Archive for the ‘Jim Jones’ Tag

Donald Trump, Criminal Liability, and Invertebrate Republican Senators   Leave a comment

Above:  An Illustration of the Human Spinal Column

Image in the Public Domain



Wikipedia is a notoriously unreliable source of information.  It is especially vulnerable to creative editing for politically partisan purposes, for example.  And I recall catching Wikipedia being objectively inaccurate.  Ironically, especially regarding Babylon 5 and saints, Wikipedia cites me now.  Oh well.  

Anyhow, a few years ago, someone went on Wikipedia and classified then-Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Paul Ryan as an invertebrate.  That was funny and metaphorically accurate.  

Many Republican United States Senators are either political cultists or political invertebrates.  This is why the verdict in Donald Trump’s second–count it–SECOND–Senate trial is a fait accompli, unfortunately.  Somebody should edit the Wikipedia articles of the 44 Senators who voted that the second Senate trial is unconstitutional and classify them as invertebrates.  If doing what Trump did on January 6, 2021, does not call for conviction in a trial in the Senate, nothing does.  Certain Republican Senators need to grow spines and/or cease to drink the Kool-Aid.  

Aside:  I know, Jim Jones was too cheap to purchase Kool-Aid.  He actually bought Flavor Aid.  Yet the idiom is “to drink the Kool-Aid.”

Trump has caused his own political undoing.  He has also placed himself in legal jeopardy in multiple jurisdictions.  In my state, Georgia, for example, the Office of the Secretary of State and the District Attorney of Fulton County are conducting criminal investigations of Trump.  One may also think of the federal Southern District of New York and the Attorney General of New York, who have Trump in their crosshairs.  Furthermore, given how many governors and other state officials in various states Trump called in his attempts to subvert democracy and steal an election he lost, he may have violated election laws in more than one state.  

It couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy, huh?

Meanwhile, I think about the stories I do not hear about President Joseph Biden.  Biden does not issue incendiary tweets.  He does not retweet conspiracy theories.  Biden apparently keeps a fairly rigorous schedule, unlike the lackadaisical Trump.  Trump has set the bar so low that I find myself praising a President of the United States for not retweeting conspiracy theories.  

I have vague memories of Jimmy Carter as President.  I have clear memories of Carter’s six immediate successors as Presidents–Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump–and now, for not quite a month, Joseph Biden..  I disapprove of and disagree profoundly with most of those six immediate successors.  I consider all of them, except to Trump, to be patriots, though.  I think of five of those six immediate successors–Trump excluded–as sober-minded men who took the office of the Presidency seriously and knew that it was about the country, not them. 

That said, Clinton should have resigned.  I voted for the man twice, but I write here that he should have resigned.  Doing so may have spared this country the George W. Bush Administration, with its warmongering.  The tragedy (in the Greek sense of tragedy) of Bill Clinton is that he wasted his potential and squandered the opportunity for greatness by being undisciplined.  But he never threatened to undermine the republic and to steal a presidential election, at least.  Clinton, despite his faults, many of them personal, never sent an armed mob to invade the United States Capitol and to endanger the lives of the Capitol Police, members of the United States Congress, staffers, and children.  

As I have written at this weblog, I eschew political cults of personality.  I stand for principles, not particular individuals, at all costs.  For the record, I stand to the left of Clinton, Obama, and Biden.  I am not a political absolutist, though.  

Finis origine pendet.

(The end depends upon the beginning.)

That is a Latin expression applicable to Trump’s current predicament.  Here is another germane expression:

Character is destiny.


Donald Trump is the sole author of his political and legal fate.  No amount of blame-shifting and conspiracy-mongering can alter that fact.




The Chronicle: News from the Edge–Episode 13: The Cursed Sombrero (2001)   4 comments

Above:  The Cursed Sombrero of Izamal

All images in this post are screen captures.


The Cursed Sombrero

Canadian Television Rating = PG

Hyperlink to Episode

Aired January 18, 2002

Production Number = 5009-01-115


Chad Willett as Tucker Burns

Jon Polito as Donald Stern

Reno Wilson as Wes Freewald

Rena Sofer as Grace Hall

Curtis Armstrong as Sal the Pig-Boy

Sharon Sachs as Vera

Octavia L. Spencer as Ruby Rydell

Main Guest Cast

Elaine Hendrix as Kristen Martin

Bonnie Brewster as Nancy Silva

Jordan Liddle as Brad the Frat Boy

Behind the Camera

Writer = Silvio Horta

Director = Sanford Bookstaver

Above:  Kristen Martin

Brief Summary

The Cursed Sombrero of Izamal is on the loose in New York City.

Apparently, the priest-kings of Izamal, a Mayan city on the Yucatan Peninsula, were evil.  According to Sal the Pig-Boy, researcher extraordinaire, they “made Jim Jones and David Koresh look like tour guides at Legoland.”  The evil priest-kings conducted many human sacrifices.  The souls of the evil priest-kings are trapped in colorful stones long buried in a Mayan pyramid yet excavated in the 1880s.  At that point, a peasant worker found the soul-stones, stole them, decorated his sombrero with them, wore the sombrero, and died.  Since that time, the souls of the priest-kings have caused all who have worn the cursed sombrero to die in the most unlikely of ways then harvested their souls.

Wes, Tucker, and Grace have to track down the cursed sombrero on Cinco de Mayo, 2001.  The quest to save lives becomes complicated when irresponsible fraternity boys steal the cursed sombrero and pass it around at a drunken party at a sorority house.  If that were not enough, many people are wearing sombreros at that Cinco de Mayo party, and there is a lookalike sombrero.  A sorority girl places the cursed sombrero on Tucker’s head.  He nearly dies at a restaurant where he and Kristen are dining.  Kristen witnesses the ritual whereby Donald Stern conducts the ritual to lift the curse from Tucker, free the trapped spirits from the stones, and destroy the sombrero and the stones.

In the B-plot, Kristen Martin is experiencing difficulty adjusting to having seen an alien space craft take off and fly away in Take Me Back.  She takes a week off from work, stays home, eats bagels, and watches The View.  Kristen also ponders breaking up with Tucker, despite his offer to help her adjust to the crashing down of her worldview around her.  By the end of the episode, Kristen adjusts somewhat (for a while, at least) and does not break up with Tucker.

The evil spirits escaped into a toilet.

Above:  Sal the Pig-Boy

Character Beats

Wes Freewald despises Jar-Jar Binks and opposes a fan cut of Star Wars Episode I:  The Phantom Menace (1999) that removes the annoying character.

Kristen Martin is proceeding on her character arc for this series.  She also prefers to ignore her problems.

Great Lines

Donald Stern:  “If people want something stale, they can buy a Mariah Carey CD.”

Kristen Martin:  “I’m having a nervous breakdown.  Bagel?”

Wes Freewald:  “Maybe that sombrero’s just misunderstood.”

Donald Stern, at the sorority house:  “It’s a good thing I don’t need the blood of a virgin for this ritual.”


The yard sale at the beginning of the episode is perhaps the most overpriced yard sale ever.  $7 for a glass ashtray?  $50 for a sombrero?

May is usually a slow month for supernatural news.

This episode occurs mostly on May 4 and 5, 2001, two months after the events of Take Me Back.

About eleven months have passed since the events of the pilot episode.

Above:  The Ritual


Prior to my recent binge-watching sessions of The Chronicle at, this was one of the few episodes I remembered, if only vaguely.  I remembered the cursed sombrero on Cinco de Mayo, mainly.

Much of the fun in crazy lines is due to the delivery.  The actors make the most of these lines, primarily by underplaying them.  Their characters have seen so much that they can be blasé about a cursed sombrero, for example.

The looks of shock on Elaine Hendrix’s face when she portrays Kristen Martin witnessing bizarre events are such that dialogue is not necessary.