Tag Archives: Commentary

I Got Stabbed on St Patrick’s Day!

with a vaccination needle. Nothing like a dramatic headline to get attention though. 😀 It works for the media. 😛

Being married to a diabetic with a heart murmur pushes both of us a little further up the priority list for getting the vaccine, it seems. We were told a few weeks ago that our group was now open for getting the vaccine, and we managed to snag an opening yesterday.

For the record, I’m still a bit wary about the vaccine and if it may have some long term side effects, etc… Given the high risk in the household though, I figure it’s best to play it safe and hope for the best as opposed to waiting and watching a while longer.

Thus far I have not spouted goblin ears, nor started ranting that Biden is too conservative, so it SEEMS some of the fears regarding it are unfounded, LOL

In fact, the only issues from the vaccine thus far were a bit of soreness at the injection site, and some fatigue. I’m not even sure how much of the fatigue was from the vaccine either given that I only got about 5 hours sleep the night before. I used to thrive on that level, now I’m old and get cranky without 7 or 8. 😀

We got the version from my least favorite scumbag megacorporation also:

That means, among other things, we’ll have to go back for a second shot. April 7th is the soonest we can do so, and that will probably require another appointment. I suppose the bright side is that we’re not getting as heavy a dose as the single dose versions, which theoretically means less chances of some of the body aches and other symptoms after getting the shot.

Interesting note also… We got vaccine cards showing we were vaccinated along with the vaccine manufacturer and lot number, AND expiration date. MUCH was made of how short a shelf life this vaccine has, and how the previous administration bungled so much around it (which is partially true). The lot we were given though doesn’t expire for over 3 months:

If you listened to the news, you’d easily get the impression this stuff has a shelf life of days, if not hours. There you see it though; Expires June 30, 2021.

Need I even get back on my “media bias and hysteria for ratings” soapbox? Didn’t think so. 🙂

ANYWAY… The whole vaccine site was weird. They needed an area that could serve as a LONG LONG drive through basically. They chose a hiking trail park in the hills at the edge of town:

There yah go; rednecks don’t take COVID serious. Just ask the news.

The whole park was a long narrow hairpin going back miles in one direction and then swinging back around and heading right back to the entrance. We drove so far down the road I was starting to joke they wanted a spot to hide the bodies more easily.

About 1/3 of the way back, we hit the big drive through tent and got our shots. The 20 minutes we were supposed to wait afterwards was taken up just getting to the last checkpoint before the exit. We had a 1pm appointment and got out of the park at 2:40pm.

Oh and did I mention the off and on monsoon level rain all day?

We’re going on 14 hours now and so far no real symptoms or side effects at all beyond mild annoyance at the thought of enduring that line again. So much for the doomsayers. Of course, if I start to turn into a chicken or a goat, I’ll be sure to let folks know. 😛

As you saw, the line to get a shot was crazy long also, and apparently stays that way. I see more folks than I’d like without masks, BUT people are taking it seriously. Even the “poor dumb people” down in the South.

Another Lesson in Why I Hate the Media

Some of my longer term readers may remember my posts almost a year ago where I supplied stories from multiple news services about how the Wuhan Institute of Virology was reported to be an unsafe wreck, and almost certainly responsible for the worldwide COVID-19 outbreak. The main post with those links was about media bias in general, but here are the links to the actual Wuhan stories:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/04/14/state-department-cables-warned-safety-issues-wuhan-lab-studying-bat-coronaviruses/

https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/06/asia/coronavirus-china-wuhan-lab-origins-explainer-intl-hnk/index.html

https://www.thedailybeast.com/leaked-cable-shows-us-officials-flagged-safety-issues-at-wuhan-lab-years-ago

My point in the earlier post was that the media in general was more interested in discrediting the Trump Administration than reporting the truth. Wuhan was called a hoax, the lab was (not) imaginary, and we were told it was all racism and xenophobia.

Well, guess what? NOW, we have the media reporting the news of the 2018 reported unsafe conditions at the Wuhan labs as if it’s a brand new story. EVERYBODY on the Right and Left is jumping on it. Even Fox, who banged the drum pretty hard on the story while trying to defend Trump, is treating it like something new:

https://www.foxnews.com/world/top-state-official-coronavirus-bioweapon-accident

https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2021/03/08/josh-rogin-chaos-under-heaven-wuhan-lab-book-excerpt-474322?utm_source=pocket-newtab

BTW, when every outlet from MSNBC to Fox is pushing the exact same angle, watch out! It means the entrenched swamp on both sides is all working together with the same goal. Conflict is coming.

This is NOT about Trump. The leadership (at the very least) of both sides should have known via national security briefings. Instead of doing anything before we had a global pandemic, they first chose to ignore it and then play political gamesmanship after all hell broke loose.

Was the media asking tough questions and getting to the bottom of anything? NO!

All the media did was help the bureaucracy point fingers at the other side and treat the public as idiots to be demagogued and lead around by the nose like idiots.

We the people need to start demanding better of our media; less bias and commentary, more hard facts and objective reporting. The media as it stands now is a biased, conflict driven joke. I pick usually on the “mainstream” media (as if Fox isn’t mainstream with it’s massive viewer base), but this time I’ll use an example from Fox.

THAT a headline to a story at their website.

Pig In A Blanket… REALLY. Is THAT “fair and balanced”? It’s nothing resembling proper journalism. It’s sensationalist, inflammatory red meat for the base, WWE level “color commentary“, and if Cuomo wasn’t such a creep, it’d be outright libel.

Is it REALLY so hard to just report the facts and allegations against him as they stand and give the public credit for the ability to draw it’s own conclusions on IF or how big a scumbag Cuomo is? Both sides do this all the time though, and Fox just spent FOUR YEARS bitching about how the rest of the media did to Trump EXACTLY what they’re doing here. Hypocrisy on all sides.

And the thing that irks me the most about the Wuhan story is that I successfully ignored the news for months only to see that damned story plastered EVERYWHERE.

I really hope people are getting fed enough enough to actually say “ENOUGH”.

Economics: The Reality of the Minimum Wage

As much as I try, some news topics are really hard to avoid. The recent debate over the minimum wage is one of them. Shockingly, I see the same arguments every time the topic has come up since I started working back in the 80s.

I swore off of political discussion but this is a social and economic issue that has been turned political via class warfare politics. So, let’s talk the truth.

The biggest flawed argument is that raising the minimum wage doesn’t cause inflation. You can find all manner of jury-rigged charts and stats to support the lie also.

Reality is that any good or service has two main costs associated with it; parts and labor. If you raise the labor cost of labor one of three things is going to happen:

  1. The price of the final product has to be increased to cover it’s increased cost of production.
  2. You cut your labor pool and force more productivity out of each member
  3. You decrease the quality of the materials used to make the product.

If one or more of those things isn’t done, the company loses money and risks going out of business. Few people anymore seem to understand that a business has expense of it’s own that have to be paid for out of their gross profits.

Let’s use a restaurant for example. WAY WAY WAY back in the day when I worked at Burger King, the manager and I used to talk alot. He explained that the restaurant has to charge 3 times what the food costs the store to cover all their expenses. You MAY have heard Robert Irvine say the same thing on episodes of “Restaurant Impossible” when coaching the people he’s helping that episode.

What expenses you ask?

  1. Payroll to employees (Labor)
  2. Local State and Federal Payroll Taxes
  3. Mandatory Employer contribution to employee social security (ie more taxes)
  4. Unemployment Insurance (yes the money that you collect as unemployment is first paid to the government by your former employer)
  5. Employee Health Insurance (in some cases)
  6. Business License Fees
  7. Franchise Licensing Fees if part of a chain
  8. Property Taxes
  9. Mortgage on the building
  10. Upkeep on the Building
  11. Utilities (Electricity, Gas, Water and Sewer, Business Phone, Internet)
  12. The actual ingredients to make the food
  13. The utensils and cookware tom make the food
  14. Dishes, boxes, wrappers; however the food is served
  15. Cleaning supplies
  16. Employee uniforms

And doubtless some other things that I didn’t remember. All of that is why a hamburger that costs $1 in food costs has to be sold for $3. That amount allows the restaurant to cover expenses and make a modest amount of money. Remember the owner needs to pay himself also so he can pay his personal bills also.

The proof of inflation can actually be tracked via the that same hamburger restaurant idea. When I was first hired by right out of high school, the minimum wage was bumped from $2.85 an hour to $3.30 an hour.

What happened right after that? The price of a Burger King “Whopper” sandwich combo meal jumped slightly to $3.35. I cashiered, so the price stuck in my head, LOL.

The price of a combo meal at almost any fast food restaurant has stayed almost the exact same amount as the minimum wage also. The Federal minimum wage is currently $7.25 an hour. What does anything actually worth eating in terms of a combo meal cost? About $7.

Yes, you can get cheaper stuff, like the $5 specials that the low quality fast food places (McDonalds, Burger King, Taco Bell) run, but are any of those items worth eating? Typically, the ingredients are cheapened down to the point the food is barely edible. I joke about the typical fast food chicken nugget being made from ground up beaks and claws for example, LOL. Then they drown the junk in some cheap vinegary sauce and hope you don’t notice.

Reality is most fast food and quick serve places have cheapened all their menu item ingredients because they can’t get anyone to work for under $9 an hour but still have to keep prices down. So to balance profits they’re selling $5 meals for $7 and paying the employee $9 to make it.

It’s not just restaurants though. Everybody’s wages go up, so prices go up across the board. Net result, we have inflation and the little guy has no more buying or saving power despite the increase in income.

You can’t squeeze much more productivity out of the average worker either, so cutting labor and demanding more from those who remain isn’t a viable answer.

“Real” minimum wage in the above chart I’m assuming means the legal minimum wage adjusted for inflation / actual buying power as compared to the past. Note that it’s stayed moderately consistent while productivity has soared.

Some of that productivity is automation assisting jobs (which typically means fewer hands needed to do the same amount of work), and the rest is just employers demanding more from employees. Anybody recall being expected to fill multiple roles after the housing bubble burst, if you were lucky enough to keep a job?

The irony about all of this is that even Investopedia is full of double speak here and it’s typically a decent source of info for basic economic concepts:

With regard to inflation, so-called wage push inflation is the result from a general rise in wages. According to this hypothesis, in order to maintain corporate profits after an increase in wages, employers must increase the prices they charge for the goods and services they provide. The overall increased cost of goods and services has a circular effect on the wage increase; eventually, as goods and services in the market overall increase, higher wages will be needed to compensate for the increased prices of consumer goods.

So that’s what Ive been saying. But the next paragraph down in the article, they argue against that idea and that the only alternatives are cutting workers of quality of goods, BY SAYING THAT’S THE ONLY ALTERNATIVE!!!

According to economic analyst Ed Rensi, formerly an executive at McDonald’s, a higher minimum wage would not only kill existing jobs but also result in closing a substantial number of small businesses, from 15% to 20%. In theory, raising the minimum wage forces business owners to raise the prices of their goods or services, thereby spurring inflation. In actual practice, however, it is not so simple since wages are only one part of the cost of a product or service paid for by consumers. A higher minimum wage can be offset (ie inflation avoided) by heightened productivity by workers or trimming down a company’s manpower.

Are you getting the message yet, folks? You’re being scammed in an effort to buy votes when NOTHING will truly change.

Is There a Real Answer?

This one is harder to answer than it should be. The standard conservative answer is education. However, “everybody deserves a college degree” worked out as well as “everybody deserves a house”. There was so much graft, misrepresentation and sometimes lazy students, that we’re sitting on another economic time bomb with student debt. In an ideal world, education would be the answer. The more you know, the more you make. Flipping hamburgers could be left to kids in school or robots and everybody would go on to make a living wage at a “real job” as my mother used to call them.

Aside from the problem with needing to clean up the system, things are evolving so fast that training and education are often obsolete in 5 to 10 years, even some hard science advanced degrees. How does the average person keep up with that??

Then there’s the whole issue of jobs becoming increasingly replaced by automation as well. New York City has some fast food restaurants that are completely automated now (in response to their $15 per hour minimum wage no less). There’s even efforts to replace lawyers with robots. Good riddance there, LOL

People are becoming obsolete in general. The ultimate answer may be some form of universal income. That’s scary in how much power it gives the government over the lives of it’s citizens. I’m not even sure how it works as the idea goes completely against basic economics. Government doesn’t produce anything to create the wealth it wants to distribute in a universal income situation.

No, you can’t just infinitely print money either. It destroys the value of it. Think of it this way; If everybody had FIVE, (yes five) classic Mustangs like mine:

How much would ANYBODY be able to sell one for? ZERO. Even money itself operates under the law of supply and demand. The more there is of anything, the less it’s worth.

Answers? Wish I had some good ones. Right now, all I know is the dog and pony show in Washington is nothing but smoke and mirrors intended to buy votes. It’ll sadly work too.

Disgusted with Politics and Political People

The one good thing about having the memory in my PC go bad is that it gave me a couple of days to mull life over as I waited for replacement parts. I watched the DC drama and it’s aftermath, with complete and utter disgust for BOTH sides.

The last four years in general have been horrid, with name calling and toxic BS passing for political discourse. We’ve gotten to the point where neither side is even capable of objectively defending it’s own positions. Instead they both spew hateful rhetoric, lies and half truths about how the other side is nothing but hateful rhetoric, lies and half truths.

Really F’ing Productive. Call each other fascist and libcuck instead of talking out differences rationally.

Like it or not, both sides are human beings with legitimate concerns, even if they each have irrational ways of interpreting what an event may mean.

Bottom line, the problem is that politics has become much like all the new age interpretations of religions: It’s not about what’s right or wrong. It’s not about what’s best for society as a whole. It’s ONLY about padding the believer’s ego.

They’re wrong, we’re right. Spew hate. Advocate violence, censorship and imprisonment (yes, both the Left and Right have done it), tear down the ability of society to even communicate in a civilized manner, etc, etc… ALL in the name of justifying feelings of inadequacy and feeding fragile egos. Nowadays, it’s called spiritual materialism; the ego-driven need to flaunt one’s imagined superiority and enlightenment. It used to be called everything from virtue signaling & moral exhibitionism to just plain hypocrasy.

Trump and Pelosi are NOT the problem. They’re just the biggest visible manifestations of a morally bankrupt, narcissistic and sick society who would rather get on twitter and spew hate instead of talk.

News Flash: You politicos are making the world a much worse place with your hate. It doesn’t matter how self-righteous it is, or how you justify it. Hate is hate is wrong, period.

What I’ve seen the last few days has just been the icing on the cake for me. Nobody in Washington on either side can take a step back and reflect on how they contributed to the events of the last few days either. All they’ve done is double down on the attacks.

I’m completely over any further talking about politics at this point. Neither side is going to be happy until there’s an all out war.

From here on out, I’m focusing on my own growth and self-improvement. The only way to TRULY change anything in the world is to change yourself; grow as a person, tame an out of control ego, let go of hate, etc…

Be the Change instead of getting on twitter and spreading hate and misery.

The Insanity Continues

No, not the election, although the idiocy I’m seeing on both sides makes me wish I had my political blog up and running. I’ve got rants building up, LOL. NO, this time I’m revisiting our ultimate devourer of the universe; COVID-19

I’m seeing persecution and vilification of people not wearing masks, the media hyping “worst month ever” every month, and today I was in the shopping and saw the store was cleaned out of toilet paper AGAIN. MAYBE that has something to do with Biden’s 4 to 6 week lockdown talk, I don’t know. Either way it’s crazy.

You’ve been warned though; get a small stockpile yourself before it’s gone again.

“Worst month ever” I’ve seen every month for the last 4 months. You know what I’m NOT seeing though? The pictures of bodies piling up so high in New York City that they were being loaded on trucks using forklifts. That WAS happening back in March and April though. There was evidence of sick people back then. I’m not seeing even that in the last month or so. Yes, I’m saying I believe the media is lying, AND the CDC’s own stats would support that. April was still the worst month for deaths by far. I’m sure the disease is still out there doing it’s thing, just not quite at the level advertised.

That CDC web page says that in the U.S. there have been 225,683 deaths directly attributable to COVID. That’s one in every 1475 people roughly. A *typical* flu season kills around 50,000 people in the U.S. So yes, it’s roughly 5 times more dangerous than a garden variety flu. It’s also a little less contagious than measles per recent reports (which makes it pretty contagious).

We’re up to 1,309,703 deaths worldwide also, BUT the 1918 Spanish Flu killed 45 times that number of people. SO, as I keep saying; it’s dangerous and to be respected but it’s NOT the end of the universe.

Mask Derangement Syndrome: Before I get going here, let me state that I *do* believe they work and are a good preventative measure. This hysteria that anyone not wearing one is spreading COVID is insane though. First, there are legitimate medical reasons for not wearing them; primarily breathing issues.

I get touchy about masks around food myself. That’s an ideal situation for germs to travel. I don’t go out of my way to persecute people or assume they’re automatically infected though.

It also seems to be forgotten that COVID can spread via contact too. Door handles, toilet seats, table and chairs, etc… Using gloves or these silly hook tools that I see don’t do anything long term either since the germs will cover the gloves or tool and then jump to the person. They’re short term protection at best.

Those antibacterial wipes and sprays only create super germs also. “Kills 99.9% of germs” means that .1% becomes resistant and continues to multiply. So, not only are there no guarantees in life, sometimes the “cure” only adds to the problem.

Bottom line, if you want a fairy tale existence that guarantees you’re never going to run any risk of exposure, stay at home. Otherwise you’re going to have to accept the 1 in roughly 300 chance that you MIGHT come down with it, and mitigate the odds by wearing your own mask. There’s a 98 to 99 percent chance based on current and recovered cases, that if you get it, that it’s going to be relatively mild also.

Stay safe also, but in the name of humanity, the hysteria is worse than the actual virus.

Victory!!!

Yes! We have won the dog wars! We get to break our lease and get the hell out of here!

Soon, there shall be no more noisy neighbors, no more cattle stampedes across the ceiling, and no more lying apartment managers. I think the managers really ripped into the upstairs neighbors after we all caught them mid cattle drive. Afterwards, they were abnormally quiet.

All I’ve got to say is…

BOOYAH!!!

My ONE Election Post

I’m going to break down and do one of my now rare political posts. Mainly because I’m so sick of the utter CRAP out there in the media. You can’t avoid the political crap even if you work at it, and believe me, I have.

I made some predictions a few months ago in Laura V’s blog, before I got blocked there for firing back at somebody who attacked one of my other comments. Much of what I foresaw is coming to pass also.

For starters, we already have the media selling the idea that the election is going to be a landslide for Biden… for almost a month now. Make NO mistake here; the ONLY purpose for that is so they can claim Trump stole the election IF he wins.

There are a million ways to bias the polls that the media is citing. The first and easiest way is just the time of day. Call people during business hours and conservatives are less likely to answer the phone because of work (statistically proven). You can throw out “screener” questions to gauge a person’s political ideology as well before proceeding with the real poll. Then there’s the old favorite of biased wording in questions. Does X *deserve* to be elected or re-elected? I’m using broader terms here because for the moment, I’m not talking about this election specifically. The term “deserve” in the above example implies that the person being asked about did something wrong, which in turn is more likely to garner a negative response from any undecided.

I’ve not only heard too many accounts of such games (by both sides to be fair), I’ve witnessed them first hand and been shut out of polls when they didn’t like my initial answer or two. Hung up on a few more when I got fed up with their leading questions. A majority of people are equally annoyed and refuse to participate in polls.

Cassandra speaks: Ignore me at thine peril Troy

My Prediction:

Trump is going to win, but it’ll be close enough (within 2%) for the Far Left to make up stories of stolen elections again. Hell, if he won by a landslide, (which I do NOT see happening), they’d only scream louder. My logic is simply that most Americans do NOT participate in political discourse anymore because we’re tired of being called nazis, fascists, extremists, white racists, uncle toms, race traitors, etc… by the extreme loony left and their sheep.

The bad part for the far left is that they’d get more votes with a conciliatory tone. Trump didn’t get elected the first time because people like his troll personality, aside from a few right wing extremists anyway. He was elected because the average citizen is sick and tired of being brow beaten, censored and told they’re the cause of all the worlds’ problems. He was a thumb in the eye of all the toxic rhetoric.

Also completely the wrong way to handle things IMO. Reagan did a much better job of handling his attackers with finesse and humor, AND getting his message directly to the public without toxic, in your face tweets. My point being that if the far left had the common sense to try to bring people together instead of browbeat them, Trump never would have gotten elected, and wouldn’t have a prayer at re-election.

Trump is going to get more support than people expect from places like Portland as well. Over 4 months of rioting there. The average citizen is beyond fed up and just wants to be safe walking down the street at this point, even if they have nothing but sympathy for Black Lives Matter. Trump might even take Oregon outright as the rest of the state is fairly conservative.

IF TRUMP DOES WIN:

Not a guarantee by any means, BUT, if I’m correct and Trump wins, expect more attacks on the election results and him. Pelosi is already planning a 25th amendment removal attempt, which in and of itself is a sure indication the Democrats know this election is by no means a slam dunk for them. Actually, we can pretty much expect the last four years, with the volume cranked up to 11. I’m sure we’ll hear more talk of abolishing the electoral college also, and the safeguards it provides smaller states.

And of course, in response to it all, the Trump troll-o-meter will be dialed up to 11 also, with even more rants and whines with every delay or defeat, and more chest beating when he wins.

The only bright spot is that the economy stands a better chance of recovery with him.

IF BIDEN WINS:

First, expect a doubling down on the SJW rhetoric and civil unrest.

There will be attempts to oust Trump appointed judges on every level. Harris already said months back that this was a goal of hers. This despite the fact that she knows that judges are NOT some sort of cabinet appointment that serves at the President’s pleasure.

Along those lines, Biden will try to pack the Supreme Court with extra judges to tip it’s balance permanently Left. BTW, the fact that Biden outright said voters have no right to know his stance on this SHOULD be enough to tell you all how autocratic and dictatorial he is. I suspect that IF this attempt comes to pass, that the Supreme Court will shoot it down HARD, as it did when FDR tried the exact same thing after large portions of his “New Deal” were shot down by the Court.

Biden has already said he plans on taxing businesses to death to pay for multiple entitlement expansions. THAT will lead to small business failures, mega-corporations like Amazon and Walmart gaining even more market share, unemployment, and higher prices.

AND, at some point, I suspect that “Crazy Uncle Joe” will either be ousted by Harris (due to his deteriorating mind) or step down on his own for “health issues” and President Harris will double and triple down on the most extreme of Biden’s policies.

Either way, Weird Al has it right:

Bad Neighbors and Fed Up with Life

Yes, a bit of drama and waxing (whining?) philosophical as well. 😯

I haven’t been writing much recently due to NOISY new upstairs neighbors. The joys of apartment living after moving. This isn’t the standard ‘plays music or the TV too loud’ situation either. These people have two fairly large dogs, and instead of walking and exercising them, they just throw a ball around the apartment and let them chase it and fight over it. We’re talking as late as 3am also.

The problem is it sounds something like this at about 60 MPH:

OR, maybe this:

Worse is that the police (we’ve had them out 5 times in two weeks) and apartment management won’t do anything about it. The police need to hear it themselves they claim and the apartment managers want recorded evidence.

Recorded evidence sounds reasonable enough on the surface, except that cell phones don’t record well at any kind of distance, AND do have limited background noise reduction as well. That last part reduces the bass of the ‘thumpity thump’ as they run around up there. Net result, we have to have the apartment dead silent and be on a step ladder with the phone up to the ceiling to get a good recording.

These sociopath upstairs neighbors have gotten more passive aggressive in their games too. After the first few times calling the police about LATE night dog noise, the neighbors started playing stop start games with the noise. They’d make all manner of racket for 10 minutes or so, stop for 30ish minutes and then start again, etc… Enough so that they think we’ll look like idiots when the police show up and hear nothing. They know exactly what they’re doing and don’t care, which is what infuriates me.

We haven’t been able to sleep, we can’t do anything in the house for fear the noise might interfere with a potential recording… It’s left me in a sleep deprived, FOUL mood which is why I haven’t written much here. Readers don’t need toxic poop. Never mind it’s killed my creativity also.

Soooo, since being civilized hasn’t worked, getting angry hasn’t worked and expecting the system to work hasn’t worked… We’re left with getting… creative.

Life would be so much simpler if I was truly evil. Key their car, slash their tires, use an ultrasonic tormentor to harass their dogs, etc…

Instead, I’m left with outmaneuvering them. That means ordering better sound recording equipment (including a shotgun microphone) and going total silent on reporting here so that they think they can get away with more. It’s worked too, they’re already falling back into old habits. I’m sure we’ll have plenty of evidence to break our lease and potentially sue.

In the mean time though, we’re left having to sleep with shooting range foam ear plugs in to get any kind of decent night’s sleep, and I have to TRY to write wearing gun mufflers to block the racket.

The LIFE Part; AKA I’m Always Angry

This problem just seems to be so symptomatic of life anymore, and my entire life on a personal level. I *should* be in a good place after escaping the constant late night criminal activity in our old neighborhood. Instead, I’m left with nearly as bad a situation because self-absorbed, selfish and lazy neighbors can’t be bothered with properly exercising their dogs, or having ANY consideration for their neighbors.

How much of life would be SO much better if people simply had a little (un)common courtesy and thought of others? Put the shopping cart in the cart corral, throw your trash IN the dumpster not all around it (yes, that’s an issue here also), actually park the damned car BETWEEN the lines, not straddling them and taking up two spaces, move over to a slower lane if somebody is approaching faster, cut the damned noise out after 9pm and think about your neighbors, etc…

I could go on and on. It’s a narcissism that reaches all the way up to how people discuss social and political issues. Me, me, me… I’m right, you’re wrong, in your face… Why do so many people hate Trump? It’s like looking in a mirror, only HE is a successful ass and they’re just asses.

As somebody who has always been one to TRY to do the right thing and think about how my actions impact others, AND always seeming to end up getting screwed because of it, I’m REALLY getting fed up with it too

Yes, that’s an apropos video too because these folks made me wish I could get away with some Hulk type responses:

That scene resonated with so many people because too many of us have had at least one smug ass in our lives that deserved what Loki got.

Reality though; if you’re a decent person, you know that accomplishes nothing in the long run. Same with the aforementioned keying a car, slashing tires, etc… All it does is add to the misery in the world. That coming from a HUGE believer in the right to self-defense as well.

So where’s my rant leading? I’m just wondering where the justice is in the world anymore. I’ve been thwarted at seemingly every turn in my life. Is the ability to even get a good night’s sleep so much to ask from life and the universe? Hell, I’d love the opportunity to get ahead in life too and not have to worry about being old and broke. No handouts; just the chance to honestly earn and achieve something myself without some immoral, self-centered prick sabotaging it.

For all you self-improvement types, I get the whole expectations thing too. From a psychological or metaphysical perspective, there’s a truth to we get what we expect. Like energies attract, your subconscious will lead you in the direction you expect, etc…

That doesn’t make it any easier to get ahead though when so many people out there expect it’s their God-given right to get ahead at your expense. It’s alot easier to destroy than create too.

Improvise, adapt and overcome? Been there, tried that. The more creative I try to get, the more life turns up the screws.

Yeah, the burnout is showing. That’s what happens when you’ve been up all night and it’s 4:30am. It’d just be really nice to start seeing the jerks of the world get what’s coming while the good people get or stay ahead (and I know there are successful good people out there too).

First world problems? Probably. It shouldn’t be that damned much to expect a decent night’s sleep on the edge of small town America though, nor should anyone have to deal with “too bad, you have 8 more months on that 6 month lease though” in response to it.

The Breonna Taylor Verdict

I’ve purposely avoided commenting on this for a while. Primarily because I know how reporters frequently cherry pick facts to spin stories. Breonna Taylor’s case seems very straight forward however. That being the case, even as the child of a cop, I’m shocked and disappointed by the grand jury verdict earlier today.

All that said, let me give MY analysis based on what’s been disclosed in the media thus far.

The BIG problem I see here is one of policy and procedure, even more than the actions of the individual officers.

First, let me state I have ZERO problem with no knock warrants for known dangerous fugitives and drug dealers. Knocking in those instances will allow suspects to arms themselves and flush drugs or destroy evidence.

Where I *DO* have a problem however is the way that policy was (in my opinion) abused here. They were raiding Breonna Taylor’s house based on guilt by association with the only disclosed evidence being she knew a drug dealer; an ex of all things if I recall correctly. That alone makes a no-knock warrant questionable at best.

Even worse, they kicked in the door to the apartment at zero-dark thirty when ANY sane person is going to assume it’s a home invasion. *I* would have come out gun drawn also in the same situation. The police compounded this problem by not wearing uniforms NOR immediately identifying themselves as police. This all but guaranteed gun play was going to happen. Other than not identifying themselves immediately, this ALL appears to have been standard policy for the department.

I understand the need to keep officers safe, and to increase the odds of catching bad guys off-guard. Somewhere there has to be a balance with the public’s and suspect’s safety taken into account as well. No midnight raids, no out of uniform crap, and certainly no failure to identify. All three of those led the situation to a violent conclusion.

Now with the individual officers… Let’s take the EASY one first. The only one to get charged with anything was the idiot that fired blindly through a window that had blinds or curtains up. He had ZERO idea who he was shooting at, or where those rounds were going to end up. COMPLETELY inexcusable.

One of the first safety rules taught to all gun owners is to ALWAYS know exactly what you’re shooting at and where that bullet is going to go or could end up. Again, since the view through the window was obstructed, he had NO idea where his shots were going, or who/what they might hit. This was NOT a war zone. Tear gas or a flash bang might have been justified but NOT gunfire.

The other officers who were NOT charged… I have a harder time with. Murder requires deliberate intent to kill, and I don’t think that was there.

Manslaughter and some sort of negligence or dereliction of duty based on the lack of uniforms and failure to identify as law enforcement certainly might be appropriate. Technically, they did their job by the book per reports, with the exception of the failure to identify. It was the department’s policy that set up an inevitable shootout between a citizen reacting to a perceived home invasion and police trying to serve a search warrant in the wee hours of the morning.

What I *do* know is that things need to change on a variety of fronts. Policy needs to be written in a way that balances officer safety with public safety. Officer training needs to be better also. This kind of incident is killing morale in police departments all over the country and causing truly good cops to quit the force in droves.

What these incidents are doing to public trust, especially among the black community is just as bad and I think goes without saying at this point.

Protesters really need to check themselves as well however. Shooting cops, setting fires, looting and vandalism are all only making the situation worse, and turns public sympathy against the cause. All these riots really accomplish is driving all the businesses out of the communities that are protesting.

Who does THAT help?

Lastly, I have to call BS on the media as well. I do NOT know if anything was left out of Breonna Taylor’s story. It appears not. However, there have been multiple incidents where the facts were clearly cherry picked to escalate the situation and increase ratings. I saw it first hand with the Stephon Clark case in Sacramento when I lived there. We got more of the story than the national news. That was a case of a poor, mentally ill or at least severely distraught young man putting himself and police in a situation where it looked like he was pulling a weapon but it was far too dark to see. It was a tragedy, but NOT an execution by any means.