"Do you hear that thunder? That's the sound of strength in numbers." Grounds, Idles (2020)*
Welcome to the September Edition of XP's Terrific Blog and as always, thank you for visiting. I started this blog because I enjoy everything that goes along with blogging - creativity, humor, satire, insight, inspiration, etc., and now that I'm retired I have a little more time to enjoy writing. In a lot of ways, my writing is self-therapeutic, where I can address, process, and at least get some feelings out. But it's become apparent to me that my blog has in many ways become political. I didn't intend for this to be a political blog per se, but given that we have found ourselves at the most important crossroads of our time, I'm speaking out and I will continue to do so, just like I always have. I hope after November 3rd we can start having fun again.
QAnon (/kjuːəˈnɒn/) is a far-right conspiracy theory detailing a supposed secret plot by an alleged "deep state" against President Donald Trump and his supporters. QAnon may best be understood as an example of what historian Richard Hofstadter called in 1964 "The Paranoid Style in American Politics," related to religious millenarianism and apocalypticism. Wikipedia
Coup d'état (/kuː deɪˈtɑː/), literally "blow of state"; plural: coups d'état, pronounced like the singular form; also known simply as an ousting, overthrow, or putsch) is the removal of an existing government from power, usually through violent means. Typically, it is an illegal, unconstitutional seizure of power by a political faction, the military, or a dictator. Many scholars consider a coup d'état successful when the usurpers seize and hold power for at least seven days. Wikipedia
Tuesday, September 1st, 2020 @ 8:00 am PST There seem to be thousands of issues and problems these days but at this point I only have one simple, reasonable demand. Please let me know if you think I'm being unreasonable or asking for too much.
I demand a fair and valid presidential election.
That's it, that's all.
I don't pretend to speak for 330 million Americans but I'm hoping against hope that each of them wants a fair and valid election too. Yet, both sides (Republicans and Democrats) have expressed concerns that the voting may be unfair for a variety of reasons, including accusations or suspicions of outright cheating by the other side. The President has maintained the election is/will be rigged. You get to decide who you are going to believe (I know who I believe - I believe the president will do everything he can to rig the election), but when almost everyone on both sides has lost faith in the validity of our election process, that's kind of alarming.
The concept seems simple enough and it's a right guaranteed by our Constitution, at least it used to be. I'm not going to write 30,000 words trying to further articulate voting laws and the Constitution, as I'm not an expert, I'm just a mere US citizen and about all I have left is one vote (I think I still have that). Please don't take away my vote and please don't take away anyone else's vote either.
It's a given that for some reason we continue to be stuck with this archaic Electoral College. Maybe someday we can move on from that ridiculous model and move toward a model where one person = one vote. France has a model where one person = one vote. In the meantime, "It is what it is," and well, good luck to us all. We also know all too well about [often illegal] gerrymandering and political chaos.
It's a given that some other countries have and will continue to attempt to interfere with our election process. Countries seem to do that sometimes. The USA has certainly interfered with elections in other countries so maybe we shouldn't be shocked. Hopefully you are smart enough not to be manipulated by some Russian or other bot. Are you?
Learning to count is one of the first skills learned in kindergarten. We're hoping ballots can be accurately counted this time. How hard can this be? I'll volunteer to show up and count ballots if an accurate count is needed. I can count.
Technology can be hacked I guess but how many votes will be nullified by errors in technology this time? Gee. How many bad voting machines will there be, especially in, um, certain counties in a few certain swing states? How many voting locations will be changed at the last minute or entirely shut down? Will the National Guard be mobilized to "secure" the election? How many mail-in ballots will never be received and/or never be counted? We all know about the recent decommissioned mail sorting machines in certain [Democratic] areas across the nation. How many voters will be turned away on November 3rd? How many more polling places will be closed (Note: More than 1600 polling places have been closed since the Supreme Court Gutted the Voting Rights Act) and not have access to voting? Is voter fraud real or exaggerated?
WE DEMAND A FAIR ELECTION WITH NO MANIPULATION OR CHEATING
It hurts to say this, but us Americans are all too familiar with various forms of election manipulation - but hopefully we're not used to it and hopefully we will stand up and fight it if it occrs.
WE DEMAND A FINAL DECISION DECIDED FAIRLY BY THE VOTERS
So far, all we have left is one vote. Don’t take it away.
At the risk of trying to speak for 330 million people, I think we, all of us, can accept and live with whatever the results are as long as they reflect the will of the people as determined by the accurate vote of the people.
IF the true will of the people is not reflected in the outcome, I can tell you right now a lot of people, millions of people, are going to be pretty mad, a lot angrier than we are right now and we're pretty angry right now.
Tuesday, September 1st, 2020 @ 8:00 am PST I've spent much of the past four years wondering if and when there would be a coup to oust Trump and his administration. I admit it, I've spent a lot of time wishing and hoping that would happen and admittedly I've been sad and dismayed that it didn't happen. It needed to happen. But over the past several weeks, I've slowly come to realize the coup has already occurred; I'm embarrassed to admit it has taken me this long when it's been right there before my [our] very eyes all this time. Although nonviolent (at least at the beginning), Donald Trump, backed by a foreign dictator, has removed our Democratic form of government and replaced it with his authoritarian fascism form. We have all watched this happen and we know this is what happened, but maybe we just didn't recognize it as a coup. We usually think coups only happen in some third-world country, with soldiers, helicopters, and automatic weapons involved, but not all coups necessarily look exactly like that. Did he "win" the election or did he "seize control" of the government? The answer is clear to me, it should be clear to everyone. Let's call it what it is.
Why would anyone get married these days? It doesn't seem to work out well for either gender.** Here are a couple fun links:
We think marriage, if it must continue to exist, should be a five-year contract, entered into willingly by two adults, and renewed/renegotiated if so desired. Either or both parties could withdraw at the end of the term without the male getting completely f----d over for the rest of his life. Maybe you have a better idea about some model that would work out better? Certainly this whole signing-up-for-life under God model isn't working. Just say no to marriage until the genders are equal.
Mtn Dew "Claim The Outdoors" Sweepstakes
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The Contagion Externality of a Superspreading Event:
The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and COVID-19
IZA Institute (Dhaval Dave Andrew I. Friedson Drew McNichols Joseph J. Sabia) September, 2020
Here is a great example of actual scientific research! Most people don’t read real research but post-hoc descriptive analysis of the recent Sturgis Motorcycle Rally by the IZA Institute suggests the financial and health cost/consequences of this event were $12.2 billion. "This is enough to have paid each of the estimated 462,182 [selfish] rally attendees $26,553.64 not to attend."
Thanks to Peter Schabler for sharing this research.
I've never had a problem with authority, but I've always had problems with the misuse of authority.
Wednesday, September 9th, 2020 @ 10:25 am PST XPB is excited to announce that Miss Diagnosis has tentatively agreed to appear in an upcoming issue. Details, parameters, and other contractual items are being worked out. We expect a formal announcement before January 1st, 2021.
Monday, September 14th, 2020 @ 7:20 pm PST We are backing Kim Mangone for Congress for many reasons but here the top two: 1) She will do a terrific job - check out her website for her qualifications and platform; and 2) Kevin McCarthy must go. He's been a mere "Yes Man" for Donald Trump, rubber-stamping the Trump agenda with an unbelievable 98.9% of all votes (check out his sad voting record at FiveThirtyEight.com) If you live in California's 23rd District, your vote is ESSENTIAL.
Tuesday, September 15th, 2020 @ 8:20 am PST We were wondering about Donald Trump and the mob, so we went to Google and we found a lot of links. We're sharing them here just for fun. Information at this time is less clear as to whether or not he is an actual Russian agent of if he just colludes with, and is compromised by them.
Wednesday, September 16th, 2020 @ 1:40 pm PST Okay, not to worry, just some old poetry. Way back in my high school days I, like millions of others, used to have fun writing disturbing poems/lyrics.
Friday, September 18th, 2020 @ 7:00 pm PST Why doe$ every politician from every party keep $ending me multiple request$ every day, year after year, a$king me to $end them money? Why and how doe$ every cent equal vote$? Why i$ it that if one candidate receive$ more money then $/he win$ the election? How doe$ that work? Ye$, I under$tand the concept that more money turn$ into more adverti$ing dollar$, more commercial$, more worker$ to call potential voter$, a cool web$ite, etc. But come on, what lo$er and $ucker hasn't already decided which politician they're going to vote for? I would con$ider $ending these ba$tard$ money but they've already taken all my money. I will continue to $upport a politician by merely voting for him or her, not by $ending them money. Or maybe the candidate who rai$e$ the mo$t money $hould ju$t be declared the winner - why even vote?
Photo credit: Air Force
Friday, September 18th, 2020 @ 7:30 pm PST Reportedly, the US Air Force has been building a new secret jet. From the Popular Mechanics article, "We don’t know which defense contractor designed and prototyped the new jet, though it's almost certainly one of the big aerospace giants (Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Boeing). We don’t know where it flew and where it is now. We don’t know how many prototypes exist. We don’t know what it looks like, what it's called, how fast it flies, how maneuverable it is, and what special capabilities it has. We don’t know anything." Well, we know one thing for sure: the taxpayers paid for it without representation.
Monday, September 21st, 2020 @ 6:15 am PST I'm up early getting ready to hit the road. I'll be out of town until Friday doing some consultation/assessment work. I think I'm gonna be pretty busy but I'll still have time to forward XP's FREE Daily Sports Picks and make Blog entries if/when I feel like it. I'm hoping this is a positive experience... I'll keep you informed.
UPDATE, Sunday, September 27th, 2020 @ 1:45 pm PST Well, this week did not meet my high expectations; it was anticlimactic, in fact, it was a big waste of my time and everyone else's.
Wednesday, September 23rd, 2020 @ 10:35 am PST I just saw the trailer for The Comey Rule, which will premier on Sunday the 27th on Showtime. Don't know about you, but I'll be watching.
UPDATE Wednesday, September 30th, 2020 @ 5:20 pm PST I've finished watching the two part series and I was highly impressed - I highly recommend The Comey Rule as "must watch" tv.
Wednesday, September 30th, 2020 @ 6:00 am PST
Today is my birthday, which means I remain officially old. I think I'll get a new phone today and celebrate my day with a barbecue and I might just build a fire in my fire pit in the backyard in hopes of symbolically burning away any memories of this month and last night's debate and then I'll go wake up the dude from Green Day.
"Who are you to demand anything?"
A One Percenter
"I'm a US citizen."
XP Blog Editor
"Why can't you admit it when you're wrong?"
"I would admit it if I was ever wrong."
XP Blog Editor
"You say you want a 'fair' election? Heh."
"No, I demand a fair election."
XP Blog Editor
"Is your blog about aliens or fishing or what?"
"It's about whatever I want it to be about."
XP Blog Editor
"You have to admit Trump has some good ideas."
R.J., Phoenix, Arizona
"Well, I have to admit his was a brilliant coup to overthrow our government without anyone being able to recognize it for what it was."
XP Blog Editor
"If a civil war erupts after the November election, who will start it, the left or the right?"
Name Withheld at Writer's Request
"That depends on who is declared the winner."
XP Blog Editor
"How can I become a Problem Solver?"
A Cop On The Street
"Quit killing citizens."
XP Blog Editor
"Why are you so angry?"
A Happy Republican
"How can you be happy?"
XP Blog Editor
E-Mail your letters to the XPB Editor
Any opinions expressed are opinions only and are not necessarily approved or endorsed by, um, anyone else, including the XP Blog Editor. On the other hand, any facts expressed or implied are indeed, facts. Just as is true for everything else in this world, you get to decide what you believe is opinion, what is fact, what is research based, and if and how they may or may not all fit together, but a fact is still a fact. Please note that just because something is research based doesn't necessarily make it a fact; and not all facts are research based. Some opinions are factual and research based. Some opinions are not facts, yet are still research based. Just because something is research based does not necessarily make it factual or ethical. Some facts are facts for some but seemingly not for others, yet a fact is still a fact; the same concept holds true for opinions and research. The same can be said for humor, satire, parody, and serious statements. Some opinions are just opinions. Ultimately, free speech is protected by the first amendment and one thing is always certain... Everything Is.
You can complain or you can actually solve the problem...
*Thanks to Matt Keighley for suggesting the September Video.
**It worked out great for me though as I've been happily married to my wonderful wife for 32 years.
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We are proud to announce the opening of the New XP Institute (XPI), which someday might be located in a building similar to that pictured above. Our goal is to become a non-profit and make millions of tax-free dollars while actually solving one or more of the myriad of problems that actually need solving.
Just because some choose to ignore science doesn't mean it's not still there. The scientists and engineers are diligently doing their jobs so that others may live and society can progress. Just because some don't believe in it or want to ignore it or politicize it, doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Ignore science at your risk.
We know how this story ends...
Wayne LaPierre, CEO NRA (12/21/12)
You are a good guy. You buy your gun and now, by definition, you are a good guy with a gun. Congratulations! The NRA is 100% with you - they got your back (and your money) and you got their back too. Everything is going along fine. You're a true hero to many, especially to yourself. A protector, a tough, rugged, individual, a survivor. Certainly you're not one of those sheep for whom you hold so much disregard. You stand up for your rights, a defender of Trump, your God, and the second amendment. A true American. You feel as if you're pretty great and powerful with that gun in your hands.
WIN This Cool CZ Scorpion Pistol
Prize: Sponsor will select one (1) winner in a random drawing held on or about September 10, 2020, from among all eligible entries received during the Sweepstakes Period. The Prize is a CZ Scorpion EVO 3 S2 Micro Pistol w/ Vortex Crossfire 2 Red Dot, approximate retail value $1900.00. Prize includes one (1) 10-round magazine, one (1) 32-round Manticore magazine, a Franklin Armory CZ-C1 binary trigger and shipping. Winner is solely responsible for any and all costs associated with maintenance and use of the prize firearm, including but not limited to additional magazines and ammunition, FFL transfer fee, background check, and taxes. Odds of winning the prize depend on the number of eligible entries received during the Sweepstakes Period.
*NOTE: if you missed the deadline for this sweepstakes, not to worry, Classic Firearms offers regular, almost weekly, opportunities for you to win your very own weapon. If you want to make sure you are fully prepared for November 4th, you can always order your weapon online like millions of others, but don't wait until it's too late: they are experiencing an unprecedented number of orders and a lot of your favorite models are already out of stock.
UPDATE (9/10): We didn't win but we'll for sure be entering the next contest.
September Photo Of The Month
A cloud of glowing orange smoke from the California fires in the Inner Sunset neighborhood in San Francisco. Photo taken at 9:30 am on September 9th, 2020 by Jason Timothy Kueper and used with his permission.
USA Final Grade For September
Americans have been working hard this month and had actually pulled the national grade up to a C- until last night's presidential debate.