Lessee…what’s goin’ on these days at Long Pond Road.
Neil got his bike fixed…somehow he got a split in his rear tire and you can’t patch the tire, just the tube inside it. So he got a new one and replaced both the tire and tube as well as the Kevlar strip that goes in between the tube and tire to help prevent punctures. He also returned the Cateye bike computer he got…it broke on the 3rd ride so he returned it for a refund. Amazon has received it so he should get a refund to our card shortly. He really only wanted a cadence (pedal rpm) indicator anyway as he’s already got an app on his iPhone named Cyclemeter that is his “bike computer”…so he put a much less expensive cadence sensor on his list for next month’s wedding anniversary.
He smoked 4 boneless country pork ribs on the grill on Tuesday…about 5.5 hours total…and they were mighty good. We had the leftovers last night over some rice and have a little of that left over for lunch one day.
Connie got a revised cantor schedule…Angie the favorite is moving down to Naples and won’t be attending St. Therese any longer so that jumbled up the schedule. We also go back to 4 masses per weekend starting November 1 and with only 4 cantors total that means no more weekends off unless Marge can convince one of the other ladies to join the cantor list. That’s not too likely as most of the sopranos don’t read music at all and all the decent altos are already cantering…the one male cantor hasn’t been here all summer so he may or may not be back for the winter…his wife had a stroke over the summer and their return plans might be up in the air still.
Neil went back to get his contacts adjusted…and he’s made up his mind that he will not be returning to Dr. Buckley again. He originally changed Neil’s prescription but on the way home from getting the trial lenses Neil knew they were wrong. He kept them in for 3 days in case it was an eyes getting used to the new ones thing…no change so he put his old ones back in and called for another appointment to tweak the prescription. Dr. Buckley’s response was to say “we’ll just go back to the old ones rather than try again”…like he couldn’t be bothered to actually do his job. Neil was going to try a different office that’s closer next time anyway so we’ll give the current practice another shot before moving on.
Bingo at the Elks started back up again…1st and 3rd Sunday afternoons. Neil got volunteered to be the bingo caller and the ladies apparently liked his work so far…at least he hasn’t been replaced yet.
Connie got her hair done…so she’s blond again…and her nails done so she’s a happy camper on those fronts. She’s having a down week because of being stuck in the house but hopefully our trip to the lodge this evening for tacos and Show Me The Money (think 3×3 bingo for dummies) will improve her outlook.
Ok…ya know…it’s getting where one almost doesn’t want to look at the news any more…between the SCOTUS nomination, election, corona and BLM stories…all of which are blatantly biased, half true, and only talk about the facts that they like.
First up…Judge Barrett’s SCOTUS nomination.
this article…”SCOTUS mail-in voting ruling raises alarm: Democrats may “never win another national election”…but it’s from Salon so naturally the content doesn’t really talk about the headline…but instead rants about how a conservative SCOTUS will endorse voter suppression…but with no evidence or facts. The particular decision the article is about is the 4-4 vote on the PA case about extending the mail in ballot deadline.
this one…with the headline “GOP-led Senate panel advances Barrett despite Dems’ boycott”…this morning the Senate Judiciary Committee had the scheduled vote on her nomination. The Democrats decided that rather than attend and vote no…they would just boycott the committee meeting and thereby prevent the achievement of a quorum since committee rules (which are set by the committee) say that 2 members of the minority must be present for a quorum. Reading in the article…apparently the boycott thing has been done numerous times by the minority party to try and prevent a quorum…but routinely the majority party has…assuming all majority members are present…changed the rules for this particular hearing to have a quorum. The article doesn’t dispute this fact…and neither does the “anonymous Democratic aide who spoke only on condition of anonymity”…but he/she said “but…but…this rule has never been waived for a SCOTUS nomination”. Maybe so…but so what, I’m sure a lot of the previous boycotts were over judicial nominations.
Next up…election stuff.
So THK tweets this morning
What’s happening tonight? Voter Suppression and violation of the ADA from my birth state. “Election integrity,” my ass. This is literally AL saying they can’t trust THEIR OWN POLL WORKERS to walk from a car to the ballot box without vote tampering. apple.news/AV6M8_IWKRZCBx…
Neil pointed out that this wasn’t voter suppression and that what happened if you read the article
here…Alabama law neither allows or forbids curbside voting and under the law the Secretary of State in Alabama said that curbside voting (i.e., handing your ballot to a poll worker to go and put it in the box) would not be allowed. Nothing prohibiting the voter from getting out of their car, walking up to the mail in ballot box and putting their ballot in…just that a 3rd party could not do it for the voter. So the Democrats and other voting rights groups filed suit in Federal court and found a friendly left leaning judge who directed that curb side voting would be allowed and further directed that state laws requiring a copy of a photo ID and two witnesses be included with mail in ballots not be followed. By the way…this same judge issued identical orders for the primary back in July…and was overturned by higher courts once already as over reaching his jurisdiction…but that didn’t stop him from issuing them again. SCOTUS yesterday overturned his order and directed that state law be followed and that the state Secretary of State has the authority to interpret state election law.
So…what’s happened is that…as I’m sure you’re aware…there have been been a passle of election related court disputes lately that essentially fall into 2 categories…and lower courts have decided some of the disputes in favor of each of our political parties. The first category is state courts, sometimes affirmed by the state Supreme Court…has determined that state election law should not be followed. None of the election laws were declared unconstitutional under either the state or federal constitution…the decisions essentially said that corona overrides the law. Some of these cases were appealed to the federal courts by the losing political party as violating the federal constitution. The second category is that one or the other of the political parties went directly to the federal courts…and then the losing party appealed until either the Appeals Court or the SCOTUS ruled.
So…what’s the problem with these cases?
Simple…none of them should even be entertained in the slightest…these suits by both sides should have been summarily dismissed. This is what the federal Constitution says on the matter in Article II Section I regarding presidential elections:
Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.
Simple and straightforward…state legislatures have the sole power to make election laws for their states except for the presidential election date which…again by the Constitution…is set by the Congress. No federal court, Congress, or administration has any jurisdiction in the manner in which the electors are elected and how the election is to be run…period.
In several of these cases…state courts and/or state supreme courts have directed that the legislature laws not be followed…but again…a state court cannot legally make a decision that overrides the federal constitution…that is simply illegal. In those cases…the appropriate remedy for the losing party in the state is to appeal to the federal courts…which then…and correctly so…rule that the Constitution gives state legislatures, not state courts…the right to set election law.
Moving on…according to
this article…Mr. Biden’s Social Security plan will “lift 1.4 million out of poverty”. Now on the face of it…that sounds like a good idea until you actually read the article and get the actual facts. Currently, workers only pay social security tax on wages up to $137,000 in salary and after that they don’t pay any more…but this number is indexed to inflation and goes up every year. What Mr. Biden wants to do is to create a donut hole so that incomes between $137,000 and $400,000 are not taxed for social security but the tax kicks back in at a non-inflation-adjusted income level of $400,000…this tax increase is part of the normal liberal demand to make the rich “pay their fair share”. What the article says but headline ignores is that over about 30 years or so this donut hole will disappear and workers will pay social security tax on every dollar of wages. Nothing wrong with that idea in principle…but this is just a sneaky way to increase taxes on all workers without saying you’re doing so. Even worse…the extra income produced which will be 7% in 2021 and up to 16% by 2065…will not be used to extend the lifetime of the Social Security Trust Fund which by current projections will be unable to pay full benefits by 2035 (2040 with his overall plan). Rather…most of the additional income will be used to increase benefits both to low income recipients as well as to the highest income recipients.
Nuts…the Social Security system has an issue…by the late 2030s it will not be bankrupt and only to pay something on the order of 70% of benefits based on annual taxes collected for it. So that means that either benefits get cut across the board (which won’t happen), taxes get raised, or there becomes a means test so that people who invested and saved won’t get the full benefit their contributions over the years earned. The trouble is that Social Security was never intended to be a retiree’s sole income…it was setup to be a supplemental income to your own savings. But given the tendency of most younger people (everybody younger than the baby boomer generation) to spend every dollar they make and ignore savings…Social Security will be all they have. That’s an oversimplification as some young folks do save but by and large they’re depending on the government to finance their retirement. Maybe they should spend less on BMWs, McMansions, and $150 sneakers and clothing with logos…along with maybe being parents to their children first and friends to their children second and saying No sometimes and save some money instead.
I guess ya saw where Jeffrey Toobin…noted Trump hater and liberal…has “stepped away from his responsibilities at CNN” after being suspended by the New Yorker. Seems that he was on a zoom call with staffers from the New Yorker and WNYC radio and decided it was time for a little…let’s call it self pleasuring. Unfortunately…he didn’t bother to turn his video off and the other folks on the meeting were exposed to his antics.
I’m thinking that while on a work related zoom meeting you should…um…do work things and not those other things.
I’m also thinking that it is gratifying to see that the peccadilloes of progressives aren’t getting swept under the rug like they typically are.
So there was this story in the NY Post this week about Hunter Biden’s emails and funds received by him regarding potential influence peddling while his father was the VP. Most of the WAMM immediately trashed the article as “debunked” and “another failed attempt to discredit Mr. Biden”.
Along with that…a
Fact Check by USA Today regarding whether or not “Biden leveraged $1B in aid to Ukraine to oust corrupt prosecutor, not to help his son” determined that what Mr. Biden really did was help Ukraine oust this corrupt prosecutor. What the article fails to mention is that while this prosecutor may (or may not, I don’t really think the truth of that has ever been conclusively determined) be corrupt…he was also investigating a company named Burisma for political influence peddling…and that’s the same Burisma that hired Hunter Biden to be on their board of directors despite zero experience in the oil/energy business…and the same Hunter Biden who stated in 2019 that “I would probably not have gotten that job if I had not been the son of the Vice President”. Yeah…nothing to see there.
I have no idea whether any influence peddling was going on…but where there is smoke there might be fire…and much like the House investigated the President it seems like investigating the actions of both Mr. Biden and his son is warranted to figure out what really happened. My personal guess is that unless both the President and Mr. Biden were extraordinarily stupid…they were smart enough to stay on the correct side of the legal/illegal line.
New developments in the Breonna Taylor shooting case in Louisville. Grand Juror #1 has stated…anonymously of course…that “…grand jury didn’t agree fatal shooting was justified”…which indicates that he/she doesn’t know anything about (a) the law or (b) how grand juries work.
As you know…the state AG took over the case from local prosecutors…and as you know only one of the 3 officers was indicted for a crime…and that crime was reckless endangerment since that officer shot into a neighboring apartment occupied by bystanders. Yes…it is true that the state AG did not offer homicide charges to the grand jury for the 3 officers involved…but the AG’s job is not to indict people because the media demands it. His job is to indict people who have actually committed a crime. In this case…and the facts clearly bear this out…Ms. Taylor’s boyfriend opened fire on the police…which gives them the legal authority to shoot back. Since they had the legal authority to shoot back…not only were homicide charges not possible but the AG would have been guilty of prosecutorial misconduct if he indicted people who broke no law. He stated at the time that he didn’t like the decision to not charge them…but under the law he had no choice. Once the facts were known…Ms. Taylor’s boyfriend shot first…then if the cops shoot back they are legally justified.
Interesting things found on the net.
So…we think we’re so smart these days and that people back in the day were not so smart. So…who was the first guy who figured out how big the earth was? Turns out it was this fella named Eratosthenes who was a Greek astronomer, geographer, mathematician and librarian…and he figured this out in 240BC. He also invented this mathematical concept known as the Sieve of Eratosthenes…which is a method of finding prime numbers that is still used today. Anyway…he knew that at noon on the Summer Solstice the sun was directly overhead at the site of the city of Aswan and that at the same time and day it was less than right overhead in Alexandria and thus cast a shadow. He concluded that the earth must be round based on that and using his math knowledge figured out what the diameter was. He measured the length of the shadow in Alexandria and using that and the known distance from Alexandria to Aswan figured out that the circumference of the earth was 252,000 stades…and depending on which definition of a stades one uses from classical literature the circumference is 24,663 to 27,967 miles…the actual value is 24,902.
This is what the various things in the Solar System look like to scale.