I was wrong.

presidenttrump(ATTN)–I was very wrong. I had faith that Americans would not be swayed by bigotry and hatred. But, I see that’s not the case. It’s funny because this “revolt” was against Washington, which has been controlled by the Republican majority in the Congress.

So, why hand complete control to the people responsible for destroying our economy and stopping in its tracks anything a Democrat—and first black—President tried to do?

It’s madness personified.

The people have spoken.

Unfortunately, the people that spoke the loudest are racist and uneducated (true statistics). Yes, there are tens of millions of them—and it is they who decided the fate of our country and our lives. I can’t apologize for them and I can’t rationalize how they could be in the majority either.

I thought we were better than that.

What I do know is that they bought that bridge to nowhere and now, they’ve bought the Brooklyn bridge to the past. Like, the 1950’s past. The Trump moniker of “Make America White Again” is straight out of the John Birch handbook.

God, I thought we were past that.

Lo siento mis amigos.

No puedo disculparme lo suficiente por mis colegas americanos o, sobre todo, por mis colegas blancos por lo que la mayoría de ellos han hecho. Estaré orando por ustedes y sus familias. También estaré rezando por las decenas de millones de personas que votaron por poner ese naranja oragután en la Casa Blanca, porque no saben lo que hacen.

I can only hope someone kills that motherfucker before or shortly after he takes office. I could handle the backwards thought process of Mike Pence as he would finish Trump’s term.

I don’t know what the future holds for the Constitution, since Trump doesn’t believe in it and his fellow Republicans have trashed it now for years. I suppose it won’t really matter when our new orange Commander in Chief starts a nuclear war and we’re all gone in a flash of extreme heat.

I am hoping that I am wrong about that as well.

And that’s the news.

Just how stupid are we?

2016Elections(ATTN)–The election is upon us. And on Tuesday, we will learn just how stupid Americans are collectively. We will bear our very souls in the voting booth. The results will show if we suffer from short term memory loss or a sketchy understanding of recent history—or both.

The final tally will speak to whether or not we can reason for ourselves—or if the radical, right-wing nutjob propaganda machine has convinced us that America sucks and everything we’ve been doing is entirely wrong.

I want to be wrong on this.

fatfacetrumpsterI find myself being fearful the American voter might be dumber than a box of rocks and that a hateful and bigoted, racist and self-absorbed man with no redeeming character qualities will have the support of more than half of the American people. Should that happen, it’s at that point I will have to reassess my own reality.

In the past, I have generally thought that we Americans are a good people and that we do, indeed, have a basic grasp on the way things really are. But, I will admit I have seen some things during this election season I’ve never seen before and I have been witness to some real stupidity in the form of self-denials, lies, misjudgments and blame that has horrified my sense of right and wrong.

And now, the bottom line.

USFlagDistressI am not a fan of Hillary Clinton. But, I cannot imagine such a lack of integrity that is Donald Trump becoming our leader. All of my education and experience, all of my intellect and yes, all of my heart and soul tells me this man is nothing more than a salesman who is determined to sell me a bridge or, at the very least, a really bad used car.

I have no confidence whatsoever in Trump to act like a responsible adult, control himself, have a concern for anyone else or to be a patriot. And, as an American, it’s that last item that concerns me the most; a President of the United States needs to love this country—and he clearly doesn’t. 

I’ve told you before that I am a Constitutional conservative. The Republicans are not the party they used to be—and they’re not the patriots they claim to be anymore. The simple fact that their candidate is who he is proves my point perfectly.

flagpinI think I could see this coming when Republicans were fixated on whether or not candidates were wearing an American flag pin on their lapel. That was a dead giveaway they had lost their way on what was and what was not important. If it did start there, this election has certainly shown how far off course they’ve gone when it comes to their morals. 

And here we are.

GOPThinkingIt’s election day. And the balance of reasonableness will be decided by the American populace. We will find out just how stupid we really are. And as Ronald Reagan said, “Only those humble enough to admit they’re sinners can bring democracy the tolerance it requires to survive.

I don’t find Donald Trump to be in that category. And so, I ask you to vote with your intelligence.

And that’s the news.

It’s all over!

EndIsNear(ATTN)–If you’ve been wondering why I’ve been so quiet lately, it’s because—after the last debate—I reviewed all of my articles regarding the upcoming election. What I found was, I have said everything I can say about this year’s vote (I know, hard to believe!).

But, never fear. I am going to summarize for you, now, the basic criteria you should consider when going to the polls to cast your ballot.

Trump is a loser.

He’ll tell you that he’s a winner but, no. He’s been a loser for most of his adult life. Oh, there’s that one time he did something good by pulling a New York City ice skating rink back from the brink of extinction. But, that was it. His entire life has been spent taking advantage of everyone and anyone he can.

And that’s just not right.

From the workers he’s stiffed by not paying them a living wage to the small businesses he’s stiffed by simply not paying them for the work they did to the companies he’s stiffed into bankruptcy abusing the bankruptcy laws to the extreme, Trump has no sense of decorum regarding good business practices—and his goal has been to live on a razor thin edge of legalities so he doesn’t wind up in prison for being the living definition of “unscrupulous.”

It’s a scary pattern.

firsthourThere’s an undeniable pattern here that is unlikely to change in a seventy-something human being. The evidence is found in Trump’s own words from earlier in the campaign, when he promised all of us he would “pivot” to acting more “presidential” once the General Election season began. He didn’t, breaking his promise and showing the world that he’ll say anything to escape being held responsible to anyone for what he has promised to do.

Take that infamous bus recording of him bragging to someone else about his improprieties with women that are unlucky enough to have encountered The Donald out of sight of the cameras.

trumppigThe moment that ten women came forward to witness his rancid approach to the opposite sex, he denied ever doing it and dismissed his braggadocio as being inconsequential “locker room talk.” Trump, once again, went on the attack, demeaning the women he had already abused.

And that’s just not right.

The greatest argument against Trump.

hairtrumpenfuhrerIf you are forgiving of all of Trump’s other psychotic behaviors mentioned above, you cannot dismiss, as an American, the facts surrounding his resentment and hatred of the Constitution.

Aside from one Amendment (the 2nd), he has denigrated the entire concept of our founding document and its historic axioms of governance.

Trump stands against the Constitution’s guarantees of freedom, against the Constitution’s demand for religious freedoms, against the Constitution’s mandate for a free press, against the Constitution’s protection of the common people and against the Constitution’s system of democracy—and how we proceed in enabling its tenets.

In a last huzzah, just two days ago, Trump suggested we don’t have an election at all so he can be crowned as our leader. Besides from being unAmerican in the very gesture of becoming Hair Trumpenfuhrer, just who would install his lowness into the position? Yeah, procedural problems with that, too! 

If only…

trumpkinIf only these personality discrepancies were a form of political expediency, it might be okay for Trump to hold the highest office in the land. But, these character flaws are unacceptable in any profession—and certainly in a President of the United States.

A Donald Trump presidency would be, in his own words, a disaster for democracy. But, the best part of this election is, in just over a week from now, I won’t have to write about this troll any more!

Oh, I can promise one more article after the election, addressing the loser that’s the greatest loser ever in the history of presidential races, the fantastic failure of a man who, without a shred of integrity or one iota of American patriotism in his bones, will be shown the door in what I think will be a landslide defeat for the orange orangutan. In other words, it’s all over for the man who would be the king—with no clothes.

And that’s the news.

Debate Power Play

3rddebategraphic(ATTN)–The third and final 2016 Presidential debate has played out. For the first thirty minutes or so, Donald Trump actually contained himself—not necessarily in a presidential way—but, given a very low bar of expectations, he wasn’t acting like his usual self.

But, it’s difficult—especially for a man in his seventies, with a life-long demeanor of being, well, who he is—to change his very nature and to take on a new persona. And it is this persona to which I refer that reared its ugly (and orange) head once again for the remainder of his performance.

I know who won this one.

3rddebateThat’s not to say Hillary didn’t come unprepared with some pointed attacks—and some zingers—of her own this time. By far, this last debate was her best performance of them all. And, for that matter, it was Trump’s best as well.

Clinton, unexpectedly, thrashed The Donald pretty good this time around. His effort to “look presidential” in this last debate caused him to back off “the usual” and rely only on his half-witted, playground bully, snide remarks (“wrong!” “you’re the puppet!”).

And why not? The vast vault of available topics on which she could rely to skewer Hair Trumpenfuhrer is a list unmatched in modern political history. As expected, the Republican morons touted how well he did and by how much their talking orangutan won this contentious contest.

The real player here.

Campaign 2016 DebateUnbeknownst to the audience—and even most of the media—watching this display of gladiators duking it out on stage, there was only one, completely disguised warrior vying for the lead in the big war—the media war. And that player was moderator Chris Wallace of Fox “News.”

While the world was watching the Trump/Clinton show, I was astonished to see Wallace behaving like a real journalist—with one exception. Yes, he seemed to be doing a decent job of moderating. And he has received kudos from both sides and other media people on the day after.

foxnewsredBut, I am a long term viewer of Fox “News” (keep your enemies closer!) and what I see was a right-wing biased nutjob employed by the GOP promotional cable network acting like a real journalist—instead of the usual way he performs Republican propaganda at his everyday job on Fox.

First time for everything!

debatebuttonThis was the very first time a Fox News anchor was allowed to moderate a presidential debate—ever (they’ve had moderators in primary debates but, never in a national, general election debate).

And Wallace—son of the consummate investigative 60 Minutes reporter, the late Mike Wallace—walked a very thin line between keeping the nutcase audience on Fox happy with him and in appearing to the world that he and Fox still have some journalistic integrity

Watch closely!

But, seek and ye shall find. And I counted zero times that Trump was cut off mid-sentence and eight times when Wallace cut off Clinton. The appearance of being a non-combatant was there but, the substance of fairness was not. Although—to my amazement and amusement—Wallace did pursue Trump on the obvious (previous outrageous claims on video) and he did pursue Clinton on her foibles (emails, essentially).

foxnewsscreencaptureBut, giving away his true stripes, Wallace would stop short of the grilling that other moderators have launched, in previous debates, when their questions were thwarted by inaccuracies or just plain bullshit.

And even though Wallace had announced, previously, that he would not be a real-time fact-checker during this debate, he certainly wasn’t the model news man in chasing after honest answers to important questions of the day.

This broadcast was truly a chance for Wallace as the surrogate for Fox “News” to convince the nation that his brand of journalism is of the same caliber as the rest of the “mainstream media.” I am not falling for it, myself. I’ve had way too much experience in reliable and responsible news reporting to drink that Kool Aid.

But, I will give Wallace five stars for doing his best to convince us that he and his cable network are more than just a marketing slogan (“fair and balanced”) with his own, highly polished debate power play!

And that’s the news.

3,000,000 Plus Readers!

3milfeather(ATTN)–AndThatsTheNews has over 3,000,000 human readers! Three Million! Mark October 18th, 2016, down on the record books. That’s the total count of readers (not hits) since late June, 2104.

This number doesn’t include the millions of scans from search engines probing the site for updates several times every day. Thank you so much for making this happen!

Holy Moly, that’s a big number! 

3milgameshowI wasn’t really keeping track of readers before switching to a WordPress format, even though this blog has been published continuously since July, 2008 (I’m sure there weren’t nearly as many since the original blog was text-only).

It’s been quite a ride for me. And to tell you the truth, I can hardly believe it! If you read my earlier milestone posts, you’ll see how flummoxed I was in reaching other numbers followed by astounding numbers of zeros. But, this number is, by far, the most amazing (I know I say that every time but, jeez!).

Other milestones: 100,000250,000; 400,000750,000; 1,000,000; 1,400,000; 1,700,000 and 2,000,000 readers!

Thank you!

3milblackYou know, without you—and a lot of other new friends—it just wouldn’t have happened! So, I guess this means I shouldn’t give up just yet. No doubt, with another President Clinton I’ll have plenty more to say (I really can’t stand her).

And with a President Trump, well, I’d have to change the name to something more fitting for that bastard blowhard! “AndThatsTheScrewed.com” or “AndMakeAmericaHateAgain.com” for example.

Difficult to match

3millionbillgatesA quick Google search for “blogs with 3000000 readers” comes up with only a single result for individuals writing one—and Sports Writer Ken Levine has been at it for a couple years more than me.

There are many links to sites discussing three million dollars of something or other. And I found a few quotes that mention that “three million” number.

But, a plain ol’ news commentary blog being so popular? BZZT!

There’s only one. 

3millionltblueAnd you’re lookin’ at it. AndThatsTheNews is the winner of this category! I am humbled by your interest and your loyalty. It took a few years—and readers from 208 countries to make it happen. 

But, it did happen.

3millionpurpleNow, it seems, there’s no going back. Since that sunny Spring day back in 2014, I’ve published 154,132 words and 216 articles for your—and my—amusement. I’ve also had a great time doing it! AndThatsTheNews is what I call my “therapy.”

It’s a way for me to escape into my journalist past, with one exception: I am writing commentary instead of hard news so, this is very different. Very different, my friends! I am reminded, however, of how hard I used to work to be unbiased and maintain my objectivity in the past. This is a lot easier, just spewing what I think. I’m so happy that you like it!

So, what’s next? Shall we aim for four million or what? You’ll just have to tell more of your friends to tune in! And, you know, I would appreciate you even more for doing that! Three million thank you’s—to you!

And that’s the news.

Not always a simple solution

trumpclinton2nddebate(ATTN)–The second presidential debate showed us that, beyond what the networks called “scorched earth,” there isn’t always a simple solution to every problem.

Take the excuse “locker room talk.” First, despite the determination of some to paint all men as vicious, women-hating charlatans, I have never heard—or been part of—the type of impure vitriol that Trump says “happens all the time” (maybe in his world of rich fuckers, it’s common).

Second, the recorded open microphone Trump Trash he was spewing on that bus not-so-long-ago was not in a locker room—and his cohort in crime, Billy Bush, was removed from the television airways by NBC as a result of his participation in less than stellar representation of males.

Yes, it was a crime.

2nddebatemodsTrump’s words, whether bullshit or not (I take him as telling the truth about his dalliances), constitutes his admission to a serious crime.

And, like a third world dictator, Trump also threatened to imprison his political opponent should he win the election (again, using the office to prosecute personal vendettas is also a crime!).

Trump has publicly admitted he has plans to wield his presidential power in unscrupulous ways. Sorry but, that’s not allowed.

Cocaine don’t drive me crazy.

“Cocaine don’t make me lazy; cocaine don’t drive me crazy; ain’t nobody’s business but my own.”—Singer Songwriter Taj Mahal

With apologies to Taj Mahal, ohh yes, it does. And for the second time, a “normally” sniffle-free Trump was suffering from the drainage caused by a little pre-debate cocaine bump. I do believe he used a little less of the stimulant this time as he managed to actually maintain his train of thought for the most part (in the first debate, Trump was manic from the stuff). And I realize I’m giving him credit for, at the very least, having a train of thought!

howarddeantweet

In any event, at the next debate, the candidates should be monitored for several hours before the event or given a drug test just prior to the debate. You got a problem with that? Why?

None of this matters to them!

Horrific as it may seem, nothing that Trump does seems to matter to the Republicans that are backing his run for the Oval Office. They are so determined to take control of the country back from that black man in the White House, they’ll do anything to get there.

That includes electing a man who has announced he would date his own daughter (if his wives and she would let him!) and disregard the U.S. Constitution while he plans on waging a nuclear war against …who knows?

Watch out, Mexico!

Cuidado con mis amigos. Este hijo de puta está loco!

It takes a lot more than locker room banter to make deals with foreign powers. And if you try to steal from them—as Trump has proudly touted he’s done from hundreds of small businesses—those nations will start a war with you.

No, the world is much more complicated than erecting a building or putting up a wall. It’s far beyond the abilities of a self-absorbed former reality television show host. And although I really can’t stand Hillary, I must admit that her experience in world affairs far exceeds Trump’s bravado and, ahem, bullshit. Sorry but, that’s the simple solution.

And that’s the news.

Pardon my interruption

vpdebate(ATTN)–The Vice Presidential debate is now over and I’m disappointed in the performance of both candidates. I don’t know why Democrat Tim Kaine pulled out the Republican playbook and acted like a Republican brat by interrupting so much.

But, I do know this: Kaine is considerably more learned than Republican Mike Pence—and he did prove that. I also know that Pence looked totally lost for the majority of the debate, primarily because Kaine didn’t let up on those pesky little facts—and Pence couldn’t handle the truth, by any means.

Repeatedly, Kaine quoted Donald Trump while Pence accused Kaine of being insulting—by quoting Donald Trump! I’ll tell you what’s insulting: trying to convince me that the video I have personally viewed doesn’t exist. And the Governor has no clothes!

And the video doesn’t lie.

You can shake your head no all you want, Mr. Pence but, the facts are the facts and the truth is the truth.

Pence was in a state denial for the entire debate. And although I really detested the way Kaine presented fact and figures in such manic fashion, Pence did nothing to convince me he wasn’t a loon of the worst kind. I suppose I should have expected no less from a man who thinks Trump would make a good President.

“Only the theory of intelligent design provides even a remotely rational explanation for the known universe.”—Mike Pence

indianasignpostPence is one of the people that doesn’t believe in rocks. You know, the kind that are older than six thousand years—and it shows. A belief in a supreme being can be valid without subjugating yourself to religious dogma and having a clear distrust in science (of any kind).

Meanwhile, bad behavior is in vogue.

The only way for Republicans to make their point in conversation with someone else—who has even a limited modicum of intelligence—is to not let the other person talk (for fear of having to offer a lucid argument).

On a certain cable news network (okay, it’s FoxNews), the standard operating procedure is to tell guests that don’t tote the Republican party line, “I’m going to give you a chance to speak your mind” but, it seldom happens. Either the guest is cut off or talked over or loudly stopped from talking.

When the interruption doesn’t occur, the ability for Fox to control the news in favor of radical, right wing nutjob philosophies leaves the room and all hell breaks loose, requiring much more work on their part to bring the conversation back to pre-ordained, Republican talking points.

pencecaracatureThis whole method of conversing is distasteful to me—and has been since the Republican party went off the rails and became the poster children of losers who can’t control themselves.

Case in point: for them, “cooperating” is everyone else coming one hundred percent to their point of view. There is clearly no 50/50 present in their mindset anymore. And what’s worse, they are proud of this schoolyard bully behavior!

Bad choice.

It is sad that even Democrats running for office, such as Tim Kaine, have adopted this kind of vituperative communications practice—where nothing gets accomplished—and everyone walks away feeling cheated. But I suppose, in order to keep up with the crazies, you might feel as though you have to take on some of their methods.

I think, eventually, the Republicans will burn themselves out and the majority of Americans will categorically reject them and their bigotry. At least, I hope so. Until then, please pardon my interruption.

And that’s the news.

Debatable Performance

1stdebate(ATTN)–And so, we’ve learned a few things from the first presidential debate. However, I am certain there are many people who will not accept what their eyes have seen. You know who they are!

For a man with few demonstrable ethics, Donald Trump’s performance tonight was the epitome of crass. It’s difficult to believe his defense of being so misogynistic to women is “she deserved it.”

And it’s beyond belief that no matter how many times the truth is revealed, there is no change whatsoever—check that; no growth whatsoever—in Trump or his views. The vast majority of fact checking paints Trump as devoid of facts and truth some 95% of the time—in everything he says. Now, that’s a huuuge number. And that includes the myriad times he’s caught lying on video! 

Does the U.S.A. totally suck?

“When you look at what’s happening in Mexico… They’re building some of the biggest plants anywhere in the world, some of the most sophisticated, some of the best plants. With the United States… not so much. So Ford is leaving, you see that their small car division, leaving. Thousands of jobs leaving Michigan, leaving Ohio, they’re all leaving.”—Trump, verbatim in the debate

But, he’s wrong about that and so many other things. Ford is sending small car production South but, the workers making those cars now will be making trucks and SUVs i.e., those jobs are not “leaving”—and Ford has addressed Trump’s claims as “nonsense.” 

As for other jobs, the United States’ Bureau of Labor Statistics show the unemployment rate in Michigan at 4.5% and in Ohio, at 4.7%, both below the national average of 4.9% (the latest figures from August)—and that’s after the two increased their jobless rate over the last year, 1.8% and 1.4%, respectively.

I suppose I could sit here and research and document every single lie that comes from Trump’s mouth for you but, that’s not the job of AndThatsTheNews™. You’ll be getting, no doubt, a complete list from other sources, as every news organization on the planet, from Los Angeles to London and from Boston to Beijing are going to be publishing a list of Trump’s factual misstatements tomorrow.

Hillary was obviously ready for Donald.

trumpbabyAnd if the parochial demeanor of Trump wasn’t obvious to you, it’s clear you’ve never had an argument with a teenager! My estimation pegged his debate skills at about age fourteen. And I think I’m being nice about it, as The Donald would say.

From denying what he has said on video to spewing “facts” he doesn’t realize aren’t factual, Hillary in comparison, was schooled and well prepared. But Hillary didn’t take Trump on when he talked about energy policies being a “disaster.”

“Domestic oil and gas production have increased steadily during President Obama’s time in office. The U.S. has been the world’s leading producer of natural gas since 2011 and the top producer of oil since 2013. The Energy Information Administration says gasoline prices averaged $2.17 a gallon last week—about a nickel cheaper than a year ago, and about 30 cents a gallon less than Obama’s first year in office, and about a buck and a half less than during George W. Bush’s last year in office.”—NPR 

There’s something more than unsettling about a candidate for the Oval Office who hasn’t a clue as to where the country is at this very moment. One of them being Trump’s grasp of where the U.S. fares in energy production: the U.S. is now the world leader in natural gas and crude oil production.

So, do we really need to take the oil from other countries? And wouldn’t that require some personnel and security forces on the ground in those countries where he wants to rob their natural resources?

Work it out, Donald!

Hopefully, you’ve read my article on what a President can and cannot do—and you know that NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, allows commerce to work across borders without restriction in our little corner of the world.

But, Donald doesn’t like it nor does he seem to realize that the treaty was worked out by a Republican President (George H.W. Bush) and only signed into law when the details were finalized by Congress and then presented to the first President Clinton.

crs-logo“The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) entered into force on January 1, 1994. The agreement was signed by President George H. W. Bush on December 17, 1992, and approved by Congress on November 20, 1993.”—Congressional Research Service

No, you’re the liar!

fatfacetrumpsterThere was comedy tonight, my friends. The irony of Donald Trump accusing Hillary Clinton of being a liar I found most amusing! In Trump parlance, it was a perfect example of “No, you are!” and reminiscent of a grade school disagreement that goes nowhere and solves nothing.

Donald Trump says “we are in a big, fat, ugly bubble” but, the only big, fat, ugly bubble I saw tonight was the one sitting on Trump’s shoulders. That, primarily, is because I don’t drink the Republican Kool-Aid that feeds the narrative of the United States not already being a great place! This is the best argument, I think, that says we don’t have to “Make America Great Again.”

The Collection Bureau.

With little specifics on any plan to do anything, Trump tonight came off sounding like a bill collector—promising the audience he would go around the world collecting money from other countries for the security we and NATO provide for their survival, forcing the Federal Reserve to raise their interest rates, adding a Value Added Tax (VAT) and, of course, making them Mexicans pay for his wall—none of which are within a President’s authority (maybe a dictator but, not a President)!

“That makes me smart.”

trumpsnakeThat was Trump’s response to Clinton saying “…when he was trying to get a casino license… he did not pay any federal income tax.” So, tonight we learned Trump doesn’t pay his taxes! He’s found some loopholes, unique to the real estate tax codes, that allow him to avoid taxation. No wonder he won’t release his tax returns. Everyone would know just what kind of American he is! 

“If you have paid zero, that means zero for troops, zero for vets, zero for schools or health.”—Clinton in rebuttal

Prove you were born, Mr. Trump.

That’s right. I want to know if Trump was born or hatched—like a snake. Tonight’s debate highlighted the true stripes of The Donald and proved, beyond any doubts I had, that he isn’t ready for the Big Office. And while his performance tonight was debatable, his true nature is clear.

And that’s the news.

After Charlotte and Tulsa, your city is next!

charlotteonedge(ATTN)–Dare I say, it’s happened again.

Again, the police are out of control. Again, there is a serious concern that racists in police uniforms with a badge and carrying a gun have used it to murder a black man who wasn’t a threat—and get away with it! Again, there are protests and a hard response from military-style authoritarian police lines that force a crowd to react with violence.

tulsahandsintheairAnd again, we have video of what happened in these two cities. In Tulsa, the video shows the victim of police with his hands in the air one moment—and him lying dead in the roadway the next. And in Charlotte, the police are refusing to release the video, because—I am sure—the video will prove the shooting wasn’t justified.

You can’t fool us!

Now, the hayseeds in Tulsa are making a good show of it—and they’ve charged Officer Betty Shelby with first degree manslaughter. But, this wasn’t manslaughter.

fearformylifeThis was outright murder—by a police officer.

Isn’t it odd, then, that she bonded out with only $50,000 bail after just minutes when it takes everyone else at least twelve hours to complete the process.

Immoral and stupid!?

And I’ll bet the Oklahoma farm Officer Betty will beat that ridiculous token charge, just like the Baltimore cops did when they killed Freddie Gray by bouncing him around in the back of a police van—and breaking his neck (he wasn’t wearing a seat belt because the police claimed they weren’t trained in how to use one!).

Only the guilty hide.

romainIn Charlotte, however, the local police Chief has already admitted none of the videos show that victim pointing a gun at anyone (the family says he had a book in his hand). I suppose it’s possible police officers don’t know what a book looks like but, I do find it difficult to believe. Nevertheless, the Chief says he won’t release the videos to the public.

What’s more, Charlotte Public Defender Toussaint Romain told the news cameras that the protests were peaceful until the police lobbed explosives and tear gas into the crowd.

“We don’t need any more people to go to die, no more people to be arrested. We need to take a stand and do it the right way. People are hurting, man. People are upset. People are frustrated. People need leaders. I’m not trying to be that leader. I’m trying to prevent people from being hurt.”—Toussaint, at the protests, live on CNN

Remember Dallas?

Don’t forget Dallas, Texas, where in early July, a former military hero-turned-vigilante decided it was time for the police to pay for their crimes. While I don’t approve of his methods, the police themselves are responsible for this mindset and that was something to be expected from a man who loved and fought for his country—and wanted to do something about this kind of racist abuse from those who are supposed to be protecting us. 

Be afraid.

MicahJohnsonAnd we haven’t seen the last of that kind of patriotism, either. I predicted it was going to happen and yes, I am saying now that it’s going to happen again. And again. Until justice is served and the police are either showing some self-control or are under control.

Interestingly, candidate Hillary Clinton has recently announced that she wants to create federal standards for local police behavior and training. That’s a little late, in my opinion, for this kind of approach to reeling in problem police (I suggested the very same thing on this blog about a year ago). But, now I think it’s a little past that point—with more, drastic measures in order.

Be very afraid.

The people of Ferguson, Cleveland, Chicago, Baltimore, Tulsa and now, Charlotte are beginning to understand, I hope, that without policing the police, it’s only going to get worse. And the “worse” part is, the next city to erupt into madness has a very good chance of being your city.

And that’s the news.

[UPDATED: Added Officer Shelby’s bonding data and photo with victim’s hands in the air.]

[UPDATE: The Charlotte video was released the following weekend after five nights of protests. It showed exactly what we thought it would: not a single frame of a man holding a gun. Mysteriously, though, a gun appears on the pavement in photos taken later, after an officer directs a cohort to “get his tool bag” from the trunk of his patrol car. Cellphone video taken by the wife of the victim shows only a glove on the pavement after the murder. Once police realized they had killed an unarmed man, a weapon had to found—and so, evidence was planted.]

Flying Cars, Picture Phones, Dodos, Ad-Free Cable TV and Donald Trump

trekearth(ATTN)–When I was a kid, they promised me flying cars. Although no one mentioned flux capacitors at the time, my mind was filled with a vision of the future.

It was a heady time; there were threats of nuclear extinction from above and satellite spies from even higher than the sky. They had us diving under our desks with the false promise that American Standard classroom furniture would protect us from a megaton atomic blast!

thunderbirdsaregoThe “space race” had us dreaming about space stations with hotels and building a base on the moon. Star Trek had us dreaming about light speed and molecular transportation.

And British television producers were creating science fiction TV shows with something called Supermarionation—using puppet characters to fight futuristic foes.

Flying cars!

fyingcarAgain, they promised that I would have a flying car! But, the idea of your average housewife or a teenager in command of a flying car was, how should I say this, completely boneheaded! Today, we’re still trying to make cars self driving to make them “safer”—with mixed results.

Imagine even a minor accident at any altitude. We’re talking falling-from-the-sky fatalities. And let’s not forget the people on the ground who would have those infamous flying cars’ pieces-parts falling on their heads!

No. It was never really a good idea. So, no flying cars!

The PicturePhone.

picturephoneAh, the PicturePhone. What a great idea! They promised every home would have one in ten years from now. Except for one thing: women hated it. Extensive consumer focus group research by the Bell System (now AT&T) clearly showed women felt they had to look good before they would let other people see them—or have their picture taken.

Bathrobe and curlers in their hair?

There was no way they were going to answer the PicturePhone! As a result of this research, however, we did get the “answering machine”—which has now been digitally morphed into today’s voicemail.

So, no PicturePhones! 

Ad-Free Cable Television.

futuristictvWhen Cable TV was first being sold to customers—and the city councils that had to approve all of the pole-to-pole wiring in their city—the cable TV companies promised us that a coaxial cable would eliminate television commercials—because you had to pay for Cable TV! And they invented the term “Commercial Free.”

Well, that didn’t happen.

Yes, there are “movie channels” that play movies uninterrupted by commercials but, those channels are extra and can cause your cable bill to be in the hundreds of dollars a month!

And the rest of the channels?

They all still have their eighteen minutes of commercials every hour, as allowed by the Federal Communications Commission—with more per hour in the sixty days before an election. And political campaigns are also given the lowest commercial advertising rates, as mandated by the FCC.

So, no ad-free television! 

Computers make life easier.

1970computerYes, the computer is going to make everyone’s life easier! From now on, they promised us, workers using computers won’t have to deal with “the drudgery of repetitive tasks” and the headache-causing mathematical brain twisters.

And oh, we would no longer have to use paper!

What really happened was, the computer made our lives more complicated—impossible for some to deal with—with a learning curve for just about everything you need to accomplish in your daily life.

Employers quickly realized they could get much more work from their employees, doubling or even tripling the workload—because computers made work faster! Workers were expected to match that speed “because the company spent so much money buying this technology for you.” Ha! Fool me once….

And only Star Trek fans thought the communicator was a good idea. Not so, today! Now, of course, everyone has a communicator in their pocket and we all say “Siri” or “Okay Google” instead of “Computer!” or “Kirk to Enterprise.”

So, no “easy” computerized  everything! 

But, you promised!

dotmatrixAnd paper? If computers were going to eliminate the need for paper, why did they invent the printer!? We still need paper, because paper’s batteries never die, for one thing. What’s more, paper can tear, burn, become waterlogged or faded. And paper can also be lost.

But, paper will never crash

On a side note, even the promoters of “Earth Day” admit they print Earth Day flyers and posters that use over 16 acres of forest every year! Seems a little counter productive to me.

So, no paperless anything! 

Trump promises a lot.

supertrumpEvery friggin’ day, Donald Trump makes a proclamation that isn’t true (many fact checkers have said Trump only speaks the truth some 5-7 percent of the time!). And Trump promises to do something he can’t do. What a Dodo head. Does he think we’re really that stupid to believe his empty promises? Apparently he does think so.

Do you really need examples?

Okay, just a few, then: We already have a lot of “wall” built along our southern border. Is Trump going to tear that down and build another wall, like he has done with buildings? If you’re an American, you should know right now it is not Mexico that’s going to pay for a new wall. It’s you.

Broken promises are Trump’s lifelong history.

Should we expect anything different from a man who has spent his entire adult life defaulting on contracts, not paying vendors and contractors for their products, work and services and failing to perform while blaming everyone else for his failures (or simply deciding later to not pay)? The answer is: of course not! At the very least, Trump is consistent in stiffing the small companies that have done work for him.

But, is he honorable? No.

Only Congress can do that.

USFlagArtsyTrump has promised to change the tax code. Promised to spend more on the military. Promised to change the nation’s immigration policies. Promised to install tariffs. Promised to change treaties with other countries. Promised to rebuild an already rebounding post-recession economy. Promised to create non-government jobs. Promised to desecrate ISIS with his small, bare hands. Promised to stop the news media from reporting the news.

And promised to change the Constitution.

On and on, he goes, making promises he can never fulfill—because just about everything he is promising to do, a President cannot do! The vast majority of his promises must be accomplished by the Congress, not the President—and no one is sure it’s going to remain in the hands of Republicants after November.

Unconstitutional and unAmerican.

The Constitution? That’s a whole ‘nother story. If you’re over 10 years old, you should know by now that Congress drafts an amendment and three-quarters of the States must ratify that amendment before it becomes part of the founding document. And even then, the Supreme Court can declare whatever survives this lengthy process to be unconstitutional.

trumppigI’m fairly certain we won’t be seeing a nation of morons putting Donald Jumbo Trump into the Oval Office (just kidding, his real middle name is Jerk!). That way the “Trump” moniker will go the way of flying cars, PicturePhones and commercial-free cable TV.

So, no truth from Donald Trump! If someone else wins the Presidency, it’s us who will be the winners—and Trump will be the loser. A huge, Dodo bird loser!

And that’s the news.