Kyle…

I suppose the reason the cons are being so stubborn about the “three men attacked poor young Kyle” position is that it fits so well with their long story about how arming everyone makes everyone safer. As always, the truth is, more guns equals more deaths of innocents. One guys fires, ten guys pull out their guns hoping to be the good guy with a gun. Now eleven people are in a gunfight, shooting at each other. Who’s the good guy? Who’s the bad guy? A person Kyle was with that night actually fired a round. People heard the shot and saw Kyle there with his gun. They made a logical but wrong connection. The shot must have come from the gun they see. The simple reality is, many people in the area thought he was an active shooter and tried to disarm him.

The three men didn’t attack Kyle all together or at once, either. After Kyle killed Rosenbaum, he ran down the street. Others on the scene started shouting down the street that Kyle was, indeed, an active shooter. People tried to disarm him. In court, we got to hear what KYLE thought they might do. The same consideration wasn’t given to Kyle’s victims. THEY thought HE was the bad guy. In a very real sense, the people Kyle killed were in self-defense mode…and they thought they were defending themselves – and others – from Kyle.

You know why the confusion? Because Kyle was there with a gun. I don’t care how many times you say it or how fervently you pretend, more guns does NOT equal more safety. The truth is, I thought the trial was very carefully orchestrated to protect young Kyle, or rather, protect the NRA’s vision of “gun rights.” As the trial progressed, I became resigned to the idea that the young killer was going to walk free, with the exception of the illegal gun possession charge which I thought that oh-so-coddling judge would sentence to time served or probation or, perhaps, just a severe dressing down. The defense offered an out. They said Kyle COULD have that gun because the barrel was the right length for hunting. So, after closing arguments, the judge accepted that escape and threw the gun charge out. So the question never got asked, if Kyle is going to skate based on an hunting exception, what was Kyle hunting in downtown Kenosha that night?

Okay, so the verdict is the verdict and we’ll all learn to live with it. Well, those left alive, anyway…

Blah, Blah, Blah…

Greta Thunberg is an 18 year old environmental activist who has come to prominence by denouncing the words-but-no-actions made by most countries regarding climate change. She knows that it’s HER generation that is going to suffer the worst consequences of the avarice of my generation. She watches and even attends these climate summits all over the world. She sails on a boat to get to them. Cons hate her. You know, because she’s speaking the truth and cons hate, hate, HATE truth…

There was this recent climate dog-and-pony show called the UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties or COP26. Lots of nations came together to discuss what could be done about climate change. The answer, of course, is nothing. Responding to climate change will affect profit models around the world and the people currently sitting in the most profitable positions would rather wipe out humanity than give up a dollar. Greta knows this. She recently tried to shame them into action by calling out their rhetoric.

Politicians KNOW that most people would rather see the climate corrected or at least controlled even if it means some rich person ends up a bit less rich. They KNOW that if they’re going to protect their phoney-baloney jobs they’ve got to at least pay lip service to climate change. So they have these meetings from time to time and make all these grand statements about what people and countries should do then set “targets” for some distant future “fix.” The young Miss Thunberg summed up the details: blah, blah, blah

She’s right. There will be LOTS of talk and many promises. There will be little to no meaningful action. Blah, blah, blah…

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One of the things lawyers do to benefit their clients is stall – slow things down, wait things out. Maybe a key witness dies. Maybe a file just sits on someone’s desk too long. Over time, people might forget details. Maybe Congress changes hands in the mid-terms and the Republicans won’t see any need to follow up on treason. Who knows?

I hear we’re supposed to be treated to the scene of Steve Bannon, the America-hating, Dumbass-enabling conservative traitor, surrendering to authorities on Monday in response to being indicted for Contempt of Congress. Some people and outlets are breathlessly awaiting the events. They seem to think Bannon is going to prison on Monday. Settle down a bit, will ya? He’ll go before a judge, plead ‘Not Guilty’ and be released. He’ll have dinner where ever he wants to on Monday night. THEN, his lawyers will stall. There will be a LOT of legal maneuvering. Who knows? Maybe Congress changes hands in the mid-terms and the Republicans won’t see any need to follow up on treason.

CheetoJesus, himself, is doing the same thing. He’s free to tell anybody – EVERYBODY – who will listen that he’s innocent and didn’t do anything wrong. But when he’s given the opportunity to prove he’s innocent and didn’t do anything wrong, he moves into “legal defense” mode and stalls. You know…like ANY innocent person might do. Who knows? Maybe Congress changes hands in the mid-terms and the Republicans won’t see any need to follow up on treason.

I saw Adam Schiff on ‘Real Time with Bill Maher’ from the twelfth of this month and he repeated all the old tropes and observations. Oh, it’s important for America. Maybe some of the Republicans might do the right thing. Putting pressure on Bannon will bring about larger results. Same ole, same ole, blah, blah, blah.

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On the same episode of Real Time, Bill Maher asked (again) if it was possible to get rid of the hatred and get Americans acting like Americans again – you know, the great American melting pot, his version of Rodney King’s “Can’t we all just get along?” There was much discussion. Blah, blah, blah. There will be no kumbaya moment so long as conservative media continues to foment dissension and discord by broadcasting America hatred dressed up as patriotism, anti-social behavior disguised as individual liberty, and moral collapse masquerading as moral superiority. America is suffering a class war right now and the One Percent is so far ahead, I fear the war was over and won (for them) before most Americans even realized they were under attack. Hell, many still don’t!

Thanks largely to Bill Clinton, the One Percent enjoys effective, near-perfect control over the media in the US. They WANT the divide. They LOVE the discord. They KNOW that a house divided cannot stand and they do not want this house to stand. They’ve rendered the cons morally stupid and the cons have been duped into defending those who mean them harm and fighting those they should ally themselves with. Cons are the One Percent’s first line of defense, despite the fact that cons are working against their own interests.

So, the answer, Bill, is no. We CAN’T all just get along. Moneyed interests don’t want us to get along. It might interfere with their money interests. This once-great nations needs the return of the Fairness Doctrine (dropped by Reagan) and the return to rules that limited ownership within markets (dropped by Clinton). By and large, I believe Americans would do the right things with decent information. Sadly, these days, all we’re getting – everywhere we turn – is bunk.

Personally, I think Greta nailed the perfect epitaph for humanity: blah, blah, blah…

Twisting Details…

I’ve heard cons braying about how Covid has killed more people under Biden than it did under the Dumbass. It’s part of their stupid ‘everything got worse on January 21st’ bullshit story. (Cons are conditioned to believe that everything is always perfect when Republicans are in charge and everything sucks otherwise…) The idea that Covid 19 may have killed more since January 21, 2021 might even be true, though I’ve noticed they count from January 1 and not January 21. It doesn’t really matter. I suspect that more people WILL die of Covid while Biden is President but it’s still the Dumbass’s fault.

Think of one of PG&E’s profit-making wildfires. The fire burns. Someone calls 911. Firefighters show up and start fighting the fire. When it started, the fire was only in the area of PG&E’s neglected equipment but it spread. One COULD make the case that the fire got bigger AFTER the firefighters showed up, too. But that just ignores the failure and neglect that allowed the fire to get started in the first place…

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I watched an HBO documentary called ‘Four Hours At The Capitol.’ I highly recommend it. I kept finding myself surprised to hear the insurgents claims about what they were doing and why they were doing it. Much of what was said was self-serving, of course, but very often, the cons had me believing that THEY believed. They saw their efforts to storm the Capitol, kill the Vice-President, and capture Congress critters as exactly equivalent to the Boston Tea Party. (Those are my words. None of them used that comparison…)

Now, I’m going to tell you the truth, here. I don’t really have any heartburn with the idea that average Americans might one day have to fight back against the government. Every day, we have to watch the decline-by-choice of a once-great nation under the weight of corruption and failure. Every day, the idea that Americans might have to attack the Capitol and arrest corrupt Congress critters looks more likely. But I DO think one should have evidence that the need exists. These attackers didn’t have any. After 60 court cases ended in “no evidence,” they attacked anyway. They preferred the word of a proven liar and attacked their own country, the one they claim to love so much. In my mind, it sounded like a Christian saying they love Jesus so much they can’t WAIT to nail him back up on the cross. Still, stupid as it seems, these people were convinced they were the true patriots doing their duty to the nation. They thought they would receive pardons. They seem truly shocked that they’re now facing criminal charges for their criminal behavior. Their President TOLD them to attack, fercrissakes…

I imagine it’s WHY they’re getting such light sentences. These are adults, responsible for their own actions. SOME of the rally-goers stopped at the gates and refused to attack, feeling like things were going too far. That, alone, demonstrates, to me, that it was POSSIBLE to know the assault was the wrong thing to do. The insurgents have to pay a price for their actions. But the thing is, if I was sitting on the bench, I would HAVE to take into account they had been told by the President of the United States of America to fight like hell and attack the Capitol if they loved their country – and thinking is not the cons strong suit. So I understand sending most of the minions to prison, slap-on-the-wrist style. It’s the LEADERS who need to do hard time. Donnie the Dumbass, Dumbass Jr, Giuliani, some media personalities, several actual members of Congress. THEY need to go to jail. But they won’t, especially 45. We don’t arrest ex-Presidents regardless of their crimes. Ever.

The concept is, if one party starts arresting people for actual crimes the OTHER party will start arresting people for trumped up “crimes” and the whole thing will collapse under the weight of fake tits for real tats. I think the thing that bothered me the MOST about the insurrection and the attempted coup is the revelation that this once-great nation basically ran on the honor system. I guess the founders thought honor would be enough to protect the country but that ended after Nixon. The Republicans tried to protect their guy but as the evidence mounted, they did the right thing for the country. After that, though, the powers that be realized they had to eliminate honor if they were ever going to recover their aristocracy. Fortunately, for them, dishonorable men were readily available and MORE than happy to trade the country for money.

Foisted upon us was a parade of rogues and villains that started with Ronald Reagan and included Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich and Bush 43 and Dick Cheney and Karl Rove and CheetoJesus and Bill Barr and Mitch McConnell and a cast of miscreants too numerous to mention. (Before you ask, Obama was basically a useless placeholder. I think Bush 41 was the last President the country had that cared more about the country than a political party…) The string of scoundrels has been far too much for the integrity of the country to bear. Corruption moves faster than correction.

Fair warning: the final result was NOT January 6, 2021. That was just the latest chapter. The final damage will be shown in the next “election” when NOBODY will accept the outcome. Cons won’t accept any outcome they don’t like and thinking Americans have been watching one red state after another pretend something is wrong with the system while they eliminate democracy. If the whole system was based on trust and integrity, and all Americans know that the trust and integrity have been ripped from the system, there is no system. I don’t know where we go from there but I suggest you keep your powder dry…

Dietrich Bonhoeffer…

I have a bit of an ongoing debate with a friend of mine about the behavior of the cons in this country. He’s a cut-and-dried kind of a guy so once he reached his conclusion – cons are stupid – he was good. That’s his position and he’s not moving off of it. The thing is, I know many cons who are quite intelligent. As an evidence-based person, I can’t just dismiss the evidence in front of me in order to make a preferred position work like the cons do. That is to say, I don’t buy the blanket statement that these people are stupid because I know too many who aren’t. Although my friend seems unwilling to accept my “solution,” I arrived at the idea that the cons are deceived, not stupid. Still, it’s undeniable that the things they support and the positions they defend ARE, indeed, stupid.

I recently learned about a guy named Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He was a pastor in 1930’s Germany who spoke out about increasing atrocities of the Nazis as they came to power. The German people had been led to horrific transgressions by lies and deceptions of the Nazis at the time – call it the Fox “News” effect. Bonhoeffer tried for years to help people see that what they were doing was wrong. In the end, though, (spoiler alert) the Nazis DID come to power and – not surprisingly – arrested old Dietrich and sent him to prison where they eventually murdered him – two weeks before the camp he was in was liberated. Spiteful to the end, those Nazis…

While he was in prison, though, he developed this theory of stupidity. He suggested that the horrific way the German people were behaving at the time was not based in malice but stupidity. He wrote that stupidity was far more dangerous than malice because malice can be exposed and combated. Stupid, on the other hand, is impervious to reason. Facts that contradict a stupid person’s predetermination can simply be dismissed. If the fact is irrefutable, it is simply pushed aside and ignored as inconsequential. (Sound like any cons you know?) But here’s the key. Bonhoeffer defines stupidity not as an intellectual defect, but a moral defect. He makes clear that a person can have a quite agile mind and still be morally stupid. Likewise a person who might be rather dull, intellectually, can still be quite morally intelligent.

Bonhoeffer suggests that this is no accident. People are brought to moral stupidity. They may not be naturally stupid but they allow themselves to be MADE stupid. He observed that people who live in solitude are less likely to fall prey to the big lies while people who engage in groups are made stupid far more easily. That, in turn, led him to the conclusion that this moral stupidity was less a psychological problem and more of a sociological problem – the reason, perhaps, trump’s rallies are so popular among his base. He suggested that every upsurge of power, say…a CheetoJesus, “infects a large part of humankind with stupidity.” He describes it as a symbiotic relationship in which the power of the one needs the stupidity of the other. But Bonhoeffer makes clear that people aren’t losing intellect. Instead, in the face of the rising power, some people just surrender their independence and give up their autonomous positions, more or less willingly.

Bonhoeffer points out that these morally stupid people are often stubborn but they are NOT independent. I have, myself, observed that in conversation with modern cons one can often perceive the morally stupid person as chanting mantras more than expressing independent thought. I know many who support helping poor people, for example, but when confronted with some bumper-sticker slogan they simply retreat into the “safety” of their construct and repeat as they’ve been conditioned. The threat Bonhoeffer wanted the world to understand is that, having been rendered a mindless tool, the morally stupid person is capable of ANY evil and INCAPABLE of even seeing that it IS evil. (January 6th, anyone?)

I used to say that a con would kill their own mother if the conservative media framed it in the right way. Truthfully, I meant it as kind of hyperbolic tongue-in-cheek. Then Covid-19 hit. Conservative media wavered a bit – maybe a day – but eventually went back to support of their “experts know nothing” position and cons DID start killing their mothers. And their children. And their friends and co-workers and people they passed in the stores and even themselves. All of it, in thrall to one big lie after another.

Sadly, Bonhoeffer also points out that there’s really no way to reach any of these people. They have to be internally freed from the power that controls them. Until then, we should just abandon all attempts to convince a morally stupid person. Internal liberation occurs only AFTER external liberation. Ideally, I think this would mean the elimination of conservative media. More likely, the return of the Fairness Doctrine might ensure that the morally stupid people are regularly exposed to correct information to offset the garbage spewed in the conservative bubble. The problem? I’m not sure how one goes about that in view of the fact that immoral people can hide their lies behind the veil of free speech.

There’s an episode of ‘Star Trek’ in which an historian goes to another planet and re-creates the world of Nazi Germany in the late 1930’s and early 40’s. Not surprisingly, his experiment gets out of control and Nazism takes over, finally killing the historian himself. I’ve been watching Republicans take strategies from the Nazi playbook since 43 infested the Oval Office. Karl Rove was apparently a big fan of the Nazi tactics and he borrowed heavily from the Nazi tactical plan. Like the fictional ‘Star Trek’ historian, Republicans seem to believe they can control the froth and frenzy created by the Nazi ideas but we can see cracks in the veneer already.

The Dumbass once came out and suggested his base get the vaccine. They turned on him. He backed down immediately and went right back to repeating the words they want to hear. I see the Republicans losing control of the monster they’ve created. If past is, indeed, prologue, the future isn’t looking any too bright…

More Poor Choices…

I’m writing this on Monday, October 18 and I’ve just learned this morning that Colin Powell died. There will be many tributes. There will only be passing reference to his participation in starting George’s War in Iraq. I have this concept I follow: none of us would like to be judged by his worst day. Generally, this is true but there ARE exceptions. Powell’s presentation to the United Nations that was so effective at convincing so many of so much pure, unadulterated bullshit, puts him squarely on the ‘judged for this one thing’ list. Powell KNEW he was presenting theoretical “evidence.” Maybe this, possibly that. As a military man, Powell KNEW people – innocent people – would die as a result of his misrepresentations.

Powell was well-respected before the UN debacle. Maybe, by refusing to give the speech, Powell could have averted an illegal war started on trumped up charges and false pretenses that killed hundreds of thousands. Instead, for his own personal gain (he thought maybe he would get to be the first black President – as a Republican), Powell helped sell that war to an hesitant population. THAT choice, defined the man in my mind. It was likely the most important moment in his life and he chose dishonor…

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I’ve heard a LOT of people from the television/film industry talking about the Alec Baldwin shooting. It appears some prop master handed Baldwin a loaded prop gun and told him it was not loaded. Until I have reason to believe otherwise, I’ll assume this was a horrifying accident. But everyone in the business agrees it was a completely preventable accident. It’s important to remember the prop man was non-union. Union workers go through regular training and follow union protocols. Non union workers? Well, maybe. Maybe not. Somehow, a system failed that has otherwise prevented this type of accident since 1993 – the last time a worker on a movie set died under similar circumstances.

I presume Baldwin’s production company hired non-union workers to save money. I guess it worked. Insurance companies will pay out the damages, not Baldwin’s production company. Then again, a lot of money went into making the parts of the movie that have been made and I would imagine the rest of the movie will NOT get made and it will not see a release date. If that’s the case, the choice to hire potentially less qualified property masters to “save money” seems to have gone poorly…

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I’ve heard much chatter, recently, about how Joe Biden is causing gas prices to skyrocket – and skyrocket they are. Over $5.00/gallon for Premium. It’s bunk, of course. Biden doesn’t sit in the boardrooms where production decisions are made. Just before CheetoJesus left office, the price of a barrel of oil was WAY too low as far as the industry was concerned so they cut back production. This was a business decision. The effect becomes real only months after the decision is taken – and when a Democrat takes over the Oval Office.

What I would like to see Biden do (though I wouldn’t actually see it) is get with the greedy CEO’s of those companies and tell them that he’s going to start revoking the various subsidies the industry enjoys. I know, some of those are granted by the bought and paid for Congress so the President doesn’t have much say but there ARE things he can do – or threaten to do, anyway. Things like revoking drilling rights and leases for example. In the short term, such a choice would reduce the damage high gas prices always do to our once-great nation.

Still, it could be that Biden knows the pain the high gas prices are going to cause but, like me, he sees that as people get taken to the cleaners by the gas companies, the public might well start making decisions to change their behaviors. Maybe they’ll choose electric cars, for example. In our vicious so-called “free market” Capitalist society the best way to effect change is to hit people in the pocketbook and the gas companies are hitting the American public HARD. Greed kills but in this case, maybe greed will kill the gas companies…

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As I write this, an atmospheric river is flowing over me outside. I’ve heard as much as 5″ of rain will be falling today. Nice. Now I guess I can go back to half-hour showers and letting my hose run and…what? Wait, I STILL have to be careful? What do you mean, this won’t end the drought? It’s a massive storm that promises to…

All right. I’ll stick to the drought protocols. But you’ve got to admit, it’s a hopeful start!

Giving Cover…

Sometimes I feel sorry for the cons being duped by their corner of the one percent media and this is one of those moments. On some level, whether they’ll admit it or not (they won’t), they know COVID is real…and they’re concerned. They recognize the danger from the virus and want protection. You know how I know? Ivermectin. Hydroxychloroquine. Ingesting disinfectants. Black lights up their asses. They KEEP trying to find remedies but because conservative media sees conservative contrarianism as the truth, the light, and the way, cons are discouraged in said media from taking the one preventative that actually prevents the worst outcomes.

Sometimes, though, I don’t feel one bit sorry for them. Have you heard about the people being “fired” for their refusal to get vaccinated? Quick question, aren’t they quitting? They’re CHOOSING not to follow company policy. Isn’t that quitting?
“Hey,” the manager tells you, “shift starts at 8.”
“No way man, I’ll see you at 10.”
“Don’t bother…”
Did you get fired? I think you quit. I don’t think you should get any of those beautiful unemployment checks you think makes life so sweet, either.

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So, where the heck ARE all the workers? Yeah, I know. If you’re a con, they’re all at home living the good cushy life on that phat unemployment check. In the real world, though, people still have bills to pay and the unemployment augmentations have mostly ceased. I don’t think the old unemployment rates are enough to get the job done – the reason the augmentations were required in the first place. I hear economists saying people are quitting their jobs in droves. They even have a name for it, ‘The Great Resignation.’ Employees are moving on to greener pastures – but that requires better jobs to move to, right? Here’s one possible contributing factor.

When Covid-19 first reared it’s ugly head, the corrupt Dumbass applied his usual dumbass pseudo-skills to the problem. He tried to bad-mouth the virus into submission. When that didn’t work, he gave up and allowed Covid-19 to gain a solid foothold that started killing Americans at an alarming rate. So far, 700,000 Americans have died as a direct result of his failures. 700,000. I’d say THAT created some job openings. I mean, I know many of those people were no longer in the job market. They had aged out. But think about this. (I’m making numbers up, now. This is just an example of a possibility.) Let’s say mom died when Covid swept through her care facility. She was 85. Her kids are in their early to mid-60’s. There was a time in this once-great nation when the retirement age was somewhere between 62 and 65. Not anymore. Now people work into their 70’s (if they can make it) or right up until the day they die. Those of us who grew up in Better America know we’re getting burned but we have also mostly become resigned to our fate.

Then The Feckless Fuckup’s failures killed mom, who left the kids some money. Not a lot, maybe, but enough to supplement what the kids had already done for themselves. Suddenly, they get to retire now. If mom had four kids and they all retired because of the bump the inheritance provided, that’s four new job openings. If that happened with, say, half of CheetoJesus’s victims, 350,000 people, all with four kids (I know. They didn’t all have four kids.) that would be 1,400,000 jobs nobody is coming back to. Add back the other half of the Covid dead, you’re suddenly looking at nearly 2,000,000 jobs “vacated.” I say again, I made up the numbers to illustrate the idea that the older workers might well have left the work force en masse, leaving those jobs available for younger workers – who are snapping them up as quickly as they can. It’s just going to take time to re-staff and re-train workers to do those jobs.

As a real life example, before Covid, we were hearing reports that truckers were an aging group with jobs in the industry not being replaced fast enough. Maybe Covid just did the final trick for them – one way or another – and they’re done. NOW we’re hearing about supply-chain issues…

It’s frustrating right now, but long-term, I think it’s a good thing. Fewer workers, that is, a limited supply of workers, SHOULD bring wage increases all the way across the board. Joe Six-pack will benefit. Sure, Jeff Bezos might end up with a slightly smaller penis rocket but I have high confidence he’ll be all right…

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I wrote last week that Facebook had cleaned up it’s act, likely in response to the possibility they might get scrutinized for their poor civic attitude. Facebook seemed willing to forego profits in the short term to protect their empire long term. The only question was how long it would last. Not long, it appears. It wasn’t even a full week before I started seeing contrary political posts back on my page. I guess the Congressional bribes, er, campaign contributions were distributed quickly and efficiently and congress hasn’t thought about it since…

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Did you hear that Jon Gruden quit as head Coach of the Las Vegas Raiders over racist, misogynistic, and homophobic emails he sent 10 years ago? I don’t care about Gruden. He’s always been an over-rated hack. His one big accomplishment was “achieved” with a team he didn’t build. He got credit for “winning” Super Bowl XXXVII with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, ironically over the Raiders. THAT team, though was mostly built and trained by Tony Dungy, who was unceremoniously released by Tampa Bay only to move to Indianapolis and repeat the feat with the Colts. Gruden never sniffed the Super Bowl again.

The emails were discovered during an investigation into charges of the Washington Football Team’s racist, misogynistic, and homophobic atmosphere since Dan Snyder bought the team. Gruden’s emails were released publically. The rest of the emails in question have been protected from public scrutiny by the NFL. So, who was Gruden sending the emails to? Who else may have been on the threads? Why are the Washington Football Team’s emails being protected when THEY were the focus of the investigation in the first place?

All In The Timing…

Okay, so…I don’t want to come off as a conspiracy theorist, here, but on the day whistleblower Frances Haugen testified to Congress about poor behavior of Facebook, Facebook’s entire network of social media sites went down for hours. Essentially, the charge against Facebook is that it promotes incivility in order to increase profits. Facebook knows this does damage everywhere, especially to young people and most especially to younger girls. They know it because they study these things and Ms. Haugen brought the internal documentation to prove it. They do it anyway because it increases profit.

As a sidebar, now seems a good time to mention that ANY business does everything it can to increase profit. That’s why businesses exist. It remains the responsibility of the society in which the business operates to define acceptable behavior of the business through laws and regulations. Only a fool would trust the wolf to establish the rules of guarding the hen-house…

After hours of testimony on the east coast and “network management” on the west coast, the world was offered a “deep tech” explanation – the kind of thing most people don’t understand and so won’t/can’t ask relevant follow-up questions. An amazing coincidence, this network crash occurring just as Facebook’s secret, damaging algorithm is being exposed in Congress.

I mostly make political posts. Before the testimony, I had been noticing a string of conservative ads on my page. They were all disinformation in the typical conservative style. They all twisted truth just enough to become untrue. On the day of the testimony/crash, I was trying to log onto Facebook to respond to a conservative friend’s post that had shown up on my page. Sadly, for Facebook, I wasn’t going to fight with said friend. There was even agreement to be had in the post and I wanted to comment. I had just seen the post that morning before the testimony crash began. BUT…

When one COULD log back into Facebook, the post was nowhere to be found. All of the ads from conservative outlets were gone, replaced by fond memories of friends and memes with meaningful sayings and inspirational affirmations. It was full-on “Peaceful Valley.” Oh, and boring. Apparently, Facebook’s internal studies showing that their best profit model comes from keeping people fighting is accurate. Sure, it’s a sorry statement on the state of humanity but, hey…profits!

I saw a headline that said the testimony will prompt action in Congress. I’m sure that’s true. Sadly, the action it will prompt will be an unscheduled round of bribe payments to various Congress critters…

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On Friday, Bill Maher went off on the threat the Dumbass poses to America. He pointed out that Republicans, currently refusing reality, have decided to shape “reality” by dismantling American democracy. Can’t win on the strength of your positions? Then, “win” with carefully placed sycophants and gerrymandering. For Republicans, the point is the win, not the positions. I think Maher’s right. I think America is in FAR greater trouble than we’re letting on. Many cons refused to accept the outcome of the 2020 election simply because it didn’t come out the way they preferred. There was absolutely no evidence of electoral shenanigans on the Democrats part in 2020. The outcome in 2020 was just because a LOT more lefties than righties voted. Still, the cons are out shouting, “I don’t like it so I don’t believe it.”

Now they’re actively, systematically undermining the Republic by putting toady sycophants into influential positions. If a Republican “wins” and the left doesn’t accept the results because of the actual instances of actual vote fraud that will actually occur, the cons will just dismiss the left’s angst and anger as sour grapes, the same thing the cons did after 2020 – only the left won’t be pretending. Still, it will be portrayed as no big deal in the media.

The truth is, elections haven’t been coming out right since Bill Clinton handed control of the media over to the One Percent in the 1990’s. TWICE since then (43 and the dumbass) we’ve had situations where most people chose one person only to have the other person get the job. The disparities have been SO bad, the One Percent’s media decided to stop doing exit polls – the gold standard of polling. THEY said it was because exit polls are undependable. The truth is, the exit polls made it far more difficult to “explain” why the loser was really the winner. And, oh my god, have the “winners” been losers. Far and away the two stupidest presidents America has suffered (let’s call them ‘Dumber’ and ‘Dumbest’) have been the result of electoral b.s. from Republicans – and Dumbest appears to be coming back for more. America will TRY to hand him his ass again but THIS time, the corrupted American system may well prevent good people from stopping bad people.

The fact that there are more sane people than conservatives, more people who love America than conservatives, and more people who respect the Constitution than conservatives isn’t going to stop the conservatives. They’re just going to cheat. But where will that leave America? The cons aren’t even thinking about the damage they’re doing. They just want the win. Those of us who ARE thinking about the damage don’t see any way around it. It’s being slowly baked into the system and once in place, the system will fail. That’s not fear-mongering. It’s history.

Our only hope is to pressure Democrats in Congress to take action. That will take a LOT of us calling and writing and even then, I don’t know how many messages it takes to offset million-dollar “campaign contributions.” (Remember when they were just called ‘bribes?’ “Bribes” is so much easier to write than “campaign contributions.” I think we should stick to calling the bribes ‘bribes.’ You know…for clarity…) Our Congress, both parties, is in thrall to – and working for – the One Percent…against the best interests of the American people. Call them anyway. (202) 224-3121. That’s the switchboard. They’ll direct you to the member who pretends to represent you…

Exposition of Guilt…

CheetoJesus is actually suing to try to stop his base from finding out about his personal role in the January 6 insurrection. To be clear, he’s not saying he didn’t do anything wrong. He’s saying people shouldn’t be allowed to see what he did. It’s a little silly. Thinking Americans already know what he did and his base doesn’t care – they’d kill their own children for him. The smart money would have been to stay out of it. Of course, I have yet to see a single smart thing come from the dumbass. It’s not “proof,” of course, but from a purely logical point of view, it could easily be understood as a confession, of sorts. You see, if there was nothing to find out, there would be no reason to hide his activities. In fact, if he was innocent, one would think he would WANT to prove it. Instead, he demonstrates the opposite. Obviously, this will have to play out in court…

Trump is a traitor. If you support Trump, you’re a traitor, too. Ask the “patriots” who attacked the Capitol. They were waving the American flag as they assaulted our Republic and they can wrap themselves in the flag as they toddle off to prison – but they’re still traitors…

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Workers are starting to get fired for not getting vaccinated. Good. I’m tired of this virus and the contrarians just keep it coming, over and over. Besides, they’ve made it easy for employers to gauge those who may not be up to the mental challenges of a given job…

Think about it. If you have an employee so selfish they don’t care about the damage they do to those around them and too stupid to understand that they are, in fact, doing damage to those around them, do you want them representing your company?

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No joy. No…no DeJoy. One of the dumbass’s greatest “strengths” was in finding the very worst person to do a job and then put them into that job. It likely explains his long string of business failures. He has, after all, never started a successful company – which makes sense. HE certainly doesn’t know what he’s doing and putting in people who know even less is an excellent way to destroy a company. He did it across the board during his maladministration and one of his worst appointments came in the form of Louis DeJoy.

DeJoy’s job is to destroy the USPS to the extent possible. No, that’s not the official job description. It’s just the understood job description as presented by America-hating Republicans. DeJoy is a saboteur. He owns a shipping company called ‘New Breed Logistics’ and he’s one of those guys who understood that the Post Office did a better job at a lower cost than ANY of the competing shipping companies. Private companies simply cannot compete with government operations on any level. Private companies are less efficient, more expensive, and provide worse service – every time. The lean, mean business machine model is just a lie. They CAN’T get better at what they do so the private companies and their enablers do everything they can to sabotage the government, instead.

In DeJoy’s case, he has done excellent work undermining the USPS. Starting October 1 of this year, we all got treated to the information that – due to his never-ending, keep your eye on the prize determination – first class mail across the country would now be moving slower. He has done nothing to improve the mail service and everything he can to harm it but there he sits. I, for one, will not be surprised when he announces he’s eliminating trucks and planes and returning to the Pony Express slowing the mail even further.

It’s weird. Biden can’t do anything about it. Apparently, this is because Postmaster General used to be a political plum Presidents could use to reward supporters and Congress thought that was a bad thing so they wrote a law changing the way things work. NOW, the President can only appoint members to a Board of Governors and hope they do the right thing for the country. Sadly, the current board consists of Dumbass appointees so we KNOW they won’t do the right thing for the country. They HATE this country.

There ARE currently, three vacancies. Filling those vacancies would give Democrats a technical 5-4 majority but at least one of those is a DINO appointed by the dumbass. So, we appear to be stuck with DeJoy for the foreseeable future. The damage inflicted on the US by the Republicans is ongoing.

It really sucks, watching this once-great nation being brought to it’s knees by choice and by moneyed interests. Greed kills…

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So…Rudy Giuliani has now acknowledged that he got some of the “evidence” he used in court to disrupt American democracy from social media pages like Facebook. According to ‘Business Insider,’ he admitted it under oath during a deposition being taken for a lawsuit from one of the victims of his baseless allegations. He thinks only a “terrible lawyer” would try to find out if the stories he was repeating were actually true. How do I know? He said, “I would have to have been a terrible lawyer… gee, let’s go find out it’s untrue.” I have never attended law school but I think he’s wrong. Lawyers aren’t supposed to present frivolous information in court, which obliges them to find out if things are true if being presented as evidence. I may be wrong about that, but Giuliani is now suspended from the bar in New York because he kept marching into court with frivolous information he couldn’t verify.

Will this revelation have ANY effect on the true believers? No. They’ll never even know it happened. It often surprises me when I’m talking with cons, the things they don’t know. Corrupting the independent media in America was a masterstroke by the one percent…

On Taxing the Rich…


I saw this meme today. Now, I’ve got to say, I’ve never been impressed by Ayn Rand. I think she was a selfish, self-serving idiot. She wrote what is, basically, a kid’s book called ‘Atlas Shrugged.’ It’s an over-simplified story of the glories of the so-called “free market” that works out well for the protagonist because SHE wrote the story and got to choose the outcome. The conservatives of this once-great nation have glommed onto it like the new and improved Bible. She means to be railing at government but when I read this all I can think about is Jeff Bezos and his ilk. It’s like so many other things conservatives cling to. It’s technically true but aimed at the wrong target.

Specifically because so many cons are in thrall to the one percent, her final line is likely true, as well. They honestly believe that government is the problem and that, given the chance, the one percent will, eventually, do the right thing. Of course, they also believe they can defeat a virus by shoving a black-light up their asses so…they may not be a dependable source. The one percent isn’t going to do anything for anyone but themselves any time soon. They’ve had 40 years to do something. Still waiting. It’s well past time to tax the rich their fair share. Let them pay taxes at a rate commensurate with the rate they extract from society. (You keep all the money? YOU pay all the taxes!)

I’ve written before about my idea I call ‘Backs or Bucks.’ The concept is simple. People – and I mean everybody – should contribute to society, either with their backs or their bucks. For most of us, it’s some combination of the two. But, according to my view, the more one contributes to society with their backs, the LESS they should be asked to contribute with their bucks and vice-versa. The one percent, generally, don’t do any work. They just take the spoils of the work others do. I know many don’t believe me. Here’s one way a person can tell if someone is working or not.

The IRS recognizes two types of income based on the source derived. Not to put too fine a point on it, they call the two types either ‘Earned Income’ or ‘Unearned Income.’ See that keyword there, ‘Unearned’? Basically, it’s money that came your way even though you did nothing to earn it. There’s another name for that you’re more likely to have heard, Capital Gains. American homeowners tend to see Capital Gains in the increased value of their houses. The one percent see Capital Gains in pretty much everything they do and they don’t pay taxes at the same rate as working people, either. They pay far less. The top book rate for Capital Gains is currently 20%. The top book rate for earned income is 37%.

People who don’t fully understand exactly HOW they’re getting screwed in this deal will tell you what the one percent WANT them to tell you: the one percent deserve to take more because they started the company. I actually agree with that sentiment – to a point. See, Bezos DID start Amazon and, I think we can agree, it’s been wildly successful. But Bezos only filed some paperwork to start a company. The wild success of Amazon is NOT because the company was started. It’s because of the workers doing the work that produces value. There’s a rule about that: Capital is always dependent upon – and secondary to – labor.

So, sure, Bezos started the company and “deserves” more – but how much more? To me, the answer to THAT question is the answer to another question. How much money could Bezos make if he didn’t have any employees? THAT’S how much more he “deserves.” But he keeps FAR more than that. From my point of view, it’s wage theft. The one percent like to say that if we just give them all the money, it will encourage them to, maybe, someday, do something good for those around them. I say that high taxes on the one percent will cause them to actually do what they always promise low taxes might someday encourage them to do. The cons have had their “free market” run and, like always, have been proven wrong. It’s time to return to a regulated, taxed market – call it the “fair market.”

President Biden is proposing a new tax rate that would take the capital gains tax as high as 49%. It’s not enough, but it’s a start. I vote yes. Honestly, I don’t believe the new rates will ever be enacted. The one percent have too much American money and they’re using it against Americans. But just the idea that someone proposed doing the right thing, out loud and in public, shows promise.

Hope springs eternal, I guess…

Time Wasters…

So…the recall is over. Gavin will stay governor until the regularly scheduled election – next year. What a stupid waste of money. I know, taking advantage of California’s stupid recall rules is pretty much the only way a modern conservative could ever hope to win a statewide office in California. That’s because most conservative politics these days are just bat-shit crazy. I saw many of the ads being run by the cons. The ads consisted of lists of issues. I didn’t hear any solutions. I DID hear some threats. Larry Elder said he would drop all mask mandates, killing Californians like we’re Floridians or Texicans. One guy ran around campaigning with a bear – and then got all butt-hurt when people paid more attention to the bear than to him. Take the hint, sir. The bear seemed more rational.

My guess is that Gavin will stay governor after the next election, too. I’m not sure I felt that way before. Gavin has made some stupid mistakes (French Laundry, anyone?) and I think he was on the ropes a little bit, there. The Republican Recall did more to rehabilitate Newsom’s career than anything Gavin might have done himself. So, the next time you meet a conservative, shake their hand and thank them for their service – to progressives…

Not surprisingly, the cons tried to trot out the Republican lie about rigged elections. Elder said he was concerned about “shenanigans.” To his credit, I haven’t heard him pushing the line since he conceded. I, for one, am tired of listening to cons talking about election fraud. Let’s be clear. No one in America cheats at elections like the Republicans. No one. Between gerrymandering and restrictive voting laws, they work tirelessly to deny voters the opportunity to vote – so long as they’re likely progressive voters.

California suffered many years under the weight of conservative gerrymandering. We passed a law that did away with the practice in the state. I’ll believe conservatives are interested in battling voter fraud when they pass similar laws in their states. They won’t, though. They’ll just keep pointing their fingers at progressives and screaming “voter fraud!” Nothing like a little conservative projection to get the day started. The con leaders KNOW they have nothing of value to offer average Americans so they have no choice. If they’re going to destroy America, they’ve GOT to cheat to do it. And, sadly, they’re bound and determined to destroy America…

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Speaking of threatening America, the cons tried to hold a rally in support of the traitors who stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021. They called it the “Justice for J6” rally. Apparently, it was a flop, much as the original assault they’re not celebrating. Cons are trying to re-write the details of what happened. It’s one thing to encourage and/or take part in a direct assault on America, it’s another thing to take responsibility for it. So far, there are something like 650 cons “taking responsibility for their actions” (read: facing criminal charges) whether they want to or not. Saturday’s J6 rally brought out about half that number. The “bravest?” The “most dedicated?” No. Just the dumbest of the dumb…

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I write these awesome essays on my blog page, http://www.mybaconpress.com, then post a copy to Facebook. I mention it because I’m a little curious to see how Facebook will respond to my highlighting their current kerfuffle. (Most likely? They won’t even notice…) Have you heard the charges being leveled at Facebook now? According to the Wall Street Journal, Facebook has understood the damage they do to our society for a long time. (Duh…) The Journal is using internal documents to support their charges. Facebook denies the charges and claims the Wall Street Journal is cherry picking internal information. After everything I’ve seen from Facebook, I’ll believe the Wall Street Journal on this one…

On the upside, we can look forward to an upcoming visit of Zuckerberg to Congress so he can offer the standard Facebook mea culpa. “Our bad.” “We’ll do better.” “We should have known.” Always remember, they did know…

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I think it’s time to re-introduce regulations on, well, on just about everything. This country fell into a hell-hole of pretending regulations were bad and kept business from profiting. As always when it comes from cons, half-true. The regulations were good, in part because they kept businesses from profiting, or, rather, profiteering.

I don’t think business is inherently evil. Nor do I think they’re inherently good. Business exists for one reason: profit. They should, by rights, do every legal thing they can do to produce profit. That’s their job. So it’s up to the societies in which they operate to define what is legal and what is not through laws and regulations. As a society, we’ve abrogated our responsibility to set limits on business and, as a society, we’re now suffering the consequences. We need to take back control. WE need to provide the limits and the ethical guidance business lacks. Just a thought…