Double Negatives…

The dumbass released a statement that said, and I quote: “Anybody that doesn’t think there wasn’t massive election fraud in the 2020 presidential election is either very stupid, or very corrupt!” The internet, of course, attacked his double-negative sentence that admits there was NO election fraud in 2020. Frankly, I’d guess he KNOWS he’s confessing the election was fair but wants to keep his big lie rolling so he puts out a statement like that, knowing his base isn’t capable of grasping his true meaning. Those who can’t figure out the double-negative will hear what they want to hear. Those of us who can, will understand his concession.

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There are four rules of gun safety. 1- Treat all guns as if they are loaded, always. 2 – Never point the muzzle of a gun at anything you aren’t willing to destroy. 3 – Be sure of your target and what’s behind it. 4 – Keep your finger off the trigger until you’re ready to shoot.

From time to time, I make reference to my own proposal for a gun management law I call ‘The Keep Your Gun Act.’ It does two basic things. One, it raises the rules for gun safety to the laws of gun safety while eliminating subjective interpretations from gun-friendly authorities. (Essentially, if you break one of those laws, it can’t be excused as an accident. e.g., guns don’t “accidentally” discharge…) The other thing it does is require gun owners to secure their weapons so that nobody can take them without permission. If your gun is stolen because you thought it was cute to leave it in your nightstand and then used in a crime, YOU can – and should – be charged as an accessory. Let’s put the “responsible” into “responsible gun owner.”

This little punk-ass bitch shooter in Michigan took a gun from his father’s nightstand to kill the four kids who have died so far. Apparently, the kid posted photos of the gun with the caption ‘My new beauty.’ According to Reuters, the father bought the gun for the kid as a Christmas gift. A killing machine as a Christmas gift…just like Jesus would have wanted…

At some point after the twisted child’s rampage the parents got wind they were going to be the subject of an investigation and, in a demonstration of their principled position, ran and hid. A lawyer tried to cover for them but his statement turned out to be false. The truth was, they ran away and hid in a warehouse. It turns out, someone let them into that warehouse and now THAT person is under investigation, too. Now the parents are under arrest and facing charges of manslaughter. Good.

Michigan, being so stained with red, doesn’t have specific laws requiring gun owners to secure their weapons from children so it will be a tough trial for the prosecution to win. Still, if the information trickling out in the media is anywhere near accurate (I know, a big ‘if’…) the parents willfully turned a blind eye to their sick son’s problems…then armed the little prick. It seems they got the outcome they desired. Maybe father and son can go to the same prison…

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In a new attack on poor people born in bad places, the Sour Cream Court is about to overturn Roe vs Wade. Make no mistake, this ruling does nothing but harm people with the fewest resources – that is, those who will have the hardest time providing for their offspring. Anybody who can pull together the scratch will just take a little vacation from their red-state hellhole to a blue state, obtain the services they need, then come home “refreshed” – and no longer pregnant.

It’s possible to eliminate abortions by attrition but the so-called “anti-abortion” crowed always stands against any and every alternative. In truth, they’re not anti-abortion. They just want to punish women (not the men) who have sex. Otherwise, the sperm donor would be on the hook for child support from the moment of conception, right? I don’t know ANYBODY who is “pro-abortion.” But the “anti” crowed ALSO refuse to teach children about reproduction and they refuse to provide birth control and they refuse to help the poor with financial aid – at least, to the extent possible.

Some people know forced births only harm a specific segment of our society. Pseudo-justice Barrett even suggested it’s okay to force women to term since they can just give the baby away. And we all know, once born, that child is on his own.

It’s interesting. Roe did NOT address abortion specifically. It’s about privacy. Overturning Roe means women are losing their right to medical privacy in some (red) states. Maybe they’ll have to go back to bringing in a permission slip from their husbands to obtain birth control, too…

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The defense at trial hasn’t started yet, but Ghislaine Maxwell’s “people” are out in force pretending that she’s as much a victim of Jeffery Epstein as the girls in question, as though she’s just the scapegoat. She was the groomer and sometimes an active participant in the sexual abuse. She was/is every bit the perpetrator. Two people committed those crimes, Epstein and Maxwell. Epstein died in prison. That doesn’t mean Maxwell gets a pass.

I don’t know how the trial will play out. Maxwell is rich and the once-vaunted “rule of law” in this once-great nation is only selectively applied anymore. But this woman seems to have been a full partner in the trafficking of underage women scheme and she should take her own responsibility for her own actions…

Moral Deficiency…

I’d just like to take a moment and recognize the contribution of the morally deficient, anti-vax cons. Through their tireless efforts, COVID-19 has managed to rampage, mutate and rampage again, and mutate yet again, rampage to follow. The anti-vaxxers will stick to their stubborn, selfish, wrongheaded, and anti-social refusal – again – and COVID-19 will be off and running – again. This time in the guise of Omicron.

We, the responsible people, will have to wear our masks even longer. The economy will suffer another setback. The medical system will be overworked even longer. More people will die. And none of it would have been possible if not for the unflagging narcissism of the few, the inconsiderate, the malevolent…

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Speaking of self-centered jerks, Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial is starting. If you’re somehow unaware, Maxwell is accused of helping groom the underage women Jeffery Epstein and his powerful associates abused. Apparently, she even participated in the abuse from time to time. The judge, Alison Nathan, is taking a firm hold of the trial. She’s claiming she doesn’t want the trial to become a surrogate for the trial Epstein would have received had he not suspiciously turned up dead in his maximum security prison cell.

Do you remember the DVDs? According to the New York Times, during a search of Epstein’s properties, authorities discovered a cache of DVDs labeled with the names of who was on it. They were labeled like: [underage girl]+[abuser]. Epstein’s houses were apparently extensively wired to record activities, particularly in the bedrooms and bathrooms. I suspect this whole thing will be handled as a sex-trafficking case and it should. But it seems to me it’s a blackmail scheme in the end. The girls were just the bait. Since the original announcement of the existence of said DVDs we haven’t heard much more about them. I wonder if we’ll hear anything about them during the trial.

These are some rich and powerful men caught up in this scam. They’ll use their wealth and power to protect themselves. My guess is, we’ll never hear anything about the DVDs or any mention of the men on them. Because the trial will work so hard to protect the men, it will be easier to defend Maxwell. Her defense team is trying to pretend Maxwell is only being prosecuted as a proxy to Epstein. I think Maxwell was fully in on the scheme. This should be an interesting trial, assuming it’s allowed to play out properly.

But trials playing out properly is not necessarily a given in this once-great nation…

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One that did, eventually, was the murder trial for a black man who was murdered for jogging while black. I was a little surprised to find that the original prosecutor in the Ahmaud Arbery murder, Jackie Johnson, declined to prosecute. Apparently, she knew and had worked with one of the killers, Greg McMichael. She has now been indicted for misconduct. She claims she was lied to by the investigating officers. I can’t see how she can be charged if she acted on incorrect information she had but they HAVE charged her so…I’d guess they have some evidence she knew Arbery was not out committing crimes. That was just her cover story to protect her good ol’ boy, racist friend. Might that make her an accessory after the fact?

The jury didn’t take long to find the defendants guilty. Apparently, the evidence was overwhelming. That’s going to hurt Johnson’s case. She might have had more wiggle room if there had been difficulty coming to conclusions but there wasn’t. If it was so obvious to the jury, why wasn’t it obvious to the prosecutor? She saw what she wanted to see and refused to look at things she didn’t want to see.

She almost got away with it, too. Or rather, helped the McMichael’s and William “Roddie” Bryan Jr get away with it. Apparently, after the shooting, rumors started flying, locally, about the shooters. The three thought they could quell the rumors by making available a video shot by Bryan – you know, to “document” how awesome they were in their conduct. Leave it to a dumbass racists to provide the detailed evidence against themselves. The video showed the opposite of awesome conduct and once it became available, there was a public outcry that the prosecutor had declined to prosecute. The Governor of Georgia had to get involved to make sure a trial even took place.

It seems Johnson, Greg and Travis McMichael and William Bryan Jr all agreed that Arbery was probably guilty of something being all covered with that black skin as he was. Then, as the trial progressed, one of the defense attorneys suggested the jury was racially biased. Eleven white people and one African-American and STILL the guy suggested the jury was racially biased.

The killers have all said they plan to appeal their outcome. They seem truly confused. All they did was see a black man, kill him, then come up with a cover story that didn’t hold water under investigation. My guess is, Mr. Arbery would have preferred a different outcome as well – only…there’s no way to “appeal” being murdered…

Effing Wisconsin…

See? I CAN learn. Based on what we’ve just seen, Darrell E. Brooks, 39 – the person who drove his SUV into a crowd gathered for a parade, killing 5 and injuring 48 – will claim self defense, right? I mean, all he has to say is that he feared for his life. There WAS a crowd there and they WERE trying to stop him. Hell, someone even took a shot at him. How could he NOT fear for his life? I guess the judge will rule that the people who died can’t be called victims. Since we just saw that, apparently, Wisconsin law says a confrontation doesn’t start until the accused feels scared, one must assume the courts will set the same standard in this case.

Sure, it’s stupid but it’s Wisconsin. Apparently, that’s how their laws work…

Kyle…

I suppose the reason the cons are being so stubborn about the “three men attacked poor young Kyle” position is that it fits so well with their long story about how arming everyone makes everyone safer. As always, the truth is, more guns equals more deaths of innocents. One guys fires, ten guys pull out their guns hoping to be the good guy with a gun. Now eleven people are in a gunfight, shooting at each other. Who’s the good guy? Who’s the bad guy? A person Kyle was with that night actually fired a round. People heard the shot and saw Kyle there with his gun. They made a logical but wrong connection. The shot must have come from the gun they see. The simple reality is, many people in the area thought he was an active shooter and tried to disarm him.

The three men didn’t attack Kyle all together or at once, either. After Kyle killed Rosenbaum, he ran down the street. Others on the scene started shouting down the street that Kyle was, indeed, an active shooter. People tried to disarm him. In court, we got to hear what KYLE thought they might do. The same consideration wasn’t given to Kyle’s victims. THEY thought HE was the bad guy. In a very real sense, the people Kyle killed were in self-defense mode…and they thought they were defending themselves – and others – from Kyle.

You know why the confusion? Because Kyle was there with a gun. I don’t care how many times you say it or how fervently you pretend, more guns does NOT equal more safety. The truth is, I thought the trial was very carefully orchestrated to protect young Kyle, or rather, protect the NRA’s vision of “gun rights.” As the trial progressed, I became resigned to the idea that the young killer was going to walk free, with the exception of the illegal gun possession charge which I thought that oh-so-coddling judge would sentence to time served or probation or, perhaps, just a severe dressing down. The defense offered an out. They said Kyle COULD have that gun because the barrel was the right length for hunting. So, after closing arguments, the judge accepted that escape and threw the gun charge out. So the question never got asked, if Kyle is going to skate based on an hunting exception, what was Kyle hunting in downtown Kenosha that night?

Okay, so the verdict is the verdict and we’ll all learn to live with it. Well, those left alive, anyway…

Blah, Blah, Blah…

Greta Thunberg is an 18 year old environmental activist who has come to prominence by denouncing the words-but-no-actions made by most countries regarding climate change. She knows that it’s HER generation that is going to suffer the worst consequences of the avarice of my generation. She watches and even attends these climate summits all over the world. She sails on a boat to get to them. Cons hate her. You know, because she’s speaking the truth and cons hate, hate, HATE truth…

There was this recent climate dog-and-pony show called the UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties or COP26. Lots of nations came together to discuss what could be done about climate change. The answer, of course, is nothing. Responding to climate change will affect profit models around the world and the people currently sitting in the most profitable positions would rather wipe out humanity than give up a dollar. Greta knows this. She recently tried to shame them into action by calling out their rhetoric.

Politicians KNOW that most people would rather see the climate corrected or at least controlled even if it means some rich person ends up a bit less rich. They KNOW that if they’re going to protect their phoney-baloney jobs they’ve got to at least pay lip service to climate change. So they have these meetings from time to time and make all these grand statements about what people and countries should do then set “targets” for some distant future “fix.” The young Miss Thunberg summed up the details: blah, blah, blah

She’s right. There will be LOTS of talk and many promises. There will be little to no meaningful action. Blah, blah, blah…

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One of the things lawyers do to benefit their clients is stall – slow things down, wait things out. Maybe a key witness dies. Maybe a file just sits on someone’s desk too long. Over time, people might forget details. Maybe Congress changes hands in the mid-terms and the Republicans won’t see any need to follow up on treason. Who knows?

I hear we’re supposed to be treated to the scene of Steve Bannon, the America-hating, Dumbass-enabling conservative traitor, surrendering to authorities on Monday in response to being indicted for Contempt of Congress. Some people and outlets are breathlessly awaiting the events. They seem to think Bannon is going to prison on Monday. Settle down a bit, will ya? He’ll go before a judge, plead ‘Not Guilty’ and be released. He’ll have dinner where ever he wants to on Monday night. THEN, his lawyers will stall. There will be a LOT of legal maneuvering. Who knows? Maybe Congress changes hands in the mid-terms and the Republicans won’t see any need to follow up on treason.

CheetoJesus, himself, is doing the same thing. He’s free to tell anybody – EVERYBODY – who will listen that he’s innocent and didn’t do anything wrong. But when he’s given the opportunity to prove he’s innocent and didn’t do anything wrong, he moves into “legal defense” mode and stalls. You know…like ANY innocent person might do. Who knows? Maybe Congress changes hands in the mid-terms and the Republicans won’t see any need to follow up on treason.

I saw Adam Schiff on ‘Real Time with Bill Maher’ from the twelfth of this month and he repeated all the old tropes and observations. Oh, it’s important for America. Maybe some of the Republicans might do the right thing. Putting pressure on Bannon will bring about larger results. Same ole, same ole, blah, blah, blah.

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On the same episode of Real Time, Bill Maher asked (again) if it was possible to get rid of the hatred and get Americans acting like Americans again – you know, the great American melting pot, his version of Rodney King’s “Can’t we all just get along?” There was much discussion. Blah, blah, blah. There will be no kumbaya moment so long as conservative media continues to foment dissension and discord by broadcasting America hatred dressed up as patriotism, anti-social behavior disguised as individual liberty, and moral collapse masquerading as moral superiority. America is suffering a class war right now and the One Percent is so far ahead, I fear the war was over and won (for them) before most Americans even realized they were under attack. Hell, many still don’t!

Thanks largely to Bill Clinton, the One Percent enjoys effective, near-perfect control over the media in the US. They WANT the divide. They LOVE the discord. They KNOW that a house divided cannot stand and they do not want this house to stand. They’ve rendered the cons morally stupid and the cons have been duped into defending those who mean them harm and fighting those they should ally themselves with. Cons are the One Percent’s first line of defense, despite the fact that cons are working against their own interests.

So, the answer, Bill, is no. We CAN’T all just get along. Moneyed interests don’t want us to get along. It might interfere with their money interests. This once-great nations needs the return of the Fairness Doctrine (dropped by Reagan) and the return to rules that limited ownership within markets (dropped by Clinton). By and large, I believe Americans would do the right things with decent information. Sadly, these days, all we’re getting – everywhere we turn – is bunk.

Personally, I think Greta nailed the perfect epitaph for humanity: blah, blah, blah…

Twisting Details…

I’ve heard cons braying about how Covid has killed more people under Biden than it did under the Dumbass. It’s part of their stupid ‘everything got worse on January 21st’ bullshit story. (Cons are conditioned to believe that everything is always perfect when Republicans are in charge and everything sucks otherwise…) The idea that Covid 19 may have killed more since January 21, 2021 might even be true, though I’ve noticed they count from January 1 and not January 21. It doesn’t really matter. I suspect that more people WILL die of Covid while Biden is President but it’s still the Dumbass’s fault.

Think of one of PG&E’s profit-making wildfires. The fire burns. Someone calls 911. Firefighters show up and start fighting the fire. When it started, the fire was only in the area of PG&E’s neglected equipment but it spread. One COULD make the case that the fire got bigger AFTER the firefighters showed up, too. But that just ignores the failure and neglect that allowed the fire to get started in the first place…

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I watched an HBO documentary called ‘Four Hours At The Capitol.’ I highly recommend it. I kept finding myself surprised to hear the insurgents claims about what they were doing and why they were doing it. Much of what was said was self-serving, of course, but very often, the cons had me believing that THEY believed. They saw their efforts to storm the Capitol, kill the Vice-President, and capture Congress critters as exactly equivalent to the Boston Tea Party. (Those are my words. None of them used that comparison…)

Now, I’m going to tell you the truth, here. I don’t really have any heartburn with the idea that average Americans might one day have to fight back against the government. Every day, we have to watch the decline-by-choice of a once-great nation under the weight of corruption and failure. Every day, the idea that Americans might have to attack the Capitol and arrest corrupt Congress critters looks more likely. But I DO think one should have evidence that the need exists. These attackers didn’t have any. After 60 court cases ended in “no evidence,” they attacked anyway. They preferred the word of a proven liar and attacked their own country, the one they claim to love so much. In my mind, it sounded like a Christian saying they love Jesus so much they can’t WAIT to nail him back up on the cross. Still, stupid as it seems, these people were convinced they were the true patriots doing their duty to the nation. They thought they would receive pardons. They seem truly shocked that they’re now facing criminal charges for their criminal behavior. Their President TOLD them to attack, fercrissakes…

I imagine it’s WHY they’re getting such light sentences. These are adults, responsible for their own actions. SOME of the rally-goers stopped at the gates and refused to attack, feeling like things were going too far. That, alone, demonstrates, to me, that it was POSSIBLE to know the assault was the wrong thing to do. The insurgents have to pay a price for their actions. But the thing is, if I was sitting on the bench, I would HAVE to take into account they had been told by the President of the United States of America to fight like hell and attack the Capitol if they loved their country – and thinking is not the cons strong suit. So I understand sending most of the minions to prison, slap-on-the-wrist style. It’s the LEADERS who need to do hard time. Donnie the Dumbass, Dumbass Jr, Giuliani, some media personalities, several actual members of Congress. THEY need to go to jail. But they won’t, especially 45. We don’t arrest ex-Presidents regardless of their crimes. Ever.

The concept is, if one party starts arresting people for actual crimes the OTHER party will start arresting people for trumped up “crimes” and the whole thing will collapse under the weight of fake tits for real tats. I think the thing that bothered me the MOST about the insurrection and the attempted coup is the revelation that this once-great nation basically ran on the honor system. I guess the founders thought honor would be enough to protect the country but that ended after Nixon. The Republicans tried to protect their guy but as the evidence mounted, they did the right thing for the country. After that, though, the powers that be realized they had to eliminate honor if they were ever going to recover their aristocracy. Fortunately, for them, dishonorable men were readily available and MORE than happy to trade the country for money.

Foisted upon us was a parade of rogues and villains that started with Ronald Reagan and included Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich and Bush 43 and Dick Cheney and Karl Rove and CheetoJesus and Bill Barr and Mitch McConnell and a cast of miscreants too numerous to mention. (Before you ask, Obama was basically a useless placeholder. I think Bush 41 was the last President the country had that cared more about the country than a political party…) The string of scoundrels has been far too much for the integrity of the country to bear. Corruption moves faster than correction.

Fair warning: the final result was NOT January 6, 2021. That was just the latest chapter. The final damage will be shown in the next “election” when NOBODY will accept the outcome. Cons won’t accept any outcome they don’t like and thinking Americans have been watching one red state after another pretend something is wrong with the system while they eliminate democracy. If the whole system was based on trust and integrity, and all Americans know that the trust and integrity have been ripped from the system, there is no system. I don’t know where we go from there but I suggest you keep your powder dry…

Dietrich Bonhoeffer…

I have a bit of an ongoing debate with a friend of mine about the behavior of the cons in this country. He’s a cut-and-dried kind of a guy so once he reached his conclusion – cons are stupid – he was good. That’s his position and he’s not moving off of it. The thing is, I know many cons who are quite intelligent. As an evidence-based person, I can’t just dismiss the evidence in front of me in order to make a preferred position work like the cons do. That is to say, I don’t buy the blanket statement that these people are stupid because I know too many who aren’t. Although my friend seems unwilling to accept my “solution,” I arrived at the idea that the cons are deceived, not stupid. Still, it’s undeniable that the things they support and the positions they defend ARE, indeed, stupid.

I recently learned about a guy named Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He was a pastor in 1930’s Germany who spoke out about increasing atrocities of the Nazis as they came to power. The German people had been led to horrific transgressions by lies and deceptions of the Nazis at the time – call it the Fox “News” effect. Bonhoeffer tried for years to help people see that what they were doing was wrong. In the end, though, (spoiler alert) the Nazis DID come to power and – not surprisingly – arrested old Dietrich and sent him to prison where they eventually murdered him – two weeks before the camp he was in was liberated. Spiteful to the end, those Nazis…

While he was in prison, though, he developed this theory of stupidity. He suggested that the horrific way the German people were behaving at the time was not based in malice but stupidity. He wrote that stupidity was far more dangerous than malice because malice can be exposed and combated. Stupid, on the other hand, is impervious to reason. Facts that contradict a stupid person’s predetermination can simply be dismissed. If the fact is irrefutable, it is simply pushed aside and ignored as inconsequential. (Sound like any cons you know?) But here’s the key. Bonhoeffer defines stupidity not as an intellectual defect, but a moral defect. He makes clear that a person can have a quite agile mind and still be morally stupid. Likewise a person who might be rather dull, intellectually, can still be quite morally intelligent.

Bonhoeffer suggests that this is no accident. People are brought to moral stupidity. They may not be naturally stupid but they allow themselves to be MADE stupid. He observed that people who live in solitude are less likely to fall prey to the big lies while people who engage in groups are made stupid far more easily. That, in turn, led him to the conclusion that this moral stupidity was less a psychological problem and more of a sociological problem – the reason, perhaps, trump’s rallies are so popular among his base. He suggested that every upsurge of power, say…a CheetoJesus, “infects a large part of humankind with stupidity.” He describes it as a symbiotic relationship in which the power of the one needs the stupidity of the other. But Bonhoeffer makes clear that people aren’t losing intellect. Instead, in the face of the rising power, some people just surrender their independence and give up their autonomous positions, more or less willingly.

Bonhoeffer points out that these morally stupid people are often stubborn but they are NOT independent. I have, myself, observed that in conversation with modern cons one can often perceive the morally stupid person as chanting mantras more than expressing independent thought. I know many who support helping poor people, for example, but when confronted with some bumper-sticker slogan they simply retreat into the “safety” of their construct and repeat as they’ve been conditioned. The threat Bonhoeffer wanted the world to understand is that, having been rendered a mindless tool, the morally stupid person is capable of ANY evil and INCAPABLE of even seeing that it IS evil. (January 6th, anyone?)

I used to say that a con would kill their own mother if the conservative media framed it in the right way. Truthfully, I meant it as kind of hyperbolic tongue-in-cheek. Then Covid-19 hit. Conservative media wavered a bit – maybe a day – but eventually went back to support of their “experts know nothing” position and cons DID start killing their mothers. And their children. And their friends and co-workers and people they passed in the stores and even themselves. All of it, in thrall to one big lie after another.

Sadly, Bonhoeffer also points out that there’s really no way to reach any of these people. They have to be internally freed from the power that controls them. Until then, we should just abandon all attempts to convince a morally stupid person. Internal liberation occurs only AFTER external liberation. Ideally, I think this would mean the elimination of conservative media. More likely, the return of the Fairness Doctrine might ensure that the morally stupid people are regularly exposed to correct information to offset the garbage spewed in the conservative bubble. The problem? I’m not sure how one goes about that in view of the fact that immoral people can hide their lies behind the veil of free speech.

There’s an episode of ‘Star Trek’ in which an historian goes to another planet and re-creates the world of Nazi Germany in the late 1930’s and early 40’s. Not surprisingly, his experiment gets out of control and Nazism takes over, finally killing the historian himself. I’ve been watching Republicans take strategies from the Nazi playbook since 43 infested the Oval Office. Karl Rove was apparently a big fan of the Nazi tactics and he borrowed heavily from the Nazi tactical plan. Like the fictional ‘Star Trek’ historian, Republicans seem to believe they can control the froth and frenzy created by the Nazi ideas but we can see cracks in the veneer already.

The Dumbass once came out and suggested his base get the vaccine. They turned on him. He backed down immediately and went right back to repeating the words they want to hear. I see the Republicans losing control of the monster they’ve created. If past is, indeed, prologue, the future isn’t looking any too bright…

More Poor Choices…

I’m writing this on Monday, October 18 and I’ve just learned this morning that Colin Powell died. There will be many tributes. There will only be passing reference to his participation in starting George’s War in Iraq. I have this concept I follow: none of us would like to be judged by his worst day. Generally, this is true but there ARE exceptions. Powell’s presentation to the United Nations that was so effective at convincing so many of so much pure, unadulterated bullshit, puts him squarely on the ‘judged for this one thing’ list. Powell KNEW he was presenting theoretical “evidence.” Maybe this, possibly that. As a military man, Powell KNEW people – innocent people – would die as a result of his misrepresentations.

Powell was well-respected before the UN debacle. Maybe, by refusing to give the speech, Powell could have averted an illegal war started on trumped up charges and false pretenses that killed hundreds of thousands. Instead, for his own personal gain (he thought maybe he would get to be the first black President – as a Republican), Powell helped sell that war to an hesitant population. THAT choice, defined the man in my mind. It was likely the most important moment in his life and he chose dishonor…

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I’ve heard a LOT of people from the television/film industry talking about the Alec Baldwin shooting. It appears some prop master handed Baldwin a loaded prop gun and told him it was not loaded. Until I have reason to believe otherwise, I’ll assume this was a horrifying accident. But everyone in the business agrees it was a completely preventable accident. It’s important to remember the prop man was non-union. Union workers go through regular training and follow union protocols. Non union workers? Well, maybe. Maybe not. Somehow, a system failed that has otherwise prevented this type of accident since 1993 – the last time a worker on a movie set died under similar circumstances.

I presume Baldwin’s production company hired non-union workers to save money. I guess it worked. Insurance companies will pay out the damages, not Baldwin’s production company. Then again, a lot of money went into making the parts of the movie that have been made and I would imagine the rest of the movie will NOT get made and it will not see a release date. If that’s the case, the choice to hire potentially less qualified property masters to “save money” seems to have gone poorly…

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I’ve heard much chatter, recently, about how Joe Biden is causing gas prices to skyrocket – and skyrocket they are. Over $5.00/gallon for Premium. It’s bunk, of course. Biden doesn’t sit in the boardrooms where production decisions are made. Just before CheetoJesus left office, the price of a barrel of oil was WAY too low as far as the industry was concerned so they cut back production. This was a business decision. The effect becomes real only months after the decision is taken – and when a Democrat takes over the Oval Office.

What I would like to see Biden do (though I wouldn’t actually see it) is get with the greedy CEO’s of those companies and tell them that he’s going to start revoking the various subsidies the industry enjoys. I know, some of those are granted by the bought and paid for Congress so the President doesn’t have much say but there ARE things he can do – or threaten to do, anyway. Things like revoking drilling rights and leases for example. In the short term, such a choice would reduce the damage high gas prices always do to our once-great nation.

Still, it could be that Biden knows the pain the high gas prices are going to cause but, like me, he sees that as people get taken to the cleaners by the gas companies, the public might well start making decisions to change their behaviors. Maybe they’ll choose electric cars, for example. In our vicious so-called “free market” Capitalist society the best way to effect change is to hit people in the pocketbook and the gas companies are hitting the American public HARD. Greed kills but in this case, maybe greed will kill the gas companies…

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As I write this, an atmospheric river is flowing over me outside. I’ve heard as much as 5″ of rain will be falling today. Nice. Now I guess I can go back to half-hour showers and letting my hose run and…what? Wait, I STILL have to be careful? What do you mean, this won’t end the drought? It’s a massive storm that promises to…

All right. I’ll stick to the drought protocols. But you’ve got to admit, it’s a hopeful start!

Giving Cover…

Sometimes I feel sorry for the cons being duped by their corner of the one percent media and this is one of those moments. On some level, whether they’ll admit it or not (they won’t), they know COVID is real…and they’re concerned. They recognize the danger from the virus and want protection. You know how I know? Ivermectin. Hydroxychloroquine. Ingesting disinfectants. Black lights up their asses. They KEEP trying to find remedies but because conservative media sees conservative contrarianism as the truth, the light, and the way, cons are discouraged in said media from taking the one preventative that actually prevents the worst outcomes.

Sometimes, though, I don’t feel one bit sorry for them. Have you heard about the people being “fired” for their refusal to get vaccinated? Quick question, aren’t they quitting? They’re CHOOSING not to follow company policy. Isn’t that quitting?
“Hey,” the manager tells you, “shift starts at 8.”
“No way man, I’ll see you at 10.”
“Don’t bother…”
Did you get fired? I think you quit. I don’t think you should get any of those beautiful unemployment checks you think makes life so sweet, either.

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So, where the heck ARE all the workers? Yeah, I know. If you’re a con, they’re all at home living the good cushy life on that phat unemployment check. In the real world, though, people still have bills to pay and the unemployment augmentations have mostly ceased. I don’t think the old unemployment rates are enough to get the job done – the reason the augmentations were required in the first place. I hear economists saying people are quitting their jobs in droves. They even have a name for it, ‘The Great Resignation.’ Employees are moving on to greener pastures – but that requires better jobs to move to, right? Here’s one possible contributing factor.

When Covid-19 first reared it’s ugly head, the corrupt Dumbass applied his usual dumbass pseudo-skills to the problem. He tried to bad-mouth the virus into submission. When that didn’t work, he gave up and allowed Covid-19 to gain a solid foothold that started killing Americans at an alarming rate. So far, 700,000 Americans have died as a direct result of his failures. 700,000. I’d say THAT created some job openings. I mean, I know many of those people were no longer in the job market. They had aged out. But think about this. (I’m making numbers up, now. This is just an example of a possibility.) Let’s say mom died when Covid swept through her care facility. She was 85. Her kids are in their early to mid-60’s. There was a time in this once-great nation when the retirement age was somewhere between 62 and 65. Not anymore. Now people work into their 70’s (if they can make it) or right up until the day they die. Those of us who grew up in Better America know we’re getting burned but we have also mostly become resigned to our fate.

Then The Feckless Fuckup’s failures killed mom, who left the kids some money. Not a lot, maybe, but enough to supplement what the kids had already done for themselves. Suddenly, they get to retire now. If mom had four kids and they all retired because of the bump the inheritance provided, that’s four new job openings. If that happened with, say, half of CheetoJesus’s victims, 350,000 people, all with four kids (I know. They didn’t all have four kids.) that would be 1,400,000 jobs nobody is coming back to. Add back the other half of the Covid dead, you’re suddenly looking at nearly 2,000,000 jobs “vacated.” I say again, I made up the numbers to illustrate the idea that the older workers might well have left the work force en masse, leaving those jobs available for younger workers – who are snapping them up as quickly as they can. It’s just going to take time to re-staff and re-train workers to do those jobs.

As a real life example, before Covid, we were hearing reports that truckers were an aging group with jobs in the industry not being replaced fast enough. Maybe Covid just did the final trick for them – one way or another – and they’re done. NOW we’re hearing about supply-chain issues…

It’s frustrating right now, but long-term, I think it’s a good thing. Fewer workers, that is, a limited supply of workers, SHOULD bring wage increases all the way across the board. Joe Six-pack will benefit. Sure, Jeff Bezos might end up with a slightly smaller penis rocket but I have high confidence he’ll be all right…

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I wrote last week that Facebook had cleaned up it’s act, likely in response to the possibility they might get scrutinized for their poor civic attitude. Facebook seemed willing to forego profits in the short term to protect their empire long term. The only question was how long it would last. Not long, it appears. It wasn’t even a full week before I started seeing contrary political posts back on my page. I guess the Congressional bribes, er, campaign contributions were distributed quickly and efficiently and congress hasn’t thought about it since…

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Did you hear that Jon Gruden quit as head Coach of the Las Vegas Raiders over racist, misogynistic, and homophobic emails he sent 10 years ago? I don’t care about Gruden. He’s always been an over-rated hack. His one big accomplishment was “achieved” with a team he didn’t build. He got credit for “winning” Super Bowl XXXVII with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, ironically over the Raiders. THAT team, though was mostly built and trained by Tony Dungy, who was unceremoniously released by Tampa Bay only to move to Indianapolis and repeat the feat with the Colts. Gruden never sniffed the Super Bowl again.

The emails were discovered during an investigation into charges of the Washington Football Team’s racist, misogynistic, and homophobic atmosphere since Dan Snyder bought the team. Gruden’s emails were released publically. The rest of the emails in question have been protected from public scrutiny by the NFL. So, who was Gruden sending the emails to? Who else may have been on the threads? Why are the Washington Football Team’s emails being protected when THEY were the focus of the investigation in the first place?

All In The Timing…

Okay, so…I don’t want to come off as a conspiracy theorist, here, but on the day whistleblower Frances Haugen testified to Congress about poor behavior of Facebook, Facebook’s entire network of social media sites went down for hours. Essentially, the charge against Facebook is that it promotes incivility in order to increase profits. Facebook knows this does damage everywhere, especially to young people and most especially to younger girls. They know it because they study these things and Ms. Haugen brought the internal documentation to prove it. They do it anyway because it increases profit.

As a sidebar, now seems a good time to mention that ANY business does everything it can to increase profit. That’s why businesses exist. It remains the responsibility of the society in which the business operates to define acceptable behavior of the business through laws and regulations. Only a fool would trust the wolf to establish the rules of guarding the hen-house…

After hours of testimony on the east coast and “network management” on the west coast, the world was offered a “deep tech” explanation – the kind of thing most people don’t understand and so won’t/can’t ask relevant follow-up questions. An amazing coincidence, this network crash occurring just as Facebook’s secret, damaging algorithm is being exposed in Congress.

I mostly make political posts. Before the testimony, I had been noticing a string of conservative ads on my page. They were all disinformation in the typical conservative style. They all twisted truth just enough to become untrue. On the day of the testimony/crash, I was trying to log onto Facebook to respond to a conservative friend’s post that had shown up on my page. Sadly, for Facebook, I wasn’t going to fight with said friend. There was even agreement to be had in the post and I wanted to comment. I had just seen the post that morning before the testimony crash began. BUT…

When one COULD log back into Facebook, the post was nowhere to be found. All of the ads from conservative outlets were gone, replaced by fond memories of friends and memes with meaningful sayings and inspirational affirmations. It was full-on “Peaceful Valley.” Oh, and boring. Apparently, Facebook’s internal studies showing that their best profit model comes from keeping people fighting is accurate. Sure, it’s a sorry statement on the state of humanity but, hey…profits!

I saw a headline that said the testimony will prompt action in Congress. I’m sure that’s true. Sadly, the action it will prompt will be an unscheduled round of bribe payments to various Congress critters…

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On Friday, Bill Maher went off on the threat the Dumbass poses to America. He pointed out that Republicans, currently refusing reality, have decided to shape “reality” by dismantling American democracy. Can’t win on the strength of your positions? Then, “win” with carefully placed sycophants and gerrymandering. For Republicans, the point is the win, not the positions. I think Maher’s right. I think America is in FAR greater trouble than we’re letting on. Many cons refused to accept the outcome of the 2020 election simply because it didn’t come out the way they preferred. There was absolutely no evidence of electoral shenanigans on the Democrats part in 2020. The outcome in 2020 was just because a LOT more lefties than righties voted. Still, the cons are out shouting, “I don’t like it so I don’t believe it.”

Now they’re actively, systematically undermining the Republic by putting toady sycophants into influential positions. If a Republican “wins” and the left doesn’t accept the results because of the actual instances of actual vote fraud that will actually occur, the cons will just dismiss the left’s angst and anger as sour grapes, the same thing the cons did after 2020 – only the left won’t be pretending. Still, it will be portrayed as no big deal in the media.

The truth is, elections haven’t been coming out right since Bill Clinton handed control of the media over to the One Percent in the 1990’s. TWICE since then (43 and the dumbass) we’ve had situations where most people chose one person only to have the other person get the job. The disparities have been SO bad, the One Percent’s media decided to stop doing exit polls – the gold standard of polling. THEY said it was because exit polls are undependable. The truth is, the exit polls made it far more difficult to “explain” why the loser was really the winner. And, oh my god, have the “winners” been losers. Far and away the two stupidest presidents America has suffered (let’s call them ‘Dumber’ and ‘Dumbest’) have been the result of electoral b.s. from Republicans – and Dumbest appears to be coming back for more. America will TRY to hand him his ass again but THIS time, the corrupted American system may well prevent good people from stopping bad people.

The fact that there are more sane people than conservatives, more people who love America than conservatives, and more people who respect the Constitution than conservatives isn’t going to stop the conservatives. They’re just going to cheat. But where will that leave America? The cons aren’t even thinking about the damage they’re doing. They just want the win. Those of us who ARE thinking about the damage don’t see any way around it. It’s being slowly baked into the system and once in place, the system will fail. That’s not fear-mongering. It’s history.

Our only hope is to pressure Democrats in Congress to take action. That will take a LOT of us calling and writing and even then, I don’t know how many messages it takes to offset million-dollar “campaign contributions.” (Remember when they were just called ‘bribes?’ “Bribes” is so much easier to write than “campaign contributions.” I think we should stick to calling the bribes ‘bribes.’ You know…for clarity…) Our Congress, both parties, is in thrall to – and working for – the One Percent…against the best interests of the American people. Call them anyway. (202) 224-3121. That’s the switchboard. They’ll direct you to the member who pretends to represent you…