Archive for the ‘Blog’ Tag

CraigsList’s decision to adopt a Pay to Use model prettymuch killed the site   Leave a comment

Image result for CraigsList

On the one hand, CraigsList has had a problem with criminals and scammers using the site to find their victims for some time. On the other hand, prettymuch punishing the vast majority of people who use the site as intended sends the wrong message. In the aftermath of Congress forcing the site to remove its Personal Section earlier this year, the site now charges per ad to post anywhere but the Community, Resume, Housing/Rent and For Sale sections.

 

  • Want to post a “We’re Hiring!” Ad? It’ll cost you $45 per ad (Jobs). Why such a large posting fee? Apparently, in years’ past scammers and criminals would post ads soliciting sketchy or illegal activities. That’s why the fee is so high. The only people who post ads in this section now are actual companies that don’t bat an eye at $45 and spammers.
  • Want to advertise a Service? That will cost you $7. This change was recently done because of scammers’ bait and switch tactics: What the ad says and what they actually offer end up being two different things. You would also have the usual overt sketchy stuff posted. The only ads posted now are all ironically spammers. All the change did was stop regular people from posting.
  • Want to advertise a short-term or one-time paid project or Gig? It’ll cost you $5. This change was recently done for the same reason as above as well as people with clearly sketchy intentions posting ads. The only ads posted now are all ironically spammers. All the change did was stop regular people from posting.
  • Ads advertising Massages or Therapeutic services can no longer be posted and this change was done shortly after the Personals Section was removed. Before that, it would cost you $45 to post ads of that kind in Gigs and Services. That ended up being pointless since a workaround was simply posting in the Personals section. The fee was thrown in about 12 years ago because rapists and prostitutes would post ads to entice their victims or clients. Again, bait and switch.

 

Most folks already understand this but The CraigsList Act passed by Congress earlier this year removed the site’s immunity from lawsuits due to third parties using the site to commit crimes. The site hid behind that immunity and prettymuch forced Congress to do something with every headline involving a criminal enticing their victim via CraigsList.

The fact that the site immediately removed its Personals section within hours of the law being passed spoke volumes: They wouldn’t have otherwise and prettymuch told users to blame Congress for it being gone. Two of the sub-sections–Missed Connections and Rant & Rave–were moved to the Community Section. Missed Connections is for folks to reconnect with someone they met via CraigsList but lost touch with. Rant & Rave is basically a place for people to say whatever they want about whatever they want no matter how offensive it may be.

The other Personals sections were removed completely, first in the U.S. and then worldwide a few weeks later to prevent U.S. users from posting Personal ads elsewhere as a workaround. Personally, I think they should have also kept Strictly Platonic and could have created a new Social Category for that. A category for folks to find other folks to do stuff with. Of course, I am well aware botters and scammers prettymuch took over all of the Personals sections by the time they were removed.

Speaking of, some of those same scammers and botters from Casual Encounters are testing their luck by posting bait & switch ads in the Community, Housing and Resume sections. Not in large numbers but they do have a presence. I am concerned given the Community section is a mixed use area and is meant to be exclusively used by and for locals only.

…It would be fair to say CraigsList as it was once known is now dead.

The overwhelming majority of ads posted are botters, out of area dealers and the usual commercial spam. There are ads posted by regular people but they have no chance against the botters and spammers who have taken over all sections long before Personals was removed. Signs point to the rest of the site being locked behind a pay wall sooner or later. A real shame at the end of the day.

 

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Some of my Favorite Sitcoms from the 1980s and 1990s   Leave a comment

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…Not gonna lie: I don’t remember much about the 90s that didn’t involve TV or video games. And I’m proud of it. LOL.

I’m gonna split this nostalia trip 4 categories actoss four different posts: Kids Shows, Cartoons, Sitcoms and Drama. I’ll cover Anime in my Anime Blog separately. Each Category will get a separate post because of how much I know I like to write ^_^

For those who were born in the late 90s or otherwise don’t watch broadcast TV much, sitcoms were TV shows that ran for 30 minutes from the 50s to the 90s.  The older generations might recall The Honeymooners, I Love Lucy, The Jeffersons and Sanford & Son. Those were all Sitcoms. Sitcoms were often family oriented and depcited people or families of the time. Episodes also often had a lesson or message for viewers to learn.

Here are a few of my all-time favorite sitcoms.

 

Sitcoms

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This was the shit RIGHT HERE. The Fresh Prince of Bel Air ran from 1990 to 1996 and lasted 6 seasons.

 

Some stuff about the cast you may or may not known:

 

  • Will Smith was actually the least experienced actor on the show at the time it began filming episodes. He would often forget his lines, much to the chagrin of the other cast members. It’s easy to forget he was an above-average hip hop artist trying to transition into acting. By the time the final season finished filming, Will Smith had landed his first major motion picture role as Captain Steve Hiller in the 1996 action thriller Independence Day. He reportedly beat out Tom Cruise for the leading role (Cruise was cast in 1997’s Mission Impossible).
  • James Avery getting cast as Uncle Phil is the stuff of legends. The story goes, Avery walked into the room not knowing who he was and chastised him for his demeanor and casual dress. Will Smith turned to Executive Producer Quincy Jones (the same Quincy Jones who managed Michael Jackson) and told him “I want him”. Reportedly, John Amos (Good Times, Roots) and Morgan Freeman (The Shawshank Redemption) had also been considered for the role. He passed away in 2010.
  • Janet Hubert, who played Vivian Banks for half the show’s run was famously fired because of her personal beef with Will Smith. She was angry Will didn’t advocate for the rest of the cast more and James Avery often had to talk her down, reminding her it’s HIS show. Daphne Reid was hired to replace her as Vivian Banks for the rest of the series. When Will Smith recently talked of wanting to do a possible reunion special, she made it known she still hates his guts. Ouch!
  • Alfonso Ribiero, like Jaleel White was defined by the character he played on TV: Carlton Banks. A little known fun fact about Alfonso: Before he was cast for the role, he trained to be a backup dancer for Michael Jackson. If you ever wondered why The Carlton Dance was so precise, now you know why. Tom Jones, who sings It’s Not Unusual made a guest appearance on an episode in a dream sequence after years of fan request and the renewed popularity of his song thanks to its use on the show.
  • Karyn Parsons, who played Hillary Banks was a talk show host for two years during seasons 4 and 5. It was a good way for those who only knew her for her role on Fresh Prince to see her in a different light.
  • You probably already know this but DJ Jazzy Jeff worked closely with Will Smith when they toured before the show. The “Jazz is thrown out” sequence was only shot once. In episodes in which he would be thrown out, he would always wear the same clothes he wore in the original shot to be consistent.

…Karyn Parsons, Tatiana Ali and Alfonso Ribiero are all of Trinidadian descent. I only just learned that from reading the show’s IMDB section. The only reason I mention that is because my family is from Trinidad ^_^

Alfonso brought back the Carlton Dance for his appearance in Dancing with the Stars back in 2014:

 

 

…He saved it for last and yes, he won the competition. He held off using the dance until the very end on purpose knowing he would only get to use it once and knew that if he saved it until the end, he would win the competition. His DWTS appearance also revitalized his acting career and celebrity status. A few years earlier, he revealed in an interview he left the business after the Fresh Prince ended because all anyone saw when they looked at him was Carlton Banks. Fortunately, he was able to get by on royalties from the show. After his DWTS appearance, he was able to find work in various TV roles.

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Family Matters ran from 1989 to 1998.

…Man oh man. The IRONY of that video’s screenshot. I just finished reading the trivia section on IMDB for the show. I am now about to reveal to everyone the mystery of what happened to Judy Winslow. The character was appearantly doomed from the start and more so when Urkel became popular.

Valerie Jones played Judy in the first episode and was replaced by Foxworth afterward. The problem is her character had little screen time and was often ridiculed or the butt of jokes in almost all of her on-screen appearances. In other words, she was disposable. The story goes when Foxworth asked for a pay increase, the show’s producers were so pissed at her request she was promptly written off the show after four seasons. They told her she was let go due to budget cuts. This is why when she’s seen going upstairs, she’s never seen again. Later episodes revised the show’s canon to make it as if she never existed. If you look at family pictures in the living room after her last appearance, you will see she is no longer included. I do wonder if they never planned to keep the character for as long as they did given her abrupt exit without closure. They could’ve said she died and though morbid, it would’ve still been closure.

What happened to Foxworth after she was kicked off the show is tragic but unfortunately not uncommon: She got into porn at 19 and later, substance addiction. Fortunately, she got clean and is doing well now. She explains how and why here:

Fans of the TV series noticed Foxworth was left out of the reunion special that happened a few years after her OWN appearance. In a statement she released online, she explained she was not told of the planned reunion and though she was not surprised she was left out because of her checkered past since leaving the show, she felt that her omission was a missed opportunity. She also professed a willingness to be a part of a series reboot which the other cast members discussed.

Speaking of, here’s whart the other living cast members look like now:

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Rosetta LeNoire, who played Ester Winslow was 85 years old when she left the show in 1997. She passed away in 2002 at age 90. Michelle Thomas, who played Urkel’s love interest Myra passed away from stomach cancer the same year as her final appearance. Orlando Jackson, who was added to the show later on got into legal trouble after leaving the show. Believe it or not, Reginal VelJohnson was the only actor to appear in every single episode of the series on both ABC and CBS.

It is interesting to note Family Matters is actually a spinoff of Perfect Strangers in which Harriet Winslow (played by Jo Marie Payton for all but the last season) first appeared as an elevator operator.  She as well as Reginal VelJohnson were the most experienced cast members. Fans were familiar with VelJohnson from his appearances in the Lethal Weapon movies in which he also played a cop. Jo Marie revealed later she wanted to leave the show sooner but didn’t because she was under contract. When CBS bought the show, she agreed to do a few episodes of what ended up being the 9th and final season.

New Edition, Dave Koz, Shanice Wilson, Tracie Spencer, Freddie Jackson, Missy Elliott, Ziggy Marley and The Melody Makers, Portrait, All 4 One, Immature, MC Lyte, Donna Summer, and Shai all appeared during the show’s run.

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Now let’s get to some trivia about Jaleel White and the character that made him famous, Steven Quincy Urkel:

  • Before being permanently cast, Urkel made a cameo appearance in Full House (1989) in which he helped Stephanie Tanner (played by Jodie Sweetin) feel confident wearing her new glasses in school. He also appeared in an episode of Step by Step in 1991 and Meego in 1997.
  • White revealed apparently, he was originally going to be cast in the role of Rudy Huxtable on The Cosby Show when Bill Cosby decided to make the character a girl. That role was eventually given to Kiesha Knight-Pullam.
  • White had also apparently been considered for a role on Saved by the Bell, likely the role of Screech (given to Dustin Diamond).
  • Voiced Sonic the Hedgehog in the first 3 animated TV series.
  • At the time he was cast as Urkel at 13, he assumed he was out of the business since no one was calling him. Then he was cast for the role of Steve Urkel. Jaimee Foxworth auditioned for Judy Winslow 7 times just so you know. One of them was eventually cut. The other one became a TV Icon.
  • Apparently, Jaleel White had to shave weekly and was told to not work out to maintain his on-screen character. He noticably underwent several growth spurts throughout the course of the show.
  • In a 1999 interview, White revealed he had NBA aspirations when it looked like his acting career would be over. When he was told he couldn’t work out to maintain the Urkel character, that prettymuch ended his hoop dreams. He apparently played one on one with George Clooney during the latter actor’s run on ER since their respective sets were nearby.
  • In the same 1999 interview, White professed his hatred for the Urkel character. He couldn’t find other acting roles similar to Roberto Ribiero for prettymuch the same reasons. He would later walk back those comments in 2011, saying by the time the show’s run ended in 1998 he was just done and wanted to move on. He doesn’t hate the character anymore but has zero interest in doing it again.
  • The character of Stephan Ur’kel–in which White plays himself–gave fans a look at White’s range. The character was used sporatically throughout the series as Laura Winslow’s love interest. When given the choice to permanently have Stefan instead of Steve, she chose the latter because even though she loved Stefan she cared about Steve too. White pitched for Stefan to replace Urkel but was shot down because of the overwhelming popularity of the latter.

 

 

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I opened with these shows mainly so I could now discuss the significance of the non-traditional roles played by Urkel and Carlton as Black Youth on Primetime TV.

This scene involving Carlton sums up what I’m trying to say:

 

Uncle Phil said it best: “When are we gonna stop doing this to each other?”

By “This”, he means the concept projected by Blacks that Blacks who find success outside Sports or Entertainment are sellouts. Blacks who are do not conform to how they think Blacks should be or are but still finds success is a sellout to them.

Carlton and Urkel were both non-conforming Black Young Men and their characters–especially Carlton’s–were introduced at a time when too many Black and Brown Males bought into the unrealistic myth that their only hope of relevance, fame and fortune was Sports of Entertainment and if that didn’t work out, they could turn to crime.

I do not having more sitcoms with a predominantly Black cast in non-conformist roles was a missed opportunity. Tyler Perry tried to bring that back with his studio but he let the fame go to his head. That seems to happen to everyone made famous because of Oprah. Just sayin’.

Movng on. Other sitcoms I watched with a predominantly Black Cast include:

  • Martin (Starring Martin Lawrence)
  • The D.L. Hughgley Show)
  • The Steve Harvey Show (featuring Cedric the Entertainer)
  • The Bernie Mac Show
  • Livin’ Single (Co-Starring Queen Latifah)
  • The Cosby Show
  • Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper
  • Sister, Sister (Starring Tia and Tamara Mowry)
  • Smart Guy (Starry Taj Mowry)
  • The Wayans Brothers (Starry Shawn and Marlon Wayans)

Those are just the ones that immediately came to mind too. I know I missed a few.

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…Obviously I was gonna go here. As the only one of the featured shows to actually get a spinoff series, I would remiss not to. The iconic sitcom ran from 1987 to 1995.

I have actually seen every single episode of this TV series. Like Family Matters and The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, some of the cast members we already established or accomplished actors. In this case it was Bob Saget and Dave Coulier, who were friends in real life as well as John Stamos (Daytime Soap Opera). Story goes, Stamos got together with Coulier and Saget after the first season and hung out in Las Vegas. The new friendship between Stamos and Coulier was incorporated into the show as well.

Bob Saget was the host of America’s Funniest Home Videos and actually maintained his role as host during the entire length of the show’s run as Danny Tanner. His TV family even appeared in an episode of AMV in the audience in character. Candace Cameron Bure (Then just Candace Cameron before she married)–sister of teen start Kirk Cameron of Growing Pains fame–reccommended his sister audition for the role when she asked him about it. She would later push back against speculation (backed by her cast mates) the only reason she got the role of DJ Tanner is because of her more known older brother. Dave Coulier made recurring appearances on Nickelodeon before he signed on to Full House as well as during the first 3 seasons.

Everyone else including Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, who took turns playing Michelle Tanner were newcomers.  They were not credited as separate people until the final season because the producers didn’t want viewers to know two people shared the role of Michelle (They were credited as “Mary-Kate Ashley Olsen” but written as one name). The problem is as they grew, they became more distinctive in both personality and appearance. Mary-Kate is Right-Handed and Ashley is Left-Handed for example. At Stamos’ insistence they chose not to cut one of the twins and just elected to not address the subtle but obvious differences on air and otherwise. The Olsens, unlike Tia and Tamera Mowry are actually not identical twins.0

I know of two instances in which they both appeared on-screen at the same time. One was in the first season when relatives came to visit. The other twin was cast as a cousin. The other instance I remember offhand was the 2-part finale. Michelle was involved in a horse-riding accident and suffered amnesia. The other twin was cast as her missing memories. They appeared together again in the final curtain call.

There was a planned ninth season but it would have aired on the then new WB Network. The other cast members decided the time had come to end the show when John Stamos and Candace Cameron both announced they would be leaving after the 8th season, which aired between 1994 and 1995 on ABC. Most of the cast went to private life for 21 years after the series finale until the new series, which premeired in 2016. John Stamos and Lori Laughlin (played Becky) continued their acting careers on other syndicated shows.

The Olsens used their status to pursue careers in acting (It Takes Two) and voice acting before transitioning into Fashion and College in New York. The twins were constantly followed by a throng of media everywhere they went and the lows of the Olsens were well documented to put it mildly. When asked, Bob Saget vehemently defended his former co-stars and expressed disappointment at the girls being denied privacy from the media during their lows.

The cast reunited in 2015 in honor of the 20th Anniversary of the series finale. The cast discussed the possability of doing a new show together and most were on board.

 

 

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…That new show is Fuller House, which is available on Netflix. Same concept as the original series with a new cast of kids. They even got twos to play the baby again.

Noticably absent from the new series is Michelle Tanner. Her absence is explained on-screen as her just being too busy with her fashion empire in New York. Fans often mistook this as taking shots at the Olsens when it’s anything but that. The Olsens were part of the conversation when the original cast discussed the new series (Co-Produced by John Stamos) but they elected not to make an appearance for now. When asked about the absence from the new series, the other cast members dodged the question and redirected the discussion to the new series.

There is some speculation the reasons ABC (now owned by Disney) didn’t pick up Fuller House is because the Olsens were not part of the cast even in a recurring role and the older members of the original cast–Saget, Stamos, Coulier and Loughlin–wouldn’t have alot of screen time. Netflix offered to run the show and the rest is history. I do think the we will see Michelle Tanner make an on-screen appearance eventually and I also think when is being kept a closely guarded secret.

The new series uses the same premise as the original series: After the sudden and unexpected death of her husband, DJ Tanner is left to raise her three sons by herself. Her sister Stephanie and her best friend Kimmy Gibbler both offer to move in and help her with the kids. Kimmy moves in with her teenage daughter Ramona.

For those who may be wondering “Whatever happened to DJ’s boyfriend Steve?”, don’t worry. It’s covered and no, he wasn’t the one who died. DJ’s Single Mom status is a major plot bunny toward the end of the first season, the end of the second season and the first two episodes of the third season too actually. Kimmy’s ex-husband Fernando joins the cast halfway through though the first season (officially credited as a permanent cast member starting in the second season). The two remarry by the end of the second season. Kimmy’s younger brother Jimmy joins the cast toward the end of the second season. He and Stephanie end up hooking up by the beginning of the third season. One of the more touching moments touched on early in the first season is Sephanie wanting kids but being physically unable to have any. At the end of the third season, Kimmy offers to be a surrogate for her and her brother. In the season 3 finale, Kimmy reveals she is pregnant.

Season 4 is set to premiere later this year. Unlike 20 years ago, the whole season is shot at once. Also unlike 20 years ago, the series is not shot in front of a studio audience (The crowd reactions are pre-recorded). The same sets were obviously used with some noticable modern additions such as cell phones and tablets.

Movng on. Some other sitcoms I watched during the 80s and 90s include:

 

  • Punky Brewster
  • Married With Children
  • Family Matters
  • Home Improvement
  • The Wonder Years
  • Charles in Charles
  • Who’s The Boss
  • Boy Meets World
  • Seinfeld
  • Saved by The Bell
  • Small Wonder
  • Alf
  • Herman’s Head

 

Image result for punky brewster then and now
…You know you’re old when Punky Brewster is pregnant with her fourth child and will be 42 years old next month. Time has been good to Solei Moon Frye, who continued her acting career after the show ended in 1988. Once she hit pubety her freckles faded, she became taller and almost overnight she was no longer the spunky orphan who had captured the hearts of millions on TV. She had a recurring role on The Wonder Years in the early 90s before making her return to doing sitcoms. When asked about a possible series reboot, she said she wants one of her two daughters to play the character she made famous 30 years ago.

Whew.

I think I let this go on long enough. I will do the other three categories over time and will try to do them before the end of the summer. Man, I the nostalgia was something else with this one!

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If someone from the 1980s and 1990s saw what’s on TV today, they would be horrified and disgusted   Leave a comment

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…More so when you consider the wholesome and staggering variety of programming that was available 30 years ago. I mean just on Network TV–today commonly known as “Free TV”: PBS, CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX and The CW (Formerly known as The WB)–since the only subscription TV service available for most of that time was Cable. Unlike today, it didn’t matter if you didn’t have cable. You could find something for you on Network TV with relative ease. A common problem was trying to watch two popular or favorite shows in the same time slot on two different channels.

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…Man, this takes me back. LOL.

This is the channel guide for the TV Stations that covered Boston in the early 1980s. I wasn’t born until 1984 but all of them are now available on Network TV. WNAC became WHDH and until a few years ago, it was the local affiliate of NBC. Due to a contract dispute, WHDH split between Channel 7 (Local Programming) and Channel 10, which became NBC 10 (National Programming). WXNE became WFXT and is the local affiliate of FOX. WLVI would become the local affiliate of The WB and later The CW. WSBK would become the local affiliate of UPN and then The CW before they merged and it became an independent network again. WGBH changed to Channel 44 and PBS was Channel 2. When the National Networks switched from Analong to Digital about 10 years ago–prettymuch making non-HD TVs obsolete–as a side effect, you now had access to local channels in neighboring regions.

USA Network, ESPN, HBO, CNN, Cinemax, The Disney Channel, TBS, Nickelodeon, Showtime, TNT, MTV and BET were some of the first Cable networks. Cartoon Network, The Discovery Channel, The Travel Channel and others would come later and over time. Pay Per View, which is still around now but is somewhat obsolete allowed viewers to watch a movie after its run in theaters ended for a whole day. Basically, early digital rental. Same with WWE (Then still WWF) Pay Per Views and (obviously) Porn. Boxing matches were on HBO while ESPN and NBC carried the Olympics.

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It’s not shown but Old School Gamers knew to switch to Channel 3 if they wanted to play their NES, SNES, Sega Genesis, Sega CD, Sega Saturn, Sega 32x, Nintendo 64, Dreamcast or Playstation 1 console. All the consoles released after the PS1, Dreamcast and N64 required AUX or Video and later HDMI. The Reason Channel 3 was used is because it’s a “dead” channel. I’ll spare you the technical details but basically the RF Adapter hacks your TV to allow you to see and hear the game you play or in the case of VCRs, watch home movies.

Getting back to my earlier point, parents didn’t have to worry about what their kids might be watching back then like they do today. You knew whatever your kid was watching wouldn’t impress them to do anything stupid, dangerous or provocative. Even the stuff on Cable TV. Sure, you might see stuff like that but you didn’t have to worry about kids emulating what they saw on TV. Nowdays, you do.

In my next two blog posts, I will talk about some of my favorite TV Shows and  Movies from the 1980s and 1990s. There will be a bit of crossover as some shows premeired in the 80s and continued into the 1990s or premiered in the 1990s and continued into the 2000s. I’ll give movies and TV shows their own blog posts. Gamers, I will do one on my Video Game Blog too don’t worry.

 

 

Will Trump’s giant middle finger to the U.S. Intelligence Community be enough? [Updated 7/18/2018]   Leave a comment

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A few days after federal officials moved to prosecute 12 Russian Hackers for their role in influencing the 2016 Election, Trump came out of a closed-door meeting with his Russian counterpart. No one but translators were allowed in the room with them. No media, no aides, no one. One of the first things Trump said after the pair emerged from their “longer than planned” meeting: “Russia had no role in the outcome of the 2016 Election.”

Back home, The GOP and Intelligence Officials alike were going apeshit at what they were hearing. Not just what he said but how unbelievable it was when he said it. Watch the video. Does it not sound rehearsed to you? Worse than that, he made an enemy of the absolute last organization you want as an enemy: The U.S. Intelligence Community.

There is a damned good reason Trump has been directly obstructing the Russian Hacking Investigation at every turn: He has to. The common theory that has only grown hotter since the summit is Putin has something on Trump. That’s the only possible explaination. I don’t think the condemnation sent his way by many of his strongest supporters in the GOP all day was lip service.

Not this time.

Remember this article I wrote? Well, Pence has been quiet as usual and with good reason. He can’t say anything because corporate media likes to spin things either way.

The line Trump was expected to cross sooner or later…Is this it? That’s the question the GOP is probably secretly asking each other about now. Do they want to keep holding back and see where this goes? Or do they move to remove Trump now and push hard for Pence to run in 2020? We will likely know in the new few weeks and if they do decide to Impeach, it won’t happen until after the midterms. They’ll keep giving token support until then since they were able to get alot of what they wanted in just the last 16 months.

Why would the GOP wait until after the Midterms? Here’s why:

 

  • If they pull the trigger before the midterms, the party will split and they will want to avoid that at all costs. It will also guarantee they lose both Houses of Congress and the SJC Confirmation Meetings will obviously need to be postponed.
  • Unlike Trump, they rightfully fear and respect the FBI and the CIA. In general, the last thing they want is the FBI or CIA asking questions before the Midterms.
  • Should the GOP lose control of the House or the Senate–and they are expecting to lose control of at least one–they can spin it to say the people have lost faith in their government because of Trump.
  • Should the GOP keep control of both Houses–and they are expecting to lose control of at least one–they can spin it to say despite the divisive rhetoric from Trump, the people are putting their trust in the party.
  • Those last two weren’t contradictory. The GOP is gonna start to pivot regardless of the outcome of the Midterms away from Trump.
  • Pence needs to be able to claim plausible deniability in regards to Trump and it will be far easier to do that if he doesn’t make any unnecessary moves. He will let the GOP handle everything before, during and immediately after the Midterms.

…As much as the GOP felt Obama wasn’t tough enough with Putin (Crimea and Syria), I seriously doubt they were prepared for Trump prettymuch admitting to the world he is Putin’s puppet. LOL.

Pence having so few media appearances shouldn’t surprise anyone: One of the few things he and Trump have in common is he hates Corporate Media but fortunately for him, Trump is an attention whore. He’s not being followed around by the media like Biden, Cheaney and Gore were. It is more than a little unusual for the VP to be so…out of the loop, so to speak. Trump obviously not trusting him enough to tell him anything in advance aside, Pence is no fool. He knows it’s a matter of WHEN. In other words: He is preparing for when the GOP pulls the trigger.

To the Dems, ex-Republicans and Anti-Trump Republicans wondering “Ok cool. So when the fuck are they gonna do it and why haven’t they?”: We just need to be patient. You don’t need to be a Washington insider to see that SOMETHING is brewing. Some of the damage Trump’s done will be reversed as a token but not all. Too much is irreparable anyway so…yeah.

To the die hard Trump Supporters thinking by now “You don’t know shit. LOL the GOP impeach Trump? WTF are you smoking?”: Don’t take my word for it. You will see for yourself. You’re hoping–no, NEED–what happened to be part of a larger plan. And you’re half-right. The half you’re right about is Trump knows eactly what he’s doing.

At the end of the day, Trump and the GOP were in an alliance of convenience. Trump has nothing in common with the GOP and vice versa. They were just using each other up to now. We will find out for sure after the midterms if said alliance will continue or not. While the denouncements from the GOP today was…”restrained”, don’t mistake that for a lack of outrage.

They knew what they were getting themselves into when they backed him two years ago and they also know they need to be careful of how they dispose of him. First things first, they will need to turn enough of his base on him. Not those giving him lip service but those who legit like him no matter what. That includes Trump’s mouthpiece at Fox News: Sean Hannity. Trump himself just gave the GOP the right kind of ammo yesterday, too: Collusion with the leader of an enemy nation. No one likes traitors, after all.

CNN summed it up with this (unsprisingly) scathing article: Helinski was a Surrender Summit where Trump made it clear he is NOT The Leader of the Free World. That is a title that is earned, not given. All Trump has shown is he has no interest whatsoever on Democracy. That doesn’t bother me at all though. What does bother me and should concern everyone in America are those who bought into his beliefs and even worse, those who have taken it as a green light to promote Xenophobia.

Update 7/17/2018:

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Trump held a press conference Tuesday afternoon where he walked back some of his comments from Sunday (and clearly failed at it), insisting he misspoke when he said U.S. intelligence got it wrong and there was no “colusion”. As you can see above he misspelled “COLLUSION”, which was clearly hand-written and even worse allowed a camera to catch it. The remarks were obviously prepared by his aides, who by the way he doesn’t even trust. It’s no secret he always goes off script and never reads the teleprompter when making public appearances. Much to the chagrin of White House Staff and the GOP obviously.

The Dems have been calling on the GOP to stand up to Trump knowing they can’t. Not yet, anyway. What’s sad is this poor excuse for a backtrack will be enough to satisfy Trump’s base and further alienate Anti-Trump Republicans. Unlike ex-Republicans who have been leaving the party in droves, they hold out hope establishment Republicans in Washington will pull the trigger before they lose all faith in the party. Not the billionaires who have been benefiting but the lifetime loyal Republicans who are ashamed and disgusted by the man their party put in the White House.

Yesterday, I said Step One would be to turn Trump’s fanboys against him. Step Two is open defiance against Trump by the GOP. Step Three is dealing with the dangerous extremists who’ve promised violence against anyone who tries to remove Trump from power. Step Four is the actual Impeachment Process. The first two must be done and the third is to keep the party together.

Like I said before though, the GOP will likely wait until after the Midterms to do anything significant.

Update 7/18/2018:

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Trump completed his reversal of his original comments from Sunday a short time ago today, now saying he believes his Russian counterpart directly interfered in the 2016 Election. Obviously, Trump supporters are either relieved or shouting “Told you so!” at his reversal to everyone else. Of course, his redaction changes nothing. Those who don’t like him still don’t and probably more so now. Those who do are “satisfied” they finally heard what they wanted to hear from him.

The obvious question of why he didn’t say this in front of Putin has an easy answer: He was telling the truth the first time. “How do you know he wasn’t just saying that?” Well, that excuse only works with kids for so long. Why so many insist on making every excuse for a grown man who is also the current president of the United States speaks to a larger problem but I won’t disgress further. What I will say again is the longest rope has an end.

…I’m gonna ask those who are able to and willing to please click the link below and donate if you are able. I am in need of emergency funds for a motel room for a few days. $350 will cover my needs. Thanks in advance.

If you have enjoyed this post or other posts I have made on this blog, please consider making a monetary donation via PayPal. Whatever amount you provide would be greatly appreciated.

Dissent is Patriotic (except when it isn’t)   Leave a comment

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…It really is something.

I realize I’ve used the phrase “Dissent is Patriotic” alot on Social Media recently and mainly because of efforts by Republican Lawmakers to take away the right to protest at the federal, state and local levels. Not just because of who they have in the White House either. They’ve been like that for decades. Earlier this year, they got a major victory with Net Neutrality being repealed. Trump got greenlit from the Supreme Court to ban people from certain countries from entering the country last month as well. Last year, a Federal Judge ruled recording Police Brutality is unconstitutional.

Before I continue, I want to repeat something I’ve been saying for two years now: I am neither a Democrat or a Republican. So, to those of you on the Right saying “Get over it, you lost!”, I didn’t vote for Hillary. For those of you on the Left saying “Wait so now you’re gonna tell me you’re a Trump supporter?”, just look at the blog post I made before this one. I am an equal opportunity destroyer.

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It started during Obama’s second term but there are increased efforts to criminalize Protesting the government right now. Folks need to understand something before I wrap up: How governments REALLY take Civil Liberties from the people is by convincing enough of them that it’s the best thing ever and/or for the sake of National Security. That’s how it happens.

Now more than ever, folks need to exercise their right to protest before it’s taken from them. Here in Massachusetts–a traditionally Democratic Stronghold–Protesters and Demonstrators are mailed an invoice for Emergency Services. Police, Ambulances and so on. ALL of it. Much it has to do with the Occupy Wall St. movement 10 years ago, which took over the Rose Kennedy Greenway. The recently opened park  was trashed by the demonstrators so…yeah.

My point is state and local governments are moving to criminalize protesting as a whole. When someone has they voice taken away, everyone does.

I have to assume the media is ignoring the clear pattern by Trump and the GOP   Leave a comment

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There is a clear and disturbing pattern that has been going on ever since Trump took office and the media is clearly ignoring it: Trump says something outrageous or inflamatory, the media focuses on that. We get it, he’s the POTUS and you can’t just ignore him. That much larger problem is the timing always coincides with the GOP pushing cuts to Safety Nets for the poor and most at-risk through Congress.

All of the following programs have had their funding cut since Trump took office:

 

  • Americorps
  • Meals on Wheels
  • SNAP/EBT (just Cleared the House, now in the Senate)
  • Medicare and Medicaid (no surprise)
  • Social Security (Not actually federally funded)
  • Various Refugee Programs
  • FEMA
  • American Red Cross
  • Hunting Restrictions on Certain WIldlife
  • Housing and Urban Development
  • Affordable Care Act (Dead at the Federal Level)
  • Net Neutrality (Internet Providers are biding their time for now)

 

Feel free to Google this. Do not take my word for it. These are just the ones I know of.

…I want to say this on the SNAP Program. As some of you folks know, I have been on Food Stamps for 24 months now. I get $192.00 in Food Stamps every month on the 7th. On average, I use up the whole balance in 10 days. I only use my SNAP Balance to buy actual groceries, which is the only thing they can actually be used for.

Let me explain something for those who have never applied for SNAP Benefits and hopefully never will: There is a strict work requirement to get SNAP Benefits. 85% of those who are receiving SNAP Benefits are in fact employed. They would have a very hard time eating healthy and/or feeding their families without the SNAP Benefits. the rely on just to survive. Anyways at the time I applied for Food Stamps, I was still Employed by BPS but I was on an unpaid leave of absence. I resigned 2 months later and have been job hunting ever since. There is a 6-month check-in you are required to do or you WILL lose your SNAP benefits. At that time, you need to be able to prove you are at least trying to find work or are in the process of getting enrolled in a University/College if you want your benefits to continue for another year.

They don’t mess around because of people who abused the system in the past. So, the repeatedly said myth from so-called Conservatives and many Republicans “Only Lazy people are on Food Stamps” line doesn’t fly. In fact, if you are even suspected of abusing the system they will stop your benefits first and ask questions later. Some food for thought, pun intended. Those who can’t work due to injury or illness need the appropriate documentation as well obviously. Aside from losing your benefits if you’re busted for fraud, you WILL be required to pay back ever cent of those fraudulent benefits as well. Again, they don’t play around and the penality is not worth pissing them off.

Moving on to Net Neutrality being repealed. The Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are biding their time right now. Net Neutrality ended last month but they are in no hurry to start charging you extra as will happen unless Congress can be lobbied to bring it back. This is part of their plan: They likely won’t do anything for the first few months for PR reasons. Their mindset is “We won’t do anything for now since everyone’s watching us. Once most folks have moved on to other things, we’ll make our move.” The one thing coming up that’s sure to do just that are the November midterms. More on that in a separate blog post.

When Trump appointed Dr. Ben Carson as the new head of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), everyone thought it strange. More so given his only experience with HUD was when he went through the housing system himself growing up. This being one of many examples of Trump appointing people to departments with no experience or interest in expanding or improving them aside, the first major proposal Dr. Carson announced is yet another fine example of punishing the working poor and at risk just for existing: He proposed tripling how much rent tenants enrolled in Affordable Housing Programs and Section 8 would be required to pay out of pocket, effectively ending Income-Based Housing programs.

…I could go on.

Again, the reason all these cuts are happening in plain sight is BECAUSE Trump is keeping corporate media distracted. That’s how the GOP are using him more or less:

 

  1. Draw up plans to punish the working poor and those in poverty
  2. Wait for Trump to say or do something that will get the media’s attention
  3. Introduce budget cuts or restrictions of civil liberties they know Trump will rubber stamp while the media is distracted
  4. Put the proposal to a vote before Social Media spreads word of it
  5. Hope there is enough votes to make it happen the first time
  6. Repeat as needed

To what end, you might ask? To satisfy their corporate sponsors that’s why.

 

The new EPA Secretary is Fossil Fuel Lobbyist just like the one who just resigned. Folks need to understand that Capitalism’s biggest enemy is a Democratic Government of, for and by the people. Of course they want a rigged system that works for, by and of them and them alone. They control all three branches of government now and they are doing everything they can before the midterms later this year when massive turnover in both houses of Congress is anticipated.

This is no conspiracy theory. It’s conspiracy fact.

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Update: LeBron James Signs with the Los Angeles Lakers   Leave a comment

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Given Paul George announced he will be staying in OKC two minutes before NBA Free Agency officially began, the LeBron James Sweepstakes just got more interesting. PG-13 will sign a 4-year deal with OKC, closing the door on potentially signing with the Lakers. Many speculated he might head to his hometown since he is a native of Los Angeles and expressed a desire to play for the Lakers at some point. Clearly it won’t be for at least the next four years.

Chris Paul (Rockets), Kevin Durant (Warriors) and DeMarcus Cousins (Pelicans) also got a new contract with the teams they currently play for. The last member of Lob City–DeAndre Jordan–became a Free Agent and quickly signed a 1-year deal with the Mavs. Blake Griffin was traded to the Pistons at the trade deadline midseason so…yeah.

According to the latest reports, LBJ has decided where he will play and will announce who won the LBJ Sweepstakes on Tuesday. The team everyone is assuming he’ll sign with is the Lakers even though it would mean he his NBA Finals Streak will end at 8. Let’s be honest, that will happen no matter who he signs with if it’s not the Rockets, Celtics or Warriors.

LBJ going West automatically means the Eastern Conference will go through the Boston Celtics. This would remain true even if he signs with the 76ers as some think he might. We will know for sure come this Tuesday, July 3. As a Celtics Fan, I don’t care personally though it would be fun to see the Celtics sweep the 76ers next year in the playoffs ^_^

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Breaking News:

It was just announced that LeBron James has agreed to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers. The deal is for $154 Million and for four years. Now that LBJ has made it official, let the speculation commence on which other NBA Superstar may join him in the Purple and Gold.

What this means is by default, the Boston Celtics owns the Eastern Conference now.

If you have enjoyed this post or other posts I have made on this blog, please consider making a montary donation via PayPal. Whatever amount you provide would be greatly appreciated.

 

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