Category: Politics

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And That’s the Ugly Truth

Mr. and Mrs. Uglydoll permit a moment of privacy invasion, for this Featured Image captured on July 2, 2017 using Leica Q. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/4, ISO 160, 1/60 sec, 28mm; 2:58 p.m. PDT. Consider the stuffed couple as a placeholder, while I am off absorbing explosive news. Short explanation about what:

One of my favorite journalists is Matt Taibbi. I subscribed to Rolling Stone because of his news reporting and stopped when he left. I now proudly support his Substack—all while wishing that I could still write as voluminously as he does or with even 10-percent his cynicism, pragmatism, sarcasm, and witticism. Tonight, he dropped the equivalent of an informational atomic bomb on Twitter about Twitter.

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The Problem with Mail-in Ballots

A truly momentous Red Wave washed across the country during yesterday’s Midterm elections—just not the one that many people expected. Today, the faces of pollsters and pundits are flush with embarrassment after Republicans failed to make massive gains in the House of Representatives or also retake the Senate. Forecasts failed.

Why? My hypothesis: Proliferation of mail-in ballots, and expansion of early voting, which fundamentally changes dynamics—such as who and when or influences that affect an individual’s eventual choices. Then there is fraud, but the topic is fraught with so much national denial any suggestion is quickly quashed. So I will abdicate that one for this essay and focus on the others.

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Election Stormfront

As I write, Midterm election results roll in around the country. Republicans look for a so-called Red Wave, while Democrats hope to avoid a tsunami. Even a storm surge could flip the House and Senate. Tomorrow will tell, if not later tonight.

For San Diegans, today, the storm is quite literal—rains and gusty winds that continue now. Early risers were denied view of the lunar eclipse. Well, another comes in three years; maybe you can count on clear skies.

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Down the Drain

I sit and wonder on Friday evening before Election Tuesday what will be the outcome for the Midterms. For months, gleeful pundits predicted a Red Wave, as an angry and dissatisfied electorate boots Democrats from local political offices all the way to the halls of the U.S. Capitol. If the prognosticators prove right, red will better describe the bloodbath than resurgent Republicans.

Even in deep Blue California, Red rises enough that Joseph Biden stumped for candidates in San Diego County—last night and today. Supposedly, Democratic Rep. Mike Levin risks being unseated by Republican challenger Brian Maryott in the 49th District. If a Dem incumbent can’t defend against a Repub upstart in the Bluest state, the Jackass party is just that before the Elephant in the room (these folks really need better mascots/symbols).

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Do Your Laundry!

Two weeks from today, Americans officially cast ballots in the Midterms. Early and mail-in voting already is underway in some states. Given the current chaos in the economy, partisan politicking, progressive policy-making, and societal factionalism—among other seemingly endless bouts of turbulence—you have every reason to be an active voice this election.

Party affiliation is immaterial. Consider alternatives and possibly choosing someone other than your state or local government’s career politician(s). I see public service as just that. Elected office should not be a job for life, or even decades. Put in a few years for the greater good, so to speak, and return to private life. Otherwise the wheels of government build up gunk (e.g., conflicts of interest and corruption) that clogs the gears.

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About Those Mail-in Ballots

Americans vote in the Midterms on Nov. 8, 2022, but Californians can do so now by drop-boxing or posting the mail-in ballots that all registered voters received—and who can guess how many people moved out of state or have died (sure, blame SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19); are the voter rolls ever up to date?

By my count, across San Diego County, there are about 149 dropbox locations, but local news media claims more than 200. Unlike Election 2020 many, if not most, are not staffed. So who’s voting for whom is the question, which applies as much to those dispatched by USPS?

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A Gift with Grit

What do they say about coincidence? On Oct. 7, 2022, my wife and I watched a live-streamed presentation from the “Save the Nation Conference“, where Leah Hoopes and Gregory Stenstrom detail their investigation into election fraud in Delaware County, Pa. during the 2020 election. What sets their effort apart from others built upon innuendo and supposition: Successful collection of actual evidence.

This afternoon, when returning from a walk, I found a book wrapped in a note on our doorstep. One of my neighbors left a copy of The Parallel Election: A Blueprint for Deception by Hoopes and Stenstrom. Huh? I can’t say who was more surprised: Me, that she left the tome, or her, later learning that I was familiar with the content and authors.

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The Consequences of Deceit

My University Heights neighbors started putting out Halloween decorations weeks ago. From few, now many are everywhere. Along Texas Street, today, my wife and I passed by these seasonal tombstones that stand apart from the more traditional type for Dracula or infamous persons.

The theme of lying seems so appropriate for a time when truth is the one commodity truly lost in the supply chain. Pundits can’t babble enough about impending food shortages, and I share some of their concerns. But someone should state the more pressing problem: An overabundance of deceit/misinformation and lack of honesty.

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The Monumental Monarch

Queen Elizabeth II passed away today. Her death, at 96, marks the end of the United Kingdom’s longest reigning sovereign—70 years. Strangely, in the span of days, the nation has a new prime minister (Liz Truss) and constitutional monarch (King Charles III). A new future unfolds, but tonight we honor the past.

Elizabeth II brought quiet dignity and good manners to Buckingham Palace, all while burgeoning grace, exuding fortitude, demonstrating forbearance, and intelligently disseminating common sense—to wit. The Queen’s legacy, and that of her son’s as he ascends to the throne, is many: The 56 countries belonging to The Commonwealth, of which there are 2.5 billion people.

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Is Today’s Classic Tomorrow’s Stigma?

For years, I have seen this truck parked along an alley located somewhere on the West side of Park Blvd in University Heights (not saying where, exactly). How long before old Fords like this one are taboo? San Diego’s three-summer climate is amazingly kind to vehicles of all varieties—like: Alfa Romeo Spider, battery-converted lowrider, Bel Air, Chevy cruiser, Mini, Nineteen-thirties-era Buick, red Rolls Royce Convertible,  or vintage Volkswagens. They last forever.

But California’s upcoming ban on sales of gasoline vehicles is sure to turn classic into stigma, because these presumed polluters won’t be tolerated by the socially-compliant masses enthralled by Climate Change doctrine. Their fervor is religious, uncompromising, and dogmatically committed to their truth (none other viewpoint is ever considered). Hey, just saying.

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Who You Gonna Call?

If electric cars are the wave of the future, and California calling for a ban on gas-guzzlers by 2035, is the power grid ready? The question demands an answer during the Labor Day weekend heatwave underway and officials advising citizens to conserve energy between 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. PDT. On the list: “Avoid charging electric vehicles“. Need more be said on the topic than that?

The Featured Image comes from Leica Q2 on Jan. 1, 2022. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/640 sec, 28mm; 10:15 a.m. PST.

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Membership Matters

Tonight I contemplate the polarized, partisan divide about voting, enlightened by an experience while shopping during late-afternoon. I had gone to Costco for kitty litter, which cost $2.30 more for 42 pounds than a few months ago. At least the manufacturer raised prices without shrinking size—surely such action is inevitable.

As I approached self-checkout, a new procedure greeted. An employee asked each customer to show the back of his or her Costco card—for photo identification. In some instances, the staffer also asked to see a driver’s license. I inquired why, when making my presentation. Answer: To prevent people from using someone else’s membership, which is not free ($60 to $120 annually).