Five Vs Nine…

The Keystone Kongress and the Kangaroo Court
Once again our Keystone Kongress is proving that they CAN get things done. Mostly, they just don’t want to. Well, assuming the things they might get done would benefit the majority of American people. THOSE things, they can never seem to do – and when they DO take them up – whatever follows is more of a hollow joke than anything substantive.

The first time I noticed this phenomenon was when they all got together and, in ONE DAY, declared Terri Schiavo, a brain-dead patient her husband was trying to remove from the machines, “alive.” Turns out she was still dead and failed to properly respond to the Kongressional declaration. NOW, activist and ideological morons on the SCOTUS have decided to overturn Roe v Wade…you know…because of ‘Stare Decisis,’ the doctrine that precedent should be followed in determining law. I’m sure we all remember each of them perjuring themselves by swearing to honor the principle before said Kongress.

The vast majority of the American people are angry about the choice and have taken to protesting – up to and including the court members houses. So the Sennett has already passed a law offering police protection to the appointees. Apparently, there’s some concern that the idiots face a potential threat to their well-being. I wonder if the ruling clowns will pass similar legislation protecting the women whose well-being is threatened by the idiotic declarations of the court. (Spoiler alert: they won’t…)

I guess I should add there there IS a law on the books protecting SCOTUS morons from the free speech of the people. Apparently, it’s illegal to try to sway a SCOTUS “decision.” To me, that translates perfectly to powerful people protecting themselves from the consequences of their actions. I believe the founders would NOT have approved…

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Oh, the IRONY…
I hear that the lying, ideological, moron windbag Samuel Alito, Jr spoke at George Mason University on the topic of ‘Statutory Textualism.’ George Mason University is one of those diploma-mill “schools” that exist for the sole purpose of converting people into dependable conservative voices in law. That is, they don’t teach “law,” they teach “conservative law.” No, it shouldn’t be different…but it is. I suspect George Mason, the man, would HATE being associated with the moral and mental deprivations of modern conservatism but he’s held in high esteem by people who don’t understand things because he initially refused to sign off on the Constitution. (More on that in a second.) They seem to ignore the fact that he ALSO wanted an immediate end to the slave trade, for example… but I digress…

‘Textualism’ is the moronic concept that when interpreting law, the actual, written words in the statute in question are the ONLY thing that should be considered. The REASON for the law is not relevant and should not be part of the consideration. It’s the tool stupid people use to justify their preferred positions, NOT arrive a sound conclusions. They decide what they want the outcome to be, then search for justification and reject any and all opposing information. That’s backwards thinking and it’s the stock and trade of religion and conservatism.

In the case of Roe, the backward thinking is expressed in their upcoming evil ruling by pretending that since the word ‘abortion’ isn’t actually written in the Constitution, it must not be Constitutional to rule on abortions at the Federal level. That wrongheaded thought causes me great concern, not only for other things that are not specifically written into the Constitution but for some of the things that ARE. Remember, the original Constitution defined black people as only 3/5 human, fercrissakes. Also, bear in mind that Roe v Wade was not specifically about abortion. It was about privacy, which IS written in the Constitution…

Do you know WHY the Bill of Rights are amendments and not specifically included in the original body of the Constitution? As it happens, the founders were concerned that if they tried to codify each and every right a person has, they’d certainly overlook something, somewhere. They KNEW they couldn’t cover everything that should be covered. Either they would overlook something, or the issue in question was something they’d never even heard of, but they knew they couldn’t think of everything. They tried to get around it by NOT codifying ANY rights in the Constitution but it turned out too many of the colonies (by now, states) wouldn’t sign on without something specific on the topic. Thus, the Bill of Rights was born. As it happened, the founders were right. They didn’t think of everything. Ah, but they DID consider that which they were unable to consider and one of those clever sods added this:

Amendment IX:
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

That’s a SHALL NOT, not a probably shouldn’t. In short, the founders, among them, ironically, George Mason, told the lying ideologue Alito his attempted defense of eliminating rights was bullshit 233 years before he even tried it. The irony is that Mason was one of the driving forces behind the Bill of Rights in the first place. He refused to ratify the Constitution until it was included. I don’t know, maybe Mason was a scheming weasel, too, and the secret plan was to limit rights exactly the way Alito plans to do now. I doubt it, though. I think Alito and his activist, ideologue buddies are twisting and torturing Constitutional intent to create their preference, not interpret law…

And The Tension Rises…

The Sour Cream Court of the United States (SCOTUS) has experienced a breach. Someone, somewhere in the bowels of the court leaked a draft document showing the court’s intention to overturn Roe v Wade. These cowardly weasels (they like to call themselves “justices”) prefer to hand down their most egregious, most abominable decisions quietly, in the night, as they abscond out the back door. Let people yell and howl at their activism, they’ll be long gone and in their hidey-holes for a few months.

It’s not a surprise. The cons packed the court intentionally with the goal of returning the US to the days of back-room abortions and punishing poor women – one of their favorite things to do. I specify “poor” because that’s the group that will suffer the most from this stupid, activist ruling. Women with resources will simply travel to a smarter, blue state, get the needed procedure, and come home and show everyone the photos from their recent “vacation.” But if you can’t pull together the scratch to travel out of state? You WILL suffer that error for the rest of your lives. Suck it up, buttercup. As usual, people have forgotten history. Young, fertile women today are about to find out just how brutal that time was. I wonder how long it will be before those cretin red states are requiring women to bring a permission slip from their husbands to obtain birth control.

Younger women might think, “Oh sure. Like THAT’S ever going to happen.” Yeah, it could. That used to be the rule and it could easily be the rule again. That’s the way things were for women in my lifetime! Also, women couldn’t have credit cards in their own name. I doubt THAT one will change, though, because the cards financially enslave people and in our brutal, so-called “free market” system, keeping people down financially is the primary goal. But a woman’s doctor WOULD often examine the woman and then contact the man who speaks for her to discuss the results. Women my age know what they’re up against. Younger women don’t seem to.

The dishonorable liars on the once respected “high” court who stand with this decision each took turns telling the Senate that Roe v Wade was “settled law.” There’s no such thing, of course, but that was their story and they stuck to it. The thing is, they were nominated in the first place because they were dependable votes against women. But I say again, they testified before Congress, saying something in the moment they knew they were misrepresenting – just to get the seat. Lying to Congress is illegal, sworn in or not. When they lied to Congress, they committed perjury, right? I think perjury should be an impeachable offense for a SCOTUS judge. Maybe we can get that into the next constitution. You know…after the revolution…

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Have you heard the one about how landlords provide housing and that if ANY controls are imposed over the process, those greedy little bastards just might stop investing? Oh, it’s a real knee-slapper. See, in real life, landlords aren’t providing housing. They’re denying housing by buying up ALL of the available inventory. You hear about the “housing shortage” in the corporate media all the time but there are plenty of buildings. They’re just all owned by rich folk who have no use for them other than gouging every dime they can from the working class. When rich people use their lucre to buy up most or all of the single family homes in a given area, other prospective buyers get locked out of the process. They then rent instead of buying. This puts pressure on the rental market and people in no position to buy are forced to compete with those who COULD buy if there was something reasonable available. I describe it as a “shit rolls downhill” situation…

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Just For Fun:
I believe in an 80 year cycle of things. I know, that’s a bit obscure. That’s because the “things” in question are different, working in different 80 year cycles. Also, 80 is only the average and the numbers don’t always work perfectly. Sometimes, it’s 75 years, sometimes, it’s 85 years but you can pick a cycle and follow like events through history and you’ll see the cycle, too. My own suspicion is that it takes about that long for in incoming generations to re-learn – or more accurately, forget – what the older generation once knew from experience. But check this out:

The end of the American Revolutionary War was, officially in 1783. (The fighting stopped in 1781.) 80 years later? Why, the American Civil War in 1861. THAT ended in 1865. 80 years after that? WWII. 1941 – 1945 as far as American involvement. So, why those events and not others? Why for example would I cite WWII but not WWI, or any of America’s other bullshit wars for that matter? Well, the subjectivity is what makes this abstract. The reason I focus on them in this particular cycle is that they’re transformative events, BIG things that changed the world. The Revolutionary War introduced the world to a brand new country, one that would later become the world hegemon. The American Civil War overturned an entire social and economic structure, turning the US from a racist hell-hole with legalized slavery, into the racist hell-hole with slavery outlawed we live in today. (The racists had to switch to a “prison” system to accomplish those same goals…)

Yes, WWI was a big deal but the Dough-boys went over, fought, and came back to a world pretty much the same as the one they had left. It DID set the stage for the later transformation but didn’t do much on it’s own but kill a lot of people. WWII, though? The entire world was different after that war. Everything, everywhere. For better AND for worse. The Civil Rights movement of the 1960’s? Why not that one? The Civil Rights movement looked like a big, transformative deal. But, let’s be honest, here, shall we? The people airing grievances during the Civil Rights movement are pretty much STILL out there airing pretty much the SAME grievances and precious little has changed for them beyond window-dressing. Ethnic minorities still suffer social and institutional racism. Illegal wars for profit still rage in this country just as quickly as the wealthy can convince the cannon fodder THIS war is necessary. Fat, old, white men are STILL trying – with unfortunate success – to own and operate women.

Now take a look at the world around us today. Everyone, rightly or wrongly, is angry and getting angrier. The politicians have been VERY clear in their “let them eat cake” attitudes. The brutal, no-holds-barred, so-called “free market” capitalism is slowly crushing the life out of the workers. Climate change is out of control, now, and greed just keeps pretending it will be okay. The anger of the average Joe is growing, little by little, day by day – and it’s just getting worse. So…add 80 years to the end of WWII in 1945.

Can I guarantee the world with devolve into some course-changing, cataclysmic event in 2025? Of course not. But the US DOES have an “election” coming up in 2024 and most people realize it will NOT be a fair or honest contest. The red states have created so many election laws that come down to some form of “if the outcome isn’t in keeping with our Gerrymandering, we reserve the right to change the results ourselves,” only a fool would trust the results. January, 2025 is when the next Presidential inauguration takes place in the US.

Yeah, I know. Tin-foil hat stuff. Like I said, just for fun. Do with it what you will. But in the meantime, you might want to keep your powder dry…

Real Estate Investment Trouble…

I’ve been trying to warn anybody who would listen to me about REITs for something like eight years now. ‘REIT’ is an acronym for Real Estate Investment Trust. It’s basically rich people pooling their money and buying up all the single-family housing. I need to be clear, here. REITs used to serve a valuable purpose. They bought and maintained apartments and strip malls around the country. There’s a place for that. It provided housing, not eliminated it. Buying up the single-family homes is a fairly new phenomenon. They didn’t even really START until about 2014. Before that, investors weren’t sure it was a good plan. They’re all on-board, now, though. The thing is, NOBODY in or around the industry is going to make any effort to stop the problem. EVERYONE thinks they’re making money and, well, what could be wrong with that? The seller gets (usually) more than their house is worth and in some case, an offer in seven minutes. The agent gets a FAT commission. The REITs get the property. Sure, society gets torn apart, one house at a time, but, profits, right?

One company, Invitations Homes, Inc., owns enough single family homes in the United States to house every person living in Iceland. They own 82,758 single family homes. Figuring an average of 4.5 people per home, they could easily house the entire population of Iceland, currently around 344,979 people. Most of the homes they’ve taken off the market are in the west and in the sunbelt states where, as the article reads: “the barriers to homeownership are highest and rent demand is strong.”

“…barriers to homeownership are highest” in those areas because the REITs keep buying up the housing at whatever they need to pay to get the property. Joe Six-pack can’t compete with all-cash, no inspection, short escrow, sale in minutes REITs. “…rent demand is strong” because fewer and fewer people can afford to BUY the houses. The rents compete with a house payment, these days, because once the REIT owns all the available housing in a given area, they can charge whatever they want to charge. People will pay it or they won’t. If they don’t, there’s a nice bridge they can move in under – at least until the police drive you away.

Sadly, our society has been conditioned by the corporate media to just knee-jerk a reaction. “Oh, the homeless? Must be addicted to drugs. Must be an alcoholic. Maybe they’re insane.” Stay with me, here. Maybe…just maybe…many people CAN NOT pay $3,000 for a one bedroom place and don’t have the resources to leave. No money, no place to go, no options in our brutal, so-called “free market?” Tough! You bought that latte, that one time, you remember? YOUR fault!

Since the industry WILL NOT police itself, it’s up to politicians to step in. They could pass a law forbidding REITs from buying single family homes AND require them to divest in a fairly short time. This would return inventory to the market and bring the values back to where they should be. Of course, EVERY single person associated with real estate transactions would WAIL like someone just cut something off their body without anesthetic. The REITs themselves? Rich people, remember. Our politicians work for the rich people. Quick review, left or right, which politician might YOU expect to stand up and do the right thing for the average American? Okay, likely Bernie but he wouldn’t be able to do it alone, so…instead we get politician talk and stupid, useless ideas. “Hey, let’s just build more inventory.” Quick question, how does building more inventory help if the rich people keep buying up everything as it comes on the market? Someone builds 1,000 houses, the rich buy up the 1,000 houses. Still no inventory.

I mention it because I’m currently trying to find MY way through being victimized by the process. I’ve lived in a small but well-maintained little house for several years now and because the owner wasn’t greedy, I’ve been fortunate to be paying far below market rates. The landlord COULD have chased the money but he chose not to. Then, he died. His children inherited the property and pretty quickly decided to sell. A fat wad of cash instead of a steady, dependable income is often too enticing for people to pass up. But it’s put my whole life into upheaval. Will I be able to stay in the city I grew up in? Maybe, maybe not. CAN I pay usury rent? If I stay, I’ll have to.

To be clear, I’m not protesting REITs because they’ve landed on me. I protest them because sociologists have long understood that home ownership is one of the best predictors of a stable society and REITs are undermining that with amazing, frightening speed. I suspect that, sooner or later, this horrifying land grab will be one of the main drivers of the revolution…

Stay tuned…

Money To Dust…

I’ve been hearing a lot of chatter, recently, from the conservative bubble about how they’ve lost their “freedom of speech.” As usual, it’s bunk. What IS being challenged is the freedom to lie. The people who have been banned from various sites are usually warned that their lies are going to lead to bans. THEN, they GET banned because they insisted on continuing the lies. Then they pretend the real issue is someone has infringed on their “freedumb of speech.” I’m a big fan of the First Amendment. That’s the one that contains the freedom of speech clause. But I ALSO know the danger to allowing unfettered disinformation out into the body politic because a democracy (or, in this case, a Republic) depends heavily on a knowledgeable electorate.

The obvious problem is “errors” (intentional or otherwise) in judgment regarding what is truth and what is not. Remember Hunter Biden’s laptop? The right was all over that from early on. The left didn’t pay much attention because there didn’t seem to be any “there” there. Turns out there was. I wonder how many people got in trouble with social media police for pushing a story that turned out to be true. But just because someone dropped the ball on the Hunter laptop doesn’t mean the 2020 “election” was stolen. There really ARE pure lies out there, undermining our society second by second.

When people with ill-intent began to turn the First Amendment against Americans, I found myself in a quandary. As an example, did you know that the Cato Institute was founded by the Koch brothers for the specific purpose of spreading disinformation about climate change? Yes, by all means, the First Amendment. But when one’s freedom of speech gets perverted and twisted into freedom to lie, freedom to undermine society, freedom to disseminate disinformation and misinformation, and even freedom to endanger all of humanity? Well, I’m all for flags on social media posts and when the corrupt pattern is continually repeated by the same characters, I’m okay with banning them.

Elon Musk has had several run-ins with Twitter over the years on the topic and has become, apparently, tired of the fight. So he says he’s going to buy Twitter and open it up as a true free speech zone. Let’s assume for the moment that he actually follows through with the purchase and pursues his dream of a site fully free of oversight on what people post. You know what he’ll get? First, a site so rife with falsehoods and misinformation it won’t be worth any thinking person’s time. but shortly thereafter on his open space? Porn. Someone, somewhere will test the waters by posting a lovely photo of a woman’s bare chest. If that goes unanswered, it will take off from there and before too long, porn will be the mainstay of Twitter.

It’s not theoretical. There is a site called ‘Tumblr.’ It was designed for photo blogging, that sort of thing. It had a hands-off policy. Before long, Tumblr was known primarily for all the adult fare that could be found there. Over time, that pushes out others who want to use the site for something else and then it hurts ad revenue as fewer and fewer advertisers are willing to associate themselves with a porn site. Tumblr finally decided to police people’s “free speech” and do away with most of the adult stuff. Tumblr is still there but the presence isn’t the same. They’re not the only site, either. There’s one called ‘OnlyFans.’ It was designed as a video site where people could show off their talents. Like, say, juggling. Viewers pay a subscription fee to watch you juggle and presumably, learn a few new tricks and techniques. OnlyFans, too, had a laissez-faire attitude. So, ladies who work in the sex trade started using the site to showcase their…um…”talents.” Now, from my understanding, it’s pretty much adult titillation and private sex shows. At one point, the company publicly considered shutting the adult stuff down but decided against. Now it’s their main identity.

So I hope Elon DOES open up Twitter. We’ll all get to watch the self-described “business genius” turn $44 BILLION dollars into dust…

Coup-coup…

There’s a movement afoot attempting to unseat Marjorie Taylor-Greene, that nutball con who never met a conspiracy theory she didn’t love – so long as it attacks the left. She seems to subscribe to the Q-anonsense without question. The effort to block her is based on the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution. It bars anybody who has participated in insurrection against the US from polluting Congress or any other elected office of public trust, for that matter.

Specifically, Section 3 of the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution reads:
“No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”

The truth is, I don’t know the detailed evidence against her. My understanding is that the January sixth commission has written records of her participation including texts and emails with some of the organizers. They also have statements made by others so…first hand reports from people she was working with to coordinate the insurrection. AND, it should be noted, none of this evidence has been tested in court, so it’s entirely possible the corporate media has glommed onto some juicy tidbits and turned then into something they’re not in it’s never-ending quest to divide left and right. But most of us have seen the videos of her making declarations in support of the big lie, the pretense that Biden didn’t win the 2020 election and declarations that “we can’t allow it to just transfer power peacefully like Joe Biden wants and allow him to become our President because he did not win this election. It’s being stolen.”

The attorneys for the plaintiffs saw the videos, too. MTG walked into court and did what every con does when confronted with reality. She lied, or, rather, dissembled. In fairness, what was she going to do, stick to her story? She risks opening herself up to charges of perjury. (Although, when I thought about it, I thought the a person who truly believed the story WOULD stick to it because they truly believed it. I mean, look, there’s no law about being wrong on the stand. There are only laws against LYING on the stand and, somehow, she knew to duck the questions. Suddenly, she can’t remember anything. The questioning went something like this:
Plaintiff Attorney: Do you remember saying (such and such or so and so?)
MTG: I do not remember saying that.
Plaintiff Attorney: Let’s go to the video!
Amazingly, she WAS able to recall, with perfect clarity and despite her inability to remember the video in the first place, that the clip being shown was being taken out of context. That’s some VERY specific memory, right there…

The right is characterizing the effort as an attack on democracy. I’ve noted they have no such objections to ACTUAL attacks on democracy. Gerrymandering, voter suppression, and violent insurrection are apparently a-okay but relying on the Constitution of the United States? Obviously anti-democratic.

I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll say it again. Conservatives have no principles, only positions of the moment…

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Hey, they seem to have found one of those criminal scofflaws who attempt to rig elections. In this case, that would be the Chief of Staff to the Dumbass, Mark Meadows. Apparently, he’s registered to vote in two different states, South Carolina and Virginia. This, AFTER he was removed from the voter rolls in North Carolina, where he was ALSO registered to vote. Really, it’s a pattern. Voter fraud DOES exist, it’s just that it’s nearly always Republicans (or conservatives) engaging in it.

Meadows is up to his hind end in the insurrection problem, too. The more I read, the more I see him as the point man for the coup. I suppose he was the Orange Moron’s shield. Participants of the coup communicate with Meadows, Meadows communicates with the dumbass, that kind of thing.

Meadows has already turned over much evidence that will be used against him in response to subpoenas from the January sixth committee. More testimony from others around him at the time continues to implicate him, as well. He should go to jail. But truthfully, I’ve lost faith in the integrity of this once-great nation and I think the dumbass will be back. When he DOES return, Meadows gets a pardon so all he has to do is avoid prison for a little while longer, right?

I liked the rule of law better…

Can’t Quit…

Here’s a funny thing: CheetoJesus’s social media platform, ‘Truth Social,’ seems, by all measures, to be crashing and burning. That part doesn’t surprise me. The Dumbass has never started a successful business in his life. The part I like is the part about Devon Nunes. Nunes is a FAR right conservative. He polluted the halls of Congress for something like 18 years and like so many other permanent fixtures in our Congress, likely would have stayed forever. Except he bought into the trumpery. He voluntarily resigned his position in the House and went to work for the Orange Moron! Ha, ha! Now he’s out of the House (thank the gods) AND it looks like, soon, he’ll be out of a job, too.

Nunes is from a (IMHO) lazy, whiny rich family so he’ll be fine. But I LIKE seeing people who buy into the trumpery live the results of their faith. It’s kind of…comforting…

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The politicians sure have gotten themselves into a pickle, haven’t they? I saw a headline in the Guardian, ‘Garland Under Pressure to Charge Ex-President.’ Oh, what to do, what to do? Here’s the pickle: the United States DOES NOT jail ex-Presidents. So far, EVER. I believe the idea is that if one party’s president is jailed, it will lead to a tit-for-tat and the jailed president’s party will LIVE to jail the other party’s president. The very concept reeks of corruption but it worked for, like, 227 years. Nixon (R) pressed the boundaries by overseeing a criminal break-in. He resigned but otherwise walked away – and the Republicans STILL haven’t forgiven the Democrats. Bush (R) 43’s crimes were international war crimes. Not so much criminal activity in the US and so, apparently, “easy” to overlook. But then came the trumpery (R…hey, there seems to be a pattern, here). This guy is SO corrupt, even a small scratch at the surface exposes criminal activity and the deeper one looks, the worse things get.

Investigations across the land have found enough evidence to put anybody else in prison for a while. But this is an ex-president. Okay, so maybe he gets a pass on his financial criminal activities. Rich people stealing from everyone else is the very basis of the so-called “free market” system so we’re all kind of used to that. But treason? An attempted coup? Really? After the Orange Moron’s insurrection on January 6th, enough evidence has been produced to indicate his guilt. So now what? He’s an ex-president. Enter the “protected for life” rule. But he’s a traitor. He stands AGAINST the US Constitution. He actively tried to overthrow the government of the United States, fercrissakes. Can one give that a pass? He’s out there still, planning the next chapter of his coup and he STILL has widespread support among his base. (Don’t be too surprised. The Bible makes clear that many people will love the Beast of the Sea – and, boy howdy, do they!)

So…if they DON’T prosecute, the country is in dire risk of an authoritarian overthrow and descent into dictatorship. If they DO prosecute, the disloyal opposition pretends to take it personally (ignoring evidence) and this once-great nation, that apparently operated by handshake agreement – falls apart anyway. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. It’s a bad choice. I don’t like, but I understand, the concept of not prosecuting a president lightly, even if it means letting them get away with some things but if we can’t prosecute treason, we’ve failed already and it’s only a matter of time before the facade comes down.

For my part, I’d prefer to fall on the hill of doing the right thing. Charge and prosecute the Trump Crime Family, most especially Donnie “the Don.” If the evidence supports conviction, convict them. If We, the People are destined to suffer regardless of the choice we make, let’s at least make the right choice, to do the right thing…

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To hear cons tell it, the only reason gas is so expensive is because Biden cancelled plans to allow drilling on public land and a pipeline extension that wasn’t expected to move one drop of nasty-ass, tar-sands oil until 2032. No, he didn’t cancel the leases the oil cartels already have. He just wasn’t going to issue any MORE leases on public land. His position? They should use some of the 9,000 leases they already have. Oil companies don’t like to use leases they possess. They put them on their balance sheets to boost company value, then let them sit idle. But the oil companies KNOW they have a strangle-hold on the world economy. They KNOW they simply shut off the spigot and – viola! – they get anything they want. They’ve done it again. Biden is now acquiescing and allowing leases on public land again. So, if the cons are correct (the cons are almost never correct) we should be looking at gas prices more like, oh, I don’t know, say, $2.00/gallon, right? Any day now, I’m sure.

The truth is, no president has much control over what goes on in a corporate boardroom. The truth is, gas is expensive because of greed and nothing else. Trumpery still reigned in this once-great nation when the oil cartel decided to cut production because, darn it, they just were pocketing enough of the world’s hard earned money. The so-called supply chain interruptions just gave them an excuse and they went for it. Enthusiastically.

As the greed-blinded execs raised prices as aggressively as possible – ostensibly because of the change in policy, not availability – gas went up 30 cents a DAY here in California. Now it’s coming down. A penny here, a penny there. It’ll never be where it was when the money grab began. Maybe it will drop to $5.00/gal – and people will feel relieved. At least it’s not $6.00.

As most of us know, the world is addicted to oil. World leaders will, eventually, do whatever they’re told to do because the oil “dealers” have what the world needs. But, as any/every addict knows, the only way to recover actual freedom and dignity is to break the addiction…

Whiffs…

No column last week. My bad. I got involved with a wedding and it became rather…all-consuming. By the time the dust settled, I had missed my own deadline by nearly a week. The pay remains the same, though, so…no worries…

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It seems to me that putz Putin has gone full-on Dumbass. Now, the truth is, I’ve never been able to decide if Donnie is evil and stupid or evil and a wily schemer, or both. Evil, of course, is a given. But Putin is using trumpery in his Ukrainian invasion to full effect. Okay, so, to no effect. Nobody, except perhaps some Russians, believe anything Putin is saying. Really, in order for the Russians to even have a chance to believe it, Putin had to block every dissenting voice he could. And STILL, too many Russians know the truth. Some of the talking heads on Fox “News” seem to believe it, too, but it’s equally likely they’re just parroting whatever position-du-jour Fox is pushing in the moment.

Still, these days, when Putin speaks, it’s the words of the Orange Moron that come out. Oh, they HAD to invade Ukraine…uh…well…uh…to root out the Nazi’s. Yeah, THAT’S the ticket! The NAZI’S! The only thing I’ve ever heard about Nazi’s in Ukraine is when TrumPutin started whining he had no choice but to invade because Ukraine’s Jewish President was a Nazi! Yeah, right. He told the Russian people that Russia had no choice but to “defend itself” from Ukraine. He told his people that Ukraine wanted to end the Russian state. Of course, there’s not evidence of any of this but evidence is not important to fraudsters. In fact, they rely on the absence of evidence to continue whatever evil scheme they’ve initiated.

Now TrumPutin is telling the world that what they’re seeing with their own eyes from Bucha isn’t what they’re seeing at all. Pure trumpery…

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A little while back, Texas passed a law, SB 8, that allows private citizens to sue anybody who helps somebody get an abortion. No government employees, just private citizens. Texas thinks of it as a “work-around” to the “problem” of women having a choice regarding control over their own bodies. (I note they did NOT require the emitter of the sacred sperm to begin child support payments after 8 weeks.) I don’t like the law. Texas feels like they can’t officially enforce abortion bans, so they tried to empower private citizens to the job for them, whether said private citizen can show damages from the actions or not. It essentially creates a bounty of $10,000 per abortion. Lovely. It’s a trick I suspect they learned from the Federal government when 43 wanted to spy on all Americans. They realized it was illegal for the government to do it so they got private cell phone service providers to do it FOR them and just turn the information over. Cons, always on about infringements of their rights, didn’t seem to care about THAT particular infringement.

When I first heard about it, I immediately wondered if some other, smarter, state might use the same stupid tactic to enforce laws THEY can’t enforce but want action on. Take, for example, guns. One wants better regulation of guns but can’t achieve it because cons pretend it violates the Constitution? Hey, just ignore the part of the Second Amendment that reads: “A well-REGULATED militia…” (emphasis mine) and empower private citizens! Let THEM violate the Constitution for you! Why, it’s not a government action at all. It’s simply a civil action used to enforce legal preferences.

Enter California. They’ve done it, or, rather, they’re threatening to doing it. The California legislature is using the same tactic to address the problem of “ghost” guns and parts – guns with no serial numbers. If you know someone participating in the movement or ownership of such parts/guns, you can sue them for up to $10,000 per gun. I kind of love it. Not so much because of it’s issue but because it highlights the absurdity of allowing private citizens to violate the constitution on behalf of the government while pretending it’s not the government at all.

Now red and blue states can empower their citizens to violate the Constitution in a wide variety of ways! See a black person trying to vote? Sue them! There’s a church down the street with a message you don’t like? Sue them! A transgender human needs to pee? Sue them! Someone wants to associate with a group you disapprove of? Screw that, sue them! I think a clever politician could find a way to allow private citizens to violate the Constitution on behalf of the government on just about the entire Bill of Rights – which will, of course, effectively eliminate the Bill of Rights. Genius, right? An effing “work-around” for the Bill of Rights.

In truth, I don’t like either law and I think they should both be struck down but, nowadays, we live in a very stupid, very corrupt country and I’m not holding out hope. (I hope I don’t get sued for expressing my opinion, here…)

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I like that unions seem to be making a comeback. It seems that even conservatives have figured out, despite their conditioning to the contrary, that labor is a commodity and can be managed – like all the other commodities. It’s funny, so many people believed for so long that unions were only bad and that people should just trust their employers to do the right thing. But the right-wing disinformation machine can convince cons of just about anything – right up until they experience it themselves. THEN they see the detail. THEN they understand how they’ve been misled.

What I believe – and have always believed – is that employers will do ANYTHING to reduce the “burdens” they suffer from the employees, that is, the very people who do the work that make the owners SO incredibly rich. Don’t believe me? Let’s take a (brief) look at history. In history, “employers” used to bring workers down to the Caribbean islands and work them in the sugar cane fields until they died! Then, they’d just replace them with new “employees.” Yes, these were slave owners and slaves. But the very concept of slavery proves beyond question that some people will DO anything, can justify ANYTHING, in the name of profit. Jeff Bezos takes turns being the richest man in the world. HE, personally, doesn’t do anything to “earn” ANY of that money. He just keeps it – because he’s in a position to do so.

Amazon cheated in the unionization attempt in Birmingham, Alabama. They cheated so badly, in fact, the courts threw out the final vote and ordered a re-vote. Amazon had less success in New York where a recent union vote went for the union. Amazon is trying to fight the outcome. ANYTHING but treat the people who bring Bezos SO much like human beings. In the article I read in the Guardian, ‘Amazon fights to overturn union’s historic win at New York warehouse,’ there was this little tidbit: “In a filing last week, the company disclosed it spent about $4.2m last year on labor consultants.” $4.2 MILLION dollars trying to keep from having to do the right thing. Hey, the South went to war to try to prevent losing their free labor pool. Some people will do anything. Labor organization is the only tool workers have.

For years, corporate media convinced it’s consumers that all the “good” jobs – the manufacturing jobs, they claimed – had gone overseas, which was true. But these weren’t the “good” jobs because they were manufacturing jobs. They were good jobs because they were union jobs. Greedy, self-serving employers were forced to do the right thing, like it or not. Of course, they’re SO greedy, they just moved their operations overseas where they could take advantage of an even LESS powerful population and reported back to the American people they’d just have to get by on service jobs – with no unions. Ever since, our “service economy” has become poorer and poorer and more and more desperate while the Kleptocrats just keep taking more and more and more. The American people are going to have to organize and rise up and I’m glad there may be a way to fight back without widespread bloodshed…

All Crimes, Great and Small…

I don’t know why people are only calling for Clarence Thomas to recuse himself from cases involving the 2020 election, which Donnie the Dumbass lost in spectacular fashion. He should step down. Period. His wife, Ginnie, gave the world the reason. She’s a bat-shit crazy con who insists the Dumbass won the election, despite having no proof to support her claim. (Lindell’s pages of 1’s and 0’s notwithstanding.) That’s not really the problem, though. One is allowed to have a crazy – or maybe just stupid – partner. It should be noted that Ginnie is a dyed-in-the-wool believer in the Q-Anonsense. Is Clarence?

TWICE, since trumpery’s big lie began, Clarence has ruled in favor of her. No, I know. Officially, he’s not ruling for his crazy-ass wife. He’s ruling on some “contested” point of law. It just happens that his opinions don’t support law, but DO support protecting his wife. Coincidence, see? In February of 2021, shortly after the CheetoJesus attempted a coup on January 6th, Pennsylvania Republicans file a suit – I think it was called Pennsylvanian Snowflakes Sad About the Outcome vs the United States but you should check that. Anyway, Pennsylvanian snowflake Republicans tried to whine about the outcome of the 2020 election all the way to the “Supreme” Court. The case being frivolous, the High Court rejected the suit. Thomas dissented, even as he included in his dissent the reality that the election had been “free from strong evidence of systemic fraud.” So, why would Thomas support a suit he KNOWS has no merit? I think he was writing a plea to his wife…

THEN, in January, 2022, the Orange Moron tried to block the release of a trove of documents from when he polluted the Oval Office to the January 6th commission. Hard to blame him, really. They just keep revealing one incriminating detail after another. That suit went to the “Supreme” Court, too. The whole court agreed the Dumbass couldn’t make the case he was trying to make. Well, everyone but Thomas. Thomas dissented, with no stated rationale for his vote. It seems, now, his “rationale” was that the documents were going to implicate his wife in the coup attempt – as they have done. She was at the January 6th rally, though she maintains she left before the riots. Likely true, since she had to get to the command post to help support the freaking thing. Fortunately, she wrote much of her criminal, traitorous behavior down. Apparently, she’ll be taking the Fifth before the January 6th commission soon.

For his part, Clarence got some unnamed “sudden infection” as the information became public and has been unavailable for comment…

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Biden’s rhetoric about Putin is ratcheting up. In a recent speech, Biden said of Putin, “This man cannot be allowed to remain in power.” The White House, of course, followed up with “clarifications.” No, we’re not calling for the destruction of the Russian government. What the President “meant,” apparently, is that Putin cannot be allowed to exercise power over his neighbors. Oh, okay.

Personally, I think Putin should be removed from power completely. But I don’t think calls for the Russian people to remove him will find any traction. It’s hard for day-to-day citizens to rise up against their leadership, no matter how bad – or how corrupt – that “leadership” is. Most rational, thinking Americans know, for example, that Dumbass trumpery was grifting from the moment he took power in the Oval Office and not only did they NOT rise up, they won’t put the criminal in jail. Hell, he might even run for President again. In the same way the Dumbass counts on important support from the “poorly educated” – whom he loves – Putin has a small but powerful cadre of supporters at his back, too.

In the meantime, Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine continues unabated. He has kind of shown the world that the Russian bear is more of a Russian bear cub – unless they use significantly damaging weapons like chemicals or nukes. The Russian troops don’t want to be where they are and seem to be surrendering military equipment to the Ukrainians as quickly as they can. Putin apparently issued a statement saying he never really intended to take ALL of Ukraine. He only wants the Donbas, an eastern Ukrainian region. It would be like if Putin invaded California, saying he “just” want control of Florida and Georgia. I think most Presidents would say no. The Dumbass would likely consider the request. Okay, on second thought, America would be MUCH better off without Florida or Georgia so, any takers?

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I kind of love the idea that the Dumbass is suing Hillary Clinton over the investigation into his Russian connections. I’ll bet. Trumpery thinks Clinton and others “colluded” to create the idea that his campaign was in league with Russia – based on nothing more than his team’s collusion with Russia! The nerve! Remember, there have already been a number of convictions.

Trumpery is a first-class moron. (Finally! First class at something…) Hillary is smarter than the CheetoJesus in her sleep. But Donnie the Dumbass just keeps going, doesn’t he? I STILL say, Satan takes care of his own…

Bored by the Histrionics…

I just wanted to take a moment to say that I think the current GOP-generated trumpery about Ketanji Brown-Jackson’s qualifications to sit on the “Supreme” Court should be seen by every thinking American as a good sign. I mean, look, everyone knows the Republicans were going to find the Democratic nominee unacceptable for some reason. Everyone knows the Republicans hated the Democratic nominee – whomever it might eventually turn out to be – from the very moment they heard the Democratic president got to name a nominee. It’s not outrage. It’s theater – and I’ve seen this play so many times, it’s boring and not at all impressive.

So (yawn) the Republicans are pretending the good judge has been lenient with certain cases involving the defendant possessing – not producing – child porn. The lies suggest she’s pretty much okay with child porn and generally allows perpetrators to walk as often as possible. Those, of course, are the sound-bite statements – made with no rebuttal allowed and actually intended for campaign ads in their home states down the road. Honest media responded to the fraud nearly immediately by pointing out that Judge Brown-Jackson’s sentencing record in these cases is perfectly in keeping with practices all along the Federal bench. They pointed out that even judges appointed by the Dumbass make very similar sentences.

And they couldn’t even stick to just the fraudulent charges. They just HAD to misrepresent her actual record over and over and over again. In short? It’s a smear, not a “concern.” Today she gets to offer rebuttals to their bullshit. So, listen, if that’s the best the GOP can come up with to try and defame her? Good.

Welcome to the “Supreme” Court Judge Brown-Jackson…

Getting It Wrong…

Okay so, a couple of years ago a laptop became the focus of much chatter in the conservative bubble. According to a dude who knew a guy, his friend had discovered an abandoned laptop ostensibly that belonged to Hunter Biden. The contents of the laptop were copied and made into a transcript that was passed around. As it happens, the laptop, itself, was passed around, too, before finding it’s way to the Justice Department. As a group, the left – myself included – was pretty much unimpressed. A dude who knew a guy? A laptop handled by nearly every prominent GOP enemy of Joe Biden?

As it happens, though, this particular story in the conservative bubble turned out to have some legs. The laptop DID belong to Hunter Biden and the Justice Department may have found evidence of crimes, mostly him trying to make money off of the coincidence of being Joe Biden’s son. No word on the chain of custody issues but I’m guessing we’ll hear FAR more about it during any legal processes that may arise. For clarity, they may NOT arise, either. Justice has confirmed the laptop did belong to Hunter and has some concerning emails on it but has NOT said flatly Hunter committed crimes. The issues on the laptop are currently under investigation.

Still, it’s enough for the cons. The cons see the problem of ne’er-do-well Hunter as proof that Joe shouldn’t be President. They just refuse to grasp that most people didn’t vote for Joe because they thought Joe was the right man for the job. People voted for Joe because he wasn’t Donnie the Dumbass. Period. But, oh, they GOT Hunter, didn’t they? Some of my con friends have taken the attitude that they “got” me, too, because I remain unwilling to accept stories based on flimsy assertions and because I wrote in this space in October of 2020 that I wasn’t buying the story. (MyBaconPress acknowledges and regrets the error.) It’s a difference that can be highlighted between thinking Americans and conservatives. Thinking Americans will consider the new evidence and re-think their positions, updating accordingly. For instance, I didn’t buy the laptop story based on the assertions I had heard at the time. Now that confirmation has come from more credible sources, my current position is that if the evidence supports the charges, Hunter should pay the price. Simple, straight-forward, and honest.

For their part, once they’ve been given a position-du-jour, cons cannot, will not, are absolutely forbidden from changing their prescribed viewpoint on that topic at any and all costs. They don’t even notice when they’re arguing against their own stated positions, like, the very next day. Also, they’re amazingly adept at narrowing their focus to the point where they see crimes and nepotism in their political enemies but never notice similar (or worse) behavior from the pampered offspring of their political heroes.

What? Hunter Biden may have taken a job he wasn’t qualified for, that he only got because of who his daddy is? LOCK HIM UP! What ABOUT Eric, Don Jr, and Ivanka? They get what they get because of their obvious skills and qualifications. Sure. Obvious. Really, I wish the cons were able to widen their view and realize, that’s just the way life works for the useless offspring of the very wealthy. If they didn’t have their entire lives handed to them for nothing, they wouldn’t have anything at all.

The actual fight, here, is NOT left vs right. It’s the Haves vs the Have-nots, and the Haves are keeping the Have-nots squabbling over crumbs while they steal all of the cookies. In the meantime, though, I’ll let the cons have their day squawking over Hunter’s laptop. They don’t get many opportunities. A story from the conservative bubble that turns out to have legs is a VERY rare thing…

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In this once-great nation, these days, it seems like we’ve intentionally chosen to take a path in which, if we do ANYTHING at all, we do it wrong. I can’t explain this phenomenon. It can’t be an accident. If it’s your thing to make bad decisions while trying to make good decisions, you’ll occasionally make a good decision. So to be so consistently wrong on every front, at every turn suggests to me somebody somewhere is TRYING to make the worst possible choices at all times. Sadly, whoever that mysterious someone is, seems to be having tremendous success.

Take Daylight Saving Time. Daylight Saving Time is just a scam so energy companies can squeeze a little more money from the Have-nots when the weather starts changing. It serves no other purpose, despite whatever stories one might hear. People REALLY don’t like the time changes. They’re very disruptive to daily life. Evidence shows the time changes result in small but noticeable increases in car accidents, acute health problems and mental health challenges. So, Congress, in it’s infinite fealty to wealth has decided to stop with the time changes. Great. THEN they say they want to keep us on Daylight Saving Time all year round. D’oh!

It’s a typical Capitalist hellhole decision. It builds the money-gouging into the system once and for all. But think about the deepest part of winter. It will STAY dark longer into the already dark mornings. Think about the kids – YOUR kids and grand-kids – who will have to make their way to school in the dark. This is not just theoretical, either. In 1974, America switched to Daylight Saving year round. The change lasted less than a year and was revoked after several early morning traffic accidents involving children. Yes, changing the clocks sucks so we should…kill more of our children. Good. Great call. Oh, by the way, science says (sorry to mention science, cons) it’s bad for humans. It conflicts with our natural circadian rhythms. The correct move is to kill the time changes by switching to Standard Time, once and for all. Let individual Americans decide how they’ll spend their time on summer days.

But these days? You give Americans the chance to do the wrong thing, they WILL DO the wrong thing. Every time…

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