Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Another day has come & gone. I’m tired & we’re going to keep this short, so let’s get started.

 Reason I’m tired is I worked the runoff election today. Just the Republican candidates, though, none of the Democrats (in Itawamba County) needed a runoff. Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves won the runoff to face Attorney General Jim Hood come November. Watch this space, though. A number of precincts across the state had problems with their voting machines, including some that would register Reeves when the voter chose the equally wingnutty Bill Waller.
 We didn’t have any problems, though, & got around 100 people to turn out for just four races, which ain’t bad. Granted, we had two supervisor runoffs, & that’s a pretty big deal here. Got to have someone to grade the roads. One thing all this showed me that I didn’t know is that the party officials in each county handle the voting machines, not the Secretary of State. Now, maybe I just don’t know, but given the known vulnerabilities of these machines, known interference from foreign powers, & the general crookedness of Mississippi politics, this doesn’t sound like a great idea.
 But anyhow, I worked the election as the bailiff again. As usual, I saw a lot of people I’ve known since I was a kid & it’s nice to see them outside of a funeral. It’s still tediously dull, but on the upside, I finished off two books I’d been chipping away at & started two more, which brings the “what I’m reading right now” total up to four. Two are short story collections, so I don’t know if that counts.
 In any event, working the election means I didn’t keep up with the news like normal. However, before I left at 7 a.m., New York Times columnist Bret Stephens showed his whole ass, & apparently the internet spent all day making fun of him, & deservedly so. Story goes, some professor at George Washington U compared Stephens to a bedbug – apparently the Times is having an infestation problem – as a joke in a tweet. It got under Stephens’ skin (pun intended) & he went on MSNBC to boo-hoo about incivility on Twitter &, before the day was out, closed down his account. This makes the second time he’s done this.
 Okay, a couple of years ago the Times opinion bunch got rid of their ombudsman, arguing that  writers’ accessibility on Twitter would allow the public to keep them honest. This has not worked out so well, as Stephens ain’t the only scribbler they got who gets paid six figures & can’t take a lick of criticism. Hell, apart from climate change denial & tut-tutting about college campuses not wanting cheapjack fascists to get paid to speak on campus, whinging about hoi palloi being less than respectful makes up most of Stephens’ output.
 When I was a young lad, I wanted to be an opinion columnist. I was a huge admirer of the late Lewis Grizzard & just thought that’d be a neat job. After actually working in the pro journalism world, my ardor for the gig cooled considerably. Not only is it really hard to come up with even one column a week – fair’s fair – the vast majority of opinion columnists are blithering pinheads whose opinions aren’t worth hearing. Opinion columns used to be something you earned after years pounding a beat. Now they hire clowns like Bari Weiss to blither on unsupervised & wonder why they catch so much shit. About the only one I still pay attention to is Leonard Pitts Jr. with the Miami Herald. He’s been consistently solid for 20 years & that means something. Check him out.
 Well, this is not flowing as well as I’d like. But so what, huh? I told you I was tired. In a pretty good mood though. I have to admit, I do like being useful &, in being useful, doing something helpful for my community. I said for years I wouldn’t care what I did so long as I could live on it & it was a net positive for the community. It’s sort of funny as much as I’ve wandered, I’d find something like that when I got back home. Anyhow, what else is there?
 Oh, this is good. Evangelical leader, nepotism beneficiary, & Trump enabler Jerry Falwell Jr. got busted giving his 23-year-old personal trainer something like $2 million & primo property from Liberty University, founded by his douchebag father. This is on top of Falwell getting pegged giving up to almost $5 million to a pool boy at a chi-chi Miami hotel. Furthermore, racy pictures were involved & both strapping young men got rides on Liberty U’s corporate jet. I personally don’t know how illegal or shady any of this is, if indeed it is at all. I just think it’s hilarious guys like that get caught with their hands in someone else’s pants.
 With Tropical Storm Dorian headed for Puerto Rico & hurricane season as a whole just now getting underway, the Trump Administration is pulling $271 million from FEMA for disaster relief & rerouting it to pay for Trump’s tiny dick, or rather, the wall along the southern border. So, yeah, that’s a dick move & Puerto Rico is still recovering. It’s not like Trump or the Republicans give two shits about Puerto Rico just like they didn’t give a shit about New Orleans. But this storm may hit Florida, & where’s the money going to be if that gets blasted is what I want to know.
 Couple last things. Y’all might not know this, but the University of Mississippi has grown marijuana for use in clinical trials by the U.S. Government since 1968. This has come under fire in recent years because the weed is consider, & I quote, “sub-par”. Monday, the DEA announced it was moving forward on a 2016 policy change that would allow more entities to grow government weed. This would hopefully help with legalization efforts which I, for one, support because I live in Mississippi.
 Finally, here’s a neat piece on the latest in the efforts by the scientific community to figure out just what is going on with gravity at the quantum level. Read it for yourself, perhaps on some government weed.
 Okay, that’s enough of that. The stats counter said yesterday’s ruminations only got one reader, which is a shame. I thought it was pretty solid for what it was. Ah, well. I’m not doing this for the money or the fame. Knowing this is being read is nice – though I’m still not ready to ask someone for critques

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