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Wall-to-Wall Spitzer, Weiner. So where was the coverage of Sanford & Vitter?
Jul 29th, 2013 by Admin Mugsy

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In case you haven’t noticed, this past weeks news had a Weiner fetish… and that’s not just a bad pun. Since NY Mayoral candidate (and former Liberal-champion for whom I was a huge supporter) Anthony Weiner’s revelation that he continued his admitted bad behavior for more than a year after it forced him to resign in disgrace, the news it seems has been unable to talk about anything else, even pushing fellow Democratic cheating spouse Elliot Spitzer off the front page during his own run for NYC Comptroller.

So I’m sitting here watching the news show the Weiner press conference for the 37th time and I’m thinking to myself: “Where was this coverage when Republican Mark “Appalachian Trail” Sanford was running for the United States Senate with his mistress standing by his side? Or when Republican Senator David “Diaper” Vitter ran for (and won) his own reelection to Congress, and greeted with wild applause by his fellow Republicans upon his return? Did you see that on the evening news? Do you think for one moment they could of been reelected if they had to endure the same daily media scrutiny that Spitzer & Weiner are now being subjected to?

Look, I’m not defending either of these Democratic candidates, and my advice to Anthony Weiner is to “drop out now” before a crushing defeat destroys any political future he may still have. He may have led in the polls recently, but this latest revelation shows he still holds the public (and the truth) in contempt, with his temperament and judgement seriously in question.

But that’s neither here nor there. No, I’m still wondering where the media scrutiny was for a Governor that simply “disappeared” for over a week, not just leaving his state without its chief executive and no way to contact him, not even telling his Lt. Governor, but this “family values” Republican abandoned his wife and four sons over Fathers Day to visit his mistress in Argentina. Upon his return, he apologized to the people of South Carolina, but didn’t stop seeing his mistress. Instead, he divorced his wife, and five years later with her standing by his side, he ran for election to the U.S. Senate asking voters to “trust him” once more, and thanks to a dearth of media scrutiny, it didn’t take much for this “Family Values” Republican to get elected in his deep Red state.

We also saw the reelection of Senator David Vitter… another “Family Values” Republican that refused to step-down after his name turned up in the address book of “The DC Madam” (who later committed suicide). But if that was all there was to the story, it wouldn’t be much of a story. We also found out that not only was Senator Vitter fond of prostitutes, but of dressing up like a baby, diapers and all. Did you hear that little “tidbit” mentioned on your evening news… either when the story broke in 2007 or again when he ran for (and won) reelection in 2008? Of course not.

Oh, but dear reader, it doesn’t end there. Right now, Virgina’s Republican governor Bob “Governor Ultrasound” McDonnell is refusing to resign from office amid a bipartisan chorus of state legislators demanding he step down amidst a bribery scandal that just keeps getting worse as more & more sordid details emerge on a seeming daily basis. If “The Rachel Maddow Show” wasn’t covering the McDonnell story extensively, I probably wouldn’t even know about it. Did you hear THAT story on the evening news? And I find myself wondering, “what’s worse when choosing an elected representative? One who sent salacious photos of himself to a woman not his wife, or the guy actually taking bribes from a campaign contributor?” “Governor Ultrasound” needs a good sex scandal to get the Media’s attention.

But they’re too busy covering another Democratic perv, San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, who is refusing to resign despite the fact a parade of former female employees have all come out repeating the same disturbing pattern of behavior… making lewd comments and physical advances towards his fellow female employees (I didn’t mention Filner in the opening paragraph because what he did isn’t just a private matter between him and his wife. His “crime”… and that’s what it is… involves the abuse of subordinates.)

Once again, we see the so-called “Liberal Media” selectively focusing on Democrats. And we can’t even blame it on “sex sells” because they all but ignored The Vitter Scandal.

As I said, I’m not defending Democrats that engage in immoral behavior, just pointing out that the old adage “IOKIYAR”.
 

Postscript: I apologize for the dearth of attributing links this week or any deeper research. As you know, for the past two months I have been distracted (in both time and thought) by my mother’s continued struggle following a string of medical catastrophes. Long story short, she got chemo she (IMHO) didn’t need and ended up in the hospital with a life threatening infection. The doctors prescribed Musinex for her while she was in the hospital and she coughed her way into a collapsed lung requiring chest tubes to fix. But before she fully recovered, they let her use a port-a-potty despite her collapsed lung and only having sat up twice after nearly two weeks in bed, resulting in her suffering respiratory failure and cardiac arrest. My mother who was (within reason) perfectly fine two months ago is now in a near vegetative state thanks to the medical care she received from doctors that didn’t know what in the hell they were doing.

It has been a long process that has taken quite a toll on my sister and me as you might well imagine. I appreciate your loyalty and your patients (and the work put in by fill-in contributing authors that have bought me some extra time in dealing with this matter.) Thanks.

 


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Guest Post: The Public And The Strings That Bind Us
Jul 22nd, 2013 by Ebon

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This week’s guest post is by Ebon (formerly of “Ebon’s Bear Cave”) in the UK. Ebon worked for Beliefnet.com for many years (until Fox fired everyone on the Community team), and openly writes about his own struggles with mental illness to mitigate the stigma associated with it. – Mugsy

 
Rewriting history.
Scene from 1992 HBO film “Fatherland” set in a world in which WWII ended in stalemate

I got into an argument some days ago with a fellow who saw an “Orwellian world order” behind current events in the USA. Naturally, I argued against the motion. Where we differ is that I see many orders (sometimes competing, sometimes complimentary) rather than one. And yes, they are Orwellian and have been since before Orwell wrote his prophecy. Even the Nazis phrased their attack on Poland as self-defense (the oppressor pretending to be the real victim is so common, there’s an internet abbreviation for it: DARVO for Deny, Attack, Reverse Victim and Offender). And they’re not conspiracies in the sense that they’re not really hidden. It’s more like a group of people who share the same views and tend to support one another.

I have said before that all politics is, ultimately, about the rich versus the rest (although that’s a shortened version of my original version: the rich bastards with all the power versus the rest). These days, that gets called things like “class warfare” (by the people who have been waging class war on behalf of the rich for decades, they only call it class war when we fight back) and “SOCIALISM!” in much the same tone as people once shouted “WITCH!” (for the record, I’m a Social Democrat which is a related but different thing). Because these aren’t really rebuttals, they’re labels, accusations, words used to shut down a discussion instead of answering it. And the people have been so well programmed that the ones being oppressed parrot the opressor’s arguments. Malcolm X once said “If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed and loving the people who are doing the oppressing” and damn if he wasn’t right on that. He understood, without ever being taught, how susceptible the human mind is to repetition. The only thing he got wrong was that he didn’t foresee the all-pervasive power of tv. And how many episodes of Honey Boo-Boo or Jeremy Kyle (think a British, moralistic, judgmental Jerry Springer) does a person have to see before they start thinking that maybe the rich bastards have a point? Maybe the poor aren’t really deserving of any money? And then you’re onto the slippery slope, the race to the bottom, because the only difference between cutting off that annoying mouthy woman and letting people starve in the gutter is the price you’re willing to pay.

The rich versus the rest, always. And the rich want what they’ve always wanted. They want a labor pool desperate enough to work for pennies that they have no obligations to, they want a market for their products and they want to pay as little taxes as possible. And that’s why the tax burden has slowly been shifted from the rich to you, that’s why labor protections are being stripped away, the minimum wage hasn’t been raised in years, why it’s now everyone on minimum wage instead of just teenagers and, by the way, some bastard Republican wants to take away overtime too. The US (and UK if the Tories get their way) are being turned into the ideal labor pool for the rich. Forget about selling their products in the US, they’ll sell to the much bigger markets in Asia and maybe a little to the European economies where people still make decent wages (not the UK, we’re a lot closer to the US culturally than we are to Europe). Fun fact: If the minimum wage had risen with inflation since the Sixties, it would now be around twenty dollars an hour. You want to go back to the Fifties? Support a union, raise wages and top tax rates and buy American.

And that’s why it was possible to raise a family on a single working-class income in the Fifties and Sixties but takes at least two incomes today. Because the rich stopped wearing furs and ermine while they oppressed you and started wearing suits. The traits that make someone a psychopath are the same traits that corporations select for: Ruthlessness, callousness, lack of empathy, remorse or guilt. Capitalism has become sacred writ in both our nations, a creed adhered to more strongly than the Scripture (I’m with Ghandi, who when asked what he thought of “Western Civilization” replied that it “sounded like a good idea”). Say a word against the most egregious excesses of capitalism and you’re a pariah. No-one wants to accept that capitalism inherently creates winners and losers, that it requires a percentage of unemployed to keep wages down (Former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan once said that his job was “to create a certain level of income insecurity” so that people were less likely to change jobs, complain about the ones they had, and work for less. – Mugsy). Our culture believes so strongly in free markets’ uber alles that people would rather see the poor as just lazy rather than victims of the system. And I just know that someone is going to trot out a tired “I knew an unemployed person who exploited the system/did XYZ unwise thing”. It’s tired, it’s trite but that’s how powerful, how embedded the programming is. People would rather believe that the (very few) exploiters are the rule than accept that the system doesn’t always work to everyone’s benefit. It’s like a dog-eat-dog version of Candide.

See, it’s child’s play to manipulate the human mind. It’s so easy that psychologists have to be trained in how to avoid doing it unintentionally. Humans are instinctively conformist, Ashe proved that. Humans will instinctively obey perceived authority, Milgram proved that. And all you need to do is combine those traits with how ridiculously malleable the human memory is. People think memory is like a photograph, something the same every time. It’s not. Memory isn’t recalled, it’s reconstructed, incorporating new data as it goes. That’s why, whenever a serial killer is caught, his neighbors always say they knew there was something off about him. They didn’t know at the time (otherwise killers would be a lot easier to catch) but they remember it as if they did. Give me twenty minutes of your life (in person) and I can convince you that you like peanut-butter tuna fish pudding (well, maybe not). And I’m not special. Any psychologist can do that trick and, while I’d like to pretend that every member of the profession was virtuous and above this sort of thing, the rule of human nature means that’s not true. The rich bastards with all the power can afford to employ a lot of people who know exactly how to manipulate the public. Maybe it doesn’t work on you, maybe it doesn’t work on anyone reading this board (although that’s statistically unlikely and I know it’s untrue) but it works on most people.

Because most people are not bad. They’re not evil. But they are self-involved and selfish and shortsighted and easily distracted and very, very short on memory. And if they see a homeless guy, it’s easier to say “get a job” than it is to think about his story and what brought him to this. Most people don’t want to think about things. They want to regurgitate whatever pablum they’ve been fed and get complimented about how deep they are (Objectivists are the worst people in the world for this, sheep who think they’re cooler than the other sheep) but they don’t want to actually think about it. Because that requires real mental effort and might lead to uncomfortable cognitive dissonance. “People will say they want truth and justice for all. But what they really want is an assurance that life will go on, much as it did before, and tomorrow will be very much like today”. Terry Pratchett said that (through his consummate politician, Havelock Vetinari) and it’s one of the truest statements about human nature that’s even been written. People are puppets and most people want to be puppets. They want to be puppets because it’s easier than having to see things as they actually are. It’s easier to be a jerk to the homeless guy than toss him a quid or buy him a burger (or whatever healthy meal you prefer), people don’t want to make the effort because hey, they’re already being driven like a slave at work, working harder than their grandparents did and getting paid worse, why shouldn’t they coast through the rest of life? It’s easier being a puppet.

And I’m a puppet too, in my own way. I use Facebook. I play Minecraft. I love wrestling and still follow it avidly. I trained in law originally because that’s what people said someone like me should do. I was part of the drug crowd in school but never really fitted in there because I preferred booze. I’m a mentally ill psychologist. In my own way, I’m a puppet too. The only difference is that I can see the strings.
 

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Florida Codifies that Your Stalker Can Legally Murder You If Threatened
Jul 15th, 2013 by Admin Mugsy

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Last Saturday night, the Florida jury in the George Zimmerman murder trial declared that if you defend yourself against an armed stalker to the point where your stalker fears bodily injury, he can kill you “in self defense”. It doesn’t even matter if that fear is justified or not. All they have to do is claim they feared for their life, and anything they do after that is justified. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a more asinine ruling in my life. Think about it. If Trayvon Martin had been an attractive white girl that was being followed by a man with a gun, and she took it upon herself to kick his ass, at which point he shoots & kills her in the name of “self defense”, is there any question Zimmerman would be sitting in a concrete room with striped sunlight right about now? What is even more troublesome is that the Florida ruling has just provided criminals with an added incentive to kill their victims to ensure that only one side of the story (theirs) is ever heard. The most mind-boggling thing in all this is just how many people see this completely differently; that Zimmerman’s claim of “self defense” was justified and that he never should of even been arrested in the first place.

Living in a deep read state like Texas, I’ve had my share of encounters with Zimmerman Defenders. One thing I’ve noticed among ALL of them (without exception) is that, to them, the Zimmerman Case has nothing to do with Zimmerman or the crime itself, it’s all about the Second Amendment and their own right to shoot and kill anyone they feel threatened by… which is a dangerous thing when you consider that they’re all paranoid gun-nuts that think blacks, immigrants, alQaeda and Uncle Sam (in no particular order) are all out to get them. It should come as no surprise that the SAME people defending Zimmerman’s right to shoot & kill an unarmed young black kid that he took upon himself to pursue, are the SAME people that believe THEY could of taken out the Colorado movie theater shooter if only THEY had been there with their gun (in a fire fight with a man dressed in full body armor, firing a semi automatic rifle in a darkened theater filled with teargas and people running around fleeing for their lives.) To say these people don’t live in the Reality-Based Community is an understatement.

In order to conclude Zimmerman “did nothing wrong”, you must totally disregard how the two men came in contact with one another in the first place (another shocker from the same people that think the Second Amendment begins with “dot dot dot”). Because if Zimmerman had not been looking out his window that night (or had just stayed home and not taken it upon himself to pursue Martin), Trayvon simply would have walked home uneventfully with his purchases from the convenience store and lived to see another day. Zimmerman put himself “in harms way” by following someone he had profiled as “up to no good”. So concerned was he that the person he was pursuing might be dangerous that he brought along a loaded weapon. Upon confronting Martin, he didn’t identify himself as from “the neighborhood watch”. Likewise, Trayvon was living in that neighborhood, so in fact, Zimmerman’s job was to protect Trayvon. He didn’t ask him, “Where are you going?” or “Let me walk you home so you’ll be safe out here at night”… something I’d betcha $1000 he would have done if Trayvon has been an attractive white girl. No, George only saw a “suspicious” black male supposedly “looking in windows” (the defense never produced a single witness to substantiate that claim) that he was determined to “detain” until the cops arrived.

“They always get away.”

One of my first thoughts upon learning of the verdict yesterday was the Rodney King Trial and how the assault of King was actually caught ON TAPE and yet the jury STILL acquitted the people that assaulted him. There too, the prosecution played the “dangerous black man” card, suggesting the FIVE armed police officers surrounding King (only four were tried IIRC) were justified in feeling threatened by the severely injured, unarmed black man they had just beaten to a bloody pulp. No one ever claimed King, with a lengthy arrest record, was a choir boy, but there was NO justification for beating the crap out of him rather than simply handcuffing King and throwing him in the back of a squad car.

The Defense’s case looked like it had been ripped from the pages of a “lynching” trial in the 1930’s, showing carefully selected B&W photos of a frightening looking black man to the all female, mostly white, jury, suggesting that the victim was someone white women needed protecting from and the world is now a safer place without Trayvon in it.

I learned yesterday that I hate ABC’s “Dan Abrams”, who was brought on to both “ThisWeek” and the World News Tonight as an “expert”, declaring that “the only thing that mattered was whether or not Zimmerman reasonably feared for his life as the moment he pulled the trigger”. Bullshit. PURSUERS CAN NOT CLAIM SELF DEFENSE. Period. End of story. As I noted two weeks ago, the two men should never have come in contact with one another in the first place. Zimmerman had NO justification for leaving the safety of his home that night to pursue Martin. He’s not a cop and it wasn’t his job to “detain” people he deemed suspicious. Hell, the “neighborhood watch” didn’t even permit watchers to carry firearms. This was a wannabee cop that called 911 so many times (sometimes 2-3 times a night) that he was on a first name basis with the operator (note the number of times Zimmerman called to report a “suspicious black male”). His job was to report “suspicious” activity to the police and let them handle it, NOT take matters into his own hands and try to detain a suspect at gunpoint.

“They always get away.”

So ANY discussion of what happened after he left the safety of his home is irrelevant. At that point, he had knowingly placed himself (and Trayvon) in harms way.

The act of pursuing makes you the instigator. The Florida verdict sets a very bad precedent. It declares that ANYONE… including Stalkers, Rapists, thugs of any kind… can now pursue someone, and should that person try to defend themselves, their attacker can kill them and claim they “feared for their life”. I nearly said, “as long as they don’t attack first…”, but that doesn’t matter either, because now the Stalker has an incentive to kill their victim to ensure they can’t challenge their side of the story in a court of law. “I didn’t touch her! She just walked up and attacked ME for no reason! And fearing for my life, I shot & killed her. Those cuts & bruises on her are from when SHE attacked ME, not because I attacked her.” Sounds absurd, doesn’t it? Yet that is EXACTLY the defense George Zimmerman used to justify killing Trayvon Martin.

I find it interesting that the all-female six-member jury is in hiding tonight and have refused to speak to the Press. Do you think maybe they’re afraid some nut with a gun might walk up to them in the middle of the night and shoot them? I can’t imagine why.
 


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BREAKING NEWS: Zimmerman found Not Guilty. Nation Mourns.
Jul 14th, 2013 by Admin Mugsy

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“Insane” is the only word that comes to mind. Last night the 6-member jury in the George Zimmerman trial, all women, one black (correction: Hispanic), three five of them mothers themselves, actually decided that George Zimmerman, a man with a gun, could legally stalk an unarmed kid, pursue that kid even after being told not to, instigate a confrontation, shoot and kill the person he was stalking, and then be found Not Guilty.

Only in America. Add your comments below. More details later.
 


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Guest Post: My Way or the Highway…
Jul 8th, 2013 by Grant in Texas

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I’d like to welcome guest blogger “Grant in Texas” for taking over posting duties for me this week as I shuttle back & forth between home and the hospital to tend to my ailing mother. I know it is unusual for a host to hand the reins of an entire blog over to one of its visitors, but I hope you, Dear Reader, appreciate Grant’s time & effort as much as I enjoyed bringing it to you. If you too have some experience writing and are interested in sharing your ideas/rants/concerns with the rest of the world, drop me a note (information below). Also, your words of support for Mom have been most appreciated. Thanks. – Mugsy

 
Watching Fourth of July celebrations on PBS, NBC, ABC….in D.C., NYC, and Houston respectively. I feel some sadness, little joy this year. Maybe in part due to my fighting cancer for 8 months now and uncertain if I will see another Fourth, but mostly sad for the state of our nation that has become so partisan. I have lived through the rancorous times of the “do nothing 80th Congress” under President Harry Truman, marched in civil rights and anti-war demonstrations during the tense 1960’s and yet don’t believe I’ve ever seen this nation I love, so divided as it is today. We now know that on the night of President Obama’s first inauguration Republican leaders were plotting to obstruct him at every turn, fearful that any perceived Obama victory would help him be re-elected. The GOP mindset was that it was more important to keep many millions of Americans miserable, jobless and poor for at least 4 years, than to allow Obama to enact any of the programs on which he was elected. How “patriotic”! Now conservatives continue their obstructive ways, seemingly hell bent on preventing a positive legacy for Barack Obama in the history books. The right lusts over power, and instead of smaller government desire to increase their hold over Americans on social issues like invading the sanctity of our medical offices.

I have been reading blogs, commenting on several of them since the mid-90’s. I avoid right-wing sites, spending my time on “progressive” blog-sites. However, often there is not much difference between trolls on the right and those on the far left. I have been attacked, eventually run off a few “liberal” sites because I was suspected of being a DINO. My feeling is that even the most conservative of “blue dog” Democrats is better to have in office than most any Republican. I don’t cope well with ideologues, whether right or left. I was raised in a very activist moderate Republican family and didn’t vote for my first “D” until age 33, for Sen. George McGovern. I left the “Party of Lincoln” when Nixon relented to advisers like Pat Buchanan whose Southern Strategy actively invited racist Dixiecrats, embittered by LBJ’s Civil Rights agenda, to come on over to a welcoming GOP in order to turn the old Democratic South into a new GOP stronghold. I couldn’t stay in the party any longer and as I’ve told many, I didn’t leave the GOP, it left me.

I was moderate as a Republican and still a moderate as a Democrat as I enjoy WINNING. I chose to register as a Democrat in 1972 as the party has a history of inclusion. I wanted to belong to a party that looks out for the “least among us” whether we be old, sick, minorities, women, children, immigrants, gay, etc. But I also fear too many on the left would rather just be “right” than have real power in our government. I was attacked by Nader supporters in 2000 who smugly bragged that they didn’t care if they were the reason Bush was elected over Gore as they had “clear consciences”. I guess their hallowed conscience remained “clear” during Bush’s “Shock and Awe” and feel no guilt over 100,000 dead Iraqis, and thousands of American military.

I’ve had left wing attacks on my comments recently because I don’t chime in rebuking President Obama on various issues. I don’t agree with everything the President has done but I have never been of the mindset, my way or the highway. I am not an Obamabot or “bot” of any kind. I often don’t criticize Obama because I am not privy to his daily security briefings, but do feel he has helped keep our nation safe. He has wanted to close Gitmo, and make good on other campaign promises but has had an obstructionist Congress that most always opposes anything he comes up with even though some of his programs are the same the Republicans once promoted themselves. But that was before they were consumed with hatred for our first black president, and yes IMO, race hate drives many in the GOP.

Lately, I have been chided for not joining “progressives” over the Edward Snowden fiasco. (Editors Note: M.R.S. likewise is of the mindset that Snowden took FAR more classified material than he could possibly have read, released it to sources without determining whether or not that release might be dangerous, and continued to release information out of spite & personal gain. For those reasons, Snowden qualifies neither as a “whistle-blower”, nor as a hero. – Mugsy) It’s as if a real “liberal” should either support Greenwald and Snowden or needs to shut up. I have to laugh at the strange bedfellows both right and left supporting them like Rand Paul and Michael Moore. Greenwald has his army of supporters who will attack anyone who takes an opposing viewpoint. The article below gives me déjà vu of those days I was attacked for not supporting Ralph Nader.

As a child of WWII, I remember early on the slogans like “Loose lips sink ships”. I understand a need for having classified information that younger generations don’t appreciate (even though I think way too many have security clearances). Can you imagine what might have been the results of the Normandy invasion if we had had the mindset of an Edward Snowden back then?
 


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A Market Plunge/Rally, Trayvon, DOMA, Voting Rights and Paula Deen. The Heat is On.
Jul 1st, 2013 by Admin Mugsy

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So much has happened these past couple of weeks, I could have spent hours discussing each one: We saw a series of triple-digit plunges in the DOW in just a few days caused by what? GOOD news on the economy. (WTF?) The “Zimmerman Trial” finally got underway… with a Knock-Knock Joke. The Supreme Court declared Same-Sex Marriage legal in states where it is already legal, but left the door open for state-bans where it isn’t… essentially GUARANTEEING an inevitable return to the Supreme Court when a married couple from one state moves to a state where their marriage is not recognized. And while the Supreme Court was extending marriage rights to gay couples, it was taking Voting Rights away from millions of minorities, essentially declaring that racism in the South was dead the same week people excused famed Southern TV Chef Paula Deen for using “The N-Word” because… “she’s from The South and that’s just how they are.” (I wish I could say I was surprised Justice Thomas would vote against the Voting Rights Act, but he’s always been an OREO… and yes, that is meant to be as offensive as it sounds.) And to cap it all off, the nation closed out the first week of Summer with a record-breaking heatwave, with my hometown of Houston hitting a stifling 107′ at 5:00 in the freaking evening (most years the temperature here peaks around 101′ the first week of August.)

Let’s take them one at a time:

First, the Stock Market: I used to write about The DJIA (“DOW Jones Industrial Average”) frequently  during  the  Bush  Presidency. Plunges of 250 points or more became commonplace, culminating with a total collapse of Wall Street and the financial industry Bush’s final year in office. There were no extraordinary one-day gains to balance out the declines, and just about every plunge could be tied to a stupid decision made by The GOP and/or The Bush Administration (the skyrocketing price of oil as a result of invading Iraq; deregulating the financial ratings industry that led to Trillions in bad investments being labeled: “AAA”; and cutting deregulated mortgage interest rates to zero resulting in a wildly over-valued market bubble balanced on the point of a pin).

But during the Obama Administration, I’ve written very little regarding the Stock Market. Primarily, because fluctuations in the DOW of less than 200 points have very little to do with the health of the general economy, and because every series of declines over the past four years have been brief, followed soon after by upswings that more than made up for the losses.

The DOW, at its lowest point following the Bush Presidency and the Financial Collapse, barely a month after Obama took office, bottomed out at 6,443.27 on March 6, 2009. Last month, the DOW closed at a record high of just over 15,400… that’s an increase of almost 240 percent in just four years. If President Obama is a “Socialist”, he’s a piss-poor one.

So what caused last week’s momentary 800-point drop in the DJIA over 3 days a few weeks ago? Believe it or not, “good” news from the Federal Reserve that the economy is recovering so well that it may be able to halt “quantitative easing” (IE: “Stimulus”)… pumping $85 Billion dollars a month into the economy. On that news, the price of Gold and Treasury Bonds plunged because Gold & Bonds are where you put your money when the economy is bad. Fears that the Fed would stop pumping money into the economy brought about fears that they might also raise interest rates to keep the economy from growing too fast. But quickly, cooler heads prevailed as news of a healthy economy might actually be a good thing, and the DOW is already back up near the 15K mark.

Oh, and the S&P 500 saw its best six months since the heights of the Clinton Bull Rally in 1998.

Next is the “Zimmerman” trial over the murder of Travon Martin. As you already know, Zimmerman’s lawyer opened with a Knock-Knock joke, but that’s probably not the most damaging thing he did to his clients’ case last week. He is NOT using the “Stand Your Ground” law as the basis of his client’s defense, and with good reason. As Zimmerman’s lawyer himself pointed out, “Travon Martin was not unarmed that night”, pointing out that Martin “didn’t have a gun or a knife that night”; his weapon was “the concrete sidewalk”. So basically, he just admitted Trayvon was “standing his ground using the sidewalk as his only weapon”. Had he of used a gun, he might have shot & killed his stalker… who was armed with a gun himself and confronted Martin with it in the middle of the night… at which point Martin would have been arrested and thrown in jail for murdering Zimmerman. Trial not included.

The moment Zimmerman… who is not a police officer… left his mother’s basement with a gun to play “rent-a-cop” in the middle of the night the moment he saw a black kid walk past his window, he himself was responsible for anything that happened. And we know WHY he left his home to pursue Martin: Because “they always get away”, he is heard saying on the 911 tape after the operator asked him if he was following Martin and told him “We don’t need you to do that.” But a young black guy… for whom there was NO reason to suspect had done anything other than walk through the neighborhood at night… was “about to get away”. After doing what? There were no alarms going off. No one shouting, “I’ve just been robbed!” I find it hard to believe even Zimmerman could mistake a can of iced tea and a bag of Skittles for handfuls of stolen property. So why exactly was Zimmerman following him? Why did he think it necessary to “call the police” and detain Martin himself until they arrived?

Think about it? Why was Zimmerman following Martin?

Zimmerman… armed with a gun and was stalking Martin in the dead of night, then confronted Martin. Probably even pulled his gun on him and ordered him to stop. At some point, they came in close enough contact to grab one another and fight. Unarmed, Martin used the only weapon within reach: the concrete… as Zimmerman’s own lawyer pointed out. Now in a struggle he himself provoked without regard for the consequences (what if Martin HAD been an armed robber? Was it wise for Zimmerman to put himself in harms way?), he pulled out his gun and killed the man he himslf provoked a confrontation with.

The fact that anyone in this insane country even thinks Zimmerman has a leg to stand on here, justifying the need for a trial, highlights just how screwed up our gun-crazy culture has become in this country.

Next, we saw the Supreme Court rule of Marriage Equality. While the High Court’s narrow 5/4 ruling is seen as a victory for the Gay Rights movement, the ruling basically threw the decision back to the states.

Now here is where it gets clear as mud: The Supreme Court basically ruled that a state law establishing Marriage Equality is just as valid as a state law BANNING Marriage Equality. So basically, the highest court in the land that rules on the National efficacy of a law, has declared that something can be both legal AND illegal at the same time depending upon where you live. Why do I get the feeling this isn’t over?

The Supreme Court also decided to strike down key parts of the 1965 “Voting Rights Act”, calling it “outdated” because “times have changed”. No word on their updated ruling on The Second Amendment.

And finally, a record heatwave was parked over most of the Southern United States last week, tying & breaking records across the U.S.. But don’t worry, Global Warming is still a hoax and we’ll be seeing snow in July any minute now.

Any minute now.

I said, “any minute now.”

Hello? Snow? Where are you? Hey, I’d settle for a cool breeze right about now.

(Oh, and an update on Mom. If you read last weeks post, things are not going well and my mother had had a bit of a setback, unconscious in the ICU, I’ve been visiting her hospital bed every day now and hoping for things to improve. As such, I haven’t been as on top of the news as much as I might otherwise have been, and posting may become a bit erratic in the common weeks. Hopefully, Mom’s recovery will be swift and full. – Mugsy)
 


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