Wednesday, June 13, 2018


This is a proper plain NEW YORK bagel. Smooth, shiny, small and dense. You split it sideways, put each half into toaster, remove when ready, spread butter on each half and cream cheese on each half. You DO NOT mash them together like a sandwich. Are you crazy? If you've got loose fillings, you'll pull half of them out if your teeth are even sharp enough to handle both sides of a NEW YORK bagel at once.
I think I need to bitch about bagels. At Waitrose, my favorite UK supermarket, we can buy a bag of things the size of a dinner plate interestingly called New York Bagels. They come in bags of six.

If you drop a bag of six New York bagels on your foot, you'd better be wearing shoes or you might break a toe. New York bagels are small, dense and have a hard chewy-glossy shell. In fact, since the beginning of recorded time, mothers in New York City have provided their children who are losing teeth with a bagel for breakfast at the appropriate moment. Guaranteed, that loose tooth ends up in the bagel, no muss, no fuss.

If you drop the UK faux-New York Bagels on your toe, you won't feel a thing. Nor can you get your kids to painlessly yank out their own loose baby teeth with one.

Aside from those obvious failings, there's also the issue of getting UK bagels toasted. First, you have to get them into the toaster which, if it is a UK toaster, will not handle half a bagel per slot unless you squush them a bit. Then they won't pop up, and you'll need tongs to save your fingers. Really, they should be too dense to squush, but I repeat myself.

In the UK, please make sure you turn off the outlet into which your toaster is plugged before sticking tongs in there, or you might never get to taste those bagels. Unlike like US electricity which could give you a tingle if you had wet hands or something, UK socket juice can fry you. Don't believe me? Electricity in Ireland is the same. Watch the episode of Ballykissangel in which the Assumpta Fitzgerald character dies checking a fuse, and you'll get the picture.

Anyway, you've finally got the bagel halves out, and now you need to add butter and a schmear.
Properly schmeared bagel.

Butter, on a bagel, should not soak in much, but rather melt down over the sides of the glossy crust. Here, it soaks in, unfortunately, because it interferes with the schmear.. Here, when you've got your spatula nicely loaded with cream cheese--the schmear--it won't leave the spatula in anything like a smooth ribbon around the circumference of the half bagel. You end up, several minutes later as the bagel is cooling down--with lumps of cream cheese here and there around the circumference of the so-called bagel, which is now almost as cold as before you manhandled it into the toaster.* 

So you sigh, pick up your cup of coffee and so-called bagel, and go out to the greenhouse to enjoy the view of Dartmoor, the intermittent sunshine, the tiny wrens at the bird feeder and the song of birds in the hedge.

It's all good.

But I really did have to bitch about ersatz bagels. I'm a native New Yorker, after all.
A bagel with some topping or other, but being eaten properly, each side equally addressed, and addressed separately.
A travesty. If this were a real bagel, you couldn't eat it without risking your teeth. But it isn't a real bagel; far too many air holes and that crust doesn't look chewy to me.
* I've written about our toaster wars before; I think we are now on UK toaster number 7, the previous six having proved inadequate. The current one is the cheapest of the lot, but never fear, I am planning our final lifetime toaster purchase soon, a 125 quid--that's about 170 dollars--Dualit that someone promised me will be great.
Copyright 2018 by Laura Harrison McBride

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Threats, threats and more threats

FB is threatening me that they'll take my McBride blog down if I don't post soon. I might want it, although I've given up on politics. The lines in the sand are drawn; until some feckless Republican jumps that sinking ship and gets rid of Trump, or some gormless Tory (or even semi-intelligent Labourite) grows a pair, admits Brexit is shite, and turns the whole movement on its ear, yapping is just tossing hot air around.

Still, I might want that page someday. So I decided to post something. But to do that, I had to post on my real McBride's Bar & Grill blog. But, as noted, I am sick of politics. So I edited a poem I wrote a long time ago, and decided, what the hell? I'll just post it on McBride's Bar & Grill. So here it is.

Take it with you

La Cite, Carcassonne, France; entrance bridge (Photo SP Tiley)

You can't take it with you, they say, about what you acquire in life. But you can, you can take it by leaving it behind.
Here's what I mean. Today I noticed the caps on two entry barriers at a golf course in Cornwall had roofs that looked just like the roofs on the towers at Carcassonne, ancient French city, now a tourist destination. (Notice, I did not say trap. But only because it has lots of good cafes. And you can enjoy it without paying to see the dungeons, which are probably creepy anyway.) So, anyway....
Obviously, the golf course designer had been to Carcassonne. When I lived in the US, there was a housing estate near Dulles Airport called Exeter; we passed Exeter, UK, on every trip back and forth. So, someone thought enough of Exeter to take the name to the US.
Oh, sure. We all know New York City was once New Amsterdam, both times named after Old World places. There's a Syracuse, NY, and  Rome, GA. And Plymouth, MA, is named for the port city in the UK where I have my hair done.
It's common, you see, to drag names of places around. Have you done it? Have you, for example, named your house after a place you love? We name houses in the UK: I named ours in Maryland, put it on the stationary and all and a plaque on the house.
So what's my house named here? The Sycamores. We only have one. Sycamore, that is. The name came with the house. I can change it for 40 quid. To what? Key West, or maybe Key West East, LOL. Or Bunbeg after my ancestral home in Donegal. Or maybe Heathfield, as Simon was born in that location. Or we could call it something plain vanilla, like Sunnycroft, very popular in rainy Cornwall. I think every town has at least one. 
Rainycroft doesn't really sound too good.

Copyright 2018 by Laura Harrison McBride

Saturday, April 28, 2018

No honor among thieves

Was justice blind in the Cosby case? I doubt it. The plaintiff had already profited from her allegations, and the evidence was 14 years old and never more than circumstantial, or worse, a "he said/she said." This case, unprovable from the start, should never have come to court the first time (ending in a mistrial), never mind a second time after a movement had been founded surrounding it. Sometimes, blind justice happens outside the courtroom, not within it

"The defense’s star witness was a veteran academic adviser at Temple {University} who said Ms. Constand had confided to her in 2004 that she could make money by falsely claiming she had been molested by a prominent person. Mr. Cosby paid Ms. Constand $3.38 million in 2006 as part of the confidential financial settlement of a lawsuit she had brought against him after prosecutors originally declined to bring charges." (New York Times.)

I haven't blogged in a couple of months. I've been painting. But this is, to me, a prime example of several varieties of bullshit. Indeed, Constand got a ton of money from Mr. Cosby more than a decade ago; so what did she want? Money, or redress of what she claimed was a sexual assault? Was it? Who was the witness? Was there a rape kit? What the hell constitutes sexual assault? A guy putting his arm around someone at a party when he's a bit tipsy? Saying lewd things? Ogling her boobs? What, exactly? There's rape--which is both provable to have happened and, with DNA, also who done it--and then there's the always fraught non-sexual relations between men and women, with men always wanting more and (most) women wanting to give less, or nothing. As my stepfather used to say, "Men have sex with whomever they can; women have sex with whomever they want." In short, the yay or nay resides with the woman (except in forcible rape when the woman is usually incapacitated by hand, gun, knife, etc.), period.

As far as I'm concerned, if you were NOT forcibly raped--which is a crime of violence, not sex--then you didn't say No well enough. Men are like toddlers in this; they'll try it, and it's up to "Mommy" to say no loud and clear.

As for the drug component, if you accept drugs of any kind from someone not your doctor nor a member of your family, or that don't come in a bottle clearly marked Aspirin or Tylenol if you're accepting them from someone neither medical nor family, you're as asshole. Especially if he's a man and you're a woman and you're alone with him in his house or hotel room. Please see my stepfather's remark, above. And if you DO intend to claim drugs were involved, then you'd better get your ass to the ER for a rape kit and some blood testing or the drug part of it is also hearsay.

My conclusion? Who the hell knows what Cosby did or didn't do, this time or any other time? Absent a rape kit, it's all hearsay. All of it. This woman has already profited mightily from her claim--and celebrities will pay people off just to keep accusers from ruining their careers. But that doesn't mean Cosby did it; it just means he wanted her to shut up about whatever happened. If anything happened. Even if it was her imagination. And she agreed. For a price. And because, at the time, the Me,Too movement--railroading every man into being a Caspar Milquetoast except on the occasions a woman wanst them to be a Tarzan--had not yet infected the already problematical relations between men and women.

Frankly, I think it's dumb to pay accusers off. Let them squawk. Let it go to court in a timely manner when memories, which change over time, might be somewhat closer to reality, IF the public prosecutor believes there is a case to answer.

The Goldmans sued OJ, too, and won. But there is a difference between that and this. Constand sued Cosby BEFORE and in the absence of any criminal court case...and got paid handsomely. The Goldmans sued after a court case with tons of physical evidence that should have been won was lost. I think that Constand's conduct alone casts doubt on what she's saying being true; she took the money, and then agitated for punishment for a case that could never possibly be more than circumstantial and could only be based on hearsay BECAUSE THERE WAS NO RAPE KIT. If she was that disturbed, if there was sexual contact with a man she apparently knew in other contexts, then she needed to get her ass to the ER for tests. End of story. That she didn't says lots to me. Because she feared the fame and notoriety? She certainly doesn't seem to mind it now. Someone is not telling the truth. Maybe neither of them is telling the whole truth. But what stinks to high heaven to me is that she took the money, and STILL went after the person who paid to hush her. Tacky, at best. Certainly not admirable.

I guess it is true, then; there is no honor among thieves.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Why is May determined on a hard Brexit? She doesn't fancy jail time.

Nice poster, except it explains Theresa May all too well. Scared people are dangerous people.

For the moment, the UK is still part of the EU.

And that is a BIG problem for those who used Cambridge Analytica--Nigel Farage and his puppeteers Arron Banks and Vladimir Putin, but also for Theresa May. Farage and Banks used CA to hijack the much-too-unspecific "advisory" referendum regarding the UK's membership in the EU. And May was one of their premier dupes.

However, the EU now knows about Farage and Co. deceit, their likely collusion with Russia, and the obscenely dirty tricks developed and played by Farage and Cambridge Analytica to trick UK citizens into voting for poverty and misery.  

Dirty tricks on a massive scale

CA portrayed the EU to gullible UK voters as "Big Brother," an intrusive outsider. Their lies and tricks convinced less savvy Brits that the EU runs the UK. In fact, when the referendum arose, the UK more or less ran the EU, because we got EVERYTHING we ever asked the EU Parliament for. In 40 years, UK requests for exceptions were turned down less than a handful of times.

The Evil Cabal convinced some voters that Turkey would soon be an EU member state, when its human rights record is so abysmal, probably China would have a hard time accepting them.  It was a total lie.

They harped on UK dues funding recovery from economic disasters in other EU nations, such as Greece and Ireland; they forgot to mention both that those nations receiving loans were paying them back or already had, AND that the purpose of associations like the EU are for the purpose of helping each other. As they say, what goes around comes around. 

They also forgot to mention that the EU has paid for more improvements in Cornwall--not to mention farm and fishing subsidies--than the UK government.

You guessed it:  Big Brother is not the EU. Big Brother is Vladimir Putin, who hijacked Russia's nascent free government after the USSR fell, who is Trump's hero and puppeteer (all evidence isn't in yet, but enough to make a prima facie case), and who, if you had been watching, showed his hand before the referendum with his frequent, ominous submarine patrols in the Channel.

Too bad the UK doesn't have a RICO* law

There can be no question about collusion between Farage and Putin. Farage claims he has never been to Russia. So what? MOST traitors are careful to keep their illicit affiliations unknown, hence why spies have handlers. Whether May was privy to it at the time, or found out only recently how beholden she is to lies shopped by CA at the urging of Farage/Putin, she is complicit now. If she fails to push Brexit through, the Conservative Party is finished. If she fails, she is finished.

If she does push Brexit through, I suspect the Conservative Party will be in steep decline, or disbanded. Leavers without a job won't favour the party with goodwill, or with votes.

But now May is pressed by yet another reason she must push Brexit through. As long as the UK remains in the EU, it will be subject to any sanctions that the EU feels appropriate for engaging in anti-democratic dirty tricks on a scale that makes the 350 million quid signs on buses seem amateurish. Next to the direct, constant, targeted psychological ops the Leave campaign, with Cambridge Analytica's mining of Facebook for subscribers' preferences, obvious bus signs were just a bit of icing on that Devil's Food Cake. She MUST get the UK out of the EU to avoid being punished, one way or another, for being complicit with crooks in engineering the downfall of the UK via its exit from the EU.

I doubt May has anywhere to hide. Yesterday, the EU's most cogent voice, Guy Verhofstadt, guaranteed that the Pandora's box of sins by Cambridge Analytica will be cracked open by the EU, and the demonic maneuvers of May, Farage, and the band of other thinly veiled fascists now controlling the Conservative Party brought to light. He called it an "absolute scandal." He is not going to give it a free pass.

Knowledge dawns slowly

There is overwhelming evidence that at least half of the Leavers now know they were duped, and that their nation is being ruined; many have volubly decided they'd rather Remain. May has steadfastly ignored this sea change, and the possible exposure of Cambridge Analytica's dirty deeds, now come to pass, is why.

May must not get away with it. The misdeeds of Cambridge Analytica must rout the Tories, from buffoons like Boris Johnson to bagmen like David Davis to the Prime Minister herself. They will all be shown to be as fascist and greedy and useless as the slimy hanger-on they followed down the path to doom, Nigel Farage, Putin's bootlicker. 

I just hope the outing of a nest of cowards and traitors has not been left too late.

* Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act

Coryright 2018 by Laura Harrison McBride


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Death by peanut butter: Trump replaces nutrition with corruption. Of course.

Nameless low-end, low-nutrition "surplus" foods offered via a Trump Food Box, the execrable program to be administered by chicken man, Sonny Perdue as USDA chief. The program will impair the health of recipients, and damage local farmers' income as many farm stands DO accept SNAP payments for fresh foods.

Mr. Trump, as part of your punishment for being the least intelligent US president ever, the greediest and most heartless, here is what I suggest: When you are convicted of your corruption and your treasonous acts, that you be required to eat all your meals until the moment of your death from a USDA food box. Alone. In your cell. With no phone.

If a USDA food box is good enough for struggling people just trying to get along, it's good enough for a bloated bit of thoroughly degraded human DNA, a puppet whose strings are pulled by an equally despicable ex-KGB agent, masquerading as president of the United States.

Trump may well be able to force this inhumane and corruption-ready plan on Congress and thus on an already suffering US population. I wouldn't doubt it, his (not our) Secretary of Agriculture being Sonny, the useless offspring of chicken man Frank Perdue, and well able to lie with a straight face. I'm sure, with his underpaid workers and virtually no benefits for either workers or product--the battery chickens of the Delmarva Peninsula are unacceptable in the EU, for example, because they are so likely to be substandard and full of bacteria--Perdue is precisely the person you want overseeing a cynically orchestrated dilution of SNAP (Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program). SNAP is a program that was designed, during the humane era pre-Trump, to ensure at least  minimal health for Americans experiencing poverty until they can regain a modest measure of American wealth. It has done so for fifty years or so; naturally, proto-Trumpanzees have long decried the program because they believe it makes people lazy (just the opposite, actually, because they have energy) and greedy (minimal, as it is a paper program administered centrally, not a hand-delivery program to be used as a sinecure by every witless corrupt local official who can get his or her hand into the food box graft conveyor belt.)

According to an MSN report, "Major agricultural and food lobby groups refrained from comment, while one anti-hunger group was alarmed at the proposal."

I was alarmed. And a lot more than just I and the anti-hunger group should be alarmed. This ludicrous crawl back into Victorian paternalism mode should alarm those receiving benefits, those concerned about those receiving benefits, and anyone who cares about the economy of the United States.
Typical selection of fresh foods and protein bought with SNAP coupons

The food stamp (SNAP) program allows beneficiaries to choose the foods they believe will best keep them healthy. Of course not everyone knows as much about nutrition as a nutritionist, or even possibly an upper-income homemaker. But assuredly, most know nutrition better than Donald J. Trump, consumer of well-done beef, chemical-laced soft drinks, and little else. Most know that a diet of peanut butter and canned vegetables--with not a fresh bit of nutrition in sight--will not keep people healthy. Indeed, it will lead to overuse of the already strained--no, I meant to say absent--health care system in the US.

If you wanted to kill off the poor more quickly than you already are, Mr. Trump, I cannot think of a better way to do it than this.

The MSN report concluded:

The plan would replace a system that’s working "with a Rube-Goldberg designed system of commodity distribution via food boxes that will be administratively costly, inefficient, stigmatizing, and prone to failure," Jim Weill, president of the Washington-based Food Research & Action Center, said in a statement.

It will be corruption at its finest, rivaling any OTHER banana republic for depth and breadth. Note, I said any other banana republic and that's exactly what I meant. It will cost a fortune, with most of the dollars siphoned off in paying overseers for the minimum-wage workers distributing food boxes, a far cry from the clean, well-paid and relatively few administrative tasks required for food stamps. It will not only stigmatize the poor; it will kill them.

It will also harm local farmers, whose farm stands can accept food stamp (SNAP) payments, and often do, as it helps them out with a little extra cash, and helps those using SNAP to eat fresh foods.

After all this, I have only two questions:

When is the US going to rise up en masse against the monster in the White House?

And why did MSN put the two most cogent bits, used above, at the very end of its article?


Friday, January 19, 2018

So simple, even a Trumpanzee can understand it

Armed guard at Russian prison
Bad people sometimes get elected to office. People often differ on what constitutes a bad person.

Generally speaking, most agree that bad people tell lies and/or harm other people and/or steal things that belong to others.

Donald J. Trump has done all three, probably within the last ten minutes. No, almost certainly within the last ten minutes. How do I know? Because every word he utters and every action he takes shows that he intends to wreck the United States government and replace it with an unelected regime with power concentrated in his hands and subject to his every whim.

How do I know this? Most recently, because of his Fake News awards.

In that one execrable act, Donald J. Trump made it clear that the only truth is his--and considering he has been found to have lied more than 2000 times in less than a year--that alone is frightening. If you had spoken as many lies in the past year, do you think your family would still speak to you, your boss keep you employed, and the cops fail to come for you over one or another of those lies?That's 5.47 lies per day. And that's only the ones that were uttered in public and could be fact-checked. 

So there is no truth in Donald J. Trump.

Nor was there any in Adolph Hitler.

Hitler wanted to punish someone for the fact that he was a lousy artist and was refused entry to art school in Austria. He decided to punish someone for that slight to the despicable throwback's tiny ego; Jews would do for a start as they were identifiable, passive and generally wealthier than the rest of the population; their wealth came from the fact that, during the Middle Ages, most of Europe prohibited them from any profession except money-lending. This didn't seem to penetrate Hitler's screwed-on sideways brain.

Just so in the US. It escapes the shallow mentality of Donald J. Trump that identifiable immigrants perform most of the tasks Americans refuse to do--lawn care, garbage pick up, practical nursing and the like. The fact that he employs dozens of immigrants at his hotels to do such jobs makes no impression on his addled brain. And certainly none on his greedy, vicious soul.

Allowing a president to lie to you with impunity is the same thing--the very same thing--as giving him permission to do anything he wants to you. And he has already begun.


Where do you think the exportations will stop? ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) has already sundered intact families that contribute taxes and more to US life. Do you think they might deport your doctor if they decide maybe his parents documents were not in order? What about your nephew's wife who came on a student visa and married your nephew before it ran out? And had kids.

Health care

Do you think he will stop at telling you--as he did throughout his scurrilous campaign--that he will give you the BEST health care in the world, and then dump millions off the minimal system in place, once again letting for-profit insurance companies decide if YOU live or die. You think it is decided only for those too poor to buy insurance? Think again. With the insurance companies running things again, it could be YOUR spouse denied life-saving medicines because the cut-off age--they decide--is 60 and your spouse is 61. Tough, right?  


If you are truly an evil Trumpanzee, that's what you'll say. Otherwise, perhaps you will begin to see how purposefully making life worse for one American actually makes it worse, both potentially and in fact, for all. You cannot diminish the life of one ordinary person without the domino effect diminishing all. 

Example: Your spouse dies; your children grieve, then they begin to act out, drop out, have drug problems. You get sick from stress.  And through it all, you get no help from the government you pay for because your president has decided you are worthless. Yes, YOU. He told you that you were worthless--except as an expendable workhorse for the wealthy--by shifting more of your paycheck to his buddies through taxes, and by vacationing through one-third of the year on your tax monies.  

The USSR had only two news outlets, Tass and Izvestia. Both were owned by the government and no others permitted. Guess who protected citizens from government excess? No one.

Fake News, Real problem

By his Fake News awards, Donald J. Trump has just told you the following truths, all the while lying out of both sides of his little rosebud lips:

The legal system is about to be turned into a slave for his domination desires, and
There will be nothing you can do about it.

The judicial system is in place not only to punish the wicked but to save the good. You probably think you are good; maybe you are. When there are no watchdogs, such as news media, to reveal when the judicial system goes wrong--when cops overstep, when judges are crooked, when for-profit incarceration such as owned by the current Attorney General destroys young lives for a buck--you are as likely as anyone--good or bad--to be abused by the system.

The news media--the actual news media, broadcast, print and internet--exists to keep government honest, and not the other way around. 

If government tells you it is keeping the news media honest--as Trump is trying to do via his cockamamie awards--what it is saying it that it does not want a news media capable of exposing the government's failures. It wants only propaganda, like Izvestia and news service Tass in the USSR. FOX NEWS IS TRUMP'S Izvestia. Do you think you'll like being owned by the state?

Open season on journalists

When government puts a price on the heads of journalists who report facts uncomfortable to the government, or express opinions the government doesn't like, freedom has ended.

With his Fake News awards, Donald J. Trump has issued a writ for bounty hunters to bring him the heads of bona fide journalists, expressing inconvenient facts or unapproved opinions. Journalists are killed quite often by those they report on; usually, by organized crime or by a third-world junta. Trump tacitly approved actions of fanatics, like the one who injured Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and killed one of her staff and an innocent child, to stalk journalists.

End times; you won't like it

When there are no journalists--the real journalists the Liar in Chief has labelled fake--who is going to protect you from his wholly owned and completely corrupt judicial system? A system run for profit by his hand-picked advisors like Attorney General Sessions to become rich.  Who will save your grandchildren from losing a parent in a pre-dawn ICE raid on immigrants? Who will write about your child dying because the for-profit hospital wouldn't treat her meningitis without payment up front, as she had no insurance? Who will report your company for forcing you to work in deadly fumes? Who will expose the mortgage lender repossessing your house after one late payment? Who?

I can tell you who won't save you: Donald J. Trump and his wholly owned subsidiary of truly fake news media, the ones who excuse racism, sexism, fascism and every sort of corruption, from shagging hookers and paying them to keep mum, to running a bogus university to fool young people into parting with their money for nothing, to flouting the laws he has been charged with upholding, and so much more. He will continue his theft; he is  spending one-third of the time our taxes pay for golfing, another third of it tweeting, and the rest sleeping, eating, or figuring out new ways to screw Americans out of their money and their freedom.

It's up to you. Join him and find yourself, eventually, afoul of one of his draconian schemes. Find yourself in a for-profit jail with no hope of an honest lawyer because the real news media has been tossed out of the White House (already happened), killed by fanatics, or employed not by the judicial system, but by the executive branch to serve its own interests. Not yours.

Or resist him to the best of your ability and reclaim the true America, the land of the free and home of the brave, that is rapidly turning into the land of the slave and the home of the cowardly, with a liar, draft dodger, bankrupt, vulgarian, sexual predator in charge.

What could possibly go wrong?


Copyright 2018, Laura Harrison McBride

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

May's UK junta needs to fall

A "bitter" future indeed, as the UK's first dictator leads the nation to doom. She even has the Third Reich salute going on.

Did you know that you were living, in the UK, in a banana republic? Sure, you might laugh about Yanks living in one under the Orange-utan Donald J. Trump and his cabinet of howler monkeys. 

But you are no better off in the UK. Why? Simply because you no longer have a government serving you, a government that can be dissolved when the population loses confidence in it. 

Confidence has already been lost. Theresa May's snap election provided proof that she is no longer the leader of the majority of the UK's voters; she had to make a deal with the devil, the DUP, a right-wing splinter party founded by evangelical Northern Ireland rabble-rouser Dr. Ian Paisley in 1971, to continue in power.

Paisley single-handedly inflamed the rancour between NI Protestants and Roman Catholics that became the modern day "troubles," but were recently reversed through the actions of Gerry Adams, leader of Sinn Fein, and some prescient members of both the Irish and UK governments. Adams has stated that the Irish Republican Army (IRA) is "finished." Its rest is, however, being disturbed by Chairman May's  pathetic attempts to hold onto power she has not earned.

May dug her fingers into power illictly not to serve the population of the United Kingdom, but to continue in power for her own purposes, those being reduced by her deeds and actions to a single purpose: Ramming Brexit, which is increasingly unpopular as citizens realize UKIP and the Tories lied to them about its effects, through as a matter of law.

May no longer heads a government; she controls a junta, defined as "a council or committee for political or governmental purposes; especially: a group of persons controlling a government especially after a revolutionary seizure of power." (Merriam Webster online dictionary) 

Governments, legally constituted ones, are dissolved in parliamentary settings, or voted out in other democratic systems. In neither case do governments fall; a government falls only when the leader of that government has attained leadership and obtained power by means other than the ballot box. 

That certainly describes the position of May at the moment. She has retained power by means of strong-arming others to support her, and by surrounding herself with a roomful of toadying sycophants who are no threat to her, but who she thinks make her appear to be "strong and stable" by their simpering for her favours. Like Trump, she seems to think nominal stability is what the people want, while the nation self-destructs at the hands of an incompetent leader. This is not 1920s Germany, and inflation isn't running at three gazillion percent; we are not, yet, taking money in wheelbarrows to buy a loaf of bread. It is democratic western Europe in 2018, and it is opportunity we want; stability is inherent, because of the EU, as it has never been before.

What May failed to achieve via the ballot box, she could not achieve through a coalition of the two two leading parties--as is usual in parliamentary governments--either. But she was determined to see her vision of a lonely, impoverished UK, its wealthy members still able to off-shore their loot and play in the noonday sun, its middle-class reduced to the penury of the British middle class circa 1958, and its poor flung again onto a dung heap of shoddy housing, inadequate nutrition and early death circa 1932.

May retained power by making a deal with a virulently protectionist, anti-Ireland, anti-Catholic Party, the DUP. The DUP is a party with little representation in populations on either side of the Irish Sea, but just sufficient MPs to pad May's bank of toadies to help force Brexit into being.  

So is May the colonel of a junta imposed by a small group of fanatics for a specific purpose? Or the leader of a properly elected   government? You decide. 

I already have.
The May government has got to fall. I use the term fall advisedly, for it is no longer a legally constituted government for the welfare and protection of British citizens and legal immigrants; it is a junta dedicated to lining further the pockets of its members and their hangers-on. 

Governments are dissolved by the voters or agreement of elected members.  

Juntas fall.

Copyright 2018, Laura Harrison McBride

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

There's a word for you, Mrs. May

Trump told May that Brexit will be a wonderful thing for the UK at his first meeting with her. NO, it will mean delivering western Europe to Putin before it's all over. (Is Demento staring down her cleavage? Looks like it. And she's clueless.)

The word is scoundrel.

There is no other word to describe a woman so deluded that she thinks the phrase "Brexit means Brexit" has any meaning at all, but yet promotes it as if it were a concept guaranteed to wipe out cancer.

There is no other word to describe a woman who presides over tragedies like the Grenfell Towers disaster without so much as inquiring, in person, after the welfare of those who lived through the result of her party's negligence, nor eulogizing those who died on her watch.

There is no other word to describe a woman who is so callous toward the population she supposedly leads that she would sell off their health care to the highest bidders among US Big Pharma and managed care companies, so she and her cronies can buy stock and get even richer off the suffering of Britons.

There is no other word for a woman who would ram the disastrous Brexit down citizens' throats so her husband can make them richer before EU rules on off-shoring money and investments kick in two years from now.

There is no other word for a woman who would entrust any part of any government program to mental deficients like Mr. Davis and Mr. Johnson and Mr. Gove and Mr. Hunt.

There is no other word for a woman who would bowdlerize the resignation letter of a member of her own government, Lord Adonis, to gloss over his on-target indictment of her cockamamie policies and disastrous plans for the people of the UK. I'm sorry; I didn't mean bowdlerize. That's too soft a word for what she did. She altered it to give it a different meaning. In short, she made it appear that Lord Adonis had said the opposite of what he did say to protect her own pitiful ass. I can think of no more despicable form of lying than changing another's words to suit yourself. Chicanery, pure and simple.

There is no other word for a woman who would allow the traitor Nigel Farage within spitting distance of the UK government, never mind send that forlorn little weaselly Putin-tate to Ireland to see what misery he can get started there. To be in the same room with Nigel Farage, especially as the putative leader of a nation he and his handler, Putin, have single-handedly put through any number of wringers, bespeaks either complete imbecility or collusion with Putin. It can be nothing else. You are either an imbecile or a traitor, Mrs. May, and sooner or later, we will know which.

There is no other word to describe a woman who lied about calling for a snap election and then, when she was shown in no uncertain terms that her plans were unacceptable to the population, sought other ways to cram her wicked plans through Parliament.

There is no other word to describe a woman who holds on to power with her talons by making a deal with devils like the DUP and other throwbacks/fascists in modern politics.

There is no other word for a woman who, in realizing her poker face about Brexit hasn't helped her win it yet, decides to appoint ringers to hand her the straight flush; she intends to add 59 pro-Brexit Tory wankers to the House of Lords. There's no honour among thieves, it is true, so she's stacking the deck.

In short, Mrs. May has decided that she will become the first dictator in British history.

OK. Perhaps scoundrel is too soft a word.

Copyright 2018 by Laura Harrison McBride

Monday, January 1, 2018

Stop with the false concern for his family...Cheeto is killing your kids

Recently, on Facebook, I noted that Melania had probably delivered more than Putin wanted; getting Demento into the White House was doubtless her main task--telling the defective moronic son-of-a-fascist how great he was over and over, perhaps, or running her fingers through his plastic hair to make him feel as sexy as he thinks he is.  Imagine how much greater her reward will be for giving Demento another disastrous child to add to his brood of DNA-defective progeny.

A woman claiming to be a writer, but who has nothing published that I could find, called me a bevy of names for including Barron, the supposedly impaired child of Melania, in the category of disastrous children. (For all I know, Demento has children by some of the women whose pussies he grabbed. Who  knows how much of his degraded sperm has invaded the human gene pool.)

If I included Barron, it was only as one of a set, not as a feature; we have no idea whether he has a malady, or simply a father named Donald Trump, which--granted--would be enough to impair anyone. But that is, and was, totally beside the point.

The point was this: Any offspring of Donald Trump--like any offspring of vicious demented grandpa Frederick Trump--is a priori disastrous.

It was not a comment on Barron, nor individually on any of the deplorable offspring of the pretender to the US presidency. It was a categorical comment. But she had trouble understanding that; I suspect she watches a lot of celebrity/daytime TV, probably Fox, and is all atwitter about the seldom-seen youngest son of Demento.)

The so-called writer suggested I would be annoyed if someone called my kids disastrous. Sure I would, if they were not disastrous. But if they were disastrous, I could either live in Lala Land or tackle the issues. How can mankind move forward into humanity if it spends a great deal of time denying the facts because someone might be upset? Indeed, this habit, an unfortunate one in the extreme, is how liberals have come to be known by the right wing as snowflakes; such liberals literally melt in the fact of difficult truths. And so, being inhumane, the right wing just beats us up.

Conclusion: We liberals cannot afford, not for a second, to wilt in the face of hard truths, whether they concern the offspring of a demented president, or our own kids. Truth is truth. Deal with it, or suffer.

We will have to act to save our own kids, and more

Liberals/humanists are going to lose the fight against the deplorable and wicked plans of Donald J. Trump and his band of howler monkeys in Congress unless we, all of us, stop claiming the high ground through false concern. I have no concern for any of Donald Trump's kids, not for any of them. Even Barron. Why? Because Barron will have the best management (if he has indeed an issue to manage) available on earth. Your kid? Not so much. It is nonsense to pretend concern for the children of a demented and delusional man whose wickedness against us knows no bounds.

Indeed, if your kid has a problem in Demento's America, he or she is going to suffer, and suffer without a scintilla of help. Donald J. Trump and his howler monkey band have destroyed US health care just when it was beginning--after 30 years of Hillary Clinton battering the issue and bringing it to public attention at last and Mr. Obama finally forcing a pale imitation of universal health care through. The howler monkeys, after significant chattering by their simian leader, have refused to fund CHIPs (Children's Health Insurance Program). This program no more than minimally helped children whose parents did not have health insurance from a job but were too well off (please wait while I laugh) for Medicaid. In short, it helped millions of kids who might be described as having fallen through the cracks.

Howler Monkey Republican subcommittee

To Demento, the howler monkeys and the One Percent, you are a worm

Let me repeat: The people you elected to take care of your business--including your children's health and education--have destroyed both health care and education. Your kids' teachers cannot deduct from taxes money they spend on materials when the schools fail to provide. Donald J. Trump and his howler monkeys and the One Percent can: a) Afford any health care they like and, b) deduct the cost of sending their children to private schools.

You are, as of a couple of weeks ago, an underclass being farmed for the benefit of Donald J. Trump, his howler monkey followers, and the One Percent. Your increased taxes ensure your kids will potentially die of a strep throat or an infected splinter, and end up as educated as Beavis and Butthead while Donald J. Trump's kids, and all the scions of the howler monkeys and the One Percent, will happily dance on your kids' graves.

Is that graphic enough for you? If you continue to offer them the sickening faux-humane concern of the moronic woman who got weepy for poor rich little Barron, heir to insanity and a fortune, and called me names because I mentioned that Donald J. Trump sires disastrous kids--WITHOUT NAMING ANY OF THEM--you deserve what you get.

No one, and especially not Donald J. Trump's horde of over-privileged, under-humanized progeny, deserves better treatment than your kids. Your kids--and mine if I had any--are worth infinitely more than Trump's horde of DNA-compromised offspring, regardless of how his defective DNA expresses itself.  Trump--and his Birther horde--insulted the entire Obama family day in and day out in the most reprehensible ways for eight solid years. Do you recall the monkey insults? Do you recall the flap about Michelle's upper arms being exposed, when every First Lady for a century bared her arms in evening wear and sports wear, just like Michelle Obama. Do you recall Demento's insistence that Barack Obama was not an American? (Aside from anything else, his mother was American, making him American regardless.*)

Do you think decency demands that you faux-cry over whatever may be happening inside the family of a demented moron who will happily kill your kids to give his rich cronies ten percent of your yearly income and all of your kids' education and health care? 

If you do, you are as big a moron as Demento. And as delusional. 

So stop already. Man up. Woman up. Turning the other cheek does not, as so many think, mean offering the other one for a smack. It means turning and walking away from the source of pain, and refusing to accept it anymore.

And sometimes, you have to give as good as you got just to keep the trained monkeys from coming after you, or better, to banish them from the environment.


Howler Monkey Republican oversight committee.


* "For birth between December 24, 1952 and November 13, 1986, the U.S. citizen parent must have been physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for 10 years prior to the person’s birth, at least five of which were after the age of 14 for the person to acquire U.S. citizenship at birth." (Click here for reference.)

Copyright 2018 by Laura Harrison McBride

Sunday, December 31, 2017

The saddest thing I ever saw: A caution to liberals

Alexander Litvinenko, Russian defector whom British courts adjudged had been murdered by two Putin operatives in London in 2006

Back in the good old days, when the USSR still existed and so did the USA, my husband and I traveled frequently between Ireland and New York because of our work; we were writers, providing US magazines with lots and lots of copy about Ireland's burgeoning economic powerhouse and its continuing attraction for tourists.

On one of those trips, we flew from Shannon to NY rather than from Dublin. We had often been through Shannon, so we knew it well. As we waited for our Aer Lingus flight, an Aeroflot plane landed and, astonishingly to us, the passengers were allowed to disembark and enter the terminal, including the Duty Free shop.

We amused ourselves for a while trying to pick out the KGB agents, but it was too easy. They were all bearlike, wearing ill-fitting blue suits and black, rubber-soled shoes. So we returned to our books and our coffee.

And then we heard the crash of ceramics and glass. We turned around to look through the glass windows into the Duty Free shop, and saw a lot of people milling around. Shortly, two of the KGB agents escorted a young man out of the shop and, double time, back to the Aeroflot plane.

We knew his fate, I think. But what we wanted to know is how he managed to get caught seeking asylum at Shannon, something that should have been relatively easy at the time. But he was not a westerner, and did not know how truly easy it was to go where you wanted in a western  airport back then.

We asked the staff in the shop, and they told us what they knew. It turned out that the feckless fellow thought he would hide in a dressing room until the plane had departed and then would be free in Ireland. I have always wondered why he thought the plane would leave without him; I doubt it would have, at least not without leaving people behind to search for him and apprehend him.

He could actually have just walked out the doors from the departure lounge to the stairs and escalator to the arrivals hall downstairs. At that time, no one would have checked at any door short of the boarding door. Then if he exited through the front doors, and made a decent sprint down the main access road to Shannon Town, he could easily have walked into the Garda station and claimed asylum. Sure, he would have had to do so before the KBG goons saw him at the head of the stairs, so timing would have been important. But still, it could have worked; the dressing room could not.

The wannabe defector would also have to have known the layout of the place, and that security, so called, was very lax back then in the west. Even in Ireland, despite the continuing Troubles that sometimes spilled across the border, you pretty much did what you wanted, went where you wanted and no one inquired. It was entirely possible, back then, to just walk down the stairs from the departures lounge--where, unaccountably, the Russian passengers were led--and right down the stairs and out without passing a single person asking for ID. Passengers were not checked in for departure at the entrance to the lounge, but only at the gate itself. He would have had to know enough English to ask where the police were located, too. And he would have had to wipe the furtive look off his face as westerners didn't look haunted--back then. All of this was knowledge that, at the time, Russian citizens were prevented from acquiring.

Mikhail Baryshnikov, internationally renowned ballet dancer and Russian defector, who got away because he had travelled in the west and could figure out how it was done. Plus, he's probably too famous to kill on a dictator's whim.

It was so sad. The man wanted freedom, had no clue how to get it because of the isolation that was the main feature of Russian lives back then. He probably ended up in a gulag for god knows how long.

I can't recall ever being sadder in an airport, ever. I am still sad thinking about it. 

But now I'm also sad because the governments of both the US and the UK are hard at work turning the two major bastions of constitutional freedom and democracy in the world into the same sort of locked down, repressive society the USSR was. And is. 

USSR-style repression has not gone underground; it has been ground under Putin's thumb, with freedoms curtailed as much as in former times if in different ways. Putin is using the might of the still-extant (under another name) KGB to intimidate and worse; he is using prisons to destroy (remember Pussy Riot?); he is using his own immense wealth--wealth of a sort that only a dictator with no opposition can amass--to bring the western world down to his despicable level. He has willing flunkeys to do it in the form of Donald J. Trump and Theresa May.

And if we permit it--if we allow the Republicans in the US and the Brexiteers in the UK to turn kind and decent societies into pits of infamy and ignominy, especially with the collusion of a faux-reformed Russian oligarchy--then we deserve what we get.

We will deserve to be prevented from going where we like when we like...because it hinders the "dear leader's" ability to control us, to make us grateful for every crumb of ease and decency they allow us. 

They have already begun turning decent people into slavering xenophobes, people who are at the lower end of the education ladder and therefore unaware of what their knee-jerk hatred of those they are told to hate (A-rabs, furriners, Poles, etc.) is doing not only to those they hate but to those they love. How many grandmothers were aghast when they realized their son's job, due to Brexit, was now in jeopardy, and forget university for the grand-daughter. How many miners and steelworkers in the US have finally figured out that Trump cannot (and would not if he could) bring back their industries? How many, in both countries, will die because of Tory and Republican cutbacks in healthcare?

This is no time to let the Brexiteers and Trumpanzees intimidate us by objecting when we tell them what they are: morons. It is time to explain their moronicity to them. Over and over, as loudly as required. If they fail to understand, then isolate them. They are noisy, as any empty barrel is, and so it seems there are more of them than there are. In fact, there are a lot fewer than we think. They are just loud, and we allow them to batter us with their mewling of "unfair" and other ludicrous words they throw at the left, forgetting the relentless battering they gave Mr. Obama and Mr. Brown.

No more. The year 2018 must be the one in which the humane left puts on its fatigues and does battle in the trenches with the dunderheads. Why? Because the trenches--the gutter--is where they lurk. It will do us no good to fight on the high ground; that's not where they live. They live in the darkness and slime of unexamined thought...and that's exactly where we must fight them.

And we dare not lose, or all is lost.


Copyright 2017 by Laura Harrison McBride

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Dorries' own beanstalk of lies

Shouldn't the story about the young person who tells whoppers be renamed Jacqueline and the Beanstalk, and performed by Parliament? After all, Parliament has one MP who admits that 70 percent of what she says is not true, because she wants people to know who she is. We do, dearie, we do.

MP Nadine Dorries has decided that liberals in the UK are dumbing down the culture. She has apparently decided this because some universities refuse to invite some fascist--and often terminally culturally disadvantaged--speakers like Dorries and Farage and other denizens of the dark drive toward UK ruination to their hallowed halls as speaker.

Frankly, if the universities are denying a platform to hate-mongering rabble-rousers, it can only be
a good thing, what with the low-life media of Murdoch and Dacre shoving xenophobia, economic suicide and assorted other undesirable concepts down UK throats with impunity.

The thing is, the universities say her claim is wildly exaggerated.

Of course it is. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't hers the party that said by withdrawing from the European Union, the UK would have 350 million quid a week extra for the National Health Service? That same party that is selling off the NHS bit by bit and diminishing its service to the population by leaps and bounds as foreign-born doctors and nurses flee the sceptred isle currently run by stupid ignoramuses known as Tories.

As for Dorries herself, she might be the poster girl for grasping, greedy Tories, and liars as well. She has employed her daughter as her office manager at a substantial salary--reportedly the highest paid to an MP's family member; the daughter lives 96 miles from the office. There are a few possible conclusions: a) the daughter has a really loud voice, b) the daughter relishes spending 8 hours a day in traffic, or, c) it's an imaginary job. I choose C for two reasons. (Click here for reference.)

First, Dorries writes romance novels, tons and tons of them, all available on amazon. They get tons and tons of reviews, something even full-time writers of good repute fail to get. Dorries is busy working as an MP and running her mouth in favour of ruining the UK by leaving the EU. So I wonder who actually writes them. If her daughter's job is fiction--as clearly it must be--then is her fiction also fiction, as it were?

Second, she has, indeed, admitted to being more hot air than reality. (She was once removed from her MP post for a while for appearing on a "reality" show, which by now everyone knows are actually fake-ality shows.) In 2010, Dorries admitted in The Guardian (online) "My blog is 70% fiction and 30% fact. It is written as a tool to enable my constituents to know me better and to reassure them of my commitment to Mid-Bedfordshire. I rely heavily on poetic licence and frequently replace one place name/event/fact with another."  

Dorries trained as a nurse; I am rather happy she doesn't practice as one. It might be inconvenient if a doctor told her to replace a pressure bandage with a large-bore shunt because she thought it was fun....or something. But then, is it any less deadly when she replaces the truth about the EU with lies, the truth about money for the NHS with lies....the truth about who is ruining UK culture with lies and damn lies?

Do you really need to know any more about Dorries' credibility? About her relationship with truth and lies? About how far she's willing to go to aggrandize herself and fatten her wallet?

I don't.

So Nadine, STFU. Thanks.


Copyright 2017 by Laura Harrison McBride


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