There’s so much BEP (bovine end product, a more PC version for BS) out there on what are supposed to be news sites that you can’t believe ‘em…instead you’ve gotta read a bunch of places, extract the actual facts from the article, and then form your own opinion. Back in the day…Walter Cronkite just read the news…you would never have guessed from his daily presentation that he was a pretty far lefty politically…but today journalism is pretty much dead. Instead we’ve got opinion talking heads posing as serious journalists when they’re really more interested in being the news or creating the news in their own likeness.
‘Afore I get into that though…let’s see where we were on this day in the
Blast from the past
In ’19 we were stuck in Cody WY waiting on Neil’s kidney stone treatment but in ’18 we were in Medway ME at the Katadin Shadows Campground…so named after Mount Katadin which is the highlight of the most popular state park in ME…Baxter State Park. We had considered hiking up to the top of the mountain but decided that due to the limited number of parking spaces and having to win the daily lottery to get a hiking and parking pass…it would have been a nice walk with a thousand or so of our closest friends…so we passed on that and instead sought out other less popular things to do in the park.
Katadin Shadows was actually a pretty nice campground…we had reserved what we thought would be a nice site with an open shot to the SW for our satellite dish but on arrival found that it was not open at all. Fortunately…we were right next to the cabin occupied by the owner’s parents and she offered us a connection to her DirecTV system which was a bit to the south of her cabin and our site out in an open area.
We headed out through the town of East Millinocket which turned out to have a really great dive bar that we ended up at several times…good thing it was nice as just about the only watering hole around…and into the park for a drive along the river and through park road. We actually drove that rode several times in search of that mythical creature known as moose…headed out early two different days and stopped at the ponds that “always have moose” according to the locals…bzzzzt. We did however…find some nice views of the river and mountains although actually seeing Mount Katadin was pretty hard due to heavy tree cover…but then it is the backwoods of Maine.
This was the coolest little river…it was never more than about 2 feet deep and had a solid rock bottom, no sand or gravel to be found. We watched a bunch of kids playing in various parts of the river near where we got this shot and had lunch one day.
Lots of nice waterfalls…this one is on a different river than the one above.
The same river less than a half mile downstream from the falls above…hard to believe it is the same one since it is so calm and placid here…these two shots were taken about 20 minutes apart as Neil remembers.
We’re pretty sure this is Mount Katadin…it was taken from the same spot as the one above but about 30 degrees to the right…you can just see the mountain on the far right of the shot above.
This is still another river in the park…best shot we could get as there was no place to get looking onto the face of the drop and even these Neil had to stick the camera lens through the chain link fence which keeps morons from climbing out and then falling down the waterfall.
So…about that gathering your own facts…this week Uncle Joe Biden announced his pick for VP…and almost immediately the right started bashing her while the left declared her to be the second coming of Moses. There was some kerfuffle about whether she was eligible to run for VP…with some idiots declaring that her parents weren’t legal residents when she was born and hence she is not a natural born citizen…and some more kerfuffle about whether she was eligible to be called African-American since her parents were an Indian and a Jamaican citizen. Frankly I don’t care what she calls herself…she’s way too liberal to get my vote but that’s just me…and anybody that either has googled the definition of natural born citizen or took civics in high school back before taking civics and government classes went out of style knows that if you’re born on American soil…you’re an American citizen, it’s as simple as that.
Next the arguments descended into her attack on Mr. Biden during the debates about how she was in the second integrated school class in America. Now again…I could give two hoots…but instead we have the idiots from USA Today deciding to fact check the claims that she was not telling the truth when she said that.
Turns out that she was born in 1964 and started school in 1970…and the claims by her detractors were that she was not part of an integration during the 60s or the second integrated class. In comes USA Today to…fact check this claim. In their article…they officially declare this claim to be false…but there’s a little problem with their conclusion. First off…she didn’t start school until 1970. Second…her school district started forced busing to achieve school integration in 1968…so she would have actually been in the 3rd class of students in that district. Thirdly…the researchers at USA Today didn’t bother trying to find out whether her school district was actually the first one that started busing for integration.
All of those are minor errors I’ll grant you…and her little speech did make a good debating point even though she completely mischaracterized Mr. Biden’s record on the issue. However…even in the face of facts that they included in their article…USA Today’s ‘journalist’ concluded that the claim by her detractors was false…and that’s a straight up lie. Granted again…it’s a minor point…but technically the claim is completely true…however that doesn’t fit the narrative this so called journalist wanted to perpetuate. Like I said…real journalism is dead and buried.
My suggestion…you’re entitled to your own opinion but you’re not entitled to your own facts. Figure out what the actual facts are and then at least you have an informed opinion even if I disagree with you.
The other big topic in the news this week…is how the President is deliberately trying to emasculate the postal service in some sort of attempt to rig the election…I’m sure you’ve seen the claims that blue mailboxes are being picked up and mail sorting machines being retired. Then there is the coup de grace…the letter that the postal service sent out to all 40 states that…according to the articles you read…tell of drastic inability to deliver the mail in ballots on time. Well…that’s what the article says anyway…but then if you actually go and read what the letter says…and do a little research on the numbers you will see that the truth is just a little different.
Now I admit…the USPS is a basket case and is effectively bankrupt…but this is due to a whole bunch of factors including both political parties, Congress, multiple administrations in the White House, USPS management, USPS union leaders who keep getting more expensive contracts, and how the post office is run and regulated even though it is supposed to be self funding. I could go on for many paragraphs about all of the ills in the organization and who is responsible for them…but suffice it to say that it isn’t a simple explanation and has a multitude of factors.
So…what do these letters really say…and will the post office be able to deliver all the mail in ballots?
Let’s look at a couple of numbers. The USPS handles about 145 billion pieces of mail each year and while there are no specific numbers that I could find on letters verses packages…I’m going to assume that about 120 billion of those or so are lettres…although the actual number doesn’t make much difference to the outcome. That 120 billion letters per year is about 330 million letters per day. Now in the US there are about 153 million registered voters and generally about half of them vote in any given year…so be generous and call it 100 million votes this year. I have no idea how many of those will be mail in ballots, but even generous guesstimates on the interwebs put it at 40-50% of votes will be mail in so let’s call it 50 million mail in ballots and let’s assume that they all got mailed over the 3 days prior to and Election Day…that gives us about 12 million mail in ballots for each of those four days.
With the USPS handling about 330 million letters per day on average…do we really think that adding another 12 million or so will overwhelm the service? Of course not…but that doesn’t fit the narrative the Democrats want to have…but from a capacity standpoint these mail in vote numbers are well within the capability of the USPS to deliver the mail.
What did the letters actually say? Well…the letter from the Postmaster General this week is essentially the same letter that was sent out back in March…which warned states that the limits that the states had imposed on mail in voting were the problem…not the ability of the USPS to deliver the mail.
For instance…in Oregon one can request a mail in ballot up through October 20 which is the Friday a week and a half before the election on Tuesday November. I can understand wanting to allow the maximum amount of time that a voter can request a mail in ballot. However…that doesn’t leave sufficient time for the USPS to guarantee delivery of the ballot from the elections board to the vote…at least according to the USPS long standing recommendation of 14 days lead time. That’s what the letter actually said (there were multiple versions of the letter depending on the election rules in different states).
What other problems are being blamed on the USPS? Well…in NY state…the governor directed all election boards for the recent primary to include a prepaid postage reply envelope in the package. Again…I can see how that might be a good idea…but the good governor failed to think his cunning plan through. NY election rules require that ballots be postmarked by Election Day…and by long standing policy the USPS does not postmark postpaid envelopes…it’s simply not done. So the governor specifically directed something that under state law made the ballots ineligible for counting since they would not be postmarked and hence the election boards would have no way to verify if they met the requirements in the law.
The governor’s response was to direct the election boards to count them anyway…and while the previous election was only a primary I can imagine that if he pulls a similar brilliant idea for the November election there will be lawsuits aplenty over it…the governor has no authority to ignore state election laws. I did see that a state judge ordered ones received by 2 days after Election Day to be counted…that seems like a reasonably fair thing to do but it does technically violate the state voting requirements, but then every liberal judge thinks they can just make up the law to suit themselves it seems. To me it is an open and shut case and they’re not valid since they’re not postmarked. However…in their overblown demands that ‘every vote counts’…they’re shooting themselves in their own foot.
Speaking of elections…Connie and Neil voted in the primary today and gladly provided their identification to the poll workers when checking in. They were glad to do this as proper identification prevents voter fraud. Forget what the right says about all the massive voter fraud that is supposedly happening…how much does or does not happen is unknown. Forget what the left says about there not being any voter fraud. What the rules requiring identification do is prevent the possibility of voter fraud…which is the goal. If the left is correct and there isn’t any going on…then I say “Holy shit…the rules are working.”
Unfortunately…none of the above which is Neil’s long standing desire…did not appear on the ballot. He thinks that it should and if it wins then you need a new election and none of the people in the previous election can run again. I’m really pretty sure that this year none of the above would win in a landslide.
Neil ordered some new bike shoes…his are over 10 years old and falling apart. That…of course…required a different kind of cleat to attach them to the pedals…which of course require a different design pedal to be clipped into so he ended up with shoes, cleats, and pedals. He wants a new bike too…but he said he’s waiting on the rig and truck to sell first. Connie suggested he just get one anyway and mebbe he’ll just do that…yaneverknow.
Interesting things found on the net.
It turns out that in Cape Coral…which thank goodness we don’t live in for a whole bunch of reasons…anyway it is illegal to park on the grass…even if it is your own grass in your own yard on your own property. Of course…this is the same jurisdiction that made it illegal to leave your garage door open so really I guess that is to be expected. I understand there are some valid reasons for both of those laws…but really?
There’s another whole kerfuffle on the interwebs over some game called Fortnite which is published by Epic Games and is available on both the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android phones. Both of these stores charge developers a 30 percent commission on sales since Apple/Google pay for the infrastructure on the stores, check apps for malware, collect the money and distribute and otherwise provide services to developers. So Epic decided that they didn’t want to follow the rules in the contract they signed with both Apple and Google any longer…so they introduced a cheaper way to pay them directly…which is directly in violation of the rules they agreed to. So naturally both Apple and Google kicked the game out of their store…and 2 hours later Epic filed a 64 page suit agains each of them demanding that Epic be allowed to run their own store for their games…and to collect 30% from all the other developers who would join the new Epic store.
Google allows other app stores besides theirs…however if you do use one of the other stores (known as side loading) then the Android OS on your phone pops up a notice warning you that you are going to a store not managed by Google and that Google has no way of determining the safety of going to that store or whether your identity, credit card information, or privacy might be violated. You’re not prevented from going…just warned.
Apple on the other hand…does not allow any other app stores…which is their right as I see it.
I don’t really see this suit by Epic going anywhere unless they’re hoping that Apple and Google will fold and give them their way…which is to provide services to Epic by Apple/Google with no renumeration to Apple/Google. Nuts.
Neil’s totally into this one.