This is your President speaking.

Number 146

And now a few words from the President of the United States:

I have no doubt that, if the attack on Dr. Ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities by either her or her loving parents. I ask that she bring those filings forward so that we can learn date, time, and place!

“Immediately filed with local law enforcement.” Words that will live in infamy.

People Unclear

This is number 50 of a series

Ever since I retired, one of my jobs has been to be on the receiving end of thought-provoking and oddly incongruous communications, such are political appeals. I somehow got myself on an email list promoting the Republican Party, more recently renamed The Party of Trump. Here is the latest:

Newt Gingrich <info@nrccvictory.com>
To: jf_blanton@yahoo.com
Sep 21 at 6:40 PMLet me be clear.

If the Democrats take over Trump’s majority they’ll try to:

– Raise your taxes
– Repeal Trump’s successful agenda
– Implement a failed socialist-style health care system

You MUST help make sure this nightmare scenario does not happen.

Up front: I’m dead sure Newt Gingrich did not compose and send out the above. This was surely done by an earnest campaign operative for the Republican Party, as evidenced by the appeal to monetary donation that immediately followed. Sum total: whoever thought this up is unclear on a number of points.

  • I would very much like for Democrats to take over Congress.
  • I would not object to raising taxes. Implicit is that this is about income taxes.
  • I very much would like to repeal President Trumps agenda, successful as it supposedly is.
  • You can call it socialist-style or you can call it dog do, but that does not change what it is.

Some explanation:

Republicans in Congress have demonstrated a lack of public responsibility in kowtowing to Donald Trump’s foolish whims. They need to take some time off the job and get out to talk to the people they represent. I would like to vote them out.

Income taxes are a major source of the revenue that supports the government. In case Republicans didn’t notice, the government was rocking along just fine before the election of Donald Trump, the economy was doing well, and defunding the government by erasing a major source of income for operations has not only produced a considerable spike in deficit spending, but the way it was engineered shows a troubling preference to people in power at the expense of those with little power. It is a shameful insult to the people our politicians are supposed to represent.

Repeal Trump’s agenda? Where can we start? Can we start with a Secretary of Education whose policies work toward undermining public education? Can we start with a Secretary of HUD who seems to favor cronyism over competence in hiring for his government staff? Or the dismantling of international agreements with countries that have worked diligently with us for decades? Newt, what were you thinking?

Call it what you like, but the Affordable Care Act is a major step toward bringing this country into line with the civilized world with a goal toward ensuring we have a healthy and long-lived citizenry and work force. And Newt is against this?

Newt, look at the photo at the top of this posting. That’s one of your guys. That’s one of the people who helped craft the policies this president is implementing. And Paul Manafort is not alone. As of this writing at least five others of Trump’s team have either entered guilty pleas or have been convicted of crimes against the American people. This is besides an ominous list of others who came aboard the new administration, apparently to salve their egos or to bolster their personal wealth. People in Trump’s administration who have stepped up to their responsibilities have been dismissed by this president. And you want voters to continue to support this train wreck? I must, at this time, decline.

Somebody out there does not get it, and one way to send them the message is to pension them off in November.

Wacko Right Wing Religious Fanatics Say The Darndest Things

Number 18 of a continuing series

I keep seeing stuff like this show up on my Facebook feed. Every now and then I figure i need to check one of them out. Here’s a recent one:

Mark Taylor: ‘Satan’s Frequency’ Is Making People Unable To See How God Is Using Trump To Save America

Last week, we highlighted “firefighter prophet” and right-wing conspiracy theorist Mark Taylor’s belief that the Illuminati and the Freemasons are using a special frequency to change people’s DNA in order to make them oppose President Trump.

On Friday, Taylor appeared on “The Sharpening Report” where he expanded on this theory, explaining that people who have had their bloodlines corrupted by sins committed by their ancestors are now being targeted by Satan via a frequency that is making them unable to see how God is using Trump to save America.

“People are picking up on the frequency of Satan right now,” he stated. “The goal of the Freemasons, the goal of the Illuminati, the goal of the globalists is to change your DNA. They want to change your DNA, they want you to hear what they want you to hear, see what they want you to see and speak what they want you to speak, act like they want you to act. They’re wanting to totally control you and the only way they can do that is through the bombardment of these frequencies.”

My first reaction was, “No way! Nobody is that stupid.” Of course I’ve been wrong before. From YouTube:

movies the news media you know they’re
04:17
throughout 440 Hertz versus 444 Hertz
04:20
which was God’s created over God’s
04:22
created frequency basically and that’s
04:24
what’s causing the agitation that’s
04:26
what’s causing health issues is causing
04:28
paranoia is causing fear
04:52
unemployment and the the economy worsens
04:56
he could have undermined the messaging
04:58
so much that he can actually control
05:01
exactly what people think you know the
05:07
instruments in our churches right now
05:08
are tunes that been detuned to 440 Hertz
05:11
and this all originated back in World
05:13
War one
Yeah, I think you need to watch the video.Of course, there is the possibility that Mr. Taylor doesn’t believe any of this—that he’s spewing it out to keep his audience going. That would be really cool. But then I remember, “Oh, yeah. There’re a bunch of people out in believer land sucking it up and swallowing it whole.” And that’s what keeps me awake at nights.

The Conversation

Number 3 in a series

I’m sure I mentioned this before. I have a collection of Facebook friends, and a lot of discussion goes on. The problem is most of these people have views that align with mine, and that makes for some deadly dull dialog. That’s why I seek out Facebook friends of a different stripe. This blog feeds on controversy.

Big problem. In all but a few cases those of divergent views felt offended at having their notions challenged, and the result is they have terminated the conversation by de-friending me. Full disclosure: I have de-friended maybe a couple of people on Facebook, and that has been because they tended to post relentlessly on matters of interest only to themselves.

That said, here is a continuation of The Conversation. A few hours ago I added Rodger Morrow.

Adjunct Professor at Carnegie Mellon University

Greater Pittsburgh Area
Writing and Editing

Morrow posts a bunch of stuff, currently taking up nearly half of my Facebook feed. I have to skim his posts and select a few to read. Here is one.

Rodger Morrow

Yesterday at 2:44 AM ·

“Flake is a never-Trumper. Like a number of others for whom I once had considerable respect, Flake has elevated his hatred for our president over every principle of politics and public policy. He would rather subvert his own allegedly conservative principles than allow President Trump to exercise his constitutional powers as president. Words can hardly express how contemptible this is.”

POWERLINEBLOG.COM

Jeff Flake, Traitor

‘Traitor’ is normally considered a harsh word, but it is the only printable thing I have called ‘Republican’ Senator Jeff Flake since he announced, a few hours ago, that he is “not comfortable voting yes” on Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court. His concern is the ridiculously stale…

Jackie DiCicco Fullen This is horrible. How can this man think he is honorable? I hope he realizes his pettiness and votes for the good of this country and not for chaos.

Rodger Morrow This is much like John McCain’s vote to rescue Obamacare. Flake honestly believes he’s acting on behalf of some higher principle and that history will vindicate his decision.

There’s no stopping a man like that, and I expect Bob Corker, Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins — all traitors-in-waiting — will follow his lead.

At this point is inserted a link to the book, Conscience of a Conservative, on Amazon. There follow a few well-considered comments:

Tim Aquino May he rot in hell!!!!!!!!!!!
I’m done with these pathetic POS.

Tim Aquino So this POS screws “we the people” because his vagina is in an uproar over that meanie (Trump)??

For the uninitiated, “POS” is Facebook shorthand for “piece of shit,” and Tim thought it important enough to invoke it twice. About this point I felt the need to contribute my two cents:

John Blanton Flake is a never Trumper? Could be. The question is, why are you not a never Trumper?

I have to admit, the response to my discourteous remarks was measured and enlightening:

Tim Aquino Because I think for myself and can see with my eyes to what’s going on??

Rodger Morrow If your purpose in making a friend request was simply to troll my posts, please know that I have no patience for such bullshit.

If you wish to learn from someone who knows far more about politics and government than you ever will, please attend to my words of wisdom.

Otherwise, piss off.

I have to admit, I have been invited to piss off before, but never with such eloquence. I responded in my usual, crass manner:

John Blanton In posing the question I was seeking material answers. You must have reasons for your loyalty to Donald Trump, and it should be possible to articulate these reasons. A response should include particulars. Anybody willing to respond in kind?

At some point I inserted an explanation as to why I was interested in this dialog, and I explained I do not hate Trump supporters (somebody accused me of that), but I consider Trump supporters to be an interesting species worth studying. What I received in return was truly heart-warming:

Rodger Morrow Tell me why I — or anyone on this thread — owes you an explanation for anything.

Go peddle your “curious species that deserves study” bullshit somewhere else.

You’re boring us.

Jackie DiCicco Fullen such boorish self serving arrogant troll! Considers us all “ interesting”! Screw him!

At this point, in my usual manner, I went completely off the rails. I cannot imagine what came over me.

John Blanton Is there a material response in there, somewhere? “Us all?” “Screw him?” Is anybody interested in meaningful dialog? Who here will be interested in arguing a point by means of rational discourse?

The reply I received to my arrogance was concise and to the point.

Tim Aquino It appears it was not your intent in the first place for rational discourse. So as said before you self serving arrogant troll … SCREW OFF!!

Rodger Morrow John Blanton I asked you to explain why any of us owes you an explanation for anything.

You have failed to do so.

Beat it, asshole.

And that is where it stands as of this writing. I just now posted my response.

Rodger, my apologies. I am slow to respond to your request for an explanation due to my having multiple things going on in the background. I am posting from my home.
 
That said, I concede neither you nor anybody else owes me an explanation. It is my hope that, in the interest of furthering the discussion, you will volunteer to elaborate on your reasoning. Donald Trump must have any number of qualities that earn your support. Here is your opportunity to lay them out. That goes for all participating in this thread. Your opinions matter to me.
Unable to post comment.

Hopefully my rudeness will not cause Rodger Morrow to de-friend me, as so many others have. Oops! Too late. Rodger Morrow just now seems to have blocked me. Does anybody have the dictionary definition of “snowflake?”

The Omen

We should have picked up on the signals back when horns were blaring and red lights were flashing.

NYPD Blue, a series that ran on TV from 1992 to 2005, is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video, and I am following episodes from start to finish. It’s now season 2, and we see Detectives Andy Sipowicz (Dennis Franz) and Greg Medavoy (Gordon Clapp) dealing with a character they ran into, literally, in the street. They are in their car when they get clipped seriously by another in traffic. While everybody is out inspecting the damage, the two cops hear thumping, and they force the driver to open the trunk. There’s a woman inside wanting out. He says the guy grabbed her off the street and forced her into the trunk. Then he drove around for two hours, making some stops, before running into the cops. The guy is a real nut case. Further inspection of his car reveals homemade bombs. They take him in.

There’s more. The driver is a whacked out Romanian immigrant, who babbles about conspiracies and the need to take down the rich and evil. When the two cops go by to check out the man’s apartment they find a load of anti capitalist literature, and behind a panel in the wall they find a stash of more bombs. They figure to call the bomb squad and get back a few hundred yards. As the two exit the apartment post hast they go by a poster plastered on the wall by the door. See the image at the top.

This is from season 2, episode 15, which should have been running about 1995. We were warned that early. Did we pay attention? Not I. About that time I was working on a project to track enemy communications signals. At the time we thoughtthe enemy might be the Russians. Little did we suspect.

The Government You Paid For

Number 45 of a Series

This series is not for liberals. It’s for these supposed conservatives who voted for Donald Trump and for those who still support him. It’s my way of showing them the moon by way of dragging out the government they paid for. Yeah, the image above says it all.

It’s called flipping, and it almost ought to be illegal.

If it is illegal, then a bunch of Trump supporters are going to jail. What am I saying? A bunch have already flipped and gone to jail.

Possibly there could be more.

Mr. President, I am sure there are special visiting hours for close family members, especially for close family members who are technically in charge of the American justice system. You can stop by on your way to the golf course.

For now, a few more delicious images to put your mind at ease in case you have trouble getting to sleep tonight.

Dudes, you are getting the government you paid for.

All images are from ABC World News Tonight with David Muir, 14 September 2018.

This is your President speaking.

Number 143

And now a few words from the President of the United States:

Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump

“When Trump visited the island territory last October, OFFICIALS told him in a briefing 16 PEOPLE had died from Maria.” The Washington Post. This was long AFTER the hurricane took place. Over many months it went to 64 PEOPLE. Then, like magic, “3000 PEOPLE KILLED.” They hired….7:05 PM – 14 Sep 2018

Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump
….GWU Research to tell them how many people had died in Puerto Rico (how would they not know this?). This method was never done with previous hurricanes because other jurisdictions know how many people were killed. FIFTY TIMES LAST ORIGINAL NUMBER – NO WAY!
7:23 PM – 14 Sep 2018

I know it’s a bunch of BS, but I still love hearing him say it. He is, after all, the President of the United States.

Houston, we have a problem.

Number 3 of a series

I previously posted on an item I received in the mail from a group calling themselves Judicial Watch.. That mailing wanted me to get interested in, and to support, their efforts to further investigate past deeds of former Secretary of State and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Their appeal had a strange appearance, since all the matters presented in their letter have since been investigated thoroughly by some of this country’s best legal minds. I hesitate to characterize their appeal as an emotional tug at my bank account, with the aim at fattening their coffers for other projects or possibly to underwrite the salaries of people on their payroll. So, I let it drop.

The subject of the most recent appeal relates to somebody’s infatuation with immigration enforcement. There are any number of federal crimes that do damage to our society, among them being espionage, money laundering, tax evasion, mail fraud, kidnapping, and bank robbery. Violation of immigration law is also a federal crime, but while the previously mentioned are felonies, entering the country illegally is a misdemeanor for the first offense. You see what I’m getting at. It’s time we made a big deal of immigration crime.

And that appears to be the thrust of this most recent Judicial Watch letter:

To: John Blanton

You are being contacted because state of Texas has been identified as a possible “sanctuary state” containing townships, cities, counties and/or regions unlawfully aiding, abetting and/or shielding illegal immigrants from federal immigration law.

The letter advocates for the involvement of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, and here is a part that escapes my comprehension.

Your signature is needed because “open borders” advocates and politicians in these “sanctuary states” are using or preparing to use taxpayer-paid legal defense funds, legal action and the courts to hinder federal efforts to curtail the unlawful protection of illegal aliens in the U.S.

I need to show my support by signing and delivering an enclosed petition. Else Attorney General Paxton will not be inspired to enforce the law? And what law? Does Texas, or any state, have laws regarding illegal immigration? Somewhere in the Constitution there must be wording to the effect the federal government solely is charged with international affairs. The letter gets to the meat of the matter.

To counter these unlawful efforts to flaunt and/or evade immigration laws, the conservative public interest 501 (cX3) organization Judicial Watch is conducting a state-by-state program to investigate, expose and, where warranted, challenge in court unlawful sanctuary policies.

Your signed authorization via the enclosed AFFIRMATION OF PUBLIC SUPPORT will help Judicial Watch establish a necessary record of “in-state” public support for investigations into and judicial actions against violations of federal immigration policy and laws because they are of benefit to, and in the public interest of, the lawful citizens of said state.

Passing over the slight English language failure in the above, it is apparent that Judicial Watch wants me to throw my weight behind their endeavor. A complete reading hints they also want me to throw my money into the fray, as well.

Then begins an elaboration of the problem to be addressed:

The facts regarding the widespread efforts to aid, abet and shield illegal immigrants from the law are not in dispute. This is a purely ideological disagreement between those of us who believe we should have borders and border controls, and those who believe there should be no borders and no controls. As many as 400 regions, townships, counties and cities in every region of our country, including the vast majority of major American cities, have taken unlawful steps to offer illegal aliens some form of sanctuary; help them obstruct federal immigration law and policy; and even use tax dollars to encourage and offer legal aid to illegal immigrants, e.g.:

Followed by a summation of examples. A subsequent section of the letter reinforces the need to take action.

The consequences of illegal immigration are equally beyond dispute. Despite claims that comprehensive statistics on illegal immigrant crime are “not available” from the federal government, the disproportionate number of illegal aliens involved in drug trafficking, violent crime and gang activity is well documented in state and local jurisdictions in every region of the country:

This is followed by

a) Illegal immigrants are three times as likely to be convicted of murder as members of the general population;

b) Illegal immigrants accounted for nearly 75% of federal drug sentences in 2014 according to the U.S. Sentencing Commission;

c) In Florida, 40% of all murder convictions were criminal aliens;

d) In Los Angeles, 95% of outstanding warrants for homicide were for illegal aliens;

e) ICE reported that illegal criminal aliens released by Homeland Security during the Obama Administration accounted for 64,000 crimes, including assault, kidnapping and homicide; and

f) At various times, 25,000 illegal immigrants were serving murder sentences nationwide.

Reconciling these statements with some known facts presents difficulties. Here is something from another source:

There is no empirical evidence that immigration, including illegal immigration, increases the crime rate in the United States.[24][157] According to PolitiFact, “every expert we polled said there is a consensus among scholars that undocumented immigrants are not more likely to commit crimes than U.S. citizens.”[25] Most studies have shown that illegal immigrants tend to commit less crime than natives.[26] For immigration in general, a majority of studies in the U.S. have found lower crime rates among immigrants than among non-immigrants, and that higher concentrations of immigrants are associated with lower crime rates.[158][159][160][161][162][163][164][165][166][167][168][169][170][171][172][173][174][175][176][177][178][179] Some research even suggests that increases in immigration may partly explain the reduction in the U.S. crime rate.[180][181][182][183][184][185]

A 2018 study found that undocumented immigration to the United States did not increase violent crime.[186] A 2017 study found that “Increased undocumented immigration was significantly associated with reductions in drug arrests, drug overdose deaths, and DUI arrests, net of other factors.”[187] A 2016 study finds no link between illegal immigrant populations and violent crime, although there is a small but significant association between illegal immigrants and drug-related crime.[188] A 2017 study found that “Increased undocumented immigration was significantly associated with reductions in drug arrests, drug overdose deaths, and DUI arrests, net of other factors.”[189] A 2017 study found that California’s extension of driving licenses to unauthorized immigrants “did not increase the total number of accidents or the occurrence of fatal accidents, but it did reduce the likelihood of hit and run accidents, thereby improving traffic safety and reducing costs for California drivers… providing unauthorized immigrants with access to driver’s licenses can create positive externalities for the communities in which they live.”[190] A 2018 study in the American Economic Journal: Economic Policy found that by restricting the employment opportunities for unauthorized immigrants, the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) likely caused an increase in crime.[191][192]

According to a 1997 report by the National Research Council, The New Americans: Economic, Demographic, and Fiscal Effects of Immigration, “it is difficult to draw any strong conclusions on the association between immigration and crime”.[193]

However, the item from Wikipedia has this additional part:

The Arizona Department of Corrections reported in 2010 that illegal immigrants are over-represented in the state’s prison population. In June 2010, illegal immigrants represented 14.8 percent of Arizona state prisoners, but accounted for 7 percent of the state’s overall population according to the Department of Homeland Security.[194] In addition, the data showed that illegal immigrants accounted for 40% of all the prisoners serving time in Arizona state prisons for kidnapping; 24% of those serving time for drug charges; and 13 percent of those serving time for murder.[194] Criminologist professor James Alan Fox assets that this is to be expected as illegal immigrants who tend to be poor “will have a higher rate of individuals in prison” as there is a correlation between social class and criminality, a correlation between social class and the probability to being sent to prison for the same crime as compared to people in a higher social class, and inadequate legal representation for the poor.[194]

The cause for the apparent dichotomy between the Judicial Watch statements and the above is hinted at by examining how JW crafts its words. Take their item a) above: “Illegal immigrants are three times as likely to be convicted of murder as members of the general population.” I have highlighted the word “convicted.” JW is not saying illegal immigrants are more likely to commit crimes. They are saying they are more likely to be convicted of their crimes.

Putting aside all that, I am going to interpret the letter from Judicial Watch as an appeal to my supposed alignment with the anti-immigration sentiment that pervades our politically conservative culture. And the irony is palpable.

Conservative causes and candidates receive massive support from American business owners, who tend to be conservative due to their opposition to overbearing government regulation. The irony is that illegal immigration feeds the profit line of many of these concerns. From the same Wikipedia entry:

Wal-Mart: In 2005, Wal-Mart agreed to pay $11 million to settle a federal investigation that found hundreds of illegal immigrants were hired by Wal-Mart’s cleaning contractors.[91]

Swift & Co.: In December 2006, in the largest such crackdown in American history, U.S. federal immigration authorities raided Swift & Co. meat-processing plants in six U.S. states, arresting about 1,300 illegal immigrant employees.[92]

Tyson Foods: This company was accused of actively importing illegal labor for its chicken packing plants; at trial, however, the jury acquitted the company after evidence was presented that Tyson went beyond mandated government requirements in demanding documentation for its employees.[93]

Gebbers Farms: In December 2009, U.S. immigration authorities forced this Brewster, Washington, farm known for its fruit orchards to fire more than 500 illegal workers, mostly immigrants from Mexico. Some were working with false social security cards and other false identification.[94]

The hard fact is that illegal workers do not enjoy the protection of labor laws to the extent citizens and legal workers do. The threat of exposure, arrest, and deportation prevents their complaining when employers short their wages or require them to work in unsafe environments. Employers use these circumstances to drive down wages and thereby increase profits. And the business owners vote Republican. Whether they underwrite Judicial Watch in this campaign is unknown to me.

Full disclosure: I support the government’s immigration laws. The federal government has the right to control immigration, limit the number of people allowed to enter the country on a permanent basis each year, and to set requirements for aliens who want to work here. That said, I agree that immigration is beneficial to the American economy and to the strength of our nation. We really should accept more immigrants from our nearest neighbors, including Mexico. Conservatives have exhibited a distaste for immigration from Arabic and Muslim countries, the excuse being that some of these people might be terrorists. I chuckle.

Stories I see posted on conservative sites and in mail I receive from conservative advocates zero in on illegal, sometimes heinous, acts committed by immigrants, particularly illegal immigrants. Particular note is made of incidents that involve Muslims. These conservative sources are the same ones that advocate a proliferation of deadly weapons in society, which on a daily basis accounts for more horror than a year’s worth of contribution from Muslims and from immigrants.

All this prompts an appraisal of Judicial Watch, its legitimacy, and its competence. While JW has had notable successes, its history is also marked by a number of excesses. Examples:

On August 31, 2018, Judicial Watch reported on its blog that the Justice Department “admitted” in a court filing that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court held no hearings regarding the surveillance application for former Trump adviser Carter Page. In their blog post, Judicial Watch linked to the court filing, which was in response to a FOIA lawsuit, but nowhere in the post was it mentioned that the court filing stated, “Specifically, FOIA staff consulted with knowledgeable subject matter experts in the Office of Intelligence. Those experts confirmed that, as is typical in proceedings before the FISC, no hearings were held with respect to the acknowledged Carter Page FISA applications, and thus no responsive transcripts exist.”[15][16] Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton appeared on Fox News that night and stated that the Justice Department said there were no hearings for the Page application, but did not mention that the DOJ said this was “typical in proceedings before the FISC.”[17] The Judicial Watch story was reported as scandalous by conservative websites, such as Gateway Pundit.[18][19] The following day, Trump tweeted about the story.[20]

Judicial Watch helped stir the conspiracy theory that Vince Foster was murdered by the Clintons.[23][14][24]

In 2010, Judicial Watch made inaccurate claims about air travel spending by Nancy Pelosi’s congressional delegation; Judicial Watch’s claims were picked up by the conservative conspiracy site WorldNetDaily.[26] Judicial Watch also made false claims about Pelosi’s air travel in 2008 as well.[27][27]

In total, Judicial Watch gives the appearance, intentional or not, of being a nutty right-wing advocacy group, living off the prejudices and fears of a like-minded segment of our society. And I enjoy receiving their mail.

Your Friend The Handgun

Number 129

The Second Amendment ensures citizens have the right to own guns to protect themselves and their families from dangerous criminals. Let’s see how that’s working out:

Louisville man says 2-year-old son died after accidentally getting into his gun safe

A 2-year-old boy died at Norton Children’s Hospital on Monday after being shot in the face.

Monday, July 31st 2017, 1:15 pm EDT by Travis Ragsdale & Joel Schipper
Updated: 

Monday, July 31st 2017, 10:24 pm EDT

.LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — A 2-year-old boy died at Norton Children’s Hospital on Monday after being shot in the face.

LMPD spokesperson Dwight Mitchell said the shooting happened just after 1 p.m. in the 6500 block of Huff Lane near the intersection of Cane Run Road and Camp Ground Road.

“About 1 o’clock this afternoon, Louisville Metro Police second division officers responded to a call of a shooting in the 6500 block of Huff Lane,” Mitchell said. “When officers arrived, they located a 2-year-old male who had been shot.”

The victim’s father, Jesse Mefford, said his two sons were being watched by their adult cousin when they found a 9 mm handgun.

All right! Dangerous criminals never give you any warning before they prepare to strike at your peaceful home. Keep alert out there, and vote to protect your gun rights.

This is your President speaking.

Number 144

And now a few words from the President of the United States:

“The President has absolutely demonstrated no wrongdoing whatsoever & that the Special Counsel has no evidence of any wrongdoing. In other words, it’s time to end this Witch Hunt.” Russian “collusion” was just an excuse by the Democrats for having lost the Election!

I don’t know about you, but I am glad that matter has finally been put to rest.

This is your President speaking.

Number 143

And now a few words from the President of the United States:

“We have found nothing to show collusion between President Trump & Russia, absolutely zero, but every day we get more documentation showing collusion between the FBI & DOJ, the Hillary campaign, foreign spies & Russians, incredible.”

The President of the United States commemorates the horrendous loss of 11 September 2001 and the heroism of passengers of United flight 83. Oh, the humanity!

Houston, we have a problem.

Number 2 of a series

I get letters. Rather, I get email. I sign up for some of the most bizarre the Internet has to offer. It’s my penance for a life of idleness and sloth. I’m feeling better now.

Last week I received an actual letter in my postal mailbox. It’s from Judicial Watch. They want me to give money. I think I will not. They presented their argument. It is not convincing. Here are some samples:

To: John Blanton

The conservative public interest organization Judicial Watch, organized under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal RevenueService code, “has launched’ a series of in\7Estigationsarid lawsuits into former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and her staff regarding various counts of corruption, deception and concealment.

This investigation and several lawsuits remain active. As a resident of Texas in the 5th Circuit, you are being asked if you will show your support of these actions by signing and returning the enclosed AFFIRMATION OF PUBLIC SUPPORT of our investigations into Hillary Clinton.

The purpose of this public AFFIRMATION is to establish a foundation of public support in each of the twelve federal circuit court districts across the United States to substantiate sufficient public interest in the efficacy of pursuant judicial actions while demonstrating that such legal actions are of public benefit.

Your signature on this AFFIRMATION allows Judicial Watch to establish a necessary record of public support for its investigative and litigation proceedings into the public record of Hillary Clinton and her staff.

That’s the opening. There are eight pages. They tell us what it’s going to be about:

It is the contention of Judicial Watch that, in service to a self-serving agenda, former First Lady, former U.S. Senator, former U.S. Secretary of State and former candidate for President Hillary Rodham Clinton exploited the use of her office (and any other lever of public power she has maintained) to circumvent the rules of public service to finance and shape her image as a candidate for the 2016 presidential election.

What’s especially troubling is that Hillary Clinton has played this same corrupt tune (lying, obstruction, “pay for play” and graft) for nearly a quarter-century. Since 1994 Judicial Watch has had to expend enormous resources investigating Hillary Clinton.

Yes, that’s it. Concerning matters of settled jurisprudence, the organization calling itself Judicial Watch wants my support (and ultimately my money) in kicking an intire remuda, already dead. They propose—presumably after first locating the remains of Judge Crater—to resolve one or more of these pressing issues regarding Hillary Clinton:

  • Obstructing the release of records about the Whitewater land deal when her husband was running for president in 1992 (her Rose Law Firm billing records were mysteriously lost for two years and then turned up in the White House residence).
  • Refusing to tell the truth about the deadly Benghazi terrorist attack that took place on her watch as Secretary of State in 2012 and her role in the cover-up by lying about the attack to the Amer­ican people.
  • Abusing her public office to trade cash for favors — with corporate money, Russian and other foreign money, foreign government money…gobs of money, much of which is now sloshing around her “charity” that could be renamed “The Clinton Corruption Family Foundation.”
  • Permitting her 2016 presidential campaign to bankroll and market the phony “Trump Dossier” full of unsubstantiated and salacious allegations against her opponent, Donald Trump, which was corruptly used by Clinton allies in the FBI to launch the multi-million dollar, out-of-control investigation headed by Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller that continues to the present day.

These are some of Clinton’s heinous crimes that must be resolved before we can get around to the serious business of figuring out how NASA faked the moon landings. More seriously, it is what comes before any one of the following:

Maybe we should all contribute to Judicial Watch, so they can clean up the Clinton mess and get around to reading President Trump’s income tax filings. I’m holding my breath.

Flash News!

I just now made a trek out into the rain and retrieved another letter from Judicial Watch. I await with anticipation the moment when I will open it and discover another trove of legal gems such as these. Keep reading. And may Jesus have mercy on our souls.

This is your President speaking.

Number 142

And now a few words from the President of the United States:

The Woodward book is a scam. I don’t talk the way I am quoted. If I did I would not have been elected President. These quotes were made up. The author uses every trick in the book to demean and belittle. I wish the people could see the real facts – and our country is doing GREAT!

Right! How about..

And…

And that will about do it for the kind of language President Trump uses.

People Unclear

This is number 49 of a series

This series is devoted to those people who seem unable to grasp a few of the fundamentals. Despite all that society can do fro them, they remain unclear on a number of points. A case would be former mayor of New York City, Rudy Giuliani:

Rudy Giuliani: Unelected op-ed writer is a “very dangerous person”

The President’s lawyer, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, responded to a random Twitter user speculating on the identity of the op-ed writer.

“If it could be anyone at such a high level he probably has top security clearances and a history of leaking,” Giuliani said.

“He’s been elected to nothing, but at anytime he could substitute his judgment for our elected politically accountable President. Very dangerous person.”

The phrase that catches in my craw is “He’s been elected to nothing, but at anytime he could substitute his judgment for our elected politically accountable President. Very dangerous person.”

Yeah, dangerous. Allow me to put this dangerous person into perspective.

A ten-year-old boy, who’s been elected to nothing, is standing on the sidewalk when he notices some masked men carrying bags of money out of a bank. He now substitutes his judgment for that of the people running the bank, and he runs down the street yelling, “Somebody is robbing the bank!”

That appears to be what has happened. Somebody, not elected to his position by anybody, has blown the whistle on an elected official who is totally misusing the power entrusted to him by the voters. Somebody is robbing the bank!

Rudy, let me know when this soaks in. I’m going to hold my breath. Not really.

The Government You Paid For

Number 44 of a Series

People may wonder why I continue to post this series, because, seriously, everybody knows we have the government we paid for. As a reminder, the purpose here is to remind the un-remindable, to embarrass the un-embarrassable, and to shame the un-shamable. If this comes off as my coy way of rubbing it in for all those who voted for Donald Trump and for those who still support him after all that has passed these 19 months and more, then give yourself a star, because that is exactly my purpose. It’s a sorry sight to see a person of my supposed maturity gloat so shamelessly. But to you ignoramuses who bought Trump’s line of MAGA, take this and stick it where the sun don’t shine. I am having my day.

First there was Michael Wolff, who apparently wandered around the White House for weeks, taking notes and not making a lot of noise. He then published Fire and Fury, unleashing a flood of stuff like the  following.

Trump was impetuous and yet did not like to make decisions, at least not ones that seemed to corner him into having to analyze a problem. And no decision hounded him so much—really from the first moment of his presidency—as what to do about Afghanistan. It was a conundrum that became a battle. It involved not only his own resistance to analytic reasoning, but the left brain/right brain divide of his White House, the split between those who argued for disruption and those who wanted to uphold the status quo. In this, Bannon became the disruptive and unlikely White House voice for peace—or anyway a kind of peace. In Bannon’s view, only he and the not-too-resolute backbone of Donald Trump stood between consigning fifty thousand more American soldiers to hopelessness in Afghanistan.

Wolff, Michael. Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House (p. 263). Henry Holt and Co.. Kindle Edition.

Then there was Omarosa Manigault Newman, who left the White House and later released a bushel-full of gems from her own notes:

Lara Trump: It sounds a little like, obviously, that there are some things you’ve got in the back pocket to pull out. Clearly, if you come on board the campaign, like, we can’t have – we got to –

Next Tuesday Bob Woodward’s new book Fear: Trump in the White House will hit the stores.

Trump critters can push back against this line by passing off these revelations as gossip from grousing White House staff. The bombshell that The New York Times dropped this afternoon clears that hurdle by feet, not inches. An anonymous source, working at a high level in the White House has unloaded in no uncertain terms.

The root of the problem is the president’s amorality. Anyone who works with him knows he is not moored to any discernible first principles that guide his decision making.

Trump critters, and you know who you are, it’s time to saddle up and get out of town, or else be prepared to ride this dead horse into depths of ignominy. And if you happen to notice me sitting on a rail fence and gloating, then eat it up. You purchased this ticket, and now it is your ride to enjoy. You are getting the government you paid for.

This is your President speaking.

Number 141

And now a few words from the President of the United States:

Isn’t it a shame that someone can write an article or book, totally make up stories and form a picture of a person that is literally the exact opposite of the fact, and get away with it without retribution or cost. Don’t know why Washington politicians don’t change libel laws?

Of course, this is concerning the new book by Bob Woodward, Fear—Trump in the White House. Full disclosure: I purchased the Kindle edition, to be delivered 11 September. A report will come out after I have a chance to read it.

In the meantime, what we have is the President throwing a conniption fit over the juicy revelations. I’m telling you, readers, I did not vote for this guy, but while he’s playing around with the reins of power I am having the fun of my life. Start with examining a choice phrase from the above: “totally make up stories,” and I had to ask, “What does the President of the United States know about totally made up stories? And then I remembered. “Oh yeah.”

I guess he does have a point there. Who knows more about made up stories than Donald Trump?

NRA NRA

History of Nonsense – Part 2

What started out decades ago as an organization for sportsmen has since become a self-ordained protector of the 2nd Amendment, more recently morphing into a shill for right-wing politics. The group especially enshrines the administration of Donald Trump, and speaker Dana Loesch is articulate in getting out the message that those who seek to rebuke this nonsense are losers, even unpatriotic. She minces no words, and quite frankly, I love it. Could we but have more of her ilk, putting a face to this mindset.

Loesch is featured in a number of ads created by the NRA, and I picked this one for today’s amusement. I have no information about when this was created, but the screen shots are from a YouTube posting dated 14 February 2018. The Independent site has a write-up that includes most or all the transcript, which I will excerpt here:

We have had enough of the lies, the sanctimony, the arrogance, the hatred, the pettiness, the fake news.

We are done with your agenda to undermine voters’ will and individual liberty in America.

So to every lying member of the media, to every Hollywood phony, to the role model athletes who use their free speech to alter and undermine what our flag represents.

To the politicians who would rather watch America burn than lose one ounce of their own personal power, to the late night posts that think their opinion is the only opinions that matter.

To the Joy-Ann Reids, the Morning Joes, the Mikas. To those who stain honest reporting with partisanship.

To those who bring bias and propaganda to CNN, The Washington Post and The New York Times… your time is running out. The clock starts now.

All the while Loesch has been talking, there has been an hour glass sitting on the table beside her. While she intones, “your time is running out,” she inverts it, and the sand starts running down.

I feel dutifully warned. On the day this was posted to YouTube a shooter enabled by the NRA killed 17 students and staff and injured 17 others at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

And this ad is just great. It’s time somebody stood up for American freedoms, so constantly under threat from forces within, and it is high time that somebody took on the fake news that floods our information channels. We need somebody like Dana Loesch to keep us reminded of this threat. I only wish she had had the time and the wherewithal to illustrate some of these abuses.

Since she apparently did not, I will do it for her. Here are some selections from my assortment of screen shots from news sources streaming on YouTube and elsewhere.

I have to stop at this point. I am obviously having too much fun. Thank you, Dana Loesch.

Thank you very much!
Thank you very much!
That’s the nicest thing that anyone’s ever done for me.

This is your President speaking.

Number 140

And now a few words from the President of the United States:

Two long running, Obama era, investigations of two very popular Republican Congressmen were brought to a well publicized charge, just ahead of the Mid-Terms, by the Jeff Sessions Justice Department. Two easy wins now in doubt because there is not enough time. Good job Jeff……

….The Democrats, none of whom voted for Jeff Sessions, must love him now. Same thing with Lyin’ James Comey. The Dems all hated him, wanted him out, thought he was disgusting – UNTIL I FIRED HIM! Immediately he became a wonderful man, a saint like figure in fact. Really sick!

In case you missed it, the “Good job Jeff” part was pure sarcasm

So that we have this straight—two staunch Republican supporters of Donald Trump have been indicted on federal charges. Let me amplify “staunch.” Chris Collins, congressman representing the New York 27th District, was the first sitting congressman to endorse Donald Trump’s presidential bid. He was arrested on 8 August, charged with insider trading. Duncan D. Hunter, congressman representing the California 52nd District, was the second member of Congress to endorse Donald Trump, in February 2016. Last month he and his wife were indicted on federal charges for stealing about ¼ million dollars in contributions to his political campaign. That is staunch.

So, who’s in trouble? United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions, to be sure. Jeff Sessions runs the Justice Department, and these two are charged with violating federal laws, and it’s the Justice Department that prosecutes these kinds of cases. Jeff Sessions.

And why? Because the two did not commit any crimes? How about because these two are running for re-election, and indictment on federal charges is the kind of thing that turns off voters. With the Democrats 23 votes shy of having a majority in the House of Representatives, two votes that go from Republican to Democratic are two votes too many. And it’s Jeff Sessions’ fault. Is he ever in trouble!

So, what should happen? Right! Since the party needs these two, Jeff Sessions and the Department of Justice, which works for President Trump, need to go easy. Maybe not back off completely, but at least wait until after the November elections, when it won’t matter so much. In short, the law must bend to political expediency.

And the President of the United States said it. And that is all I need to say.