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Trump swamp quakes as Justic dept. swoops

quake's world
The Quake, a non-commercial site touching on a variety of topics including progressive politics, football [the real one], general interest and investing all seem to come up a lot. Thanks for visiting. The Quake supports Ukraine. Always: No to authoritarianism. Yes to uncorrupted democracy. That's hard to find these days. Protect it.

Bitcoin value scan. Shocked? Meditate.

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Previous posts and links
Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg tries to show that he really is human. He eats a sandwich and virtually inspects the devastation in Puerto Rico.

This OCD man is obsessed with the number 12

2 minute tennis serve

2 minute tennis: 5 tips to serve like the pro's [like Roger Federer]

tennis evolution pronation

pronate on all serves says ian of essential tennis

pronation: really let go says tomas of feel tennis (7 pronation drills), and 7 steps

totally dominating tennis

tennis spin

essential tennis

what lies beneath?

how to make a tennis ball

golden era of aviation thai airbus 380 departing kansai, japan



August 2022
Justice Dept.
kicks into gear
Criminal swoop into Trump
Looks like the blustering sociopathic boss of anti-democracy Donald J. "Twitler" is going to be subject to a criminal investigation [Allelujah!] as a judge authorized a search warrant on one of Trump's many trophy homes that look down and mock the working people of America whose money has gone to these altars of corruption and decadence.

It's "big news that a grand jury has reportedly been impaneled to find out how and why national secrets were packed up in Washington and parked in Palm Beach" says MSNBC.

We are witnessing possible justice unlike ever seen before, going to the very top, and it seems it may be true, thank goodness, that .... even a president or an ex-president is not above the law. Continues MSNBC: " it's unlikely the Justice Department would convene a grand jury if officials there didn't think they had some evidence that could overcome Trump's likeliest defenses."

Blackpool
intoxicating
English Football is baack!
The English football league season is with us, with the actual official "English Football League" itself having already started, while the top tier, a separate yet connected entity called the Premier League, is geared up to kick-off this Friday with an all London affair between Crystal Palace and Arsenal.

We are informed that the lowest life expectancy in England is for residents of Blackpool [the highest being Westminster in central London]. So howzabout looking to see how their football club is doing, eh? Well, at the time of writing, they're by no means bottom of the entire football league system. In fact they are in the top level of the Football League which is the second to top tier of the overall pyramid.

They actually won their first match of this brand new season, defeating visitors Reading 1:0. An unhappy Reading supporter royalboy reacted: "New season optimism crushed after 10 minutes. Another long season lies ahead I'm afraid. On the plus side my girlfriend and I had a lovely evening in (Black)pool, the smell of chips, vomit and sea air is truly intoxicating. I just hope we get to go back next season."

So don't commit suicide just yet, Blackpool or Reading fans, and deny yourselves the future guilty pleasure that is, indeed, the truly intoxicating smell of chips, vomit and sea air. May I add: the alcohol could also be a contributing factor. To the intoxication that is. Or the lifespan. Or, frankly, both. At any rate, this result indicates a lot to live for, even in Blackpool, where the team plays in tangerine - surely a color to die for.

July 2022
England scoring
in the semifinal
England women win Euro final
The final between England and Germany lived up to the glaring spotlight of over 87,000 spectators and millions more via remote watching (TV, online, outdoor gatherings etc). What a way to finish the tournament topped off with three remarkable goals and some quality play by both sides.

The first goal, lobbed over the keeper by Ella Toone from a pinpoint Keira Walsh assist that released the scorer's amazing run, has already become the signature clip for the match, and the way Germany rapidly rallied to get even, and then the dramatic match winner late into extra time, could not have been scripted better.

Semifinal
They're on their way to the Women's Euro Cup final in Wembley stadium as England's national football side thrilled the nation, the continent, indeed the world! with a comprehensively professional 4:0 demolition of Sweden in the semifinal held at Sheffield United's sold-out ground. Some amazing action and some memorable goals. Big audiences live and on TV, along with a watch-along in downtown London. Catch the highlights if you missed the game. Second semifinal is between Germany and France Wed July 27.

USL & Monterey Bay
Monterey Bay FC still on a roll with a string of unbeaten league games after a shaky start to the season. Potential coming through, it's beginning to click. Both brilliant goals.

Stadiums of all the USL Championship clubs, at least, as of the previous season.

Ray of hope for US democracy
Us democracy is in deep trouble and it's going to take a lot more than throwing batshit Bannon into the cooler for a few days. But it's a critical baseline marker which, had our nation sunk below it, might have precluded any coming back.

As Norman Eisen and Dennis Aftergut reacted on CNN: "Subpoena defiance and the insurrection are birds of a feather. The American system of government requires that there be both a peaceful transition of power and a successful investigation of those who seek to interfere with it. Deterrence by punishment for such interference is the only way to stabilize American democracy."

Meanwhile, in Tik Tok land USA, his daughter thinks the waiter is cute.

Also, let us not forget, in Tik Tok land USA, you are kidding my azz.

"Why We Did It": former RNC spokesman on GOP's descent into Trumpism.

Jokes about American health care.

Props to Jake Broe for a you-tube channel that keeps many of us coming back for his content, especially the Russian war on Ukraine.

Curtains for Boris
it's all over for batshit Boris who's resigned and no longer leads the disunited Kingdom. The toxic Tories will now further destabilize the UK by coming up with another dysfunctional dotard to lead a nation, still reeling after its diabolical disassociation from the European Union, in meltdown. But which worrisome weasel will they elect to replace jaundiced Johnson? Sir Robert Buckland: "we are in unchartered waters". Time to beg the EU to fly over some psychedelic snorkels.

What finally sank the blustering buffoon?

June 2022
Curtains for humans
As suspected, we're on the final leg of the human journey. We've lost the ability to solve our problems. Andrew Potter on Decline, speaking to CBC Radio [Canada] of "a slow, grinding descent into less prosperity, lower quality of life, and diminished prospects for a better world."

Justice? Depp-ends...
While US democracy gets whittled away by the far right, so far we see a gaping absence of justice served up to the corrupt politicians and hangers-on of the Trump era who made huge personal fortunes at the expense of the ordinary working American stiffs, the masses are kept docile with the likes of "the Johnny Depp trial". Nevertheless, who could not fail to be charmed by his lawyers who certainly got their 15 minute of fame along with some serious $$$ in this case. Now where's the justice for everyone who's not a multi-millionaire?

USA's interminable internal terror
by Rob Francis: It baffles the rest of the modern world why America seems incapable of stopping the mass shootings. This Guardian article discusses the problem, which has existed in the many decades I've lived here and has only gotten worse. It's the completely out of control gun violence and mass shootings.

Australia and New Zealand did it - they fixed their mass shooting problems, and for all my criticism of many aspects of UK politics this problem has never been an issue there in my entire lifetime. By contrast, in the United States, with mass shootings occurring now at catastrophic rates. I discovered that in 2021 it was just under 1.9 mass shooting events PER DAY according to the criteria of the "Mass Shooting Tracker", far outstripping those that ever make national news, and 27 school shootings have taken place just this year so far, at the time of writing in late May.

The solution is further away than ever before, and because of the political reality in this nation it now seems beyond the ability of the executive, legislative, and judicial systems to ever be solved, no matter how many citizens are killed or experiencing lifelong trauma or other injury.

There's so much to like, and indeed to still love, about this amazing country overall [and California in particular] but the murder and mayhem of uncontrolled gun accessibility is a huge problem with no mechanism in sight to ever change it - and that's killing us, literally and psychically.

May 2022
Trumpism toppled abroad
Not only is disgraced groping TV star and former failed president Donald Trump struggling to maintain interest in his now tedious presence at home [though strong inside the otherwise rudderless Repugli-Q party] his influence aboard is taking signifcant hits. His minions abroad are falling like dominoes, now with Slovenia's people souring on authoritarian Trump mooch Janez Jansa in favor of the brand new Liberal party's Robert Golob, while of course France rejected their extremist rightwing ultra racist choice for [unpopular but far lesser of two evils in their view] Emmanuel Macron.

Slovenia is recognized as the wealthiest Slavic nation in Europe but the people have set their sights even beyond that - seeking an improved health care system and a yearning to stem the dangerous rightwing efforts to erode democracy - remarkably like the US in many ways.

Meanwhile, a blueprint for America's future: Just Security's "Good governance papers". Where are we now, where are we succeeding, where are we moving in the right direction but need to do better, and where are we failing?

Mallory M of Michigan
Michigan senator Mallory McMorrow's speech that went viral tells it like it is. A breath of fresh air to see someone speak out strongly on behalf of the views of the greater and more grounded of the American people.

Buddhism in Spanish
Buddhism in Spanish is growing around the world and just two examples are in the Canary Islands and Los Angeles. In California, and probably elsewhere in the USA and Canada, it is noticeable to those who visit Buddhist temples or communities the extent to which, for example, Spanish speaking monks are entering the Buddhist picture where before only [or overwhelmingly] English and/or Japanese, Sri Lankan, Thai, Vietnamese, Mandarin, Tibetan, Korean or other Buddhist tongues would have been spoken.


April 2022
The US & global Q-anon mental health crisis
Jill Filipovic sums it very well, as the latest diatribe from Marjorie Taylor Greene accuses Republicans who voted for Supreme court nominee Judge Jackson of being pro-pedophile. The CNN writer said: "Republicans should remember that there are more important things than cementing power and winning elections -- American democracy, stability and cohesion among them."

The problem is that the GOP have become so extreme and unhinged that they couldn't care less and that Taylor Greene isn't going to stop spouting batshit garbage. Now if somebody can come up with a way to bring them back to their senses, then we're talking. Meanwhile, at the worst possible time in human history, global mental illness proliferates and threatens to become dominant, whether it be in growing segments of the population, in its leaders [like Putin], and in American and global rightwing media.

Clevedon Town player scores non-league goal of the season contender video... hulloh.

What a brilliant goal. Brilliant.

Truth is not out there
To all the mugs who want to get onto Trump's laughing stock psuedo-twitter platform called "Truth Social": all they are getting is patronizing doublespeak. For example, the bug-ridden site's message to their supposed waiting list: "Thanks for joining. Due to massive demand, we have placed you on our waitlist. We love you, and you're not just another number to us. But your waitlist number is below." It seems the demand is anything but "massive" as the BBC [via Similar Web] notes Trump's app is not even among the Top 100 whereas YouTube and TikTok are in the top ten. You can't make this stuff up.

Not a surprise that former Californian Republican big wig Devin Nunes is the chief executive, moving on from his political career which is perhaps best known for his suing a fictitious bovine-obsessed twitter detractor called Devin Nunes' cow. The son of a dairy lineage could be having another cow over Social Truth's udder shambles which so far has gone teats up. Especially as the cult leader himself @realDonaldTrump has only posted one 'truth' for "well over a month" [BBC] at the time of writing. However, the BBC writer James Clayton, desperate not to want to upset the rambunctious rancher, goes on to mention what a star Trump still is [really?] and that "any 'free speech' app would bend over backwards to have him on its platform." Hmm. Well anyway, thanks for updating us on Trump's "Truth Social", Clayton. Maybe it's time to moo-ve on. Between the various players involved in this alleged super flop endeavor, at least they've milked it for all it's worth, both D and D are raking in the bucks from gung-ho investors.

What the all-women newsroom in South Asia says about democracy.

For the first time it's gradually dawning on many of the public at large that there's a World Cup going on this winter [northern hemisphere perspective]. Awareness is increasing because we pretty much know who's in the Finals and who they're gonna play. The most talked about group in The Quake's neck of the woods is Group B. Wowza: USA, England, Iran, and one of Wales, Scotland or Ukraine [all this at the time of writing of course]. And what a surprise, Qatar get the easiest group. Meanwhile the most brutal, arguably, is Spain, Germany, Japan, and Costa Rica or New Zealand. Brutal mostly for Japan. Three big fish in one group and then Qatar with only one big fish: the Netherlands. Rigged some? Dear oh dear.

USL Championship
Welcome: Monterey Bay
1st home game in May
May 07, 2022. USA: ESPN+
Monterey Bay vs
Las Vegas
It's the beginning of a brand new football club in glorious California. At the time of writing Monterey Bay finally won some league points. After two losses they turned it around with a dramatic hard fought away win at the Oakland Roots.

The game made history as it was the first time the club has ever earned a point in its history, or three to be exact, because it was also the first time in its history to win a match, having lost the first two [all on the road, as the home ground won't be available until this upcoming above fixture.] And how soon will this repeated: the goalscorer of the two first Monterey goals, Chase Boone, switched to "emergency goalkeeper" for the latter part of the game! It was one of those kinda quirky situations.

Another "first" of sorts is that it was MBFC's first northern California "derby", and you could even say Bay Area derby if you want to stretch things. It's reached a point where north Monterey county does have a significant number of commuters who work in Silicon Valley, itself part of the San Francisco Bay Area, and Oakland is also part of that metro SF Bay Area.

Check back to this column as there's plenty of time for the build up to this one!


March 2022
The West awakens
Though the death and destruction may just be beginning for our neighbors in Ukraine, Vladimir Putin has tested what he perceived as the feeble weak-minded West [which, as Stephen Kotkin points out, is a way of being, not a place, and includes, for example, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea] and has found them stronger, and himself and the Russian military weaker, than he [and many others] imagined.

Europe has moved with unity and speed to integrate the Ukrainian people into its own communities, Germany and Switzerland have said goodbye to their neutrality, and the US is deploying substantial hardware and software to push back, and economic sanctions have been swift and dramatic.

Whatever happens, Russia [and China] are realizing it's not about blowing over a mere paper tiger as they mistakenly thought the West was.

Whether that averts the looming nuclear crisis remains to be seen.

Mexican club violence
Update on this infamous match: the punishments have been severe including home fans banned for a year and the forced sale of the club, among a shopping list of mind-warping repercussions as Mexican authorities basically tells the world: "Dudes. We want to still co-host the 2026 world cup. Look what we're doing to stamp this out."

"It's what you want to see. The commentators also have to take the blame when they exalt the teams [tribes] that they get paid to publicize." -- Valentin Esquivel, You-tube viewer.

This is the ground zero from which they are working, as reported by the Sporting News: "It's notable that the Queretaro State Police posted a tweet during the match in which they confirmed their presence at the stadium and noted (translated from Spanish) that the first half is taking place in a tranquil environment and with a good atmosphere in the stands." No worries then, safe in the knowledge that the action women security team [seriously] would hold the fort. Cheque's in the mail, 'n all that.

Original article: It was weird watching the terrace battle [albeit across actual seats and then the pitch] as Queretaro fans tried to overrun an elevated away section to throw whatever objects came to hand at the visiting Atlas supporters, some of whom returned the favor. Elswhere running battles appeared to take place with what looked like targeted attacks to clear out any away visitors, ultimately the match itself was abandoned. Many in the away and mixed sections poured onto the pitch to escape the onslaught.

It was like a flashback to the 70's and 80's in Britain and elsewhere in Europe and strangely out of synch so many decades later. It would only take a few street level investigators to immerse into the culture of the hooligan brigades to suss out when something like this was brewing and therefore allow authorities to take [at least] proper security measures. Instead, nobody can or wants to get their act together. The opposite. One or more security guards allegedly unlocked a fence gate to allow the blue bedecked hoard to swarm out of their pen towards the Atlas loyalists.

As the Guardian points out, this must raise the question of whether Mexico is capable or deserving of co-hosting an upcoming World Cup.

Nuke catastrophe looms
Absolute power corrupts absolutely and we're witnessing a nuke laden authoritarian in mental meltdown so all bets are off and you'd get decent odds for betting "on" but little time to spend the takings.
Europe + North
America = NATO.
A formidable foe
for would-be
rogues

Amazing how the right-wing media was fawning all over Putin with praise, adulation and worship until they realized the game was up, these grifter overlords, who'll say anything to keep their inflated paychecks coming, cowardly change their tune when the chips are down. 180 degree about face -- overnight. But the gormless followers don't seem to notice, it's all whooshing far above their heads.


February 2022
To the Moon
With the cold war heating up along with the earth's record high temps and there's a heady brew of angst afoot in a human world where disasters now occur so rapidly that an event or occurrence that would have once rattled us for weeks in the past are rapidly subsumed by an avalanche of even greater threats on an almost daily basis. Add that the legacy of the past -- weird people creating ever weirder problems, and where to turn? Why, the Moonies of course!

Yes they're still around but most conspicuous within two splintered factions of the original global unification mob most notably the rifle-toting, robe-bedecked elderly dominated congregation with compounds and concentrations of adherents particularly in Texas,Tennessee, Pennsylvania and the north-eastern part of the midwest.

So below is the story [still unfolding to this day] of one random Moonie group, how they came to be where they are, and how they try to adapt to survive today's rigors and realities, rocked by the death of their cult leader and desperately adapting to a fast changing world.

Rising Sun, or rising Moon? How Japanese die-hards of a crumbling south Korean cult dedicated their lives to creating the True Father's paradise [or hell?] in remotest Paraguay, in supposedly one of its happiest yet most forbidding and mosquito infested places. The intrepid reporter, while in the act of disembarking from the river-boat bus [and travelling market], was warned by a joyless military guard, the sole figure on shore: "This isn't where you want to get off." [....yikes!]

For an even more bizarre cult that moved to South America howz about this lot, also still around albeit having gone thru some changes over the years of their horrific history.

January 2022
Brexit battered in polls

Sixty per cent of people think Brexit has gone badly and even 42 per cent of Brexit voters share this negative view according to Opinium polling.

"Is it considered a Wake or a celebration?" posited the Independent. Reader Ina Yekaterina: "Well, it could be considered a celebration. If you run on opioids."

Brexit: why the United Kingdom is in a big mess.

Canary Islands: residents rebuild after volcano eruption.

December 2021

OMG Omicron!

The hits keep on coming and whilst even a small section of the public refuses to receive [or does not have access to] vaccinations, Covid will continue to find victims and will continue to mutate. Humans will continue to suffer the consequences. It's the way things work on this planet - and there's no way around it.

"The culture of beef is not consistent with Earth's wellbeing, and we have to choose: do you eat beef and let Earth incinerate, or do you forgo beef and give Earth a fighting chance?" -- Gidon Eshel, environment & urban studies research professor Bard College

How poor people survive in America [DW Germany documentary].

Play a racquet sport or soccer = live longer
Tennis, badminton, and soccer top the list of sports scientifically proven to increase life expectancy, writes Allie Flinn on Well & Good.

Have a great holiday month and remember TheQuake is with you every step of the way, and do check back for further updates.

November 2021
Fall leaves
"The Republican Party has openly embraced January 6. So now a vote for ANY Republican is a vote for what happened on January 6. That is the message that needs to be hammered home to those so-called swing voters so they don't get distracted with nonsense. 'Did you like January 6? Then vote Republican. You didn't? Then vote Democratic, because the Republicans are all about January 6. And if you can't bring yourself to vote Democratic, then you can still be a patriot: stay home.' Hammer, hammer, hammer. It's not just about Trump. It's about all the filth in Congress and the state houses who have embraced the attack on the Capitol, which is to say, the attack on the country, on Jan. 6. We really need to be vigorously hanging that millstone around their necks, but our leaders are not doing that. 'Swing' voters aren't moved by practical improvements in society, because they are already allright, Jack. If they were moved by improvement in society, they would be Democrats. But some of them are still moved by treason - if they are reminded to be." -- XXX, New York Times reader comment

One way or another it's going to be an eventful November at so many different levels. Democrats trying to get meaningful legislation thru despite crazed GOP opposition and some snakes in the grass in the Dem's own camp. Climate crisis and the inability, thus far, of humans to reverse the greed that leads to their own destruction. The US dealing with a chronic supply chain breakdown, and the UK glimpsing the chaos and descent into oblivion potentially caused by batshit Boris' Brexit as its frightening ramifications rear their myriad ugly heads.

But heading back some fair few years it's fascinating to see how police detectives work to get results [in this case - Canadian detectives], as Jennifer's solution proves no solution at all, just swapping one hellish existence for another.

Oct 2021
A stolen safe
A stolen safe and a psychological turning point. An intense story that stays in the mind from BBC radio program Outlook. If you get a chance: listen. On a related note, why not visit Matthew's introduction to his other site.

Meanwhile, Matt Stoller on the current supply back-up: "The consolidation of power into the hands of private equity financiers and monopolists over the last four decades has left us uniquely unprepared to manage a supply shock. Our hyper-efficient globalized supply chain, once romanticized by men like Tom Friedman in The World Is Flat, is the problem. Like the financial system before the 2008 crash, this kind of economic order hides its fragility. It seems to work quite well, until it doesn't.

"The specific policies that led to our supply constrained world are lax antitrust, deregulation of basic infrastructure industries like shipping, railroads and trucking, disinvestment in domestic production, and trade policy emphasizing finance over manufacturing."

Sept 2021
Rightwing assault on Cal democracy battered
Congressman Sean Maloney on the significance of the failed California recall election of Gvnr. Gavin Newsom by the Repugs: "You couldn't have had a better mouthpiece for the Trump brand than Larry Elder in that election, and he got his ass kicked, and I think that ought to send a chill down the spine of [House Minority Leader] Kevin McCarthy, who thinks he can do this toxic Trump stuff without the Trump turnout that papered over how bad that message is for voters in swing districts."

Update briefs
Since original article came out in Sept: Oct 21, 2021 Gabby Petito's fiance Brian Laundrie's remains have been found: the tragic mystery is finally over. Previously: Oct 12, 2021 Cause of Gabby's death was homicidal strangulation. Sun Sept 19: the body of Gabby Petito is found in Wyoming, but still missing is the boyfriend of interest Brian Laundrie, likely hiding out in an environmentally protected refuge inland from Sarasota, Florida.

Big story - unresolved: The as yet strange, disturbing, and unsolved case of missing you-tuber begs the question - where is Gabby Petito? She seemingly disappeared in the wilds of Wyoming, but her boyfriend trundled on back to Florida in their camper van, and eventually [ten days after his return] she was reported missing. North Port police in Florida is giving updates on its twitter account. Story hits the media: Early days when the story broke. At the time of writing only one sole video currently appears on the couple's "Nomadic Statik" YT channel.

Bitcoin coming of age
Tues Sept 7th marks an historic and amazing milestone, literally the first time an entire nation moved to crypto as a recognized national currency, namely El Salvador officially adopting Bitcoin [image by freepng.img]. However Bitcoin took a big hit as this was occurring, the opposite of expectation, and some observers point to serious system disruption by unsympathetic and powerful opponents of El Salvador's decision. This view has been rejected by others and that more likely giant investor[s] were gaming the market, unregulated as it is. Opponents of El Salvador's move include those who remind us of a major reason Bitcoin became popular in the first place - money laundering, a serious scourge on human societies.

Same day ABC [USA] reports "A prominent Minnesota GOP donor who is charged with multiple counts of child sex trafficking is now being sued by an underage girl he allegedly groomed as a victim."

Batshit Boebert just got Demo'ed
Ultra right Q-crazed blowhard Lauren Boebert [freepng.img] must have choked on her nutrition free corporate cornflakes when she saw the nonpartisan Colorado Independent Redistricting Commission's map which reflects changes based upon population data from the 2020 national census. She's been reapportioned into a solidly blue district, demolishing her free pass to political idiocy.

The Dems of the district also probably briefly paused from their vitamin packed greek yoghurt with muesli and latte to consider the implications that this revelation brings to them too - having batshit Boebert [originally from Florida, surprise surprise] staggering around town, especially if the former failed model starts flashing her firearm at everyone.

That said, it's encouraging to know that there are some states that do actually attempt to take a genuinely non-partisan approach to conducting elections, albeit a declining number. Americans will take any sliver of good news that comes their way and then get on with their lives.

Getting vaccinated at a cool place.


Aug 2021
T'was an attempted coup
As a fourth officer who responded to the insurrection dies by suicide, finally the commission to investigate the extreme right wing storming of the Capitol is in gear. Meanwhile Robert Reich looks at what amounts to an attempted coup against US democracy and Trump's damning self-implicating words. Says one reader, deGooder: "I don't think enough people realise how close America came to having a legitimate election overturned. All it would have taken was two or three people amongst those Trump tried to coerce to have gone along with it. Which is why among the assault on voting rights coming from the GOP perhaps the most troubling aspect is the number of bills looking to place partisan officials in charge of electoral processes."

FlyoverStater, Raw Story reader: "Drop the 'ervative' and call them what they are -- Cons."

Here's to your unhealth! The Commonwealth Fund list of best health-care systems demotes the UK to fourth place, with the US system in what would be bottom of the relegation zone if the list was was for soccer teams. The Guardian: "Norway, the Netherlands and Australia now provide better care than the UK, it found. The findings are a blow to the NHS, which had been the top-rated system in the thinktank's two previous reports in 2017 and 2014. The US had by far the worst-rated system, despite spending the most on care."

July 2021
The Fakebook 12
It's disturbing to note that many of the top known fake news disseminators are merrily plying their harmful trade, often at a big profit to themselves, and causing great harm to others, without, in many cases, being effectively reined in. Earlier this year the Center for Covering Digital Hate highlighted this problem which also led to a related NPR article addressing more specifically fake and misleading news about vaccinations.
Trump [Org]
is in deep
shit

Trump Org: BUSTED!
It's happening -- looks like there will be justice after all at America's highest level and, if not yet the Feds, rather the Manhattan District Attorney's office, is about to confirm that even an ex-president of the most powerful nation in the world cannot get off scot free without answering to alleged criminal activity. In short, it looks like Trump Org, which is in effect an extension of Trump himself, is about to get taken down. Karma in action, at its finest.

All this, while Trump himself watched as crowds of his cultists streamed away early, despondent and bored, from his endless disjointed rambling that shows he can barely read off a teleprompter any more, and when he improvises he forgets even the gist of his supposed argument or which states are under discussion.

Meanwhile, in other good news for Americans:
"Trump's big lie about 2020 results suffers legal and political blows in key swing states", says this CNN article that breaks down the state of play in the GQP's efforts to overthrow democracy in the United States. The question still remains as to whether free and fair elections have been permanently damaged in America, but one thing's for sure, defending democracy is a daily ongoing battle, and complacency by any of us citizens will not save it. We must continue to struggle for what we hold so dear. Democracy won't save itself. Pro-activity is the key.

June 2021
GQP in meltdown

California most successful state in USA
The Grand Q Party hate that people who actually check the stats on the state of California reveal that this most dynamic state in the nation is currently a runaway engine economically, highly successful at vaccinating, boasts a superbly organized voting system, and, of course, is still the home of that gorgeous dry heat [eat your hearts out, humid "rest of most of the USA"] and sparkling ocean views. California's economy rivals China for growth, contrasting the anaemic lack of performance in the backward and corruption plagued 'red' states.

Bill Barr the spreader
CNN: "Barr bears as much responsibility as anybody other than Trump himself for spreading the malicious lie that ultimately resulted in the January 6 Capitol insurrection."

Billy Barr is now "distancing himself" [Politico] from the Trumpist DOJ secret dirt probe of Democrats and other citizens including children. Politico: "In a phone interview, Barr said he didn't recall getting briefed on the moves." The long awaited yearning by pro-democracy Americans for justice just got a glimmer of hope as this scandal breaks. America needs help to survive and we may just have seen a turning of the tide, preventing, for now, the end of democracy and freedom as we know it.

Meanwhile, in a post-postal America, Louis DeJoy was unqualified to run the Postal Office to begin with. Like all Trump appointees, their agenda was and is to destroy the rules and regulations that protect the American public and our democratic system. If the FBI has cause to investigate DeJoy's behavior and management, then let it proceed.

"The Administration should just go big and go now!" -- Danniels, WAPO reader

Trumpblog positively done

Trump blog flushed
The Trump blog's demise after only about a month appears to reflect the dwindling public interest in his ranting and raving, even if he's still got the Repugs by the throat since the party, in disarray, has no platform other than the lure and cult of his waning 'personality'.

The blog, the only active part of his otherwise static "From the desk of Donald J trump", was truly tough and turgid to read. It seems like most visitors were massively underwhelmed. It was a disastrous move because it simply sped up the rate at which many of the cult followers are peeling away. The hardcore ones remain but even those morally bankrupt souls may have been indelibly shaken by the mind-numbing blandness of this latest effort to remain relevant by their [w]holy orange grifter.

Trump was so devastated by the paucity of visitors he flushed his own vanity project down the drain. Joshed 'Humphrey', viewer of MSNBC's You Tube channel: "Too good! Will be interesting to see what happens to the Trump supporters when he goes to jail.

National Memo: "Democrats must begin January 6 investigation -- NOW!"

May 2021
Attack on demo-
cracy is USA's
no.1 threat

Justice matters
"The greatest threat to our nation's future is not covid-19 or the rise of China or even the existential challenge of climate change. It is the Republican Party's attempt to seize and hold power by offering voters the seductive choice of rejecting inconvenient facts and basic logic. For the American experiment and people to survive, much less prosper, this iteration of the GOP must fail." -- Eugene Robinson, Washington Post.

Michael Cohen On Trump: "I Think Donald Trump Is Going To Flip On All Of Them".

MAGA man charged with murdering wife and uses her ballot to vote for Trump. Link "here".

"Accountability for criminal Republican president can't happen soon enough" is the headline of Thom Hartmann's recent you tube channel "deep dive" episode - and now with the investigation into Rudy Giuliani's bizarre past behavior and highly dodgy acts in full swing, a lot could be about to unfold in this coming year of reckoning and desperately needed justice. It's a tribute to the American system that we just about survived the previous toxic regime but the danger going forward is ever present.

April 2021
Violence, hate and
racism are drowning
our beloved USA

Biden stabilizes States

"When Republicans want to make it tougher to vote than to purchase a gun, something is definitely off-kilter." -- Lloyd Green, Guardian.

Re. the previous murders at the Georgia spas: "Robert Aaron Long's parents kicked him out of the house on Monday night, according to police and a friend. The next day, police said, he bought a handgun." -- Washington Post

CNN with a timely reminder, about the best state in the USA, provided by historian DJ Waldie: "California was never as golden as the dreamers made it out and it's never been as dystopic as those who complain about California make it out."

The Conservative Political Action Conference wheeled a golden calf-like version of Donald Trump onto the stage of their hotel ballroom, a stage whose risers were arranged to shape it into a nordic emblem last seen appropriated by the German Nazi regime in Hitler's Germany. The theme of their event was that Trump is still the president and they're all in with him together in a fake alternative government. Weird much. Q approves apparently, as did Ted Cruz who quipped that the location of this rightwing whack show was not up to Cancun standards, where he traveled during lockdown as his state of Texas was without power. America, in general, is powerless while the likes of him are elected.

February 2021
Democrats rule
"The six presidents who have presided over the fastest job growth have all been Democrats" points out the New York Times. No matter how you look at any of the indicators Americans would be far better off if Democrats were in power all the time.

"Americans feel better when a Democrat is in charge. Seems plausible that feeling better would correlate with voting for Democrats in the first place. People have postulated that voting for the political right is associated with 'survive' politics - scarcity, protectionism, avoid large changes - while the political left is associated with 'thrive' politics - abundance, fairness, experimentation." -- Todd, Chicago

"The real question is: Why are Democrats so dismally poor at delivering and hammering this message home to the American people? Republicans do it as a matter of course, of daily policy. Democrats make a speech or two, and walk away, thinking they are done - when in fact they haven't even begun yet." -- GW bear, Florida

Politico reports that in a Trump pollster's campaign autopsy "The 27-page report pins Trump's loss on voter perception that he was untrustworthy and disapproval of his pandemic performance."

Dems must 'Go Big'
The inability of Democrats to get any proper reciprocation from the Trump-captured GOP means the idea of working together will largely fail. It takes two to tango and the GOP machine is in the hands of the state and local levels, the tail which completely wags the disoriented reactionary dog.

Once the Dems have gone thru the motions of reaching out the hand and getting it bitten, the Dems must then be as ruthless as their opponents if they have any chance to defeat Q-anon laced corporate fascism and keep America free, in the true sense of the word.

Even going full steam ahead, the odds are still strong that, as capitalism eats itself [currently underway even as we speak], the power brokers will shore up the system with an authoritarian "single party" non-democracy such as Trump was close to achieving.

The days of softball are over. Either the Biden administration will acknowledge the state of play and give America at least a decent chance to stave off the next wave of attempted undemocratic authoritarianism, or our chances are practically zero. Let's see what they decide to do as crunch decision time rapidly approaches.

Please check back for more February thoughts.

January 2021
Massive sigh of relief
It's over. Trump is kicked out, lashing out at everything Americans value including justice [his most egregiously disgusting pardons surely must be challenged], democracy, and law and order. Our new president will roll back everything the failed fake president dumped onto We The People that he [Joe Biden] possibly can achieve through his executive power. But of course there remains so very much to do to stabilize the lurching ship and get it back on course to a bright, happy and safe future. Both for this great nation, and for the world.

Justice for
a severely
damaged nation
Donald - when will he be history?
What happens next? BBC: "The Senate - the upper house of the US Congress - will hold a trial to determine the president's guilt but this will not happen during Mr Trump's remaining week in office."

It's dawning even on people who don't think about these issues much. When we now hear someone say "This isn't America" we uneasily realize that, sadly, the historical evidence says otherwise.

"This is the biggest lie and the very reason why America stays a racist country, because this is America. This is the ugly racist white supremacy part of America which especially Republicans are unable to acknowledge. Every time there are atrocities committed by Americans, the white America tries to disown it by crying 'This isn't America'. Abu Ghraib in 2004 was America. The Blackwater mercenaries who killed civilians in 2014 and who were just now pardoned by Trump are America. Caged children separated from their parents are America. National Guard against BLM protests vs Police selfies with Capitol storming white terrorists are America. Only when all Americans acknowledge the shortcomings of their society, will they be able to fix anything. This is America." -- winzehnt "The Independent" newspaper reader.

US demo-
cracy under
seige
Can Donald duck impeachment #2?
Can desperate Donald duck a second humiliating impeachment after what the Independent describes as an "attempted 'criminal' Georgia call" [made 18 times!] to get Brad Raffensperger, Georgia Secretary of State, to "recalculate" and "find" enough votes to win him the state in the presidential election which he has already lost? If there truly is a desire by both the politicians and public: now or never is surely the time that this great nation must make it clear that the people's vote is sacred and should be strenuously protected.

"What used to be a bargain between Trump and the GOP -- in which they would overlook his corruption and abuses of power, and he would deliver judicial nominations and policy wins -- has devolved into a series of one-sided demands. Trump is no longer giving his party anything and is instead bullying them to cooperate with a series of increasingly absurd conspiracy theories and pseudo-constitutional remedies." -- Jonathan Chait, New York mag.

Eat your
lovely veggies
Happy Q Year
Happy Quake New Year and keep shakin'. Is this the year that we finally go vegan? Then Veganuary would be the perfect time, and the above linked Guardian podcast might just be the thing to get us over the line. Well, vegetarian or pescatarian if not that. Actually it's a really interesting podcast so thanks to the Guardian and the podcast guest Marco Springmann of Oxford University, UK.

Meanwhile in Gallup polling Trump's approval rating dropped from 43% to 39% since the election. But the stark reality remains: "Most of the 74,222,957 Americans who voted to re-elect Donald Trump -- 46.8% of the votes cast in the 2020 presidential election -- don't hold Trump accountable for what he's done to America. Their acceptance of Trump's behavior will be his vilest legacy." Robert Reich in a Guardian article.

Does VAR = Brexit?
Is football's equivalent of Brexit, VAR, becoming the sport's self-inflicted damage that is leading to more ludicrous and intrusive decisions every week, with no one willing to stand up and say this is not at all what was envisaged? Sort it.

"Deranged"
& "dangerous"
warns press
December 2020
Jan 6: Blusters last stand
"Be prepared to have to go to the bathroom outside." - Magaman, exhorting fellow MAGAts to demonstrate on January 6 when Congress counts electoral votes and certifies winner.

"Donald Trump will go down in history as the first American president to have willingly betrayed his own country in service to a foreign enemy. His acts of treason will be taught in history books for generations to come, and the name 'Trump' will become synonymous with treachery." -- john cooper

"The Republicans should become a party of ideas. It's been basically an anti-Democrat party. They don't have any ideas on healthcare, environment or the wealth gap. The Democrats are not in great shape either, but Joe Biden might be able to appeal to middle America. We'll see whether they will do that but Republicans really need to get some ideas otherwise they will wilt away." -- -- John Kasich, former Republican presidential candidate.

The laundry list of grievous bodily harm that Trump's wrecking ball is dishing out to USA democracy, the military, our defence and security, citizen's rights, the environment, the justice system, is too long to type out in this limited space, but whilst hundreds of thousand of Americans have perished or been permanently disabled, and while many of the deaths could have been avoided, sociopathic Trump is oblivious to the desperate needs of the people. No matter how bad their plight, both economic and health wise, his twisted twitter-mind has been itself contorted, deranged, and contaminated by his own ugly toxicity.

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The Spur

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