Archive for July, 2021

Ain’t Happening

Author: admin

There are people, in every time and in every land,
who want to stop history in its tracks.
They fear the future, mistrust the present
and invoke the security of a comfortable past.
Which, in fact, never existed.

Those are the words of Robert Kennedy, spoken on the presidential campaign trail in 1968, a few weeks before he was assassinated.

Those words, to me, essentially describe the anti-vaxxers and the Trumpers who believe in their false prophet. They “mistrust the present” and long to return to a past that “never existed.” They believe they can relive 1954 again. Which, of course, they can’t.

As for the America of the ‘50’s being “perfect,” I remember “nuclear bomb” drills with kids hiding under desks for “protection,”the military draft interfering with the futures of millions of young men, the Korean War, beginnings of the war in Viet Nam, iron lung machines for polio victims and a lot more. It wasn’t all “Mom and apple pie.” “Dinah Shore and Chevrolet.”

Kennedy’s words, spoken long before Trump became a twice-impeached President, seem to describe why some 30-million souls ignore the realities of today. Millions now live and believe the lies that make up the prison of their imaginary world.

President Biden, speaking “off-the-cuff,” recently opined Faux Neus was “killing people.” Later, he amended those words, softening them just a bit.

But, as originally spoken, Biden’s words do have a truthful basis. Faux, and their equally complicit partners at Newsmax and One News, are spreading lies about vaccines and their effectiveness as they urge millions of viewers to reject the underlying science. With COVID on the increase in 50 states, medical statistics confirm more than 90-percent of the recent dead were unvaccinated. That’s a fact. All the right-wing B.S. to the contrary.

In addition, the continuing lies are eating at the base of our Republic. Millions of Americans are “believers.” A recent poll of Republican voters showed some 62-percent believe Biden is either not the President or that his election was a fraud. Sixty-two-percent! How can governance – by either party – be effective if that many of the governed believe the system under which they live is false?

The politicizing of our pandemic by those purveyors of lies is “the gift that keeps on giving.” By mixing COVID with politics, capitalizing on fears associated by millions when it comes to medical science, adding a constant stream of lies emanating from right-wing media, with Trump seen as the “savior” of their non-existent world, the mix has created fear, hostility and anger across the country. In fact, Biden was right!

Interesting little background check here. Faux Neus is home to Hannity, Ingraham, Cavuto, Bongino and Doocy. All of whom have heaped praise on Trump and bad-mouthed vaccinations. Which makes it interesting to note that all have been vaccinated. All of ‘em! Further, Faux has instituted an internal “COVID passport.” Get a shot, put it on your “passport” and you can avoid the daily testing of all employees. Isn’t that sweet?

Still their voices form a daily “choir” of lies, half-truths and ignorance directed at an audience of millions who swallow all the verbal swill these people dish out. Reminds me of one of the political truth’s of years gone by: “Ignore what they say – watch what they do.”

But, there’s something else interesting to add to all this. Seems recent polling indicates 62-percent of vaccinated Americans at-large – are asking for a booster shot. At the moment, none of the pharmaceutical companies is suggesting that. But, in about three months, we’ll be told to get our seasonal flu shots. Maybe there’ll be a “booster” option offered.

This nation has always had what my Dad called “aginers.” People who opposed one thing or another just out of onryness. Or, determined ignorance. We’ve got our share of those today.

While Kennedy’s words still seem appropriate for our times, they serve only as a societal recognition of the millions who are living in another world. They offer neither response nor a method to overcome the steady flow of misinformation with which we’re afflicted today. Kennedy never had to deal with the media pervasiveness we have in our lives now. There were far-right conspiratorial voices in the ‘50’s,” but not the (un)social media of unedited garbage that fills so much of our lives these days.

While we’re not the first generation having to deal with angry miscreants and outliers by the millions, we are the first having to contend with the constant, daily flow of broadcast and computerized verbal fuel that feeds so many millions. That keeps stoking the angry fires.

First Amendment or not, some way must be found to shut off the spigots of misinformation and falsehoods. If we can’t find an answer to ending the flow of lies being passed off as fact, the fuel for the fires will continue to infiltrate our lives. If that flow can’t be stopped, it will continue to threaten our Republic from within. We must relieve the pressures that could impinge on the freedoms of the rest of us.

I was a supporter of Bobby Kennedy. His words were optimistic, his efforts in various positions of authority were positive and hope-giving.

We could use more of that today.

Remembering Jimmy

Author: admin

Bottom line: Our unvaccinated neighbor(s) poses a threat to our lives for which, if the threat were him firing a gun, he’d be arrested. For being unvaccinated, he’s free to go.

I’ve heard every damned excuse for avoiding the COVID needle and they’re all non-starters – with the only possible exception being someone who, medically, cannot be exposed to the vaccine. Other than that, they’re all pure B.S..

In the very early 1960’s, Dr. Jonas Salk announced a reliable, and thoroughly tested vaccine for polio. I had a friend in second grade – Jimmy Shoemaker – who contracted the disease and was quickly placed in an “iron lung” 150 miles away. Though I didn’t know it in 1943, he’d spend the rest of his life in that damned machine and die at the age of 31.

With that image in mind, when the Salk vaccine was initially available, I made sure our three kids were immediately in line for a little sip from a Dixie cup. Us, too. Tasteless. Almost to the point of being disappointing. I’d expected some medical after-taste as is almost always the case in oral medical treatments.

But, thinking of Jimmy in that damned steel machine, and knowing the effectiveness of the Salk vaccine, there was no decision to make. Go get it. All five of us.

Now, jump ahead 60 years. It’s likely impossible to come up with a source for the politicization of what should have been purely a medical issue. But, early on, that’s exactly what happened with COVID-19. The anti-vaxxers and the loud voices of Trumpers set the tone and here we are. Another needless national division.

COVID is on the rise in all 50 states. People are being hospitalized. People are dying. Needlessly! This should NOT be happening. But, it is. The unvaccinated are walking among us and some could be carriers of COVID. And, I’d bet some of those walkers who’ve made that detestable decision, are also not mask wearers.

So, the rest of us – we who’ve chosen the safer route of vaccination and masks – are ready targets for the COVID many of them are carrying. Though vaccinated, we can be reinfected. The vaccine in our bodies is only about 70-percent effective. We are vulnerable.

With the possible exception of those with well-proven medical problems with vaccines, there’s no excuse fo anti-vaxxers. With COVID or anything else. Full stop.

We’re a nation of laws, though some recent court decisions seemingly challenge that long-standing fact. When facing an international pandemic – COVID or the Black plague or any other terrible, life-threatening disease – we, as citizens, deserve and expect such treatments, as are recognized and effective, to be accessed by all. If not willingly, then I believe, mandated.

My unvaccinated neighbor should not be entitled to be a medical threat to me, my family or the neighborhood. His likelihood of being a carrier – or being infected – pose such a threat to all with whom he comes in contact. As previously stated, what if he carried a loaded rifle and pointed it at all the people who cross his path? Wouldn’t he be considered “armed and dangerous” and, therefore, a threat to the community?

And the politicalization. Overlay a map of the most severe states affected by this deadly disease on one showing states Trump won in 2016 and last year. The red ones. There’s a lot of similarity. Especially Texas, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee and – well – you get the idea.

There was a time – long, long ago – in an America now seemingly far, far away – when you lost the argument or the ball game, you stopped arguing and the minority went along with the majority.

No more. Now, we have those who won’t move. Who won’t stop arguing. Who loudly go their own way. As we’ve seen repeatedly, sometimes carrying a weapon. Or a disease.

Even something as simple as being a responsible citizen – not to mention being a responsible parent – when getting a three-second shot to do your part in stopping the spread of a pandemic, brings angry resistance. That’s wrong. That’s the point, when you put all you come into contact with in life-threatening danger; when you become irresponsible. That’s not right!

We’re a nation of freedoms. We’re a nation of choices. But, when you chose to be a danger – and possibly a disease carrier or a killer – to all around you, well, that’s wrong. Just wrong.

There oughta be a law.

Government by fear

Author: admin

There’s a lot of blame and anger in the air these days over the actions of legislative bodies in 28 states to limit voting access.

“This state.” “That state.” Pick one.

But, truth be told, that blame and anger is being directed at the wrong target. Those legislative folk are doing what the law allows. Now. If you’re angry about people – mainly people of color – being limited in voting access, I suggest the proper target is Chief Justice Roberts of the U.S. Supreme court.

More specifically, you can direct your anger at both Roberts and the U.S. Congress. That latter body did nothing specifically about voting access when it came time to renew the Voting Rights Act in 2006. And, that renewal – without dealing with a previously struck access portion – was a huge mistake. Huge!.

Let’s take a step back to a case before SCOTUS – a year or two before Congress got to the renewal stage. The case – the one Roberts was addressing – was Shelby County versus Holder.

In the original Voting Rights Act of 1965, there was a provision requiring states with a history of shutting out voters, to submit to SCOTUS any changes in their voting laws prior to adoption. With that law on the books, incidents of voter exclusion dropped dramatically. For years, things stayed pretty calm.

Then came Shelby v Holder. The petitioners claimed – with good evidence at that time – that the portion of the Voting Rights Act requiring SCOTUS approval of new voting laws was no longer necessary. The states being “punished”by the pre-approval process were doing just fine. No problems.

Stepping up to write the opinion was Chief Justice Roberts. The states in question – mainly in the South – had so few voter access problems, he reasoned, that pre-approval of changes to voting laws from then on was “unnecessary.” So, that portion of the law was eliminated.

Later, when it came time to renew the law – without the pre-approval requirement – Congress went ahead and did so. And, therein lies the problem. That missing “pre-approval” had been challenged four previous times. And Robert’s ruling was upheld four previous times.

So, States like Georgia, North/South Carolina, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi and Arkansas stopped sending SCOTUS the new laws – because of the Roberts ruling – and they were off to the races.

Now, largely Democrat communities within those states are, in many instances, being handcuffed. New laws are being passed, so restrictive, that people – mainly people of color – are being stopped at the polling place door. At the same time, Republicans have begun purging elections officials not to their liking and, as in our Arizona “fraudit,” beginning to challenge voting results for the same reason.

Naturally, with the despicable leadership/assistance of one D.J. Trump, the next step is to undermine voter confidence in our tried-and-true elections systems. An action already underway.

It would seem – to this non-attorney mind – the only way to stop what 28 states are doing to disenfranchise voters they don’t like is for Congress to again take up the 1964 Voting Rights Act and reinsert some voter protection. If not the original pre-approval requirement, then something else that will stop what’s happening in Red states.

A good case can be made that the underlying motivation for these largely
Republican attacks on our voting system is fear. Fear this nation will soon be no longer one with a White majority. Fear of emerging minorities. Fear younger voters are less attracted to the traditional two-party system. Fear the nation will be governed less by the previously White majority and more by the new multi-racial collaboration of minorities. Fear. F-E-A-R.

It’s a sad fact legislatures in certain states, now in largely Republican hands, can’t be trusted to “serve and protect” all their citizens in the most valued right of citizenship: the right to vote. The right to govern. The right to choose. Those offending legislative bodies have to be disciplined – be held accountable – be made more responsible to the very people who gave them their authority – the voter. All voters.

Congress has failed us by not re-authorizing the state accountability portion of the 1964 Voting Rights Act. Chief Justice Roberts has failed us by apparently letting himself be fooled – some years ago – by temporary acquiescence on the part of previously bad actors at the legislative level. He certainly can see now, from his lofty quarters, what’s been happening in 28 states as they’ve made voting access more restrictive.

Robert’s ruling has been proven to be a tragically flawed one. He let the GOP Genie out of the jar. It would appear only our seemingly stalemated Congress can reset the voting system. Will It?

A movie premiere

Author: admin

Now, this story’s gonna take some time to tell. So, hang in here while I try to make everything clear..

One of these days, you may receive an invitation to a “private showing” of a new movie. It’s called “The Deep Rig.” No. No, it’s not the story of a well-drilling operation in the Gulf of Mexico. No, this “rig” is meant to imply somebody – perhaps millions of somebody’s and some not of this earth – conspired to “rig” the 2020 Presidential election.

Cute, huh?

Oh, it gets cuter. ‘Cause this is the yet-to-be-released account of “proof” of all sorts of unsupported claims of how badly Mr. Trump was treated at the polls. And, in the “fraudulent” counting.

Remember Senator Karen Fann? Remember, she’s the Republican Majority Leader in the Arizona Senate and she’s who hired that Cyber-Ninjas guy (without a shred of experience) to conduct the audit of more than two-million votes from our Maricopa County election. Guy’s name is Doug Logan. You gotta remember that ‘cause the cast of characters – conspiracy believers, QAnon believers, former convicts and miscreants – means there will be more names and I don’t want you to be confused.

Well, anyway, there’s a special church for right-wingers in the Phoenix area called Dream City Church. Trump, himself, appeared there last year. And that was the site of the invitation-only premier of “The Deep Rig” about a couple weeks ago. Cost 45-bucks a head. Ms. Fann was there. So were other Arizona Senators. Including former Senator Ken Bennett who’s supposed to be the “impartial” liaison between the legislature and the counting folks. He’s supposed to assure the “validity” of our fraudit. “Unbiased,” he promised. “Accurate,” too.

The big bucks for the video production came from former Overstock CEO Pat Byrne. Proceeds – if significant proceeds there be – are supposed to go to pay for the fraudit which is now in the red ink bucket. Way in.

And, guess who’s appearing in this unfounded conspiracy production? Well, ol’ Doug Logan his-self. The guy who’s heading up the counting disaster. The guy who undertook the challenge with promises of honesty, integrity and other mouthy B.S. a few, long months back.

And, wouldn’t you know? Appearing in a brief supporting role? Why, retired general – and convicted-felon-but-Trump-pardoned – Michael Flynn. He spoke dire warnings and promised a “bombshell” when counting’s done. I think the word “shell” can be scratched and the word “bomb” left in.

Austin Stenibard was there, too. He’s a Qannoner who’s mixed up in all this. After all, he’s had a lot time on his hands since finishing his prison term for extortion or attempted extortion. Nice guy. Just misunderstood.

Starring in the film – just in case you’re not “invited” to a local premier – is our own little political disaster – the fraudit itself! Lots of coliseum floor footage and lots of completely unfounded claims of “illegalities, “uncounted Trump ballots.” “duplicity” and – wait for it – “FRAUD!” No proof offered. No showing of uncounted Trump ballots. Not even an old GOP pensioner claiming his vote was “stole.” No, Sir. Claims aplenty. But, proof of what’s claimed in “The Deep Rig?” Not a whit. And counting’s not done.

Anyone with a pound of common sense knew, from the git-go, this “fraudit” business was all smoke-and-mirrors. The search for any proof of wrongdoing at the polling places – or in the counting – was never the intent. The original idea was to somehow create something that hinted at fraud to give Trump “proof” for his “the-election-was-stolen”circus which is being presented weekly even as we speak. Alas, what started so “nobly” has become a rotted mess on the Veteran’s Coliseum floor.

When this group of elected and unelected bad actors gets to the last ballot and say they have a “result” in hand, who’s going to believe it? Or, any other “pronouncements” forthcoming? If Trump really is looking at this wretched group of conspirators to give him something – anything – useful to back up his discredited claims of wrongdoing, he’s going to be disappointed. But, who knows? He may take the phony information and run with it. He’s proved repeatedly – no facts will stand in his way.

Arizona’s really not a bad place to live. Oh, it’s 113-degrees on the patio at the moment. But, really, with good air conditioning everywhere you go, it’s not unlike where you live. Lots of vaccinated seniors having fun and living the “high life.” Between doctor’s appointments.

Please don’t let this fringe Republican ploy affect your thinking. Come see us. By the time you get here, the Coliseum will have been cleaned, disinfected and all those ballots and equipment will have been taken God knows where. Maricopa County folks don’t want any of it back.

So, it seems, the “work” of all those conservative Republican counters will have been sent to it’s rightful holding place. A large county dump-site. About 15 miles out of town.