Friday, April 9, 2021

Time for a Blog Break! See Ya Soon

Every now and then it's a good idea to step away from projects - such as writing daily posts for a blog - and to just chill.

Doing nothing has it's virtues. 

Keeping it simple like eating, sleeping, watching Laker games, and taking daily hot tubs is the way to go.

What do I write about?

If you're a newcomer just look to the right of the page and pick a post from the Archives.

If you are into flash fiction and poetry click the link just below the archived posts - THE CREATIVE CHRONICLES of DAVE STANCLIFF.

See ya Monday, April 12th.

Peace.

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Now the 'Grim Reaper' Is Attacking Free Speech

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell/aka The Grim Reaper, is at it again.

Now he's threatening corporate America.

In a nation governed by the First Amendment, his threats are meaningless. 

After Major League Baseball changed the location of the All Star game this year from Atlanta to Denver because of new voter restriction laws in Georgia, McConnell lashed out and warned the companies they're going to suffer severe consequences for their actions.

Encouraged by McConnell's threats several Republican lawmakers threatened to retaliate against MLB by stripping it of an exemption from federal anti-trust laws.

Similarly, after Delta Air Lines spoke out against the same anti-voting law, Georgia's GOP-controlled House voted to strip away a sales tax exception for jet fuel that primarily benefits Delta.

The bill did not pass.

In the first place it's weird hearing McConnell bad mouth corporations when he depends so heavily on their political contributions.

He's spent his career coddling corporations over the rights of average American's.

Here's the thing: the Constitution forbids this sort of behavior by lawmakers. 

To be clear, it is unconstitutional for the government to retaliate against anyone for expressing a political view that members of the government doesn't share.

McConnel, and by extension the Republican Party, are playing with fire when it comes to suppressing free speech in America.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Trump Abuses Donors: They Still Love Him

It's unfathomable how people can get ripped off - know it - but still worship the con man who stiffed them.

That's the case with Trump who fleeced his followers out of millions of dollars they never intended to donate.

The scam was simple. Trump's campaign ran a fundraiser and slipped a poisoned pill into the mix. In print barely legible was a disclaimer that the donations would be ongoing.

No one and done. 

Retired donors on a fixed income were shocked to see what they thought was a one-time donation bloom into a weekly suctioning of their bank accounts.

Caught with his tiny hands in the cookie jar Trump was forced to issue 530,000 refunds worth $64 million to online donors.

The thing that really astounded me was some of the responses from donor victims were:

**"Who cares, he needed the money?"

**"There's nothing that will make me mad at Trump."

**Trump is a gift from God."

And so on.

I've read a lot about cults in America, but having a cult leader for president is a first.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Mirror Mirror On The Wall - Whose The Swampiest Republican Of Them All?

Pretty Boy Rep. Matt Gaetz stopped looking in his mirror lately because the news hasn't been good.

The free-wheeling hypocrite and all-around bad boy is fighting sex charges and trying to conflate them with another investigation on his illegal activities.

Gaetz's reactions to the trouble he's in are desperate attempts at saving his job and ass.

In a Washington Examiner op-ed Gaetz claimed, "The swamp is out to drown me with false charges."

The Swamp Thing 

When Trump cheated his way into office in 2016, one of the reoccurring themes of his rants at rallies was clearing out the swamp.

In reality he created a super swamp stocked with liars and cheats. After four years of foul and toxic political activities the swamp is still so deep it's going to take the Biden administration years to clean it up.

Meanwhile Gaetz blithely moves forward with his false claims hoping someone will be stupid enough to believe him.

A casual observer of the scandal can see that his fellow Republicans are not falling over each other supporting him.

Perhaps the most deafening silence has come from Trump, who hasn't commented on Gaetz's plight. 

After four years of slavish devotion Gaetz is getting thrown under the bus by the man he revered. Interestingly enough, former Trump aides are speaking out now. They feel vindicated in not trusting Gaetz.

One aide told the press, "He's the meanest person in politics," summarizing the overall view of Pretty Boy's career in Washington DC.

Gaetz, who led the way into Trump's swamp, is trying to re-write history in a desperate attempt at saving his job and career. 

It may be time for Gaetz to get another mirror that's not so truthful.

Monday, April 5, 2021

What's the Matter With People? COVID Fears and Follies

I have to admit, I wasn't surprised after reading national polls that state that half of Republican men refuse to obey safety standards (masks, etc.), and get a vaccination.

Apparently Republican women are smarter. 

To be "in" with the fractured GOP means opposing anything the Democrats or scientists have to say about the pandemic.

Being afraid of COVID-19 is not a bad thing.

Getting a vaccine to fight the virus is not a bad thing.

A partisan alternate universe is a bad thing when it comes to controlling a deadly virus that keeps mutating and getting deadlier. 

Examples of overcrowded beaches and restaurants with people ignoring mask mandates are everywhere.

It's almost like living between two worlds.

One recognizes the real danger COVID brings, and the other pretends the virus has gone away and things are normal.

The fact is COVID-19 varieties are springing up in several states, as the virus morphs into deadlier versions.

Unfortunately, many social media platforms are hives of misinformation that allow science-deniers to spread their bullshit with ease.

It's up to people with sense to tell the difference between fact and folly. Let's hope there's enough people out there to overcome this pandemic.

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Review: Hemingway -The Man and the Myth

I'm looking forward to a PBS special tomorrow on one of my favorite writers in American literature, Ernest Hemingway.

Critics agree he was one of America's most complicated writers. The three-part documentary film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick examines one of the greatest and most influential writers America has ever produced.

I remember being transported to exotic places in high school when I read his work. He came across as a courageous adventurer with the ability to tell a story in sharp short sentences

The series features his iconic short stories, and non-fiction. The producers revealed how brilliant, ambitious, charismatic, and complicated Papa Hemingway was.

The viewer is taken on a journey into Hemingway's life. The good, bad, and the ugly.

This documentary offers another generation a look at the myth and the man. I highly recommend everyone to watch the series.

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Return To Normalcy: NBA To Allow Fans on April 15th

It's been too long.

As a Los Angeles Laker fan for 56 years, I've been suffering B-Ball Withdrawal since the pandemic.

Watching NBA games in the Bubble last season was weird and anti-climatic. 

The Lakers still haven't put up their championship banner for the 2020-21 season, instead they opted to wait until fans could witness the moment.

One of the most storied rivalries (Lakers and Celtics), two teams who fueled the NBA's growth over a decade, will be on the court in front of fans at Staples Center on April 15th.

Now that the Lakers have state guidance, they're confident that fans will be safely attending.

The Lakers could use some inhouse encouragement with the bad luck they've experienced this season.

Playing without their two superstars, LeBron James, and Anthony Davis, has been a real challenge for their bench to fill the void.

When the dynamic duo returns it will be in front of fans. That's the way it should be.

I'll be counting the days.

Friday, April 2, 2021

'Tough Guy' Lindsey Graham Makes An Ass of Himself

In a demonstration of how clueless Lindsey Graham is he touched off a fierce backlash from critics when he posted a video of himself shooting an AR-15.

This after several mass shootings with assault weapons last month. Not only is it pouring fuel on the fire about mass shootings in America...it was just a stupid thing to do.

Yesterday Graham posted a video of himself shooting an AR-15 with the caption; "I fired one of the weapons they are trying to ban."

Isn't that cute?

Graham's stunt was like doing a photo-op with box cutters on an airplane after 911. Nothing says "tough guy" like wearing khakis and a first-trimester paunch.

Using the threat of an assault weapon ban Graham was hoping to normalize carrying around an assault rifle, and even claimed a ban years ago was worthless.

In fact gun massacres fell 37 percent in 1997 while the ban was in place, but rose by 183 percent after the ban expired.

Boldly declaring that if there was a natural disaster, Graham said his AR-15 will keep the marauding gangs of Hispanics away from his home.

Marauding gangs of Hispanics? That telling racist trope gives away Graham's attitude regarding people with brown skin.

He should be ashamed of himself, instead of bragging while people are mourning the losses of loved ones murdered with assault rifles.

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Bothsidesism Is Destroying Public Confidence in Media

Lester Holt hit the nail on the head after accepting the Edward R. Murrow Award for Lifetime Achievement in Journalism on Tuesday, when he said "fairness is overrated."

What did he mean?

"That the sun sets in the west is a fact. Any contrary view does not deserve our time or attention," he said to the audience of his peers.

Lester is absolutely right.

Why provide a forum for misinformation? What benefit is there to giving unsupported arguments an open forum? The answer is none.

The sharp critique by Lester struck a note with me. I never agreed that it was a good idea to give liars and conspiracy nuts equal time in the mainstream media.

In recent polling by Axios just 46% of people said they trust traditional news media. In addition, 56% of the poll respondents said they agreed with this statement:

"Journalist and reporters are purposely trying to mislead people by saying things they know are false or gross exaggerations."

Who can blame people for thinking that?

Until the mainstream media decides to quit giving liars and conspiracy nuts a platform, this problem will only get worse.

Unlike Kellyanne Conway's claim of an "alternate universe" we all live in a reality based world.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

'Pretty Boy' Rep. Matt Gaetz Is In Big Trouble

Known for applying his own facial makeup, Pretty Boy Matt Gaetz has had to double the amount this week to account for swollen eyes from bawling.

What has Gaetz crying and lying about an investigation on his activities?

The Department of Justice is looking at his illegal relationship with a 17-year old two years ago.

Turns out Gaetz's good buddy Joel Greenberg - a former county official in Florida who was arrested for sex trafficking of a minor last year - was part of a broader investigation by the DOJ.

Here's the interesting part, AG William Barr (a tried and true Trumpie) was the one who opened the investigations on Greenberg and Gaetz months before leaving office.

Any claims it was Democrats demonizing him are patently untrue.

Gaetz claims he, and his father, are being extorted by a former DOJ official - David McGee - with no evidence to support his accusation.

"It is completely false. It's a blatant attempt to distract from the fact that he's under investigation for sex trafficking of minors," McGee told the Washington Post.

Surprisingly FOX News host Tucker Carlson didn't blindly back Gaetz's claims. After the interview Carlson said it was "one of the weirdest" he's ever done.

That's because Gaetz was talking about a dinner he supposedly had two years ago with Carlson about his girlfriend at the time. Carlson simple couldn't recall the event.

I can't help wondering if QAnon nuts are following this because it's about sex trafficking - one of their favorite tropes. Instead of being a Democrat (the claim all along), it's a Republican under scrutiny for having sex with a minor.

What's really bugging Pretty Boy Gaetz is if he goes to prison, he won't be allowed to use facial makeup - which is probably a good thing in a men's prison.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Nationwide GOP Goal: Restricting Trans Girls in All Sports

Republicans have to have segments of society to demonize in order to feed their vicious Trump-inspired followers.

If it isn't about immigration, then it's something else. Disenfranchising minorities continues to be a favorite way to exclude non-Republican voters.

The latest push to restrict trans girls from being able to participate in women's and girls school sports, has been gaining momentum lately.

For those who remember South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (and her gift of a model of Mt. Rushmore with Trump in it), it comes as no surprise she's in the vanguard of this suppression of human rights.

Yesterday she signed two executive bills that made sure trans girls would not have any rights to appeal. One for K-12 athletes, and another to to do so in college athletes.

Meanwhile LGBTQ+ advocates are deeply concerned about the Republican push for similar laws across the nation.

There's been 192 anti-LGBTQ+ bills scattered across the country since Biden took office.

Last week, Arkansas signed into law a ban on transgender women and girl's ability to compete in school sports.

Mississippi and North Dakota passed similar laws last month. The GOP's goal is to erase and exclude trans people from participation in all aspects of life. It's that simple... and evil.

The good news is there's resistance with organizations - and Democrats - fighting for trans rights.

How The Crazies Found Their Voice in America

I miss the good old days when the crazies in our society wore tinfoil hats and communicated with aliens from another galaxy. Whenever they ...