few exceptions, most corrections or retractions go virtually unnoticed. (There was a relatively recent discredited Rolling Stone Magazine story where the screw up got more attention than the original article, but that’s very rare, and there were some exceptional circumstances and forces in that case that simply aren’t present in the countless, buried retractions and corrections that are printed or posted every day in periodicals large and small.)

To me, one benefit of the internet-ization of news is getting to see comments on retractions.


For one, it makes me realize that I’m not the only human alive reading the fine print that taketh away the large print.

For another, the comments on retractions/corrections tend to be less primitive and more informed than the sad state that most comment sections have devolved into. And surprisingly, they’re often slyly clever and sometimes just downright, wickedly, funny.

(Perhaps this is because most of the people who make the effort to seek out this tiny corner of the media universe are likely to have a higher than average interest in the specificity and power of words. We are protective of words and of facts. We catch the well-hidden and nicely wrapped sketchy premise underlying the bombshell conclusion. We define “fact” by terms more stringent than the mere existence of confidently written words and no obvious, instant, screaming rebuttal. We poke and prod, dissect and test, examine and question before we are satisfied.)

However, as much time as I spend reading “news,” I spend far more time gobbling up legal briefs and opinions, dry governmental documents, memos and reports of all shapes and sizes, from tax records and budgets to USAWC doctoral thesis submissions.

And of course, for decades now, my main fare has been academic journals of all shapes and sizes. As a college student I found a sympathetic doctors’ office that would give me old copies of JAMA and Lancet.

But, one thing peer reviewed scientific articles tend to lack is the same sort of “retraction” issue that mainstream articles do, because by nature they are supposed to be provable. (At least not disproven or immediately disprovable.)¹

And the “peer reviewed” part was a fairly successful check on too much nonsense making it into the rare, and rarified, pages of the lofty, top-tier annals of science.

Anyway, my point is that, at least to the best of my recollection, I don’t recall seeing a retraction of a study published in a well-regarded, peer reviewed, scientific journal. Hence, not much retraction action.

Until now.

And now that I’ve seen this odd creature in the wild, I want more —

because it is AWESOME.

The comments of the snooty syntax snobs in the New York Times or Washington Post have nothing on these commenters.


First, the “retraction” – the term is used loosely as the method of the correction was at least as much, if not more, the issue of the article as the original mistake itself.

And the original mistake is 15 years old, which is, by itself, pretty unique.

the retraction that caused all the comments

Chemical & Engineering News ²

I really like – to an unnatural extent, probably – the chemical structure of molecules. I mean that. I love them. I can look at them and see infinite possibilities. My mother loved jigsaw puzzles, and I really didn’t. But I look at Lidocaine, and I am fascinated. (Water, actually, is the most amazing fucking molecule ever. Okay. I’ll stop.)

Here’s Lidocaine. It’s practically begging to bond.

(It’s also highly symmetrical in comparison to other compounds of similar complexity.)



Lidocaine is cool


Water is not as impressive by itself, and even the 2D interlaced molecules can’t come close to doing it justice: it is the strangest, most beautiful, near magical thing in the entire world. Period. Seriously. Check it out.


Okay. Back to my Chemistry Commenters.

(Names obscured in most obnoxious manner imaginable. Sorry.)

“15 years?” begins what quickly becomes of  long line of seriously enthusiastic comments….

the chemistry of retractioins-obscured names


Alternate ways of proving or disproving the fuck-up are examined. Inspiration for further experimental extrapolation is quickly extracted from the fuck-up.

comment kickoff

Even whether or not the fuck-up actually was a fuck-up, is intensely discussed and debated.

is it a fuck-up


The debate was robust, but respectful in every way. There was a feeling of near-euphoria at swapping out ideas, compiling thoughts and knowledge, and solving a problem.

Mostly, it was just the weirdest – and most fascinatingly fun – comment section I have ever, ever, ever encountered.

comment-compliment-and hey-u-wanna-know-my-idea--sure-email-me

In the end, they wade neck deep into the weeds, but in doing so, they actually figure out what went wrong, why, how to fix it, and how to recognize it – rapidly and respectfully sharing information that leads to a natural, satisfying conclusion. 

chem crowd

Who knew that comments could have a conclusion? 

(I mean, of course, anyone could still comment, but these few people totally worked out – by sharing knowledge bit by bit – something that for over 15 years has been, at best, murky.)

There’s so much bullshit and vitriol in the world right now that this detour into a geeky, obscure universe that communicates without attacking and is rewarded with the satisfaction of solving something, even if it is something obscure, made the world a happier place for me, even if only momentarily.

The person who, perhaps, seemed to outshine the others in basic Chemistry knowledge and just overall limberness in his logical abilities wrote what I thought was the best comment of all, and it was not at all Chemistry specific.

Although it may seem simple and obvious, our actions and what I see of society generally, doesn’t reflect it, so I suppose it bears repeating.

We may find ourselves in the position of seeing someone else’s mistake, and may want, or even need, to correct it. But we should always appreciate the fact that —

we could be making the next mistake ourselves.

you could be the one making the next mistake


As I was moving on from the website, marveling at the potential of crowdsourced knowledge in general, and how much more powerful it seemed to be in this highly specialized field – where sharing knowledge has always been valued and is deeply rooted and entangled in ways that might be foreign to other disciplines – I was, and still am, awestruck.

I was about to close the screen when I caught sight of a title in the sidebar:

accidental proof

“Crowd-based peer review passes test”

Oh, yeah. It sure does.

¹ This is less true now than in the past due to the extraordinary increase in the quantity of outlets publishing scholarly works and the public availability to what was, not long ago, only shared within small, specialized groups due to the extraordinarily prohibitive costs necessary for subscriptions.
² Chemical & Engineering News/ISSN 0009-2347/Copyright © 2017 American Chemical Society

“How does a black person not get shot in America?”

“How does a black person not get shot in America?”

Nazis Make a Lot of Sense – Military Theory Part II


We need brute force to keep our drones. We certainly cannot lose them to the enemy. For our drones we need Germany. 

We are not leaving Germany to chance.

Oh, say, you know who’s good at that?


Yesterday’s forward.com article written by Lili Bayer was featured on today’s Democracy Now! and Forward reporter Larry Cohler-Esses made a surprisingly devastating case that Sebastian Gorka, Trump’s “chief counter-terrorism consultant,” is a pledged member of the Hungary -based, Nazi Vitézi Rend group founded in World War II. (Gorka is a Hungarian national who only received US citizenship five years ago.)

And I’m saying it makes sense from the military perspective. In the cold, dead, Machiavelli mindset it makes perfect sense to pack Nazis into every government crack you can find. Through the lens of this murderous, greedy, necrophiliac Pentagon pestilence America has nourished for a century, it makes perfect sense.

In fact, from the perspective of the Pentagon’s Rumsfeld/Cheney “burrowed” warmongering staff,* not having Nazis would be the nonsensical choice.

These guys are playing the long game and we have been letting them by following their shiny Strawmen, of whom Trump is, in many ways, just the worst of the lot in a long line of anger-deflecting, useful idiots in our puppet regime.

And the Masters of War know how weak he is; they wanted him weak. And they know that he won’t last, and they don’t want him to. They’re almost done, anyway. So while we’re watching 24-hour cable news with ads from Boeing because God knows Jake Tapper fans are huge Boeing customers another group of our official mouthpieces whose paychecks are paid by their advertisers, like Boeing and Walmart and MasterCard and KFC, whose interests lie in anything but an informed public and whose business plans are based on ratings, where the only thing that tops controversy is war, they are busy putting the final touches on their final scene.

They are dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s on the There’s No Going Back Now plan.

We are already at war. We have been at war.  For a long damn time, now.

News is almost extinct, civil rights are nonexistent, censorship is being battened down with furious rapidity and almost no mention, and after that, it’s

So from their point of view, Trump’s complete idiocy is an asset.

Nobody is minding the store. Not that a president has had much power to “mind the store” in a long while, but still, politicians are a pesky bunch and as the future, in their minds, is a fait accompli – because it doesn’t take a West Point grad to see that bombing the same motherfuckers you’re arming is


not a good idea, and that sooner or later the term “nuclear option” takes on a more literal meaning.

And since arming the people we’re bombing has been official military policy for so long we don’t even notice it, what’s the play?

(There is one. A simple one. But we’re in these assholes’ addled brains at the moment, and yes, those probably are worms you’re feeling crawling all over you, so we won’t stay long.)

Now, based on everything these assholes have done and are doing, based on only the facts that no one argues over, and from their perspective:

what is their play?

Any eighteen year old Army Private is well versed in “first-order effects” and “second-order effects.” This is not rocket science.

So Trump and his band of loyal Nazis is their answer.

And our chance.

Just as the solution is always inside the problem; just as every equation is always simultaneously its own inverse; and since the question is the answer and the answer is the question, it just might be that this useful idiot is quite useful to us as well.

Trump has given us a target and aroused passion. And Lord God Almiiiiitey, did we ever need that!

Still, there are those of us who still must keep our eye on the War Machine ball speeding along at breakneck pace. Some who know that changing Trump for Pence or Clinton or whatever other Scarecrow they stick in front of us changes the font and leaves the equation intact.

This is not an insect bite. This is in the bloodstream. In the marrow. In the soil, the seeds, the water, the industry, the food, churches, schools, clothes, air, and the fucking small town fire departments, for god’s sake. So it’s pretty important that those who actually can grasp that, do.

On September 11th, 2001 three World Trade Towers fell

and so did any pretense of war.

The groundwork was laid. No more rehearsals.

Opening night had finally arrived.

And it does not take a wealth of world history to illustrate this.

Tic-Tac-Toe Level Knowledge is more than enough.

[Lights! Camera! ACTION!]

Two big dots on the horizon, please and thank you.


 Vietnam  → “War on Terror” 

  • Vietnam – a fucking mess

    • (Lesson: Volunteer Military, no damn draft.)
    • (Lesson: You don’t want actual news coming out.)

Both of these are symbiotic. And everything before and since, a million moving pieces only point one way. Detail folds in upon detail to form an HD mosaic. There is no puzzle once one looks. There are no deductions needed. But the world is vast and deep and we are flooded with input, so that even those who spend a lifetime studying cannot take it all in, let alone even know what information is needs to be taken in.

We see fragmented sections, and if that is not by design, it must entail one extraordinary flood of coincidences.

  • War on Terror: there is no “we” in “war”

    • (Lesson: Except where absolutely necessary never ever let the left hand know what the right hand is doing. In fact, chop off every hand you can and move as rapidly as possible to eliminate hands attached to humans altogether.)

Humanity is the death of war.

Can’t have that.

[[of aside of aside of aside]]
I am stating both those very evidence-packed conclusions as fact without putting forward even a hint of supporting testimony – something I am not given to doing – because I believe the prima facie facts involved are so strong as to be presumptively stipulated to.
  • My belief that there’s no chance in hell anyone will ever read this particular post may have factored in, as well.
But, on the off chance, like, the way, way off-chance that there is any man or machine in existence that will both read this and believe there is some opposing fact that calls the into question a presumptive stipulation,, even if improbably,  I will retract it as fact, add your thoughts and support for claim(s) questioned.
[[of aside of aside of aside]]

Well hell, I don’t know.

Maybe it is just that the military, not usually a fly-by-the-seat-of-their-pants type organization, has moved in such an exponentially aggressive compartmentalization that soldiers themselves are terrified by it, wholly by happy accident.

That’s probably it. Just chance.

And yes,

– stop any internal dialogue –

we are so at fucking war. Until recently no one has even mentioned the Navy, and even now the only focus is on fucking China.

Unless I’m forgetting some famous New York Times or WaPo reporters on the US Navy beat. And no, Trump’s little soiree on the Gerald Ford the other day does not count.

(Okay, not digressing into a 5th Fleet rant.)


(And here is, at last, the actual point, just about 2,500 words in.)


Nazis make sense, you know,


Team Kill Kill Kill


Germany is in serious play. Germany is not optional for the US militarily.

Germany is the keys to the kingdom.

The drones are certainly not all that Germany means. NATO is rather obvious, but for practical, Socratic reasoning let us remove the abstraction altogether for now.

We don’t need chess, here. This is Tic-Tac-Toe.


We need brute force to keep our drones. We certainly cannot lose them to the enemy. For our drones we need Germany.

We are not leaving Germany to chance.

Oh, say, you know who’s good at that?


*At the end of W’s administration there were tons of articles on the marked degree of staff-stuffing that was going on. The practice is known as burrowing.