Archive for June, 2023

Wha … ?

Author: admin

This space has often lamented the sad, sad state of the National Republican Party. Included in those oft-printed lamentations has been a statement explaining the importance of the need for a strong, viable balance to the National Democratic Party..

Forget it. Forget all that and just accept the fact that there presently is no viable, responsible second political party. None. Zero. Zip. Nada! It ain’t there, McGee.

Proof of such bad news was offered aplenty at National Republican Conference Committee earlier this year in Utah. Formal actions taken were enough to send whatever attending right-thinking Republicans there may be straight to the bar for a couple of shots of Old Grandad. Even in Utah.

Let’s consider nearly unanimous votes on just two issues.

In one, the crowd of cretins censured former Representatives Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger – the two Republicans who served on the very important January 6th Committee. Censured. Both of ’em. For no other reason than their membership on said committee which, incidentally, proved its worth nearly every day in the search for facts – and sponsorship – of that terrible attack on this nation.

Those two GOP’ers in the entire U.S. House of Representatives, who should be highly commended for taking on the detective work and the dangers to themselves, censured! By a bunch of crazies, dressed in their Sunday best, who think Sean Hannity is their “Great White Hope” come to “save them from the troubles of this world.”

Cheney and Kinzinger deserve hearty plaudits for their undertaking rather than being given a sentence of political “death” for their work. That the National Republican Conference Committee should kick these two to the curb like so much garbage indicates a death of brain matter we’ve long suspected.

But wait! There’s more!

Item number two. “Legitimate political discourse.” Sounds sorta important, only to be used in some kind of high political affair.

But, no, Virginia. The assembled Republican “deep thinkers” in Utah used those words to describe that January 6th assemblage that attacked and vandalized our nation’s Capitol! Yep, that’s what they did. Nearly unanimous it was, too. Loudly shouted!

If one is to take that official vote seriously – and that’s damned hard to do – World War II was just a case of misunderstanding, the results of which were simply an educational opportunity for all involved.

“Legitimate political discourse!” Who, in their right mind, could attach their names to a vote on an issue which has become part of the official Republican statement on the horrendous activities of January 6th?

“Right mind” – my Aunt Fannie!

If there’s to be an honest, valuable and necessary balance of our two national political parties, it seems those who agree with that tome must step away – run away – from what the GOP now represents.

While it’s easy to say, “Well, those national committee folk don’t speak for me,” the hard fact is, they do! And, those votes – irrational and wrong-headed as they are – now make those actions part of the official Republican Party theology. Which means a lot of Republicans seeking your vote in November will have subscribed to those words.

And, should you vote for them, you subscribe, too. Because the censure vote and the January 6th statement are now official positions of the GOP.

Speaking of the attack, anyone who thinks the January 6th Committee was just another waste of political time is not listening. While some of what those folks uncovered thus far remains secret, what has been revealed has shown planning and responsibility for the attack went straight to the Oval Office.

GOP voters, who’ve mostly ignored workings of the Party hierarchy in previous times, must now take what comes out of the Washington D.C. headquarters more seriously. Those votes in Utah mean your vote – your endorsement of all things Republican – is your acceptance of those actions.

Republicans who disagree with national positions, adopted at that Salt Lake City gathering, may want to surrender their membership cards and start thinking of a new affiliation. In a new Party.

Your country needs YOU!


Author: admin

I am absolutely stumped!

I’ve thought and thought and thought and thought. And, thought a bit more.

Why is it that 25-30 million Americans are still sticking with a guy who’s been twice impeached and twice charged with crimes?

I just don’t get it!

It’s likely, when push comes to shove, the orange guy will try to enter a unique plea when the first felony trial convenes. It’s likely he’ll work to get out of it by promising never to run for public office ever again. Might be a good compromise rather than a former President being found guilty. And jailed.

But, what about the rest?

At the moment, there’s a second charge – misappropriation and misuse of a mountain of classified documents – waiting in the wings.

When those criminal matters are legally dealt with, there’s Georgia prosecutor Fani Willis – also in the wings – with extensive evidence of Trump’s interference with Georgia’s 2020 federal election. She’s got some excellent evidence and a voice recording of that “interference.

Then, there’s New York Attorney General Leticia James with more charges of fraud in Trump’s playing fast and loose with property valuations for tax purposes. Both State and Federal. And she’s got more hard evidence.

There may be even more legal snares out there we know nothing about. Possibly some Federal legal handiwork dealing with those same property tax issues, depending on how New York cases end up.

Some loose lips in Trump’s orbit of “friends” have been talking about his current state of mind, given what he’s facing. They’re saying he’s angry and starting to panic because – for the first time in his life – he can’t control what’s swirling around him. He can’t control what’s happening – legally or politically. And, for the first time, he can’t walk – or run – away.

Trump has lived his whole life, able to escape from such things as paying people for their work or being responsible for his actions. He’s got a long history of avoiding and/or fleeing when he feels like it.

But, at this time in his life, being officially charged with multiple felony counts, why are those millions of lambs still sticking with him? And, why are they sending him millions of dollars when he’s already got millions of dollars?

Whether your thoughts about him are positive or deeply negative, he’s created a public persona unique to our times. People love him deeply. Millions more would like to see him wearing an orange jump suit and facing the four interior walls of some cell.

God, alone, knows how many lawsuits, with his name on them, are out there. The name of E. Jean Carroll is still in the headlines. With a court order that Trump pay her millions of dollars for past efforts to smear her name. Now, after that victory, she’s been given court approval for even more millions because – after the court award – he did it again!

Trump will eventually stand trial – in Florida, Georgia, Alabama or somewhere else – because evidence is piling up. And, because the feds are holding a lot of that, we’re talking about federal charges of real crimes. Charges against him are criminal rather than civil as in past legal bouts. Walls are closing in. And, he’s apparently feeling it. Who wouldn’t?

Millions of Americans would like to see him in a “perp walk” wearing that aforementioned jump suit – a walk that ends in a jail somewhere.

But, there are those 25-30 million other Americans that believe the whole thing is a “Democrat plot” or “Biden’s to blame” or ” God will step in to save him” or some other ridiculous tome.

No matter what he does, no matter the charges mounting up, no matter the video or voice recordings of him committing crimes, no matter what he’ll eventuality be convicted of, his minions will be there. There to write more checks. There to say the charges are the work the of “Democrats.” No matter the court filings, no matter his guilt or innocence or evidence – they’ll be there. Whatever befalls Trump. They’ll always be there.

In the cold light of day, and the eventual convictions of this or that to come, their allegiance will confound historians and scholars.

It sure as hell, confounds me.

Minority rule, meh

Author: admin

We’re living with a societal problem that needs to be killed. Quickly.

The problem: minority rule. Read again. Minority rule.

The most extreme example came up several weeks ago. In the Miami-Dade school district. In one school. By one parent.

At issue: the poem written by a very talented young woman for the occasion of the inauguration of President Joe Biden. A Black Woman.

That poem was filled with uplifting thoughts and phrases. The words carefully chosen to speak of a bright picture for America.

But. But, one parent of one student, in one grade school in one city, in one school district with millions of students didn’t like it. So, a single complaint was filed and the poem was deemed “inappropriate” for all students in all grade schools in the whole district.

One parent. In a very large school district of thousands upon thousands of students. One bitcher.

AND, she admitted later, she had not even read this “work of the Devil.”

That “one parent” had previously objected to two books about Black Americans and two others on Cuba. All were pulled. One voice.

In Montana, the Governor has signed into law a bill forbidding drag queens from reading to kids in school, in libraries, in public. Eight bitchers.

At one Target store, a display of clothing, with a rainbow at the center, honoring the local LGBTQ community. Three bitchers and the display was moved to the back of the store.

We see this egregious “minority rule”activity in school districts. In library after library regarding books in their collections. In city councils and county commissions and the boards and committees under them. In Congress. Yes, in our national Congress.

Somewhere – somehow – the old principle of “majority rule” has been turned on its head. In state after state, laws are being put on the books allowing individuals power over local boards and commissions. And, SCOTUS has confirmed a few.

The heckling “minority voice” is changing our way of life. And, there’s a downside to reacting to it.

Take the Target case. By bowing to an acknowledged minority, (three complainers) the store can never claim to be inclusive. A minority was appeased while the majority was silent. For fearing to lose a few shoppers, that store lost me.

Take the issue of abortion. Poll after poll shows a 70-85% of us believe abortion should be retained as a woman’s medical option. Again, legislative and congressional efforts to ban abortion ignore the proven majority that wants to retain it. Political majority voices going unheard. National sentiment be damned. The minority are driving the issue. They’re “owning” it.

There are many examples of “minority rule” in our lives. Examples that challenge the very basics of our democracy.

Look at Congress. Sorry.

Same story. The so-called “Freedom Caucus” of about 40 far right GOP souls in a House of 222. So, about 18-percent bitch from the right, giving leadership of their own Party apoplexy – 40 out of 222 GOP members.

Speaker McCarthy can’t control his own Caucus. Because he’s got about 18-percent of his members gumming up the procedural works for the other 82-percent. Minority rule at its loudest.

It matters not which minority is “calling-the-shots” in any board, commission, city/county/state politics, school district – even Congress.

Somebody, majority somebodies, majority church Deacons, county commissioners, city councils, legislatures – even Congress. Maybe, especially Congress! Majorities need to take control. Regardless of Party or no Party. Majorities have got to tell those 18-percenters to take a seat and speak when called upon.

Minority rule seldom works. Minority rule simply disrupts, confuses, stops meaningful progress and nearly always results in chaos. Majorities need to “kick some butt,” take control and run things according to the rules. Yes, even Congress.

We need to be afraid

Author: admin

Artificial intelligence (AI) scares me to death!

The most serious of my fears is why so many of the scientists and others working in the field – much more educated that I – are expressing fears of their own. The professionals! When the people who “birthed” this thing are afraid, it should set off alarm bells for the rest of us.

Worries about AI systems outsmarting humans and running wild have intensified with the rise of a new generation of highly capable Chatbots such as “ChatPT,” Bard, Stable Diffusion, DALL-E and Midjourney.

Check this from “Tableau,” one of the AI websites. “Worries about AI systems: outsmarting humans, killer robots, consumer privacy, biased programming, dangers to humans, unclear regulations, sentient AI programs.”

That last one is a nail biter.

Basically, we unschooled masses are relying on thousands of scientists, programmers and other highly trained folk to “do the right thing.” To be the “the good guys.”

But, what if not all of them do? Or are?

In almost all human endeavors, there have been “bad guys.” People who seek to use a developing invention – like AI – for bad rather than good. Though you won’t find many explicit comments about the wrongful use of AT, it’s certainly on the minds of many in the field, judging by their sounding of alarms.

More than a thousand researchers/technologists have signed an international letter calling for a six-month pause on AI development. The letter says “AI posses profound risks to society and humanity.”

When hundreds of leading figures in the AI field sign such a list internationally, yes, I get scared. You should be, too.

Dan Hendrycks, executive director of the San Francisco-based Center for AI Safety wrote: “There’s a variety of people from all the top universities in various fields who are concerned that this is a global priority. We’ve got to get people “out-of-the-closet,” so to speak, on this issue because many (professionals) are sort of silently speaking (only to) each other.”

Countries around the world are scrambling to come up with regulations for the developing technology. The European Union seems to be a bit out front with its promise of an AI Act expected to be approved later this year.

Well, that’s just hunky-dorry. So, the EU is going to put something on paper. An “Act.” A statement of how AI is to be used. Gee whiz.

Problem is – and this is the largest concern among the professionals – AI is at the stage of development that all who want to use it can. All. Good and bad.

This is the stuff of science fiction. Like “Star Wars,” “The Jetsons” and “Star Trek.” Except, AI isn’t science fiction anymore. It’s real now! We’ve got it and even the experts don’t know how to use – and how to safeguard – AI from having it turned on civilization.

AI – in the right hands – may be the most important “invention” in our lifetimes. It has so damned much promise when used wisely. It’s truly a “game changer” in almost every way. It can open doors in nearly all fields of human endeavor. It can entirely alter the way we live and communicate with each other.

But, it can also be used against civilization. It can be used for just about any bad purpose you can think of. That’s why the warning statements of thousands of scientists and computer professionals are so meaningful. That’s what should concern all of us.

We – and all of civilization – are facing a real “Hobson’s choice” with artificial intelligence. Even if you – like me – know little to nothing about it, AI is going to affect every human on planet earth. It will.

Google AI as I did. Read up on what it is and how it can be used. And for what purposes. You, too, may suddenly be concerned.

AI is truly a universal mind bender. And, that’s really frightening.