Fictions…

Yowza! If you’re a fan of the “Profits Over People” model, you’re bound to be happy that PG&E seems headed for yet another rate increase! First, PG&E blew up a section of San Bruno. They were granted a rate increase to do the work they had previously been granted a rate increase to have done – but didn’t. Then, they burned most of the town of Paradise. They were granted a rate increase to do the work they previously should have done – but didn’t. On Wednesday evening of this week, they burned down all of Greenville, California, a town that traces it’s roots to the gold rush. Sure, there will be bad press and public discontent but that’s only from commoners and the outcry will pass. The rate increase will be forever. PG&E burning down California is quite profitable for them…

Someone tell me again about the virtues of private industry versus the government…

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Still Florida. Ron DeSantis, the Governor of Florida, is doing everything in his power to kill as many Floridians as possible. Yeah, I think that’s a weird role for a governor as well, but that’s his stance. He’s threatening to cut off funding for schools that require masks because “masks are for smart people and nobody in Florida wants to be mistaken for a smart person!” No, he didn’t say that but he might as well have. In fact, many people who live in Florida are very upset their oh-so-stupid governor is “fighting back” against science and logic. One guy said, “It seems to me that our governor is content to send our kids into a slaughterhouse to score political points with his base. There is no excuse for not following the science.” (See? There ARE smart people in Florida…) Kids need to get back into schools. Wearing masks adds to their safety and to the safety of the people around them.

Think about this; the people fighting against mask-wearing are largely the SAME group who say kids SHOULD wear armored backpacks in case someone starts spraying bullets but won’t ask their precious little shits to wear a mask in case someone starts spraying Covid-19. This IS natural selection in action but it’s sad when the children bear the burdens imposed upon them by their gullible conservative parents…or their own governor…

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Okay, speaking of obnoxious governors, Andrew Cuomo is surely at the top of that list. There is an ever-increasing chorus of women claiming Cuomo sexually harassed them. Civil lawsuits have been filed and an investigation by New York’s Attorney General has found the charges credible. Now there’s a criminal charge facing Cuomo on the same subject. He’s facing impeachment and criminal charges. But…he said he didn’t do it so, there you go. After all, who has EVER heard of a criminal insisting he didn’t do it if he was guilty?

After the AG report came out supporting the accusers, Cuomo’s lawyers insisted that all the women in question are telling the stories wrong. Apparently, if they’d just (and only) listen to the way Cuomo tells the stories, they’d understand he’s just a stud on the make and there can be no harm in that, right? Offering those women the opportunity to experience him isn’t sexual harassment. It’s more of a…compliment. After all, those women were hot enough to catch the eye of a guy like Cuomo and no one needs to tell a Cuomo how awesome it would be to be with a Cuomo. Every time I hear him talk on the subject it sounds a little like he’s saying, “Look, all I did was offer some bitch a chance to see my magnificent unit. What’s the problem?” (For the record, I believe that he doesn’t get it. It’s called arrogance…)

So far, Cuomo seems to be trying the trump tactic of ignoring reality and tossing out accusations, all while insisting on his own innocence – but that only works for trump because Satan, himself, watches over trump. Cuomo doesn’t have the same support. He should step down and deal with his legal hassles…

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Right now, if you look at the polls, Gavin Newsom is winning/losing/in a tight race about the fraudulent recall effort against him. Conservatives, of course, hate him and want him out. They’re blaming him for, well, for everything, really. I think the biggest thing he has working against him is Covid-19. At this point, ALL of the problems America is facing with Covid-19 can be traced directly to conservative obstruction. Gavin can only do so much but because so many cons refused the vaccine, Covid just won’t go away. We’re heading back into a masked reality and possibly another lock-down, none of which is Newsom’s fault but you just KNOW the cons will blame him anyway.

Working in Newsom’s favor? The state is mailing ballots to every registered voter. That means they don’t have to “get out the vote” in the traditional sense. All people have to do is fill out and return their ballot. People are notorious for not coming out for mid-term elections and it’s even worse for special elections. That problem won’t exist this time around. No one can say, for sure, how many of the ballots will be returned but we saw in 2020 making it easier to vote means more people vote. That will work to Gavin’s advantage.

I’m voting ‘no’ on the recall but then I STILL have to choose someone to take over should the recall succeed. The person with the most votes wins. They don’t need widespread approval. Just more than anyone else. I’m still on the Mary Carey bandwagon and I encourage you to do the same. Oh, sure, you might be hesitant once you find out she’s an actual, dyed in the wool porn star but your alternative is a Republican or worse, a Libertarian. Mary ran in the Gray Davis recall as well. If you go to her campaign website (don’t do it at work!) it appears she hasn’t updated anything. She still plans to make gay marriage legal in California, for example. That’s because her campaign is a bit tongue-in-cheek. The FIRST thing she asks is that you vote ‘no’ on the recall.

Whoever wins won’t have any time to actually DO anything, good or bad. The normal gubernatorial race is next year. The ‘pack’ is chock-full of unqualified people. If we’re going to get stuck with someone just because cons want to be jerks, let’s go with Mary. No, I don’t think she’ll be a better governor than many of the cons on the ballot – but she won’t be any worse, either. And, look, if we’re going to get screwed, at least let’s get screwed by someone who knows what they’re doing!

Trouble On The Horizon…

Okay, two things are changing in the world of CheetoJesus. It looks like the dumbass is seeing in increase in his legal troubles. There’s a written record of him trying to push the DOJ to “just say the election was corrupt.” Apparently, the entire quote is, “Just say the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me.” He called the acting Attorney General at the time, Jeffrey Rosen, and the phone call was documented in hand-written notes by his acting Deputy, Richard Donoghue. His message was that Rosen should declare the election corrupt and that he and the Republican congress would take care of the rest. This was December 27, 2020. Ten days later? He’s orchestrating an assault on the Capital building in an effort to thwart Democracy. Orchestrating, not participating. He’s a coward…

The other thing that has changed is that the IRS has been ordered to turn his taxes over to Congress. Congress has had the legal authority to examine anyone’s taxes ever since the Teapot Dome scandal of 1921. The dumbass just didn’t want to, though, and his corrupt DOJ supported him. No, there was no legal basis. They did it anyway. Now the taxes are being turned over. Well, they will be. He still has some weasel maneuvers he can engage but eventually, he’ll lose. The legal system moves slowly but it moves inexorably…

Some will say the left just wants to prove he doesn’t pay taxes. That’s not right, though. Everybody knows the rich have corrupted the tax system so they don’t have to pay. Only workers pay. The thing I expect trump’s tax filings to prove is that even with all his advantages handed to him – he STILL cheats. The taxes will be compared to loan applications. When investigators find he inflated values for loans but deflated values for taxes, he’ll have some splainin’ to do…

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Today, August 1, begins the rental eviction waves across the US. It’s going to be ugly. Some states have extended the eviction “ban” but many have not. I hope the states that are offering assistance do a better job of explaining the programs than California did. I confess, I didn’t look too closely into the details but what came out in the “news” was the message that California will cover 100% of the back rent – just as soon as the tenant came up with 20% of the missing rent. What?!?

For a lot of reasons – but mostly the so-called “free market” – rents in California are, well, unbelievable. It often takes two adults working two jobs just to make ends meet. If it takes everything one has to meet even one month’s rent, how are they supposed to come up with 20% of a year’s worth of back rent?

My other question is, who are they putting in the space? I mean, let’s be honest, here. The evictions are going to hit the poorest the hardest – just like everything else in this brutal nation. Landlords don’t like renting to people who have been evicted. Are they now going to put one recently evicted renter into the space they just cleared by evicting their tenant? Do you know who is NOT competing with the poorest of the poor for the spaces occupied by the poorest of the poor? Anybody NOT in the “poorest of the poor” group. So, if you toss out the person living in your space, who do you put in there?

Industry groups like the National Association of Realtors lobbied hard against extending the ban. They point to “mom-and-pop” landlords. Rich people ALWAYS point to “mom-and-pop” operations and pretend that designation includes themselves but even THEY acknowledge that “mom-and-pop” rentals make up only about 40% of the market. That means that 60% are “pooled money” investors – people with a couple of coins to rub together who throw their coins into a pot with other people’s coins and buy up all the housing inventory as investments. They pay ridiculously high prices for the properties and charge ridiculously high rents.

Even without Covid-19, the homeless problem is growing exponentially because of this unbridled greed. Covid is going to exacerbate the problem. John Adams visited France just before the French Revolution. He wrote home to his wife that France was beautiful but he couldn’t believe the disparity between wealth and poverty in the country and he was particularly struck by the number of homeless people he saw. Nobody in modern America seems to see any correlation at all. Extremes of wealth and poverty as exemplified by people who couldn’t even obtain housing in an otherwise wealthy country leading to revolution? When has THAT ever happened?

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2024. I think that’s when we’ll see it in this once-great nation. See, the Republicans have made no secret that they’ve given up on democracy and all of the representative republic crap and they have made NO bones about their plans to rig “elections” in their favor. They’ve been passing “laws” aimed at eliminating voters they consider undesirable. Those are voters who don’t vote for them.

So which intelligent American is going to accept the outcome of an “election” if the Republican wins after such naked and brazen cheating? Worse, what if the Republican DOESN’T win, despite all of the electoral shenanigans? At least one state, Georgia, has addressed that possible problem by making a law that allows them to simply disregard the vote and appoint their preferred “winner.” Conservatives only pretended they won the 2020 race and that was enough to assault the Capital building and kill cops. But now the cons have taken the guesswork out of it by declaring outright their intent to cheat as aggressively as possible. I really don’t see how that ends well…

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Quick question: do you think the dumbass will be reinstated as “President” in the middle of this month? Or, do you suspect trump is STILL just a lying, cheating, manipulative, failed-human-being piece of crap?

Pushback…

Conservatives in Congress are doing everything in their power to block the efforts to look into their attack on the Capital building on January 6th. You remember. They are such poor losers, they simply refused to accept the loss. When their whining and crying didn’t cause states to simply disregard the vote and declare the “winner” they preferred, they decided to attack. As I recall, they taunted Dems as “Sore Loserman” when the Sour Cream Court awarded the Oval Office to Bush 43, despite the vote and there were NO Democratic attacks on the Congress and nobody threatened to hang the Vice-President. But when THEY lost? Why, just like any three year old, they threw a tantrum. But sure, Dems are the snowflakes…

The cons attacked Congress and did some terrible things and threatened to do even worse. Then their man-baby pseudo-god, the CheetoJesus, told them to go home and they did. Now…everybody knows what happened. The whole world watched it on TV, live. But the Republicans, being the party of responsibility, immediately shunned all responsibility and started blaming anything – EVERYTHING else. Hell, they even tried to pretend those blindingly white assailants were cleverly disguised Black Lives Matter activists. Now, while that would have meant an Academy Award for makeup, I can say with some certainty that no self-respecting progressive wants anything to do with a MAGA hat considering the vile things it represents. I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t don one just to make one Don look bad. Of course, they didn’t need to. He makes himself look bad without effort.

So…the Republicans began lying about what happened and have been lying about it ever since. In response, Democrats in Congress called for an investigation. The useless Senate tried but the cons used their outsized power – with a little assist from the reviled DINO Manchin – to block that effort. So the House has picked it up and, surprise, surprise, the cons are doing everything they can to CLAIM participatory cooperation while blocking every effort to move forward. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is trying to set up a commission to investigate. She asked minority leader McCarthy to name five members of their caucus to the panel.

McCarthy offered up five names. At least two of them were ringers – people whose job is to obstruct. Jim Jordan is a staunch ally to the Dumbass and his entire reason for being in Congress seems to be to keep investigations from moving forward. McCarthy also named Jim Banks who released a statement immediately after being named saying he was going to use the opportunity to “investigate” anything else he could think of – an obvious attempt to disrupt the proceedings. Pelosi, being no dummy, blocked Jordan and Banks from the panel so McCarthy, in a tantrum, pulled ALL five of his nominees. “If you won’t let me put my biased, disrupting, and obstructing elements on your panel, I won’t put ANYBODY! Waaaaa!”

It’s just a stall tactic. Do you know WHY the cons have to engage in stall tactics? Of course you do. THEY know what such a commission will find. EVERYBODY knows, even the cons. If the cons actually believed it was ANYTHING other than what it was, they would welcome an investigation, not block it. But they know. It wasn’t Black Lives Matter. It wasn’t Antifa. It wasn’t a peaceful, unauthorized tour of the building. It was a direct, violent assault on the Constitution of the United States of America. Every once in awhile, conservatives decide they hate, hate, HATE the United States of America SO much they just have to attack. (Actions speak louder than words…) And it SEEMS like it’s always in response to someone trying to force them to act like decent human beings. (Ft. Sumter, anyone?)

The commission will happen. Cons will reject the findings. The rank and file will dutifully repeat what they’re told. It doesn’t really matter. It’s all political spectacle anyway. EVERYONE knows what happened on January 6, 2021 and everyone knows WHY it happened. The thing is? Those pricks will be back. (Less those who are currently reaping the rewards of their oh-so-brave anti-vax stance, of course.) They’re stupid. They’re violent. They’ve been whipped into a frenzy. But that means they’re dangerous and they will destroy this country to get their beloved moron back…

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This takes a bit of getting used to but I’d like to propose that this society STOP trying to get the anti-vaxxer crowd to get the jab. No more pleas, no more bribes. (I guess they’re called “incentives.”) The whole concept of herd immunity is that if enough people get a vaccine, they can protect those who CAN’T get the vaccine. But very early on, the conservative bubble started blasting the vaccine (while taking credit for it) and downplaying the entire COVID-19 pandemic. Smart Americans moved forward with the vaccine, anyway, but because of obstructionist conservative contrarianism, we were unable to achieve herd immunity. Scientists say we need about 70% vaccinated, minimum, but we never got above 65% because of self-centered assholes.

NOW, humanity is being “treated” to a new variant, the Delta, and an even newer variant, Lambda. The vaccines seem to work to prevent deaths in the variants but they’re BOTH far more virulent than the original version and the anti-vaxxer crowd is reaping the whirlwind. Their body, their choice…and they’ve made their choice. But the United States (and the rest of the world, really) will benefit from giving them their whiny little way. It turns out, they may not believe in evolution – but evolution believes in them.

The conservative bubble is actively promoting stupidity as a virtue and, as we saw in the bit above, stupidity in large groups is VERY dangerous. But every day now, we’re culling some small part of that stupidity from the herd – and by their own choice! Every day, fewer stupid people. Every day, fewer Trump supporters. Every day, fewer anti-vaxxers. Every day the ratio of responsible, vaccinated people to irresponsible, unvaccinated pukes is changing, slightly. Trump’s feckless response to the virus killed 600,000 Americans, politics notwithstanding. But now the focus is on those who would disrupt civilization just to “own a lib.” Over time, it’s likely that enough contrarians will die of stupid stubbornness that we’ll BACK into herd immunity.

Yes, it does mean the rest of us are going to have to wear masks and social distance for awhile longer. That, too, is a “choice” the cons have forced on us. But that “choice” HAS been foisted on us and we’re stuck with it, for now, so at least we can take some comfort in the notion that, with these next mandates, we’re likely reducing the number of numbskulls that have been vexing this once-great nation for FAR too long, now…

So, please. Everyone, be quiet. Let the contrarian crowd panic about being tracked. (They can share their concerns on their ever-present cell phones.) Let them worry that Bill Gates wants to control their bodies. Let them take whatever stupid, self-destructive stance they want to take. Afterwards, we’ll be able to move into their houses…

Lies and Consequences…

There’s a guy out there, likely you’ve heard of him, named Mike Lindell. Mike sells a pillow and desperately wishes he was the Orange Moron’s boyfriend. (Okay, I don’t know what he wishes but he ACTS like he would like to “get with” the Dumbass…) He went to some right wing conference and claimed the Dumbass won with 80 million votes to Biden’s 67 million.

Why not, right? In fact, why stop at 80 million? Since the cons are just making things up as they go along, I find myself wondering why they stop at 80 million. Why not 400 million? Why not a billion? Facts are meaningless distractions to them so there’s no problem if someone should point out that America doesn’t even have 400 million people. On the other hand, cons want – frantically – to believe the dumbass won. They’ll accept any number they’re told. So if they have no chance of convincing smart Americans and they have no chance of being challenged by conservatives, why not just claim 6 TRILLION votes?

Maybe they’re trying to keep it “believable.” But they’re unbelievable…

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Speaking of unbelievable morons, CheetoJesus and Bill O’Reilly are teaming up for a “stadium tour.” Two losers on a “waah-waah” tour crying about how unfair life has been to them. Tickets went on sale June 1. According to Ticketmaster, they’re having trouble selling out the venues. Most tickets cost between $100 and $300 dollars and stadiums are BIG.

They probably should have stuck with a “conference room” tour…

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Truth be told, I’m not very impressed with the billionaires vying for the position of first useless, wage-thief to get to space. I don’t mean to be repetitive but conservatives – as a group – are idiots and they decided decades ago that taxpayers shouldn’t fund space travel. Instead, they thought it should be private corporations. Of course, corporations only do things for profit. That’s their jam, profit. I don’t think it’s a good idea to cede possible discoveries in space to private corporations. Nothing good will come of it.

Here’s an idea: let’s put them all together on a single ship, “accidentally” aim it for the sun, and launch those greedy pricks off the Earth. Blasting greedy, thieving rich people off the planet once and for all? Now THAT would be inspiring…

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We hear in the news that California is suffering a severe drought. I’ve taken to saying California isn’t in a drought. These days, California is a desert that occasionally gets some good rain. I own and operate a small swimming pool service. One of my customers asked me what I thought was going to happen regarding swimming pools in relation to the drought. I told him I was certain the powers that be will make poor people stop drinking water before they make rich people stop swimming in it.

Now there are mandated cutbacks to households up and down the state with the “stick” portion of the carrot-and-stick program being higher water rates – which the rich will pay easily and the poor won’t be able to pay at all. It looks like my off-the-cuff, flippant response to my customer was dead-on accurate. Bummer…

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So, the American west is burning and/or hot enough to burn at a moment’s notice while the rest of the country is drowning in floods. Fact-based individuals know these are the predicted results of man-made climate change. After all, they were predicted! Cons, of course, continue to insist these results of man-made climate change are anything BUT the results of man-made climate change but then, they think the CheetoJesus was a competent leader so…I think we can safely ignore their “thoughts” on the subject – or, really, any subject, for that matter…

The thing is, after awhile, one starts to wonder what the fat cats doing this to the planet think they’re going to do once the planet can no longer sustain human life. Sure, the plutocrats are the least developed people ever to walk the planet but technically, they do qualify as “human” so a place capable of sustaining humans seems like a beneficial thing. As it happens, they DO expect their money to solve their problems for them. For awhile, it will likely work, too.

When food can no longer be provided to the masses, the Capitalists will just pay whatever the new cost and not look back. They’ll buy up what’s left and leave the masses to work it out for themselves. When the temperature regularly reaches 130 degrees, they expect to be able to just fire up the air conditioning and keep cool – maybe go for a swim in their indoor pools.

But the farther out one runs this little thought exercise, the more one realizes the Richie Riches of the world have a glaring problem they haven’t seemed to take into account: the work. By which I mean, if the only people left are the wealthiest of the wealthy, the one-tenth of one percent crowd, how will they get anything done? When, for example, the AC breaks, who fixes it? I know, they love, love, LOVE, to tell the world about their great accomplishments and all they’ve achieved. Ask ’em, they’ll tell you – they’re great! They ALL have stories about starting out with nothing (but a small, million dollar loan from daddy), working out of their garages, and “building their success” through grit, hard work, and determination. Technically, the “hard work” part is correct. It’s just other people’s hard work that gets it done. The truth is, people who work know what work looks like and it’s not what those blowhards do.

So the useless parasites are going to have to maintain a core of useful people. It would be informative to see how many useful people it takes to maintain even one bloated fat-cat. (Just their estates require teams of useful people.) Sure, one doctor can maintain several patients so they can share but still, they’ll need several. White-collar professionals will be fewer than the blue-collar workers needed to get the basic maintenance done. How many of THOSE will need to be maintained? At some point there will be FAR more workers than parasites. That means private armies of security to protect the useless. But ALL of that – the working class, the white collar professionals, the private security armies – can only be maintained with money.

Once society collapses under the weight of desperation, money won’t have much meaning. After all, how much money is enough to entice you to give away what little food you have and let your own family starve to death? Even most cons aren’t that dumb. Remember, global climate change won’t be a localized event where the rich can just move behind some wall somewhere. It will be everywhere and it will affect everything.

So it seems…short-sighted to continue to despoil the environment of tomorrow for profits today. Even if the selfish and arrogant think their money is going to save them, I don’t think it will for long. Sooner or later, desperate but useful people will simply TAKE the protective environments from the useless – and we’ll know how to fix the AC!

Hard-Hearted and Desperate…

Listen, if you haven’t had your Covid-19 vaccination and you have no medical proscription against the vaccine, I’d like to invoke the immortal words of that dick Cheney and invite you to go eff yourself. Alright, so I paraphrased but I’m sure you gather the sentiment. To put it bluntly, you’re being selfish. You’re declaring yourself more important than anyone – no, everyone – else on the planet. That’s some pretty high esteem you’ve got for yourself, there.

The first 600,000 Americans who died in this thing died as a direct result of the failings of Donnie the Dumbass. The blood of the first 600,000 is on his hands. But of course, he’s a proven, well-established, useless piece of crap moron. Failure is the expected paradigm for him. Now, though, some of that blood is showing up on the hands of people who could but just don’t want to get the shot. Because of people who just said no, we never reached full herd immunity. Because of people who just said no, the Coronavirus was able to mutate and mutate again and now we’ve got the far more virulent Delta and Delta Plus variant. Because of people who just said no, Covid-19 is making a comeback. That means more masks, more shutdowns, and more isolation. Why, because you’re afraid Bill Gates wants to use you as a party favor? Most of the excuses I’ve heard range from the asinine to the insane. But even if you pretend your position is science-based (not science fiction, like the ‘Nanites re-writing your DNA’ story), you’re starting to sound like a climate change denier. I mean, how much evidence do you need?

How many millions of doses have been administered? I do not pretend all has been perfection with the vaccine. Some people have had poor reactions. MORE people have had “poor reactions” to acquiring Covid-19. As a species, we can’t reach herd immunity while you’re standing in the corner, arms crossed, feet stomping, whining, “You can’t make me!” Well, that’s true enough, I guess. Great. Awesome, even. And…tell me again…WHY should I have to MAKE you do the right thing? Why don’t you just know, as an otherwise competent adult, that you have an obligation to the people and society around you? (OMG, are you also one of those assholes who won’t stop at a red light because stopping is for losers?) Sometimes, as a species, we work together as a species because it’s what’s best for the species. If you CAN get the vaccine and you DON’T get the vaccine, you’re not doing your part – for the species. You don’t have that right…

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In related news, the world is trying to open up again. We went from being locked down with nothing to do and nowhere to go to just…open. 100%. Everybody wants everything again – and they want it now. Surprise! Everything isn’t available. Yet. Prices are high – on everything. They’ll come down. It’s going to take some time for everything to ramp up. People are just impatient. The “news” is reporting shortages and supply-chain disruptions as though society is collapsing around us. They have to say something. Things will settle over time…

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The other thing I’ve been hearing about regularly in the “news” is that crime is on the rise. Lots of questions. Why is this happening? What can be done? More police? Better laws? My, oh my what is to become of us? Let me put this as succinctly as possible for the weak thinkers in the room. Street crime is a direct result of poverty. (White collar crime is, generally, just pure greed…) The more desperate a person is, the wider his moral stance. If one can’t buy food, one steals food. Simple, really. As long as our once-great nation pursues policies of poverty (the so-called “free market”), crime is going to be ever-present.

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Hey, speaking of poverty, you want to fix the homeless problem? I have the answer(s). The way I see it, there are two main components to the issue. One is the working poor, the other group consists of the mentally incompetent, either caused by illness or drugs. First, we’ll have to force rich people to pay a living wage – the so-called honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work. Second, we’ll have to tax rich people and make them pay their fair share. See? Simple.

The working poor are people who often have jobs but have been priced out of the housing market. To correct the housing problem for people who work but can’t cover their living costs? Pay them a living wage. See how simple that is? But there’s a second prong to this solution. We need to regulate “pooled money investors” so they can’t buy single family homes AND require them to divest from those they already own in a short period of time.

Pooled money investors are just people who still have a couple of coins to rub together who toss some money on a pile and use the collected resources to buy up (or build) properties as opportunities become available. The problem is, they have an unfair competitive advantage when it comes to buying houses. When you hear about ANY organization that can buy property at over-asking prices, with no inspections or even questions, and give you a short escrow – in some cases as short as 72 hours, you’re dealing with pooled money investors – even if the “buyer” appears to be an individual.

They have artificially overheated housing market costs. They’ll pay whatever they need to pay to own the property without any concern for the actual value of the property. Then, they just put the house on the rental market for whatever they have to charge to accommodate some algorithm somewhere. But when single family homes cost more, apartments follow. Individual home-ownership declines – which undermines societal stability – and rents skyrocket…

Second, we’re going to have to return to involuntary confinements. For the mentally ill, that means institutions where they can be cared for. The drug addicted are normally competent but they’re drug-addled. They can’t make good choices. I’d put them into rehab facilities instead of jail (though it might have to be a rehab jail…). Of course, mental health and rehab facilities cost money so we’d have to tax the people with money to cover those without.

There are MANY more details about this but the necessary first steps – force rich people to pay a living wage and pay their fair share in taxes – are non-starters. I’ll tell you this; since we won’t do the right thing to the comfortable people in this country, we CAN’T do the right thing for the afflicted people in this country. Hey, I said I had the answer. I didn’t say I could make it happen…

Over and Over…

Like reading the headlines, of yesterday’s news over and over…
– Joe Walsh

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The other day, I was talking with a conservative. Apparently, the cons have been conned into believing the current high gas prices have nothing to do with corporate boardrooms and everything to do with Joe Biden being a Democrat. This failed understanding allowed my con conversationalist to sneer, “So…how do you like those high gas prices?” Honestly? I’m ambivalent. On the one hand, I’m not a fan of paying the higher prices. On the other hand, greed kills. In THIS case, the greed of the oil companies will, I’m sure, hasten the arrival of renewables, killing their black-gold goose.

It won’t be overnight, to be sure. Still, these days, Americans have options and they’ll use them. Fossil fuels are yesterday’s news and the sooner we transition away from them, the better…

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In what must be unrelated news, the ocean is on fire. You might want to read that again. It’s a little difficult to wrap one’s mind around the fact that the ocean is on fire. It’s actually a broken gas line and the escaping gas is what’s on fire. It poses a question: what does one use to put out an ocean on fire? It’s not like throwing some water on it is going to help.

Sadly, this is not the first time I’ve seen water burn in my life. We humans (Americans, in my experience) are capable of throwing SO MUCH CRAP into water, it burns. The last time I saw it, the result was a Republican president (Nixon) enacting the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA made new rules and regulations, cleaned things up, and the rivers stopped burning. Then the deregulation fiction took hold and we’re back to burning water. Good job, cons…

These days, I’m sure con media will go all in on how burning the ocean is good for it or some such and then we’ll see an army of armed idiots defending the right of the fire to burn…

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I would not want the day to pass without mentioning the passing of Donald Rumsfeld. He blessed the planet by leaving it after only 88 years of harm and destruction. He helped Bush 43 start his illegal wars of profit. A LOT of innocent people died because Donald Rumsfeld lived. That’s one hell of a legacy.

Speaking of Hell, I’m sure Mr. Rumsfeld is busy settling in to his new digs and I’m sure the world is better off without him…

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Well, it was great while it lasted but the dumbass is in the news again. Sure, he’s running around stirring up his acolytes at rallies and that’s going to generate some coverage. This seems to be some kind of ‘Greatest Hits Revue’ tour. He’s covering all his old hits but there’s nothing new in there. Meanwhile, he’s also in the news because his organization is under indictment for tax fraud. I’m sure the cons have already dismissed the investigation as a “witch hunt” and the truth is, I don’t think these crimes are going to amount to much. The organization will give a little, “Oh, is that a problem? Who knew?” and pay whatever fine they agree to. (To me, it’s a problem that rich people get to “agree to” penalties for their wrongdoing…)

People on the left are salivating over the possibility that THIS time might be THE time. Maybe justice will catch up to the dumbass once and for all. Listen, don’t bet the farm on it. Satan takes care of his own and the Orange Moron seems to be a Satan favorite. In fact, I think if Jesus took care of HIS followers as well as Satan takes care of his, Christianity would be doing MUCH better in the world…

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SO…it’s the Fourth of July. Independence day in the United States. Well, at least the day we celebrate as Independence Day. Close enough. This year marks 245 years since the colonist’s uprising. The fireworks have already started. Through the years, I’ve become less and less of a fireworks fan. I like them. I’m always impressed by the skills necessary to make those things do the things they do. BUT…I live in Northern California. We’re currently embroiled in a drought. Actually, I’ve started to realize we no longer live in a rainy place going through a dry spell. I’ve come to realize we live in a desert that occasionally gets some good rain. It’s different. To hear the cons tell it, it’s anything – everything – except climate change. But, hell, they’re wrong about everything these days so why not that, too?

So I don’t like the fireworks because of the very real risk that some chump will do something stupid with them and burn things up. (One guy recently threw lit fireworks into a field. You’ll never guess what happened after that. The field caught fire. (Oh, you DID guess…) He burned several apartments and displaced the residents. Fortunately, he burned his OWN apartment, too, AND got arrested. It’s ALWAYS the few who ruin it for the many…)

Another objection to fireworks, though, is the fact that they actually celebrate war. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. The United States of America is one of the most warlike nations in the history of History. By some estimates (it depends on how one counts conflicts) of the 245 years the United States has existed, we have been at war for 224 of those years. That’s only 21 years where the US was NOT in a war – in our entire existence!

When I was a kid, one of my uncles who had participated in one of our little wars used to go inside the house when the fireworks started. I was too young to understand at the time but he was going inside to try and evade the very sights and sounds the country was inflicting on him to “celebrate” the wars. I’ve since learned about PTSD. Now I can’t see fireworks without thinking of that uncle and those like him. America manufactures and discards broken soldiers like plastic water bottles and all of those damaged people running around may very well not enjoy the rocket’s red glare nor the bombs bursting in air. (In my experience, actual combat veterans tend to have a very different understanding of the so-called “glories of war.”)

I want to be clear. My heartburn is with fireworks, not America and certainly not our soldiers. We don’t need fireworks and they’re very disrespectful of the men and women who fought so hard and so bravely to give us the freedom we use to disrespect them today. So I hope you enjoy your Fourth of July holiday. I hope you have a lovely barbecue and hang with your family or friends or whatever but I also hope you’ll leave the fireworks out of it.

Hope springs eternal, I guess…

Scams and Shows…

Your money is important to us…
Can anybody explain to me, please, why I pay tiered rates for PG&E to deliver power to me? Let me be clear, here. I do not refer to power production. Charging tiered rates for power production makes perfect sense to me (though the tiers could be a little more realistic, if you ask me). The company I buy power from should, in my humble opinion, charge tiered rates, the idea being that the more one uses, the more one should pay. But I don’t buy power from PG&E. I buy it from another provider, who uses PG&E wires to deliver the power. So why does PG&E get to charge tiered rates for delivery?

It’s not like it puts an extra burden on the already otherwise charged lines. It’s not like it’s taking anything from anybody else and the power I buy from another provider is NOT what makes PG&E’s equipment so dangerous and unreliable. Those were corporate choices. (For those who may not know, in the name of profits, the private company PG&E has allowed their infrastructure to deteriorate so much they now have to turn the power off when the wind blows.) PG&E has a section on their website that says this:

The State of California requires investor-owned utilities like PG&E to charge all residential customers on a tiered rate structure. With tiers, electricity is charged at a progressively increasing rate based on a household’s electricity usage. That is to say, the higher the tier, the more the customer will pay for a kilowatt-hour of electricity. A customer can find their baseline quantity on page 1 of your monthly PG&E energy statement.

As a CCA customer, this tiered rate structure remains in place for your delivery (non-generation) charges and is included in the Conservation Incentive Adjustment section of PG&E delivery charges.

Alright, so they tell us they’re going to do it but they don’t explain why. A CCA customer is a community choice aggregation customer. Some municipalities have become SO concerned about PG&E’s horrifying business practices, they started managing their own power companies. These are the CCA’s.

Really, it just looks like more corruption from the Public Utilities Commission. PG&E IS going to get their “vig.” If they can’t gouge us on the price of power itself, then they’ll just have to gouge us on the delivery. It sort of feels like PG&E is allowed to slap me on the wrist every month because I chose a better power company. I don’t understand why the state of California lets them get away with it. I mean, it’s not like PG&E is using all of that beautiful lucre to maintain their grid…

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I suspect that, from this point forward, it’s showtime!
I don’t think I’m the only one who has noticed that when Republicans have the Congressional majority, they get to do whatever they want. Conversely, when Democrats have the Congressional majority, the Republicans still get to do whatever they want. I DO feel like I must be part of a minority who has taken the next step in understanding that neither party is working for the people any more – if they ever did.

I hear a LOT of plans, hopes, mights, and maybes. But the Dems ALWAYS find a way to lose. ALWAYS. Okay, almost always. When they take power, the Dems are allowed one thing. One. After that, it’s no, no, no. Obama got the Affordable Care Act then, eight years of nothing. The fair-and-square winner of the 2020 Presidential election, President Biden, got to do a “stimulus” (actually disaster relief). Now he claims he has big plans, things he wants to do. But the Republicans won’t let him. They get to rely on the fraudulent filibuster to keep anything from happening. There was talk for awhile of eliminating the filibuster but the Democrats won’t let that happen, either. By the way, the choice between fraudulent filibuster and no filibuster at all is a false choice. There’s the third, and proper, option, returning to the talking filibuster. I never even hear anybody talking about that option, though. It’s always all or nothing.

But that, too, is a choice that prevents the Dems from making any progress. After awhile, it’s all too depressingly clear. It CAN’T be an accident that the Democrats CAN do the things they want to do but the Democrats manage to put enough obstacles in their own way to ensure they’ll never get anything done. (Unless it benefits the wealthy, of course. BOTH parties can get those things done in a heartbeat…)

The House of Representatives passed a thing called the ‘For the People Act.’ It established some Federal guidelines for elections. It is necessary because Republicans across the land are trying to rig elections to guarantee Republican wins. Sure, it’s outright cheating but Republicans know they can’t win on honest ideas so they have no choice but to cheat. Fortunately for them, they’re more than willing. Not surprisingly, when the For the People Act reached the Senate, it died and it died because of Democrats. Next up? Biden’s infrastructure proposal. Well, not Biden’s proposal. The Republicans have already said no to that. It would do FAR too much good for Americans and Republicans WILL NOT have that! So now the talking heads are all breathlessly intoning about how the Dems will get what’s left of Biden’s plan through. Oh, there’s this possibility and that chance and if they can only get this guy to do that thing well, then, maybe they’ll…

Whatever. It’s boring. The ‘For the People Act’ failed because the Democrats allowed it to fail. Biden’s infrastructure plan will fail because the Democrats will allow it to fail. All they need to do is “fail” until the mid-terms. Then the Republicans will take control of Congress again and they can provide cover for why the rich just keep getting richer and everyone else has no choice but to suffer.

I’ll tell you this: I’ve learned not to put much (any) stock in the noise about what might happen. Actions speak louder than words. If they ever actually DO anything, I’ll be very interested. But at this point, I’m pretty sure the two major parties have little to no interest in doing anything for the vast majority of Americans…

Immoral “Morality…”

Apparently, the UK has a new media player, GB News. They’re far right. From what I hear, the programs are poorly produced and extreme in their views so some on the left aren’t taking it seriously. They should. When the Clinton administration issued a waiver to allow Fox “News” people may not have taken them seriously, either. Fox lost millions of dollars in it’s first few years. It takes a while to radicalize a large enough group to become profitable but Fox managed and this GB News might well manage as well. From that point forward the radicalized crowd become a contrarian force dedicated to the proposition that selfishness is and should be the ultimate human pursuit and if everybody’s selfish enough everything will work out well for everyone. Sure, it’s stupid but it’s a fundamental core of conservative “thought.”

To be sure, the UK has already had it’s share of conservative influence. Hell, conservatives lied their entire country into leaving the EU. The US is ahead of the UK in the hateful, selfish, and stupid media market but, apparently, the UK is bound and determined to catch up. It’s too bad, really…

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So…apparently, conservative “Christians” decided to heckle Mike Pence when he went to speak at the so-called ‘Faith and Freedom Coalition conference in (where else?) Florida. They called him a traitor for not overturning the outcome of the 2020 “election” even though he was QUITE clear about the fact that he had no power or authority to overturn the outcome of the 2020 “election.”

Pence IS a pro politician, though, and just plowed through his prepared speech while security removed the disruptors. Of course, he ALSO hit the highlights of conservative falsehoods and claimed to be fully on board with their positions (with the likely exception of their position that he should be hung for treason). HE thinks he has a chance to run for President in 2024. I don’t think the BASE thinks he has a chance. They still want the dumbass loser. The dumbass loser will continue to threaten to run again in 2024 – so long as it keeps his rubes sending the lazy son-of-a-bitch their hard-earned money…

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OMG, the freaking Catholics… Did you hear that a high ranking official is suggesting that Joe Biden shouldn’t be allowed to take Communion as long as he supports a woman’s right to choose? Still waiting on word of Priests being denied Communion for raping and molesting young boys. It’s the whole “forgiveness” issue and, they will tell you, has absolutely nothing, NOTHING, I tell you, to do with the profitability of the church…

Meanwhile, a woman named Mary Margaret Kreuper, a retired nun in California, got caught using Catholic church funds to support her lifestyle, specifically, her gambling addiction. She was the principal of a Catholic school and had a scheme to siphon money. It worked – to the tune of some $835,000 dollars. Of course, the Catholic church wanted to display some more of that “forgiveness” it’s always on about so they made her promise not to do it again and found her another school she could administer. They moved her quietly so nobody would know about the accusations in her past and gave her access to more of the church’s money. It was quite the compassionate gesture and I’m sure she… Wait, what? Arrested? But, but…the forgiveness…what about the forgiveness?

So, if I have this right, according to the Catholics, you can fuck the kids but DO NOT fuck with the money. Just like Jesus would have wanted…

Circles…

Quick question; can we just make Joe Manchin go away? He’s a moron from West Virginia. He pretends to be a Democrat but only works with Republicans. His (current) job is to make sure the Democrats fail – all while trying to appear “bi-partisan.” “Oh,” whine the Dems, “but we would lose the majority.” Listen, I don’t mean to be a buzzkill here but you don’t HAVE a majority as long as you’re saddled with Manchin or Kyrsten Sinema, for that matter. If nothing else, the Dems should withhold electoral support for them but they should ALSO start to claw back any money for those states that comes from the Federal government. I don’t really CARE that Manchin and Sinema claim to be Democrats. They’re Republicans. Let the effin’ Republicans pay for their campaigns…

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So…2 “good guys with guns” get into a dispute in Austin, Texas. They “decide” to settle their dispute using their “good guy guns” because…of course they do. Gun Rights Advocates (GRA’s) ALWAYS think they could take, say, Wild Bill Hickok in a gunfight, given the chance. They couldn’t. In this case, they couldn’t even take each other. They DID manage to shoot fourteen innocent bystanders. The interim police chief there, Joseph Chacon is quoted as saying, “One thing is clear – greater access to firearms does not equal greater public safety.” Well, duh…

Wild Bill was a famous lawman (among other things). He GOT famous cleaning up wild western towns, that is, making them safe for decent people to live out their normal lives. Wyatt Earp had the same reputation. Do you know how they did it? They took everybody’s guns. They didn’t KEEP them, of course. They just had town laws that said you had to surrender your weapons when entering the town. You could pick them back up as you left. That was the pretext of the famous Gunfight at the Okay Corral. The Clanton’s refused to relinquish their guns in town.

I’ve long felt that if anybody could understand the “guns as tools” argument, it would be law enforcement people in the old west but two of our most famous lawmen took the position that, important as they are as tools, they had no place in a civilized society. These were not “anti-gun” men. They just knew stupid when they saw it and allowing drunken men to carry weapons was – and is – stupid.

These days, because of the wrongly decided Heller decision (decided by conservatives so of course it’s wrong), GRA’s will respond with “Those guys were violating people’s Second Amendment rights.” I disagree. They were simply regulating where it may or may not be appropriate to carry guns, an idea perfectly in keeping with the Second Amendment – the “well-regulated” part. And regulating where it may or may not be appropriate to carry guns, an idea perfectly in keeping with the Second Amendment, they cleaned up several famously wild towns.

These days, cons are working as hard as possible to get guns BACK into the hands of any moron who can carry one and the whole freaking country needs “cleaning up” again. I’m sure many will never see the connection…

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According to the ‘USA Today’ (so…take THAT for what it’s worth) a Federal judge in Texas has tossed a case brought by hospital workers at Houston Methodist, the first hospital system in the country to require all of it’s employees receive the Covid-19 vaccine. Some, deceived by conservative media, didn’t want to. Houston Methodist said they were going to fire anyone who didn’t. They DID fire a couple of managers who had “missed” an earlier deadline for managers and then they put nearly 200 workers on suspension until they get the jab. If the DON’T get it by June21, they’re out. The con workers whined, of course. (They’d done their “research.” No, Karen, reading a meme on the internet is NOT “research.”) Then they filed suit. Now the suit has been tossed. They’re collecting money on a Go Fund Me campaign to appeal.

Those people (the anti-mask whiners) are never going to just do the right thing. And, oh, by the way, there IS a right thing in this case. The world is NOT all about precious little you. You have an obligation to the society in which you live. The group CANNOT reach herd immunity until the effing herd complies, right? You’re making choices for other people you would never allow other people to make for you. Selfish. But I don’t blame them directly. I KNOW most of the rank and file cons are deceived by the infotainment they prefer, the “opinion” machine.

It all brings us back, full circle, to Joe Manchin’s ridiculous pretense that such a thing as bi-partisanship is possible. The cons are SO dedicated to their contrarian positions they’re literally willing to kill themselves and the people around them just to “own a lib.” To me, that’s stupid to a staggering degree…

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As a public service announcement, I’d like to share something I heard on the radio. A woman called into a talk show and said her father had been fully vaccinated, waited through the two-week buildup period, went back to living his life, then contracted Covid-19 and ended up in the hospital with a full-blown case that very nearly killed him. Why? He was taking immunosuppressants for arthritis. They “suppressed” the vaccine. He didn’t have the anti-bodies but he didn’t know it. The medical community is catching on to this but if YOU take immunosuppressants and had the shots, get checked. You MAY not be as safe as you think you are…

Living Their Principles…

Okay, so…a gun rights activist (GRA) judge named Roger T. Benitez has overturned California’s assault weapons ban. He seems to be one of those guys who reads the sentence and comes away with half of it. The Second Amendment says, “A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” Always-wrong conservatives are SO focused on the last 14 words of that sentence, they completely disregard the first 13. All of this is based on the wrongly decided District of Columbia vs Heller. The cons MADE their faulty decision based on the last 14 words without regarding the impact of the first 13.

GRA’s try to have it both ways. They’ll insist they ARE part of the citizen militia but at the SAME time, they’ll insist the “well-regulated” part doesn’t apply to average citizens. They’re wrong. The Second Amendment was written because the young idealists who founded this once-great nation thought they could get by without a standing army. The idea was, the citizens would fall out to defend the country until a formal army could be raised, trained, and fielded. Really, it was a dumb idea. It was the kind of idea I call a philosophical position. On paper, it SEEMS correct but there IS no practical application. The error of the thinking was first exposed during George Washington’s administration. John Adams, only the second President, realized we needed a navy and built one. Thomas Jefferson, ever the moron conservative, first dismantled Adams’ navy, THEN realized we needed a standing navy after all and began rebuilding it. We’ve had a standing military ever since and the Second Amendment became moot. It should have been removed at that point.

Spoiler alert: It wasn’t. Now we have Americans gunning people down at, well, military rates. As we’ve seen over and over and over, one can murder an AWFUL lot of people in just a few seconds, thanks to wrongheaded decisions by the Sour Cream Court and those of the horrifying Roger T. Benitez and his ilk. I find myself hoping that Judge Benitez or one of his loved ones become among the first killed in California by an AR-15 as a result of his ruling… (Quick note to the authorities: this statement is not intended as a threat. I just think people should have to live their “principles…”)

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There’s a golfer, Jon Rahm. He was golfing in a tournament and was playing brilliantly. He was kicking butt and taking no names, just rolling over everyone. Then, on the 18th green, officials came out and told him he had tested positive for Covid-19 and had to drop out of the tournament. Apparently, he doubled over, saying, “Oh, no, not again!” (“Not again?!?”) The media coverage is playing up the emotional angle. How sad he was, what a bummer such a great run was interrupted, that kind of thing. I felt badly for the guy, too. Then I read this in the Guardian: “Players who are fully vaccinated – 14 days past the full vaccination cycle – are not subject to testing as a result of close contact.”

To me, this indicates that his awesome, record-chasing performance was interrupted because Mr. Rahm is an anti-vaccer. Whatever compassion I may have been feeling went right out the window. At this point, anti-vaccers get what they deserve. (That’s why I don’t support all of these bribes being offered by the states to entice people to get on board. No, I know. I understand about herd immunity…) Conservative media convinced Rahm Bill Gates was out to get him so he passed on the vaccine? Really, if conservative’s wrong-headed thinking wasn’t so effing dangerous to children and other living things, it would be fun to watch them walk into wall after wall wondering why their foreheads hurt. Oh yeah, did I mention this guy was closing in on winning a $1.67 million dollar prize? Living his “principles,” I guess, but that’s some expensive stupid…