Closing Thought–31Jan22

Good-bye to Johnny Fever

Many years ago my favorite sitcom was WKRP….all the characters were spot on for the day but my favorite was Johnny Fever…..

He has died…well the actor that played the part…..Howard Hesseman.

Howard Hesseman, who played radio disc jockey Johnny Fever on the sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati and actor-turned-history teacher Charlie Moore on Head of the Class, has died. He was 81. Hesseman died Saturday in Los Angeles due to complications from colon surgery, his manager said Sunday. Hesseman, who had been a radio DJ in the 1960s, earned two Emmy nominations for his work on CBS’ WKRP, which ran from 1978 to ’82. The role made Hesseman a counterculture icon at a time when network television featured few hippie characters, the AP reports. “Impossible to overstate Howard Hesseman’s influence on his and subsequent generations of improvisors,” Michael McKean posted Sunday.

“I think maybe Johnny smokes a little marijuana, drinks beer and wine, and maybe a little hard liquor,” Hesseman told the New York Times in 1979. “And on one of those hard mornings at the station, he might take what for many years was referred to as a diet pill. But he is a moderate user of soft drugs, specifically marijuana.” Hesseman knew the territory. He said he once served 90 days in the San Francisco County Jail for selling an ounce of marijuana, though the conviction was reversed for entrapment. In 1983, per the Hollywood Reporter, Hesseman conceded that he’d conducted “pharmaceutical experiments in recreational chemistry.”

 

Hesseman grew up in Lebanon, Oregon, and attended the University of Oregon before moving to San Francisco, where he was a DJ for KMPX, an underground rock station. He joined the Committee, an improv group, appearing with other members in the 1971 film Billy Jack. Hesseman also had roles in Shampoo, the Sunshine Boys, and the Other Side of Midnight. His many TV roles included Boston Legal and That ’70s Show; his character married Bonnie Franklin’s on One Day at a Time, per the Wrap. When introduced to the station manager—and the show’s viewers—in the WKRP pilot, Hesseman’s character was said to be Johnny Caravella. “I’m also known as Johnny Midnight, Johnny Cool, Johnny Duke, Johnny Style, and Johnny Sunshine,” Hesseman said

Hesseman’s passing made me nostalgic for WKRP……

May his family and friends find some sort of joy knowing that he was loved by his fans.

Rest In Peace

“lego ergo scribo”

That Trump Supporter

This issue has defied explanation for years……what exactly makes a Trump supporter tick? What about the man makes so many angry and so many devoted?

A couple of researchers have tried to answer those questions and a few others.

What makes a Trump voter tick? Is it policy, their leader’s charisma, or something else entirely?

Two researchers at the University of North Carolina and the University of Missouri set out to answer that by measuring candidate support, cognitive performance and political ideology among 831 US-based participants — and found that Trump voters are, simply put, more cognitively rigid and interpersonally cold.

“Conservatism is commonly defined along two dimensions: Resistance to change, and opposition to equality,” the two authors wrote in their study, published November last year in the Journal of Social and Political Psychology. “Liberalism is defined by the opposite. People with enhanced sensitivity to threat and uncertainty in the environment are predisposed to epistemic, existential, and relational motives. These predispose individuals to political conservatism.”

Part of the study was to resolve an ongoing debate in psychology about whether liberals and conservatives fundamentally differ from each other — asymmetry), or whether extreme liberals and conservatives are similar to each other (symmetry). In a new interview with PsyPost published yesterday, study author Jake Womick told the publication that they found support for the asymmetry hypothesis.

“Supporters of relatively extreme Democratic candidates were similar to supporters of more moderate Democratic candidates and were not similar to Trump supporters,” Womick told PsyPost. “This trend was particularly strong for interpersonal warmth.”

For the study, participants indicated in 2020 whether they planned to vote for President Donald Trump or one of the Democratic primary candidates, which at the time included Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and others. They also completed psychological assessments of four variables representing cognitive rigidity (openness to experience, active open-minded thinking, dogmatism, and preference for one right answer) and two variables representing interpersonal warmth (compassion and empathy).

https://futurism.com/neoscope/research-trump-voters

Well that explains it….NOT!

Then what makes these mental midgets believe crap?

Conspiracy theories are more like fantasies. They are not theories in our scientific understanding. In short, a theory is an explanation of an aspect of the natural or social world that has been repeatedly tested, and verified in accordance with scientific methods relying on accepted protocols of observations, measurement, and a critical evaluation of the findings produced. None of this is the case when it comes to conspiracy theories.

Yet, behind almost every conspiracy fantasy lurks an occult force operating secretly behind the seemingly real. This remains a fact for all conspiracy theories – past, present, and future. Perhaps it is not unfounded to claim that we live in The Age of Conspiracism.

Thanks to the Internet, recent conspiracy theories have migrated with ease from the margins of society into the center of political life. They have become an omnipresent feature of contemporary political culture. The recent rise of conspiracy theories occurred because of three – a political, a technical, and a health – developments:

A Theory About Conspiracy Theories

Because of their closed mind these voters will not think about their decisions once they are formulated…..they want to wallow in ignorance is my thought.

Turn The Page!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Mid-Terms Not Looking Good For Dems

The 2022 mid-terms are quickly approaching and as usual with American politics it is not looking too good for the Dems when the voting is counted…..

To state the obvious: A lot is at stake in November. The 2022 midterm elections will not only decide control of both the U.S. House and Senate, but also who sits behind the governor’s desk in 36 out of the nation’s 50 states. 

History tells us that midterm elections generally go well for the party that’s not in the White House. But how can we tell whether that’s shaping up to happen again this cycle? As we inch closer to Election Day, there are four big indicators you can watch to give you an idea of which way the political winds are blowing.

The first number to keep an eye on is President Biden’s approval rating. Since World War II, there has been a decent relationship1 between the president’s average net approval rating (approval rating minus disapproval rating) on the day of the midterm elections and how many seats his party has lost in the House of Representatives. As you can see in the chart below, the president’s party has almost always lost seats — but popular presidents have been able to mitigate their losses.

Since World War II, presidents with net approval ratings better than +30 percentage points on a midterm’s Election Day have lost an average of only three House seats. Meanwhile, presidents with net approval ratings between +5 and +30 points on Election Day have lost an average of 24 seats, and presidents whose net popularity was worse than +5 points — which includes every president since 2006 — have lost an average of 39 seats.

The relationship isn’t perfect, though. President Dwight Eisenhower was extremely popular on Election Day 1958 (a net approval rating of +30.0 points), but Republicans still lost 47 House seats. And in 1974, President Gerald Ford was pretty popular (+19.8 points), but Republicans, still tainted by association with disgraced ex-President Richard Nixon (who had resigned just three months earlier), still lost 43 House seats.

Some Early Clues About How The Midterms Will Go

If things go the way of history then the American people are in store for a chaotic 2 years until the 2024….2 years of political stagnation.

Choose wisely.

Watch This Blog!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

More Trouble For Hefner

Hugh Hefner one of the founders of the ‘girlie” magazine has been dead for years but now there is a push to bring some of his abuses to light.

And the saga goes something like this…..

A new 10-part docuseries paints Hugh Hefner as a rapist who drugged women at his Playboy mansion—and Playboy says it supports those accusing Hef of sexual misconduct. “We trust and validate women and their stories, and we strongly support the individuals who have come forward to share their experiences,” it posted in an open letter over the weekend. “The Hefner family is no longer associated with Playboy, and today’s Playboy is not Hugh Hefner’s Playboy. Today, our organization is run by a workforce that is more than 80% female, and together we are building upon the aspects of our legacy that have made a positive impact, including serving as a platform for free expression and a convener of safe conversations on sex, inclusion and freedom.” More on A&E’s Secrets of Playboy:

  • Who’s involved: Multiple former Playmates, others associated with the magazine and Hefner’s empire, and former girlfriends of Hefner were interviewed, CNN reports. Among those is Sondra Theodore, a girlfriend of Hef’s from the late 1970s, who calls him a “vampire” who “sucked the life out of all these young girls for decades.”
  • What’s described: Another former girlfriend, Holly Madison of The Girls Next Door, describes a “cult-like atmosphere” around Hef, including people who made sure what happened at the Playboy mansion stayed there and Hef’s name stayed pristine in the media. Others, including a former exec, echo those allegations. Rampant drug and alcohol use, including by those under 21, is also alleged.
  • Bestiality and snuff films? Theodore says she once walked in on Hefner engaging in sexual activities with her dog, the New York Post reports. And a former “bunny mother” says she once saw Hef force a woman to give oral sex to a German shepherd. Hefner is also alleged to have been into snuff films, the Daily Beast reports.
  • More disturbing allegations: Women say they were forced into sex with Hefner and, sometimes, others (both male and female) while Hefner watched, often without using protection. Some women were allegedly pressured to get plastic surgery, and Hef allegedly berated women abusively, including Madison, over their appearance.
  • Bill Cosby: Cosby, a good friend of Hefner’s, gets brought up by the former bunny mother, who says the comedian sodomized her so violently she bled. Men who frequented Playboy clubs and the mansion were also accused of drugging and raping dozens of women, with Hefner being accused of “pimping out” women to some of them.
  • “Protections” in place: Hefner allegedly hid cameras around the Playboy mansion and threatened to release photos and videos of “depraved” sex acts if anyone spoke out against him. Madison says Hefner blackmailed her with photos and that was why she stayed with him for so long. Hef’s widow and fellow former Girls Next Door star, Crystal Hefner, confirmed that she found “thousands” of such photos after his death and destroyed them all, People reports.
  • The rest of the ‘Girls’: Bridget Marquardt, an original Girl Next Door alongside Madison, is also in the docuseries, but Kendra Wilkinson, the third original star of the E! reality show, is not, Distractify reports. Crystal Hefner, who was Crystal Harris at the time, joined the series later, as did twins Kristina and Karissa Shannon, who spoke to Radar in advance of the A&E docuseries’ premiere.
  • Defense: Hefner’s son, Cooper, has come to his defense, E! reports. “These salacious stories are a case study of regret becoming revenge,” he says. At least one former Playmate also insisted the allegations are untrue, the New York Post reports.
  • Same-sex affair: Multiple people also allege in the docuseries that Hefner was in love and had a sexual affair with his male physician and best friend

I am sorry….but the man is dead and cannot defend himself….these allegations may well be true and if they are it is intolerable ….but where were these allegations when the supposed acts took place?

Follow the money.

Enjoy your day….Be Well….Be Safe….

“lego ergo scribo”

Aaron Burr–Forgotten Founder

Another weekend and another history lesson  (is that an eye roll I hear?)……since many Americans are woefully ignorant about our history I feel I must try to correct that lack of knowledge.

All the hoopla around the theatrical production of ‘Hamilton’ (No I have not seen this production (there is something repugnant, to me, about history reduced to song and dance) but the life of Hamilton got me to thinking about a ‘founder’ that was interesting to me in my college years and that is the dude that shot and killed Hamilton during a duel, Aaron Burr.

I feel I need to set the story straight for I think the Burr, granted he was an arrogant tool, has been left out of history because he was in opposition to Jefferson and as we all know he is a god among some scholars.

There is so much more to Burr than our measly history texts give….ore than his duel or his vice-presidency, his war of words with Jefferson and Hamilton or his supposed treason.

Learn about the person before you condemn….

Aaron Burr Jr. (1756-1836), was thought to be one of the most brilliant students graduated from Princeton in the eighteenth century. Woodrow Wilson said he had `genius enough to have made him immortal, and unschooled passion enough to have made him infamous.” His father was Princeton’s second president; his maternal grandfather, Jonathan Edwards, was Princeton’s third president. The younger Aaron Burr was left an orphan when he was two years old, his father and mother (and both maternal grandparents) having died within a year. He did not respond well to the discipline of his austere uncle, Timothy Edwards, several times running away from home and attempting to go to sea. He entered the sophomore class at Princeton at the age of thirteen and graduated with distinction at sixteen in 1772, a year after James Madison and Philip Freneau. He was a member of the Cliosophic Society and for his Commencement Oration chose the prophetic topic `On Castle Building.”

Burr studied theology for a while and then law. After the Revolutionary War, in which he served with distinction as a field officer, he took up the practice of law in New York City and entered politics, serving as a member of the New York state assembly, attorney general of New York, and United States senator. In the presidential election of 1800, he received the same number of electoral votes as Thomas Jefferson, but the tie was broken in the House of Representatives in Jefferson’s favor, and Burr became vice-president.

http://www.let.rug.nl/usa/biographies/aaron-burr-jr/

Many see him as a traitor for his supposed attempt to establish his personal empire in the American West…..but was he or was he just a victim of a smear campaign?

In the summer of 1807, the city of Richmond, Virginia, played host to one of the most remarkable trials in early American history. The case involved several legal luminaries, but its undisputed star was the defendant, 51-year-old Aaron Burr. The New Jersey native had only recently served as Thomas Jefferson’s vice president, but since then his reputation had been marred by political intrigue and his participation in a duel that had left Alexander Hamilton dead. Burr now stood accused of one of the gravest crimes in American law: treason. According to one account, he had been at the heart of a “deep, dark, and wicked conspiracy” against the young United States.

What was the nature of the plot that had seen Burr charged with treason? Even today, many details of the scheme remain hazy. “Too many people told too many different stories, and too many people had things to hide,” historian Buckner F. Melton has written. What is known is that Burr worked to raise a small army on the American frontier. He may have hoped to lead an independent campaign against Spanish-held territories in Texas and Mexico, but it’s also possible that he planned to wrest a portion of the newly acquired frontier from the United States. According to some contemporaries, Burr had designs on founding a new western nation with himself as its emperor.

https://www.history.com/news/aaron-burrs-notorious-treason-case

Learn the particulars and not the ramblings of those that tend to demonize for whatever reason.

Americans needs to learn more about Burr….beyond he shot and killed Hamilton….there is always more to the story than that of academics trying to make a name for themselves.

Suggested Further Reading:

Fallen Founder: Life Of Aaron Burr by Nancy Isenberg

Burr Conspiracy by James E. Lewis, Jr

Memoirs Of Aaron Burr, Complete Edition by Mathew L. Davis

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–28Jan22

College enrollment is declining….and to me it is a troubling trend….

When enrollment at college and universities dropped sharply in 2020, officials hoped it was a one-year blip caused by the pandemic. Instead, numbers are still dropping and analysts fear a wider shift away from higher education could be underway. According to data released Thursday by the National Student Clearinghouse, undergraduate enrollment in fall 2021 was down 3.1% from the previous year, for a total two-year drop of 6.6%, the biggest in more than 50 years. Doug Shapiro, head of the NSC’s research center, tells NPR that the year-on-year drop of nearly 500,000 undergraduates is “very frightening.” Far from “filling the hole” of last year’s declines, he says, “we are still digging it deeper.”

According to the NSC’s estimates, the biggest decline in 2021 was at four-year institutions, but community college enrollment has dropped the most since the start of the pandemic, with a decline of more than 13%. Shapiro tells the Washington Post that with wages rising and plenty of low-skilled jobs available, young people are “questioning the value of college. They may be looking at friends who graduated last year or the year before who didn’t go and they seem to be doing fine. They’re working; their wages are up.” He says the trend could be starting to “build its own momentum as a cultural shift and not just a short-term effect of the pandemic disruptions.”

Shapiro says he is especially worried about young people from middle- to lower-income families who decide against college, possibly “trading a short-term gain for a long-term loss.” He warns that while earning good money might seem more attractive than college right now, their future income could be stagnant if they don’t upgrade their skills—and a shortage of skilled workers is bad for the whole economy. The NSC says only 2% of high school graduates who decided against college in 2020 enrolled the following year. “There’s a great deal at stake,” Shapiro says. “We have to get students back on track, re-engage them.”

These people are looking at the economic side of the equation….let us not forget the trend of anti-intellectualism running rampant in this country fueled by the misinformation on social media.

This is a sad story for college teaches one to think critically and without that all you have is a sad devotion to ignorance.

Turn The Page!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

A New Domestic Terrorism Unit

With all the chaos that is being created in this country by the far Right extremists the DOJ has put together a new domestic terrorism unit……

The Department of Justice is opening a new unit to investigate acts of domestic terrorism, a top national security official said during a Senate committee hearing Tuesday.

Why it matters: The FBI and Justice Department warned repeatedly last year that the threat of and investigations into acts of domestic terrorism have increased since 2020.

  • While there is no specific federal domestic terrorism statute, the federal government defines domestic terrorism as criminal acts dangerous to human life that appear to be intended to intimidate or coerce civilians or the policy of a government. It can also use other criminal charges when pursuing domestic terrorists.
  • Lawmakers and active and former FBI agents have called for the creation of a specific statute to make such acts a federal crime, though others have argued it would be redundant or fear it could be used to crackdown on constitutional acts of political dissent.

https://www.axios.com/justice-department-domestic-terrorism-unit-1a025d5e-09d1-46ca-ac77-cc60ca687d1b.html

Seriously?

You mean there is no one unit that tracks this crap?

Why not?

I mean there has been the violent fringe for many decades and it just kept getting worse and yet no one was focusing on these slugs of society?

For me that does not say much positive for the record of the DOJ….they seem to focus more on white collar crime more than the pigs that want to destroy our government.

The DOJ has always had serious lack of foresight…they are always reacting instead of heading violence off at the pass.

I am glad that someone finally woke up and came to the conclusion that we have a major problem with domestic terrorism….now we will see just how serious they are at preventing stuff like 06 January.

Personally I am not impressed by the announcement…..

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–27Jan22

Is Medicare paying for the Covid miracle cure?

Ivermictin?

That miracle of medical technology that has been pushed by idiots on the Right as a treatment for Covid.

Is Medicare on the hook for this pipe dream?

If you’re in the camp that believes ivermectin is a wonderful drug … for ailments other than COVID, a new Mother Jones article is likely to raise your ire. It flags a January study in the Journal of the American Medical Association that looked at just who is paying for the ivermectin doctors have been prescribing COVID patients despite the FDA’s warning that doing so is dangerous. The answer: well, you. A team led by Kao-Ping Chua of the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health looked at a sampling of Medicare Advantage claims (excluding ones involving patients who had a diagnosis code for a parasitic infection prior to filling the ivermectin prescription). They found that Medicare Advantage covered, on average, 74% of the cost of each ivermectin prescription, or $39 a pop.

The team added in what private insurers paid (61% of the cost) and arrived at a total of $2.5 million in insurance coverage per week, with Medicare’s portion of that being about $925,000. The researchers point out the total is an undercount because it doesn’t include Medicaid. “Findings suggest that insurers heavily subsidized the costs of ivermectin prescriptions for COVID-19, even though economic theory holds that insurers should not cover ineffective care,” they write. Mother Jones has this takeaway: “Chua’s findings are especially noteworthy when considering one of the main arguments of ivermectin proponents: The drug is cheap, often just a little more than a dollar a dose. Yet the study vividly illustrates that while individual costs can be low, on a population level, they add up fast.”

Forbes notes the researchers looked at private and Medicare plan spending during the week of Aug. 13, 2021, and “it’s not yet clear how ivermectin prescribing levels may have fluctuated after that week in August.” It adds another caveat, which is that the sample used wasn’t a random or nationally representative sample but a convenience sample, meaning a sample of the people who happened to be in the database used. The sample they ended up with had a higher proportion of people from the Midwest and a lower proportion from the South.

This needs a review.

The taxpayer does not need to be on the ook for bogus science.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

More SCOTUS News

It looks like there will be a opening on the highest court soon…..seems one of the old farts on the court will be retiring…….

Justice Stephen Breyer is reportedly planning to retire from the Supreme Court at the end of its current term—and while no official announcement has been made, White House press secretary Jen Psaki fielded plenty of Breyer-related questions at Wednesday’s briefing. Psaki said that while she couldn’t discuss specifics, President Biden “certainly stands by” his promise to nominate a Black woman to the top court, the Guardian reports. Asked whether that woman could be Vice President Kamala Harris, Psaki said Biden “has every intention” of running for reelection with Harris on the ticket. More:

  • Biden “happy to talk about it later.” When he was asked about Breyer’s retirement at a White House event Wednesday, the president said he would be “happy to talk about it later.” An official announcement is expected Thursday. Sources tell Politico that Breyer told the president last week about his intention to retire.
  • Liberals are relieved. Breyer, 83, is the most senior of the three remaining liberal justices on the court, as well as its oldest member, and liberals are relieved that he apparently plans to step down while there is plenty of time to confirm a successor while Democrats have a Senate majority, the AP reports. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Biden’s nominee “will receive a prompt hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee and will be considered and confirmed by the full United States Senate with all deliberate speed.”

Praise for Breyer. Democrats praised Breyer for his contributions to the court since he was appointed by Bill Clinton in 1994—and for his decision to retire, the New York Times reports. Schumer said Breyer “embodies the best qualities and highest ideals of American justice,” while Democratic Rep. Mondaire Jones said he was glad Democrats won’t risk “losing yet another seat on the high court to the radical, anti-democracy right.”

The timeline. Democrats will now have the summer to get a nominee through the confirmation process, allowing her to join the court before the next term starts in October, weeks before the midterm elections, per Politico.

Some see this as good news for the Dems….for some see the Right turn of the court as a problem for the nation.

When former President Donald Trump’s third Supreme Court nominee was confirmed in 2020, cementing the most conservative majority on the court since the 1930s, it wasn’t clear which conservative goals the justices would tackle first. Culture-war issues like abortion, gun rights, affirmative action and religious liberty were obvious possibilities, but issues with a more subtle impact like reining in the power of the executive branch and limiting unions had long been on conservative legal advocates’ wish list, too. So the question wasn’t whether the court would move to the right — it was more a question of where they’d start.

The term isn’t over yet, but it’s already looking like this year could be a bonanza for conservatives — and not just because of the high-profile cases that have snapped up most of the attention. I’ve written about how the justices could limit or overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case that established a constitutional right to abortion, and expand gun rights for the first time in over a decade. But there are several other, less flashy cases that could also have sweeping effects on Americans’ lives. 

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-supreme-courts-right-turn-goes-way-beyond-guns-and-abortion/amp/

I wish I was more optimistic….but so far the Right turn has been years in the making and I do not see much difference no matter who Biden nominates.

Watch This Blog!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–26Jan22

I have saying for years that the participants of political parties are cowards….they are more worried about their appearance on TV than they are worried about the people that claim to represent.

The GOP is once again proving my point……this time it is about debates….

GOP unhappiness with the commission that runs the presidential debates reached a peak Thursday, when the Republican National Committee told the nonprofit it wants its candidates to sit out the event in the future. The committee told the nonprofit in a letter that it plans to require its candidates to sign a pledge promising to stay out of future events sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates, the New York Times reports. Party Chair Ronna McDaniel referred in the letter to giving candidates an “opportunity elsewhere” to debate, but there’s no word on what that forum would be or whether the Democratic Party would sign on.

McDaniel’s Democratic counterpart accused the GOP of trying to hide its candidates from voters, per the Hill. “During the last presidential election, the Republicans decided to not have a platform for the first time ever so it’s a natural progression,” Jaime Harrison said. “First no platform and now no debates.” The commission, which was launched by both parties in 1987 and is billed as nonpartisan, said the Republican Party wants changes in the way the debates are handled. Democrats have not called for any changes. If the commission blocks “meaningful reforms necessary to restore its credibility,” McDaniel said, the party will look elsewhere.

A Republican official and a commission official have been talking for months about the party’s complaints that Democrats are favored by the process. The commission said that as a neutral entity, “which neither favors nor disfavors any party or candidate,” it doesn’t negotiate over its process with anyone. Its officials wonder if someone’s confusing the campaigns in the primary and general—when there’s only one candidate left per party—races. The commission doesn’t have anything to do with debates during the primaries. The RNC will vote on the pledge requirement next month.

Of course they want out of the debates for their candidates have NO platform to defend….all they have is misinformation and lies, slogans and other such nonsense.

This is how cowards act.

Thank you GOP for helping to prove my point that you d/bags are COWARDS!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”