The Weekend: May 23-24, 2020

 It’s been a drag of a week and I’ve spent the weekend in a foul mood. Partly, I don’t know why but mostly because this culture is just too damn Dumb for me to take seriously anymore. But before we get too deep in the big muddy, let’s go ahead and lay out some links to the Gibberish output this week.

 I’ve had a bit of Actual Paying Work to do this week, so it’s cut into my bullshitting time. I kept having good ideas that were worth expanding upon but never had the energy to get into it. Plus, I’ve been staying up too late playing XCOM, and that’s not doing wonders for whatever my sleeping problem is.

 Anyhow. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Nothing incredibly special, they are what they are. Between the APW, my internet being shoddy and that aforementioned Dumbass has not excited the little grey cells. I did dig into new-to-me (post-2003 or so) Motörhead and AC/DC albums. That was sort of interesting, since they’re all pretty decent. Particularly the Motörhead ones, Lemmy and the boys had polished that into a well-oiled machine the last 20 or so years. Saturday was just me being terribly interested in my own navel and wallowing in my own insecurities.

 As for the Dumbness, well… it’s really nothing new. The Bernie Sanders dead-enders get more and more ridiculous and dismissible, while at the same time, the idea of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States of America gets more and more depressing.

 I’m getting heavy 2004 vibes from all of this. A godawful Republican president with a near-religious fanatical Base, an uninspiring Democratic candidate that promises a “return to normal” which got us here in the first place, and a “progressive” movement more interested in nursing its grievances and smelling its own farts than having to actually put in the work for the world they want. Y’all apparently don’t remember, but that didn’t work out well.

 I guess that’s what’s bothering me the most, that we as a culture have not only forgotten the lessons of history, we’re actively dismissive of them. If anyone ever asks me what’s a good book to read about how the U.S. electoral process works – and very few do, admittedly – I suggest Hunter Thompson’s Fear & Loathing On The Campaign Trail, ’72. Not only does the Good Doctor do an entertaining Deep Dive in the process which hasn’t changed much in the past 40 years, that particular election was an extremely heavy one.

 Richard Nixon. Vietnam. A fractured Democratic party and an even more fractured base. Generational conflict that seems to be insurmountable. Tell me this all doesn’t sound familiar. I’m almost scared to ponder just who our George Wallace will turn out to be. We not only learned nothing from 2004, we hadn’t learned anything from 1972 by 2004. Walter Mondale’s stomping in 1984 was my first free taste of politics, and maybe there was a progressive candidate – Jesse Jackson, I reckon – that went ignored, but I doubt we played close enough attention.

 The other thing that’s bugging me is the “reopening” of American kicked into high gear this week, even though we’re nowhere close to any wisdom over COVID-19 much less a vaccine than we were the first of March. It’s by the sheerest of luck that we didn’t top 100,000 deaths this weekend, and it’s unsettling how many people just don’t give a shit.

 There’s been a video of a big party at the Lake of the Ozarks that has been floating around. I’m not going to lie, even if we weren’t in the middle of a world-wide pandemic, looks unhygienic as an outhouse in a cholera colony. Seriously, look at that. Would you want to be in that pool? Are you sure that none of those assholes is going to pee without getting out of the water? Then you’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din.

 And maybe I’m overreacting, and nothing drastic will happen. I’m not surprised at the callousness of far too many of Our Fellow Americans, as depressing as it is to nevertheless get the occasional reminder. I’m not really surprised at how quickly we all jump when the Bosses of the world tell us to whenever they want a new vacation home or abortion for their mistress. Time will tell how it will all wash out, and it may just be my cynicism talking, but I really don’t think we’ll collectively be better off when we come out the other end.

 In any event, that’s the Word Count. Tomorrow starts a new weekend, God help us all. Hang in there, neighbors.

 

 

Friday, May 22, 2020

 It’s been a long week and I’m tired. I’ve had to get a lot of Actual Paying Work done this week, it’s turned off hot, and the country still seems to be intent on being as Dumb as possible. Plus, I stayed up way, way too late playing XCOM 2, but that’s nobody’s fault but mine.

 And frankly, I’m not into this and a lot the reason is it’s been a relatively slow news day today. One’s heart goes out to the folks in Karachi and Michigan, but the Straight News is doing an acceptable job covering that. I really don’t care about Trump showing us, yet again, that he’s down with dudes who were down with Nazis, nor do I care about Joe Biden, yet again, putting a racist foot in his mouth on a morning talk show. Best I can tell from either is that neither moved the needle for anyone and both will probably be dust in the wind in a fortnight.

 The guy who filmed those two Georgia peckerwoods murdering Ahmaud Arbery got nicked for murder himself. Investigators are saying they got what they need and it looks like the garden-variety authoritarian conservative is giving up on defending them. The FBI’s getting involved in the investigation around the murder of Breonna Taylor and the crooked, racist local justice system that was going to let those cops skate. I’m no fan of the FBI, but I do appreciate authoritarians getting the squeeze from bigger authoritarians when someone needs to fall on the sword.

 The COVID-19 count is at 1.63 million cases and over 96,000 deaths of people who’re unconcerned with the working class’ health when they want someone to wait on them. I kid, of course, but in all seriousness, it looks like it might be slowing down. Some of the eggheads said the oncoming Summer could slow it down like what happened with H1N1 in 2009. That gave them time to put together an effective vaccine, and scientists are hoping the same holds true for the coronavirus novel.

 Cross your fingers, because Trump’s got a serious boner for “reopening the country,” most recently blowing a bunch of smoke about reopening churches. Apparently, he’s slipping in the polls with Evangelicals and right-wing Catholics. Six points down in the former and seven up in the latter for disapproval. Not being spiritually inclined, I don’t have a dog in this particular hunt. However, getting a bunch of people to sit close together in an enclosed room where there’s a lot of singing and talking going on seems iffy with no vaccine on hand.

 Here in Mississippi, we’re at 12,624 known cases and 596 deaths. Issaquena County still registers a goose egg on both. Gov. Tate Reeves is allowing parks to reopen and he won’t mess with the churches, but he’s extending the “Safer At Home” protocols he’s been championing. Colleges and universities are planning on getting back in the swing of things come Fall, which might be bigger, since high school and college football almost eclipse going to church for most Mississippians.

 Credit where credit’s due, but apart from stumbling early in the game, Reeves has done a solid job keeping this state from drowning in its own shit. Things haven’t gotten worse, and given how screwed people in the Magnolia State are at best, that is commendable. And, again credit where credit is due, the State Legislature seems to be using their bipartisan dislike of Reeves to actually get useful stuff done, whether he likes it or not. The welfare scandal is still a huge rock in our collective shoe, but at least someone seems like they’re going to get the hammer for it. Beloved, that’s why we don’t indulge in political corruption. You never know who’s going to trip you when both of y’all are running from a bear.

 And that’s that. Tune into the Gibberish tomorrow and maybe I’ll have something to say about Racism in White America or why nobody really understands just why they hate the Mainstream Media. Or I might spend the entire time talking about The Expanse, XCOM and Motörhead. You just never know and that’s what makes it interesting.

 Right?

 

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

 Okay, the internet’s back working fine so we’re back in business. I have some Actual Paying Work due tomorrow, so we’re going to try to squeeze out a quick one. Unfortunately, this has been one of those days where one’s cup runneth over if one’s a Journalist, and I am, after all, a Journalist.

 If I had the time, I’d do a Deep Dive on either of these topics because, whew boy, if things weren’t already hairy it’s gotten decidedly so by this afternoon. We’ve got the terrifying flooding going on in Michigan, which is just shy of becoming an ecological disaster, or the right-wing media’s ongoing attempt to smear Ahmaud Arbery to justify vigilante murder. However, I think we’ll stick to the increasing crowd of apparent corruption hanging around Secretary of State Mike Pompeo like an eggy fart and Trump’s attempts to intimidate voters in swing states from going to the polls.

 Let’s do the voting thing first. Realizing that “Obamagate” was a big nothing and they’d pretty much shot their wang off with it by releasing Susan Rice’s letter, Our Petulant Leader spent the morning balls deep in one of his Twitter tantrums. Spent all morning screaming that disloyal governors trying to expand voting opportunities through legal and constitutional means were just trying to bring him down or launch a coupe or whatever dumb shit those guys are peddling today. In short, he’s accused the governors of Nevada and Michigan, the latter he’s had a sore butt over already, of trying to indulge in voter fraud by expanding mail-in voting.

 In a nutshell, these states – among several others, including solidly Trump states like Georgia and West Virginia – are using the funds allocated to them as a part of the COVID-19 package to basically mail every registered voter in the state an application for an absentee ballot. There’s nothing out of sorts about this, though generally voters have to request the application, and even though we’re at 93,000 deaths which is apparently a green light for “reopening the country”, the state officials still think this virus that we have no idea how it works or how to treat it might be a problem come November.

 So Trump threw a fit. For one, he falsely claimed Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson – who he refused to directly name but called “rogue” – of sending out actual ballots, which Sec. Benson quickly pointed out it was a bold faced lie. After launching the same false accusation at Nevada (who also has a Democratic governor), Our Baby President threatened to withhold federal funds, including disaster relief – flood in Michigan, remember – unless they bend the knee.

 Indeed, constitutional scholars and voting experts have been holding in gut-busting laughs all day at the President’s total ignorance at, well, what it is he’s boo-hooing about. It should be noted the states run how they do elections, not the federal government, and this sort of thing with Ukraine is what got the dumb bastard impeached earlier in the year. He continues to call it an attempt at voter fraud, outright accusing them of trying to cheat, when there’s absolutely no evidence to back up his claim. I know we’re all shocked by that.

 Oregon’s been doing this since forever, and Trump recently lost his shit at California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s attempts to implement. Oddly enough, Iowa and Nebraska – two more solid Trump states – are trying to implement the same program, like Georgia and West Virginia, yet Trump’s not been shaking his fist at them. Again, I know we’re all shocked about his naked, idiotic partisanship and overall ignorance at how government works.

 Benson’s said she figures there might be some legal complaints, which is expected considering Michigan’s been Ground Zero for Trump-licking dingbats who don’t know what they’re pissed off about, but under 2018 Michigan law, this is all fine and dandy, so they’ll keep on keeping on. As will Nevada, and one presumes the conservative states Trump isn’t throwing a fit over. Before his anointment as their new Savior, the Republican party has long been pretty upfront over their desire to keep as many people from voting as possible, since they do better when turnout is low. Indeed, beyond anything else, Hilary Clinton’s loss in 2016 may have more to do with people just being disinclined to vote at all than anything else. Keep an eye on this one, beloved, especially you clowns who think being asked to wear a mask when you get your nails done is an abrogation of your rights. This is an actual attempt to do that.

 Okay, moving on to Mike Pompeo. Whoo boy, this asshole. Before we get too deep into it, Pompeo’s spent his entire adult life in a desperate search for more and more power. After graduating valedictorian at West Point and a stint in the Army, he joined a Washington law firm known for being a cabal of GOP hit men as well as the breeding ground for future Supreme Court Judge Brett “Kegger” Kavanaugh. He moved on to a seat for Kansas in the U.S. House and spent time as the CIA’s top spook before replacing Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State in 2018.

 Pretty much from the get-go, he’s been knee-deep in the big muddy of the Trump Administration. For one, he was wrangled into the whole Ukraine quid pro quo affair that got his boss’ dumb ass impeached, continues to peddle racist horseshit about the COVID-19, and has been giving Saudi Arabia high-tech killing implements like it was candy at Halloween. He also got really weird with a lady NPR reporter because he didn’t like the questions she asked.

 His trail of slime continues as it’s coming out that maybe he’s been using his position for his own financial benefit, throwing lavish dinners for GOP bigwigs on the public’s dollar, and even using staff as servants to pick up his laundry and help his mother-in-law move. This all came to a head earlier in the month when he persuaded Big Don to fire State Department Inspector General Steve Linick, ostensibly because he was “Obama deep state” or some sort of horseshit.

 Well… maybe. Or maybe it’s because Linick was in the process of investigating Pompeo’s living fatback high up on the hog on the taxpayer’s nickel as well as his bypassing a freeze on arm sales to Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates – which wound up in the hands of Iran and Al Qaeda, so smooth move there – by claiming there was an “emergency” in the whole Yemen thing that didn’t actually exist. He’s also accused of ignoring accusations of workplace violence that are pretty goddamn weird. Either way, he’s contradicted himself a half-dozen times, so yeah.

 One of the more depressing facts of life during the Trump Era is basically how much gets away with. Thanks to a Senate full of GOP toadies, the always politically feckless Democratic Party, and the Big Corporate Media being, well, the Big Corporate Media, even the worst of this clown’s behavior – like, say, threatening states that don’t toe his line – doesn’t get the attention it deserves. Of course, the other problem is that there’s so much new Dumbness coming down from the White House that it’s hard to keep up. Personally, I think unless something interesting pops up with those arms sales and he pisses off The Donald, Pompeo’s secure until at least the election. But we’ll see.

 Okay. So much for a quick one. Again, though, there is just so much going on today. Keep your heads down, children. It’s a wild world.

 

Monday, May 18, 2020

Still having connection issues. I was going to start writing as soon as I finished my constitutional with Otis, around 4 p.m. or so. Of course, the internet dropped out around the time I got set up and, four hours later, still hasn’t returned. And tonight is a News night, which I can’t very well do when I have no internet. Not properly, anyway.

But I’ll try my best. I’ll come back in when I can to fill in names and places because, to be quite honest, I don’t pay that close attention and it really doesn’t matter in the long run. They say history is little more than famous names and important dates, but I think that’s the wrong way of looking at things, the Narrative way. Granted, I don’t know what would be the correct way, but I don’t think that’s my job.

I’m rambling, partly because I’m in a foul mood and partly to take up space. I freely admit to being a man of habit and any interruption in that gets up my nose. On the other hand, I really don’t ask for much beyond, well, solid internet connectivity. Alas, alack. First world problems, I know. In any event, let’s get on with the business at hand.

We’ve topped 90,000 dead. In just under three months since the first case, the entire population of Athens, Georgia, while I lived there has been wiped out. It’s been predominantly, though not exclusively, the elderly due to their weakened immune systems. While scientists and experts argue that more time spent social distancing is required – and most polls show the average person agrees with them by a fairly healthy margin, for whatever that’s worth – there are enough of a vocal minority kicking up such a fuss that haircuts will resume and the serving class will remember their proper place. Some people are comparing wearing masks to stuff Nazi Germany did, which is just stupid, or to slavery, which is insultingly disgusting, and for the most part, the main drive behind it for the washed horde is “owning the libs”. Being a jerk for jerk’s sake, I suppose.

The scuttlebutt around Washington D.C. is most of this push coming out of the White House is because Trump’s numbers outside of the slavering fanatics that make up the Base are in the toilet. That’s as good an explanation as any, I guess. He’s never really got much more than that base since his election, occasionally inching towards but never crossing 50% approval. Furthermore, his only point of pride that rings even close to true – the “roaring economy” lasted less than a day once CORVID-19 became an undeniable reality. The stock market has rebounded, but if we needed any more proof that means almost nothing to the average person’s bottom line, well, it’s been that sort of three months.

Most people who study things say we’re still headed to some sort of economic depression whether we like it or not. Here in Mississippi, which still has a week of “safe-at-home” to get through, over 100,000 people have filed for unemployment. Nationwide, the unemployment rate is almost 15%, demolishing numbers set by the Great Depression. Showing what sort of businesses they actually are, a lot of professional sports organizations are considering return to play but without the fans. Might as well, because numbers still show that it’s going to be a minute before anyone wants to go out to the ballpark or see a concert or, really, spend any more time amongst the possible epidemic vectors than need be. Some people are, but this whole affair really has shown just who amongst us has never been told “no” before, which explains Trump’s popularity with the jackassery.

Speaking of Trump, he’s still trying to make Obamagate a thing despite going a week without giving any sort of concrete idea of what it actually is beyond “Black Man Bad”. Granted, that’s good enough for most Republicans and they remain blissfully unconcerned with the lack of any concrete accusations. He made some hay this weekend by firing State Department Inspector General Steve Linick, somewhat to everyone’s surprise. It’s something of a pattern of his, getting rid of anyone that might tell him “no” by claiming they’re “Obama appointees” whether they are or not. Come out today that this might have been spurred on by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who requested the firing because said IG was looking into some dirty deals over arm sales with Saudi Arabia instead of Obama like he was supposed to. What really grabbed everyone’s attention, however, was whether or not the Secretary or his Missus were using government employees to run errands and do chores.

When pressed on this, Trump basically said, “If he did, so what?” which is basically as good as admitting it. This is how they view employees, after all, and this is a man who requires subordinates to steam press his pants while he’s wearing them. The Democrats are looking into it and some Republicans are pretending to care, so who knows. At the same press conference, the Stable Genius said he’s been taking regular doses of the malaria medicine hydroxylchloroquine, which he spent most of March trumpeting as a miracle cure before someone got through to him that: one, no it wasn’t; two, there were people who actually needed that drug and it was in short supply; and three, it could kill people who misuse it.

There was a bit of speculation over this. Did he lie? Is he telling the truth? White House doctors said, no, they hadn’t prescribed it to him and, no, it still was a really, really bad idea, especially for a corpulent 70-year-old man. Apparently, one of the less lethal side affects include paranoia that your “enemies” are out to “get you”. How about that, eh?

Lest we forget he’s making a small nickel off the sale of that stuff and one of the GOP’s main sugar daddies, the delightfully named Joey Pizza, is making an even bigger nickel off it. That being said, I doubt it’s really that deep. One, he’s probably the most documented liar and fabulist of the past 50 years and, two, he’s so dumb that once he learned that big word, nothing will knock it loose if there’s even the slightest chance he could bust it out. There is a worry, even from Fox News, of all places, that this will lead to the humanoids taking it, or something like they think it is, causing more deaths. I doubt it’ll be that much a problem one way or another.

Finally, y’all remember Richard Burr? The head of the Senate Intelligence Committee who, just before it was announced to the public that COVID-19 was something we should worry about, dumped a mess of stock and made out like a bandit. That guy, yeah. Well, he’s getting his day in court, or at least, the FBI’s investigating him. From what I understand, he’s pretty much a lame duck so I’ve no doubt he’ll be asked to fall on his sword for the GOP. Kelly Loeffler is guilty as him or guiltier, and while she’s easily replaced with some other Georgia wingnut thirsting to steam press the president’s pants, she’s also richer than Croesus and was a big source of cash for the GOP before she got her seat. She might lose her seat but I doubt she’ll do any time.

Anyhow, and call me cynical because I am, I don’t see much coming out of this. One, this is how America operates. Greed is good, and you will not see any conservatives seriously upset at either the actions or who gets sacrificed because that’s what they see as the Natural Order. Secondly, Marco Rubio (R-Born Without A Spine) is heading the Intelligence Committee and he is nothing if not a good soldier and loyal partisan.

That’s probably 500 words. I’ll post this if the damn internet kicks back on tonight. If not, it’s 9:04 p.m. Monday night as I wrap this up. So there’s that there, then.

UPDATE: It’s 1:40 a.m. the following morning. Gets later every night.

The Weekend: May 16-17, 2020

UPDATE: I fell asleep reading. It’s 11 p.m. and everything seems to be green. Did this last night, too, which might lend some credence to Momma’s theory. Anyway, here’s links to the Gibberish from Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Everyone cross your fingers this gets fixed sooner than later.

It’s about 15 minutes to 8 p.m., Sunday evening, May 17. The dad-blamed internet has been out all day and doesn’t look like it’s going to come back on today. We got a new modem, so it’s not that it. We’ve left a message with the phone company, so hopefully they’ll have some answers tomorrow. Momma’s convinced it’s because they’re switching over to fiber optic on the other side of the Channel, but I don’t know. Could be, I guess.

 In any event, you’ll just have to take my word for it whenever I get around to cut-and-pasting this at the correct place. Obviously, I can’t do the News. Right now, the only sources I have are the television stations that intermittently come in – no cable or tv package like Dish Network – and the radio, which is mostly right-wing jibber jabber from the lunkheads at Mississippi Talk, so no thank you.

 Hell’s bells, I thought this thing had word count, but I’d have to unlock the paid version. Can’t do that right now even if I wanted to. I’m in a fairly foul mood and just got back from a walk in what feels like soup. It’s so humid, so I’ll just write until I get tired of writing.

 Most of my music’s up in the Clouds, either Apple or Amazon, so that’s out. I do have a few tomato boxes full of CD’s in the basement, but that’s more trouble than it’s worth. Luckily, I can play video games offline, and god knows I’ve got plenty to read. I’ve been re-reading Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Dispossessed the last couple of days. I say re-reading, but I’m not real sure if I’ve read it before or not. I’ve read a lot of books over the past 30 years and smoked a fairly healthy amount of pot the last 20, so sometimes I forget.

 I’ve read something in the Hainish Cycle, though, but that’s such a loose connection between the books, by Le Guin’s own figuring, that it really doesn’t matter. I like that. If I ever get around to writing some of this fiction, any shared universes will just be that: shared universes and not reason to tie one story to the next.

 I think that’s where Star Wars went off the rails with the prequels. Instead of using the thousands of years of history in the universe, they concentrate on the 20 or so years before Episode Four. Plus, they were pretty dull. It’s pretty much why I haven’t bothered with the sequel trilogy. It’s more of the same story when there’s so much that could be told, and I just don’t care. Yeah, yeah, “The Skywalker Saga,” fair enough, I just don’t care. I spent most of my teen years reading the Marvel comics and the licensed books that I’m sort of sick of that story and those characters.

 It’s also why the new Doctor Who eventually left me cold. I do not want a story where the main character is at the same time the most important, respected, and feared being in the cosmos. Plus, every female wants him, so he’s gone into full author avatar territory. I like my Doctor bumming around the universe and considered a bug-eyed loon until he winds up saving the day. Yes, I’m a Tom Baker guy.

 I do hope all this internet business gets squared away before Thursday, as I have some Actual Paying Work due then and there’s just no way I can do that without being online. Ah, like in the New Modern World. I’m old enough to remember when I had to bring a printed out copy of something to the client and often had to input it manually into the system.

 We got some rain today and the weather’s starting to act up with a little thunder. I wouldn’t be surprised if we didn’t get more rain before the evening’s through. I imagine taking a break from the news and the rampant Dumbness of the Modern World for at least an evening won’t hurt. I’ve no idea if I’m close to 500 words or not. In any event, I think I’m going to pretend I am and read for a while.

Friday, May 15, 2020

 Like I said the other day, I had a lot of Actual Paying Work to get done this week. That took up more time and energy than I thought it would. Plus, I stayed up until dawn afterwards playing Phantom Doctrine, but that’s nobody’s fault but my own.

 The upshot of all this is I really didn’t pay much attention to the world around me. Part of it was because I was so tired but most of it was because I was in one of my moods and, quite frankly, the rest of the Universe can go screw. I’ve got work lined out for me for the rest of the month, so I’m thinking it’s going to monkey with both the Gibberish and the News. How, I don’t know but we’ll figure it out as we go along.

 That all being said, I do want to talk about Breonna Taylor, yet another example of how local law screws around with black people and whether or not they deserve to live. Similar to the Ahmaud Arbery case in Georgia, a black person was killed for no damn reason beyond she was black. The difference is, though, this was done by the police instead of gun-toting dingbats playing vigilante. Unfortunately, just like in that case, the rights of black people are being trampled and denied to protect a racist system, and the rest of Honky America trudged along in blissful ignorance until we were forced to pay attention.

 Let’s break it all down. On March 13 – yes, another one that simmered for months before White America (including me) woke up to it – police in Louisville, Kentucky were in the process of making a big narcotics sting. In the wee hours, they executed a “no-knock” warrant on an apartment where Taylor lived with her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, with the idea of catching a “trap house” operation and a particular suspect in action.

 According to the police, Walker shot at them first so they felt the need to open with 25 blind shots in retaliation, filling the 26-year-old Taylor with bullets, as well as surrounding apartments. The EMT who was studying to be a nurse died on the scene and  the cops found no drugs once the scene was searched. Walker was charged with attempted murder for shooting Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly.  This is the “just the facts” part.

 However, Walker maintains the police never identified themselves and he thought he was defending himself and his girlfriend from home invaders. Indeed, the police were in plain clothes and not wearing anything that would have identified them as cops. This was backed by neighbors. He thought he was defending himself and Taylor from a home invasion, returning fire after being shot at first, as under Kentucky’s “stand your ground” law.

 Further weakening the cops’ claim is the fact that the trap house the cops were supposed to be hitting was not the apartment but was 10 miles away. Even worse for them, the actual perp they were looking for was already in custody. Walker was recently released due to COVID-19 concerns, drawing harsh criticism from Louisville Police Chief Steve Conrad, who must have balls the size of watermelons. There was no body camera footage of the scene because Conrad says the “Criminal Interdiction Squad” doesn’t use that equipment.

 Like I said, this was pretty much under the radar for the past two months until brought to the country’s attention by activist Shaun King. Quick note on that, King is problematic to say the least, and much of his recent behavior has strained his credibility. That’s neither here nor there, though, because this whole affair is horseshit on its own merits.

 The arrest citation Walker gave at the scene says he claims he was the only shooter. Apart from the cops being 10 miles away from the place they were supposed to be and the perp they were looking for already in custody, a whole lot of the official word seems to be rather mutable. The warrant for his arrest, however, said multiple shots were fired on both sides. In fact, that initial warrant for a search of the apartment had Taylor rather than Walker down as the attorney. The police claim they didn’t use a battering ram on the apartment door, a claim disputed by Walker, his attorney and his neighbors at the apartment complex. 

 Sam Aguiar, a Louisville attorney representing the Taylor family has accused the Louisville police of a cover up. “It seems to me like they’re just trying to cover their tracks from day one,” he said. “Get your damn story straight.” For his part, Jefferson County Commonwealth’s District Attorney Tom Wine recused himself from reviewing the internal investigation done by the Louisville Metro Police’s Public Integrity Unit because he’s choosing to prosecute Walker for shooting a cop.

 So, a young woman is dead, a young man is facing prison, a city’s police force shows its corruption and ineptitude, and black people nationwide are told once again by the Powers That Be that their lives aren’t worth of concern. Furthermore – and this should worry my fellow honkies who think the Fourth Amendment is something – it’s another example in a long line of how the law tramples citizens rights for usually inane reasons and getting them called on it is like pulling teeth. 

 Once this penetrates the sandstone-like skulls of conservatives, I’m sure we’ll be hearing plenty of reasons why Taylor deserved a good shooting and why the cops shouldn’t even get a written warning. They’re using a video of Ahmaud Arbery looking in a window to justify his killing by two random gun-toting dingbats. All I’m going to say is that if that’s the world you want to live in, I’ve another reason to appreciate living in the boonies.

 Like with Arbery, we’ll be keeping an eye on this and we’ll feel ashamed that we didn’t know about it until black people had to scream their lungs out to get us to pay attention. Or we should on the latter, anyway, though I’m not sanguine we will. We as a culture – white folks, anyway – seem to dig on this sort of set up just like we dig on exposing ourselves to a hitherto unknown, possibly deadly virus so our bosses can buy another new car by the end of the year or get a haircut.

 Have a nice weekend, y’all.

 

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

 Look.

 I have some Actual Paying Work due tomorrow. Because I stayed up way too late playing Phantom Doctrine this morning, I got too much nap in this afternoon. Therefore, I’m running behind. Plus, this assignment is of a new variety so it’ll require a little extra work.

 So this might be it for the news. I may come back to it after I’ve knocked out the APW or I may just go back to playing Phantom Doctrine. It’s a pretty good game and I am intrigued by the story. Then again, I’ve long been a fan of Len Deighton-style spy thrillers and that’s what this is going for.

 In the meantime, here are some quick news bits from here in Mississippi. We’ve topped 10,000 cases across the state with 465 deaths. A full 212 of those cases are in nursing homes or retirement homes, of which we have a plethora. Lauderdale County(Meridian) has the most deaths at 45 and Hinds (Jackson) has the most confirmed cases at 693. Sparsely populated Issaquena County over in the Delta is still clear and clean.

 Regardless, the state is pushing forward towards reopening. This comes as cities and towns across the state are facing budget shortfalls and layoffs due to the economy taking a battering. Vicksburg, for example, may have to file for bankruptcy due to a $3.7 million budget shortfall. A full 78% of the cities won’t have sufficient funds to meet budgetary requirements when the new fiscal year starts on October 1.

 Even worse, Gov. Tate Reeves is lifting the suspension on evictions come June 1. The figuring being that folks who’ve been out of work since the first of March will be able to raise sufficient funds to make the rent come June. Unemployment is at an all-time high and over 200,000 residents have filed for unemployment. So this should go well.

 This all comes in amongst both the fight between Reeves and the Legislature over who gets to allocate federal funds that’s just now been settled, plus the welfare scandal that’s going to be in the news for quite a while. Here’s a good breakdown on where that $94 million could have gone as opposed to where it did go, and if you’re not angry enough to chew off your own leg, you’re a better man than I, Gunga Din.

 The government has been caught so flat-footed and stumbled even more because of the scandals they’ll probably have to dip into the “rainy day fund” just to keep the state on its feet. A lot of businesses have given up on the incompetence of the state government and mendacity of the federal government, shifting into doing it for themselves out of sheer necessity.

 A sense of community is all well and good, but the epidemic is way more than we can handle and despite rosy outlooks coming out of the White House, we’re still no closer to discovering all the facets of COVID-19, much less finding a vaccine. Initial claims that it only affects the elderly or weakened immune systems are, at best, premature. People need to work because people need to eat, naturally, but I can’t help but think we’re being given this false dichotomy between dying of poverty or dying of a disease from people who aren’t in danger of either, but really need a haircut.

 Time will tell. And hey, we’ve made the word count and I didn’t even mean to. In any event, stay safe and watch out for yourself because it’s obvious government, state and federal, isn’t even bothering. It doesn’t have to be this way. It’s not a law of physics that it can’t be done much better, but here we are.