Rambling Rumblings…

I saw a news story that indicated that a judge had handed Trump a “win” by suggesting she was inclined to appoint a special master to look at the classified documents taken by the FBI per a request from Trump. The special master will look at the papers and see if any were taken wrongly. I guess we’re not supposed to notice that the guy who stole mountains of top secret and confidential documents from the White House is now concerned FBI agents serving a warrant may have taken something from him by mistake. (It happens. The government just returns anything it takes not covered by the warrants – like Trump’s passports that were taken and then returned…)

I’m not sure I’m prepared to call it a “win.” Not for Trump, anyway. He uses – hell, he counts upon – obfuscation and lies to keep his based fired up and on his side. Sure, he still has that ability but there will now be a person appointed at Trump’s request to oversee the process and when that person also confirms that the documents were taken wrongly from the White House AND that Trump shouldn’t have them, it’s only going to make Trump’s case worse. Sure, the conservative bubble will go into overdrive whining and crying about how unfair it is that THEIR GUY can’t just steal Top Secret documents from the White House if he wants to. They’ll tell their minions that the President said the magic words, “Oogoody-Boogidy” over them and rendered them harmless.

But I’ll tell you this: the people who understand things will have one more confirmation – among many others – that Trump is a criminal deserving of punishment for his crimes. I’m not sure that’s a “win…”


I don’t much like the America that has been brought to us by the conservatives. Sure, I know they would decry that statement. “WE didn’t do it!” They would insist, “The liberals did it!” Of course, it hasn’t been liberals. To be fair, it hasn’t actually been conservatives, either. The conservatives have just been the tools the rich people have used as a cudgel. The rich want a tax cut. They get one of their talking heads to say so in the conservative bubble and suddenly the “base” thinks tax cuts are a great idea. Sure, the tax cuts they support will hurt them, personally, but the rich will be slightly better off and for a con, there’s no better outcome. (The cons STILL believe in “trickle-down” economics despite the fact that the only available evidence proves it has been b.s. all along…)

I call the conservatives “the people who don’t understand things” because of how easily they can be led to support positions that harm themselves in support of helping people who don’t need any help. I was planning on writing details about issues the cons support that they shouldn’t but then realized there’s a nice little summary available. Basically, the cons support anything that helps the rich and oppose anything that helps anybody else. Simple, see? So, for example, cutting student loans $10,000 for people making less that $75,000/yr is an abomination and an outrage while forgiving hundreds of thousands of dollars in loans to the same politicians who oppose the student loan cuts is just good politics, see?

Afflict the afflicted, comfort the comfortable – it’s the conservative way. Now, for clarity, I don’t really see the politicians in Congress as conservatives or progressives. I see them all as Toadies for the One Percent – playing a 535 person game of “Good Cop, Bad Cop.” The Republicans are the bad cops. They’ll block anything, everything that might, even accidentally, help some not-rich person. The Democrats are the good cops. As anger simmers among the average American because so many of us are, in fact, afflicted – victims, now, of the “Greatest Country On Earthtm” – the Democrats are charged with tossing out some bone to the masses – hopefully, enough to quell the throngs into submission.

The Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, was the Democrats boning the people. We wanted universal health care like all the other first world nations on the planet. Instead, we got a conservative-created, corporate bonus plan that requires people to pay for insurance without ever helping them get the care they actually need. We WANTED health care, we GOT health insurance. But the people settled down. Corporate greed began strangling the life out of the average Joes of the country – “inflation” they called it – so the Dems brought about the Inflation Reduction Act. Maybe it will help but I’d guess there are provisions stuck in there throughout that funnel money to the people who need it least. Still, the masses will settle down, a bit. It’s a delicate, difficult balance.

I’ll tell you this: I believe that, sooner or later, the one percent will push just a little too far. I don’t know when, I don’t know how but something, somewhere will trigger something nobody expected. If history is any guide (and it is) it may very well be some small, “normal” event that just sends everybody off at once. It won’t be pleasant but it’s becoming increasingly necessary…

Feints and Frauds…

Okay, I DO kind of love this. Trump’s lead attorney in the theft of state secrets case is a guy named Jim Trusty. If you can’t trust a lawyer named Trusty, who CAN you trusty? It’s hard to keep track of which lawyer is leading which criminal defense. Having a lawyer named ‘Trusty’ is going to make it easier in this case.

Apparently, Trump is planning to ask for a “Special Master” to oversee a review of the documents Trump stole that had to be forcibly retrieved from Mar-a-Lago. I’m not sure I’ve EVER heard anybody whine about being picked on as much as Trump does. Sure, he forced the FBI’s hand by refusing to actually turn over documents he wasn’t legally allowed to have until they had to execute a search warrant. Ever since, the whiner Trump calls it the “illegal break-in of my beautiful home.” So, for clarity, it wasn’t illegal and it wasn’t a break-in.

The right have offered every explanation, possible and impossible, to try and justify Trumps theft. None have held up to scrutiny by people who understand things. (ALL are now dogma to the true believers of Cult 45.) It’s funny. Talking heads on TV and the internet keep speculating about what’s possible, what’s illegal, who did what evil thing to harm their beloved chosen one. None of the speculation works out as presented on TV once in the courtroom. It turns out, the law doesn’t always work the way people think it does and it certainly doesn’t work the way conservatives want it to. That is, liberals are always guilty, but never, EVER Trump. Oh, by the way, the Trump team, to date, still have not filed any such motion. At this rate, by the time they do, the FBI will have gone through just about all of the documents. It DOES create yet another fraudulent – but profitable – talking point…


Speaking of Cult 45, there’s a group out there called the Cult Education Institute. They put out a meme of five warning signs of a cult.
1. The leader is always right.
2. Criticism of the leader or questioning the leader is considered persecution.
3. Anything the leader does is justified no matter how harmful it may be.
4. The leader is the only source of truth, everybody else is lying.
5. Disciples must be devoted to the leader and never question him.

I’ll tell you this: the next time you get dragged into a discussion about Trump and discover the person you’re talking to simply cannot – will not – understand factual reality, remember the warning signs. His followers don’t know or care if he’s guilty…for them it’s a matter of faith. One cannot argue against faith…


Well, this is kind of sad. The daughter of a powerful Russian Putin ally was killed when a car bomb exploded in the car she was driving. Russia, of course, blamed Ukraine. Zelenskiy denied any involvement. So…who to believe? On the one hand, we have Vladimir Putin, an established murderer who has never hesitated to kill anyone for his own purposes and who has prosecuted an illegal war that seems to violate the Geneva Conventions every chance it gets. On the other hand, there’s Zelenskiy, who seems to have fought quite an honorable war, if, in fact, the words “honorable” and “war” can ever be written together.

Putin’s war doesn’t seem to be going too well for him. He thought he’d have it over and done in a few days. But then it turned into a few weeks, then a few months. There’s a lesson from history, here. The United States of America once invaded a country illegally. (Okay, so we’ve done it more than once. In this case, I’m referring to Vietnam.) We thought, being a Super Power, we were going to “win” in a cakewalk. We didn’t. See, our soldiers were fighting because they were told to. Their soldiers were fighting for their homes and families. It turns out, when one county attacks people’s homes, those people tend to defend their homes with great ferocity. The same thing happened when the greatest empire on Earth at the time, Great Britain, came at the colonists in the Americas. Their soldiers were fighting because they were told to. Ours were fighting for their homes and families. Now it looks like Russia is having a similar experience in Ukraine.

I’ll tell you this: I suspect Putin needs something to keep his people riled up and supporting his war and the death of an innocent is just the ticket…


I see a lot of speculation about what’s going to happen with Jimmy Garoppolo, the ex-starting Quarterback of the Santa Clara Forty-Niners. Here’s mine: I think Jimmy G will end up in Seattle. I think the Niners think Jimmy G will end up in Seattle, too. The team doesn’t WANT him in Seattle. The dude may be a mid-level Quarterback but he has first class knowledge of the team and how it operates. That will be important information to any team the Niners face, let alone one the Niners face twice a season.

They keep saying they’re hoping for a trade but every team in the league knows the Niners are going to cut Jimmy G just before they have to pay him a whopping sum for the next season. No other team is going to trade for Garoppolo at his current price, most especially when they know they don’t have to. All they have to do is wait out the Niners then get him off the waiver wire for whatever they can negotiate.

The only leverage the Niners have is knowing that waiting to get Garoppolo into their facility slows his progress with the new team. Hopefully, Jimmy G won’t have time to master Seattle’s system in time for the scheduled Week 2 match-up. The other side of that coin? The Niners know Jimmy’s weaknesses better than any other team, with the possible exception of the Patriots, Jimmy’s last team. Maybe the Niners aren’t as worried about a QB who panics in the pocket in pressure situations as they’re pretending to be…

Can’t Quit…But Should…

Hey, the far right is going bonkers again. Or is that more bonkers? They’re VERY upset that their chosen one – the CheetoJesus – keeps getting caught breaking the law. They think it’s very bad form for law enforcement to enforce the law.

I suspect, maybe just hope, that each time there’s a new revelation of wrong-doing on the part of the Orange Man – who, btw, IS bad – some small number of once-loyalists suffer an infusion of reality and fall away from the cult. Liz Cheney was one such. She is a conservative’s conservative. She supported Trump’s agenda with a near-perfect record. She drew the line at sedition, is all. But that was too much for the true believers. Now she’s out. She committed the crime of telling the truth. Trumpsters HATE that. She accepted reality instead of alternate reality. She responded to evidence. Oh, the humanity!

I never have been and I suspect never will be a fan of or supporter of Liz Cheney. But I salute her stand for the right thing. I’m sure history will vindicate her position. Of course, it will be too late but it’s great to be vindicated, isn’t it?


Have you seen the news that Netflix is in a dither? They say they’re losing, or perhaps not gaining fast enough, subscribers. They say they’re having difficulty maintaining their customer base. They say they don’t know why. Maybe raising rates will help. Maybe adding commercials. Yeah, that makes sense. People are leaving so make it worse in every way for those who try to stay. (Sadly, in this once-great nation, that seems to be the new American way.) I have a thought. I think I can help.

Netflix puts out some good shows. Then, they don’t. I mean, they’re going to. They promise. There’s a new season coming. Eventually. When? No, we can’t say when. Oh, you’ll love it, they assure us – if you ever get to see it. Netflix regularly waits YEARS between seasons. By the time they get around to following up Season 1 with Season2, I’ve commonly forgotten all about the show in the first place. Perhaps my tastes have changed, whatever.

I don’t want to get involved with Netflix shows these days. The shows are good but there’s so much lag time between the seasons, it seems not worth my while. You can’t build your company on binge-watching and then refused to put out any product for the viewers to binge on. Television shows used to put out 30 new episodes, take the summers off, then start again. I know, things change. Now they put out 8 new episodes, then take two or three years off. Grueling…

That’s my unsolicited advice for Netflix. Put out a product we can count on so we can all ‘Netflix and chill’ again…


The new season of the NFL is upon us and, once again, starts off with controversy. DeShaun Watson is the QB of the Cleveland Browns. That’s brand new. So far, he’s only ever actually played professionally for the Houston Texans. The guy got himself in trouble sexually harassing massage therapists. TWENTY-FOUR of them! Two grand juries in Texas refused to criminally indict him. (What? A Texas grand jury refused to indict a star Quarterback from one of their home-state teams? Shocking.) 24 civil suits were filed. 22 of them have been settled.

An independent agency suggested suspending Watson for 6 games. 4 women per game. I’m probably not supposed to think of it that way. The NFL wanted something “tougher.” They “fought for” a one year suspension. They all settled on 11 games and a five million dollar fine. So, 2 women per game. Yeah, tough. Coincidentally, Watson will be back to play just in time for the scheduled match up between his old team and his new team. Oh, and the Browns knew something like this was coming so they structured his contract with a piddly little first year rate so he wouldn’t lose too much money during the suspension and softened the blow with a $45 million dollar signing bonus. Apparently, DeShaun will be just fine. And, after all, they’re only women. It’s not like he protested social injustice, or anything. As we all know – and Colin Kaepernick found out – protesting social justice is a career-ending act. Fortunately (for DeShaun) sexually harassing 24 women is just an irritant that needs proper optics.

I’ll tell you this: the NFL thinks you’ll be back to watch anyway. I wouldn’t bet against them on this. They’re probably right…

Living Deregulation…

I hear a lot of complaining from a lot of people about the homeless. I hear a LOT of “explanations” for WHY those people are homeless. Some of the explanations are valid. Some are stupid. But here’s one people NEVER talk about because they don’t hear much about it.

I rent a house I’ve lived in for nine years. The previous landlord died and left the property to his kids who turned around and sold it. There are four houses – four families – on the lot. The new owner wants more money. Maybe needs is more accurate. Whichever it is, we’ve been told to move along – so we’ve started looking. Without boring you with the details of why, we prefer a stand-alone house to an apartment. We’re not demanding. We’re not particularly picky. We DO have some extra considerations most people don’t have but our focus, so far, has been on stand-alone houses. So…just for “fun” I thought I’d share the current math.

The rental agencies around here use a formula. It’s pretty basic. The household income must be three times the rent. Simple, yes? If you don’t meet that requirement, they won’t even talk to you. Hell, I made a mistake on a pre-screening form and lost out on a potential viewing. I tried to contact the company and explain my error but they just ignored me, presumably because they already had enough proper applications to choose from submitted by people who didn’t make a mistake. (Damn it!)

So here’s that math. Don’t worry. It won’t hurt. You, anyway. As it stands today, the entry level rent for a 2 bedroom house in Sonoma County is $2,300/mo. Three times that amount? $6,900/mo! Wow, $6,900/mo sounds like a LOT. In fact, $6,900/mo comes to $82,800/yr. The average work year for a standard employee is calculated at 2,080 hours per year. Little more math and…hey, in order to rent an entry level, 2 bedroom house in Sonoma County, CA one must make $39.81/hr.

So the choice for a person who wants or needs to stay near their families/support networks and the place they grew up? An apartment. Fortunately, there’s “relief,” there. For a 2 bedroom apartment, one “only” needs to make $31.15/hr or $64,792/yr. Now, these aren’t the upscale parts of Santa Rosa or even “Beverly Healdsburg.” This is just Sonoma County. ANYWHERE in the entire county!

Based on information from Payscale.com, the average hourly rate in Sonoma County is $22.32/hr. Certainly it explains why so many people flee Sonoma County. They have no choice. In my case, though, my income is tied to my business which does NOT move with me. I can leave but my work stays. Then what do I do?

Yeah, I know, this is a “me” problem. I only mention it because I think the next person I hear dismissing homelessness as a “choice” is going to get an earful. The problem I face isn’t because I did anything wrong. It’s not because of big government. It’s not high taxes and it’s not too many effing regulations! The problem I (WE, because there are countless of us in the same boat, here…) face is the direct and measurable result of allowing pooled investment funds (hedge funds) to buy up all the available housing as it comes on the market. Unregulated greed, pure and simple. It’s the direct result of conservative policies of deregulation. This is what “trusting business to do the right thing” actually looks like.

This is not a long-standing problem. The hedge funds were only allowed to start buying single family homes in 2011, the result of all the empty houses after Wall Street artificially inflated the housing bubble that crashed in 2007. The “market” was trying to maintain the artificially inflated housing values rather than let them drop back to where they should have been so banks were stuck holding all the empties and afraid more empties would show up if the equities dropped. People who had bought at the top of the market were leaving their homes as they found themselves underwater in the equity, whether they could pay the mortgage or not, a practice that became known as “strategic walkaways.”

So the hedge funds started buying the houses. The practice, at the time, was “sold” as a solution. The groups that could buy the inflated price houses would, then rent those houses out. But the “solution” has become a far more deadly disease. This process began only 11 years ago. In that time, one hedge fund has bought so many single family homes they could house the entire population of Iceland. ONE company! There are LOTS of these greedy little groups out there, all preying on the less advantaged and undermining the stability of the entire society. Oh, but…profits!

This seems like a good time to remind everyone of the axiom that business operates in a completely amoral environment – but any entity or group that behaves amorally ends up behaving immorally. It is the responsibility of the society in which the business operates to define the limits of the operation through regulation.

The solution, of course, is to return to regulations. Deny the hedge funds the ability to buy the housing and require them to divest in single family homes over a very short term. This would have the effect of flooding the market with single family housing. That, in turn, would cause the artificially inflated prices of those properties to drop back to realistic levels and make it possible for individuals to again buy homes. As the home prices dropped, rents would become realistic again as well. Stability would return. Homelessness would be reduced…

That one bit there? The part about causing “the artificially inflated prices of those properties to drop back to realistic levels?” One of the main goals of my prescribed solution? THAT’S the reason they’ll never do it and THAT is the only failing of government in this situation – their refusal to behave as the referee in the market.

I’ll tell you this: I know that Reagan created the homeless problem in the first place by throwing all the mentally ill patients out into the streets. I know that drug abuse – often created by the pharmaceutical corporations – has exacerbated the problem. But now I ALSO know that there could be people out there working and earning $30/hr and STILL be homeless because they can’t meet the minimum requirement – anywhere – in Sonoma County. Is it right that $30/hr should classify someone as “working poor” and render them homeless?

Questions Abound…

The thing I don’t like about people overplaying their hands is that it builds up expectations that cannot be met and that’s always disappointing. Unless you’re a trumpster, you have wanted Trump out and gone for, well, I’m going to say seven years or so. One scandal after another has arisen and, one by one, Trump just bats them away and keeps going. Granted, he’s had some help from his compliant GOP toadies. His supporters get to claim it’s because he didn’t do the things he’s accused of doing. I suspect it’s because Satan takes care of his own. But I’ll tell you the truth, when these things appear to be overblown, one topic after another, as measured by the ability to follow through and take any real action aside from simple political attacks, I don’t blame the right for getting comfortable that the next “scandal” will ALSO be manufactured and overstated and the left is starting to look a little like Charlie Brown expecting Lucy to hold the football…this time.

I know that GOP attacks on Hillary got old and boring to the left very fast. They claimed a lot but never had anything. Even the deleted emails are fun to bitch about but the fact is, she beat them on that one. It’s not that people don’t know that Hillary deleted emails. It’s that people have realized that no one can prove Hillary deleted anything important. Just believing a crime was committed doesn’t mean a crime was committed. That’s why we used to do the rule of law thing in this country. But Hillary got away with things because of GOP overreach and/or because people couldn’t prove beyond a reasonable doubt that she had committed a crime. (And, OMG, did they try to prove she had committed a crime…) The same applies to Trump. It’s one thing to know, it’s another thing to prove.

If the argument truly hinges on whether or not Trump declassified the documents he stole, then it will come down to a ‘he said/she said’ kind of thing. If it’s true that the President cannot in fact declassify anything at will, then there may be more. I understand that some of the papers in question are SO sensitive they can only be read in a SKIF, a secure location. Can the POTUS really just declare an item like that declassified and leave it on a table or stick it in a desk drawer? That sounds kind of stupid, to me.

But the warrant didn’t focus only on classified materials. There are other areas of concern. There are some things he’s just not allowed to have, classified or not. There are concerns he might be trying to destroy or hide information, obstructing justice. In fact, there’s a LOT of speculation going on right now and it just follows political lines. The left is sure the papers are incriminating. The right is equally certain the papers are nothing.

I’ll tell you this: actions speak louder than words. If there’s legal followup to this, then we’ll know he really did do something wrong. If there’s not, it’s likely just more political muck-raking. I’ve decided to tamp down my enthusiasm until there’s more solid information and less speculation…


So, if you’re a religious believer, I need a little help here. What is it with these tiny, little insecure “gods” you’all worship? Some crazy just stabbed Salmon Rushdie during a speech. Rushdie is a writer. He once wrote a book called ‘The Satanic Verses.’ I never read it but it really offended Muslims. So they decided they had to kill Rushdie. Hey Christians, don’t get all full of yourselves, here. YOUR “god” gave humanity the 10 most important rules in the history of rules and four of the first five – before don’t murder anyone and try to tell the truth – four of them were “You have to like me best.” That’s some pretty deep insecurity from a “superior” being, yes?

Okay, so I get it. Religious killing in the name of one’s “god” is all part and parcel to religion and always has been but I’ve always wondered how come an all-powerful “god” has to send a minion to do HIS holy dirty work. You’re a GOD, fercrissakes! YOU can’t rub out someone who said something you didn’t like? I’d like to say to the believers, if your god chooses not to act, YOU should not act, either.

I’ll tell you this, though; I sure hope some loving believer doesn’t decide to murder me for asking the question…

Can We Lock Him Up Yet?

The cons seem to have gone dark on social media again – at least for awhile. They’re waiting for the conservative bubble to settle on a story that might have some level of credibility. Donald Trump stole a bunch of documents from the White House, documents he’s not allowed to have and he knew he wasn’t allowed to have when he took them. But he sees himself as special. Hell, we ALL see him as “special,” just in a different way. When confronted about his theft, the traitor Trump pretended to return the documents but didn’t actually comply so the FBI went in and recovered the things that were stolen. They had a warrant, which requires probable cause. Now, we all know cops lie to get warrants from time to time, but I’d bet everyone is on their very best behavior when it comes to searching the home of an ex-president. The ONE THING the cons have gotten kind of right on the topic is that such a thing is unprecedented. Of course, so is outright theft by an outgoing, loser, used-to-be President, so…

The cons have floated several trial balloons. The documents were his. No, they weren’t. He declassified all the documents. No, he didn’t. For one, even the President of the United States doesn’t have the authority to declassify all classified materials. Second, he wasn’t President anymore. Third, the citations in the warrant have nothing to do with the classified nature of the documents.

I saw, “Hey, everyone has to take work home from time to time.” Maybe, but not after they’ve lost the job. When someone “takes work home” after no longer working for the company, that’s usually viewed as “stealing.” Trump insists he returned the materials and, he kind of did. But also? He didn’t. That part has confused me a bit. I had read that he illegally took 15 boxes of stuff. Then, he returned 15 boxes of stuff. Then, the FBI came and took 15 boxes of stuff. WTF?!? It crossed my mind that he copied things and kept them before returning the originals and likely kept some things outright. It’s speculation but at least it explains how he returns AND retains the same amount of illegal contraband.

Trump tried to say he was in “negotiations” to return the documents and Of COURSE they rolled out trusty old Whataboutism. Here’s a thing, generally speaking, one does not get to negotiate the return of stolen items. (Museums seem to be an exception, here…) Now, in fairness, except for the “classified documents” part, this kind of thing has happened before. Sometimes, someone takes something they shouldn’t, commonly represented as a “misunderstanding.” When those people were informed they couldn’t take what they took, they sent back the offending material and that was that.

Not Donnie. He DID send back something but then the FBI received a tip that Trump still had the information he wasn’t supposed to have, some of it quite sensitive. At least SOME of the stolen classified documents regard nuclear weapons. Apparently, the information is sensitive enough that the FBI felt they had to conduct the raid. (SIDEBAR: There’s a specific claim that Obama had documents from the Obama administration sent to Chicago and nobody searched HIS home! For clarity, documents DID go to Chicago at the same time Obama went to Chicago. But the documents did NOT go to Obama. They went to an archive in Chicago where Obama has NO say or control over the documents so…no.)

I swear to the gods, I even heard cons trying to pretend Trump was going to use his “jeanius” to improve nuclear technology…

So the cons desperately need a story. In the meantime, though, the right is apoplectic over the raid at Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s current hide-out. The conservative media is out there screaming as loudly as they can trying to turn the actual events into something they weren’t and denying the something they were. Do they care that the evidence shows Trump stole classified documents from the White House when he left? Nah. Do they care that he lied to the – well, do they care that he lies? Nah. They KNOW it’s a “political hit job.” Trump told them himself. Hell, if Trump hadn’t opened his mouth, the political “hit-job” would have remained a secret. Nobody in government revealed the raid. That was Trump, himself. So…he did a political hit-job on himself? Well, kinda, I guess. He IS fund-raising from the event…

Now everyone is releasing everything trying to prove competence of the raid (the DOJ) or incompetence of the raid (Trump, et al). So far, all the supporting positions benefit the DOJ and NOT the DJT. That’s hardly a surprise, either. Apparently, Trump released an unredacted version of the warrant that includes the names of the agents involved in the search. Cons will insist that’s some kind of oversight but I doubt it. I think Trump is actively trying to sic his sycophants on the agents in question in the same way as that crazy who attacked an FBI office in Ohio with an AR-15 after the raid was revealed. (He’s dead now…)

I’ll tell you this; I’m really quite bored with conservatives sniveling, oh-so-predictable responses to anything…everything that happens. If a con is accused, it’s fake news. Period. If someone can say something, anything, about a Democrat, the Dem is guilty. ALWAYS! Boring. Worse, it leave the cons with as much credibility as…well, as a person with ZERO credibility. Yeah, not a great simile but certainly true…

Gaming (and) the System…

So, the truth is, I always thought that what happened to Breonna Taylor on the night she was killed was a horrifying shame but I wouldn’t have called it a crime. I understand why her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, came out shooting when someone smashed their way into the apartment. I’d say, Second Amendment and all, that’s a right and proper use of a weapon, defending one’s home. Too bad he didn’t know he was running – ‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid’ style – into a fusillade of lead. The cops claimed they were looking for Ms. Taylor’s ex-boyfriend, Jamarcus Glover. They said he was part of a drug ring and suspected he was hiding drugs at her house. They said they thought they would find him at her house because she was receiving mail for him and they had verified that with a postal inspector. The judge signed off on the warrant on that basis. It should be noted that no drugs were found at the house. I never really understood why the warrant had to executed in that way – in the middle of the night – but the cops had a warrant and cops are allowed to return fire so, as the initial “investigation” conducted by the Kentucky Attorney General concluded, they couldn’t be criminally charged, right?

Well, one of them was. One of the cops on the raid, Brett Hankison, seems to have gone into full-on panic mode, closed his eyes, and just started pulling the trigger, firing 10 rounds blindly, three of them going into the apartment next door. He didn’t hurt anybody but he sure as heck didn’t do anybody any good, either. He got arrested, then fired from his job. “Okay, good,” I thought. It’s one of the rules of gun safety, you’re supposed to know what you’re shooting at. Still, I’ve never expected cops to just stand still and get shot at without returning fire. It can’t be a surprise that someone got killed with so many bullets flying. I DID notice that Mr. Walker, the man defending his home – technically, it was her home – with the legal, properly licensed gun, survived the encounter unharmed while Ms. Taylor, unarmed, did not.

Fortunately, the Feds stepped in. Less good-ole-boy support, yes? It turns out, the detective who acquired the warrant, Joshua Jaynes, lied to the judge to get it. Jaynes never spoke to a postal inspector. Instead, he indicated he had actually spoken to another cop, Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, who had ALSO not gotten the information from a postal inspector. But Mattingly insists he told Jaynes both before and after the killings that he had no information Glover was receiving packages at Ms. Taylor’s home. So Jaynes, being the “honorable cop” he is, did what any “honorable cop” might do. He got together with another “honorable cop,” Kelly Goodlett, and came up with a new lie to cover the failure of the first lie.

Now four officers have been charged by the Federal government; the liar Jaynes, his co-conspirator, Kelly Goodlett, Mr. Close-your-eyes-and-shoot, officer Hankison, and the cop overseeing the entire operation – who apparently knew the warrant had been fraudulently obtained – Sgt Kyle Meany. They get charged with violating Mr. Taylor’s civil rights, not murder. Well, except Hankison. He’s charged with reckless endangerment.

I’ll tell you this: I’d say they’re getting off easy. They’ll do a few years in a Federal prison then get on with their lives. Breonna Taylor will be dead forever. Because cops can lie…


It’s kind of tough for me, watching the First Nations fighting amongst themselves about gaming. I fear the infighting will kill the golden goose, you know? After decades of oppression, the First Nations finally got a break when they began using casinos as revenue sources. They controlled the market because they were the only ones allowed to have casinos, aside from local card rooms. This has been the set-up for something like 20+ years but in 2018, the US Supremely Kangaroo Court eliminated the prohibition against sports betting, leaving the question to each state.

Now three companies, Fan Duel, DraftKings, and BetMGM have decided to enter the mix with their online betting apps. The First Nations, predictably, came out against the idea. They started running ads reminding people that gaming in California is their bailiwick and outsiders would harm the tribes. Not to be outdone, Fan Duel and DraftKings started using other tribes to present their message. Their measure, Prop 27, would include a huge buy-in that the companies claim would help alleviate homelessness, mental illness, and poverty in the First Nations. (They hope you won’t notice that such a huge buy-in also tends to eliminate start-up competition…)

See, for practical reasons, not every tribe can have a casino. That makes the online betting offer more attractive to them. The idea that money from the interlopers would help their tribes is very appealing. To my mind, that idea that the money would ever trickle down to those tribes is laughable. I doubt big gaming is trying to come to California in order to help the poor, you know? In fact, experts say gambling is one of the leading causes of homelessness so, really, if they want to help with that problem, shouldn’t they stay away?

This gets confusing, though. See, the First Nations who DO have gaming aren’t allowed certain games, like dice games or roulette. They want those, too. Oh, AND they don’t want competition from the card rooms around the state. There aren’t that many but competition is competition, right? So the First Nation’s initiative, Proposition 26, tries to give the tribes the ability to get the games they want and sue the card rooms while blocking the card rooms from suing the First Nations. Needless to say, the card rooms tried to block the First Nations initiative and then filed their own initiative in an effort to stave off the tribes. As nearly as I can tell, they have yet to qualify for the ballot.

So we have Prop 26 in which the First Nations try to protect and expand their gaming while eliminating local competition and we have Prop 27 in which Fan Duel, et al, get to come in and undermine ALL local gaming. We may get yet another depending upon the card rooms’ ability to acquire the signatures. Both initiatives have First Nations spokespeople out in front claiming their initiative is better than the other initiative, both claiming the other will harm the tribes the most or help the tribes the most, depending, and promising money, money, money to…well, whomever needs it most in the moment.

I’ll tell you this: The image of a tribal spokesperson telling me this is good for the tribes while competing with an image of a tribal spokesperson telling me this is bad for the tribes is just going to be too confusing to too many voters and the First Nations will be the ones to suffer. I’d say let’s just reject all of them. Keep gaming in California the primary responsibility of the tribes while maintaining the local card rooms – and keep big gaming out of California for as long as we can…

Difficulty Understanding…

I just read a letter to the editor in my local “newspaper.” The writer is supporting the on-going use of private homes for short-term rentals, Airbnb, that sort of thing. He insists there’s no problem with them. Then, the last line of his letter reads: “Planning commission: Do something about homeless people while you are at it.”

My guess is, he’s a short-term rental owner and wants to feel good about his “investment” and his “business decision.” But he’s upset about homelessness? It’s curious that he never seemed to put together the idea that short term rentals are a major piece of the homelessness problem in the first place. Taking housing off the market for short-term rentals leaves countless people out in the cold – literally.


If you want an example of how the people who don’t understand things really don’t understand things, here’s a good one. They’ve taken to supporting authoritarian strongmen. They’ve been convinced they should like the “strong” part. They SCREAM at the left for trying to “take away our freedumbs,” then support people taking more and more freedom from their own people every day. (Conservative media is strangely silent on that part…) Viktor Orban came from Hungary to Texas and spoke at the ‘Conservative People Acting Crappy’ or CPAC conference. Orban uses the traditional racist trigger issues of illegal immigration, “law and order,” and “gender ideology” in schools to whip up the people who don’t understand things into a frenzy. He’s a blatant “blood and soil” nationalist who likes to rip on the “leftist media.” He called for international unity of the so-called “Christian Nationalist” movement.
“Wait, ‘blood and soil?’ I’ve heard that term before. Where was that?”
“Charlottesville. The Neo-Nazis were chanting it along with “Jews will not replace us.”
“‘Blood and soil’ is racist?”
“Oh, yeah. It was originally coined in Germany in the late 19th century. It was a dog-whistle phrase referring to the “purity” of the German people. The Nazis picked it up and really ran with it.”
“But aren’t these Christians?”
“‘Christian Nationalists,’ a cover-term for racism.”
“No, they say they’re Christians.”
“I can SAY I’m the tallest active player in the NBA today. Doesn’t make it true. In order to be Christian, one has to at least TRY to emulate the ostensible teachings of, you know, Jesus. When the actions don’t support the words, ignore the words. Respond to the actions…”

I’ll tell you this: Being the people who don’t understand things, they have no idea about life under strongmen and dictators. (They were either talking or sleeping in History class.) They have a limitation. They have to experience something, personally, before they can understand it. Once they’ve experienced actual loss of freedoms under an actual strongman, they’ll understand…but it will be too late…


I’m really enjoying watching Alex Jones get his. My favorite part is that, step by step, his destruction has been of his own making. (Well, him and his “affordable” lawyers…) He didn’t even challenge the original suit so he lost by default. He goes into the penalty phase and thinks he can just lie his way through – because that’s what he does when he’s NOT under oath. I think the attorneys for the plaintiffs have done a very good job and would have shown Jones was lying either way but just to be on the safe side, Jones’ own lawyers sent one of the plaintiff’s lawyers, Mark Bankston, everything he needed to prove, beyond question, that Jones lied under oath. Enter perjury charges. NOW how much would you pay? But wait! Don’t answer, yet, because there’s MORE!

Jones’ attorney sent the entire contents of Jones’ phone to Bankston, apparently by accident. The law has rules that cover things like that. Jones’ “team” COULD have gotten the information back and kept the plaintiffs from using it. They didn’t. Now it’s fair game. Along with proof that Jones was merely profiting from his cruel little ‘Sandy Hook was a hoax’ lie and that he was committing perjury to try and protect his lucre, the phone contents have apparently implicated him in Trump’s January 6th coup! Lovely, isn’t it? Bankston has made clear he intends to turn the contents of the phone over to the January 6 committee.

The court has ordered Jones to pay $49.3 million dollars to the plaintiffs in the matter – $4.1 million in compensatory damages and $45.2 million in punitive damages. Jones says he’s going to appeal. He had better. This is only one family. The rest are standing in line.

Jones put his company into bankruptcy, not because he couldn’t cover his obligations but as a maneuver to try and protect his money. I’m no lawyer but I think the bankruptcy filing should be rejected. He can pay his obligations – he just doesn’t want to.

I’ll tell you this: Personally, I hope the families get every penny Jones collected lying to his ‘Infowars’ crowd. He collected the money with lies, he should lose the money to truth…then he should go to prison for perjury and conspiracy to commit sedition…