Murder and Death…

Have you been paying attention to the Derek Chauvin trial? Derek seems to be having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. That’s okay with me. For nearly two solid weeks experts, professionals, one-time colleagues, doctors, police trainers…hell, just about anybody connected with law enforcement and/or the medical profession has come out to agree: Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd. Well, they haven’t rendered a verdict, yet but that’s the message. It’s been SUCH a parade of agreement that Chauvin’s actions were outside of standard police training and actions, I started wondering what kind of defense Chauvin might offer.

There’s always the standard, “Oh, cops have a tough job and have to make difficult, split-second decisions.” That’s often true, of course, but…you know…not in this case. Cons are out pretending Floyd was – well, to hear THEM tell it – Floyd was already dead from all that Fentanyl in his system but the Prosecutor covered that. Nope. “Oh, well, he had a heart condition,” they say, trying to defend the indefensible. According to the medical examiner who declared Floyd dead: Nope. I mean, he did, but that isn’t what killed him. I suppose the defense might suggest Chauvin didn’t realize the severity of Floyd’s condition. The prosecution has covered that, as well. Chauvin has been trained to recognize exactly that kind of distress and is duty-bound to render assistance in exactly the way he didn’t. The cops on the scene even rebuffed the attempted aid of an EMT who just happened to be there and was warning them of the danger.

I read in the Guardian, this morning, that the defense may be counting on the drug angle anyway. Apparently, there’s this concept of “excited delirium” that suggests that someone on drugs can become agitated and become stronger and have a higher resistance to pain than normal. None of that applies in the Floyd case, of course. We have all watched the video. He wasn’t resisting. He was just trying to survive. But the defense has to say SOMETHING, right? If they can’t point to the shiny badge and they can’t point to the “resisting, drug-addled black man,” what have they got?

I have found the whole prosecution SO devastating, I am curious as to why Chauvin didn’t just accept a plea bargain in the first place. Sitting on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes, in front of an audience, on camera and being recorded is one of the most blatant acts of arrogance I’ve ever seen – short of insisting that, despite all of that, getting his day in court would “clear everything up.” Are cops REALLY that certain that courts will back them up, no matter what?

I presume Chauvin’s accomplices are watching closely. I suspect that Chauvin’s trial is – more than anything else – a warning to them. Chauvin is making the state go through the motions, as is his right, but my guess is they don’t want to do this for all four of the killers on such a clear-cut, open and shut case. Once Chauvin is convicted, I predict the rest will accept plea agreements for their participation and the whole mess will be behind everyone.

You know…until the next time…

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Speaking of killing people, I hear there are some out there (mostly cons, of course) refusing to get the vaccine and insisting on going about their day normally. Open everything, go everywhere, do whatever. (Is now the time to mention that the current U.S. death count from Covid-19 stands at 561,231?) Not surprisingly, conservative strongholds are also Covid-19 hot spots, with Michigan leading the way. Remember Michigan? That’s the place where the cons were SO determined to do the wrong thing they attempted to kidnap the Governor – with an eye toward murdering her. The cons are all over it, aren’t they? Infamous con Ted Nugent even wants to know why there weren’t any lock-downs for Covid 1 through Covid 18! At some point, one gets tired of trying to induce people to do the right thing and, let’s be honest, there SHOULD BE the right among people to choose to die. Let’s just let them “live with their choice” (read: die) and reduce the surplus population, right? It’s not very p.c. of me but I’m okay with that.

(The previous paragraph reflects my frustration at the refusal of some to participate and do the right thing. Of course we’re going to help those who find themselves suffering from poor choices they’ve made. It’s really the human thing to do…)

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Sometimes, I wish I wasn’t an atheist. Sometimes, I wish I could reasonably believe in the concept of Hell. There are people out in this world who should spend some time there. The idea that people who perpetuate evil in this world and seem to get away with it will get theirs in the end is quite comforting – but it’s bunk. Here in Feudal America, cheaters prosper and crime pays. Many of the very worst people on the planet are waving holy books and hiding behind their pretended faith but don’t seem very concerned about the consequences of their despicable behavior. That seems to be one of the more defining differences between believers and non-believers. Non-believers are more honest…

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No correlation intended, here, but I guess I have to at least mention the passing of Prince Philip. 99 years old is nothing to shake a stick at. I kind of wish he had made it to 100. After that, I don’t have much interest in “the Royal Family” and I didn’t know Philip personally, so I’m not much invested in his passing. I feel VERY badly for Queen Elizabeth II. Losing a life-partner of 74 years has got to be tough…

111 to 0…

I’ve been noticing something of a bump in posts on social media from cons repeating the big lie – that the 2020 election was stolen from the Dumbass. They genuinely don’t seem to realize they’re fighting in favor of voter suppression. They’ve been told by conservative media they’re fighting to stop voter fraud – and they believe it. So, some of them stick their heads out of their hidey-holes and challenge posts opposed to Georgia’s shiny new Jim Crow voter suppression law because they know – they just KNOW – the election was stolen. I know there are LOTS of stories out there. But they’re just stories. As it happens, people are free to say anything they want in private conversations, on social media, or out in front of landscaping companies. But people with official responsibilities who take those responsibilities seriously, whose jobs and reputations are at stake, are NOT free to just say whatever they want. They have to go with the evidence. Do you know where ELSE people are not free to just spew phrases and insist the phrases are treated the same as facts? Courtrooms. It’s STILL true in this once-great nation that courtrooms require supporting evidence. So I did a little score-counting in the “Stolen vs Not Stolen” discussion.

On MY side (Team Not Stolen), I have 50 individual states all certifying the results of the election. I have the US Congress also certifying the results – despite the January 6 assault on the Capitol by radicalized, far-right conservative contrarians. THEN, I have on MY side, 60 lawsuits on the topic – very helpfully filed by Giuliani on behalf of the Dumbass. Not one of them prevailed. Not one. ALL of them were tossed out due to lack of evidence. So…for “Team Not Stolen” we have, let’s see, that’s fifty, plus one, plus 60 for, ah, there it is; 111 points. “Team Stolen” on the other hand? Well, they have unfounded assertions put forth by some confused-looking dude on Fox so…zero. 0 points. That’s “Team Not Stolen” – 111, “Team Stolen” – 0. The team that scored 0 in a 111-0 drubbing continuing to insist that, “Hey, maybe, secretly, we won” doesn’t come across as “faithful.” It comes across as “separated from reality.”

Now, even in American football, where points can be added six at a time, 111-0 would be understood as a resounding defeat but the election count is one point at a time. Imagine a baseball game that ended 111-0. I suspect that even among the pros they might discuss a mercy rule at some point. Was the election stolen? 111-0 says no. Was there statistically significant voter fraud? 111-0 says no. Do we need vote reform? 111-0 says no.

I’ll tell you this: it’s important to remember that the only thing that matters is what the evidence shows (111). What a person just…prefers to believe (0) means nothing. I imagine the zeros are going to keep up the pretense, though…

Tools and Illusions…

I don’t know if you’ve noticed but Facebook has taken to interrupting it’s ads with ads. At first, I found it rather obnoxious. Then I realized I could use that to my advantage. These days, when the ad within the ad starts, I use it as my cue to leave Facebook. It’s a GREAT tool to keep from wasting too much time in social media. I recommend it…

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I saw a new story about yet ANOTHER way Donnie Dumbass is fleecing his believers. He had someone set up a donation page – which is just greed squared for the Dumbass. (And, really, why WOULDN’T someone with his claimed wealth need YOUR money?) But then, clever sods they are, they added these check-boxes that allowed your intended one-time contribution to automatically become a regular, weekly contribution and another that allowed your contributions to be increased automatically. Convenient, yes? Even MORE convenient, they pre-checked the boxes for you! Oh, AND they made the check-boxes easy to overlook so people think they’re making a one-time donation of, say, $300 (often quite the bite on the “poorly educated” folks he claims to love so much) only to find out their “one-time” donation had gone out weekly. One guy, Victor Amelino, a 78-year-old from California, donated $990 in September. It recurred seven times for a total of almost $8,000.”

All legal, apparently, and a trick the GOP is using quite a bit these days, at least according to the New York Times. As they receive complaints, they refund the “donated” money. (Likely NOT the bank charges for overdrafts or other fees and if you don’t complain, no refund for you.) The truth is, it’s common for campaigns to refund contributions for various reasons. In the last election, Biden refunded some $5.6 million dollars. Trump and the RNC? $64.3 million dollars. “In effect,” the Times wrote, “the money that Mr Trump eventually had to refund amounted to an interest-free loan from unwitting supporters at the most important juncture of the 2020 race.”

Trump’s not the brilliant businessman he pretends. He’s a thief but his acolytes are only too happy to be fleeced so long as they believe they’re “owning” the libs. Impressive…

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Ah, Matt Gaetz (R (of course), Florida). This tool has behaved like a sleazeball since I first became aware of him. Turns out, it’s because he’s a sleazeball. He’s discovering that paying to transport underage women across state lines for sex is a…problem. He ALSO seems to be discovering that, having attacked anybody and everybody he disagrees with over anything he disagrees with, he finds himself with precious few (any?) comrades coming to his defense.

Did YOU know that Matt Gaetz is one of the Dumbass’s biggest supporters? (Like-minds, you know…) As the evidence mounts, Trump has repaid Gaetz’ loyalty by…distancing himself. Gaetz was a regular on Fox “News” and now is persona non grata after trying to implicate Tucker Carlson in the scheme. He’s just on his own. Nice. Sadly, the Gaetz family has money so he’ll likely buy his way out of any significant legal trouble, here in Feudal America, but it MAY get him out of Congress. Fingers crossed.

I keep hearing the Q-Anonsense that the Democrats are supposedly running a child sex trafficking ring but I keep noticing that conservatives are getting caught participating in child sex trafficking rings. I have to confess, I get a sense of satisfaction seeing conservatives actually falling to the charges they like to project onto their opponents so…pass the popcorn…

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I’m a bit irritated at the American media at the moment – okay, usually. During this current lockdown pause, people are getting back to normal. Unfortunately, in this once-great nation, “normal” means one mass shooting after another. My irritation is rooted in the media tendency to first discover the political leanings of the murderer in question and use THAT as a gauge as to how much information is available. So the first guy I heard about, the Atlanta shooter, (a white, “Christian” domestic terrorist) has been mostly bypassed by the media. Sure, he went out of his way to kill Asians at a time when Asians across the land are being blamed – and “punished” – by conservatives for Covid-19, but, we’re told, it wasn’t racist. He was just having a bad day. He says he’s a sex addict and wanted to eliminate (Asian) temptation. Apparently, his interpretation of his god’s wishes included killing people he might otherwise want to have sex with. Nice work, God… (Truthfully? I’m guessing these incels get that a lot from women, “I’d rather die than have sex with you…”) After that, the media coverage shifts to violence against Asians, NOT details about the shooter, himself.

Thankfully for the media, the NEXT shooter was born in Syria. We know FAR more about him. We get to see him in court. We get to know when his next court date is, what was found on his computer, what his likely motivation was, pretty much anything/everything they can find.

Most Americans don’t even realize they’re being manipulated in their thinking…

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I’d like to take a moment to wish you all a Happy Easter. I see Easter as a “hopeful” holiday and I think we could all use a little of that right now…

Democracy “Reformed”…

Well, at least the GOP has finally just come out and admitted that they only want white conservatives to vote and anybody else voting must be cheating. I’m referring, of course to Georgia’s shiny new law that restricts voting rights and fair voting practices to the extent they believe possible. I THINK it’s called the ‘Fuck You America, WE Choose Which White People Get To Vote Act’ but that may not be exactly right. The cons are all on board and all very happy they don’t have to have any more fair and honest “elections” in Georgia, thank you very much. That one was more than enough. Georgia Governor Brian Kemp (R, of course) – who did NOT exactly gain his current position by presiding over a fair and honest “election” – said as he signed the bill, “After the November election last year, I knew, like so many of you, that significant reforms to our state elections were needed.” (They weren’t.)

Not ALL Georgians were on board, of course.


This is Georgia State Representative Park Cannon (D -Atlanta) being arrested for knocking on Governor Kemp’s door while he was announcing the official GOP return to Jim Crow.

I presume the ACLU had to let the racist, cheating GOP in Georgia pass their racist, cheating bill and then have their racist, cheating Governor sign the damned thing into “law” before they could challenge the vile action in court. The thing is, the Constitution gives states broad control over how “elections” are conducted in the individual states so without the help of the Federal government’s HR 1, ‘The For The People Act of 2021,’ there’s a chance the Sour Cream Court might uphold the latest “revisions” of democracy. Call your Congress critter in the Senate at (202) 224-3121 and tell them to support HR 1. The Heritage Foundation opposes it so, as a thinking person, you can take comfort that it’s a good thing…

It always startles me a bit to watch the way the conservative mind “works.” First, they lie and lie and lie about something until they believe it. THEN, once they believe their own lies, they decide to “take action.” Then, they DO take action and call it a job well done. It’s important to note that there is NO evidence supporting the pretense of widespread cheating in the 2020 “election.” None. In fact, when cons come out and claim the left is cheating you can bet your bottom dollar the right is cheating – or trying to. There’s a rule of thumb that became a general guideline that is now very close to becoming an axiom. The conservatives are ALWAYS doing what they accuse their opposition of doing. (Remember that the next time you hear some con spewing the Q-Anonsense about pedophile rings…)

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If you will recall, Georgia and other cheating GOP states are revising democracy because of their recent discovery that fair elections might go against them. After Donnie the Dumbass couldn’t get the Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger to simply declare an alternate winner via trumpery, Georgia cons realized they needed to change things so they COULD, “legally,” simply declare their preferred candidate the “winner.” It seems so… simple. Hell, why even have the voting at all? What a waste of time.

As everybody now knows, the Dumbass then went on a rampage of b.s. and sent out his minions to insist that widespread voter fraud DID happen. They KNOW it. Sure, they can’t prove it and no evidence exists – but they know it anyway. It was the machines, they said. One of the manufactures of said machines, Dominion Voting Systems has responded to charges of widespread vote manipulation by their machines by filing HUGE lawsuits against the purveyors of the mendacity. The first one I heard about was filed against trump lawyer/not trump lawyer Sydney Powell in the amount of $1.3 BILLION dollars. Truth? I laughed out loud. What fun, seeing the chickens coming home to roost. Then they filed against famous fraudster Rudy Giuliani in the amount of $1.6 BILLION dollars. They’ve filed several more since then, most recently (as of this writing) against FOX “News” itself, also in the amount of 1.6 Billion dollars. Suddenly, though, as guilty as I think the defendants are in their deceptions, I’ve stumbled across a…concern.

As I said, I thought it was funny as hell Powell was about to “get hers” as the saying goes. She lied and lied and lied and the company she was lying about took action. Good. (By the way, I predict she’s going to lose. Her response is pathetic. ‘No reasonable person would have taken her seriously?’ Seriously? Cons DID take her seriously. Some attacked the Capitol. Some are passing laws to prevent future voting fraud like that which never happened in the first place.)

But…$1.3 BILLION dollars? Do they have any reasonable basis for believing that she could pay when she loses? CAN Dominion be damaged $1.3 Billion dollars worth? I need the help of my legal peeps on this one but I believe there is a legal concept of a punitive lawsuit designed and intended not to redress a wrong but, instead, to prevent any future criticism of the company, and it’s starting to feel like Dominion is doing exactly that.

Sorry…numbers. Dominion has filed against Powell for $1.3 billion, Giuliani for $1.6 billion, crappy pillow maker Mike Lindell for $1.3 billion, and now Fox “News” for $1.6 billion. That’s $5.8 BILLION dollars in “damages” for a company with annual revenues of – according to Dominion themselves – only $36.5 million in annual sales (per Forbes). According to the Penn Wharton Public Policy Initiative estimates, the number could be as high as $100 million dollars. It’s a private company. Numbers are hard to come by, but even using the higher number, Dominion is trying to “recover” 56 YEARS worth of revenues from the four? That seems…excessive…

Again, trusting that my legal peeps will let me know if I’m wrong about this, my suggestion would be for the defendants (all of whom I believe are guilty as charged) to subpoena the code for the machines. ALL of the voting machine companies are notoriously protective of their software. “Proprietary,” they call it. They don’t want ANYBODY to see their code under ANY conditions. But the code is the very heart of the question, right? The hardware doesn’t do ANYTHING without the software. Powell, et al, should NOT have made the charge without access to the software but now certainly cannot defend themselves against the punitive suits without access to the software – so that’s where I’d go.

Dominion might well stand down if they have to turn over their proprietary software – especially since said software might well end up being exposed to the world with only some low-level staffer blamed for the “mistake”, fired, and then quietly hired back in some new capacity…

I’ll tell you this; I really don’t want rich and powerful companies to be able to squelch dissent by simply filing a lawsuit destined to destroy – even when I agree with the principle behind the suit…

Nuance and Perspective…

Have you ever talked to a six-year-old about life and the way things work? It’s kind of awesome and I highly recommend it. Six-year-olds have a very limited perspective and almost no accurate information from which to draw in arriving at conclusions. That doesn’t stop them, of course. When you talk to them about the way things work, they just tell you how they think things work. Naturally, they’re not right. Ask them specific questions. They may not know the “correct” answer, but that doesn’t matter. They’ll take a shot and some of their stories are massively entertaining and incredibly imaginative. Six-year-old understanding. Occasionally, they even touch on something that’s pretty close to right but the positions of six-year-olds tend to lack…nuance and perspective. That’s fair. They’re six.

I realized the other day, talking to far right conservatives is very much the same experience. Only, they’re not six…

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I’ve become a bit surprised by how openly the GOP is in moving to exclude as many voters as possible. “We’re cheating to stop pretend cheating” is not a very convincing line. It’s one of those “every but only” things I’m often on about. That is, EVERY con knows the left cheated in the last election but ONLY cons know the left cheated in the last election. There’s zero evidence to support their pretended position. In fact, there are 60 court cases saying specifically that, no, there is no evidence of cheating. But lack of evidence never stopped a con from fighting for a position and, for them, the only thing MORE convincing is evidence against their preferred position.

So, they’re cheating – or trying to. GOP legislatures across the country are trying to enact laws that stop people from voting. Worse, these are carefully targeted laws intended to stop the “wrong” people from voting. It will be interesting to see how they play out in the courts. You KNOW the Dems will fight these laws. Each one of them will end up in the Sour Cream Court awaiting the judgement of the court’s cons. This is not the same court that gutted the Voting Rights Act in 2013. Some of the faces have changed but the court remains ideologically aligned with the 2013 court. That makes it difficult to say how they might rule. If you live in one of those red states, it might do to contact your “representative” and let them know how you feel about them trying to take away your vote.

In the meantime, The House has passed HR 1 – “The For The People Act.” (Dems are terrible at coming up with catchy names for their bills but they’re getting better.) HR1 makes it FAR more difficult for the GOP to cheat in elections. So…guess who opposes HR1? Why, that would be the GOP! I’m a bit gobsmacked to hear them state outright that if HR1 passes it will hurt them at the polls. They’re actually saying, out loud, that they know they can’t win a fair election so they can’t allow fair elections. Lindsey Graham (R, of course) says he’ll filibuster HR1 – even if they go back to the talking filibuster and he has to actually talk for hours on end. Old Lindsey says whatever he needs to say in the moment so whether or not he actually would or could remains to be seen.

In the meantime, you could call Congress and let them know how YOU feel about fair voting in this once-great nation. (202) 224-3121 takes you to the Capitol switchboard and they can connect you with your Senator…

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I’ve written before that I’m opposed to the latest form of the filibuster and I support Biden’s position to return to the talking filibuster. The current message from the left is that the filibuster is bad and must be removed. But nobody in Congress is actually using the filibuster, anymore. They get the benefit of a successful filibuster block by simply declaring their intent to filibuster. That’s stupid. But a talking filibuster – the kind where a Congress Critter has to hold the floor in an extended attempt to block progress for some reason – might be a useful tool in a politician’s tool kit and I don’t think it should go altogether.

Another advantage of the talking filibuster is that the politician in question has to do so very publicly. One stands on the floor and talks. Meanwhile, cameras run and reporters record and everyone in the world can see who’s doing the interfering as opposed to this current secretive system in which some unknown pol declares opposition in the back rooms and whichever bill just…dies…

What might be called the ‘Declared Intent Filibuster’ has been an incredibly effective tool in helping the GOP attack and dismantle the United States of America and I think it’s always a good idea to remove weapons from the hands of your opposition. It’s clear they want to destroy this once-great nation. I think we ought to make them at least work for it…

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The other day, Joe Biden tripped while climbing the steps to Air Force One. Three times. The White House has assured everyone Joe is okay and blamed the wind – which I thought was a stupid defense. I don’t know what’s wrong with the guy but claiming he can be pushed over by the wind isn’t the way to project strength, you know? (I think I might have gone with wet steps from a leaky water bottle carried by someone who had already gone up.) Okay, so…here’s the thing. To nobody’s surprise, the right pounced on the trips. Some clever sod created a video of Donnie the Dumbass teeing off and then showed the ball hitting Biden just as he trips – as though the drive knocked Biden over. Then it cut back to the Dumbass teeing off again and a second ball hitting Biden and down goes Biden.

The left lost their collective mind over the video or, at least, pretended to. I doubt anyone was surprised the political opposition took advantage of an opportunity to make fun of Biden’s missteps. Does anybody remember the left’s response when the Dumbass couldn’t even walk down a ramp? Stepping into the Wayback Machine, Gerald Ford once slipped on AF One’s steps and Chevy Chase built an entire career on overplaying the fall. Biden knew his step struggle was going to be used against him. Here’s the thing: the video is actually funny.

I think the left should just laugh it off and keep on going…

Scams and Distractions…

I STILL say Daylight Saving is a scam perpetuated by the fossil fuel industry to cause people to use more electricity and natural gas than they otherwise might. As nearly as anyone can tell, the primary result of Daylight Saving is to get people up an hour earlier – when the last of winter is still clinging stubbornly to the calendar. That means people have to turn on lights and turn up the heater in the mornings for just a couple of weeks longer. Daylight Saving serves no other purpose and should be revoked…

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I noticed that Governor Abbott of Texas opened up his state fully – no restrictions. THEN, he started blaming “illegals” for coming across the border bringing Covid-19 into the state. It’s a classic “two-fer.” He gets to stand against science, a beloved conservative pastime, AND he gets to blame someone else for his own failures. In his mind, it’s a double “win” because the people he gets to blame for his own failures are more brown than him. Truthfully, I don’t care how many times he repeats his lies, the coming spike in Covid-19 in Texas will belong to Governor Abbott and no one else…

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I hear that the Orange Moron’s hotel in Washington DC has become something of an abandoned building. According to the Guardian, staff outnumber guests these days. This certainly creates the appearance that, perhaps, people were only staying at his hotel to curry favor with the chump in the Oval Office. That certainly seems to violate the emoluments clause of the US Constitution. But now that people don’t HAVE to stay there, they aren’t staying there. I also suspect that with the dumbass’s links to his January 6th insurrection, discriminating people are keeping their distance. Watch for yet another failed business enterprise by one of the biggest business failures in American history…

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Why don’t conservatives have to live the life they insist they want? I mean, I know the conservative rank and file want and need the Covid relief just as badly as everyone else. But the “representatives” they keep sending to Washington want ONLY to fluff the one percent. The GOP voted, en masse, against the Covid relief package. They said it is too expensive. Here’s a way to decrease the cost. Let’s just leave out registered Republicans in red states! No relief for Republican individuals, no relief for Republican-owned businesses, no relief for Republican controlled states.

When you think about it, most red states are poor, recipient states. (That means they take more government assistance than they generate in taxes.) Leaving them out of Covid relief SHOULD reduce the overall price tag considerably. I would think that would make them very, very happy. Maybe they’ll tire of their “rugged individualism” and start sending reasonable representatives to Washington again. Yeah, I know. Absolute denial of evidence means they never have to learn anything. For example? Well, every poor conservative in this once-great nation is about to benefit from Socialism! My guess? They’ll happily accept the Socialist relief check from the Federal government, then go back to bitching that Socialism and Federal governments are bad and have no place in life…

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I’ve heard the British Royal Family is in upheaval. There are headlines every day about which whiny rich person said what to which other whiny rich person and, oh, the problems they have! How dark will a baby be? Listen, I’m white so I may be out of touch, here, but does that HAVE to be a racist question? I mean, she’s half white and half black. He’s a blindingly white ginger. Isn’t it possible someone was just idly speculating about dominant genes?

Rich people have some pretty distressing problems…

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Speaking of which, my favorite news of the week is that Michael Cohen has been meeting with the Manhattan DA regarding the Trump Crime Family. Seven meetings, so far. John Dean, Nixon’s White House Counsel, says it’s only a matter of days until an indictment and Cohen says it’s not good news for Trump. Fingers crossed. I’d like to see the dumbass get what he deserves but I still say the devil loves his little minion and takes very good care of him. It will be interesting to watch this little drama of good (the Manhattan DA) vs evil (the devil’s favorite minion) play out. The thing is, I don’t think it will be contained to the Dumbass. It SHOULD encompass the entire crime family. Ex-Presidents don’t go to jail in the US but maybe the families of ex-Presidents still do…

I’m Pro-Fairness…

By now most of us understand that the radicalized conservatives (No, NOT “antifa”, not BLM, not progressives, not Democrats) who attacked the Capital, intending to kill the Vice President of the United States thought they were engaged in a patriotic movement. No, really. Sure, attacking one’s own country is NOT generally considered “patriotic” but there they were, defiling the building and killing cops. So, how could they? The short answer is, they were deceived by the conservative media bubble. Most people are pointing the finger at trump, himself, and clearly he bears much responsibility. But over time I became aware that the Donald is just another incurious old man sucked into the fraudulent world of conservative media, which means it’s hard to say how much he started and how much he was just repeating tired conservative lies that appealed to him.

Like many other people alarmed by the radicalization of the right, I’ve been looking for answers to the question of how we get valid information out to the real world in the face of constant undermining by monied interests in conservative world. My favorite answer is an amendment to the First Amendment which reads, “any organization that identifies itself as a news organization shall not present false or misleading information.” Accurate information is vital to the health of any democracy and requiring news outlets to tell the truth seems…existential. But, of course, the misinformation/disinformation campaigns doing so much damage to this once-great nation are not accidental. Some very wealthy people have spent great amounts of their lucre to deceive the American public and they’re not about to let such a thing as “honesty” interfere with their goals.

For me, Plan B is the return of the Fairness Doctrine. This is pretty straightforward. In 1949, the Federal Communications Commission created and implemented a rule called the Fairness Doctrine that said any broadcaster that used public airwaves to editorialize was required to provide equal time for opposing viewpoints. It was a good rule. It helped maintain perspective for most Americans. Of course, there are people who stand opposed to the Fairness Doctrine – people who gain from the lies and people who believe the people who gain from the lies. As far as I’m concerned there are no decent, honest people who oppose the idea of fairness in broadcasting.

The most common response I get when I bring this up is that it’s not necessary. There are so many outlets out there, I’m told, that people can easily get opposing viewpoints when they want them. That’s what I call a philosophical argument. Technically, it’s true but it lacks practical application. That is, yes, people could get opposing viewpoints by switching the station – but they don’t. In fact, in conservative world, they’re constantly and heavily admonished to never, EVER tune in to opposing viewpoints. People have a tendency to just turn on their favorite station and leave it there all day. So Tucker Carlson comes on at 8pm and tells some conservative lie. Hannity is on at 9 and he repeats the lie followed by Laura Ingraham, repeating the same lie. If nobody is representing the truth, how can people know they’ve been lied to? Fox “News” claims to be fair and balanced but everybody outside of the conservative bubble knows they’re not. Since average Americans do NOT seek opposing information, the Fairness Doctrine would ensure at least exposure to competing ideas. (Truthfully, I think the impact would be greater in radio than television these days but it would provide some balance in both…)

Broadcasters opposed to honesty often throw up yet another canard: do you know how much it would cost, constantly having to give away airtime for equal time? Why, yes. Yes, I do. Let’s see, subtract that, add those, carry the one and…Zero! Yes, that’s correct. It would cost absolutely Zero more. How do I know? History. You see, I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. Around here, we have a radio station, KGO, that has been broadcasting talk radio since before Reagan launched the conservative war against America – that is, when the Fairness Doctrine still applied. Back then, under the Fairness Doctrine, KGO put a liberal on for three hours, then a conservative for three hours. Then a liberal, then a conservative. They punctuated each segment with journalism. It was a very good balance. Because their programming represented opposing viewpoints, they never had to give time away for opposing viewpoints. Simple.

I know it’s not a perfect solution. What with the ONAN crapfest, “NewsQuacks”, “Misinfo Wars, and “Q-anonsense people can easily hide from reality. But they’ll have to work a bit harder to avoid the truth if broadcast networks are required to provide equal time. I’ll tell you this: as nearly as I can tell, the alternative is to simply sit back and let powerful, monied interests lie this once-great nation into oblivion…

It’s What They Do…

I don’t oppose the filibuster. I just oppose the bastardized version our Congress is using these days. The difference? The filibuster USED to be an exercise in stamina. If a person (or group) wanted to filibuster some bill or another, they had to physically control the floor of Congress for as long as possible. No, not like the conservative morons of January 6th. You had to talk and refuse to yield the floor. It was a Hail-Mary kind of play. IF you could pull it off, you MIGHT win your point. But somewhere along the way, the filibuster rules changed. Now, any Congress critter can simply declare an issue “filibustered” and it’s TREATED as though the process was carried out successfully. It’s not the same and it has created a situation in which the tyranny of the minority rules the day. There are many pieces of legislation out there awaiting disposition but under the right conditions any of them – all of them – can be blocked by ONE person declaring “filibuster” – and it’s what they do. I would prefer to see a person have to go through the process rather than simply declaring they might…

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I watched Bill Maher and his panel from the February 26 episode of ‘Real Time’ discuss the power supply failures in California and Texas. This particular show’s panel was made up of two Democrats, Senator Jon Tester (D – Montana) and Ezra Klein. They focused mightily on how government regulation has interfered and caused problems. Not one mention – not one – of the fact that in both states, the power companies are privately owned and operated under the supposedly watchful eyes of corrupted “oversight” boards. In California, the corrupted oversight board is the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) and in Texas it’s the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT).

Every time private corporation PG&E sets California on fire with some neglected piece of equipment or some cost-saving maintenance failure, the resulting damage is NOT because of too much government regulation. It’s because there’s not enough. Texans who suffered, perhaps died, in this most recent cold snap did so specifically BECAUSE Texas didn’t want regulations. “Leave it to the free market,” they said. Compliance with regulations would have required them to winterize their equipment. Sure, that would have saved lives and prevented all of that suffering but it would have cost the power companies some small portion of their precious lucre. Can’t have that.

It’s disappointing to me that even on a panel comprised only of left-leaning people, they STILL couldn’t manage to point the finger of responsibility where the responsibility belongs: corporate boardrooms. The only failure of government I can see was the failure to seize the power companies and run them in accordance with regulations and without consideration of what the stock price is doing. I’m old enough to remember when the wind could blow in California and not even affect PG&E equipment. Of course, that was before “deregulation…”

Maher is currently irritated that he’s been trying to get solar panels installed on his house for something like 1,200 days and can’t seem to find a route through governmental rules and regulations and so can’t get the panels installed. To borrow a bit from Bill, I can’t prove this, I just know it’s true. I’d bet the governmental regulatory morass interfering with his transition to solar is no accident. My guess is, if you followed the history of those particular restrictions, you’d find vested parties behind every one of them. In this case “vested parties” refers to the fossil fuel industry.

Imagine if you ran a horse-drawn wagon building company in the late 19th century, understood what this newfangled “automobile” was going to do to your industry, and had the ability to block the arrival of cars for 50 years. The numbers vary but the first successful car was built in around 1885. They were not great. The first successful cross-country trip in a car happened in 1903, eighteen years later. Using the same scale, had our hypothetical wagon builder been able to forestall the introduction of the automobile for 50 years, the first cross-country trip wouldn’t have happened until 1953! But it would have happened. Once invented, cars were inevitable – because they’re better.

The same is true of renewables. They’re coming. They’re inevitable because they’re better. Decentralized power will eliminate many of the problems we just accept from the centralized grids of today and I’d rather suffer a solar “spill” than an oil spill any day. But a very small portion of our society will lose their golden goose. Without the ability to manipulate a market people can’t refuse, some of these business “jeniuses,” as they like to present themselves, might have to get real jobs. So, they stall. It’s what they do.

Science has been warning about Climate Change for a long time. The first climate warnings were sounded in 1938! Push-back in the form of disinformation from the fossil fuel industry has left them in control ever since. 83 years! In fairness, practical alternatives have not existed throughout that entire time. Once they started being pursued more aggressively, they took a bit of time to develop the technology to a useful degree. No new technology springs forth fully developed. But they’re here now. They’re commercially viable, ready for use, and better…

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I hear Donnie Dumbass is giving a speech at CPAC today. CPAC is a conservative convention. I believe the acronym stands for ‘Crappy People Acting Crappily’ but you shouldn’t quote me on that. The dumbass is widely expected to announce that he’s the presumptive front-runner for the GOP nomination in 2024. I don’t know. It looks to me like he’s going to spend more time running from the law than running for the White House. (Hope springs eternal, I guess…) I read a bit by Robert Reich in which he points out that the dumbass “only” has a steady 38 percent approval rating. But 38 percent of the registered voters in this once-great nation (roughly 239,000,000) is still 93 million people. That’s quite an army. Especially with the Republicans doing everything in their power to suppress votes.


Conservative Christian’s current golden idol…
Made in Mexico!

I hear still-sane Republicans wondering aloud how they can free the GOP from the clutches of trumpery. I know the answer, if only generally: find an even crappier person! For whatever reason, the deplorables have taken to finding the very worst examples of humanity and throwing in with them. They first latched on to George W. Bush, aka, “43” – an under-developed human being if ever there was one. When they couldn’t have him anymore, they found an even worse person, Donald Trump. I don’t know how the trumpsters are going to find anyone worse than the Donald – but I have faith they will. It’s what they do…

Liars Gonna Lie…

Two stories, side by side. One, “Uber drivers entitled to workers’ rights, the UK Supreme Court rules.” and two, “‘I can’t keep doing this’: Gig workers say pay has fallen after California’s Prop 22.” I’d say the UK got it right and California got it wrong. It was inevitable that corporations would exploit the workers once they were allowed to and the UK is telling them they’re not allowed to.

After Prop 22, Safeway eliminated all of it’s union grocery delivery people and replaced them with “gig” drivers. Uber drivers and food delivery workers are now reporting (try to act surprised) that their pay is falling, just like the ‘No on 22’ people said it would. Why, it’s almost as if ride-share and food delivery companies lied in their advertising. Now we’ll have to go through the process of overturning 22 to protect workers. Sadly, I often find myself wishing my fellow Americans were smarter…

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Have you been following the spat between Australia and Facebook? Australia realized that Facebook was profiting from the work of Australian news outlets without compensating the outlets for the news. So, Australia came up with a plan to have Facebook compensate the news outlets. Predictably, Facebook threw and tantrum and blocked ALL Australian news from it’s pages. And so the standoff begins. Will Facebook pay for the news they post or will Australia back down to keep Facebook online? My guess? Facebook will back down. Australia has only to maintain the course. What is Facebook going to do, really? Leave Australia? It’s a balancing act of greed. Zuckerberg doesn’t want to lose all of that beautiful information he gets – for free – then sells about his users and there are, after all, other social media sites. He’ll end up paying because it’s the cheaper option…

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Texas, as you may know, is in the grips of a winter storm unlike anything they’ve seen for a long time. Because of Republican mismanagement and stupid conservative ideals, people are dying in Texas. A couple of weeks ago, Texas was agitating to secede. NOW, of course, they come, hat in hand, and beg for Federal assistance. Once the emergency has passed, they’ll be right back to complaining about the Federal government and talking secession again.

Yeah, sure, they’re Texicans but, like it or not, they’re Americans, too, so I support the aid. But I might attach some strings. I might require them to connect to the national grid and comply with Federal regulations so they could at least BUY some electricity from elsewhere when their stupid conservatism fails yet again – and it will. Also, and just for fun, I’d request Lyin’ Ted Cruz go public with a statement acknowledging climate change and disavowing deregulation…

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The cons have clearly decided the best way to handle the failures of conservative policies is from the standard playbook. Lie. THEN, of course, they have to lie about lying. Oh, what a tangled web we weave, eh? Lying con Governor Abbott of Texas comes out and lies that the power problem in Texas is because of the failure of renewables. He knew darned good and well the problem was fossil fuels and conservative policies. But as a con, he can’t SAY conservative policies failed miserably and people are dying – including an 11-year-old kid who died of hypothermia in his own bed. So? Lie. Thinking Americans know immediately that he’s lying but cons will embrace the lie – because it’s all they’ve got.

Lyin’ Ted ‘fled’ Cruz takes off to Cancun rather than suffer the effects of poor conservative policy positions the rest of Texas is stuck with. He left his dog in the freezing house. His office put out a statement declaring the attempted escape a “long-planned” holiday. (A lie.) Lyin’ Ted then blamed his kids. (A lie.) Then, Lyin’ Ted claimed he was only escorting his kids to Cancun and always meant to come right back. (Another lie.) The truth is, Ted just did what ANY Texican might do if they had the resources to avoid the effects of conservative policies – run away. It’s a key component of conservative policies. Rich people NEVER have to suffer the effects of their conservative policies and they really don’t give a rat’s tail about the little people who have to do the actual suffering. “Screw them, cut my taxes. It’ll help everybody.” (Another lie.)

After Donnie Dumbass incited his extremist base to attack Congress and try to kill some of the members – you know…as a show of their “patriotism” – even the cons realized (after they had failed) that might have been a mistake. So? Lie. They immediately started in on how it was secretly liberals and “Antifa” – a non-existent group – pulling a false flag operation. It wasn’t. They were Don’s Cons trying to do his bidding.

Two anti-masker morons (based on yet another lie, of course) in Florida decided they had a clever ploy to avoid protecting their fellow humans: lie. They pretended to be US Marshals and threatened to arrest the employees of the resort they were staying in for asking them to don masks. Just to be on the safe side, one of them also flashed a laminated card declaring his medical exemption. But thinking Americans know those cards are yet ANOTHER conservative lie – so an employee of the resort called actual cops – who showed up with an actual US Marshal. Now the lying cons are sitting in jail, arrested for impersonating federal officers. No word on whether they’re wearing masks now…

The list goes on, of course. This outrageous separation from the truth has gotten SO out of control, I have come to the conclusion that if a conservative says something, the BEST response is to assume it’s a lie. They lie about everything, all the time. Conservative lies used to just be irritating. Now they’re actively killing people. Of course, the cons will just lie about THAT, too…

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There’s an old saying that if you can’t say something good about the dead, don’t say anything. Rush Limbaugh is dead? Good! There’s a piece in the NY Times inquiring if we MUST dance on Rush’s grave. I submit, it’s not a requirement. But certainly it’s an opportunity.

Rush enjoyed tremendous success. Unfortunately, his “success” was in undermining America and misleading millions. His willingness to harm a once-great nation is the single most important thing that will be remembered about him. Count me in as one who happily dances on Rush’s grave…

I Guess We Couldn’t…

In 1787, a woman called Mrs Powell asked Benjamin Franklin if the founders had delivered a Republic or a Monarchy. Franklin’s famous reply was “A Republic, if you can keep it.” In truth, I wish I had been more surprised but the whole world knew the Republicans were going to nullify the impeachment LONG before they “swore an oath” to be impartial. They were rather vocal about it. I’m quite used to the notion that the Republican party has no honor and will ALWAYS do what’s worst for America. For THEIR part, I’m also quite used to the notion that the role of the Democrats is to lose – what I call the ‘Colmes Effect.’ (Alan Colmes was a Fox “News” personality who pretended to be a liberal. His job was to “lose” debates with Sean Hannity, thereby making the conservative position LOOK far stronger than it ever has been. Of course, he had to go out of his way to present the dumbest possible arguments but he was good at that and always came through.) Either side could have run the question of constitutionality by the SCOTUS and neither side did – giving the Republicans exactly the out they needed – a move that appears to have served both “teams.” (The Dems pretend to have “fought,” the GOP gets the “win.”)

Then, once sure Trump had been protected, Moscow Mitch gives this speech in which he insists the Dumbass is guilty of inciting insurrection, calling him “practically and morally responsible,” but then claiming Congress couldn’t act because Trump is out so there is no point in trying to remove him. Obviously, there’s no point in trying to remove someone who’s already out but the Republicans held on to that moot point for all they were worth and completely, dutifully ignored the reason for impeachment in that case: being barred from ever running again. I guess we’re all just supposed to forget that the only reason the impeachment occurred AFTER Trump left office is because his loyal sycophant, old Moscow Mitch himself, refused to reconvene the Senate while Trump still infested the Oval Office.

Trump could still face criminal charges, of course, but my guess is he won’t. I suspect he COULD face civil charges, too, if someone – perhaps Officer Sicknick’s family or maybe the “Q-anon Shaman” – was of a mind to try to go after him that way. Listening to naive Republicans in Congress pretend that Trump’s era is “over” now because of all of this is just saddening. So far, every time someone has said, ‘This far and no further,’ Trump just blows past the line and keeps pushing further and further.

I keep thinking back to ancient Rome, when Rome transitioned from Republic to Empire. THAT transition was done very much like THIS transition. All of the institutions of Rome the Republic remained. Caesar even left dissidents in the Roman Senate to speak out against him. Not enough of them to effect real change, of course, and certainly not enough to protect the Republic. But the move maintained the illusion that everything was “normal” in Rome. Ancient Rome used to keep it’s citizenry informed of the news using newsreaders who would literally stand out on a corner and read out the day’s events. Even THAT practice continued, for a time, after the fall of the Republic but the quality of the information the people received was…diminished. (Can you say Fox “News”?) The work-a-day Romans never knew what was hitting them. It all LOOKED the same. It just didn’t ACT the same.

Many people know that Hitler once tried, unsuccessfully, to take over Germany. He faced legal consequences but the state ended up showing leniency. A few years later, THAT bumbling idiot was Germany’s new “Fuehrer” and millions of people died. So now our own bumbling idiot, Trump, has tried to seize control over the United States and failed. But the state has shown leniency. History is not promising when it comes to the “let’s just close our eyes and hope he goes away” strategy. Mostly, I suspect this once-great nation will have it’s very own strongman/dictator in the next few years. The cons have been working for that end going on forty years, now, and their finish line is in sight, if not already behind us…

Yes, I’m quite well aware all of this sounds like hyperbolic, sky-is-falling stuff. I’m also quite clear that the process MAY not have played out, yet. As mentioned, it’s still possible someone could prefer criminal charges against the criminal. Recent history suggests that will NOT happen, though. A sign of the collapse of our society can be found in the transition from “a nation of laws” to “a nation of laws for the little guy.” It will be a sad day when Biden gives the inevitable, upcoming “It’s time to look forward, not backward” speech. But I’ll be no more surprised (nor disappointed) by THAT betrayal than I am with the Republicans who know – to a person and without question – that Trump is guilty as charged but still refuse to defend America…