Tag: politics

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Do you Feel…?

You may want to rethink that yes, if the answer. We have come to perilous times, where conspiracies make more sense than commonsense. Take, for example, Joseph Biden’s debate debacle with Donald Trump. An astute observer should have seen Biden’s cognitive decline years ago. I am no expert, and it was obvious to me—and plenty of other folks. Now, post-debate, Biden’s brain, and the continuation of his campaign, are the dominant topics seemingly everywhere. But something smells fishy here—and it ain’t good.

The Commission on Presidential Debates, a nonpartisan organization, is responsible for organizing the face-off between candidates, which typically starts some time following each respective political party’s convention. CPD had scheduled four debates, with the first slated for Sept. 16, 2024, at Texas State University in San Marcos. In a statement, the organization explains that it received a “letter dated May 15, 2024 from Jen O’Malley Dillon, Campaign Chair for the Biden-Harris Campaign, in which the Biden-Harris Campaign informed the Commission that President Biden will not agree to debate under the sponsorship of the Commission during the 2024 general election campaign”. The B-H campaign decided to organize its own debates, and Trump agreed to participate.

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Politics Stress Relief

As I write, the first Presidential debate, between presumptive candidates Joseph Biden and Donald Trump, is underway. For now, my intention is not to watch. Later, I will start with clips and possibly peek at a recorded version through which I can fast-forward and pause. The live event promises to be pure poison.

Or stated differently: Various manifestations of elder abuse. Seriously? You ask. Yes, Biden for his sheer presence and demand to stand and be mentally present for 90 minutes or so. Trump, for the abrasive handling by the hostile CNN moderators.

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Clickbait, Misinformation, or Both?

I don’t write enough about the dreadful disdain that my profession deserves. But, occasionally, some story is so ridiculously egregious that I must admonish the story, its writer, and the editors. This afternoon, when turning on Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio, Windows 11 Start menu teased with news that might interest me. I clicked mainly curious why our AI overloads would pick something about the Republican presumptive presidential candidate.

From Newsweek, headline: “Donald Trump Stung in Primary As Huge Number of Republicans Vote Against Him“. Lede: “Donald Trump suffered a blow in a number of primary votes on Tuesday, after thousands of Republicans refused to vote for him”. Well, yeah, that would be news if true. But, before proceeding, let’s dispatch any confusion caused by semantics.

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I Stand with Texas

The Featured Image might seem to you an odd choice for this post’s title but I must disagree. Suddenly, on my walks, I see many more American flags displayed—and in places that are new to my eyes, like this one outside a North Park market. Makes me wonder: Are some San Diegans quietly, but affirmatively, expressing their patriotic support for Texas’ standoff with the Federal government?

Under a program called “Operation Lone Star“, Texas seeks to “hold the line to defend the Southern border”. Bolstering that effort, Governor Greg Abbott has mobilized state national guard units as part of a vanguard laying razor wire and blocking U.S. Border Patrol agents from processing immigrants. A Supreme Court ruling favors Federal efforts to cut (and remove) the razor wire. Abbott and his attorney general are defiant.

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‘Talkin’ ’bout a Revolution’

These posters suddenly are all about my San Diego neighborhood of University Heights. Ah, do these people not know the killing machine that is communism? I did some quick Googling this evening seeking an answer.

Marking a century since the 1917 revolution, Wall Street Journal published, on Nov. 6, 2017: “100 Years of Communism—and 100 Million Dead“. Dek: “The Bolshevik plague that began in Russia was the greatest catastrophe in human history”. Same year, October 28, from Cato Institute: “100 Years of Communism: Death and Deprivation“.

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For Her President

On Sept. 10, 2023, as I pulled up to the pump at my local filling station, a looming, white pickup truck came in behind me. The other driver was quicker getting out of her vehicle (because I lumbered gathering together cash).

I stepped inside to pay and found her jabbering away with the clerk; she had a friendly mile-a-minute mouth. She spoke about how bad is the economy when the last person to fill up could only afford $3.75 of gas. Context: Price at the pump paid in cash or by debit card was $5.50. So that customer got less than one gallon’s worth.

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Voting Integrity, Seriously?

Before SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 provided California with the excuse to issue mail-in ballots, voting was straightforward: The County assigned a polling place, where you would go to vote. Volunteers had a list of registered citizens from which your name would be checked off and then you would do your civic duty. Simple. Straightforward.

In 2020, I chose to vote in person—and I brought along my mail-in ballot, which would have been accepted had I not requested to vote onsite. After confirming my identity, the election volunteer provided ballot and place to vote. Simple. Straightforward. But the experience my wife and I had voting today was nothing like this or during elections 2021 and 2022. By every measure, looks to me like the polling place process is engineered to deter in-person voting.

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National Pride

June is when come out the proud boys—and I don’t mean the group caught up in what occurred inside and outside the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021. Rainbow banners fly in homes and businesses around San Diego, supposedly supporting the prideful.

So I was quite surprised, today, to come upon colors of different character and national pride. At the corner of Madison and Texas streets, someone set up a stand selling the flag of Mexico and related sundries. Driving to Costco and stopped at a red light, I rolled down the car’s window and used Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra to shoot the Featured Image and companion.

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World at War

February 24 marks the first anniversary of Russia’s incursion into Ukraine. The United States’ involvement prolongs the conflict—leading to more lives lost and ever-increasing destruction of homes, businesses, and infrastructure.

As allies join the fracas—and increase armaments supplied to Ukraine (OMG, tanks!), along with billions upon billions of financial support—what should have been a regional conflict escalates to global war. We are on the brink, and Joseph Biden’s ministrations in Kyiv this week and elsewhere among NATO members sets the world on a dangerous course. Europeans prepare for the possibility of nuclear bombings (one, two, three examples), while Americans are as clueless as lemmings racing towards the cliff.

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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.