Our Guy, Your Guy…

I don’t understand my conservative brethren.  I mean, I do, really.  I know they’ve been trapped by the conservative bubble where they’ve been taught to ignore facts and reality in favor of preferred opinions.  These guys ALWAYS have the same opinions: our guy is great, your guy (or gal) sucks…

In response to the Trump crime family’s most recent crimes – enlisting foreign powers to help Donnie Dumbass return to the White House so he can betray America some more – I saw a story, this morning, talking about the times the Obama Administration refused to respond to subpoenas.  The piece claimed 9 times.  Of course, it was an opinion piece so it can claim anything it wants.  For example, it included such undeniable items as when one person was invited – not subpoenaed – to speak to Congress and chose not to.  It DID mention a couple of actual subpoenas but, for example, in one case, the Obama Administration declined because the issue was already with the Sour Cream Court…

So the part the confuses me about my conservative brethren is NOT that they’ve made a conscious decision to be spectacularly wrong about every issue.  To me, the confusing part is why they insist on making the deceivers – Heritage, Cato, American Enterprise, and the Hoover institute among so many others – keep writing new stories.  It seems…odd.

THEY don’t care about the details or facts of any situation.  WE aren’t going to accept bullshit issued by conservative “think” tanks since it never – and I mean never – matches reality.  So…if you don’t care what’s in the story and we’re not going to buy the bullshit anyway, I think you only need two stories.

One, our guy didn’t do it and two, your guy did far, far worse.  I suppose you could have a third, just to shake things up – our guy didn’t do it AND your guy was far, far worse.

So, for example, the first one, ‘Our Guy Didn’t,’ they could just write: “Oh, those crazy libtards are at it again.  They’re blaming our guy even though they haven’t got one shred of evidence and we all know, with or without evidence, that our guy would never do anything like what they’re suggesting.”  The second piece, ‘What About YOUR Guy?’ would be straightforward enough.  “Oh, those crazy libtards, who hate our country, are at it again.  They’re trying to blame our glorious and perfect (insert name of candidate or politician here) but they just ignore when they’re own guy did the same thing.  There was that one time they did that thing, remember?  Then there was that second time they did a thing, and then there was that third time, remember that?  THAT was the truly bad thing and nobody should ever look at any behavior of our guy until the DemocRAT suffers for the things we can pretend he/she did…”

Then, just to shake things up a bit, they do a mash-up.  “Oh, those crazy libtards are at it again.  They’re blaming our guy even though they haven’t got one shred of evidence and we all know, with or without evidence, that our guy would never do anything like what they’re suggesting.  But those crazy libtards, who hate our country, are at it again.  They’re trying to blame our glorious and perfect (insert name of candidate or politician here) but they just ignore when they’re own guy did the same thing.  There was that one time they did that thing, remember?  Then there was that second time they did a thing, and then there was that third time, remember that?  THAT was the truly bad thing and nobody should ever look at any behavior of our guy until the DemocRAT suffers for the things we can pretend he/she did…”

See how easy it is?  Three simple (emphasis on ‘simple’) stories to cover any situation…

I’ll tell you this: if the “think” tanks didn’t have to spend so much time ginning up fraudulent stories to keep the faithful on board, they could turn their attention to other ways of undermining this once-great nation to the benefit of the privileged elite…

Terrible Americans…

Okay, so we all agree that the Don of the Trump crime family broke the law in seeking to enlist foreign aid against a political rival for the upcoming “election”, right?  No, you don’t have to say so out loud if you’re trying to protect your status as “good conservative.”  I guess I don’t have to point out that protecting a President who is committing crimes just to maintain your “good conservative” credentials is going to drop you squarely into the “Terrible American” column, as well, but I’m sure the cons know that.  It’s a price they’re willing to pay…

Most of my conservative friends have been strangely quiet on the topic.  I suspect they realize there’s no good spin, yet.  Hell, even Tucker Carlson says there’s no way to spin this as a good idea.  I believe Carlson would blow Trump on national TV if Trump told him to and Carlson has STILL come out publicly and criticized the Orange Moron.  Of course, we all know getting head IS an impeachable offense, yes?

Tucker Carlson blows
Carlson doing Trump’s bidding…

Besides Trump, the Terrible American I’m really worried about is Mitch McConnell.  That dude hates Democrats so much he’d burn this country to the ground and dance on it’s ashes just to be able to say he showed them.  I know, that should be hyperbole.  Sadly, it isn’t.  The inquiry is only starting.  The evidence is strong against the current maladministration.  McConnell has already indicated that he doesn’t care what the evidence shows.  He will not convict Trump.

McConnell
Mitch McConnell HATES the United States Constitution…

“I would have no choice but to take it up,” McConnell said. “How long you’re on it is a whole different matter, but I would have no choice but to take it up, based on a Senate rule on impeachment.”  Now he’s using his refusal to do his job in an attempt to keep his job.  He has campaign mailers going out saying he’s the only thing standing between the law and the President.  (His wording might be a bit different…)

Okay, quick question, here.  I’m no lawyer but doesn’t announcing the outcome before the trial even begins disqualify one from participating in the process?  “He’s absolutely innocent and we’ll be happy to look at any evidence you can present that supports that position” just…feels like the trial may not be fair and impartial.  I think McConnell has to recuse.  He won’t.  He loves his power and his so-called president more than he loves his country but he should step aside…

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Speaking of terrible Americans, I’m increasingly disappointed in how incredibly stupid we are – as a group, I mean.  I know a LOT of very intelligent individuals.  I don’t know HOW so many intelligent individuals become SO effing stupid when in a group but the evidence is undeniable.  Is it really SO important to fit in with a crowd, any crowd, you’d allow yourself to be portrayed as a drooling moron rather than stand up and demonstrate even standard intelligence?

I’ll tell you this: when I look at the number of people who actually believe, or simply pretend to believe, some stupid position – some position contrary to an avalanche of evidence – just to try and “win” some political argument, I’m disheartened.  We’re Americans.  We were supposed to be better than that…

Bluffs and Bloviation…

Ah, Pacific Gas and Electric…again!  They blew up San Bruno.  Rather than repair a gas pipeline they knew was leaking, they diverted the money to a political campaign in a failed attempt to create a monopoly in the state.  But, they created a revenue stream from it by getting an increase in rates, ostensibly to pay the fine.  The fine will be paid and gone, the rate increase is forever.  They burned down Paradise.  Maintaining all of that equipment, it seems, really cuts into profits.  But, they created a revenue stream from it by getting an increase in rates, ostensibly to pay the fine.  The fine will be paid and gone, the rate increase is forever…

I want to be clear, here.  I know the rank and file workers are doing the best they can with what they have.  These decisions are being made by the management, not the workers.  People have noticed that PG&E refuses to do it’s job and then profits from the subsequent disaster they create.  People aren’t happy about it.  So, PG&E goes on the offensive.  They start an ad campaign about how awesome they are and how they care and how there’s nothing more important than safety and…blah, blah, blah.

Now, they’re threatening their customers.  “We’re going to turn the power off, how do you like that?”  Why?  Safety, of course.  They’re not JUST turning off the power.  They’re leaving it off for several days.  That should show us.  “Well,” they say, “we need to check the lines before we can restore power.”  Why?  Well, because they STILL haven’t properly maintained the equipment and, apparently, a strong breeze can bring down lines.  So…why don’t they just bury the lines?  They already bury gas lines, why not put the electric lines underground, too?  Oh, FAR too expensive.

Quick lesson: profits are the amounts left over after all of the expenses are subtracted from all of the revenues.  If profit is $1 dollar, the company will be fine.  All obligations are covered, all employees paid.  In the first quarter of 2018, PG&E reported profits of 442 million dollars.  In the first quarter of 2019, profits dropped to 136 million because of the fines; simply a temporary downturn.

How much burying could PG&E do with 136 million dollars or 442 million dollars?  Quite a bit, I imagine.  Over time, most of the wires would be underground.  As a bonus, they could install switches so they can control their grid and not have to guess at which switch turns off which section.  But that would interfere with profits, right?  Can’t have that in this so-called free-market Capitalist system.  So, PG&E thrives, investors get a little return, and, from time to time, some people are going to die.  If you complain, they’ll take your electricity away completely.  (Your bill will still arrive exactly on schedule…)

I think a free market system that kills people but protects the health of companies has it’s priorities all screwed up…

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So, the Orange Anti-Christ, Donnie Dumbass, actually said, “I have an Article II, where I have the right to do whatever I want as President.”  He’s actually said so on more than one occasion.  You might be surprised to hear that Article II says no such thing.  You may think I’m wrong.  Here, read it for yourself and if you can find anything in there that says the President can do whatever he wants, I’ll give you a dollar.  But, because he’s stupid enough to believe it, I think he’s about to become VERY familiar with Section 4…

“Article. II.

Section. 1.

The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows

Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.

The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot for two Persons, of whom one at least shall not be an Inhabitant of the same State with themselves. And they shall make a List of all the Persons voted for, and of the Number of Votes for each; which List they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the Seat of the Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall, in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the Certificates, and the Votes shall then be counted. The Person having the greatest Number of Votes shall be the President, if such Number be a Majority of the whole Number of Electors appointed; and if there be more than one who have such Majority, and have an equal Number of Votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately chuse by Ballot one of them for President; and if no Person have a Majority, then from the five highest on the List the said House shall in like Manner chuse the President. But in chusing the President, the Votes shall be taken by States, the Representation from each State having one Vote; A quorum for this Purpose shall consist of a Member or Members from two thirds of the States, and a Majority of all the States shall be necessary to a Choice. In every Case, after the Choice of the President, the Person having the greatest Number of Votes of the Electors shall be the Vice President. But if there should remain two or more who have equal Votes, the Senate shall chuse from them by Ballot the Vice President.

The Congress may determine the Time of chusing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.

No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death, Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office, the Same shall devolve on the Vice President, and the Congress may by Law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what Officer shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act accordingly, until the Disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.

The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be encreased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.

Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:—”I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Section. 2.

The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.

The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.

Section. 3.

He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.

Section. 4.

The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

High Crimes and Misdemeanors…

trump-biden-1

Well, I confess it has taken awhile but I now understand why Republicans think the impeachment inquiry against the Orange Anti-Christ is GOOD for…um…Republicans.  See, the story goes like this: now that those crazed Dems have initiated the inquiry, the Trump team can subpoena anybody they want and ask them anything they want!  Finally, they’ll get the “facts” on every anti-Dem fever dream they’ve ever had.  People, they’re sure, are going to jail.  Democrat people.

Besides, they intone, the Republicans in Congress will not impeach Trump, no matter what the evidence shows.  For modern Republicans, party is more important than country.  Party protection trumps (if you will) the Constitution.  That’s not a position I can respect…

I’m not a lawyer but I don’t think you can ask “anybody you want, anything you want.”  I mean, I guess they can ask but there are going to be other lawyers there asking how those questions are relevant to the issues at hand…

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I suspect even the conservative rank and file is concerned Donnie Dumbass may have stepped in it this time.  They’re working overtime to try and make some other historical event – Joe Biden’s intervention in Ukraine – seem relevant.  But it isn’t.

The conservative story is that Hunter Biden, Joe’s son, worked for a company that was under investigation and Joe intervened to have the lead investigator fired in order to protect his son.  It would be a damning story – except for the details.

First, let’s assume Hunter got his job with Burisma, a natural gas company, specifically because he was the son of the Vice President of the United States.  Yeah, that sucks but it’s the way rich people do things in this world.  He probably had a LONG list of “job offers” in front of him.  All he had to do was pick one.  Now, hold that thought for a minute…

According to Reuters, the investigation in question focused on the years 2010 – 2012.  This time period was before hunter went to work for the company.  That means Hunter wasn’t under any personal threat from the investigation.  Under the worst possible scenario – a ridiculous scenario – the worst thing that might have happened was that Burisma would be shuttered completely.  Of course that was never going to happen but if it did, the worst it would mean for Hunter is that he’d have to go back to his list of plum job offers he received because he’s the son of the Vice President.

So…WHY would Joe intervene on behalf of Hunter if Hunter wasn’t under any threat?

But they’ll keep hammering because they don’t have a choice…

The truth is, I understand how this came about in the first place.  Trump sits around most of the day watching Fox ‘News.’  Like most Fox viewers, he’s completely oblivious to the reality that Fox just makes stuff up.  Fox makes up a story about Hunter in an attack on Joe, Trump believes it and decides he’s in the perfect position to “prove” the truth of the tale.  The thing is, there IS no truth to the tale…

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This is important.  I don’t know HOW the process will play out but I think the House had no choice but to initiate an impeachment inquiry but, perhaps, not for the reason people think.  Here’s a little tidbit from the US Constitution.  (Honestly, I don’t know if it still applies in this once-great nation but this is what it says…)

This is Article 2, Section 2, paragraph 1: “…he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.” (emphasis mine, archaic spelling, the founders…)

Trump reportedly promised his crony sycophants they could feel free to break laws in building his wall because he can and will simply pardon them, so we know, without question, Trump is willing to subvert the law and abuse his authority.  Because this is an impeachment inquiry, he CAN’T simply pardon his way out of trouble on this one.  That might be the single most important point to the whole process…

Ah, Shoot…

A friend of mine recently posted a question in social media.  Why, he asked, are we not hardening our schools?  Now obviously, this question refers to gun-oriented issues so it’s important for me to start by saying I’m not an anti-gun guy.  If you try to tell me the true problem is mental health issues, I agree.  BUT…if we, the people want to implement mental health care in this once-great nation, we would have to ask the One Percent to participate in society.  They’ve made absolutely clear they’re not interested in doing that and, sadly, FAR too many Americans have decided it’s just too disruptive, asking the wealth-hoarding One Percent to pay their fair share in taxes.  The result?  We don’t have the money to properly manage the mentally ill in this country.

So…if we’re not going to pursue the actual correct answer – and we’re not – we’re left with Option B: try to minimize the amount of damage that can be done when someone breaks.  I’m never fond of treating the symptom instead of the disease but if that’s our only choice, well, that’s our choice.  We agree it’s a mental health problem AND we acknowledge we’re NOT going to address mental health problems.  THAT means that from time to time, someone in America is going to “fall down.”  They’re going to break under the stress.  Some few of those will decide to do as much damage as possible on their way out.  So why aren’t we hardening our schools?

I actually have two answers to the question.  The first one is also the more simplistic but helps me define the term ‘hardening.’  Basically, for the uninitiated, ‘hardening’ means fortifying the school to the point where it’s able to withstand a military type assault – like a fort…or a prison.  Have you ever been to a fort…or a prison?  They’re not exactly inviting.  In fact, they seem to instill a sense of foreboding on purpose.  That doesn’t seem like the kind of place kids would be eager to go to.

When I was young, I would often go to one of the local schoolyards to play basketball or tennis or use the track or just sit in the field.  Schools were inviting places people liked being around.  I prefer that model of school.  But I guess putting eight year olds in bullet-proof backpacks through checkpoints and security sweeps so they can participate in active shooter drills is just the price we pay for freedumb…

Okay, so we harden our schools into fortresses.  But the truth is, it’s not just the schools, is it?  We’ve seen these shootings inside and outside of nightclubs, in restaurants, at concerts, at garlic festivals, and even just driving down the street shooting at random.  The Dayton shooter had the “misfortune” to start his killing spree with cops already in the vicinity.  He was dead in thirty seconds.  Thirty seconds.  Still, he managed to kill ten people and shoot 17 others.  In thirty seconds.  Clearly, in order to allow the unreasonable minority to have their little hobby, we’re going to have to harden every public facility in the country.  We’re also going to have to post trained and armed guards within thirty seconds of any and every public venue.  That’s going to be expensive…

At this point, I’d like to take a page from the conservative position playbook and ask why I should have to part with MY hard-earned money in order to harden every public venue in the United States just so some frightened rabbit can own a particular kind of weapon?  Frankly, I don’t think I should.  I, for one, don’t want to have to live that way at all, let alone have to pay for it.  So if we’re forced to live in prison-like conditions for “safety” I think the costs of hardening should be borne by the people creating the danger: gun owners.  The best way would be an additional tax on the sale and transfer of the weapons in question.  Yes, I can imagine the howling of the Gun Rights Advocates (GRAs) at the idea of taking responsibility for the “freedoms” upon which they insist – but that doesn’t mean I’m wrong…

Okay, so we’ve fortified all public buildings and posted armed guards, ready to shoot, on every corner and imposed taxes on gun owners to pay for it all.  Safety!  But then, that seems like the very type of police state conservatives are usually warning about, yet here they are, pushing for it – aggressively.  This is getting confusing.  Then I start to wonder, what does all of this do to what might be called the ‘Open Carry Paradox?’  If everything is fortified and locked down, what happens to a person’s “right” to carry openly when and where they want to?  But if a nut ball can slip past any fortification simply by claiming open carry, what good would it do to fortify anything, schools included?

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In an effort to prove I’m not anti-gun, I’d like to help my GRAs by pointing out what I think is a tactical error.  When a nut ball starts shooting, the standard discussion starts with the suggestion to get rid of the “assault rifles.”  GRAs respond by pointing out there’s no such thing as an assault rifle.  Now…when I say “assault rifle,” you get a picture in your head, yes?  You picture an AK-47 or an AR-15.  So, on the one hand it seems odd that everyone knows what an assault rifle is though, according to the GRAs, no such thing exists.  But the reality is, the GRAs are technically correct when they point out that so-called “assault rifles” are really just scary looking semi-automatic weapons…and that’s the mistake…

I think GRAs should allow people to think they “solve” the problem of shooters by getting rid of the scary looking weapons.  By constantly arguing that “assault weapon” is an inaccurate term, GRAs are inadvertently pointing out that, in reality, the culprit is simply semi-automatic weapons, in general.  But once the general population realizes the fact, it’s only a matter of time before people start calling for the removal of semi-automatic weapons – ALL semi-automatic weapons.  (Yes, I acknowledge that this DOES qualify as “coming for your guns…”)  The GRAs themselves make the case: stupid gun-grabbers don’t realize assault weapons are just semi-automatic weapons.  Ah HA!  So it’s not “assault weapons” that are the problem – it’s semi-automatic weapons…

Once upon a time in America people were allowed to own fully automatic weapons.  A very few of those people used them to rob banks and kill people.  Before too long, fully automatic weapons were outlawed and (mostly) removed from society.  We CAN do the same thing with semi-automatic weapons.

I say again: I KNOW it’s a mental health problem.  I KNOW that only the very smallest number of people ever “go postal” (ah, yes, post office shootings, too) and start shooting things up.  But it’s always the few who ruin things for the many, right?  And the needs of the many really DO outweigh the needs of the few.  So it doesn’t matter that it’s a mental health problem if we’re not going to address mental health issues.  THAT means we have no choice but to try and reduce the amount of damage broken people can do and THAT, in turn, might well mean eliminating semi-automatic weapons.

I know the response; crazies will just find another way to inflict damage.  True.  But the GRAs know (though they won’t admit) that there’s NO other legal way to inflict so much damage and death as quickly and as efficiently as semi-automatic weapons.  They expose this knowledge by demanding the right to own semi-automatic guns as the best way to defend themselves from the invading Mongol hoards or whatever.  If they could do the same thing with a kitchen knife or a hammer, there wouldn’t be a problem, right?  But they know a knife or a hammer does NOT do the same amount of damage in the same space of time.  They know there’s a reason our military members are issued semi-automatic weapons and not kitchen knives as the primary tool of the trade…

I’d be interested in hearing from my GRAs on the subject but do me a favor: please stick to the topic at hand.  I mean, I already know I’m a cuck libtard moron, so…

Deceptions…

It’s a genuine problem when a person can’t admit a mistake no matter how innocuous.  Our Embarrassment in Chief misstated Hurricane Dorian’s path to include Alabama, which, of course, raised concerns in Alabama.  Sooo, the National Weather Service issued a correction – no, Dorian presents no threat to Alabama.  Drumpf had a couple of legitimate “outs” here.  For example, he could have thrown one of his sycophant facilitators under the bus.  “Oh, I was briefed incorrectly.”  Who could argue?

But not our special Dumbass.  No, he insists the hurricane was, in fact, on target to graze Alabama.  When pressed for details by the media, he produces this:
DonniesDoctoredMap

See the little black line that includes a corner of Alabama?  Word is, Donnie, himself, drew that in trying to “prove” he was right.  Now, the National Weather Service has had to come out publicly and point out that they never produced such a map.  Worse, it turns out it’s NOT just an effort of a very little man with NO self esteem to protect his underdeveloped and fragile personality.  It’s a crime to provide fraudulent information like that.

No, I’m clear nobody is going to do anything about it but it’s one more example of the failure of this once great nation to even TRY to live up to it’s rhetoric.  The next time you hear some talking head claim we’re a “nation of laws” just laugh (or, maybe, cry) in their face…

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Donnie Dumbass tried to distract from his Dorian Debacle by claiming he had a secret meeting with the Taliban scheduled but cancelled it because they took credit for some terrorist act.  Progressives are getting all upset that Dumbass invited the Taliban to the US during the week of September 11.

Two things: one, it was Al Qaeda that attacked the US on Sep 11, not the Taliban.  Two, do you really believe Donnie Dumbass was going to meet with the Taliban?  Or, more specifically, that the Taliban would meet with him?

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Well, the NFL is back.  They’re not even all the way through Week 1 and there’s already controversy and (no surprise) it involves the cheatin’ Patriots.  As painlessly as possible, there’s a player named Antonio Brown.  He played for the Pittsburgh Steelers.  He’s a very talented player but he’s also a Prima Dona whiner.  Pittsburgh got tired of his antics and decided to honor his request for a trade.  A LOT of teams were interested.  The New England Patriots wanted the guy but Pittsburgh and New England are in the same division and Pittsburgh didn’t want to send a player of Brown’s talent to a divisional rival.  Pittsburgh sent him to the Oakland Raiders for a couple of mid-level draft picks, instead.

Brown immediately started acting up.  He didn’t even get through the preseason before getting cut by Oakland – and picked up by New England on the same day.  Now, Adam Schefter, a sports guy, is reporting that, perhaps, New England was meddling all along.  There’s no evidence, of course.  It’s all just talk.  But it’s believable talk because the Patriots have a long history of breaking whatever rule they want to break.

Shortly after the deal, the Patriots went out and mopped up the field with the Steelers.  Gee, do you think Brown helped the Patriot coaching staff get a little “even” with Pittsburgh?  For the record, I don’t consider making use of a newly acquired player cheating.  Really, it’s common in the NFL.  Sometimes, that seems like the only reason a team picks up a player.  There’s a LOT wrong with the NFL these days but perhaps more than any other thing, Patriot cheating (and being allowed to get away with it) really ruined it for me…

Note: Save it.  I have no intention of lightening up on New England until they’re forced to play for six seasons using only hand signals on defense and providing their defensive playbooks to all of their opponents – you know, like the advantage THEY had when they “won” their first three Super Bowls…

Bullseye…

Have you ever seen the movie ‘Falling Down’ with Michael Douglas?  It’s about a guy who experiences a series of unfortunate events until, one day, just sitting in a traffic jam, the guy…breaks.  Our society has a way of doing that to people.  I think this most recent shooter (August 31, 2019) in Texas (7 dead, 22 injured) is one of those.  We’ll all find out together, over time, but that’s my guess.

It’s not about the guns, really.  It’s a question of mental health.  (I actually believe this to be true.)  But here’s a harsh reality: we, the people, have decided to allow our civilization to descend into hell rather than ask the people who have extracted so much from our society to participate in it.  This means there’s not enough money to fund proper mental health facilities any more.  If we’re not going to do anything to help the most damaged people in our society (and we’re not), we have little choice but to try to limit the amount of damage they can do when they break.  Sure, it’s treating the symptom, not the disease but sometimes, that’s the only option one has.

To my mind, that means semi-automatic weapons have to go.

Yeah, I know the responses I’ll get from my gun rights advocates (GRAs).  I agree with many – perhaps most – of them.  I know most gun owners do NOT mishandle their weapons.  I know that crazy people can and will use other implements of destruction to carry our their murderous rampages.  But my GRAs know the power of semi-automatic weapons is hard to match.  There’s a reason military members aren’t equipped with kitchen knives or hammers.

This most recent shooter drove down the street shooting people at random from his moving car, then a stolen mail truck.  One hand on the steering wheel, the other on the trigger of a semi-automatic weapon.  The beauty of a semi-automatic weapon is the number of rounds one can fire in a short time – and with ONE HAND!  Everything else is slower.  Many require two hands to set up the next shot.  That, alone, would have prevented deaths.

I know, the 2nd Amendment.  The founders said in the Declaration of Independence that men are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights.  Among those are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  I find the 2nd Amendment to be superseded by the unalienable right to live one’s life.  If I have to choose, I choose the living over the guns and, apparently, I have to choose.

My GRAs will say it’s not about the guns, it’s about mental health.  I agree – 100%.  But since we’re NOT going to do anything to help those in need, we have little choice but to take action to protect those in the cross-hairs…

I’d be interested in hearing realistic alternatives.  (Emphasis on “realistic…”)

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So, hurricane Dorian is destroying the Bahamas even as I write and is bearing down on Florida.

Hurrican-Dorian-from-space-NASA-700x420

The largest hurricane ever recorded?  This after July, 2019 was dubbed by the NOAA as the hottest month ever recorded?  It’s almost as if it doesn’t matter how often the climate change deniers deny reality.  Reality just keeps on coming, inexorably.

I offered a deal to the Christian God that I would be a lifelong believer if the hurricane passed and didn’t hurt anybody but wiped Mar-a-Lago off the map.  I’m already off that hook as the first death was reported.  It was only AFTER I offered that I realized Trump would just lie about the property’s value and make money from the insurance…

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I saw a meme that said that Capitalism had defeated Communism and was about to defeat Democracy.  Sadly, all too true but I think Capitalism is actually about to defeat humanity in general.  Maximum value for the shareholders right up until they die?  Maybe the Capitalists aren’t as clever as they think…