Cons, Comics, and Capitalists…

Have you ever wondered why the cons are so, absolutely wrong about Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine? I mean, these guys actually believe (or pretend to) that Russia is the victim, bravely defending itself from Ukrainian aggression – in short, the exact opposite of the truth. Obviously, it’s a disinformation campaign, but whose? Who is doing the misinforming?

One likely candidate is a website called It’s a website owned and operated by the Russian government. RT originally stood for ‘Russia Today.’ As an accurate information source, it’s rated extremely low in reliability so, of course, it’s very popular with the cons. (It’s a kind of Stockholm syndrome, I think.) It’s no wonder they’re rooting for the wrong side.

I’ll tell you this: critical thinking should be required education in school starting at a very young age. I believe we would have FAR fewer poor thinkers in our submerging nation…


By and large, when one hears someone pretending renewable energy is, overall, a bad idea, the speaker repeating that tale is conservative. MOST of the pushback against fossil fuels comes from cons, in fact. One of the stories one hears about wind farms, those installations where windmills produce power, is that the farms are devastating to birds. To hear them tell it, there are piles of dead bird bodies at the bottom of every windmill.

But, of course, while the rank-and-file cons are out there, dutifully spreading their renewable energy misinformation, the red states are leading the pack when it comes to renewables, according to an article I saw in this morning’s Guardian called ‘Red States leading the US in wind and solar production, new report shows.’ Texas has more wind generation capacity than any other state. California leads in solar but Texas is second and Florida is third.

It’s really no wonder those rank-and-file people are so confused. They’re constantly being told about the horrors and evils of renewables, while simultaneously watching their “leaders” building out renewables at a rather remarkable rate. How crazy-making is that?


It’s always a bummer to find out someone you once thought well of is, in fact, a “less-than” person. Scott Adams, the creator of the ‘Dilbert’ comic, has taken just such a tumble in the world. He went on his podcast to warn his listeners that black people are “a hate group” and that white people should stay away from them. He even admitted to moving house in order to get away from blacks and recommended all whites do the same.

Newspapers across the land are dropping ‘Dilbert.’ Adams says he expected that. He says that “most of my income will be gone by next week. My reputation for the rest of my life is destroyed. You can’t come back from this.” Nor should you. What a di…uh…Dilbert…


Thinking people everywhere know that union shops are better than non-union shops. It’s a simple, factual reality that when one hears someone lament the loss of “good jobs” in the US, they weren’t “good jobs” because of the particular work being done. They were “good jobs” because they were union jobs. The owner class really hated paying workers a fair wage so they shipped all the good, union jobs overseas to sweatshops and prison-like factories who often “employ” children and have fences around the factory compounds so the workers can’t leave. Oh, AND to where the workers took pennies a day in pay (and glad to have it, truth be told), rather than pay Americans a fair wage. That left only “service” jobs in America.

Service jobs can’t be off-shored. Your waiter cannot bring you more water in San Francisco from Shanghai. Service jobs were also, largely, non-union, and the wages of those workers reflected as much. It was a kind of paradise for the parasite class. The parasite class has been really sticking it to the workers who provide them with so much for a long, long time and the working class is tired of it so unions are making a comeback. Or trying to.

The parasites are pushing back using every trick and technique ever used by the owner class to harm workers. Illegal? So what? Do it! These greedy prigs even go so far as to close stores that successfully unionize, foregoing profit for a short while in order to discourage unionization. (They can easily make it up elsewhere on the backs of other workers.)

I haven’t, yet, seen stories about physical confrontations or outright riots related to union activity, but, as we know, history repeats – especially if one is too stupid to learn from it – so I have no doubt the violence is coming. My position? If it comes to that, it comes to that. I hope it doesn’t but this country needs unions.

Unions will prove a huge step forward for ending the economic imbalance in our submerging nation and the parasitic owner class knows it. That’s why they’re pushing back so hard. So, all true Americans need to support the unionization effort. (Cons will oppose it. Count on it. It’s the “contrarian” part of “con.”) If enough Americans close their wallets to the union-busting companies, the companies will have to relent or go out of business. Either answer is better than what the workers are getting today…

Caught Red Handed…

Will lie for money…
Well…now that the entire world knows, without question and in absolute terms, that Fox “News” lies to it’s victimized viewers, I considered – for a short wonderful while – that, perhaps, the US might be rid of the lying titan once and for all. In case you missed it, lying Former Guy started his on-going whine about how the election was stolen from him (and, by the way, what an effing baby. Man up and accept your loss, Donald). Fox “News” went all-in on supporting the story. The talking heads on that station repeated the stories as if they were true and regularly brought on guests who also repeated the stories, allowing those guests to spread and/or support the various and sundry lies without challenge. In a rare misstep, they singled out one company, Dominion Voting Systems, and pointed their fingers at how Dominion “rigged” the election. Dominion sued. After depositions and investigation, they were able to prove the talking heads, behind the scenes, had only disdain and ridicule for the tale they were telling. Dominion proved Fox talkers KNEW they were lying…but did it anyway.

I imagined the victimized viewers would be angry at having been lied to and seek out other sources of misinformation and the loss of revenue might spell doom for lying Fox “News.” But if I may quote the Bard (in the guise of Hamlet), “Aye, there’s the rub.” I enjoyed my fantasy for a few hours before I asked the most important question: who’s going to tell them? I mean, how much air time do you think lying Fox “News” plans to dedicate to telling the story of lying Fox “News” intentionally deceiving it’s own viewers?

When you get right down to it, it shows the horrifying beauty of conservative conditioning to keep con viewers from even considering any information that doesn’t come from the conservative bubble, led by lying Fox “News.” The Lying Fox has already made “editorial decisions” about which hard-hitting stories deserve their air time and they are using it on the important stuff: Are the cartoon candies sexy enough? Should schools put litter boxes in the bathrooms for students who identify as cats? Who, moving among us with apparent impunity, is (omg!) “Woke?”

After spending forty minutes on each of those in-depth tales, who has time to tell the ‘Fox “News” lies to it’s own, gullible viewers’ story? So the victimized viewers will continue to plod along with Fox, never realizing or allowing themselves to believe, The Fox “News” bullsh*t factory intentionally lies to them for money…


Just trying to help…the lie…
In a totally related unrelated event, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy handed over some 40,000 hours of surveillance footage from the conservative assault on the Capitol on January 6th to…uh…it looks like one guy; Tucker Carlson, one of the most notorious liars at lying Fox “News.” I wonder what he’ll do with it. To be clear, McCarthy did NOT hand the footage over to actual news outlets, only the Lying Fox and specifically, to Carlson.

McCarthy lied that he had to. He had promised as part of his humiliation tour when he was giving away the store to become Speaker in the first place. He lied that he wanted to give Carlson exclusive access because he thinks “sunshine allows everyone to make their own judgements.” McCarthy lied that he might release it to other outlets later. He won’t. He’s a MAGA con trying to protect the MAGA bubble and the actual truth never, ever supports lying MAGA con positions. Perhaps not surprisingly, the Democrats – along with thinking people everywhere – have decried the move as a breach of security. The footage allows people to discover the locations of cameras and other security details the public really shouldn’t have. Minority leader Hakim Jeffries said he considered the release a “grave mistake.”

I’ll tell you this: I wouldn’t use the word “mistake.” I’d go with the far more accurate “betrayal” or maybe “perfidy” or even “act of treason.” It was a calculated act intended to allow lying Fox “News” host lying Tucker Carlson to cut together preferred parts of the footage to “prove” the insurrection was really just an unauthorized tour of the Capitol…

NOTE: An earlier version of this piece misspelled the House Speaker’s name and has been corrected…

Deaths and Dying…

I suspect Jimmy Carter was the last honorable President the United States ever had. I do not hold he was great or poor but he was honorable. I think he might have been a bit out of his depth. But he really tried to do things to help the American people and he tried to set good examples. He put solar panels on the White House. It was mostly a show. There weren’t enough to run the whole building and the technology was in it’s infancy. But the gesture… It was awesome. It pointed America toward the future. And, coincidentally, apparently scared the heck out of the oil industry who understood the meaning behind the gesture immediately. Ronald Reagan had them removed as one of his very first acts as President. (The oil companies were happy. The US would NOT be moving forward any time soon. Thank the corporate gods…)

Carter also tried to convert America to the metric system. You know, just to join the rest of the world. Standardized, I believe is the word. That got as far as road signs with miles AND kilometers posted on them. That effort, too, was abandoned when he left office.

His administration was brought down by the Iran hostage crisis, in which a group of Iranian students seized the American embassy in Tehran and held 52 American staff and citizens in the compound for months. Carter tried everything he could to end the stalemate and get the hostages free but the Iranians wouldn’t budge. As an interesting side note, there was, at the time, some evidence that, working behind the scenes with the students, the Reagan campaign had promised the Iranians weapons if they would hold the hostages until Carter was defeated.

The hostages were released literally about 1/2 hour after Reagan was inaugurated and you can read about how Reagan kept up his end of the bargain in a fancy little transaction that became the scandal known as Iran/Contra. Col. Oliver North fell on his sword and took the fall for that one. He got rich and became a darling of the right for his efforts so, I guess he’s happy. But I digress…

I’ll tell you this: I can’t say, for sure, whether or not Carter was a good President but there’s no doubt in my mind that Carter is a good man and it saddens me a bit to think he’ll be leaving us soon…


I suppose stories like this were inevitable after the Roberts Kangaroo Court struck down Roe based on their personal ideology. There’s a couple in Florida who are being forced to deliver a child into this world even though everyone involved knows the child will die a miserable death shortly after being born. How lovely for everyone involved, most especially the ideologues who cheered the court’s arbitrary decision and don’t have to be anywhere near that suffering family as their baby dies.

The “no choice/no option” crowd really doesn’t seem to care about the realities involved. They just want what they want and so decided that late-term abortions were super easy to get (they aren’t) and that women regularly use that “option” simply because they randomly decided they didn’t want to be pregnant any more (they don’t). But, once you’re all-in on the faulty thinking, faulty “solutions” follow. And, since crowning seems to be the moment when the Anti-choice crowd stops caring, they can ignore all of the suffering they’re inflicting on people afterward. Sweet deal…for them…

But these parents get to watch their newborn suffocate within hours of delivery in a struggling, painful death…


Biden had his regular physical the other day. HIS doctor, the guy who did the actual examination, said he’s in fine shape – presumably for a man his age. The right has gone nuts. Each and every one of them are certain that Biden’s doctor is covering up…well, everything, really. They started right in with the “questions.” Where, for example, is the mental acuity test? Apparently, he didn’t need one. Mental acuity tests are NOT part of a normal physical. Former Guy took one, a very simplified pre-screening, by choice. That doesn’t stop the right, though. Former’s old “doctor,” Ronny Jackson, the guy who once declared Former the very picture of perfect health, pretends to think the White House might be covering up.

The right, you see, has convinced itself that Biden is locked in full-blown dementia. He isn’t. Yes, he has some “senior moments.” That’s not dementia. That doesn’t matter, though. They’ve decided and don’t need no stinking proof. They know what they know and will now move forward with their preferred belief with or without evidence. I’ll tell you this: I can’t decide if that’s comforting or frustrating. On the one hand, they get to live in a world of their own creation. On the other hand, it seems contact with reality must be inevitable and that occasional contact must be frustrating when it doesn’t match the fever-dream.

They should probably put together a committee and launch and “investigation…”


According to USA Today, there had been 71 mass shootings, including the Michigan State shooting, in the US in 2023. Now we get to add Mississippi, so…72 mass shootings in the US…so far this year. As of today, there have been 50 days in 2023. The headline I saw in the Guardian read “Biden pleads with Congress to pass gun control after six killed in Mississippi.” Pleads. Just like the vast majority of Americans. Please do something! “Sorry, no can do,” say the Gun Rights Advocates (GRAs). “The Second Amendment clearly says, ‘…shall not be denied.’ Nothing we can do!”

From time to time, I mention that I’ve re-written the US Constitution to correct some of it’s more egregious errors. It’s a fascinating exercise, even if it is a bit arrogant. When I did it, the question of the Second Amendment had to be addressed. I gave this one Amendment probably more thought than any of the rest of the work but, in the end, decided to leave it just as it had been written originally. The basis for that decision was that the Second, taken as a whole, says exactly what it should say. “Well regulated” is a key phrase. Just because a small, ideological minority are capable of misinterpreting the Second by reading only half of it – more than happy to, in fact, doesn’t mean the Amendment is wrong.

I no longer feel that way. In today’s edition of “Things We Could Fix and Should Fix – but Won’t Fix”? The gun question. This is not an easy fix but it is necessary. Philosophically, I have no problem with people owning guns. From a practical standpoint, though, gun ownership endangers all of society at all times and that, to me, seems to be the larger of the two problems. The minority’s right to own guns tramples the majority’s right to safety. Sure, the GRAs would argue that logic sets the truth on it’s ear but the facts are too clear to be denied unless one’s only goal is to deny them.

I have a proposed bill I’d would like to see introduced called the “Keep Your Gun Act.” As you can tell by the name, it requires gun owners to keep their guns but keep them safely – and assigns consequences for failure to do so. I came up with it because, again, I don’t really have a problem with people owning guns. But this whole thing has gotten out of control and we’re ALL in danger now based on one of the dumber pieces of ideology floating around in this world.

72 mass shootings in 50 days. (49, really. I write these pieces early in the morning and the nation hasn’t yet has it’s opportunity to come out blasting today.) There can be no question, in any rational person’s mind, that the gun problem is out of control. We all know that the tool being used by the GRAs to justify the ongoing carnage is the Second Amendment. When push comes to shove, that means the Second Amendment, as written, has to go.

I’d be okay with ‘Repeal and Replace,’ an ideology the right mentions a lot. (Sure, they mean health care but it’s still their own policy…) It could be simple. We could just add “…without due process of law” at the end. That, at least, would provide a mechanism to keep guns out of irresponsible hands. The problem is, one never knows when someone might “break.” A person could be normal and sound of mind but face daunting life-challenges that push them over the edge just long enough to murder a large number of people going about their day.

I’ll tell you this, though. I’m fed up with these day-after-day shootings and if the GRAs won’t let society manage the problem of guns because of the Second Amendment, it becomes the duty of that society to eliminate the Second Amendment…


A professor in Michigan called for more gun control after the mass shooting at Michigan State University. He taught two of the three students killed there. My guess? It won’t be long until the school announces the professor has taken “administrative leave” and is off the campus for awhile.

Gods forfend we should have a rational conversation in this crazy-assed conservative country…


It’s a feature of our fascist nation that large corporations like to privatize profits but socialize risk and responsibility. We’re seeing that, now, in New Palestine, Ohio. A train carrying vinyl chloride, a carcinogenic chemical derailed and caught on fire. No one was reported injured in the initial crash but the chemical was leaking out. This was going to create an environmental disaster. No one knew where the chemical would run to – nor, amazingly, how to clean it up and get rid of it.

Concerns it might disperse into ground water and spread to unknown locations grew so the company came up with a plan. “Let’s just, you know, set it on fire.” And that’s what they did. Setting vinyl chloride on fire allows it to release hydrogen chloride into the air. Good thing nobody relies on THAT. It DOES sound like a great plan. After all, wind is FAR more predictable than water flow so they can know exactly where the toxic cloud will…wait…what’s that? Wind is LESS predictable? Well, what does that mean to the residents of New Palestine? Corrosive, huh? That doesn’t sound good.

Officials are running around testing everybody’s homes and the town and everything around it and reassuring everyone everything is a-okay. It’s likely they’re not telling anyone what the find, just reassuring everyone everything is okay. (Remember how they told New York the air was just fine after the second World Trade Center attack? THAT kind of “reassurance.”)

It turns out, shipping chemicals is dangerous. The companies who make the chemicals and the companies that ship the chemicals don’t worry about that too much. The chemicals never get anywhere near any “important people.” Just a few, defenseless rural towns here and there. Still, it turns out that people don’t like being gassed or poisoned for profit. Why, it’s almost as if they love their children more than the margins of some gigantic corporate monstrosity out there. Their priorities are clearly misplaced.

This isn’t the first time a train derailment has “enhanced” a community with vinyl chloride. It happened in 2012 in New Jersey. THOSE selfish, “oh, we love our children” types pushed for greater regulation on trains shipping deadly chemicals. They got it, too. Trains that moved dangerous chemicals were required to have a better braking system than the standard system. As you can imagine, that cost extra money. Sure, it brought extra safety but, let’s focus on the important stuff: it cost the corporation extra money, slightly reducing shareholder value. Cry me a river. But not a river of vinyl chloride. We’ll set that stuff on fire!

So, the companies made sure their priorities were in the right place and lobbied hard to have that rule revoked. Guess who facilitated the companies. Go on, guess. Yep, the trumpster himself. You know, because he’s a man of the people. (The very, very rich people but still…) I find myself wondering how they voted in New Palestine in 2016…so I looked it up. They largely voted for the Former Guy – the guy who signed off on allowing the kind of train that crashed in – and poisoned – their once-lovely little community.

Now I wish I didn’t know. They’re living their best, “free market,” deregulated life there. Their dream has come true for them and has been laid right at their front doors – literally. NOW I think they should just STFU and step outdoors an inhale a great, deep breath of their newfound “freedumb.”

I’ll probably have to do some time in purgatory for that…


When Jeffery Epstein’s pervert island was raided, it was reported that a cache of DVDs was discovered with labels that identified the man on the disc and the (likely underage) girl he was with. It could just be me, but I think Epstein was just an evil delivery guy and we should know to whom the deliveries were being made. Has anybody seen a verified list of the names on those discs? These are a bunch of rich and powerful men. They shouldn’t be allowed to maintain positions of responsibility and we should know who they are.

I’ll tell you this: that’s a list you’re NEVER going to see. The important part of the statement is that these are rich and powerful men. It says a lot about the pretended “rule of law” in this once-great nation that such men can buy their own laws. BTW, in saying so, I suddenly feel a need to add that I have no intention of hanging myself…


The cons think Ukraine is the aggressor in the Russia/Ukraine conflict. I mean, of course they do. So, as usual, the best answer is to simply ignore the cons. They have no idea what’s happening in the real world. For thinking people, though, this war that PUTIN initiated is starting to drag on FAR longer than many would have hoped. Putin took his shot. He tried to claim Kyiv in a Russian version of the blitzkrieg and failed. He should have turned tail and gone home when he failed but he has not done so.

I think the Ukrainians have home field advantage in this fight. That is, they’re fighting for their homes. The Russian soldiers are fighting mostly because they’ve been ordered to – and threatened as a backup to the order. The Russian soldiers hearts just aren’t in it like the Ukrainian fighters are. But Ukraine was never a military powerhouse and they’ve struggled to defend themselves from Putin’s illegal invasion. Aside from the difficulty getting military ordinance there, they have another limitation that is going to keep this war going and going like that stupid pink bunny. I know. I’ve seen a version of this movie before.

It’s called “limited warfare.” One country decides to fight to a certain point – but no further. The US tried the stupid policy in Korea and Vietnam. It was SO bad that when MacArthur violated the limited warfare order and nearly won the war for the allies, he was fired. That’s where the phrase “Old soldiers never die. They just fade away.” comes from – MacArthur’s farewell address. Now the Ukrainians are holding back, trying only to defend it’s own borders. Limited warfare.

I’ll tell you this: there’s only one definition that truly fits the term “limited warfare.” It’s “A fighting style that ensures one can never win.” I guess that’s good for the profits of weapon-making corporations, though, so, there’s that…

Which witch hunts?

Sometimes, just when a person thinks they have likely plumbed the depths of conservative stupidity, they decide to have a “hold my beer” moment, also known as a BTO moment because “B-b-b-baby, you just ain’t seen n-n-n-nothing yet!” (Note: you have to be an “old” to get the reference…) Now, having just seemingly leveled an insult at a huge swath of the American public, I need to clarify something. I have an ongoing debate with a friend of mine. He says, flatly, that all conservatives are stupid. I disagree, and I have to disagree. I am personally friends and/or acquaintances with a number of very intelligent people who, nevertheless, identify as conservatives. (A couple as MAGA cons. We mostly don’t talk politics…) So, individually, people are people. But as a group? As a group, it seems conservatives have some committee out there somewhere dictating today’s newest, stupid thing. Earlier today, on a radio program, I was treated to some eye-opening information that makes me want to award some kind of prize for their newest, stupidest thing.

It’s no secret that the conservative rank and file have been conditioned to believe they’re fighting some kind of culture war. The quick summary is that the cons tend to take contrary positions on everything. EVERYTHING! It doesn’t matter what the subject is. If rational people support a position, the self-appointed “culture warriors” MUST dispute that position. This leads them to say, out loud, very stupid things. (I’ve realized they don’t care about looking stupid because they’ll only look that way to most people, not their target audience: other cons.) Bear in mind, though, I used the word “believe.” The rank and file, for sure, truly believe their own rhetoric. I had suspected (maybe hoped?) that might not be true but then I heard about this:

The cons in the House have a committee looking into the “question” of bias against conservatives in government – an actual committee, doing an actual investigation. Bias against conservatives – anywhere and at all times – is one of the pieces of their overall angst portfolio. They’re calling it the “weaponization of government” committee. It’s chair? Why, none other than Jim Jordan, from Ohio. (Oh, did I need to mention he’s a Republican? No, I thought not…) As usual, the cons are displaying impeccable timing. They’re out howling at the “unfairness” on constant display to their eyes (and their eyes only) even as everyone realizes that the whole John Durham/Bill Barr “investigation” bit was a fiasco of government weaponization. Once again, they find themselves caught red-handed doing the thing they accuse their opponents of doing. Bravo! (I’ll have to eat crow if they decided to investigate the Durham/Barr bunk…but my guess is, I’m safe…)

See, when thinking people hear some old, shriveled, fat and stupid con suggest shoving a black light up your bum or drinking bleach to kill Covid, the conversation IS met with derision – as it should be. So, no, we’re not going to buy into the position just because you said it out loud. As it happens, your opinion is NOT “just as good as my facts.” Like it or not, my facts are better. Ignoring them won’t make them go away, either, any more than SHOUTING yours won’t make them any more true.

But to form a committee? Just to examine their own rhetoric? Look, it didn’t take long for most thinking people to realize that Trump wasn’t just a blowhard. He’s a blowhard engaging in various nefarious activities that should, by rights, be investigated. To a con, investigating the potential crimes of the former guy isn’t just police work. It’s a “witch hunt!” Oh my gods, thar be witches here? How thoroughly scary! Some of it was Q-anonsense conspiracy theory. Some of it was defensive, trying to protect Former from the fallout of his alleged illegal activities. The Q-anons will believe anything so long as they think it “owns a lib.” Hell, that’s half the fun. The political pundits deploying political defenses surely know they’ve grabbed some information from straight out of their…um…imaginations.

But, whether they believed it when they said it or they were just posing, they seem to believe it all now – and they ARE, BY GOD, going to “investigate.” NOW is their chance to prove, once and for all, that everyone is just picking on poor little them. Form a committee. And they did. I think we’re supposed to think these are very serious people looking into a very serious situation. Since they’re already convinced of their own victim status, I’d bet they’ll find something, too. Probably, nobody else will care, seeing how stupid they’re acting.

But I’ll tell you this: I hope they keep it up. This committee should “investigate” every stupid story ever told from “innocent trumpery” to boogiemen under children’s beds. The investigations should be in-depth. They should look deeply into every detail of every possible issue – even as they make ’em up. They should spend every waking second of the next two years “investigating” all their self-pity and torment. It’s better than risking them actually trying to accomplish something…

Angered and Irked…

I live in a small house, just under 1,000 sq ft. I’ve been trying to keep it at about 68 degrees or less. It really irritates me that in the so-called “greatest country on Earth,” I have to wear layers and cover myself in blankets just to try to keep warm but 68 degrees is really the upper limit of what I can afford. You see, I’m paying a little more than $400/mo to try and keep condensation from forming on the counters in the morning. $400.00 bucks. My PG&E bill from the same time last year (different house but similar size) was around $230.00. That’s quite a jump, year over year.

I don’t trust PG&E. Through the years, I’ve come to expect them to “maximize their profits” at my expense. (No, not me, alone.) I didn’t just randomly come to that position. Through the years, PG&E has offered example after example where they were caught doing exactly that so it’s really just a matter of understanding how they have always worked. So, when the gas bills starting ballooning, I just thought it was more of the same, but you know what? Maybe not.

Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine has really disrupted the flow of natural gas to Europe. This means Europe has to buy more from the world market, making less available to everyone else. Increased demand creates increased prices – most especially when the drilling companies are making, at best, lackadaisical efforts at increasing supply. The companies blame Biden, pinning the reason on the fact that he cancelled 9,000 unused leases and an as-yet unused pipeline project. (Keyword: unused.) Mostly, *I* blame so-called “Free Market” Capitalism. (There is no such thing as a “Free Market.”) There is, after all, ALWAYS a reason to be suspicious of Capitalists when they’re making money hand over fist like this. But the truth is, it DOES make sense that it’s just a supply and demand issue.

I’ll tell you this: when I open my PG&E bill, it’s ALWAYS “Screw you, PG&E!” Now it’s “Screw you, PG&E – and Putin!”


Okay, so it’s time for this week’s edition of “Things we could fix and should fix but won’t fix.” Today’s topic? Social Security. This is one of the easiest of fixes but our corrupted, bought-and-paid-for Congress Critters (Thanks Citizen United) can’t do the right thing – they aren’t allowed to by their hyper rich operators. So, instead, they try to offer work-arounds. One of the more popular work-arounds they offer is to raise the eligibility age. They’ve already done this more than once. If they keep doing this, people will have to live to 103 just to apply! That’s a kind of elimination of the program – just setting the eligibility requirements so high nobody CAN make use of it.

But this is one of the easiest fixes to any of the conservative-induced problems we face in our now-submerging nation and a most frustrating part is that we all know the fix. The government has only to eliminate the cap on payment above a certain level. We’re all supposed to try and pay the same dollar amount each year, rich and poor alike. Most of us don’t make the limit but many of the richest people reach the limit with one check and never contribute to the program again for the rest of the year. Simply agreeing that every American should pay the SSAN percentage from 100% of income (like the majority do, today) would, literally solve the problem. Solvency resolved. We won’t, though. Rich people pretend that taking any of the money they steal from workers is stealing their money. (After all, they stole it fair and square!)

I’ll tell you this: normally, I would think, “Oh, cry me a river” about the financial suffering of the hyper wealthy. The truth is, they wouldn’t even notice it’s gone. But these days, thanks to conservatives, the hyper wealthy own and operate Congress and they DO NOT want to pay their fair share of taxes so we’ll get increasing eligibility ages until we reach a “balancing point” where most people don’t live long enough to benefit from their benefits…


Holy Gods, the death toll in Turkey-Syria earthquake as of this morning has reached 33,000! The thing that shocks me the most about that is they KNOW they live in an earthquake-prone area. They don’t seem to have – or have enforced, anyway – building codes designed to offset potential damages like we do here, in California. Yes, the codes make building more expensive. But it also keeps buildings from crumbling and crushing thousands and thousands of people. Seems like a good trade-off, to me…


Hard to predict who might win today’s Stupid Bowel. The KC Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles are both great teams. Overall, I think the Eagles look a little better on paper but I suspect the bigger factor is that the Chiefs are still nursing injuries. They’re going to be depleted on Defense and their Quarterback, Patrick Mahomes, appears to have limited use of one of his best weapons: his legs. (Um…would that be two of his best weapons?) That may not be true. KC Head Coach Andy Reid has a long history of allowing his opponents to believe somebody is injured that isn’t or injured worse then they are. Mahomes might come out running wild.

When you get right down to it, though, the truth is, I don’t care who wins. Sure, they’re both great teams and it should be some good football (if you’re into that sort of thing). On the one hand, I would like to see the Eagles win because they knocked the Niners out of contention. Somehow, there’s comfort to the idea that my preferred team lost to the eventual Stupid Brawl champions. On the other hand, I would like to see the Eagles lose for the same reason: they knocked the Niners out of contention. (Petty, eh?) The only thing I really want to pay attention to is this: I expect Andy Reid will have a more effective blocking scheme for Hassan Reddick than any of the other teams have had. If Reid just intends to try to block Reddick with a Tight End, like everyone else, because “that’s the way it’s done in the NFL,” Mahomes will spend FAR too much time on his back to be effective. After that? Well, I’ll watch but I don’t really have a dog in the hunt, as the saying goes.

There’s a risk that such an attitude makes the game a bit…boring so I have a little trick to try to keep it interesting. If you’re having trouble ginning up too much enthusiasm but plan to watch anyway, you might want to try it yourself. It’s simple. I just root for whichever team is behind. Maybe my “team of the moment” can bring it back, maybe they can’t, but it gives me a reason to watch. It CAN make the game more exciting. But, if they don’t pull it off, well, ces’t la vie.

So…good luck to both teams. My earnest prayer is that every player who walks onto the field walks off again healthy and safe.


The Balloon Backfire…
OMG that freaking balloon! Cons lost their collective little minds over the thing and Biden was in a no-win situation with them. (Their favorite kind.) We saw it over Alaska. Was it a weather balloon blown off course, as the Chinese claimed? Was it a spy balloon? No one knew. Biden elected to keep an eye on the thing and shoot it down over water so we might have a chance to recover some of it and find out for ourselves what the heck it was doing. That gave the cons an opening to criticize him. “WHY NOT SHOOT IT DOWN NOW, NOW, NOW, RIGHT NOW?”, they demanded.

Of course, if he had ordered it shot down immediately, everyone would have had to cross their fingers hoping that none of it hit something or someone and the payload would have vaporized upon impact eliminating any chance of discovering it’s true purpose. (It was 7 to 11 miles up.) Then the cons would have shouted that he should have waited until it was over water. He was going to lose – in their minds – either way. How predictably boring.

Then we all found out the Chinese flew their weather/spy balloon over the US THREE times during Former Guy’s maladministration. Former guy did what he did about everything that didn’t affect him personally: nothing. I haven’t heard a word from the cons about that. I guess letting the Chinese have the information they wanted was the answer the MAGA cons preferred…


The Durham Report Backfire…
Okay, you knew it was coming, right? The very moment you started hearing the cons whining about the weaponization of the DOJ you just KNEW there was going to be evidence of the cons weaponizing the DOJ. Now the Durham Report is coming out and what it shows, mostly, is – and you might want to sit down for this – that was really Former Guy who weaponized the DOJ for his own evil intent.

After his 2016 campaign was caught communicating with Russians – the kind of Russians Team America feels it’s important to monitor – an investigation was launched into why. Some of his people (low level, obviously) were even convicted. That apparently irritated Former Guy. The investigation, not the convictions. He doesn’t really care about those. Hell, he’s used to it. It seems like someone from his inner circle gets convicted nearly every day. But he DID launch an investigation of his own. The idea, see, was to investigate the investigators and prove they were evil little minions out to get him.

So, lackey Bill Barr appointed an ex-US Attorney General named John Durham to look into it. Oh, man, the right went nuts. The cons were sure they were about to uncover corruption on a never before seen scale. “You just wait until the Durham Report comes out!,” they’d scream, “Then we’ll ALL know!” It became a common refrain. The investigation went on for years. Now it’s winding down and you’ll never guess what Durham found. Oh, you got it. Nothing, that’s right. It turns out, it was Former Guy and Barr weaponizing the DOJ, not the other way around.

Based on available evidence, Barr and Durham worked FAR too closely together and made many public statements about the investigation, always leaving the impression that they were THIS CLOSE to proving the corrupt “deep state.” The current accusations against them suggest they were timing “reports” for political purposes to try to spruce up Former Guy’s image or tarnish the images of his opponents. Durham is accused of using unethical techniques to smear political opposition. More than one of his investigators quit because of it. Well, at least we can say the cons were finally right about something: Now that Durham is coming out, we DO know the reality – and once again, it shoots the cons, not the DOJ, in the feet…


The Shout-at-the-President Backfire…
I sure liked the way old Sleepy Joe conned the cons at the State of the Union address. By now, we all know the cons will shout at the President during his speeches like petulant teenagers first chance they get. He casually mentioned that some Republicans, not a majority, not even a large number but some Republicans want to sunset Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Republicans, in a now standard display of their lack of decorum, started screaming their damn fool heads off. “NO!” and “No way!” over and over. Marjorie Taylor Greene even got to call the President of the United States a liar. (They love that and she sends out fundraising letters immediately. ‘I called the DemocRAT President a liar. Will you donate to my campaign?’)

After Biden let them scream, yell, deny, and insist he’s misrepresenting for a little while, Biden smiled and said, Well, then, we all agree, no cuts to Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid. Good. So now, they’re ALL on record saying that, no matter what, they won’t even try to touch any of those programs. That won’t stop them, though. The cons HATE those programs for the same reason they HATE the Postal Service. All of them prove, daily, that government CAN do things right and that really violates their dearly held pretension that government can never do anything right. Hell, the postal service did things so well the cons had to install a saboteur, Louis DeJoy to try and bring it down. Slowly but surely, he’s doing it, too. (Truthfully, I don’t know why the man still has that job…) But I digress.

Just because Biden snookered the cons into swearing loudly and in public they wouldn’t attack those programs doesn’t mean they won’t attack those programs. They have no shame so there’s nothing to stop them from back-peddling. Still, it was fun to watch. It turns out, it was just a couple of cons making that proposal. He just gave them the rope and watched them hang themselves.

Thanks to the cons, the country, as a whole, seems to be declining steadily and rapidly but the political machines still work just fine. The cons had their pushback out pretty quickly, showing a much younger Biden on the floor of Congress giving a speech about trying to cut Social Security four times. That did quiet the left a bit but, of course, it wasn’t the same. Based on their long-standing positions (and actions) cons want to end those programs. Biden was talking about suspending increases for a short time and raising the eligibility age. Delaying payments would have saved some money, a de-facto “cut.” Don’t try to explain nuance to cons, though. They have enough trouble just grasping reality, they’re never going to grasp nuance…


So, is it or isn’t it? At this point, I guess that should be was it or wasn’t it? I’m talking about that Chinese balloon that floated across the country doing…whatever it was it was doing. If you ask the Chinese, they’ll tell you it was a weather balloon measuring wind patterns. The US says it was likely a spy balloon, taking a look to see what’s what. Once it was safe to do so, the US shot the thing down and is now working to gain the equipment the thing was carrying. They’ll know, soon, what it was looking at and why.

Meanwhile, Former Guy’s namesake – in an effort to prove the mental shortcomings of the patriarch seem to have been inherited – took a shot at blaming Biden for some perceived failure by suggesting that the good people of Montana could “do their thing.” He wrote, for everyone to see, “If Joe Biden and his administration are too weak to do the obvious and shoot down an enemy surveillance balloon perhaps we just let the good people of Montana do their thing… I imagine they have the capability and resolve to do it all themselves.”

This balloon was flying as high as airliners fly. What the hell kind of weaponry does Dumbass Jr think they have in Montana? If the shooters miss, as they surely will, where do the rounds fall? If they hit it, virtually impossible, are there dangers to dropping an unknown piece of equipment from 7 to 11 miles up?

I’ll tell you this: It’s no surprise a con wants to impugn Biden. It’s what they do. But I recommend not making yourself look the bigger fool by just suggesting stupid, stupid stuff just to try to make a political opponent look bad. That tends to boomerang…


That horrifying human being, Marjorie Taylor-Greene is in the news again this morning. She’s out whining that her salary is too low. How’s THAT for disconnected? MTG makes – officially – $174,000/yr. Worse, it seems those clowns work only about half the year to begin with. Even worse? Congress is the only place in this once-great nation where insider trading is officially allowed. They don’t call it that, but as the Bard pointed out, what’s in a name? If a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, a fresh pile of poop, by any other name would still stink. And, in my opinion, Congress critters allowing themselves to profit from their insider information stinks…

Don’t get me wrong. I do actually believe MTG thinks she’s not making enough money. Congress critters have the freedom to set their own pay rates. They USED to vote on annual increases but that took on some tough “optics” as time went on so they just passed an annual increase for themselves. In my personally revised US Constitution, I addressed that problem. I tie the salary of Congress critters to the median annual income of the American people. That way, if Congress critters want more money, they have to improve the lot of the American people. When the fortunes of the masses decrease, so does the pay of the “representatives.”

I’ll tell you this: I get tired of hearing people who make so much whine about how little they make or how tough it is trying to get by on “only $174,000 a year – especially when this same crowd will tell other people they should be able to get by on $15/hr ($31,200/yr). Let’s all be sure to offer MTG the “one finger salute” every chance we get…


There are things in this once-great nation that we all suffer from that have fixes – but people won’t fix them. I say “people” and not just “Congress” because no one wants them changed despite the damage they do. I classify these as things people could fix, should fix, but won’t fix. First up? Homelessness.

Homelessness is not an accident. It’s a manufactured crisis affecting more Americans every day. But no one wants the “fix” because everyone profits from the scam all the way down the line – except the people who can’t keep up anymore. They just suffer. They become the great unwashed and get shuffled from campsite to campsite. Modern day Hoovervilles. It takes too much space to cover over the course of a blurb in a blog properly and in detail. It would take a book to explain and support the position and this ain’t a book so, instead, you get the thumbnail.

Around the beginning of the 21st century, Wall Street had introduced a new investment tool, the mortgage derivative. It was presented as “solving” the problem of loan defaults. Instead, it destabilized the entire mortgage banking industry through fraud. The result was the economic crash of 2008. When the crash came, people started losing the houses they had borrowed too much to buy. Some because they couldn’t keep up with the payments, some through “strategic walkaways.” The banks ended up owning a LOT of houses.

The banks SHOULD have fixed up the houses and put them back on the market, but they didn’t. The houses were now “valued” too high and putting all of them back on the market at once would have, certainly, caused the house prices to fall back to where they should have been. This would have increased strategic walkaways as people found themselves permanently under water. So, the government found a way to protect the bankers AND the artificially increased equity in owned homes. Unfortunately, because the country was already suffering the economic turmoil of Wall Street greed, that meant the masses were no longer in a position to buy the overpriced houses. So, in 2011, the government changed a rule and allowed “pooled money investors” to buy single family homes. Prior to that, they had been limited to strip malls, office complexes, and apartment buildings.

The pooled money investors started buying and haven’t stopped – and they aren’t going to. The fact that they ARE “pooled money” means they have no competition when it comes to bidding on housing. The average borrower simply can not keep up. The tragic phenomenon is summed up in every commercial for companies that will buy any house, cash, at any time, in any condition, with no inspections, no repairs, and you get to pick your escrow length – anything from days to a month. There’s simply no way an average borrower can compete.

The fix? Require the pooled money investors to divest from single family housing and give them a short window to sell off their existing inventory. Yes, the flood of houses would cause housing prices to drop fast and far. That’s the goal. It would “right-price” housing again. But it would also cost homeowners their artificially inflated equity. They don’t want that. Property tax roles would decline along with everything else. Governments don’t want that. Buying and selling properties would become less lucrative. Real estate agents and banks don’t want that. I understand all of their positions. But with everybody protecting their own, private position, they’re all, collectively, bringing America to her knees.

In short, there’s a direct link between the homelessness problem in America today and our “free market” driven greed. Remember that the next time you see a letter to the editor complaining about homeless encampments or the news stories about the encampments being rousted and relocated. Homeless encampments are direct and frustrating evidence of the failure of so-called “free market” Capitalism, the direct product of deregulation. We could do something about it. We should do something about it. But we won’t do anything about it.

Yes, I know, that’s only one aspect of the three-pronged problem of homelessness: poverty, drug (including alcohol) abuse, and mental illness. But fixing the last two requires the same solution: involuntary institutionalization and treatment – and we can’t do that because rich people don’t want to pay their fair share of taxes so we lack the resources – which is stupid. America really IS the richest nation on Earth. It’s just that all the wealth is concentrated in, like, 15 people’s hands…

I’ll tell you this: as their numbers swell, I expect the homeless will get fed up with the unfairness of the whole thing, becoming angrier and angrier. How do YOU think this is going to end? But, hey, for a short, wonderful while, there, some had amazing equity…


This morning, the Guardian has two stories about Former Guy that seem to go together, somehow. The first is about his latest Presidential bid, a bid, by the way, that is gaining steam despite all the talk from the right about moving on from the clown show. The second is about a book detailing some of the infighting regarding one of the many criminal investigations aimed at Former or his company.

Truth be told, I’m not sure what’s taking so long with these prosecutions. The evidence of his crimes seems overwhelming – unless you’re a con, of course. Then they have no idea what you’re talking about. But the people who understand things have already seen or heard much of the evidence against the guy. For example, if a recording existed of me calling the Secretary of State for Georgia and trying to strong-arm him into “finding” 11,781 more votes, I have high confidence the trial would, by now, be LONG behind me and I’d be sitting in jail serving my sentence. I still don’t think he’s going to jail, though I believe he should. But they should move forward with the prosecution.

I think the prosecutors are concerned he’s going to gin up his base to protest any prosecution. I don’t think that should be an impediment. Yeah, sure, the MAGA cons are going to scream. Hell, they ALWAYS scream. I know, January 6th demonstrated that – delusional or not – they can be an actual threat to safety. It has also shown that the law is ready to deal with the low-level perpetrators. Sadly, it’s also showing that the law is unable to deal with the high-level perpetrators, aka, the ringleaders. I STILL say this was a better country under the rule of law.


File this under actions speak louder than words: Florida is working as hard as it can to limit access to voting. The state’s Governor, Rhonda Santis…no, that’s a drag queen name…he’s Ron DeSantis, has made voting by mail harder First, hundreds of thousands of people who had requested absentee ballots had their requests summarily cancelled. They’ll have to re-register and some percentage of them won’t know they were cancelled in time to get it done. He has also limited access to drop-off points. According to the article I read, “Republicans enacted the measure even though Florida regularly earns praise for having well-run elections and saw no major problems with voting in 2020. Voting by mail is popular in the state – about a third of voters used it in the 2022 general election.”

In short, DeSantis has “fixed” a problem that doesn’t exist. No, that’s not right. There IS a problem: most people won’t vote Republican these days because the party has collectively lost it’s mind. The ONLY way for Republicans to have a chance in any election is to limit the number of people who vote. THAT’S the “problem” DeSantis is addressing. Sure, they could try reasonable policies. That might work, too. But they’re not going to do that. They’ve got a “culture war” to fight and this is the only way they can think of to fight it.

I’ll tell you this: limiting access to voting is unamerican and anti-democratic (and definitely anti-Democratic…)


Oh, those poor Niners. Listen, I don’t care which team you are or which team you’re playing, no team can win an NFL game without a Quarterback. The game was quite disappointing, not so much because my preferred team “lost” – though there was that, too – but because they never really got a chance to play the game. The only thing I saw that might be called a mistake was Shanahan’s apparent failure to scheme against Haason Reddick. He’s an outside linebacker. He plays for the Eagles. He’s a freaking machine, far and away, one of the best players to ever play the position. Maybe THE best, but he’ll have to keep it up for awhile to earn that title.

The standard blocking scheme against a guy like that is exactly what Shanahan pointed to after the game: you have a Tight End block him – or try to. The problem is, any game film Shanahan watched (and I’d guess he watched a LOT) shows that the standard scheme just doesn’t work with that guy. Now, nobody found an answer for Reddick all season long so it’s not really fair to point out that Shanahan didn’t, either. But I never saw a double-team on him. I would have liked to see someone stay in the backfield with the Quarterback specifically to help block that guy. The trade-off is one less option at receiver but my position is that more receivers downfield are useless if the QB is on his back all day – or worse, as Niner fans discovered. (I expect Andy Reid, Kansas City’s Head Coach, will have a double team scheme for Reddick in the Stupid Bowl.) (If I use the real name of the game, the NFL expects payment…)

I also think Shanahan should have thrown the challenge flag on that fourth down not-a-catch. Kyle’s after game comment is true and fair: he didn’t seen the angle that proved it was not a catch until it was too late. Even the fact that there was a Niner player right there who immediately turned to his coach and told him it wasn’t a catch is not really enough. Players do that all the time. If a coach listened to every player to made a claim about a play, he’d likely be out of challenges and timeouts halfway through the first quarter. But in addition to his own player telling him it wasn’t a catch, the supposed catcher, DeVonta Smith, immediately told his teammates to snap the ball fast – precluding a review. Those two bits together should have been a sign. Smith knew he hadn’t caught the ball. Shanahan later said he didn’t want to give up the timeout and I get that. You don’t want to let the other team steal a timeout from you. But, instead, they stole a Touchdown. And we ALL know, now, that the challenge would have been successful and the team would NOT have lost a timeout.

But ALL of that is unfair. Shanahan’s logic was sound, though mistaken. There’s ALWAYS this fact: Kyle Shanahan was making decisions, real time, with less information than I had. I had several days to come to my conclusions. He had to do it right now, in the moment. I’d bet that if it ever comes up again, he’ll throw the flag.

Also, I think complaining about how the NFC Championship game played out is typical Niner-fan whining. Under any circumstance, a team relying on their third string QB should never even have BEEN in that game. When the starter went down for the season, it could have been a disaster. It was only a curious string of events that caused them to still have access to last year’s starter to come in and take over. When HE went down for the season, the Niners were forced to use their third stringer – who would have been the second stringer except for the previously mentioned curious string of events.

When they brought in their third stringer, I was pretty sure their season was over. It should have been. In just about any other situation, it would have been. Apparently, NOBODY expected to discover that, in fact, Brock Purdy is the best Quarterback on the roster. (That’s a different question: How come nobody knew what they had?) So we got more from our boys in crimson and gold than we had a right to. After Purdy went down, Josh Johnson came in and did the best he could for as long as he could but the Niners were now, decidedly, in the no-Quarterback situation. When Johnson went down and Purdy was sent back in – limited to hand-offs – the game was over. Everybody just had to wait out the clock and it was ugly and hard to watch.

But, as I indicated, we got a far better season from them than we had a right to expect and, if not for a series of unfortunate events, might well be looking at the Big Game. Sure, other teams are going to poach our coaches and players but I still trust the leadership team of Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch to make the best choices going forward, and quibbling that the Niners didn’t have one more miracle in their pockets is a kind of luxury that goes with such a successful team.

I’m looking forward to next season…