Coming Apart at the Seams, Number 2

This is the weekend we honor those who served us and did not return. That said, the President of the United States had something to say this weekend in honor of the occasion.

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump

A lot of interest in this story about Psycho Joe Scarborough. So a young marathon runner just happened to faint in his office, hit her head on his desk, & die? I would think there is a lot more to this story than that? An affair? What about the so-called investigator? Read story!

Thomas Paine @Thomas1774Paine
· May 23
Replying to @realDonaldTrump
Evidence Shows Foul Play Likely in Scarborough Aide’s Suspicious Death in His Congressional Office https://truepundit.com/flashback-evidence-shows-likely-foul-play-in-scarborough-aides-suspicious-death-in-his-congressional-office/…

For the record, Joe Scarborough is a former GOP member of Congress, now hosting a television talk show. For some reason that cannot be fathomed, Scarborough has turned 180 degrees sour on Donald Trump—his policies, his ineptitude, and his low moral character. President Trump from time to time spends a portion of his working day repaying Joe Scarborough for his lack of a fawning attitude.

Some background.

Florida family grieves as Trump spreads debunked conspiracy theory to attack MSNBC host

By Craig Pittman 
May 24, 2020 at 3:02 p.m. CDT

A little after 8 a.m. on July 20, 2001, a couple arriving for an appointment opened an unlocked front door at an office in the Florida panhandle town of Fort Walton Beach and discovered a woman lying on the floor, dead. Her name was Lori Kaye Klausutis and she was just 28.

The police said they found no signs of foul play. The medical examiner concluded her lonely death was an accident. She had fainted, the result of a heart condition, and hit her head on a desk, he said.

Now, nearly 20 years later, Klausutis’s death has captured the attention of the country’s most prominent purveyor of conspiracy theories — the president of the United States — who has without evidence speculated that she might have been murdered and that the case should be reopened.

To an unhinged president this is what is significant on this special weekend.

Abusing Science

Number 72 of a series

Once again science gets in the way somebody’s political agenda. Months ago we began to get word of a new virus epidemic in Wuhan province in the PRC, and as 2019 morphed into 2020 our government appeared to be taking no positive action. Since then the number of people who have died in this country due to the virus has ramped up to over 90,000, and the President is casting about feverishly for somewhere to park the blame. Or somebody.

The PRC, where all this stuff appears to have started, is a prime target. Next up on the list is the World Health Organization. For your edification:

The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for international public health. The WHO Constitution, which establishes the agency’s governing structure and principles, states its main objective as “the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health.” It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, with six semi-autonomous regional offices and 150 field offices worldwide.

The WHO was established by constitution on 7 April 1948, which is commemorated as World Health Day. The first meeting of the World Health Assembly (WHA), the agency’s governing body, took place on 24 July 1948. The WHO incorporated the assets, personnel, and duties of the League of Nations’ Health Organisation and the Office International d’Hygiène Publique, including the International Classification of Diseases. Its work began in earnest in 1951 following a significant infusion of financial and technical resources.

In short, the WHO has been the premier overseer of this planet’s health for over 70 years. The president, who for weeks ignored memos and warnings from official sources, now wants to shift blame for his shortcomings to a respected body of scientists and health professionals. Most importantly he blames the Chinese government, correctly, for being slow to acknowledge the danger, and he claims the WHO collaborated with the PRC in the cover-up. This week he penned a formal letter to the WHO, invoking a number of assertions and threatening withdrawal of the United States from the organization.

When a person sets out to practice abuse of science, one of the first items to be trampled is truth, and an illustration from the Trump letter illustrates this practice. From the letter:

[WHO] consistently ignored reports of the virus spreading in Wuhan in early December 2019 or even earlier, including reports from the Lancet medical journal.

It is not known where Mr. Trump obtained information about reports from The Lancet, but the journal disrespectfully declared this to be false.

The Lancet said it first published reports on coronavirus on Jan. 24, including one involving the first 41 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 in Wuhan. The researchers for that report were all from Chinese institutions.

The other report published on the same date discussed the first evidence of person-to-person transmission of the virus. Scientists from Hong Kong and mainland China contributed to the study.

“The allegations levelled against WHO in President Trump’s letter are serious and damaging to efforts to strengthen international cooperation to control this pandemic,” The Lancet’s statement said. “It is essential that any review of the global response is based on a factually accurate account of what took place in December and January.”

The World Health Organization works to protect the human population, and to that end it employs real science practiced by people who study the issues and make recommendations based on evidence and not on conjecture. A president who has no use for valid science may think he is serving himself, but when the chips eventually fall he will find himself on the short end of the dispute. In the end the people he purports to serve will be among those who suffer.

Quiz Question

Number 258 of a series

You are in a state in the United States of America. You will need to cross three states to reach an ocean, bay, gulf. For example, if you were in Arizona you would have to cross California or the Mexican state of Sonora to reach the Pacific or the Gulf of California. What state are you in?

Post your answer in the comments section below. Hint, it’s not Florida.


Coming Apart at the Seams, A Series

Have we reached the low point yet? Don’t bank on it. Here is the most recent from a president unhinged.

Official Trump Polling <contact@victory.donaldtrump.com>Unsubscribe
To: jf_blanton@yahoo.com

Sat, May 23 at 4:49 PM


Obamagate is the biggest political crime in our Nation’s history.

Barack Obama will forever be remembered as the disgraced former President who used federal law enforcement in an attempt to hurt his political opponents.

His administration, including Sleepy Joe Biden, “illegally spied” on President Trump and his 2016 campaign and then LIED about it – we can’t let them get away with it.

The President trusts what you think, John, which is why he’s asked us personally to reach out to you and get your thoughts on how he should proceed with handling the greatest HOAX of all time.

Yes, Obamagate. Oh, to have a scandal named after me.

Available for all to see, this is a contrived scandal that so far has acquired a hackneyed name and may or may not be searching for an associated crime.

What is apparent to all, even hard-line Republicans, is this is designed to be a distraction from Donald Trump’s failure of leadership in the current crisis as well as being a distraction from his own criminal acts while in office. That the President of the United States continues to become unhinged is no doubt. I will be pulling from his stream of consciousness on average once a day for your enjoyment. My fondest hope is to see the tap remain wide open well past election day in November. Keep reading.

And may Jesus have mercy on our souls.

Bad Joke of the Week

One of a Continuing Series

A new supermarket just opened near my house. It has an automatic water mister to keep the produce fresh. Just before it goes on you hear the sound of distant thunder, and there is the smell of fresh rain.

When you approach the milk cases you hear the sound of cows mooing, and you can smell the fresh hay.

When you approach the egg case you hear the sound of hens cackling and are treated to the smell of bacon and eggs frying.

The veggie department features the smell of fresh buttered corn.

I don’t buy toilet paper there anymore.

People Unclear

This is number 100 of a series

It has come to my attention the President of the United States is unclear on a number of matters. For example, he claims to be taking the prescription drug Hydroxychloroquine to ward off the COVID-19 virus. Call me a die-hard skeptic if you want, but I have my doubts a person in his position would be that stupid. The drug is prescribed as a treatment for malaria and should not be taken for other purposes, due to its dangerous side effects.

Without going to sources I post here some screen shots from Stephen Colbert’s TV show (20 May). The first highlights a Washington Post news item outlining serious issues, “including death.” Yes, death is serious.

The Mayo Clinic has gone further, listing the following:

  • Blistering, peeling, loosening of the skin.
  • Feeling that others can hear your thoughts.
  • Feeling, seeing, or hearing things that are not there.
  • Unusual behavior.
  • Unusual facial expressions.

Donald Trump is known for his dry sense of humor, often exhibiting bizarre behavior and then explaining later he was only joking. Surely that is what is happening here.


As I tell my readers, I’ve been wrong before.

People Unclear

This is number 99 of a series

I receive more email than I can handle, so this will be brief:

Midnight Deadline (via NRCC) <email@alerts.conservativeintel.com>Unsubscribe
To:John Blanton 
Tue, May 19 at 6:33 PM
Hello John,

Sarah Sanders emailed you.

Don Jr. emailed you.

Newt Gingrich emailed you.

Now we’re emailing you.

And then they asked me for money. They are definitely unclear on a number of points.

People, if you want me to send you money you need to start by not insulting me. But what did you just do? You invoked three of the least savory characters in your corral in a bid to win my heart and my mind. Take a look.

  • Sarah Huckabee Sanders, as White House Press Secretary, became known as the liar-in-chief.
  • Don Jr., along with his father and brother and sister operated a phony charity that bilked millions out of gullible donors.
  • Newt Gingrich became so objectionable as Speaker of the House his own party voted to expel him.

Dudes at conservativeintel.com, come up with a better panel of 21st century Republicans to tug at my heartstrings. I would recommend John McCain, but he is since dead. I’m thinking you have to go far outside the current circle of Donald Trump sycophants to find anybody worthy of trust. Maybe another decade. Give me a call. I will not hold my breath.

Abusing Science

Number 71 of a series

The COVID-19 advent has exposed a common aspect of science denial. Particularly, findings from science are often rejected when they conflict with political objectives or with personal preference. In brief, concerned medical scientists early on took note of the virus’s dangerous nature and attempted to take action. To our distress, this advice has too often been 1) ignored and 2) rejected. The tag of “hoax” has been asserted.

To date over 90,000 people have died of the virus in this country. Two screen shots from ABC News yesterday illustrate.

President Donald Trump has never been a friend of inconvenient truth—his actions and loud pronouncements are a wealth of science abuse on display. My Facebook feed is another source. I diligently maintain a cadre of conservative friends, and the trend among them is toward denial. Here are some samples.

Dan is college-educated, a former military officer, conservative, fond of conspiracy theories. Of late he has been poking fun at what he considers to be pandemic hysteria. He posted the following.

To save you having to read through the list, Dan wrote of previous panics, as he believed them to be. Start with, “Y2K is going to destroy everything.” The name of this logical fallacy is “the straw man argument.” Put up a ridiculous example that is easy to knock down, demonstrating the rightness of your own argument. Dan concludes with “2020 – Corona Virus is going to kill us all!” The pattern is familiar. He has proposed a string of straw man examples, easily demolished, and posits a final one that validates his argument.

Obviously the Corona Virus is not going to kill us all. But now warnings from science about this dangerous virus are linked to this ridiculous example as though that were the argument from science. The conclusion is the science is wrong. Again.

There followed some back and forth with Dan.

John Blanton
Daniel G. Kuttner, out of your head? Yes or no.

He responded accusing me of ad hominem attack. Others weighed in, prompting me to post this link:

Former Coronavirus Skeptic Warns Others To Take Pandemic Seriously After Infection

Brian Lee Hitchens said he used to believe COVID-19 was a “fake crisis.” Now he’s imploring people to listen to the experts.

Dan’s Facebook correspondents tend to be of like mind as Dan. Here are some responses.

Daniel G. Kuttner
Without a clinically validated test for the “virus,” how can he know what he had?
(I’ll remain silent on the source you used)

Dan points to the source of the story. The Huffington Post has a notable liberal slant. The story is dubious, because the source is liberal. Kent commented, mentioning the source is not relevant. The man, Hitchens, really did have something. Dan again:

Daniel G. Kuttner
Kent: Doesn’t it matter?
It does if one is using his example to prove anything about COVID, without a clinically validated test.

Suddenly Dan wants scientific validation. Another response:

Linda Spencer
John Blanton  The guy is obese… Which is one of the “comorbidity factors.” His comment “looking back, I should have wore [sic] a mask” …Just shows how uneducated he is! This is nothing but a propaganda piece by a liberal rag! And wow… He was OK with it being “blown out of proportion” until he and his wife got it… LOL! So that is rather egocentric… That just because he got it, now it’s a problem! This whole article is a joke.

I’m guessing Linda is saying the whole thing is a hoax. She also invokes the ad hominem attack. He is obese. He is uneducated. The Huffington Post is a liberal rag. I attempted to wrap this up.

John Blanton
People, the man either exists. or he does not.
He either was ill with the virus, or he was not.
He either believed the virus was a hoax, or he did not.
He has since changed his opinion, or he has not.
It does not matter the source (Huffington Post).
The story is either true, or it is not.
Would anybody care to follow up to verify?

I did follow up. Pointing to the Huffington Post as the culprit does not work. Here are links to the story from a variety of sources.




Take note, one of the sources is a Fox News station in Memphis. The complete dialog is on Dan’s Facebook account. If you can access it, here is the link:

People Unclear

This is number 98 of a series

I get stuff in my Facebook feed, and I just love it. Especially I enjoy items from conservative voices. Talk about boundless amusement. Here is one.

Barack Obama Takes Potshots At Trump During Virtual Graduation: ‘Folks In Charge’ Don’t Know What They’re Doing

That’s the headline from an item posted to The Daily Wire. In case you are unaware:

The Daily Wire is an American right-wing news and opinion website founded in 2015 by political commentator Ben Shapiro, who is the site’s editor-in-chief.

The item is by Emily Zanotti, and it goes on to say:

Former President Barack Obama was supposed to deliver an inspirational virtual commencement speech to 2020 high school graduates Saturday night during the “Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020” celebrity special, but took the opportunity to take potshots at the Trump administration over its response instead.

Since entering the 2020 presidential campaign fray, Obama has defied tradition, openly attacking his successor, President Donald Trump, over perceived failures, in the service of promoting his former Vice President, Joe Biden, who will, in all likelihood, take on Trump in the 2020 presidential election. And although he didn’t mention Trump by name in his commencement speech, it’s clear where Obama was directing his criticism.

Read the article. Zanotti proceeds to give an accurate recap of President Obama’s remarks. And, for the record, the folks in charge don’t seem to know what they are doing. A further remark by Zanotti:

Obama also seemed to take a strike at Americans looking to reopen businesses in defiance of ongoing coronavirus-related lockdowns, despite evidence that the American economy is in steep decline with more than 30 million people out of work and many businesses likely to fail, leaving his own countrymen destitute.

That appears to be Zanotti’s opinion and not a demonstrated fact. Trump and his team of loyalists give all the appearance of having bungled the government’s handling of the COVID-19 invasion of the United States. We can presume that is what President Obama is talking about and not about plans to unwisely end the countermeasures currently in place.

On another perspective Trump loyalists deride the former president for speaking out. One in particular is Senator McConnell of Kentucky. To which I say, “Really?” Let’s take another look at the quote from President Trump at the top of this page.

The game is on, loyalists, and you have burdened yourselves up front with a load of shit. Good luck with that.

Biden for President

Number 4 in a Series for 2020

Full disclosure: I received my stimulus check last month and paid it to Joe Biden’s election campaign.

Now I see President Trump is thrashing about for something to hang his re-election on. Wait! Here it is. As you have never seen it before, we present you OBAMAGATE, in living color. What this theme lacks in originality it makes up for with lack of originality.

Strapped for any sign of competence in his own job performance, Donald Trump casts about for a convenient place to park the blame. And the winner is…

Yes, it’s Barack Obama and Joe Biden. Who would have guessed? They alone are to blame for Donald Trump’s incompetence.

Not only that, “These people were corrupt.”

Corrupt! Who would have thought? President Trump, I am so glad you brought up the matter of corruption.

Donald, imagine how corrupt you would be right now if you still had to deal with these inspectors general you summarily fired. Hey, if there is no inspector general to call you corrupt, then the blame must fall to Obama and Biden. The logic is inescapable.

When you are ready to contribute to Joe Biden’s campaign click on the following link:


Here is something that may be of interest. The FEC allows you to contribute a maximum of $2800 to Joe Biden’s primary election, which is officially still underway. Then you can contribute another $2800 to Joe Biden’s presidential campaign, and the way ActBlue handles the matter is like this:Up until the end of the primary campaign the first $2800 you contribute will be counted toward Joe Biden’s primary campaign. Additional contributions prior to the end of the primary campaign will be levied against Joe Biden’s presidential campaign. So, if you contribute $5600 right now the money will be distributed appropriately.

After you have maxed out these contributions there are ways to contribute more. See the FEC regulations here:


I regret to inform you that after Mr. Trump departs office life as we know it will become deadly dull. We will all need to find a hobby. And may Jesus have mercy on our souls.

Quiz Question

Number 257 of a series

I usually pull one of these from something on the Internet. I made this one up. I’m sure it’s already in somebody’s geometry book.

The diagram above shows two intersecting spheres. Each has a diameter of 4. The distance between their centers is 2. What is the volume shared by the two spheres?

Post your answer in the comments section below.

The Awful Truth

Number 9 in a Series

Full disclosure: I voted for Barack Obama twice, but there is one thing about him that always irritated me. He tends to take the truth and then smooth it over with refined language. Such as the above. Here he is telling people about the Trump administration. He is saying, “It has been an absolute chaotic disaster…”

An absolute chaotic disaster? You think? Mr. President, you need to learn to speak of things in a more direct manner. You need to learn language such as “A shit fire in a dumpster.” Now that would be real leadership.

And I will leave it at that.

The Red Phone

Revisiting a Tale from the Past

I was reviewing a movie from 1975, and it featured a place that brought back memories. It came about this way.

Twenty-six years ago I was looking for a job, and I hired on at a company in Richardson, Texas. It was an interesting bit of enterprise. It was a wholly-owned subsidiary of Chrysler Corporation, and it did military contracts. They were in a rush to get their software done, and they were scrambling to fill in some slots.

I worked that project to death, and this forced my employer to either fire me or to find something to keep my hands busy while they looked for someplace to put me. They told me, “Why don’t you go over and work on the Secure Digital Switch (SDS) project.” I knew the company had this contract, and it was a different kind of work. It was 100% telecommunications. Some elaboration.

Your government does not content itself to operate on the nation’s commercial phone system. they have their own, especially for talk that involves national secrets. So decades ago they re-invented the T1 line, what commercial phone systems have been using since 1962. Since Alexander Graham Bell developed the Bell System in the 19th century voice had traveled over wire in analog form. Your voice is a train of air pressure waves, and for nearly a century telephone sets always converted these pressure waves into electric waves, the peaks and valleys of the electrical waves mimicking the pressure waves of your voice. T1 and later versions in the series carry sounds as trains of numbers, each number representing the value of the pressure wave. A T1 line carries 24 separate voice links along a single wire.

What the United States Government did was to add another channel to carry signaling information. Yeah, there was no way you could tap a commercial line into an SDS wire and make that work. Anyhow, the SDS incorporated a features to not only encrypt the communication channels, but to control which phones could participate in which conversations. If some Air Force majors were holding a conference call with their secret clearance, and the general barged in with his top secret clearance, the switch would drop all phones not cleared for top secret from the conversation.

And that all worked nicely, and my employer had the contract to manufacture and maintain the switches. They also made the phones. See the image above. They are called “red phones” for no good reason, because they are as you can see.

But there was a problem, and I’m guessing nobody else wanted to work on it. And that’s where this place comes in.

That’s the Allied Forces Southern Europe command center in Naples, Italy, and they had one or more of our switches. Secure phone links ran from here to various other bases, and they had a method for testing the links. They would have somebody at the opposite end of a link, e.g., in Germany, break a link and feed it back to Naples. Then they would send out stuff from Naples, and determine the same stuff came back. It’s called a loop-back test. And when the test was completed they would undo what they had done, and the link was usable again. Only there was a problem.

If, for example, the general was talking on the phone to Germany when somebody ran the test he would lose his connection momentarily. Then it would come back and the general would continue talking with a puzzled look on his face.

And sometimes not. Sometimes the disconnect and reconnect would interrupt a control signalling packet, and the switch on the other end would never get it. And the communication link would lock up. Permanently. Have you ever seen a speechless general?

Anyhow, they said, “Fix it.” And I said, “I think I might need some help, like where is the code for the switch, and not only that, where is the code for the line multiplexers?” They said, “Here are some copies of the source code, and, by the way, the code for the switch runs on a Motorola 6803, and it’s in assembly language, and the code for the multiplexer runs on a Motorola 68000, and it’s written in C. And also, there is this guy named Dave on the third floor who used to support this code, but he’s not available to help you, because we don’t have the budget to pay him. You’re on your own.”

The switch had VME boards, which you could pull out and put on an extender so you could get at the circuits while the switch was running. It was necessary to clamp a logic analyzer onto the pins of the processor and track the execution of the code to see what went wrong when the link locked up.

And that’s what occupied the next six months of my life, and that’s why the Southern Command in Naples will always have a dear place in my heart. So when I was watching the movie The Human Factor, and I saw where the George Kennedy and John Mills characters worked I nearly fell out of my seat.

To wrap up the story, I eventually worked out a fix, and I tested it, and it worked. When the connection was broken and reconnected, the new software detected what had happened and fixed things up. The fix required changes to the switch software and the software on two kinds of multiplexer boards. That done, I realized the phones would need to continue to work while people were switching out the software in the switches and multiplexers, so I had to make changes in the phone software. That’s how I got to see the inside of the phone that sits on the President’s desk. Rather, one just like it. The neat thing about these phones is you don’t need to take one apart to change the software. The software is changed by essentially calling up the phone and sending it some special signals along with the new code.

Years later I was doing a visitor’s tour of the Pentagon, and I saw one of the phones on somebody’s desk. I resisted the temptation to pick up the unit and see the company name on the bottom.

The picture is not all that pretty. Before I finished with the phone software I got a better offer from another company, so I dropped by my boss’s desk and gave him my 30-day notice. He assigned another guy to complete the work, and I worked mightily to bring him up to speed. Not only was he too inexperienced, but he had zero fascination for the work. He was, himself, shopping around for another job. I do not know to this day whether the phone software got fixed.

The Deplorables

Episode 19 In The Further Adventures Of An American Crime Family

Donald Trump, Jr. is President Trump’s most industrious exponent. If the signature line is factual, Junior spends hours a day tweeting in support of the most corrupt chief executive this country has ever seen. Here is something recent.

Donald Trump Jr. @DonaldJTrumpJr

I wonder if Jake Tapper and the rest at the Communist News Network and MSDNC will ever cover this? Hahahahaha, just kidding, of course he won’t, that could hurt Joe Biden and it’s his job to protect him at all costs.

9:53 AM · May 17, 2020Twitter for iPhone
He links to a story about presidential candidate Joe Biden, and the reference is not complimentary. He invokes communism, which I find odd on a number of levels.First, the link is to something having to do with Joe Biden and China, the proper name of which is the People’s Republic of China and which is ruled by the Chinese Communist Party. Strictly speaking, the PRC may call itself communist, but communism died there decades ago. It exists today as a capitalist dictatorship.

Second, if Junior wants to invoke communism, than he has to look no further than to his immediate left to find a President of the United States who coddles and who pays homage to a communist dictator. See the image at the top. Of course, the Soviet Union ceased to exist 30 years ago, but its current leader is Vladimir Putin, a devout communist and a dictator in his own right.

Yes, Junior wants to paint his father’s political rival as a communist sympathizer, his own family all the while serving obeisance to one of his country’s most formidable enemies. Way to go, fellow traveler.

Biden for President

Number 3 in a Series for 2020

That’s correct. I have dispensed with all pretense. This site is campaigning for Joe Biden for President of the United States.

Does anybody need to ask me why? All right. Take a look at the image above. That is current POTUS Donald Trump taking a victory lap and proclaiming, “We have met the moment, and we have prevailed.” The world can only be thankful the Allied nations 75 years ago did not “prevail” in the same sense. Had they done so Europe would now be goose-stepping and singing, “Das Horst Wessel Lied.”

Hey, readers. I received my stimulus check last month, and it has gone into Joe Biden’s campaign fund. You can contribute, as well. Here is the link.


Bad Joke of the Week

One of a Continuing Series

The Bad Joke of the Week is typically devoted to contrived, humorous stories. This week it’s a piece of news you will find funny.

Nathan Wayne Pugh, 49, a bank robber who abided by a Dallas teller’s request to provide two forms of identification before she could give him money, has been sentenced to more than eight years in prison.

The buffoon in the photo above is also a bad joke candidate, but not for a mere week.

Your Friend The Handgun

Number 217 of a Series

Some people should never be allowed to handle firearms. The problem is it often takes a fatal incident to determine which.

Teen killed in accidental shooting at Smyrna gun range, police say

COBB April 24, 2020
By Chelsea Prince, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

An 18-year-old boy died Thursday afternoon after he accidentally shot himself in the head at a Smyrna gun range, police said.

The teenager was with his family at Adventure Outdoors on South Cobb Drive when the gun went off about 2 p.m., according to Smyrna police spokesman Sgt. Louis Defense. He was rushed to Wellstar Kennestone Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

It is unfortunate the winnowing process tends to be this painful.