Thursday, November 26, 2020

Now that’s absurd.

Man that crazy lady (Powell) got me to thinking about the lawsuit she filed in Georgia to decertify the election, based on nothing, and demanding it simply be handed over to Trump....

Someone pointed out that since she technically doesn't work for Trump, she might not have legal standing. And the suit is absurd anyway.

So I was wondering if I could do the same thing in florida to try and get a court to just hand it over to Biden based on "so many words" ...

I could wear a tinfoil hat and stand outside a landscape company and let something drip down my head, and get in the news cycle.

Maybe say I personally saw Fidel arriving in Miami and voting a bunch of times for Trump.

Tell me how that's different.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Plug-In Hybrids Under Attack By Environmentalists | CarBuzz

Hmmmm. I've been saying for some time that a hybrid is a kind of a hack. Yeah it gets you better gas mileage, but it's not really helpful in terms of environmental friendliness or going electric. And it's really a way for the car companies to take advantage of tax breaks.

Apparently I'm not alone in my thinking...

Short. Sweet. To the point. That's the beauty Dave's iPhone.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

“They want to change our way of life”

During the election cycle 8 years ago, a guy a knew was adamant that Obama had to be defeated so we could return to our way of life. I really didn't understand what he meant. His point eluded me. Was it racist? Based on his policy?

So here we are in 2020 and the point has been coming into much sharper focus. In fact, there was a local non-partisan race with three contenders a few weeks ago.

One decided to go full-on maga. She tied herself to trump, to the republicans, and generally made it a partisan position.

She won, and people scratched their heads. How did she do it?

But a high school student who was working on one of the other campaigns astutely said "[she was saying] if you don't vote for me, your way of life will be taken away."

And that's exactly what the guy meant 8 years ago. And what many Trump supporters have decided all of this means.

It was/is a battle for the soul of this country. Braggadocio, American exceptionalism, white privilege (even if it's unstated), and fear are the way he won and why 70-something million people voted for him.

Listen to the words. Socialism=bad. BLM=bad. Foreigners=bad. Anything that strays from whatever form of religion they believe=bad. "Our" way of life has been twisted to mean anything that the wealthy want it to.

I mean, the sad reality is that trump and many of the other so-called leaders don't care about people, they only care about themselves. Think most of the most ardent supporters would ever get an invite to go to mar-a-lago? I suppose only if mar-a-lago was the name of a landscaping company.

And as for caring, gee as the G20 summit (which would have been hosted in DC if not for the pandemic) kicked off, trump was rage tweeting about the election again. And when the leaders met to talk covid, he went off to a tee time. Because he simply can't be bothered to govern or care about real world issues. It is all about him. And after all, that's the way it's been the last 3 11/12 years, so why start now?

Who's way of life? ...And people caught in the cult of personality still can't see it.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Stop the spread: wear a mask

I still can't believe that (a) our government sits idly by as the pandemic spreads and it does literally nothing to learn about it, achieve any sort of success in returning to something close to normalcy, and otherwise just promotes stupidity. And (b) that people as a result still refer to it as a hoax and won't wear a mask. One of the easiest things to do, for yourself and the good of the nation, is to mask up. And instead people give all sorts of reasons why they won't.

But here's the thing. Look around and see where things are maybe getting a little closer to normal and ask yourself why that is and why they haven't had any outbreaks attributed to them.

And I'm not talking about stupid things like restaurants opening. I'm talking about examples like these:

1. Air travel. The airlines know they have to fly in order to make money. So they gave it a go. Told everyone they have to wear a mask, and have been trying little things beyond that. They've even kicked people off flights for not wearing them. And no outbreaks directly tied to being on an airplane, as far as we can tell. What does that tell you?

2. TV production has kinda,sorta returned. There are new episodes of some shows and things are moving along. Again, money is the motivating factor. But the crew all wear masks, and as much as they can they have actors social distance, and they do covid screenings on the regular.

3. Disney World reopened in a limited capacity, enforcing 100% mask wearing. There are screenings for temperature. Plus some amount of social distancing makes this successful. There have been no reported outbreaks from cast or guest related to park going.

4. Yesterday, I was reading about a school district in the northeast that reopened. They are enforcing masks, and social distancing as much they can. But they have had some outbreaks. The upshot, though, is that they are rigorous about contact tracing and knowing how the outbreak started. And what did they find? Every outbreak was linked to sports or some situation where students gathered together after school hours - and nearly every case, they weren't wearing masks when around others.

Theres also a reminder that basketball bubble worked in the late summer because they isolated the entire NBA and played through the season. They even used some custom monitoring devices to learn something about possible spreads. Because everyone in direct contact was inside the bubble had been tested and anyone near the bubble wore masks, they avoided a spread. Sure, a bubble is mostly impractical in the real world. But we *learned* something from it that we can apply if we so choose. (The bubble was at disney world, so surely part of disneys success is based on learning).

Anyway the key is to try things to figure this out; to learn along the way. To in many cases let the money guide you. These are all industries where $$ are at stake, so they are finding a way.

Some smarts, maybe a little tech, some government investment, and a mask mandate would speed all of this up.

And for Pete's sake, take it seriously!

And in the meantime: wear a mask people!

Sunday, November 15, 2020

In case you wondered about this “hoax”

These two charts tell a bit of a story. One country takes it seriously, while one state does not.

Should we be concerned (hint: the answer is yes!)

Maybe it’s just me, but...

I find it kind of amusing that team Trump is replacing key positions in government with "loyalists"

Look, it's concerning in many ways that he's replacing key people, as though he's preparing to stage a coupe of sorts.

But it's the term they're using that amuses me. The term Loyalist comes from the revolutionary war. At the time, people still loyal to the British monarchy ("the crown" in common terms) were referred to as loyalists.

The term has evolved a little and generically means loyal to the ruling party. But here, in our form of government, which specifically fought against the British, the term still resonates.

Especially when the person in power throws it around as though he's a wanna-be king.

And BTW, about 30% of the population around the time of the revolution were loyalists. Much as about 30% of our population is all-in on maga.

And guess what? 240 years ago, the loyalists lost and we grew as a nation.

This chapter is still being written....

Thursday, November 12, 2020

This is simply awesome.

The PA lt governor throws shade at the TX lt governor.

Frog Protection

As I hear more about the supposed "election fraud," I keep thinking about this ad. Maybe they went to the landscape company to get supplies in order to build a pen for the frogs?

Monday, November 9, 2020

About that election

First off, I find it ... amusing? ... that the same group of people who said in 2016 "Hillary lost?  oh boo hoo, get over it snowflake!" are now trying to find any and all ways to support trump, going so far as to create wild conspiracy theories and odd notions. 

I've heard a lot of these, which I'll enumerate here.  As always, think about what they mean.  Do they make sense?  If you heard them in any other context would you think they seem reasonable?

  • There was massive voter fraud committed across states (wow, that would take what amounts to a coordinated effort, wouldn't it?)
  • There were "ballot harvesters" in big cities, collecting "trunk loads" of ballots to be manipulated and counted (anecdotes are great aren't they?)
  • Dead people voted in large numbers (for the record, in many elections this does happen, but the numbers are in the 1-2 people range; not anything that will alter anything)
  • There was some (insert agency, party, deep state) way to change votes either using a handlheld device or a "supercomputer"
  • The big tech companies don't like trump and led some sort of conspiracy to manipulate the vote, because they have that kind of high techy, techy stuff AmIRight?
  • Postmasters hand cancelled and back dated mailed ballots, meaning there was a widespread conspiracy AT THE POST OFFICE to commit fraud (the same post office that didn't want to deliver ballots at all, remember? and there are so many levels of supervision because its union that its dizzying; and besides changing dates on cancellations is not as easy as some people think)
  • Illegal aliens or other unregistered voters voted, or people voted more that once.  That seems a matter for the supervisor of elections would have dealt with when using their established process.
  • And of course the more generic "there are videos of..." (insert whatever silliness you want) showing that there was voter fraud.  But no one has the actual videos often because "the internet took them down"
And for any of these where someone committed fraud, there will be an investigation and charges, as necessary. 

There's also a video of Joe Biden saying he committed voter fraud, from back in October. Smoking gun, right?  Not so much. Context is very important.

And so most of what's been said doesn't have a leg to stand on, really.  States will count and certify the vote, based on their rules.

But wait, Trump is suing in some states to try and win, right?

Lets consider that for a moment.  The lawsuits he has filed in a couple of states amount to challenging some of the votes, but its debatable whether that number of votes in a particular state would be enough to change the vote total *in that state* to have him win that one state.  And the candidate still has to get to 270 votes to win.  That means that team trump would have to overturn 4 states in order to get that.  In other words, he has to have success among four different states in changing the outcomes.  

Does that seem likely?  He hasn't even agreed to fund a recount in Wisconsin for $3 million.  What does that tell you?

And there's another "minor detail" that the Washington Post caught yesterday.  Team trump is looking for other people to contribute to the legal fund to sue states.  But it says down in the terms, that 40% of the money raised will be used to pay off campaign debts (you know him renting an arena to hold a rally, or catering for the staff, paying some employees like Ivanka, or any expense that they had).  Remember I told you before that he magically used $800 million before the election started in earnest, and now they are out of money, and have to still make payments.  Congrats if you give to this cause, because you are being conned one last time.

Of course, some people just expect the Supreme Court (which trump appointed 3 members of, so he controls them right?) will simply rule to do...something....invalidate the result?  Agree to toss out ballots?  hold a new vote? Simply make trump president?

Oh if only it was that simple.  Even the most conservative on the court are "constitutionalists" and understand that document is the foundation.

Yes, in 2000, in Bush v Gore the court kinda, sorta decided the election from this point of view.  But consider that there was one specific lawsuit, from one specific state, with one specific legal argument presented to the court.  And they ruled on that.  

Florida changed the method of voting after that, showing how specific that ruling was.  The punch ballots we used to use were problematic - whether a hole was punched all the way through or not was *the* central theme.

The high court will usually only take cases that have made their way through the lower courts, which have a specific constitutional or national issue. But they can agree to take on a national case under "Original jurisdiction" if it meets certain criteria, and 4 judges agree to hear the case.

But its not like they can just ask the court to intervene.  The aggrieved have to present a writ of certiorari which requests them to intervene and presents a cogent legal argument as to why they should intervene.  Specific evidence, not a conspiracy theory, or hearsay must be presented.  You have to have facts and a reason for asking the court to step in and hear the case (like the recount in florida where they asked them to help define what a punched ballot looks like).  They can simply decline to hear it if its not a constitutional issue, or not well reasoned.  

And, if they agree, then it comes to presenting your facts of the case, and then presenting oral arguments where they will grill the lawyer who is asking for their help (and the person defending, too).

But remember that states rights are constitutional as well.  Equal protection allows for voting methods to vary from state to state, and each state can administer it as they see fit, as long as they are fair and consistent and have not made changes that favor one group of voters.

Much of the stuff that team trump is arguing is about the mail-in ballots - and states decide how they are administered.  It was open to everyone, but Biden voters favored this method, while trump voters favored in person voting.  There is a verification process in each state, with the supervisor of elections validating that ballots were legally mailed, and then those ballots were returned and signed in accordance with their rules.

So would team trump ask them to hear what amounts to 4-5 specific cases, one for each state? Or just one that was a generic argument that mail in ballots are bad?  Come on, seems absurd to me.

Quick aside: while in line to vote, the lady behind me was telling a friend on the phone that she had an absentee ballot at home, and if the friend wanted to pick it up and vote that way, she'd give it to her.  The reason I mention this is because this illustrates the total misunderstanding people have about voting by mail.

The lady behind me requested the ballot; it is assigned to her.  If she herself were to return it after voting in person, the mail vote would be discounted, because her voter registration was already used (and if she had already mailed it and stood in line, she would have been told at the polling place that she had already voted). If her friend mailed it back, she would either have to leave it unsigned (wouldn't count), sign it herself (wouldn't match, and wouldn't count), or have the lady who received it sign it, but it would be discounted as though she mailed it herself.  And anyway, technically speaking, that's voter fraud.   

So it seems unlikely the supreme court would agree to hear a case based on a shaky, or non-existent legal argument of how a state handled mail-in ballots.  I can't see that there is any demonstrable proof of a conspiracy or a coordinated voter fraud effort.  So those surely can't be argued.

So in the end, this is all a ruse.  Why is team trump doing this?  I would suggest its for two reasons: the aforementioned raising of money, and also so trump can abandon the office while not "losing" - it was stolen from him and he can say that people love him and "he had more legitimate votes" than Biden.  

Its better than the alternative: he's a LOSER and we fired him. 

Sunday, November 8, 2020

You’re fired!

There's a scene in the movie "the running man" where Arnold Schwartzeneger is being sent into the game. Richard Dawson is the game show host and asks Arnold if he has anything to say:

Arnold "I'll be back"
Dawson "only in a rerun"

Which is kind of how it feels to have trump lose the election.

He was right, though, there is a lot of winning going on. It just took a few years to get here.

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Sometimes I just have to laugh at the world

In 2016, there was evidence that Russia had interfered in our election. What they actually did (or didn't do) is a mystery. There were - and are - a lot of questions.

We do know that they ran a sophisticated disinformation campaign on social media. We also know that several voter databases were breached. And we saw some unusual vote totals that couldn't be readily explained. Was there something to it, or not?

There was some investigation done afterwards that suggested that the machines themselves were easily hackable and vote totals could change. But there were hurdles, like the proximity to the voting machines, that needed to be overcome. So this was unlikely.

More likely was the possibility that there could be some shenanigans somewhere along the transmission of votes from polling stations to the state supervisor of elections. Though again this was a bit of a long shot.

So in the end, we simply don't know what they did.

Now I admit to being intrigued by the whole thing, and spent (way too much) time looking into it and following other threads. I was part of a very loosely knit group that was seeing if there was anything there.

Other than the few items I noted in the first paragraph, there was no evidence to support anything. It was all supposition.

But here's where things get funny. Like many that were looking into it, we presented anything we knew to the public.

And immediately got shouted down as being libtards, or grasping at straws, looking for excuses, being sore losers, etc. How can there have been any sort of vote manipulation, interference, or Russian influence?

They couldn't get it.

And then 2020 comes, and Trump loses.

...And suddenly those same people who had accused us - after we had done some amount of research over several weeks after the election - are saying a few days after the election that there *was* voter fraud of various kinds, and that votes were changed. Some people even have said there are devices the cia used to change votes at the polls.

To me it's hysterical. They could NOT accept the *possibility* that there was influence in 2016, even after much investigation. But in 2020 there IS absolutely vote manipulation.

Yeah. People are stupid.

Cult of personality indeed.

Friday, November 6, 2020

Phineas And Ferb Song Were Watching And Were Waiting

This week, it felt like there was a lot of this...

Cult of personality.

Sound familiar?

A cult of personality arises when a country's regime – or, more rarely, an individual – uses the techniques of mass media, propaganda, the big lie, spectacle, the arts, patriotism, and government-organized demonstrations and rallies to create an idealized, heroic, and worshipful image of a leader, often through unquestioning flattery and praise.

Rarely an individual. Unless you’re in the US and got sucked up into his gaslighting shenanigans 

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Hamilton Original Broadway Cast Zoom Performance "Alexander Hamilton"

We need more great stuff like this!

What? Then they’d have to give refunds...

This scene sticks with me, especially during the pandemic.  All sports had “a plan” for dealing with covid, but most ignore it when it suits them.  We planned to shut down for 2 weeks! We planned to isolate players! We planned to cancel games! We planned to use backups as needed!

But, ya gotta win AmIRight? And refunds? That’s hilarious. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

The Ocoee Massacre

Yesterday marked the 100th anniversary of the Ocoee Massacre, which is believed to the largest scale voter suppression activity that happened in the US. 

You can read stories about it, like this one

Or read a more newsy type report here

Or catch a 45 minute documentary film here:

But, the truly remarkable thing is that it did remain essentially unknown, and not talked about, for nearly a century

It was not taught in florida schools. I had a vague, very fuzzy, recollection of some mob scene, directed at blacks, somewhere near Orlando. But that's it. 

And in a way, shame on me for not knowing. I lived in another little town very close to Ocoee for a year or so in the early 90s. I went into the rebuilt Ocoee a few times. But didn't know it's history. 

I was aware that in that area, miles from downtown Orlando and the theme parks, racism ran high. There weren't many blacks in the area I was living in, and there weren't many whites in the area around apopka. 

It was strange to me, but I never asked questions. I just went about my business. I guess I assumed that it was somehow a vestige of the old south. 

But now that I'm removed from it for 30 years, and we're at the 100th anniversary of the events, I have to look back on it and shake my head. 

As I said, racism ran high in the area. It bothered me a lot at the time, but I just shook it off. 

Maybe now I'm beginning to understand what it means.

Take a few moments and read about the history and see if you can start to appreciate all that happened there, and what has happened since, and why "Black Lives Matter" is something relevant today.