Sunday, May 15, 2022

Poor Clarence Thomas...

Now Clarence Thomas is whining that people don't respect institutions anymore.

It's not that the public doesn't respect institutions. It's that the public doesn't trust the hacks on the Supreme Court who have prostituted the institution to conservative authoritarians who want to turn the United States into a copy of Russia.

Let's look at the decisions that the court that Thomas is a member of has made.

In 2000 he voted to stop Florida from recounting ballots, handing George W. Bush the election. The election was extremely close, and Florida's ballots consisted of computer cards that voters had to punch tiny holes through to cast their votes.

He voted to overturn the Voting Rights act, allowing states to pass laws that have disenfranchised millions of voters.

He voted to overturn campaign finance reform, allowing oligarchs like the Koch brothers, Peter Thiel and foreign nationals to buy American elections.

He voted to allow companies to exclude birth control from insurance coverage, which has likely resulted in thousands of unintended pregnancies because women can't afford contraceptives, and their boyfriends still want sex.

He voted to overturn local gun control laws, allowing whack jobs like the guy who shot up a supermarket yesterday, killing 10 people (mostly Black), to continue their racist gun rampages across the country.

That guy, as it turns out, is a devotee of "replacement theory," the idea that whites are going to be replaced by Muslims and Blacks. This theory has been pushed by Stephen Miller, who has been called "Trump's brain."

On a more personal note, Thomas's wife Ginny sent dozens of email messages to Trump's chief of staff, repeating baseless (and ridiculous) lies about the election being stolen for Biden by Republican election officials in states like Georgia and Arizona. States in which Trump lost, but other Republicans mysteriously won.

How are we supposed to believe that Thomas can be trusted to rule fairly on anything involving elections when he lives with a crazy woman? She's quite possibly involved with the January 6th coup attempt. And how the hell does she have the cell phone number of the president's chief of staff?

Now the Supreme Court is going to decide the fate of Roe v. Wade, invading the privacy of millions women across the country, forcing them to bear children they can't afford and don't want. These women will be forced further into poverty. (These same women will not be able to feed the babies the Republicans are forcing them to bear because of the baby formula shortage.)

And Thomas is whining about demonstrators invading his privacy by protesting outside his house.

Finally, seven out of nine members of the court are Catholic. It's preposterous to claim that has nothing to do with their apparent decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

The Republicans have now stolen two or three Supreme Court seats, depending on how you count. When Antonin Scalia died in 2016 Republicans refused to hold hearings, claiming that they couldn't appoint a judge in an election year. When Ruth Bader Ginsburg died in 2020, less than two moths before the election, Republicans rushed their nominee through the process in six weeks.

Then there's the case of Anthony Kennedy. He resigned under pressure from Trump. Kennedy's son Justin was involved in Deutsche Bank's lending of millions of dollars to Trump's failing businesses when no one else would. It's not exactly clear what went on to get Kennedy to resign, but the whole affair stinks to high heaven.

This is why people have no faith in the Supreme Court. It's become a tool of anti-democratic elements in the conservative movement. These decisions are clearly made for conservative political reasons, not what makes legal sense or what is best for the country.

Thomas is just another political hack trying to turn the clock back to the dark ages.

Friday, May 13, 2022

Elon Is Trying to Manipulate Stock Prices. Again.

Elon Musk has screwed with the SEC before, when he tried to manipulate Tesla stock prices in 2018

He's doing it again. He's putting his Twitter acquisition "on hold" while he investigates Twitter's claim that less than 5% of Twitter subscribers are fake accounts or spam bots.

Seriously? He just wants to drive the stock price down before he has to fork over the cash.

I would say that close to 50% of Twitter accounts are fake or spam bots. I have two Twitter accounts, created to reserve the name so someone else can't use them, and never use either of them. Why would I? Twitter is a vast wasteland of trolls and liars. It's a place where truth and honor go to die.

I mean, there are hundreds of companies that make their living by creating fake followers for celebrities who want to artificially inflate their subscriber numbers.

And Musk doesn't need to "investigate" anything. Everyone knows this is the case. It's an open secret. The Twitter "hold" is just another Elon scam, like his interest in Bitcoin.

Twitter could be a place where people communicate freely and openly, but it's just a wasteland where harassment is the order of the day.

I would like to be a fan of Musk because he's doing things that I think are important: space travel and electric cars. Yet he has managed to do them in the worst possible way. 

He charges gullible Tesla customers thousands of dollars to access the car's autonomous driving system, which doesn't work and has killed a number of customers who were stupid enough to believe Musk's fable.

His cars can't recognize emergency vehicles parked on the freeway, or the median, or big trucks crossing the road in front of them. He had his engineers put out a software update that lets drivers play games on the console in the car.

During the height of the pandemic keeping the line open was more important to him than the lives of his employees.

He hasn't as many mistakes with SpaceX because if he kills someone in space, that's the end of the company. But he's destroying Boca Chica, the town in Texas near his launch site. Every time there's a launch people have to leave their homes, for fear of a rocket landing on them. Leave it to Texas to let a narcissistic billionaire build his launch pad in a small town's backyard.

He's selling the fantasy that we need to colonize Mars because Earth is a lost cause. The thing is, even if we nuked the Earth, it'll still be more inhabitable than Mars will ever be.

Musk doesn't care about anyone else. He just does whatever he wants and runs down anyone in his way.

The rich are different. They're psychopaths.

Sunday, May 01, 2022

Hurting Conservative Feelings

Conservatives like to opine about the left and their feelings. But take a look at this press release from Governor Ron DeSantis. 

This legislation is the first of its kind in the nation to take on both corporate wokeness and Critical Race Theory in schools in one act. 

“No one should be instructed to feel as if they are not equal or shamed because of their race,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “In Florida, we will not let the far-left woke agenda take over our schools and workplaces. There is no place for indoctrination or discrimination in Florida.” 

“By signing this legislation, which is the first in the nation to end corporate wokeness and Critical Race Theory in our schools, we are prioritizing education not indoctrination,” said Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez. “We will always fight to protect our children and parents from this Marxist-inspired curriculum.”

Who is shaming anyone because of their race? Is that what conservatives think when we teach the historical fact of slavery? That we are trying to shame white people?

I am fairly certain that most folks will read this and blow it off, rolling their eyes at how silly it is. But millions of Americans feel this way. And it's leading them to batshit crazy stuff like attempted coups.

Sane people need to speak out often and vociferously about how insane this is. Beliefs like this are literally destroying our country.