Saturday, April 16, 2022

America's Younger Generation Are Pushing Back on Banning Books

1938 - Nazis Have banned all books that don't promote their toxic ideology.

The country's youths were instructed on what to believe by the murderous regime's purge of truth.

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America's younger generation is fighting back against book bans by conservatives.

One of the positive effects from the draconian ban on truth is children of all ages are reading more books voluntarily. They clearly see the banning efforts as wrong. 

So, youth groups are pushing back with Banned Books Book Clubs.

One of their first picks was "The Hate U Give," by Angie Thomas (photo above).

The book has been around for a while and it reflects a teenage experience and relationship to police brutality, which has been a strong conversation the past couple of years.

State and local conservative officials have gone after titles and broad categories of books that deal with race, gender or sexuality in recent months.

There's been numerous attempts to remove specific titles from library shelves and classrooms. Not all of them were successful, but their efforts have stirred the interest of young readers nationwide.

That interest was channeled into Banned Books Book Club, a project from the company Reclamation Ventures, which also runs the newsletter Anti-Racism Daily.

Clubs are springing up everywhere in retaliation of the conservative attacks on what can - and can't - be read in our schools. 

"Obviously this whole idea of taking away books that they wanted to read or that they thought they should read sparked a nerve in them," said Mary Jo Podgurski, an educator at the Common Ground Teen Center in Washington, Pennsylvania in a recent interview with Harmeet Kaur of CNN.

Facts We Should All Know

The American Library Association recorded 729 challenges to library, school and university materials and services in 2021, the most since the organization began tracking those attempts in 2000. 

While that might seem low overall considering the approximately 99,000 K-12 public schools in the US, the ALA says it's likely an extreme undercount.

With midterms rolling up this November Republicans are selling false narratives about books and teaching Critical Race Theory (CRT) which of course any informed person knows doesn't exist in grades K-12. Very few colleges have the subject on their curriculums, unless their law colleges.

Throw in a few crazed conspiracies and it's apparent the party of Trump is pumping out propaganda to its base with increased vigor in the last six months.

Kudos to our children for forming and attending Banned Books Book Club meetings to see what the conservatives are trying to hide from them. 

Friday, April 15, 2022

Taking the Coward's Way Out: RNC Won't Let Members Participate in 2024 Presidential Debates

This just in from the snowflakes at the Republican National Committee:

To: The Commission on Presidential Debates  

"Our candidate isn't going participate in the 2024 presidential debates because we don't like you!"

Signed by RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel

While that quote may not be verbatim, it's basically what the gathering of cowards on the RNC said.

The Republician Party, aka the party of Trump, is afraid to debate a Democrat unless they control the whole proceeding.

In the last presidential election Trump blasted the commission repeatedly for not going along with his demands. When he finally agreed to a debate with Joe Biden, he fluffed it so badly even his supporters winced.

FYI - The non-profit Commission on Presidential Debates, which is run by members of both parties and considers itself nonpartisan has sponsored presidential debates for decades.

Proving he owns the Republician Party Trump ordered his sheep to come up with a debate format that favors GOP candidates (like allowing them to interrupt their opponent when they talk). 

The RNC is still working on a new platform. It should be interesting to see what happens with no national platform. Especially since they don't even have an agenda yet. It's just a natural progression.

I agree with Democratic National Committee Chairman Jaime Harrison who described the RNC's letter as a "tantrum."

In a recent press statement Harrison said, "Republicans can't win a fair fight and they know it. After years of having their toxic policies exposed on the national stage, the RNC has decided they would rather hide their ideas and candidates from voters." 

If there's one thing that Trump and his minions are afraid of, it's the truth.

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Pedo Talks, Stupid Political Stunts, and Fraud

Watch Out! Here come the pedophiles!

The party of Trump is busy fouling the airwaves and web sites with accusations that everyone who doesn't side with them is a pedophile prior to the midterms.

It's their latest stupid attempt to defend their lies about the Big Steal to white supremacy. This childlike attempt to divert from the truth is akin to a seven-year-old pointing an accusing finger at someone they don't like.

Trumpies like Matt Gaetz (whose being investigated by the Department of Justice for having sex with a minor) and Marjorie Taylor Greene are holding pedo talks with right-wing extremists who get excited over the subject.

Mission Pedo Talk is popular with Trump supporters who believe it'll get then elected (or re-elected) in November. Don't ask me why. None of it makes any sense.

Speaking about political stunts Texas governor Greg Abbott sent a busload of undocumented migrants to the nation's capital in stunt that may have been illegal.

In addition, to prove his race-baiting credentials he tightened up the border insisting every truck get checked which quickly caused supply chain problems.

That also resulted in Mexican truck drivers creating blockades to protest the inspections.

Texas business leaders, and the local trade associations have requested the state cease the unnecessary inspections.

It's obviously a political stunt to show he's tough on immigration because the U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers inspect every truck. Nevertheless, Abbott ordered the Texas Department of Public Safety to examine the exact same trucks passed by CBP.

Under Fraud

Mark Meadows was removed from the voter rolls in his home state of North Carolina and is being looked at for potential voter fraud

So far that makes 25 Republicans who have gone to court for voter fraud. Trump's former chief of staff will be number 26 if convicted.

In a nice twist of irony Trump was quoted just last week as saying, "Without free and fair elections, we don't have a country."

Under Racism

A Missouri school teacher has been fired for allegedly using "critical race theory (CRT)"

The decision came last week after Keith Morrison, an English teacher at Greenfield High School, read the book "Dear Martin" a young adult novel by Nic Stone.

Apparently, parents didn't want their precious teenagers to read about a Black high school student attending a predominantly white preparatory school who falls victim to police violence.

Thanks for stopping by. Stay safe and informed.

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Technological Singularity: Will Mankind Survive Cyber Warfare?

          Editor's Note:

Technological Singularity is a hypothetical point in time at which technological growth becomes uncontrollable and irreversible, resulting in unforeseeable changes to human civilization.

Cyber warfare. The last frontier?

Russia has been trying to conquer Ukraine using more than just the traditional manpower, tanks, planes, ships, and howitzers from previous wars.

The addition of cyber warfare has been a new deadly avenue towards Putin's goal of restoring the old Soviet Union. 

Russian military hackers tried and failed to attack Ukraine's energy infrastructure last week.

But prior cyber attempts in 2014 and 2015 to capture Crimea were successful setting the new standard for warfare.

Without the help of ESET, a Slovakia-based cybersecurity company currently providing security for Ukraine's infrastructure, the Russians might have been successful.

Computer hackers have become the vanguard for conventional warfare. They can potentially disable energy grids and communications between government offices creating chaos.

As computers become more advanced - intelligent - they provide additional pathways of destruction to attack opponents with.

If the whole world wasn't so interconnected in cyber space, the threat wouldn't be so terrifying.

But it is. In this 21st century we have breached technological barriers that are becoming increasingly dangerous to our own existence on earth.

Mega computers are smarter than any person on the planet. Science fiction writers have been predicting a technological takeover of mankind since the early nineteen hundreds.

Is the cyber warfare we're currently witnessing the beginning of the end? Only time will tell.

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Governors Turning States into Private Fiefdoms

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis wants his own kingdom and he's willing to do anything to achieve that goal.

He's attacking the state senate and house because they didn't go along with his voter suppression legislative agenda.

DeSantis, in his lust for power, has gone a step beyond other GOP governors and has defied his all-Republican majority Senate and House when they drafted a new map for redistricting.

He just said no and refused to go along with the agreed-on redistricting move. The spineless result was they essentially ceded their constitutional power to the executive branch.

In what has to go down as complete capitulation, the Senate and the House said, "We are awaiting a communication from the governor's office with a map that he'll support."

Last month, DeSantis vetoed the new district boundaries approved by lawmakers - a rare public display of contention between the governor and a state legislature controlled entirely by his own party. 

DeSantis has demanded the legislature join his fight to eliminate two districts where Black residents are a plurality.

His map proposal eliminates two House Districts - the 5th and the 10th - represented by Black Democrats.

What De Santis is doing is a clear violation of the state constitutional amendment known as Fair Districts, which requires lawmakers to give minority communities an opportunity to "elect representatives of their choice."

Like Republican governors across the country, DeSantis latest step to further erode the federal Voting Rights Act follows an all-out assault on democracy in order to rig elections.

Related: Texas Republicans say their proposed voting restrictions are color blind. But many see "Jim Crow" in a tuxedo.

Related: Jim Crow Redux: Georgia Governor Signs "Egregious" Voter Suppression Law

I'm waiting for these "imperial governors" to succeed from the Union and form separate fiefdoms ran by Trump followers. That will be the final step in destroying our democracy.

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Republicans Determined to Create a New Apartheid America

The White Right's revolutionary strategy to return America to the distant and largely imaginary past has picked up steam this election year.

The party of Trump is wallowing in vile accusations and outright lies about minority communities to attract their supporters.

The idea is to foment a moral panic around the false claim that the LGBTQ community somehow poses a "threat" to the "traditional family."

The strategy is to claim, "real Americans" - meaning white, supposedly Christian conservatives - are somehow being oppressed or "discriminated against" in "their own country." 

Efforts have recently intensified the GOPs culture-war legislations attacking LGBTQ rights, "critical race theory" school curricula and other related issues.

The goal is to go after women's rights, the LGBTQ community, Black and brown people and other marginalized groups who will have their most fundamental rights taken away from them.

This new Apartheid America is a winning strategy for the party of Trump because it's feeding the basest desires of the "base" prior to the midterms.

Republicans have embraced antisemitic QAnon conspiracies like out-of-control children in a candy store. 

They're particularly interested in pedophiles and accuse Democrats and "leftists" of kidnapping and abusing children without a shred of evidence. 

Why are pedos a favorite target among the right-wing assholes pushing the lies? It's simple. It's the most disgusting and vile attack they can come up with. As usual, there doesn't have to be any evidence or proof when they attack people.

Mix in the fact that Trump is convincing gutless conservatives into accepting an authoritarian regime, and that becomes a recipe for a disaster.

Authoritarian biopolitics is not just about encouraging the "right elements" of the population to procreate - fearmongering about declining White Christian birthrates recurs from the Fascists to Orban and Tucker Carlson - but also about removing the "wrong elements" from the public sphere, by silencing them, locking them up, or worse.

To my utter dismay, the Democrats have offered no effective defense against such culture-war moral panic attacks.

Democrats have made the mistake of assuming these culture-war attacks are the stuff of fools and unsophisticated thinkers. They've been operating under the illusion that the Republicans can be defeated with facts and reason.

Their assumptions are going to guarantee defeat for them and others who believe in a pluralistic society and real democracy.

The defenders of democracy must go beyond superficial critiques. They must substantively engage, expose and discredit how and why such attacks resonate for Republicans and "conservatives."

It's important to know that authoritarian regimes always cast themselves as the guardians of morality, and cast all who oppose them as perversely evil, deserving the severest of punishments.

"Biblical morality," and GOP politics are the stuff that divides Americans, opening the door to an authoritarian regime. 

Saturday, April 9, 2022

The Worst Team in Laker History Examined by a Fan for 60 Years

(Editor's note: Before I comment on this year's horrible season a little history is in order.)
When the Lakers came to Los Angeles in 1960, 
I was 10 years-old and thrilled.

They were from Minnesota and became the first West Coast basketball team.

They had future Hall of Famer, George Mikan (top photo), who was the most dominant center in the league at the time. Forward Jim Pollard and point guard Herm Schaefer (both future HOFers) also came to Los Angeles.

During the 1960 off- season the Lakers signed Jerry West from Virginia University. 

In their second season they got Elgin Baylor who set a new NBA scoring record of 71 points.

I remember how excited I was when the Lakers got Wilt Chamberlain in 1968.

It was the same year I graduated from high school. 

In 1974-75 the Lakers acquired Kareem Abdul Jabbar who had won three league MVPs by that time.

Under "Caps" leadership and famed skyhook, the Lakers won five championships.

                   Showtime 1979-1991

The Lakers drafted Magic Johnson, a 6-9 guard from Michigan State who turned the basketball court into Showtime and led the team to five championships.

He played 13 seasons and was honored as one of the 50 Greatest Players of the National Basketball League in 1996.

He appeared in nine NBA Finals, 12 All-Star games, and ten All-NBA First and Second Team nominations. His accomplishments are too numerous to show them all here.

               The Shaq and Kobe era

During the 1996 off-season, the Lakers signed free-agent Shaquille O'Neal and free agent 17-year- old Kobe Bryant from Lower Merion High School. 

They put together a Three-Peat of Championships (1999-2002.) The dynamic duo also won another championship in 2009.

Tragically Kobe Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash on January 26th, 2020. 

2018-2022 the LeBron era

The Lakers under LeBron James and Anthony Davis won a championship in 2020. The last two seasons were a disaster. The once proud Lakers didn't make the playoffs this year.


                About the 2022 Season

With two meaningless games left this season it's garbage time. The big three, LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russel Westbrook (acquired this season in what turned out to be a major disappointment) are benched.

Like the season before, injuries played a major role in their loses. But it was more than that. There was no chemistry and coach Frank Vogel failed to ever build a decent defense.

Despite being biased, I have to be honest in my evaluation of this year's team. It was the WORST TEAM in Laker history.

That doesn't mean I'm giving up on them. They are a great team with 17 championships and next season they'll have an almost all new cast that can avenge this terrible season.

I'm a Laker fan through thick and thin and nothing is going to change that.

Friday, April 8, 2022

All of the Bigly News Starting with Congo Lines

(Photo: Pink Floyd's David Gilmore performs in concert at Circo Massimo, in Rome, on July 2, 2016. Roberto Panucci / Corbis via Getty Images file Story below under Bigly News)

The only thing missing was music.

It was still entertaining watching GOP House members moving along in a Congo Line that wove in and out of seats.

It was quite a sight watching each member approach a podium and recite the same couple of lines ending with "...Biden's immigration crisis."

It didn't matter that the House was convened to advance Ketanji Brown's nomination to the Supreme Court.

It didn't matter that the subject of Immigration was being held in another meeting down the hall the same day (!)

The reason they changed the subject - in a weak-assed effort to filibuster - was to waste time like petulant children.

It didn't matter, however. Ketanji Brown was confirmed yesterday.

Other "Bigly" News

The biggest bitch in the House, Marjorie Taylor Greene decided to end the false controversy about what a woman is, tweeting... "A woman comes from Adam's rib. Women are the weaker sex" and "are made to be partners with men."

I'm not going to touch that with a ten-foot pole!

Under the ongoing investigations of Trump's corrupt life, a New York Attorney General asked the court to hold him in contempt for not obeying the court's orders to turn over documents pertinent to the case.

This is just par for the course for Don the Con.

Wondering what's happening in Florida? Wonder no more.

Governor from hell, Ron DeSantis, has picked a fight with Disneyland in Orlando over the park's support of the LGBTQ community. Now the right-wing extremists are boycotting Disney and Oreos (I explain about the Oreos shortly).

For the record cutting off followers from the rest of the world is a standard cult tactic - and central tenet of Trumpism.

As for the cookies, the self-declared MAGA patriots are so furious at Oreo for sponsoring a pro-LGBTQ short film they're boycotting the company.

To be exact they're not boycotting the company that makes them - it's a multinational corporation that owns hundreds of brands. They are just boycotting Oreo cookies. Don't ask me how that works.

My Favorite Headline and Story

"Little maggot-infested man": Tom Cotton slammed for saying Ketanji Brown Jackson would defend Nazis

Proving he's a scum bag of the lowest order, Tom Cotton put on a performance worthy of the theatre of the absurd, attacking her for defending people.

On the Positive Side Pink Floyd reunites to Support Ukraine

I'm excited to hear that after a decades-long hiatus from recording new music, the band is releasing "Hey Hey Rise Up" in support of humanitarian relief in Ukraine.

That's about it for today boys and girls. Stop by anytime and check out some past posts for kicks.

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Join the Whiners Club Where Friends Gather to Bitch About Stuff

First off, membership is free in the Whiners Club, so you have nothing to lose.

What the hell is the Whiners Club, you ask?

It's an offshoot of the Shriners that I made up about 48 hours ago. 

The purpose of the club is simple as rain. Everyone takes turns bitching about whatever bothers you.

There's a five-minute round where each member of the group launches into a gripe session. The next round gives everyone 10 minutes to rant. The final round goes back to five minutes.

Rules

1. Alcohol must be served. Wine or Whiskey. Beer or Tequila. As long as everyone gets soused by the second round.

2. No limits on the subjects that irritate people.

    Suggested categories: politics, MAGA morons, Trump, Republicans, Putin, voter           suppression, assholes who tailgate you, robo calls, your aches and pains (a favorite), the Supreme Court, and gun violence.

3. Everyone has to be vaccinated!

Future Plans

When groups get too big (maximum size of 10 is recommended) new chapters can be formed anywhere in the world.  

New members will enjoy the therapeutic benefit of safely venting so much that I expect the Whiners Club will eventually replace all religions. 

In time there may be open Whiner Circles in public places if the movement catches on like I suspect it will.

Just so you know, there's no one person in charge in the Whiners Club chapters. The person hosting meetings gets the ball rolling and the session ends by mutual consent.

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

On Old Friends and Memories

My best friend since high school is visiting today. It's been nearly three years since we saw each other.

The pandemic played a major role in not visiting for both of us. We did stay in touch with emails and phone calls.

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"Time doesn't take away from friendship, nor does separation." 

- Tennessee Williams 

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Our History

We first met at Azusa High School in 1966.

He and I weren't model students. We would have won the "Most Likely Not to Succeed" award if the school had that category for seniors.

We were the smokers, dopers, and the jokers in our class. Once we smoked that first joint, we became wannabee hippies, turning our noses up at fellow classmates who were considered "straight." Because, you see, we were experienced (thank you Jimi Hendrix).

Here's the thing, we both act like complete fools when we get together. No subject is sacred as we fillet extremists like fish, and roast Republicans at every opportunity.

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"It's one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them."

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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We are both basketball Joneses. After school we played pickup games.

We liked challenging people playing two on two basketball. Really had some memorable games like when we played two sheriff deputies while we were peaking on LSD. 

We are both Vietnam veterans. I was in the Army, and he was in the Navy.

He's a retired Postal employee who is still active with the Postal Union.

I'm a retired newspaper editor/publisher.

All in all, I expect this day to be full of laughter and memories.

Monday, April 4, 2022

Clown Hall of Fame Announces, 'Clown of the Year' Award and New Inductees

For the past five years Trump has won the coveted "Clown of the Year" award. 
He did it again this year, to no one's surprise.

The Clown Hall of Fame also announced this year's new inductees. Some of them have been clowns their entire career and others were relatively new on the political scene.

Categories

Boss Clown - the clown responsible for the others (currently Trump)

Whiteface Clown - the next highest status in the clown hierarchy: Origin dates back to 1801. The face and neck are covered with white makeup, mouth painted in a grin, and black eyebrows. 

Rep. Andy Biggs - AZ-5th

Rep. James R. Comer -KY-1st 

Rep. Paul Gosar - AZ-4th

Rep. Ronny Jackson - TX-13th

Rep. Louis Gohmert - TX-1st

Rep. Jim Jordan - OH

Sen. Marsha Blackburn - TN

Sen. Lindsey Graham - SC

Sen. Tom Cotton - AR

Sen Ron Johnson - WI

Sen. John Kennedy - LA

Sen. Mitch McConnell - KY

Sen. James Lankford - OK

Sen. Rick Scott -FL

Sen. Rand Paul - KY 

Auguste Clown - This clown face is painted in pink, red, or tan. His mouth and eyes are painted white and his lips and eyebrows in black. This category's character is that of an anarchist, a joker, and a fool.

Rep. Lauren Boebert - CO -3rd

Rep. Madison Cawthorn - NC-11th

Rep. Matt Gaetz - FL-1st

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene - GA-14th

Rep. Chip Roy - TX-21st

Rep. Elise Stefanik - NY- 21st

Rep. Josh Hawley - MO

Sen. Ted Cruz - TX

Sen. Tommy Tuberville - AL

Sen. Mike Lee - UT

Special Speakers

Mike (Pillow creep) Lindell shared his latest plan to sue all the machines in America.

Steve Bannon detailed how a coming Civil War will happen.

Roger Stone - gave a lecture on how to lie like a mob boss.

The whole event was raucous and reality free. Reportedly the party that followed turned into an orgy and cocaine snorting contest.

MAGA World Offers 2024 Trump Trial Tour

                            Welcome! I'll be your Trump Trial Tour guide  today. First off, make sure you've purchased your tickets ...