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Legitimacy.

It is what a government has when it largely represents the will of the majority of its people. Not the will of a small minority. And not imposing tyranny on that small minority either, it respects and protects the rights of that small minority. But we have a word for when a small minority rules the majority — that word is *tyranny* — and tyrannies are always illegitimate.

In the case of courts in English-speaking countries, they maintain their legitimacy via what’s known as “stare decisis”. That is, they based their opinions in court cases based upon a) current law, and b) previous opinions. This is not a new principle. It is one reason, for example, why the Catholic Church moves so slow — they have 1,500 years of precedents for papal opinions, and if a papal opinion doesn’t comply with that 1,500 years of precedent it can make only a tiny move towards a new position at a time, it can’t just throw out the old position altogether.

Stare decisis was the basis for the Supreme Court’s decisions for the past 150 years. Each new decision was couched in the language of previous decisions, or in the plain language of the law itself. This has at times caused issues when the Court recognized rights that were not currently respected, such as the right of black people to attend the same schools as white people, but even there the opinion was couched in Equal Protection language from prior court decisions. The Supreme Court didn’t come roaring out of 1945 intent upon guaranteeing equal rights to black people and simply ruling that black people had equal rights, it built decision after decision upon prior decision. When it decided “separate but equal is inherently unequal” it did not pull the decision out of its butt, it relied on 50 years of data showing that “separate but equal” never was plus language from previous Equal Protection court decisions showing that if the school segregation law was not treating citizens equally, it could not be law.

In this fashion the Supreme Court has typically been an anchor preventing radical change while providing for preservation of rights. The Court has at times gone off into evil territory — Dred Scott and Plessy v. Ferguson come to mind — but eventually through applying the Constitution to court case after court case managed via stare decisis to come back from the dark side. Stare decisis gave legitimacy to the Court’s opinions and thus legitimacy to the notion of rule of law. And rule of law is important, because without rule of law, what you have is rule of gun, and rule of gun always ends up with the most ruthless and most murderous in charge.

Which is why it’s utter disaster for the United States that last week the Supreme Court basically threw stare decisis into the toilet in favor of a radical coup that remade American law from scratch based upon the ideological notions of the judges. By throwing out stare decisis in favor of imposing their ideology upon the nation, the Supreme Court has basically killed any legitimacy that it had. The Supreme Court fundamentally committed a right wing coup of the U.S. government last week, a coup setting five authoritarians in charge of the nation, and killing any respect that the majority of Americans have for the court.

Why is that important? It’s important because the Supreme Court relies upon other branches of government to do its work. The Supreme Court did not enforce the desegregation of Little Rock High School. The 101st Airborne did, via the intervention of the executive branch. So the Supreme Court ruled that New York’s concealed weapon law was illegal. New York’s concealed weapon law is very popular in New York State. What is the Supreme Court going to do when New York says f**k you, we’re going to continue enforcing our concealed weapon law? Joe Biden isn’t going to dispatch the 101st Airborne to free people imprisoned for violating New York’s concealed weapon law.

For those of you who have been in the military, there is an important and fundamental principle taught to every officer: Never issue a command that you know is going to be disobeyed. It destroys your legitimacy as an officer and makes it more likely that future commands are going to be disobeyed. This is what last week’s Supreme Court did — they issued a command that they know is going to be disobeyed. They issued that command because they *know* that it’s going to be disobeyed. The Supreme Court knowingly destroyed its own legitimacy. Why? Simple — the Supreme Court in the past has been a major defender of rights for minorities in America. By deliberately destroying the legitimacy of the Supreme Court, the right wing is betting that they via rule of gun can then take away rights from minorities that were previously granted by the Supreme Court.

In short, last week’s Supreme Court deliberately destroyed its own legitimacy in hopes that rule of gun rather than rule of law will become the norm in the United States. The right wing believes that because they are the most ruthless and most murderous people in America, they will come out on top when rule of law collapses because the judicial system has lost all legitimacy. Last week’s Supreme Court decisions weren’t an accidental destruction of the Court’s legitimacy — they were a deliberate destruction by people who want to burn it all down. And if you are not a white male Christian with conservative beliefs, you should be very, very worried right now.

— Badtux the “Time to get well armed, people” Penguin

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36.2% of American workers work for the 16,055 businesses that are categorized as “large” or “very large”.

Another 26.5% of American workers work for the 141,358 medium-sized businesses in America.

In short, 62.7% of Americans are basically serfs on someone else’s plantation, victims of oligopsony power where there are millions of sellers of labor and less than 160,000 buyers of labor. Oligopsony power insures that companies can extract maximum value from their workers while returning minimum value back to their workers in terms of wages and benefits, because there is not a free market in most kinds of labor — there are only a limited number of employers in any given market in any given city, and they all collude (they call it the “Chamber of Commerce”) to make sure that the uppity serfs don’t get any ideas about actually cooperating with each other in order to yank back more of the value that they produce down on the oligarch’s plantation.

How do they do this? First, by creating enemies other than the oligarchs – gosh, it’s not the oligarchs responsible for your wages declining, it’s THOSE people over there, you know, those people who AREN’T LIKE US, those people who maybe speak a different language, go to a different church, are BROWN?!

Secondly, by demonizing collective action and pushing “rugged individualism”, which says that if the oligarchs are ripping you off, it’s your own goddamn fault for not being as smart as them or you’d be ripping *them* off instead.

Third, by simply setting up the laws to make it *hard* to take collective action. It’s actually fucking illegal to respect a strike picket line, for example, it’s called a “sympathetic strike” and you can be forced at government gunpoint to cross that picket line to deliver supplies so that scabs can replace union workers. Yet through their “Chamber of Commerce” and their control of major political parties, the oligarchs take collective action every day.

But hey, don’t worry, be happy. Being a serf is just how it is, right? Serfin’ USA was even a top 40 hit song, for cryin’ out loud! Right? Right?!

– Badtux the Serfing Penguin

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So the coronavirus is now starting to hit *hard* in Europe. Countries that once were smug about their handling of the situation, like Germany, are now finding out that nope, they’re not immune either. Germany’s infection rate is going up and up, and their death rate is rising too. France is even worse, the death rate in France is higher than in the United States.

I haven’t been posting on a daily basis because my job depends on having one product available and ready for a major billion dollar corporation next week. If we don’t have money from them, we’re out of business. So I’ve been basically working 9 to 9 on that. At least I don’t have to commute anymore, and can take breaks to do things like e.g. go shopping this afternoon.

Shopping was a weird experience. There was no shortage of bread, eggs, and milk, the basics I was looking for. They even had some luxury items in like Nathan’s All-Beef Franks and ‘kraut. I didn’t check on toilet paper, paper towels, or hand sanitizer, since I still have plenty of those. Most people were masked. Most people did social distancing, but not all. We had lines on the floor 6 feet apart to keep us 6 feet apart while waiting in line to check out. Reusable bags aren’t allowed anymore inside the store anymore because they’re a possible source of infection, so instead my groceries got put into the cart and I got to bag them at the tailgate of my Jeep. I was gloved and disinfected everything including my gloves, then when I took off the gloves, made sure to use the sanitizer on my hands (and on the key I’d used to unlock the Jeep!) before touching anything inside the Jeep. Unfortunately a few people did not do the social distancing, they were the same people wearing neither gloves nor mask.

They say that this thing is mostly being spread by asymptomatic people and the normal droplets they emit. So wearing a cloth mask is now recommended to keep you from infecting other people, even though it won’t stop you from being infected. We’ll see how that goes.

It looks like the red states are going to be failed states shortly. Meanwhile we seem to have flattened the curve a bit here in the SF Bay area by being out in front so early in social distancing and closing things down. Meanwhile distribution of gloves, gowns, and masks to hospitals has completely broken down. Some hospitals have hoarded closets full of the stuff, and other hospitals can’t get any no matter how much they want to pay. The situation isn’t helped by the fact that much of our supply of these goods come from China, and huge amounts were recalled because of contamination. Back in WW2 we dealt with that by having the Federal Government handle rationing via ration tickets and allocating critical goods so that they got to where they needed to be without any hoarding, and also price controls to keep profiteers from driving up prices of goods beyond the ability of ordinary citizens to pay, but that was when we had a functioning federal government with a competent President. Unfortunately we have neither of those now.

The Captain of the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt jumped on a grenade for his crew. He knew he was ending his career when he sent a letter above his chain of command, a chain of command which was doing nothing to help his sailors, but he did it anyhow. He was relieved of his command quite loudly and publically… and his sailors were, let us say, respectful of him as he left his ship for the last time. To say the least. Many of those sailors, off the record, say that Captain Crozier was the best skipper they ever served under. I’ll also note that the TR didn’t have the running rust that I see on so many of our supercarriers today… it looks like a ship that’s taken care of. That’s what a good captain does, he inspires his sailors to go above and beyond.

I was somewhat surprised, actually, by the very public way in which Captain Crozier was relieved of duty. Usually the Pentagon, when a flag officer makes them look bad like that, said flag officer is “asked” (ordered, actually) to retire. A couple of weeks later he slinks off quietly to a rocking chair in civilian life, underneath the notice of the press but a warning to the other skippers that stepping out too far is not going to be tolerated. But for some reason the Trump Administration wanted to make a huge spectacle of this. It’s par for the course with the Trumpanzees, it’s all about spite with them, not about the good of the service. So now they’ve told the sailors in the U.S. Navy that they’re supposed to die of coronavirus in order to avoid making the perfumed princes in the Pentagon look bad. You know that has to be making moral go into the crapper, as well as causing a lot of powerful people like Senators to Have Questions that the Pentagon has no good answers to.

BTW, for those who say that his letter let our adversaries know that we had a disabled task force — no. Every single carrier task force out there has a Chinese submarine following it around reporting on its movements, as well as satellites, spy planes, and outright spies. The moment the TR came into dock in Guam and started offloading sick sailors, the Chinese knew what had happened. They knew the TR had stopped in Vietnam just as Vietnam’s COVID-19 epidemic was getting started. They aren’t idiots. They had civilization with cities and agriculture while we Europeans were still hanging out in caves with spears while dressed in bearskins. Expecting our adversaries to be stupid is, well, stupid. Because he stepped outside the chain of command Captain Crozier’s career was over the moment he jumped on that grenade for his crew, but usually that kind of thing gets handled quietly with no drama — the captain gets quietly told to retire, he retires, a new captain takes over, no drama. Now we’ve told our adversaries that we have fucking amateurs running our Navy. Yay.

Basically everybody at a local nursing home has the coronavirus. Nursing homes have been hell on Earth for at least the last 40 years. Nobody gave a shit because the prunes went there to die anyhow, so who the fuck cared if they died a little sooner rather than later? Now all the understaffing and lack of basic cleanliness and infection control is coming home to bite the assholes who own these hellholes on the ass. Well, at least we won’t have to worry about overcrowding in the nursing homes anymore. Because they’ll be fucking empty, yo.

Goodbye to Bill Withers, who passed away due to heart failure:

Ain’t no sunshine where he’s gone, six feet under.

So, Hobby Lobby illegally reopened stores in two states…. then when braced on it, Closed all stores and furloughed all employees without pay and without allowing them to use vacation time. Which, by the way, is illegal as hell here in California — you gotta pay them their vacation time. And by furloughing the employees rather than laying them off, Hobby Lobby also fucked with their unemployment benefits in many states. Hopefully state regulators come down on these sick Christofascist fucks like a ton of bricks and their shitty-ass stores never re-open. Assholes. Fucking assholes.

So in the red states, you still got the dumbasses insisting that the “beer virus” ain’t real. This shit is starting to knock them down like pins at a bowling alley, but they aren’t going to admit they ought to be paying attention to experts rather than deranged megachurch pastors and talk radio gasbags. But hell, these stupid-ass motherfuckers are gonna be denying there’s a such thing as COVID-19 all the way until the time they cough their lungs out in the middle of a Walmart and gasp their last breath as they slump over the handlebars of their Hoverrounds. These are some stupid-ass motherfuckers.

Oh yeah, the #Covidiots keep coming up with more conspiracy theories. Rush Limpdick’s conspiracy theory above was only one of them. Another one is that the whole coronavirus thing is actually because of the gay agenda. Which apparently flies over America with its gay ray of gayness sprinkling magic coronavirus particles everywhere or some shit.

Sprinkling gay coronavirus all over America since 2006

I dunno, these religious dumbasses don’t make sense, they don’t have to, because their sheeple are even dumber than they are..

Meanwhile the refrigerator trucks keep rolling into New York City to collect the bodies of the dead….

– Badthx the Plague Penguin

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So I took the Weesys out riding yesterday to charge its battery and change the gas a little. It was nice and sunny and dry outside, so I geared up, made sure the tires were aired up and the oil was topped off, and opened the garage door…. just in time for a scattering of big fat raindrops to hit the ground. It was only scattered raindrops so I went ahead and rode the motorbike around the neighborhood in circles until it was nice and warm and the voltmeter said my battery was charged, but this is pretty much a metaphor for how this year has been. I thought I had everything planned for what remains of my life, and then this shit happens, upsetting not only my plans but the plans of pretty much everyone else on the planet. “May you live in interesting times” as a curse, indeed.

Trump is concerned about the stock market. I’m just concerned with surviving for the next year or so. I’m losing a lot of retirement funds in the stock market right now, but fuck, I can’t use the money if I’m dead.

Trump seems to be in a meltdown right now. He contradicts himself from day to day, then calls reporters liars when they quote his words from the previous day to him. Meanwhile we still don’t have any leadership. There is no War Production Board equivalent mobilizing American industry to meet the challenge of keeping everybody alive for the next year. The FDA refused permission for a company to sterilize used masks, the governor of Ohio managed to contact President Trump and get him to overturn that refusal but the fact of the matter is that the President should never have been in that position in the first place. There should be a central coronavirus response body with the power to overrule and issue mandates to other federal agencies in order to coordinate response to the pandemic, much as the War Production Board coordinated the industrial response to Pearl Harbor and Hitler. Instead we have the NIH, CDC, FDA, and other federal agencies all protecting their turf and enforcing their own petty mandates, fiddling while America burns.

What’s even more horrifying than the coronavirus itself is the way that for-profit hospitals are treating their staff as if their staff are just disposable assets to be used up and thrown away. This guy, fired for telling the media about a lack of personal protective gear and bad infection control at his hospital, is going to have a job again shortly, because there is a shortage of ER doctors and any warm body has a job now. Meanwhile PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center in Bellingham, Wash.is going to endanger patient and provider health even more by working their remaining doctors for even more overtime. Tired doctors make mistakes….

Talked to my next door neighbor yesterday afternoon, from about eight feet distance (neither of us is going to violate the six feet rule even accidentally!). He’s retired after knee surgery (he worked as a delivery driver for UPS until his knees got too bad for that), but his wife was working for the school district and now is working from home. His yard has never looked better because being out of the house doing yardwork during the day when his wife is working from home is the only way he retains his sanity. At least I just have cats to annoy me during the day.

I don’t hear any talk about people seeking Elizabeth Warren’s endorsement anymore. I suppose they finally figured out the diverse nature of her coalition as she clearly described it on SNL — kindergarten teachers, grade school teachers, college professors, and librarians. (Note — I fit into two of those slots, probably why I voted for her in the California primary).

I guess we can call Trump the Murderer-in-Chief. After he criticized the governor of Michigan, vendors quit selling necessary medical supplies to Michigan. Governor Whitmer says she’s been told that vendors were informed their contracts with the U.S. government would be cancelled if they sold to Michigan. That would, of course, be illegal, but nobody’s willing to take on the Toddler-in-Chief when he throws one of his tmeper tantrums.

Talking about temper tantrums, Trump sent only 170 respirators to California when several thousand had been requested in order to deal with the pandemic in the SF Bay and LA areas…. and all of them were broken. Governor Newsom’s office found a company that could fix them and put them on a truck to San Jose to get them fixed ASAP, but this is the level of human being that Trump is. He doesn’t like California, so he’s going to send them either no equipment, or broken equipment. Meanwhile Florida got its full request, plus more. Which had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that it’s run by a Republican governor I’m sure…

Gun stores are an essential business, says the NRA as they sue the state of California for ordering all stores including gun stores to be closed during the pandemic. This is ridiculous. Essential businesses are pretty well laid out — they’re businesses necessary in order for people to stay alive. So food stores are open because people need food on a regular basis in order to stay alive, but shoe stores are closed because the shoes people have will last until businesses are re-opened. Hardware stores are open because keeping water and gas and electric flowing to houses and sewage flowing away from them is necessary in order to keep people alive, but bookstores and libraries are closed because people can live without books for the duration of the emergency. And so forth.

Bookstores being closed for the duration of the emergency doesn’t mean books are banned. Hair stylists and barbers being closed for the duration of the emergency doesn’t mean hair is banned. And gun stores being closed for the duration of the emergency doesn’t mean that guns are banned. Their lawsuit makes no sense. There is a clear public health reason for as many stores as possible to be closed right now, and there’s nothing special about guns as compared to books or shoes that would make it necessary to have gun stores open right now. But the NRA death cult doesn’t care. They want people to die. Dead people means more sales because dead people means more scared people who want a magic talisman to stick under their pillow. Nevermind that most of these people have no idea how to use that bang bang stick or how to properly store it, and the NRA howls every time someone talks about requiring gun buyers to take a NRA-sponsored gun safety class before being allowed to buy a gun. It’s all about profits to gun makers now, and dead bodies? Well, if dead grannies is what it takes for the NRA’s sponsors (gun manufacturers) to profit, then dead grannies is what they want, by gum!

And finally: We’re about to lose a carrier battlegroup to COVID-19. The Theodore Roosevelt battle group is now infected with COVID-19 There is no — zero — way to keep the coronavirus from mowing down sailors like pins at a bowling alley. People sleep on top of each other on Navy warships, often hot-bunking (i.e., someone else sleeps in your bunk when you’re not sleeping in it). You can’t maintain isolation or a sterile environment or social distancing on a warship. It just can’t happen. The carrier group swiftly dashed to Guam, where the carrier is now docked (“for routine scheduled maintenance” lol), but Guam is small and lacks the facilities for dealing with something like this. But at least we won’t have dead ships wandering the high seas.

And for supper tonight I had hot dogs, baked potatoes, cole slaw, and chocolate covered almonds. This pandemic has not done my diet any good, lol.

– Badtux the Still-alive Penguin

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I’d feel better about having a flexible schedule if the weather wasn’t so damned gloomy. It’s been cloudy and drizzling on and off every day since I started “sheltering in place” on March 13. My yard is starting to look like a jungle, but it’s too wet here in the Newark Swamp to do any kind of yard work unless I want to use my rubber boots. Yeesh.

I say this as water drips off my roof and falls to the ground. It’s drizzling *again*! Ugh, what’s the use of being at home if you can’t even get some daylight?!

So anyhow, my sourdough starter is bubbling away as I feed it twice per day. I’m having trouble regulating its temperature, the oven gets too warm when I put the light on and the starter gets overactive, then it gets too cool when I turn the light off. I’m thinking maybe open the oven door slightly while the light is on? Because of the cold damp weather outside, the house is usually pretty cool even during the daytime, much less at night when it gets down in the lower to mid 60’s inside. Too cool for yeast to do its job, anyhow.

I used some of the starter for pancakes this morning. They weren’t bad pancakes, but they were a bit tougher than I wanted too. I think the flour I’m using for the starter is a bit higher in gluten than the flour in the pancake mix I usually use, and I’ll need to add more egg to make it fluffier. Oh well.

About 40% of those hospitalized for COVID-19 are between ages 20 and 54. All these young fools out there partying like they can’t get COVID-19? Fucking #covidiots , that’s what they are. Not only are they spreading the virus, but they’re also getting sick themselves.

Nancy Pelosi unveils a $2.5 trillion dollar COVID-19 stimulus package aimed at bailing out ordinary Americans, not giant corporations. Which of course means it can’t happen. SIGH.

Trump suggests that we allow 8.5 million Americans to die in order to protect the stock market. This a day after Texas’s Republican Lt. Governor suggested that let’s kill granny in order to save the economy At this point the only difference between Republicans and Nazis is branding. Mass deaths are fine as long as they make money off of them. WTF?!

Of course, the problem is that 8.5 million sick old people in need of hospitalization, of whom 850,000 need ventilators would utterly overwhelm our healthcare system. We have around 825,000 beds total in our entire healthcare system, and on the average day around 750,000 of those are full. We have around 80,000 total ICU beds in the United states, and on the average day around 60,000 of those are full. We normally have around 62,000 ventilators of which normally around 50,000 are in use, and can surge maybe that many more older models if needed for around 130,000 ventilators total. So…. we’re talking about people on blankets in the streets outside of hospital doors because there isn’t even room on the floors to put more patients into the hospitals. We’re talking about hundreds of thousands of people gasping their last breaths like fish out of water because there’s no ventilators. And not all of these would be COVID-19 patients. If you’re in an auto accident and need emergency surgery to stay alive? Forget it. All the supplies, all the doctors, all the facilities are overwhelmed by people in front of you. So you just die. Have a stroke and need emergency surgery to put a stent in your brain to prevent further brain damage? Sorry, no doctors, no hospital beds, no supplies, you die. And so forth.

In other words, the Republican death cult wants to not only kill 8.5 million old people (who, remember, are their base, for fuck’s sake, it’s not that these Nazi-admiring motherfuckers are evil, it’s that they’re stupid evil who don’t even do evil that benefits them!), but they also want to kill hundreds of thousands of other people who need life-saving interventions on any given day. This is deranged. This is just fucking deranged. And evil. Let’s not forget evil. But hey, it’d save on Social Security and Medicare expenses in the future, right?

And that’s all for now. I’m going to go eat the last of the pulled pork and some brownies from the batch I baked on Sunday, then feed my sourdough starter, then go back to work. Tomorrow, eh?

– Badtux the Overeating Penguin

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Pray Gamble & Explode (PG&E) needs to be forced into Chapter 13 dissolution and its assets sold off to companies that are actually competent. Continuing to make rate-payers bail out this incompetent and *dangerous* company is irresponsible malpractice on the part of our state government. PG&E’s rates are double or even *triple* what rates are in most areas of the country and are the #1 reason why I don’t have an electric car — buying gasoline for a hybrid car is far cheaper than paying the disastrous rates that PG&E has extorted from the rate-payers of this state. And for those of you saying “but it’s because California is so rugged!”, average electrical rates in Nevada are *HALF* those of PG&E — even though Nevada is even more sparsely populated and rugged than most of California.

This company is incompetent, dangerous, incapable of providing electrical service for rates competitive with other electric companies, keeps blowing up or burning up parts of the state due to their incompetence, and should just die, die, die, die, die, die, die, die, DIE.

— Badtux the Irate Overcharged Penguin

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By 2040 or so, because most young Americans (and immigrants) are migrating to the few large metropolitan areas in states where jobs are plentiful, 70 percent of Americans will live in 15 states. Meaning 30 percent of the population will choose 70% of the senators. And the 30% minority choosing 70% of the Senate will be older, whiter, more rural, more male than the 70% majority who are only getting to vote for 30% of the Senators.

I do not see how the United States is going to survive this. Not as a democracy, anyhow. We have a name for a nation where 30% of the population rules the other 70% of the population. That name is *not* democracy or even republic. That name is “tyranny”.

Americans have thus far shown a remarkable tolerance for living in a police state, as long as that police state is primarily targeting brown people. (For details of this police state, read Radley Balko’s columns in Reason and the Washington Post). But once 30% of the population is using police state powers to impose their rule upon 70% of the population, they may find that the tolerance of Americans is limited. I don’t see a good outcome from that end state. At least, not an outcome that is nonviolent.

– Badtux the Demographics Penguin

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That was my week last week, thus the long delay. Yes, I’m still alive. Just very, very busy, between working long hours and writing the modern Russian novel.

It was the week from hell from the viewpoint of the country, too. President Dumpster Fire set off a trade war, apparently out of spite. Despite everybody from car makers to beer manufacturers telling him that his tariffs on aluminum will cause prices to go sky high and force them to move manufacturing out of the USA, he did it anyways — right after his close friend and former economic advisor Carl Icahn dumped his steel stocks.

This is the same Donald Trump who says he wants to be President for Life. Given his age and weight, let’s hope that life isn’t too long. Cheeto Mussolini, indeed.

Meanwhile, the Russia probe continues to swirl around the Orange Racist Russian Stooge. Former Trump Aide Sam Numberg says he’s going to defy the grand jury subpoena that he received. Hope he looks good in stripes! But in public comments on various news shows he said Trump’s close advisor Carter Page was colluding with the Russians and was a “scumbag” and a “weird dude”. And said well, he probably was going to cooperate anyhow, since he doesn’t look good in stripes. Ya think?

Meanwhile, Roy Moore says he needs donations because he spent all his money running for the Senate. Here, Roy, here’s my donation. I’m giving you back everything that you’ve given everybody else who needs money:

And, of course, conservatives have delayed a bill to prevent child marriage in Kentucky. Because being able to marry your neighbor’s 13 year old daughter that you got pregnant via rape is family values, not pedophilia. Can we just call them the Grand Old Pedophile party, now?

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It’s the United States, of course.

This matches what I’m told by many expatriates — that the United States is the most brutal place to live in the civilized world by far. Every part of American society is designed in the most brutal way possible. Our police officers are trained to brutally tase, beat, and shoot suspects. Our jail guards are trained to brutalize and encourage rape of suspects. Our healthcare system is designed to extract every dime you ever earned in your entire life for the benefit of an elite class of wealthy people, and then throw you out on the streets to die. Our employment system is designed to extract every last bit of value out of you, work you as many hours as physically possible and then more until your health breaks down from all the overwork and stress, then when you’re no longer valuable to employers, throw you out onto the streets to die. Our system of higher education is designed to put you into permanent servitude with debt that can never be discharged no matter how long you live.

Other nations don’t work this way. Other nations don’t build in brutality as a feature of their system. Their system is set up to improve their lives, not to brutalize them. The United States is unique amongst advanced countries in that our system is set up to brutalize our citizens, not help them.

Of course, expatriates do have some self-justification reasons to hype how great their overseas homes are as versus the United States. After all, they regularly have to justify their decision to live in Singapore or Australia or France or Ireland or etc. to relatives who are still in the States. Still, the uniformity of what I’m told by expatriates about there versus here is pretty darn damning. It doesn’t matter where in the civilized world they live — life is better there. Maybe people there are not as wealthy, but they don’t have to worry about being reduced to poverty and indentured servitude by debt for health care and education. They don’t have to worry about being fired from their jobs just because their immediate supervisor doesn’t like them (did you know that a job is a right in most of the civilized world, and you cannot be fired without due process and a reasonable cause?), they don’t have to worry about being put out on the streets to die if they do lose their job or become unable to work, and they get plenty of vacation time to use to recharge and de-stress. It’s only here that none of that is true.

– Badtux the Brutalized Penguin

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Wesa just be slaves on da massa’s plantation, dependent upon them for the very food we eat, which is provided by giant corporate entities owned by our feudal overlords. But there’s always the worry of slave uprisings. Especially in those places where that nasty “democracy” stuff has taken hold.

Thus why our massas be doing their best to subvert or eliminate democracy via, e.g., laws that restrict voting rights, un-auditable electronic machines that can be easily rigged, threats of violence if the “wrong” people show up to vote, etc. Because if democracy would outlaw feudalism, then obviously it is democracy that is the problem, not feudalism. Right?

– Badtux the “Serfin’ USA” Penguin

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