Recounting Florida

It’s as easy as A-B-C, factored by 1-2-3…. This piece will be a serial… It ended up as 9,800+ words, and concluded ~ noon on Saturday, November 17, 2018, when it was all over– except for the crying.

Florida was the site of a stolen US Presidential election in 2000: Bush v Gore. Florida had massive chicanery & cheating on Election Day 2000, and was ultimately decided by a right-wing US Supreme Court decision to stop the counting of its ballots. The majority decision written by Antonin Scalia postulated that since the Electoral College determines the US President, voters don’t have the right to vote, so there is no need to count all the ballots. Look it up.

Here in 2018, the situation is different but the same. There is no Electoral College argument to be made this time around, but still expect some bizarre right-wing “logic” to win out in the end. Since 2000, Florida has come up with rules & procedures to handle these situations, which seem to arise every election. This bring a veneer of order & sensible rule to this mass insanity.

The state of Florida conducts an electronic recount when the margin of victory falls below 0.5%. A margin under 0.25%, calls for a manual recount. A manual recount does not mean every ballot is counted by hand, as only the votes that come up as an “undervote” or “overvote” get pulled for manual review. This is where we get into the nebulous universe of determining “voter intent,” which is impossible. At this point the votes are what they are, but things may still change– if that makes sense, which it shouldn’t.

The non-partisan approach is to look at the numbers, the voting machines, and any reported irregularities on Election day. Since we’re talking about Florida, we know there were “irregularities,” meaning massive vote rigging and disenfranchisement tactics to suppress opposing party support. This warps the actual numbers, and makes voter intent impossible to determine, at an individual level and on a mass scale. Both parties manipulate electronic voting machines (EVM’s), but in Florida it’s most pronounced by the Republicans against poor black & Hispanic voters, who typically lean Democrat in big cities.

The types of voting equipment used in US elections falls into 4 categories: Optical Scan Paper Ballot Systems, Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) Systems. Ballot Marking Devices and Systems, Punch Card Voting Systems– which you can research here, although not everything is accurate (or up-to-date) on ballotpedia.

Florida uses paper ballots with Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) systems. DRE systems are computers that record votes directly into the memory. With no paper trail receipt, individual vote auditing is impossible, as a partisan hacker in control of the election machine in their district can program an algorithm into the memory, or change vote totals manually– with no way of being detected, unless a recount is triggered. How each Floridian voted is impossible to verify. This entire election process couldn’t be more manipulated & anti-democratic.

Of course there were plenty of voter suppression, dirty tricks operations on Election Day (and since), as politics is war. A key point was reached by noon on Saturday November 10, as Florida governor Rick Scott was able to halt the official vote totals before they flipped to the Democrats– in both the Senate & governor races. This means they’ll probably win both races, eventually. They were definitely stolen, the manner of which I’ve already discussed at length, as we’ve seen this before. Even President Donald Trump has admitted he’s trying to steal Florida. Every once in awhile Trump tweets a truth, to the dismay of his handlers.

Rick Scott is suing the Supervisor of Elections in Broward County, Brenda Snipes, and Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections, Susan Bucher(D)– for allegedly mishandling vote counting. Broward’s vote counting since Tuesday greatly narrowed Republican leads in the Senate & governor’s race, and has flipped the Secretary of Agriculture to the Democrats. Rick Scott even went so far so to ask the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate. “I will not sit idly by while unethical liberals try to steal this election,” Scott told reporters.

Evidentially, Broward County’s elections supervisor mixed 20 “invalid ballots” with a pile of 205 “valid ballots,” fueling a Republican conspiracy theory that this is how the Democrats are stealing the U.S. Senate election in Florida. According to the Miami Herald, the “mistake” was discovered after Brenda Snipes agreed to turn over 205 provisional ballots to the county’s canvassing board for inspection. A majority of provisional ballots were deemed invalid for reasons such as registering to vote too late or voting at the wrong precinct. Multiply these issues by tens-of-thousands of others, and you start to get an idea of the scope of the problem with elections in Florida.

“The ballots cannot be identified,” Brenda Snipes explained to a lawyer for the Republican Party. Governor Rick Scott has controlled all aspects of Florida elections over the past eight years, so who’s to blame? Democratic lawyer Marc Elias said he expected some of the voters affected to “fight for their votes.” Question: How can they fight for their vote, when they can’t audit their vote?

Rick Scott spokesman, Chris Hartline said in a statement, “The voters of Florida have spoken and Rick Scott was elected to the United States Senate in a close but decisive victory. It’s time for Senator Nelson to accept reality and spare the state of the Florida the time, expense and discord of a recount.”

Senator Bill Nelson countered, “This process is about one thing: making sure every legal ballot is counted and protecting the right of every Floridian to participate in our democracy. We believe when every legal ballot is counted, we’ll win this election.” Bill Nelson’s re-election campaign is suing the Florida Secretary of State, Ken Detzner over the signature matching process that is used to validate provisional ballots. You get the idea here?

As of noon Saturday, November 10, 2018, when all the ballots had to be submitted for a final count, these are the official Florida vote totals in the three contested races.

US Senate: 100% of precincts reporting

Rick Scott (R) 4,098,107 50.1%
Bill Nelson* (D) 4,085,545 49.9%
Total Votes 8,183,652

Florida Governor: 100% of precincts reporting

Ron DeSantis (R) 4,075,879 49.6%
Andrew Gillum (D) 4,042,195 49.2%
Total Votes 8,218,616

Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services: 100% of precincts reporting

Nikki Fried (D) 4,030,337 50.03%
Matt Caldwell (R) 4,025,011 49.97%
Total Votes 8,055,348

Note: On election night this open race was called for Matt Caldwell, but has since flipped to the Democrat Nikki Fried.

Cowardly Democrat and mayor of Tallahassee Andrew Gillum, who (above) conceded to Ron DeSantis before midnight on November 6, boldly walked back his concession on Saturday, November 10. Gillum roared, “I am replacing my words of concession with an uncompromising and unapologetic call that we count every single vote. And I say this recognizing that my fate in this may or may not change.”

Reading between the lines, one gets the sense that Andrew Gillum doesn’t mind losing again, if he has to. Standing up for the voting rights of his constituency was the furthest thing from Gillum’s mind when he conceded to a racist billionaire opponent on Election night. Ron DeSantis, pronounced the results “clear and unambiguous,” and stated that “with the election behind us,” he was planning for his transition as governor.

And thus the imbecile who began his campaign by stating that Florida shouldn’t “monkey up” this election, prepares to take office. DeSantis is in the best position of the four candidates for the two offices. If there needs to be a bipartisan compromise, it’s Rick Scott who will take the bullet for the Republicans.

Democrats & Republicans are responsible for this mess. Something as simple as counting votes is the easiest thing in the world to do, if it’s done fairly. Nothing about this election was fair. When the process becomes this opaque & complex, it becomes impossible to hide the corruption. The methods used to manipulate & win elections are kept veiled, because what they reveal is ugly, heartless & evil.

What this stand-off in Florida represents is the breakdown of US electoral politics. As mentioned in previous pieces, Florida is the key battleground state in American politics. The Republicans especially, WILL NOT yield it; particularly the governor’s mansion, which is vital to Trump’s 2020 bid. The Democrats are only half-hearted in their fight for voters’ rights, which is why I expect them to lose the Florida recounts. History can recall.

For all those who yelled, “Vote!” on election day, my reply is: “For what, Democrats who give up the fight on election night?” I abstained on November 6, and I was correct to do so, it turns out. Those who voted in Florida, only legitimized a corrupt process, and this is the proof. It’s a ridiculous charade, where winners are announced, even in the tightest of races, before all the ballots are even counted. It’s already another legal & political circus here in Florida, with no signs of justice in sight. It will take a revolution to bring fairness to the people Florida, and everywhere else.

Update: Tue 13 Nov 2018 10:01:48 AM EST

The biggest issue in covering this Florida recount is getting accurate facts on anything that matters. This whole process is being blanketed by a smokescreen of lawsuits & media misinformation. Google and all the other search engines have been wiped clean again, making online research difficult, if not impossible. Politicians & their compliant media lapdogs are assiduously working together to confuse the public, which is business as usual.

In the Panhandle, where Hurricane Michael depopulated the region on October 10, 2018, it’s now being alleged that voters were allowed to fax or email their votes. Elections Supervisor Mark Andersen in heavily Republican Bay County told the Miami Herald on Monday that he allowed about 150 people to cast ballots by email, which is illegal under state law. [1]

On Monday morning, a Miami judge ruled against a request by Rick Scott’s legal team to impound Broward County ballots & machines not being used in the recount. Democrats fired back with another lawsuit of their own, asking that Scott be barred from using “the power of his office in any manner related to Florida’s 2018 Senate race as long as he remains a candidate.”

This followed a public statement from Senator Bill Nelson over the weekend, asking Rick Scott to recuse himself from the office of governor during the recount. It’s political gamesmanship on all sides here in Florida, and the will of the people is used for leverage of candidates, not voters’ rights.

On Wednesday, a judge will hear a request from Bill Nelson that all absentee & provisional ballots that were tossed out over mismatched signatures be reexamined. It remains unclear (to the public), how many absentee & provisional ballots are disputed & uncounted in Florida’s 67 counties.

Since provisional ballots are an area of contention, let’s define the term. A ballot is marked provisional by a county election official if there are questions concerning voter eligibility. If 1) a voter doesn’t have a photo ID at the polling place, 2) a voter casts a ballot at the “wrong” precinct, or 3) an absentee ballot is mailed without a signature; these ballots can be identified as “provisional.” Provisional ballots must be reviewed & certified by local election officials before being added to the official count. Right now the vote totals are considered unofficial.

The recount of 700,000 votes in Broward county, began on Sunday after a three-hour delay was caused by a machine that wasn’t registering all ballots when tested. “The Democrats are challenging the calibration of the machines, they are saying it was a machine glitch,” Bill Scherer, Scott’s attorney told the South Florida Sun Sentinel on Sunday, to explain the under votes. The Sun Sentinel provided no further explanation as to why the EVM’s weren’t working properly, or what the specific problems were? [2]

Palm Beach & Miami-Dade counties started their recounts Saturday evening, while most other counties began on Monday. About 8.2 million total votes were cast in the statewide election.

On Thursday, November 15 at 3 PM, unofficial returns are due in Tallahassee, and Secretary of State, Pam Bondi (R) determines which races meet the less than a 0.25% victory-margin threshold to order a hand recount. Election officials in Broward county have already stated that they won’t be able to complete the machine recount in time, due to the massive workload. This will probably mean more lawsuits on Friday. All parties have until November 30 to file any claims concerning the election.

Elections staff in Broward county had more than 3.5 million pages to sort before they could even start the actual recount — a task estimated to take up to 35 hours, said Joseph D’Alessandro, director of election planning and development. According to him, out of Broward’s 714,000 votes; 299,000 ballots were cast in early voting, 226,000 were cast on Election Day, and 189,000 were mail-in ballots.

On Friday, November 16, the count begins for military & overseas ballots post-marked Nov. 6 or earlier. Why these ballots weren’t counted on election night is unexplained.

On Sunday, November 18 at noon, county canvassing boards hand count results are due in Tallahassee. Each board examines provisional ballots and outstanding absentee ballots to determine whether they should be counted. Each of Florida’s 67 counties has a canvassing board made up of the supervisor of elections, a county court judge and county commission chair. [3]

According to this scheduled timeline, on Tuesday, November 20 at 9 AM, the Elections Canvassing Commission, consisting of governor Rick Scott & two cabinet members, will meet to certify the November 6 election. I confidently predict that the US Senate race results in Florida won’t be official by then.

Afternoon Update: Tuesday ~ 1:30 PM EST

This Florida recount mirrors the candidates campaigns, with the media distortion now amped up to 20. Instead of campaign ads, both sides are lawyering up, as accusations of cheating, manipulation & fraud are flying. This creates lots of media coverage: print, television & internet. Many of the accusations are true, on both sides; so what does that mean?

At this point, the public debate in the media is over a corrupt process & their candidates. The level of passion over this in the streets of Florida is virtually nil. That’s what I’m seeing anyways, as campaign signs were removed the day after the election, and no one is protesting in numbers. This Florida recount isn’t evoking the passion of 2000: 1) because it isn’t for US President (although it really is– as discussed above), and 2) because both parties are widely seen as bankrupt. The second point is the bigger factor here.

As one who didn’t vote in 2018, you may be wondering why I’m defending Floridians’ voting rights so steadfastly? It’s to illustrate the hypocrisy of this fixed process called elections, which too many people still believe in. At this point, it may be helpful to take a few steps back and answer this fundamental question, “What would a fair election and recount process look like?”

This presumes the candidates are representatives of the people, which they’re not; and that money isn’t a deciding factor, which is most certainly is. Setting all that capitalist corruption aside, an election can be fairly managed with ease in this digital age, but people have to understand & care. When votes get “lost,” or changed without knowledge, then what’s to believe in?

Here’s some common sense. Every voter should receive some form of receipt when they finish voting, the same way you get a slip of paper when you buy anything at a store. This “voting receipt” should have the information for the holder to audit their vote online, or wherever. If there’s an issue, the voter can contact the Supervisor of Elections to address the grievance. The receipt could even be electronically sent to cellphones or verified email addresses.

Also all ballots, including absentee overseas, et cetera, need to be counted on election night. Any “provisional” ballots need to be cleared up as quickly as possible: in a fair, transparent & democratic manner. This can be easily accomplished if each voter has a receipt. Counting the ballots of US soldiers, risking their livers oversees, a week after the election, is insulting. Insisting their ballots be thrown out is fascist. That’s Florida politics on both sides of the aisle.

Notice that the “common sense” I’ve just expressed in a few sentences, is nothing close to the current Florida election & recount process, and that’s by design. Once a vote is cast, a voter has no control over what happens next. This amorphic mass of ~8.2 million votes that are now being recounted in Florida, are claimed by both parties as their own. But no voter claims their individual vote anymore, or knows how it was registered, as it’s become a congealed lump of winner-takes-all politics. Everyone seems to miss this anti-democratic aspect, by not discussing it.

The Republican machinery specializes in rigged elections, and as Trump’s popular support continues to wane, this tactic becomes an evermore important strategy used to win elections. If the votes were counted honestly everywhere in the US, then the Republicans would be swept out of office in a few terms. That’s been a dirty GOP campaign secret since the late 1990’s.

The Democrats feel the same way when they face opposition from genuine socialist candidates on the left. The only real socialist of the US midterm ballot in 2018 was Niles Niemuth, for the Socialist Equality Party (SEP). In the Michigan 12th Congressional district, Debra Dingell easily won re-election, in what is considered a “safe seat” for Democrats by political insiders.

Niles Niemuth ran an amazing campaign, using the World Socialist Web Site to cover & promote his Congressional campaign for international socialism. Support for Niemuth was global, in political sympathy & monetary contributions. There was no other campaign like it in 2018. Here were the official results in Michigan’s 12th Congressional District election, per ballotpedia:

Candidate Pct.          Vote            total

Debbie Dingell (D)      68.2       199,690
Jeff Jones (R)            28.8          84,220
Gary Walkowicz          2.3            6,691
Niles Niemuth  (I)        0.8            2,200

Total votes: 292,801

Here’s an interesting bit of data from ballotpedia, concerning campaign spending in the Michigan 12th for US Congress, as of September 30, 2018:

Debra Dingell (D)               $1,085,073
Jeff Jones (R)                    $19,118
Gary Walkowicz (WCP)    $0    [!?]
Niles Niemuth (SEP)         $2,832

The Working Class Party candidate Gary Walkowicz (above) was credited with 6.691 votes, having officially spent NO money on the campaign. That’s unprecedented, so I wonder, “How does that happen?” Niles Niemuth was credited with 2,200 votes, which was surely under-counted– probably by at least one digit. Niemuth’s total “war chest” available (as of 9/30) was $3,874. Debra Dingell had another ~$440,000 on hand as of those dates. As you can see, the Republicans punted on this district.

Here are a few excerpts from an article published November 2, 2018 on the WSWS, titled, “Who are Gary Walkowicz and the Working Class Party?”

Walkowicz is a member of the bargaining committee of United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 600 in Dearborn, Michigan, which covers Ford’s Rouge complex. This is the third consecutive election in which he has run for Congress from the 12th District against incumbent Democrat Debbie Dingell… The WCP is an electoral front… for the trade union officialdom.

The most striking thing about the Working Class Party’s election platform itself is its formlessness. It takes no position on any concrete political question. On the most critical issues of the day, including the drive to war against Russia and China, the crisis of the Trump administration, the bipartisan assault on immigrants, the Democrats’ anti-Russian campaign and the growth of internet censorship, the Working Class Party has literally nothing to say. [4]

If there was a fair recount in the Michigan 12th district, I don’t believe Gary Walkowicz would win even 100 votes; as whomever his supporters are, they all vote Democrat. The Working Class Party was apparently formed before the 2012 election, but according to their Wikipedia page, “the Working Class Party has no website of its own, but many of its leaflets and statements can be found on the independent website www.workingclassfight.com.”

Their newly-formed headquarters is in Detroit, Michigan, indicates the Working Class Party are a CIA/deep state campaign to keep the Socialist Equality Party in check. The SEP has long been headquartered in this area, which is why Niles Niemuth ran for US Congress in the 12th. His was the only SEP campaign of the entire US midterm, obviously due to lack of funds. The WSWS, SEP & Niles Niemuth still made quite an impact, which is all-the-more reason to suspect their vote totals were rigged.

Update: Wed 14 Nov 2018 03:15 AM EST

All 67 counties in Florida are in some stage of recounting their ballots, running them through electronic vote tabulators. The three largest voting system manufacturers in the U.S. are Elections Systems and Software (ES&S), Dominion, and Hart Intercivic. This PDF provides important specifics concerning the electronic voting machines & software used in Florida’s 2018 elections.

Election Systems & Software (ES&S) is an Omaha, Nebraska-based company that manufactures and sells its direct-recording electronic (DRE) machines, vote tabulators, election software (EVS & DS200), absentee voting-by-mail services, as well as professional support to 48 of Florida’s 67 counties. ES&S counts Florida’s votes, where they count the most.

This highly-lucrative EVM market is murky murky, as it involves giving high-paying clients what they demand, which is machines they can secretly control & manipulate. When looking at Republican suppression of Democrat voters in urban Florida, ES&S appears to be the GOP’s secret weapon.

According to Wikipedia, “ES&S is the largest manufacturer of EVM’s in the US, claiming customers in 4,500 localities in 42 states and two U.S. territories. As of 2014, the company had more than 450 employees, more than 200 of whom are located in Omaha,” a regional center for global hedge-fund investment.

“ES&S has installed statewide voting systems in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, and West Virginia. ES&S claims a U.S. market share of more than 60 percent in customer voting system installations.” [5]

Dominion Voting Systems Corporation was founded in 2002 in Toronto, by John Poulos & James Hoover, and acquired Diebold Election Systems in 2010. Dominion vendors EVM services to the remaining 19 counties in Florida, 18 of which are rural & hard Republican.

The notable exception is Palm Beach, which is adjacent to Dade county, and currently the source of the most-heated bipartisan contention. It appears Dominion is used by the Republican machinery in Florida, mainly to inflate their vote in stronghold rural counties. We’ll soon see how the Dominion machines recount the votes in Palm Beach county, and I predict the results will be statistically fascinating.

To complete this EVM overview, Hart InterCivic Inc. is the smallest of the three voting machine companies, headquartered in Austin, Texas. Hart InterCivic Inc. EVM’s are used in parts of Texas, the entire states of Hawaii and Oklahoma, half of Washington & Colorado, and certain counties in Ohio, California, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. [6]

Florida’s population has continued to grow, as the number of registered voters by the 2018 primaries was 13,013,657. In the 2016 primaries, that was 12.37 million, and in the 2014 primaries it was 11.8 million. Florida’s estimated total population in 2018 is 21.31 million.

Donald Trump’s post-midterm ratings among US voters are 46% approval, with 52% disapproval. What we see now in US politics are “leaders” at all levels who are unable to maintain a mandate of approval from the majority of voters. If one counts non-voters, these approval numbers drop even more dramatically.

In Florida, among its roughly 13 million registered voters, only 8.2 actually voted in 2018. Over 37% consciously abstained, or didn’t care. Those 4.8 million registered Florida voters who skipped this election are more votes than any candidate received, making this group the largest constituency. This fact is true everywhere, and yet it is concealed in all bourgeois media analysis of “red & blue waves.”

Whoever wins the Senate & governorship will receive ~ 4.2 million votes in their favor. In a state with a census of 21.3 million, that means the winner (whenever it’s decided), actually represents only 20% of the people.  Factor in all these candidate’s low job approval ratings & lack of popularity, and their political legitimacy dwindles even more.

For example, many Florida voters who checked Bill Nelson in the Senate, did so because they HATE Rick Scott, not because they love the Democratic incumbent. Here are both Florida senators approval ratings, published on October 10, 2018 to illustrate my point. N/O means no opinion, and M/E is margin of error.

Senator           Approve Disapprove N/O M/E

Marco Rubio (R)     41%     42%      17%   1%
Bill Nelson (D)         39%     41%      21%   1%

The same “lesser evilism” attitude is true for those Republican voters who checked off Ron DeSantis, a billionaire clown (below) who excited no one. DeSantis’ luck was that Republican racists HATED the idea of a black Democrat as governor of Florida, more than anything else. That, and all the resources the Trump team & Rick Scott provided DeSantis.

When you look at approval/disapproval ratings like these across-the-board, you realize that 20% approval is still giving the political victor far too much popular credit. Since half the voters who supported any candidate do so, only because they hate they other candidate/party more, it’s more like 10-12% of the population that is actually represented, whomever wins- Democrat or Republican. That’s why all these campaigns were centered around attack ads, as no one offers serious solutions that anyone can believe in.

On Tuesday (yesterday), there were two counties where recount efforts made the news. Mark Andersen, Bay County Supervisor of Elections, stood by his decision to accept 147 faxed & emailed ballots. This partisan Republican, thinly disguised as a neutral public official, cited the hardship of Hurricane Michael as the reason for changing (defying) Florida law.

I agree with his actions, but listen to Andersen’s rhetoric, and then compare it to his sympathies for any election hardships in Dade, Broward & Palm Beach counties, which are dealt with much differently by cynical Republicans, that’s for sure. The Bay county recount was finished on Tuesday, and according to Mark Andersen (below), “the numbers came back where they should have been.”

A few days earlier, the headlines in the Daytona Beach News Journal read, “Volusia elections chief says recount process going smoothly.” Yesterday must seem so far away for Volusia County Supervisor of Elections, Lisa Lewis who was on the verge of tears Tuesday, as Volusia county ended their recount with a 240-vote discrepancy.

Lisa Lewis stated to the media, “When we were comparing the totals from last night, when we finished that, to the first unofficial results, we noticed in the vote-by-mail and ballots and the early voting ballot counts that they were off. When the jam goes through and we think that it [the ballot] has counted, it truly hasn’t in some of those batches that were jammed.”

Once staff learned the totals were off, they brought in the three machines to process another recount of the Volusia county ballots. This 240-vote discrepancy in such a small-sample size (vote-by-mail & early voting ballot) is alarming, and it obviously shook the belief & confidence of the Volusia County Supervisor of Elections, who was a true believer.

In this video above, published August 21, 2018, Lisa Lewis describes the seriousness with which she takes her job. Lewis informs us that she has a background in banking, and performs her duties as election supervisor with the same professional care. Each vote is like money, she explains, which is sacred. But sacred for whom?

In her banking analogy, Lewis reveals more than she intends. Most people consider banks as institutions that hold their money for them, until it’s needed. A customer makes a deposit, and gets a receipt for it. This receipt of accounts gives the bank customer the power to withdraw their money at any time.

In Florida elections, voters have none of these rights, as they go to the polls and deposit their ballots, which are never to be seen or accessed again by that individual. Lewis declares the secrecy of “protecting the privacy of the voter,” to be a key component in maintaining secure & fair elections. Her analogy more resembles the methods banks use to steal money from their depositors when the market crashes.

Finally, listening to 55+ year-olds reassuring us (the public) of election cybersecurity, is laughable; as if thumbdrives & EVM’s can’t be infected with hidden malware.

Update: Wednesday, 14 Nov 2018 05:38 PM EST

It looks like Florida 2018 will come down to Palm Beach County (again), as it’s vote-counting machinery overheated while tabulating late last night, forcing Elections Supervisor Susan Bucher to recount 175,000 ballots. There are over 600,000 ballots to recount in Palm Beach County, Florida’s 3rd-most populous.

Bucher said today that she had noticed the machines were starting to fail “a couple days ago,” and didn’t all fail at the same time, but rather have intermittent problems. Ghosts in the machines, it seems. Service technicians have been flown in to help. “The machines started to overheat, then malfunctioned,” she said. “We’d let them cool off. Then eventually we just needed parts.”

Bucher already had assured the public she could NOT recount the U.S. Senate, governor and agriculture commissioner races, as well as a local state House race, by Thursday’s state-mandated 3 PM deadline. Palm Beach county voting machines can’t tabulate the recounts of all the undecided races at once, like machines in other Florida counties can.

The Palm Beach county deadline to finish the recount was extended to November 20, in a lawsuit the Democrats won a few days back, but it is about to be challenged by Republican attorneys in a higher court. If the votes aren’t completely recounted by 3 PM tomorrow, the original unofficial totals become official, according to Florida law. That would surely tip both the senate & governor’s races to the Republicans.

Did I mention earlier that there would be “statistically fascinating” results in Palm Beach county, due to the voting machines? Bang, right on cue. Looking at the distribution of ES&S vs. Dominion EVM’s in Florida, the pattern of distribution is clearly along partisan lines, with Palm Beach county as the key exception. Evidentially, this county is using antiquated Diebold machines. As reported earlier, Diebold was bought out by Dominion in 2010.

Recall the 2000 election, when butterfly ballots were used to confuse & suppress Democratic voters in Palm Beach county, which allowed Bush/Cheney to steal Florida by 537 votes. That decided the White House for 8 years. The same process is now occurring in Palm Beach county, electronically. The Republicans have supplied the Supervisor of Elections with malfunctioning equipment, which can’t possible do its job correctly in time.

In the end, the responsibility for this comes down to Florida governor Rick Scott, who was in Washington, DC today, for a photo-op with the freshman GOP senatorial class, of which he isn’t yet part of, but it sends a message, right?

Rick Scott has pointed fingers all around the state in the past week, but as governor in this time, he has done nothing to help these local officials do their jobs. The media scrutiny of many of these Supervisors of Elections is unfair, as most are just trying to get their results turned in, as quickly & correctly as possible. When asked today by a Washington reporter if he still believed voter fraud was going on with the Florida recount, Rick Scott remained silent.

Evening Thoughts: Wednesday 14 Nov 2018 09:48 PM EST

Rick Scott is in Washington, and the earlier photo-op was just a sideshow. He’s surely meeting with the Trump team, including Roger Stone, Stephen Bannon, & their ilk– as this is about 2020. If this Florida recount goes through, the results are going to match the polling, meaning Democrats Bill Nelson & Andrew Gillum will win. The Democrats seem confident in this, and the Republicans are acting very nervous. Bill Nelson is a hardline CIA Democrat, who won’t give up his seat easily. He has played this recount well (politically speaking), in comparision to Scott, DeSantis & Gillum.

A Leon county judge ruled in favor of the 5-day extension for Palm Beach county to finish its recount. Governor Rick Scott is a lawyer, looking for a federal judge who can intercede of his behalf to stop the extended recount. It’s ironic that as governor Rick Scott has every ability to enforce Florida law, he just hates doing it on himself.

In 2000, it was the US Supreme Court that intervened, by overruling the Florida Supreme Court, stopping the counting of ballots. Those who follow politics may remember that there is now a hard-right 5-4 majority on the US Supreme Court, with the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh. Anything is possible, and evil minds in DC surely are planning a nefarious conspiracy against the people of Florida and their right to have their votes counted.

The overwhelming mood among Floridians, who have been through this before, is disgust. Floridians are sick & tired of being used as pawns on some grand Machiavellian chessboard, every election. For those who don’t live in Florida, you would do well to pay attention, as this affects you too. The only reason this kind of manipulation doesn’t happen in your state, is because it doesn’t matter like Florida in terms of electoral votes in a battleground state. If you live in Ohio or Pennsylvania, then you may have an idea of what this is like, but you are still a distant second & third– in terms of experience in electoral manipulation.

Florida is a complex, ever-changing region & demographic. The environment of this beautiful state is being destroyed at an accelerated rate due to unchecked global warming & corporate pollution. The business environment in central Florida was destroyed by the Economic Crash of 2008, as millions lost their homes, businesses & families. What’s left is infrastructural decay & economic blight, with powerful hurricanes and other natural disasters impacting the state every year, and no solutions in sight.

To illustrate the accelerated rate of decay in central Florida, let’s examine two maps of MLB Spring Training locations over the decades. The first is from the 1980’s, as the Boston Red Sox were still in Winter Haven. This map has an excellent view of I-4, which runs from I-75 in Tampa to I-95 in Daytona, (so it really isn’t an interstate). I-4 runs through Orlando, which means Disney & tourism. I-4 is a congested nightmare, and is hated by commuters in central Florida, who blame regional & state planners for their lack of vision & problem-solving initiative.

The “I-4 corridor” is analyzed to death by political pundits as being the key to elections in Florida. They are correct in that, as this gauntlet of urbanization across central Florida contains every racial demographic, but is largely working class & poor. The average yearly income for a Floridian is $31,740. A bachelors degree in the Sunshine State earns $43,969 on average, and a graduate degree $59,058. If that seems low, that’s because it is. Both parties are trying to connect with, and win votes from, a demographic that it neither recognizes, nor understands.

The next Grapefruit League map is dated between 2004-07. The Nationals (not Expos) are in Viera, and the Devil Rays changed their mascot name to the Rays in 2008. By this map, the Reds had already left for Sarasota, replacing the White Sox who migrated to Arizona. The Reds abandoned field in Plant City is now sometimes used as a softball complex. Since the Crash of 2008, the Royals have gone to Arizona, and the Indians too. The Astros have moved southeast to share a facility with the Nationals, who also drifted south.

In our MLB Grapefruit images above, the franchises located in the I-4 corridor were: the Reds in Plant City, the Tigers in Lakeland, the Red Sox/Indians in Winter Haven, the Royals in Baseball (Haines) City, the Braves in Buena Vista (Disney), the Astros in Kissimmee, and the Twins in Orlando. After 2019 Spring Training next March, another franchise will be abandoning central Florida, as the Braves are leaving their beautiful facility at Disney’s Wide World of Sports complex, to join the rest on the coast.

There’s more money to be made elsewhere, and that’s where the MLB franchises have gone, as every spring training team in the I-4 corridor (save the Tigers) has either: 1) moved to the east or west coast of Florida, or 2) relocated to Arizona. That roughly mimics the condition of those who live here, who have been left behind to fend for themselves, as no one in leadership is investing in jobs programs, infrastructure improvements, or environmental clean-up. Therefore, things continue to get worse.

Update: Thursday 15 Nov 2018 11:27 AM EST

More lawsuits & court rulings over disputed ballots & signature mismatches in the news, but nothing worth reporting here, as it’s a waiting game until 3 PM this afternoon. That’s when 66 of Florida’s 67 counties must deliver their recount, otherwise that county’s original numbers stand as official. Hats off to all those election workers who do their jobs honesty & well.

Every county’s recount will be a story in itself, whether it’s a significant shift in totals, or no change at all. Obviously it’s the largest counties that people will focus on the most, as that’s where the largest shifts in raw numbers can & will occur. The questions in each contested race are: How much, and for whom?

Here are Florida’s five largest counties by population:

Rank                 Population
1 Miami-Dade   2,751,796
2 Broward         1,935,878
3 Palm Beach   1,471,150
4 Hillsborough   1,408,566
5 Orange           1,348,975

The top-3 make up South Florida, the Miami-Fort Lauderdale corridor. BTW, shitty traffic there too. Hillsborough is Tampa, and Orange county is Orlando. Half of the rest of the top-15 most-populous Florida counties, are those that surround the top-5, including: Pinellas, Duval, Seminole, Brevard & Volusia county. Expect most-to-all of those counties to post significant recount gains for Democrat candidates. These counties are where the recount will be decided in the three statewide races.

There are 13 Florida counties with a population under 20,000, and another 18 with under 100,000, which sums 31, nearly half of Florida’s county total of 67. Note that this is population, not registered voters, but the point is the recounts here won’t matter significantly, because there are so few voters in these regions. At least three-quarters vote Republican, but they are very spread out, and much fewer in numbers. Their weight always gets over-emphasized on insipid red-blue electoral maps of Florida.

* Remember, Palm Beach county has until November 20 to finish its recount. If the vote totals still favor Scott & DeSantis after today’s recounts are re-tabulated statewide, then the Palm Beach election headquarters becomes the epicenter of US politics. Fascists always try to lie their way past a problem first. When that fails, they escalate to threats & intimidation. After that, they either: 1) give up & go back to lying, or 2) resort to provocative violence & goon squads. I don’t expect Trump or Scott to exercise restraint or civility, if it comes to that. The people of Florida need to be watchful & prepared!

When it comes to reporting this Florida election and recount, no one has been more on-the-ground than me. On August 24, 2018 I published “Florida’s 2018 Primaries,” which was the first analysis of the importance of the Florida governor’s race on Donald Trump’s chances in 2020, among many other factors.

Other analysis & front-line reporting has followed as events have progressed, including “Florida Gubernatorial Race & Trump 2020” and “Election Signals,” in which this entire mess was predicted, and it’s mechanism & primary participants revealed.

If you have been reading me up through this serial, then you are more up-to-date on what’s actually going on here, than anyone. Do you really believe the New York Times, Washington Post, or USA Today actually know anything about Florida? RealClearPolitics has been trying to demote the Florida recount on it’s hot-spot newsfeed, but it’s back up to #2– with a bullet. They’ve been reading me, just to catch up.

I’ve been reading the Miami Herald, Tampa Times, Daytona Beach News Journal & Palm Beach Post to get the facts, then I publish my thoughts. What I’ve noticed, is that it gets noticed. The local news is much more honest in it’s reporting, when they see & feel the presence of watchdogs, who are ready to call out the fakers. I recommend trying it.

Palm Beach County’s Election is Stolen by the Republican Machinery in Florida
Thu 15 Nov 2018 09:36 PM EST

Palm Beach Election Supervisor Susan Bucher, told the media this afternoon, “As a supervisor I take full responsibility. That’s my job. It was not for lack of human effort … it was so incredible, and I thank everybody who participated… it was the machines that failed. We gave a heroic effort and given probably three or four more hours we might have made it,”  she told a press conference.

Over 600,000 ballots remain uncounted, and it’s questionable whether they ever will be. In Palm Beach county, it’s now down to about 6,000 provisional ballots (1% of the total) for a hand recount, and military balloting. All votes must be in by Sunday, noon. Rules are rules, you understand?

The Palm Beach county recount has been halted (deja vu), before any of the races could be decided– and there were a total of four, including the three statewide contests. Police officers are seated in folding chairs, behind fold-up tables at Palm Beach election headquarters, where all the machines & bins of ballots are located. Four undecided races in the 3rd-most populous Florida county, over 600,000 ballots whose count is questionable (to say the least), and nothing is going on. It’s surreal.

The original (rigged) totals will be the official Palm Beach count, and there you have it. Faulty machinery, rigged vote tabulators and strictly enforced artificial deadlines are what wins “elections” in Florida. It’s the Republican way, and the Democrats don’t seem to mind. The local media has stopped digging, and has returned to mouthing the official narrative to the public. I smell a rat, meaning a bipartisan backroom deal.

Question: who owns the votes?  What happened to the 5-day extension for Palm Beach county, granted by the Leon county judge, you ask?  The Tampa Times reported this afternoon that a federal judge denied a request from Nelson’s campaign to have the Palm Beach county recount deadline extended.

There’s been virtually no media on this critical decision in the Florida recount process, as a federal judge has interceded on behalf of the Republicans, to halt the counting of Palm Beach county ballots. U.S. District Judge Mark Walker in Tallahassee, cited a bunch of nonsense in his statement to the press. He’s a sample, there’s more in the link above:

“There is a complete dearth of evidence before this Court concerning the status, progress, or expected completion of the ordered recounts in Palm Beach County,” he wrote. “In considering whether to grant the extraordinary relief of a preliminary injunction, the Court is required to balance the equities. … This balancing is effectively impossible without an understanding of the state and limitations of the current ongoing process…”

Judge Mark Walker’s argument of “dearth of “evidence,” is false. Myself and plenty of others have provided plenty of evidence & context. In other words, cluelessness on judge Walker’s part, gives him the authority to overrule the judge who carefully listened to both sides & all the evidence, when he ruled for the 5-day extension. It’s public record, what’s been going on with the faulty machines in Palm Beach county.

The Palm Beach Supervisor of Elections stated (above), that she only needed a few more hours to complete the recount, and yet federal judge Mark Walker today ruled he saw no evidence the recount could be completed! Walker is clearly the fixed federal judge I mentioned the Republicans were searching for yesterday. It makes you wonder, how Bill Nelson and his lawyers could lose this one?

Palm Beach has set aside $11 million to buy new equipment, but Bucher said the county hasn’t yet purchased the machines because the state still needs to resolve a question about voting system compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The current Palm Beach county budget is a little over $13 million, to be ADA compliant by 2020. The $11 million upgrades Palm Beach county was offered by Rick Scott’s governor’s office for 2018, were not ADA compliant.

Bill Nelson has vowed to fight for an extension in the hand recount. Notice how he’s willing to fight for the <1%, while abandoning the 99+% of the Palm Beach county voters, who were disenfranchised by a technicality. Whatever deal Nelson & the Trump team worked out in secret, and executed with federal judge Mark Walker, is now being manipulated in the Florida recount numbers, which the public has been kept from seeing. That is the only rational reason for both parties & the media being mum on the recount returns.

Online, “Florida Recounts” is back to the top of the RealClearPolitics newsfeed, as of this update. Gosh, I’ve been right with so many predictions, I’ve lost count. That happens in Florida.

Update: Friday 16 Nov 2018 07:20 AM EST

These midterm campaigns went down as the most expensive elections in U.S. history, with over $5.25 billion spent on advertising, up 78% from the last midterm elections in 2014, according to a Kantar Media analysis released on Thursday. Spending was 20% higher than the 2016 presidential election, which is unprecedented.

And what did it yield? As we can see from Florida, it’s been all about manipulation & power politics. There is very little to add to the discussion at this juncture. It’s been over 17 hours since the recount totals were delivered, and the people of Florida still know next-to-nothing as to their results, or what’s going on. On election night, when the polls close, returns are immediately reported by the media as they come in. As for this recount, it’s a veil of secrecy. It contents are held & shaped by the masters-of-puppets, and then deliberately dripped into the media for effect.

The only rational explanation for this behavior, is more behind-the-scenes vote rigging, this time with both parties involved. If I’m correct in my analysis, then Bill Nelson could possibly defeat Rick Scott for Senate, but Andrew Gillum will certainly come up short in the “recount” for governor. Cowardly Democrat Andrew Gillum has already polished his latest concession speech.

The Trump team is going to get what they want, as Republicans always do when it counts, in the corrupt two-party straitjacket. In the end, this is another victory for fascism, and another hard lesson for those who believe in democracy & the Democrats. When will people learn?

On election night November 6th, when the rigged returns began pouring in for Florida, it sent a signal across the nation. Whatever expectations for a “blue wave” were quickly dashed. That was the point, from a ruling class perspective. As stated before, Democrats would rather lose critical races (such as Florida’s governorship), than energize it’s left-leaning constituency to secure victory. It’s called “bipartisan compromise,” which it has nothing to do with defending the rights of Americans to vote, and have it count.

Friday 16 Nov 2018 11:16 AM EST

This Florida election & recount is a tough story to break, because there’s so much secrecy at the highest levels. To summarize, this is all about Trump 2020, and notice the Democrats are caving in, with possibly a secret deal to keep Bill Nelson in the Senate, at the expense of Andrew Gillum. The votes of Floridians are likely being “fixed” to reflect that political compromise, as this has been published.

I’ve made more than a few (mostly minor) mistakes, shooting around in the dark, but I’ve also scored numerous direct & indirect hits. This is why I’m being crushed by Google, Fakebook, and all the rest during this recount process. Or is it a coincidence, that new censorship tactics began a few days after the election, as the Florida recount became a serious story? That’s part of the deal being a Trotskyist dialectician, with all the blacklisting & misinformation online.

The Florida felon voter amendment that passed on Election Night, has been hailed as a progressive victory. That would be true, if Andrew Gillum became governor, which he didn’t, as Ron DeSantis has been declared the winner by machine recount.  Amendments are implemented by the governor, and since new governor Ron DeSantis will have no interest in allowing released felons to vote, this amendment will get bottled up in legislation somewhere, and die when no one is looking.

Conversely, the Florida amendment that now prohibits new casinos without voter approval, will be implemented no matter who is governor, since Disney funded the “Yes” campaign. Disney views casinos as an existential threat to their family-oriented theme parks, so there was major political ad spending, with murky casino moguls funding the “No” campaign.

And since the state of Florida has consistently proven that it doesn’t count all the votes on election day anyways, what does it matter?  It has just been reported in the Miami Herald, that Broward County finished it’s recount, but didn’t submit it’s total in time, so it doesn’t count. Hillsborough county (Tampa) didn’t make the deadline either, as the supervisor didn’t know why staffers came up with an 846-vote deficit. This is a lesson in how elections & laws are bought & enforced in Florida.

Noon Update: 16 Nov 2018 12:01 PM EST

The governor’s race recount numbers are finally up at on the Florida Division of Elections website:

DeSantis / Nuñez REP   4,075,445     49.59%
Gillum / King DEM          4,041,762     49.18%

And for US senate:

Rick Scott REP         4,097,689       50.07%
Bill Nelson DEM        4,085,086       49.92%

For the record, it took far too long (with no explanation), for these results to be made public. For many Floridians, they have no validity. Broward missed the recount deadline by two minutes, allegedly due to the Supervisor of Elections’ unfamiliarity with the upload website. As we can see, US election politics kills democracy.

The machine “recount” for US Senate yielded a few more votes for Rick Scott, who will hang on and steal it. Whatever capitulations Bill Nelson and the Democrats made, it appears it wasn’t enough to secure his Senate seat.

Wouldn’t you love to be the recipient of such generosity, as the Republicans get every election from the Democrats? Nelson has been a top Dixie Democrat on the powerful Senate Intelligence Committee, so I’m sure he’ll find a soft landing in the public sector. They can always use a man like him. As for you & me, not so much.

Afternoon update: Friday 16 Nov 2018 02:20 PM EST

Everyone has their statements ready, and here we go. Rick Scott to the press, “Florida voters elected me as their next U.S. Senator and now the ballots have been counted twice. We need to put this election behind us, and it is time for Bill Nelson to respect the will of the voters and graciously bring this process to an end rather than proceed with yet another count of the votes – which will yield the same result, and bring more embarrassment to the state that we both love and have served.”

Provisional & military ballots have yet to be totaled, and again Rick Scott demands a concession before all the votes are counted. It’s also highly-questionable whether Broward, Palm Beach & Hillsborough county were counted correctly. Those three urban counties who lean heavily Democrat weren’t recounted, despite all the heroic efforts of election workers. According to high officials, those three densely-populated counties had to submit their original election night numbers as official on Thursday at 3:00 PM, for various red-tape reasons.

Whatever the number of provisional & military ballots, it’s not going to be enough to shift the ~12,600 vote lead that Rick Scott has maintained (actually widened) over Bill Nelson. The machine recount was Nelson’s only realistic hope, but the Republicans sabotaged it & covered their tracks. When the Democratic counties didn’t finish in time, that cut the number of outstanding ballots to <200,000, with a likely near-50/50 split in voting.

I’m recalling these following numbers from local news broadcast, a few days back. Last election there were ~116,000 military ballots requested for soldiers with a Florida residence. About 80,000 were mailed back. About 2,500 were rejected, mostly because they were postmarked too late. Approximately those same numbers were expected this time. There’s the ~5,000 signature match ballots that are being disputed. That’s not a large enough sample size to overcome Scott’s lead, and there can be no presumption that Florida voters vastly prefer such an unpopular senator as Bill Nelson.

Floridians who have been here before will tell you that “overvote” & “undervote” totals don’t go very far in either direction, as it’s highly subjective & contentious, and therefore tends to be conservative. There are ~93,000 votes that are being hand reviewed county courthouses statewide, and the deadline is noon Sunday. Everyone wants this over by now, and the skids have been greased. Election officials will work very hard at making the most accurate determination in this tiny sample of Florida’s stolen election. And then Rick Scott will be declared the winner.

Andrew Gillum backers & racialists would do well to notice who has been filing all the lawsuits for the Democrats during this recount period. It’s been Bill Nelson’s team. That allowed the Democrats to take control in Washington, instead of losing control in Florida. Andrew Gillum has mostly kept silent on voter manipulation, and obeyed on command when asked to by higher interests. For all his sacrifices to the party, Gillum still gets to be mayor of Tallahassee. It’s not the governor’s mansion, but it’s close enough for him.

Evening Update: Friday 16 Nov 2018  07:17 PM EST

The 93,000 Florida provisional ballots are almost all in the most-populated counties, which lean heavily Democrat. We’ve seen how the machine recount went in these counties. Expect more of that with the hand recount. If there was a way each ballot could be individually identified, then voters could be contacted, and the “overvote-undervote” issue could easily be resolved.

There’s surely enough uncounted votes to swing the Senate race, and probably enough to flip the governor race too. But it’s hard to prove “voter intent” on an anonymous ballot, and the Republicans have lawyers who are experts at raising doubt & running out the clock. Noon Sunday (not one second later), and all the votes are totaled & official.

Election results are certified on Tuesday, November 20, and the 2018 election will go into the books. The wrap-up: Republicans stole this, because they HAD to have it. The Democrats complied, because 1) they are cowards, and 2) they are traitors to the working class. The media did it’s job, so everyone can move on. Most Floridians look at this whole process with deep mistrust, and hardly care.

It time for me to call the Senate race for Rick Scott, and end this serial. I’ve tried to provide a Floridian’s perspective on who, how, where, when & why this election was stolen. I have no elite access, so I can only take it so far with online research & theory. The real ballot totals, and what’s up with the EVM’s are beyond my reach. This is where insiders need to look to discover elusive answers as to why Florida can’t count its votes. The travel logs of the principle players (and their associates) may also provide some clues as to who knew what, and when.

Here’s irony. Just the other day, another communications satellite was launched into space by NASA at Cape Canaveral. We have some of the most brilliant minds in the world, working here in the Sunshine State, yet counting votes accurately & openly remains elusive to our election process. Actually it’s not ironic at all. It’s all part of the capitalist political process, which is nothing but corruption. Politics & elections in Florida are a joke, because Washington & Wall Street are a joke. So are Hollywood, Silicon Valley, Madison Avenue, and all the networks. The Pentagon, CIA, FBI and all the rest are beyond a sick joke.

Living in Florida reflects & magnifies all this, and it is ironic. It’s like rain on a hurricane landfall day. It’s like going crazy, when you’re already nuts. It’s like having to summon the will to care, but don’t. It’s like getting back into Windows with AOL. It’s like losing at Lotto. It’s like a homeless Trump supporter, who Nazi salutes because he fights “commies.” It’s like when the music is over, but no one turns out the lights. It’s like that obnoxiously opinionated cabbie, who never shuts up & irritates everyone to no end, but makes us all sane again through reason & laughter.

Wrap-up Thoughts: Sat 17 Nov 2018 11:28 AM EST

I stopped by the Sanford Courthouse this morning after 9:00 AM, to satisfy my curiosity. The front door was locked, with a sign saying “Security guard on patrol.” I looked into the glass, spotted the security guard at his desk, and waved to him. He’s an old man, so I took a seat on nearby a bench. After 30 seconds or so, he cracks the door open, and I walk up and ask, “Are election officials still going over any ballots?”

He’s confused, and tries to direct me to the public library, which is where early voting took place, but no ballot counting. I explain to him, this courthouse is the Seminole county seat, where ballots can be contested and local elections are certified, so I ask him again, “Is there anything going on inside?” He says the building is empty, and looking around at the parking lots, anyone can see he’s telling the truth. I then asked him if there was ballot-counting activity in the building yesterday, which was Friday. He said, “No.”

The lots were packed full on Thursday afternoon, when I walked by. There were three-piece suits on cell phones all over the place, buttoning-up & screwing on their game faces. I called it out as a “shitshow” to several of them as I passed by. There was no use in trying to get into the Courthouse then, or ask too many questions, as the next door police station parking lots were full too.

So the Democrats rolled over, in the clover. Today, central Floridians care more about UCF (22-game unbeaten streak on the line, baby!) on ESPN Gameday this morning, than rigged elections for phony representatives. After the rolling weekend party ends with Monday Night Football, high officials will convene in Tallahassee on Tuesday at noon, to certify this election as legitimate.

Sanford, the place I live, has a long history as one of Florida’s oldest towns. After the Seminole, Creek & Cherokee Indians were wiped out, and moved onto a reservation in Oklahoma, in what is known in history as “The Trail of Tears,” Sanford was eventually founded on the southern shore of Lake Monroe, at the head of navigation on the St. Johns River. Sanford was incorporated in 1877, one year after the Reconstruction was ended, in another political compromise that has had lasting ramifications, as Jim Crow segregation was established in the South.

The St. John’s River is called “The Nile of the West,” because it flows north, emptying into the Atlantic Ocean at Jacksonville. The powerful underground aquifers and artesian springs provide plenty of water for citrus & produce, which were the primary industries of early Sanford. By 1886, Sanford was the hub of Florida’s only railroad line, which connected Jacksonville to Sanford/Orlando, all the way to Tampa & Miami.

Notice how this 19th-century transportation route, mimics today’s population & voting corridors in Florida. After World War II when muck farming came into advent, and growers moved to south Florida, Sanford declining economically, while sprawling, like much of Florida.

In Sanford’s early history, steamboats were used to bring goods up & down the St, John’s River. Poor African Americans, Jamaicans, Swedish immigrants and other ethnicities were brought in to outfit & captain the transport boats which moved goods to port. These workers were called “boat keys,” because the ran the boats which were the key to the supply chain. Boat keys is awkward to say, so it was slanged to bo’key or bokey, and it eventually applied to anyone who was working hard in Sanford. That local pride which runs up to today, also means living & playing hard in Sanford. That means this bokey is signing off on this story.

Over & Out

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Election Signals

This piece finishes with a loud & clear US midterm election wrap-up on Wednesday November 7, 2018.

Local beat: Donald Trump isn’t as popular in Florida as most would lead you to believe.

This is the result of a shooting at Volusia Republican Party headquarters in Daytona, FL in the wee hours of Monday October 29.

Four bullets were fired into the empty building. Police are looking for this vehicle, but I don’t think they’re going to find it.

International news: The murder of Jamal Khashoggi inside a Saudi consulate in Turkey on October 2, 2018 was a black operation whose aim was to silence a critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), ruler of Saudi Arabia.

All evidence points to the torture & murder of the journalist (also an intelligence asset) by a 15-member hit-team of Saudi agents who arrived on diplomatic passports and entered the consulate shortly before Khashoggi’s disappearance. Khashoggi was tortured, murdered, and then dismembered, apparently with a bone saw. After which, his remains were removed in pieces, with a doppelgänger (below) used as cover.

The Turkish government has all the audio & video, since it happened in an embassy on their soil. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has an axe to grind with the US, since a failed CIA-backed coup attempt in 2016. Turkish officials & media have slowly leaked this story into the media. By doing it piecemeal, the US government & House of Saud have been exposed at every step as shameless liars, apologizing repeatedly for this premeditated butchery of a political opponent. Jamal Khashoggi was employed by the Washington Post, which is another reason this story runs so deep.

US President Donald Trump first denied knowledge, then tried to deflect for the House of Saud, suggesting “rogue killers” murdered Khashoggi. But that gained little traction anywhere, and the fallout was increasing. Something needed to be done to remove this ugly incident from the headlines, as it was making both major parties in the US look bad. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was being referred to as “Mohammed Bone Saw” on the internet & social media. That’s a problem for the pseudo-left and the hard-liners of US imperialism.

National News: Luckily for both major political parties, the “pipe bomber attacks” came at the perfect time, and Jamal Khashoggi’s savage murder quickly became back-page news. It took an entire business week/media cycle (Monday October 22 to Friday October 26) for the pipe bomber drama to play out before our eyes. Cesar Sayoc (above), a homeless man living in a van plastered with right-wing stickers, was finally taken into custody in south Florida on Friday, presumably so we all could have a nice weekend.

The media reassured us that our leaders & country are safe, while the barbaric House of Saud is still a firm ally & valued business partner. It’s like they had this pipe-bomber patsy in their pocket the whole time, and waited until the moment they needed him most to bust him. The Democrats appear to be under terrorist attack, two weeks before the midterms. Who benefits?

The next day Saturday October 27, another hateful right-wing gun nut went into a synagogue in a Pittsburgh suburb, and screamed “All these Jews need to die,” before he started blasting. When it was over, eleven were dead, as the shooter surrender to police.

This atrocity was all-too real, and is to be condemned by anyone who thinks & feels. It is bipartisan capitalist rhetoric & nationalism that fuels this. People need to start organizing labor & neighborhood committees to protect themselves and their interests. The police & bourgeois politicians will only respond with more lies & violence directed at the working masses & discontented youth.

National-International News: Meanwhile, there’s a migrant caravan (above) that began in Central America, and is winding its way through Mexico, heading for the US border in Texas. Trump has made political hay of this by deploying 15,000 troops to “defend” the border. Refugees are fleeing violence sponsored by US puppet dictatorships & the drug cartels, which serve imperialism. Razor wire (below) is being placed at the US/Mexico border. Every bureaucrat is doing everything they can to inflame their “base.”

Political Op/Ed: My vote & political perspective in Florida is to abstain on November 6, 2018. Two rotten choices is no choice at all.

* The amendments (all 12 above) are meaningless, as whoever controls the machinery express their will over any that pass.

My political endorsement goes to Niles Niemuth & the Socialist Equality Party (SEP). Niles Niemuth is running for US Congress in Michigan’s 12th district, and represents the only socialist on the ballot in 2018. All information on his campaign and the SEP can be found at the World Socialist Web Site– wsws.org.

Niles Niemuth has also been endorsed by Christine Assange, the mother of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.

Marijuana legalization is now a political issue, so here are my thoughts. Marijuana is a weed, so anyone can grow it. Capitalists are trying to monopolize the burgeoning market where it’s legal, and soon-to-be legal. But this will never happen, because marijuana is a weed and anyone can grow it.

Marijuana is a highly useful medicinal, and needs to be legal everywhere. The pharmaceuticals, tobacco, distilleries & breweries all oppose legal weed, along with the moralists and those in power. Marijuana legalization will only occur though revolutionary socialism.

A courageous San Francisco 49ers cheerleader (above) took a knee during the National Anthem, this past Thursday vs. the Oakland Raiders. Cheerleaders are usually considered as Barbie-doll types, so when they start doing stuff like this, it’s a major red flag for widespread political dissent.

Midterm Aftermath:  Wed 07 Nov 2018 09:33:50 AM EST

The Florida governor’s & senate races were stolen by the Republicans, again. Democrats Andrew Gillium for governor and incumbent Bill Nelson for Senate were leading their races by 4-5 percentage points in the latest pre-election polls (screenshots below), well outside the margin of error. Yet on November 6, they both lost by less than a percentage point, despite heavy voter turnout, where Florida voters said health care & immigration were the most important issues.

Almost 40% of registered voters in Florida voted early, which also leans strongly Democrat. But to no avail, as the Republicans control the voting machines. The mood, especially around the Ron DeSantis campaign was gloomy all day Tuesday, until just after the polls closed, when his fortunes then began to turn. Polling numbers which showed a significant lead for Gillum were soon reversed as DeSantis pressed on to victory. Florida Democrats have now lost three consecutive elections for governor by one percentage point, or so. So close, yet so far…

Watching the Florida numbers come in on Tuesday evening, was to witness complete manipulation. How else does one explain MSNBC (pro-Democrat) publishing a graphic (below) of an Andrew Gillum victory– on Monday night?!  Polling and any other sophisticated political science isn’t a reliable indicator for elections in Florida (and elsewhere), because the manipulation of votes is so endemic, that nothing else matters.

Final Note on Florida: Amendments were the most progressive items of the 2018 Florida ballot, and 11 out of 12 passed by the necessary 60%, including: banning off-shore oil drilling, no new casinos without voter approval, and non-violent felon voter restoration. Unfortunately it means nothing, as progressive amendments have been approved in the past, including funding for a statewide light rail system and medical marijuana. None were implemented.

As the “% in” crept up* in the key races to 90+% on our TV screens, reporters staged all over the state of Florida began the narrative that the late vote in the “Panhandle region” would be strong. These are mostly rural Red districts, but they have also been in the news lately. Hurricane Michael struck the region on October 10, 2018. Trump visited, and consulted with Rick Scott, while keeping DeSantis at a distance (pic below). Trump & Rick Scott have the area under FEMA lockdown, so I therefore suspect these districts were highly manipulated in favor of Republican candidates in a way that is very hard to prove. Maybe some day historians will get a look at the black boxes which contain all the votes, and see what happened.

* With electronic voting. how is it that Amendment results kept coming in at a slower pace than the Senate & Governor’s races? For instance, with vote totals displayed as “98% in” on Gillum/DeSantis and Scott/Nelson, most Florida amendments were reporting “63% in,” or such. The %-in numbers for every Florida amendment varied all night. Why did the election computers add the totals of certain amendments quicker than others?  One network nerd analyst actually explained how the “% in” could go over 100%.

Democrat Andrew Gillum conceded the gubernatorial race early, as he fell just short of a recount. Tough luck. Gillum has already been tabbed by liberal pundits as a “rising star” for 2020. Only the Democrats can turn a loser into a rising star. The Scott/Nelson Senate race is heading for a recount, which governor Rick Scott presides over. I expect more tough luck for the Dems there. This flaky vote counting has been going on out-in-the-open in Florida since Bush v Gore 2000.

None of these “elections” can be considered valid in any rational sense. Rick Scott & Ron DeSantis spent tens of millions of dollars, because they have it and they will do anything to win, which validates fixing the votes. That’s the political “logic.” New Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is a billionaire schmuck, who was carried to office by Rick Scott & Trump’s political fixers. CIA Democrat for US Congress Nancy Soderberg in district 6, was running ads in my area, which is WAY out of her district. Her right-wing campaign was repudiated by voters, and smashed by the Republican machinery. The only Democrat “victory” in Florida was Donna Shalala in winning a Florida Congressional seat in the Miami area.

Nationally, the Democrats took the House of Representatives as expected, but the Republicans seemingly won every key toss-up race for the Senate & state governor, including Missouri, North Dakota, Georgia, Indiana, Tennessee & Texas. Massive manipulation of voting on both sides, everywhere– especially online.

Disaster results for the Democrats, with what happened in Florida alone. Their #MeToo approach to the Kavanaugh Hearings was a calculated turn to the right, suppressing progressive momentum & energy for their party. Controlling the masses is more important than winning key races for the Democratic leadership. That’s the only rational explanation as to why they blunted their own victory. That’s the key political lesson.

See also:

Florida Gubernatorial Race & Trump 2020

Florida’s 2018 Primaries

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Sports Talk with Jimmy McBride

Do you like sports? A lot people like sports, and they like to talk about them even more. Big people, little people; boys & girls. This is a large demographic, if you know know what I mean? Sports means money. That’s why it’s on talk radio, so it’s only natural in the age of the internet that it extends to social media. The biggest phenomenon in social media is Facebook, which many online forums link through, including (until recently) ESPN.com.

MLB.com had it’s own forum, meaning you had to sign up with them to be a member, as boards were controlled by individual teams & MLB moderators. The few years I spent in these sports forums were very educational in terms of understanding the impact of correct thinking & revolutionary action on social media. The conclusion is that a rational intellect with emotional restraint will dominate any online forum, to the point where it’s owners have to censor leading individuals to remain in control of the message. If dissent gets beyond a few individuals, then it may become necessary to shut down the comments entirely in this age of internet media propaganda.

So what exactly happened here? To answer this adequately, I must reference myself extensively in this timeline of sports censorship, as it was my commentary that led to (expedited) MLB.com & ESPN.com eliminating comments on their articles. The blackout happened on Friday July 6, 2018 at ESPN. It occurred over the course of the 2018 season for MLB.com, depending on the team and individual posting history. I’ve brought in Boston/MTV cabbie Jimmy McBride for comic relief.

What happened in 2018 to the MLB forums was that individuals were blacklisted, while all others were censored to varying degrees. Tactics included an inability to post (blacklisting), and ghosting of posts (selective censoring). Ghosting means your post disappears into cyberspace, never again to be seen by you or your friends.

It’s a cardinal rule that you must compose on a word processor document, then copy & paste to post online, as you can be locked out in the middle of long posts if you try to compose from scratch on their site. By the MLB 2018 post-season, the comments sections had completely disappeared everywhere, for every team. No fans on MLB.com are allowed to share their feelings on what they witness anymore. No explanation from MLB.

MLB.com had been an online stomping ground for RicSize since late 2015, when I decided to become an active Padres fan. That was my handle on Baseball Prospectus (which kicked ass) a decade-or-so before, so I knew I could deal with the best baseball fans at MLB.com. As a new Padres fan, acquiring RF Matt Kemp, LF Justin Upton & RHP James Shields had proven a disaster, and I was going to speak the truth as I saw it. The team needed it.

I did so, and it woke up a lot of people in that sleepy forum. Since then, the MLB.com/Padres forum was a much more critical & galvanized fanbase. Some regulars agreed with what I posted, other didn’t– but everyone learned. Comments became much more thought out & well expressed, and the forum came to life. We weren’t chumps anymore, and it was like that until the end. The Padres forum died weeks before the season ended. By that point, many members weren’t able to post anymore, or were having repeated issues.

I went through a few MLB Trade deadlines, where I discovered the actual value of influencing opinion online. It can be done for any purpose, but the best reason is to share the truth. When you can prove to a team’s fans in their forum, that the player(s) they are hoping their GM will trade are junk, it quickly kills any momentum as deep & sobering realization ensues. I delighted in dispensing my homespun baseball wisdom on deluded fans, and did it actively during the 2016 & 2017 seasons, particularly at the trade deadlines. A lot of murky stuff went down then, concerning the Padres & MLB if you recall.

It was always a great story, so I wrote them up.  It was easy because the content flowed from human interactions online. This got me to the point where I was known & feared in media circles, while being blacklisted from official discourse & publication. Fan commenting was my path around that, as I discovered I could become more influential than the author of (yet another) shoddy article, simply by making astute comments to the forum.

Deadspin reported ESPN’s comments shutdown here, with no explanation on July 6, 2018. Background on this starts with tennis star Serena Williams retiring before her French Open 4th-Round match with arch-opponent Maria Sharapova in early June, claiming a torn pectoral muscle. In less than a month, Serena Williams came back to compete in Wimbledon, without any noticeable injury. In the interim, Williams refused a drug test when a WADA agent showed up at her residence on the morning of June 14, 2018. Serena revealed this news at a pre-Wimbledon presser to stunned silence, and then declared the matter closed. ESPN dropped it.

I kept reporting these transgressions & inconsistencies, and kept commenting on the fake puff piece articles that were being churned out night & day by the ESPN machine. Serena Williams must of had at least 50 articles published about her during the French Open, through Wimbledon in the mainstream US sports media. Her comeback, her motherhood, all in glowing & favorable terms. ESPN buried the fake pectoral injury, with the missed drug test. ESPN never mentions TUE’s with the Williams sisters.

Previously I had only taken on NASCAR at ESPN.com. It was when Danica Patrick was still running, as she was a hot story. I rode it until the end, and it was worth it– for sure. I’m best known as a sportswriter for “Why Does Danica Patrick Wreck So Often in NASCAR?”

The ESPN head writer for NASCAR is Bob Pockrass, who actually knows what he’s talking about & cares. He just isn’t allowed to say all of it, and that’s where I filled in as needed, as I didn’t like to see my favorite driver getting wrecked week after week– intentionally or otherwise.

But when the fixing of Wimbledon’s draw finally became apparent to everyone following the WTA, my comments drifted from the racetrack and became the rage of the ESPN tennis forum. A lot of tennis fans were instantly educated on the dirty underbelly of sports, meaning money & politics. On ESPN,com I posted through Facebook, using my primary account (and real) name Eric Meeker.

On this site on May 30, 2018, I published “Beauty, Athletics & Revolution” which became a serial that covered the women’s French Open. On July 8, I published “The World Cup & Sports Propaganda,”  which added an ending on July 14, so it covered women’s Wimbledon through the final. Much of the content of these articles came from the online comments I made on ESPN.com/tennis. This is when ESPN banned comments.

On August 16, 2018 I published “The Politics of Motherhood,” as the US Open approached, and it was apparent that Serena Williams was about to be handed another fixed draw. It is eerily prescient, as the result of the 2018 Women’s US Open is covered in “Despicable Manipulation & Thievery,” published September 10-11, discussing Serena Williams’ meltdown verses Naomi Osaka in the finals, as well as post-match accusations of sexism against an esteemed chair umpire.

Near the end at ESPN.com, in terms of readers being able to post, I was covering Serena Williams at Wimbledon, asking many, many questions concerning her conduct, and the women’s draw which appeared to have been rigged so she could easily reach the finals. She did so, before being crushed by Angelique Kerber 6-2, 6-2. Up to the day posting was removed on ESPN (July 6, 2018), I was seeing posts in the tennis forum such as, “I skipped directly to the comments!!”

Question: How you find out what’s the real score is? Answer: You read my comments on sports. ESPN didn’t like being shown up by someone whom they can’t even recognize, so they scrapped the comments section altogether. The cat was out of the bag already, and by the time Serena melted down in the US Open final (after another rigged draw), tennis fans didn’t need me to tell them what they were seeing anymore. This is why ESPN went dark on their comments. And people said that Ric Size vs. ESPN & Serena Williams was an unfair fight. To them I say, it was.

Rattling corporate media & management/ownership in front of the fans is anti-mainstream, even (especially?) when it’s true. If I post that RF Jay Bruce is worthless to both the Reds, and then the Mets (when it mattered), and then am proven right by events; well what does that do for the MLB & ESPN writing staff’s credibility? I’m affecting fake jobs with this level of dissent. Therefore I must be blacklisted, as these fake jobs protect real interests which must remain hidden. Sports is seen as a last line of ideological defense for capitalism in America. It anesthetizes the jock-heads.

You can do anything with a blog, even become an entire online newspaper– over time. As everyone knows, the sports section is crucial to any newspaper’s readership, which is why I discuss them so much. There is a lack of critical examination of sports, on-the-field & off-the-field. ESPN & Fox own most of the major US sports telecasts nowadays, and they don’t appreciate any dissent that makes them or their products look bad. That’s when the sponsors get nervous and start to make noise, which is where we are now.

Of all the articles I’ve published, “The Shohei Ohtani Pitch” is the one I have the most mixed-feelings over. After any necessary editing, which is too often needed I confess, I leave everything on this site up as is. Sometimes I’m proven wrong, and I don’t mind, as I still feel there is something worthwhile in everything I’ve posted.

There are times I wish I had an editor to check my mistakes, but to self-edit means holding yourself up to professional standards in proofreading & fact-checking. The plus side is that it allows for creativity & self-expression that any other editor wouldn’t tolerate. “The Shohei Ohtani Pitch” was an example of being wrong on one level (Ohtani signed with the Angels, not the Padres as I discuss for a few thousand words), but being right on a deeper level, as I revealed the MLB’s Black Hand in action– in real time.

That’s what it took to make me wrong on free agent Shohei Ohtani’s destination, and in the process I exposed ESPN’s Buster Olney acting as hatchet man for the Boston Red Sox. Olney angrily & repeatedly smeared the San Diego Padres front office as dirty players in this process through ESPN & MLB media while offering no proof, when it was in fact the Red Sox who tampered in this affair through these actions.

Tampering allegations against the Red Sox were only brought up by me, and it’s why I was banned from MLB.com. That, and exposing the collapse of the MLB free agent market last winter as it happened. By pitchers & catchers 2018, I knew I was permanently banned from MLB.com.

In “The Shohei Ohtani Pitch” I speculated on RHP Shohei Ohtani going to the San Diego Padres, as their GM AJ Preller had a personal relationship with him and those in his circle. Plus, Preller speaks Japanese. The Padres were the real favorites, until the Black Hand of MLB stepped in.

It was what I reported on my site and in the MLB comments section that caused this immediate mass censorship of all the MLB team forums. All 30 teams had a forum of fans, and the relationships were real & long-standing. This was destroyed overnight, to cover-up an ugly incident of manipulation by MLB, where they insisted a top talent be placed into a major market, to the exclusion of the team Shohei Ohtani probably wanted to sign with, which was the San Diego Padres.

On Friday morning, December 8, 2017  I posted:

Here’s another little coincidence for you. When I went to check the MLB site(s) on Friday morning– December 8, their page format which they have used for the last 5+ years has been completely changed. This is for the main site and ALL the teams; COMPLETELY reformatted, with everything repositioned and jumbled around. People are obviously confused, as the number of comments is way down. Maybe this is due to the fact that many comments’ sections that don’t even load. I try to post something on the latest Stanton piece— forget-about-it! This gets me thinking…

I click on a few of my links above, and they all load, but only the article [!]– no comments that others & I posted are to be seen. It’s a good thing I saved & published everything I posted, otherwise MLB, it’s writers, and fans wouldn’t have access to what happened during the Ohtani affair. Hey, I’m always thinking.

Friday, December 8 6:11 PM [a few hours after it is announced that Shohei Ohtani signs with the Angels]

I had waited to see if this was a zig-zag by AJP [Padres GM AJ Preller], to short-circuit a potential MLB investigation, but it isn’t. He may still be investigated, even though he lost. I leave what I’ve published above untouched, as this article is a character study more than anything else, and I have no issue admitting I was wrong about where RHP Shohei Ohtani would land in the end. It appears the Black Hand has stepped in, and there’s nothing anyone can do about that at this time.

The official Padres narrative is now that they lost Ohtani because they didn’t have enough money, and he wanted to DH. That’s just the opposite of what everybody claimed & indicated for weeks & weeks, but now it’s suddenly peddled as the truth. In a nutshell, the Red Sox were never players here, so their strategy was to foil the apparent victors– the Padres (whom they HATE), forcing Preller to kick Ohtani to his buddy Billy Eppler, or else MLB (Red Sox) would have eventually stripped and sanctioned the Padres. When ESPN media ran out Buster Olney, that was the signal. AJP complied.

The Black Hand message: move along everybody– move along; nothing to see here. This blog has done major damage to MLB, ESPN, many others’ credibility– even the Padres. No apologies to any of them.

Every fan member of MLB.com had their avatar & screen name removed, and had to re-register to get back in to post. Some never came back, and others gave up trying. The owners meetings occurred in Orlando, FL the following Monday December 11-14. I had to work in dentistry, and couldn’t attend. but I could imagine what was being said about Ric Size. I’m sure it was vehement, hateful, and went on for awhile.

MLB.com became a severely restricted site after the “Ohtani Affair,” which only I reported with any accuracy in the US sports media. It’s almost a year later, and there is still no one who has explained how the Anaheim Angels landed Shohei Ohtani, when they were never seen as in contention, and were never mentioned as a preference of his– until the very end.

Then came the Hot Stove season, where unfortunately nothing much warmed up for most of the MLB free agents. Comments on that (along with the Ohtani Affair), are what got me permanently banned from the MLB.com forums, sometime last winter. I noticed I was still allowed to ‘Like’ a comment, so I did where appropriate. Then that starting getting ghosted and was soon banned also. By Spring Training, all commenting had been banned in a few team forums, and by the end of the 2018 regular season there was no more fan commentary allowed or displayed for MLB teams on their own site.

Evidently, fans & players uniting and exchanging meaningful dialogue is not what MLB likes in their forums. The problem is that fans expect to be able to participate and share their thoughts with other fans, otherwise they feel alienated from the game. Banning comments in MLB team forums is like saying, “Come to our beautiful ballparks: spend and enjoy, just don’t tell anybody what you think.”

It feels more & more like owners and those in control in MLB only want our money, and have no interest in listening to fans who see major issues with the product. This just completed World Series was the 4th-lowest rated in television history. The Boston Red Sox over the LA Dodgers had two behemoth media markets going for it, and yet still couldn’t generate much fan interest.

Maybe that’s because this series was another AL beatdown, which was entirely predictable. This leads to fans not caring or watching as much, especially when they can’t talk to their longtime online baseball friends anymore. This is a conscious ownership policy that is seriously damaging the game. There will be less fans & money if this censorship is allowed to continue.

I made it a rule to not become personal friends with any of the people behind the handles & avatars in these forums, as I consider myself a student of the game & a reporter. But with the Padres forum, I felt an attachment and a sense of family. The others who posted regularly all have identities to me, whether they chose to reveal themselves openly, or simply in what they think, and when they said it. What you find in an online group such as what I’m describing is a cross-section of society, coming together to share a mutual interest.

I recall a time when one long-time Padres fan in the forum died. When someone posted what had happened, everyone became sad & sympathetic. Baseball became secondary for a brief time in that forum. That’s got very little to do with baseball, and everything to do with human friendship & solidarity. Fans of baseball (and all sports) need to recognize that they are the critical element, that is being abused. Fans bring the money & interest to the game, which drives media & pays salaries. If fans can’t participate in the fun, or if it’s all fixed, why should they support the game?

MLB thinks it owns the game, but the truth is the players and fans own it. The problem is capitalism, which has allowed extreme exploitation of the players since its19th-century beginnings. Fast-forward to 2018, and most players entering free agency this winter aren’t going to get the rich paydays they were promised by their agents, union officials & even MLB itself. Sure RF Bryce Harper (QO), SS Manny Machado & RHP Patrick Corbin (QO) will get big-time offers; but the rest will be low-balled.

Those two players parenthesized in the last sentence are the only ones who will get a qualifying offer this November, which is $17.9M for one year. It used to be that 10+ players would get a QO. GM’s finally got smart, and realize the draft picks are invaluable, and now don’t like to lose them as compensation. They’ll only give up a draft pick anymore, if it’s a top-tier free agent like Harper, etc. Younger players are cheaper, and often better, and all GM’s know this by now. The MLBPA agreed to this CBA which runs 2017-21, so the players are shafted until then– unless they organize a wildcat strike.

Update Sunday November 4, 2018: A total of seven QO’s were made on Friday, November 2 in MLB. Beyond the expected offers to Bryce Harper & Patrick Corbin, were Houston Astros left-hander Dallas Keuchel, Boston Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel, Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder A.J. Pollock, and Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu and catcher Yasmani Grandal. These players have 10 days to accept a $17.9 million salary for 2019, or become free agents with draft pick compensation. The five players I listed after Harper & Corbin should all accept their qualifying offers, as they won’t get better deals on the free agent market. Especially Grandal & Ryu.

Fox Sports still allows online commenting of their articles, as of this publication. This may sound strange, but it actually isn’t. Fox is openly right-wing, and thus the forum censors itself with its reactionary membership. I don’t bother posting in there, and neither does anyone else who has a brain that actively functions. Notice it’s the “liberal” ESPN & MLB crowd who are the biggest advocates & implementers of online censorship.

Thus, for baseball fans, there is no longer a league-moderated forum for fans to interact & talk baseball, due to the political ideology of the owners & sponsors. Those who make ESPN out to be the 800-pound gorilla, are lying as the entire network is a mirage. Most who work there know next-to-nothing about the sports they claim to cover, and even less about business. Most are simply parasites, latched onto a good thing, which they won’t give up until it’s dead. These parasites are what’s wrong with sports. At the most fundamental level, the owners, commissioners & network power players are the social class that must be expelled from sports for them to be sustained with any integrity & human interest.

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ADA Fake News, latest edition

State propaganda extends up to the highest levels. Even the profession of dentistry isn’t immune. Below are images from the latest ADA News, September 17, 2018.  ADA stands for American Dental Association, the official union bureaucracy for dentistry in the US. The ADA News is their publishing organ. Here’s the roundup, and it’s a doozy.

The lead headline in this edition (above) concerns an insurance conglomerate United Concordia, which has been nefariously dictating payment rules & treatment options for working dentists and their patients. It begins with an editorial note in italics that informs readers this is the 18th article [!] in a series on insurance benefits & plan options.

Since I’ve suffered through the first 17 installments, let’s skip to the synopsis, which goes like this. The ADA has valiantly & tirelessly fought against this unfair practice, as the wolves have acquiesced for now. Meanwhile they will continue to use all sorts of other dirty tricks to cheat doctors on fees, and patients on treatment options & benefits. That’s the part the ADA doesn’t print. It helps to be able to read in between the lines.

Stericycle is a dirty waste disposal operation that has gouged physicians & dentists for decades. Their model is to buy up all their competitors and monopolize the market. During the time I owned & managed my private dental practice from 1995-2014, Stericycle bought up (at least) 2 or 3 waste disposal companies I was contracted with, until I finally found one that assured me (and kept their promise) that they would never sell out to them.

At this point, class action lawsuits (above) are a pittance to working doctors, and a futile gesture by the ADA, whose bureaucracy eats up most of the settlement benefits. When the ADA says the check is in the mail, you know they mean business. That’s how they settle up, and put things to rest.

Speaking of rest, above is a dental image of the olden years. You know, the extra years dentists now have to work, because they take home less than ever. The ADA provides readers with a graph & the numbers, but don’t answer the question: What is causing dentists to have to work more years before retiring?

Dentistry was the last profession to be destroyed, and the ADA assisted in the process– to keep itself fat & happy. Corporate dental, student loan debt, the economic crash of 2008, the opioid crisis, and insurance conglomerates have devoured dentistry, yet the ADA still trumpets itself as victorious & noble. This is why most working dentists toss the ADA News directly into the recycling/trash bin, never reading it as they are too busy for this nonsense.

It’s a midterm election year, so the ADA is throwing their best face on public health.  Dental benefits for Medicare will be low-fee, minimal services at best– extractions & dentures. That is, if any of this even had a chance, which it doesn’t. The careerists at the ADA have to at least, look like they are doing something, or give an appearance they care. Remember in November!

All I read above is “ADA…dues increase,” just below the big bold headline. This begs the question: for what?  I want to say that I’m glad I don’t pay for this, but that’s not true, as everyone pays for this.


The glare got this above headline, which reads “Spear Education purchases Pride Institute.” The question is: For how much? The article doesn’t say. It must not have been a lot, otherwise they would have reported it. The Pride Institute was/is a joke, charging dentists who need help in practice management exorbitant fees, acting like they have all the answers with their cookie-cutter formulas; and then $50K-or-so later, they leave the dentist to implement their useless business philosophy. When it fails, it’s always the client’s fault. Total scam. Spear Education must have been feeling ambitious, and decided to corner the market.

Here is an example of US military & intelligence agencies funding university research. NYU & Columbia have deep state ties, and here it is in dentistry. Look at that grant money!!  Boy, I’d like a piece of that, but then again, what do I know? I’m just a working dentist. What’s needed here are connections.

The title above reads, “No need to face third-party payers on your own.” This refers to working dentists who are being systematically ripped off & shortchanged by insurance conglomerates who make all the rules. The ADA is reassuring its constituency that it is diligently working behind-the-scenes on this. Possibly a class-action lawsuit down the road. Stay tuned, as this could become another 18-part series.

Until then, no news is good news, and always remember that the ADA has your back. Also, don’t forget to keep paying those dues (which are going up), while you sift through a vast wasteland of low-ball, corporate-crap, “career opportunities” in dentistry. It’s the American dream.

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Sinking the P.M.S. #MeToo

Here’s a final review of the facts pertaining to the Kavanaugh hearings, which kept changing, seemingly by the hour at certain points during this degraded media circus & cynical political theater. Christine Blasey Ford, a university professor in California, has accused US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were teenagers at a small party in high school. Ms. Debbie Ramirez, who currently works for a county housing department in Boulder, Colorado has alleged that Kavanaugh exposed his genitals to her during a party their freshman year at Yale.

This all allegedly occurred during the mid-1980’s, with shifting dates, circumstances and interested parties; many of whom changed their stories repeatedly, depending on the political situation. This was political fiction from the start: made up, coached, and presented as genuine to the American people by Nancy Pelosi & the Democrats (below), who refused to attack arch-reactionary Brett Kavanaugh from the left.

As to the supplemental FBI investigation, it was closed on Wednesday (Oct 3) and sent to Capitol Hill on Thursday for review by all members of the US Senate. An initial vote is set for today: Friday October, 5. A sure-to-be contentious confirmation vote is scheduled for Saturday.

Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) & Susan Collins (R-Maine), who earlier indicated they were “on the fence,” have stated they are satisfied with the results of the FBI’s supplemental investigation, signaling they will vote with their party for confirmation of Kavanaugh. What the few “swing” Democrats do is of no consequence at this point (yet it’s still breathlessly reported & speculated in the media), as partisan sentiment has been galvanized on both sides of the aisle. Republicans still have the 51-49 majority.

According to the New York Times, “an official who reviewed the FBI’s material said the bureau contacted 10 people and interviewed nine of them. The 10th person refused to be interviewed. Those interviewed included Ms. Ramirez and three people whom Dr. Blasey recalled being in the house at the time of the party: Mr. [Mark] Judge, P.J. Smyth and Leland Keyser. All three have said they did not remember the party or witness misbehavior by Judge Kavanaugh. Republicans briefed on their F.B.I. interviews said they had said nothing to change that. Also interviewed were two other high school friends of Judge Kavanaugh: Chris Garrett and Tim Gaudette.” [1]

The “10th person,” the one who refused to be interviewed by the FBI, is presumably Julie Swetnick, who surfaced late in the game as Kavanaugh’s third accuser. Pictured above is her attorney Michael Avenatti. On Sunday September 30, the Associated Press reported revelations that Swetnick has a history of lying & claiming sexual assault, and then later being proven wrong in court. It turns out that you can’t always believe a woman. Who knew?

Allegations floated in the media are one thing, but false testimony to the FBI is another. One can be criminally prosecuted for lying to the FBI during an official investigation. Julie Swetnick went on-the-air, coast-to-coast, and soon walked back earlier allegations she made through the media, and declined a FBI interview through her attorney. I keep pointing out that the Republicans are better at dirty tricks campaigns than the Democrats, and I’ve been proven correct again.

This campaign to torpedo the Kavanaugh hearings has completely backfired, as the P.M.S. #MeToo is now sinking into a political abyss, right before our very eyes. Any leads that Democratic Party candidates had in competitive races (at all levels– local, state & federal), have just gotten tougher for their candidates because of this political stunt the Democrats tried to pull. The Republicans were there to bust them, because it was entirely fiction. In poker terms, Brett Kavanaugh is a pair of three’s, and the Democrats tried to bluff with Queen-high– in front of everybody. The only progressive aspect to this entire sordid affair is witnessing (& helping!) a vicious, vaginal political vessel go down.

We don’t judge Christine Blasey Ford based on the ‘believability’ of her courtroom performance. That’s how we measure actors & actresses. This is jurisprudence, where corroboration of evidence, witnesses & physical evidence are what’s judged. This is a court-of-law proceeding in the US Senate to determine if an arch-reactionary Republican judge will take a seat on the US Supreme Court, and give it a 5-4 hard-right majority. The issues at stake for the American people are of immense importance, with many interests & viewpoints that should be discussed & examined before any confirmation.

Brett Kavanaugh is a fascist, yet he has been turned into a victim by the reactionary machine of the Democratic Party. This was a campaign to unleash feminist hate, and fire up its upper-middle class base. But when it blows up in their faces this badly, it does nothing but demoralize the ranks and poison the waters. The energy of feminist supporters has gone down, and fascism is again emboldened in this political climate. The undecided’s who were leaning anti-Trump, will now swing the other way or stay home in greater numbers on November 6th. They will be harder to convince to vote Democrat, as who wants to be on the losing side of this disgrace?

Fri 05 Oct 2018 03:30:09 PM EDT

This contemptible charade needs one final update before it finishes playing out in the Senate. This piece was published just after midnight. Around noon today it was reported in the Huffington Post that Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) will vote against Brett Kavanaugh on Saturday. Murkowski now says, “he’s not the right man for the Supreme Court.”

This was obviously a pre-arrangement by the puppet masters, to allow Murkowski some political cover as she already did her job by voting along party lines for cloture earlier this morning, which was necessary to move to a confirmation vote. This female senator’s defection makes tomorrow’s confirmation vote 50-50, with VP Mike Pence holding the tiebreaker vote.

You have to admit (from a political perspective), that the GOP are playing this as well as they can, all the way to its inglorious end. The fascists are “smarter” than the “liberals,” if that makes any sense, and it shouldn’t. As far as the Democrats go, unless they can get Republican Susan Collins of Maine to flip, then #MeToo is officially sunk. Look for all this & more, coming soon a video screen near you!!

As we can see, all this came down to bourgeois identity & partisan politics. The #MeToo ship is sunk, because it had the power to stop the Kavanaugh confirmation. Two Republican senators are women, who could have been pressured by a Democratic Party defense of abortion rights, to vote “No.” But instead, #MeToo made it about themselves. #MeOnly would be a better label for them.

The #MeToo campaign is the most-self-centered, obnoxiously foul, and intellectually bankrupt political concoction in modern political history. The CIA Democrats invented & created this Bride of Frankenstein, as their version of KKK & Nazi shock troops. #MeToo is a tool of the deep state, and uses the same language & methods of hate as fascists.

Sat 06 Oct 2018 04:35:32 PM EDT

The same way Donald Trump won the US Presidency in 2016, Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to the US Supreme Court for life today. The final tally was 50-48, as Alaskan Republican Lisa Murkowski, who said she would vote “No,” withdrew her vote. Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia voted “Yes,” as the fix was in all the way for fascism.

This goes back to when the Trump administration released it’s initial list & then final choice back in June. It took a few months to vet & background check Kavanaugh, and they were always confident the allegations by Christine Blasey Ford (and any others) were unprovable– which they were.

Dianne Feinstein (D-Ca) waited for the right moment, and then played her #MeToo cards in such a clumsy & obvious manner that their entire campaign was exposed for its rotten politics. This is nothing less that a political disaster for the Democratic Party, allowing another reactionary blow against the working class & their democratic rights.

See also:

#MeToo Shipwrecks Itself

Brett Kavanaugh & a Pause for the “Cos”

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#MeToo Shipwrecks Itself

In what will forever be known in political history as the “Kavanaugh hearings,” we are witnessing festering partisan animosities bursting open like an abscess on our TV & computer screens. This composite photo (below) from the Senate Judiciary Committee during Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill on Thursday, Sept. 27, deserves careful scrutiny– as BOTH are professional liars & fascists.

A healthy & rational mind can observe that NONE of this has anything to do with the truth, as this is a cynical exercise in manipulation of public opinion. It’s all just a warm-up (and tie-in) for the mid-terms on November 6th.

The FBI was brought into the fray on Friday (9/28), when Republican Senate leaders agreed to allow a limited, additional background check of Brett Kavanaugh. Since he’s already been extensively “vetted,” it is to be limited in scope to the existing allegations, with a completion deadline of one week. That’s how the GOP wraps Brett Kavanaugh up in a bow, and sends a fascist to the House for confirmation as Justice for the US Supreme Court.

The #MeToo Democrats, who are now foundering on the rocks, are screaming for more time, saying “no artificial time limitations” should be placed on the special FBI investigation, which will be solely interviews from the names we already know all-too-well in this phony sex scandal. These hysterical feminist manipulators never know when to quit, or shut up.

The puppet-master behind this media scandal appears to be 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Michael Avenatti, who represents all three women that have made sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh: Christine Blasey Ford, Deborah Ramirez & Julie Swetnick. Avenatti coincidentally is also the attorney for porn star Stormy Daniels.

It needs to be acknowledged that the Democrats could have attacked arch-reactionary Brett Kavanaugh from many other angles, and easily defeated his nomination. Anyone who has such an extensive record of being pro-torture & anti-democratic, shouldn’t even be considered for the Supreme Court, raising the issue of the initial list of candidates from Donald Trump. This entire Supreme Court nomination process has been disgraceful, in it’s lack of seriousness.

Here’s a brief on Brett Kavanaugh. He worked with Kenneth Starr, in the reactionary Republican coup attempt to oust a twice-elected US President. Kavanaugh then conspired with Bush/Cheney during Bush v. Gore, which stole a Presidential election for the Republicans in 2000. Kavanaugh is an opponent of the Environmental Protection Agency, and a friend of corporate polluters. He supports executive supremacy, which endears him to Trump, and is an enemy of abortion rights. The only way the Democratic party could lose this political fight to defeat Kavanaugh, is if they didn’t care– and they don’t.

The list of twenty-five-or-so judges that Trump supposedly had under consideration are all reactionaries– every one of them. Where were the protestations from the Democratic party back then? They were too busy running their #MeToo & Russian meddling campaigns in our faces, to be bothered with defending the democratic rights of it’s voting constituency.

Only the #MeToo Democrats could make a fascist like Brett Kavanaugh look like a martyr, by attacking him from the right. In the same manner, Hillary Clinton’s elitism & campaign blundering allowed Donald Trump to become US president. Incompetent & bird-brained reaction at every turn defines a #MeToo Democrat. It’s not even been a year since this campaign was rolled out, but in that time, more money has been wasted in paying an army of political hacks & flunky feminists to promote this hatred of men by elitists. They get all kinds of help from BLM-racialists, GLTB-activists, and all the other scum in identity politics. But none of these groups actually represent any kind of grassroots movement of the people.

#MeToo will go down in political history as the most virulent & expensive astroturfing campaign ever. This entire campaign was paid for by the CIA Democrats, and their big-money political supporters including George Soros & Tom Steyer. These are the billionaire PAC supporters who are the equivalents of the Koch Brothers on the Republican side, which means they’re just as nasty. It’s not about partisanship, as much as it’s about class values.

Astroturfing means funding fake right-wing activist groups and paying shills to hold signs & chant slogans, as a political tactic to undercut legitimate grassroots movements. This photo below illustrates some of the finer points of astroturfing on the ground. It’s shot on location with all of its “supporters” bunched together.  Here, the photo is taken by someone in the crowd, implying “grassroots” in it’s style. It also lets a small group of people stand in a crowd of neutrals (or even unknowing opponents), and pose as a larger movement through trick photography. This is sophisticated bourgeois political science, in case you didn’t know.

Grassroots movements have real energy & popular support, and therefore take time to grow in becoming a political force. Socialism is the most-feared grassroots movement by elites. Astroturfing campaigns mysteriously & constantly pop-up like mushrooms in the media, and instantly become the rage. They seem to have unlimited funding, and are front page every day with their message. It’s always single-issue politics, framed in the crudest black or white perspectives. Google, Fakebook, YouTube, and the rest always give them a boost.

Latest astroturfing example from #MeToo: If you don’t believe Christine Blasey Ford, then you condone the abuse of women. Another astroturfing example: If you question the policies of Zionism, then you are an anti-Semite. These dirty tricks campaigns are the methods & language of fascism, and the Democrats have embraced it. Their problem is that the Republicans have been at it longer, and are better at it in many ways.

It used to be only the Republicans were seen as fascists, while the Democrats were the “adults in the room.” The Kavanaugh hearings have now moved the needle on that measure of political evolution, as the Democrats are exposed as outright liars who also use fascist methods of bullying & intimidation to win their cause. They can no longer claim to be morally superior to the Republicans, thanks to #MeToo– and that’s the real disaster here for Democrats. The average American voter needs to stop and ask themselves: What in any of this is in it for me? The answer is: Nothing. So my question is: Why are you supporting this, on either side?

There is no higher court in the land, and yet #MeToo Democrats insist that “believable” testimony, and hearsay with no corroborating evidence, should be the rule of law– over facts & rationality. I don’t believe anyone could build a worse legal case than the Democrats have, to oppose the confirmation of a Supreme Court Justice.

#MeToo is a sham & double-standard that is personified pathetically in these two press photos from the Kavanaugh hearings on Thursday. The first (above) is Hollywood actress Alyssa Milano about to enter the courtroom with her #MeToo entourage, before Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony. Milano has been a leading vitriolic voice in the reactionary #MeToo campaign, and this was to be a defining #MeToo moment, so she had to be there– I guess.

The second photo (above) is Alyssa Milano in the courtroom during the Kavanaugh hearings, representing #MeToo. As we can see, she dropped a few blouse buttons, but as we all know, it’s sexist for a man to look at (or comment on) her boobs these days– so I won’t, except that it’s the proverbial elephant in the room.

With everything the Democrats threw at Kavanaugh & the Republicans this past week, it’s still unlikely that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) will agree to delay the vote, which is on pace for Tuesday, October 2. That means that by the time the FBI has wrapped up its interviews, Kavanaugh will be through the Senate and ready to be confirmed by the House of Representatives for the Supreme Court.

By that time it will be evident to any objective observer that the #MeToo campaign is hopelessly reactionary, and impotent.  In the process of trying to assert itself as a political force, it has instead completely discredited itself in the eyes of the public. Anyone who calls #MeToo a “movement” at this point, is delusional or a political cynic. The only way forward for youth & working people in defending their democratic rights, is to reject this corrupt process entirely.

Update: Tue 02 Oct 2018 08:31:32 AM EDT

The Kavanaugh Hearings have been pushed into legal limbo, as the FBI conducts its supplemental pseudo-investigation of these phony sexual assault claims, per the bipartisan agreement last Friday engineered by Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz) & the Democrats. The Senate is split 51-49 for the Republicans, and there are two senators who are supposedly “on the fence,” Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) & Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine). Everyone else has committed along party lines.

By simply looking at the names & political affiliation of the “undecideds,” you can see their problem. Republicans expect them to vote with their party, while women expect them to join the Democrats in voting “No” on Kavanaugh. All the Republicans need is one of these two women senators to join them for a 50-50 tie, which can be decided by VP Mike Pence, who will vote “Yes” on Kavanaugh. Keep in mind, the GOP would prefer both these women senators to vote “Yes,” and avoid this kind of patriarchal mechanization, and that’s what all the fuss is currently about. This is American political theater at its worst, as everything has been scripted in advance, with nothing left to chance.

Recommended further reading:

Brett Kavanaugh & a Pause for the “Cos”

#MeToo’s House of Cards

Despicable Manipulation & Thievery

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Brett Kavanaugh & a Pause for the “Cos”

The Brett Kavanaugh hearings are a clear case of grandstanding politics by both parties, to distract people from real issues. The Democrats & their #MeToo crowd offer only hearsay & innuendo, in their accusations of sexual misconduct against Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court by Deborah Ramirez & Christine Blasey Ford.  Kavanaugh has denied everything, and no one can confirm anything, yet the New Yorker magazine published this political bombshell (written by feminists Ronan Farrow & Jane Mayer), as fact on September 23, so here we are.

 

Before these sensationalist headlines were splashed across every form of media known to mankind, no Democrats cared about Brett Kavanaugh’s resume. No one in the media made an issue of his anti-abortion, anti-democratic, pro-business & pro-torture stances. Those are matters that Americans deeply care about, yet they find no expression in this two-party sham called US politics. In this Orwellian world where 2+2=5,  Kavanaugh can only be attacked from the right, using the witch-hunting tactics of the #MeToo campaign. There is nothing progressive in any of this.

Even if the #MeToo Democrats “win” this Senate battle, it’s meaningless; as Trump will simply pick another reactionary judge from his list. Eventually one will be confirmed, securing a 5-4 right-wing majority on the Supreme Court. No one in the mainstream media cares to mention that. Overturning Roe v Wade is seen by Trump strategists as a key component to energizing their Christian fundamentalist base for 2020. As far as defending a woman’s right for access to safe abortion clinics, operated by competent professionals goes, the Democrats are silent in 2018.

Everything on the Trump side is about his ego & power, being able to bully his way through the process and not having to back down. Donald Trump always needs a media victory to feed his ego, otherwise he goes off the deep end, which isn’t viewed favorably by the Republican party– or anyone else.

As for “The Cos” (above), he should have been exposed & locked up long ago, and there are more than a few women in this sordid history of abuse that could have spoken out sooner, but were more concerned about their Hollywood careers. That’s a hard truth. That doesn’t excuse Bill Cosby’s sexual abuse, but it does explain how this was allowed to go on for so long, and sheds some light on the social responsibility for sexual predators.

If you are abused, and don’t come forward, others will suffer the same fate, and you will then bear some responsibility, as you could have done something to prevent it. No one volunteers to get raped, and that’s a heavy burden that remains with the abused victim. Casualties of rape too often remain silent due to their capitalist ethics, which deepens their victimization.

A rape victim can extend their torment by becoming a political tool of others, if they allow their abuse story to feed reactionary causes like #MeToo. What we see in the media over & over, are women who keep allowing themselves to be victimized. There is no actual healing or understanding going on with this #MeToo hate campaign. Only anger & backlash. All this is a reflection of the existential crisis of modern capitalism.

This filthy feminist spectacle has raised much awareness among the greater population, and their conclusions don’t match the official narrative. This is a major cause for concern among the ruling class, in that the #MeToo campaign may soon collapse upon itself, and the Democrats will be left naked– with no political cover. They have poured a vast amount of money & resources into this propaganda campaign, and are getting exactly the opposite results they intended. That’s a disaster by any definition.

This prison sentencing is a mixed-bag for the Democrats, as Bill Cosby was promoted as a “black intellectual” and role model for five decades, all-the-while being a serial rapist. The “black community” has lost one of it’s “leading representatives,” in a manner eerily similar to the OJ Simpson trial. Back then in 1995, a large number of black Americans sided with Simpson, even though the evidence was overwhelming that he was a double murderer, and that the trial was rigged. Twenty-some years down the road, Bill Cosby’s conviction for rape, and his sentence of 3-10 years in prison is seen as justice by most.

This hurts Black Lives Matter & the Democrats, who need these stooges to woo “their” brethren suffering black masses to vote for them. It’s hard to replace an icon of Cosby’s stature, as he had a powerful effect in anesthetizing the poor black ghettos & affluent mixed suburbs of America for decades with racialism and cynical calls for “personal responsibility.”

Conversely, this Cosby conviction is spun as a “win” for #MeToo, making it a “push” for the Democrats (which isn’t helpful for them), and that’s what this circus is all about. That’s why Cosby is sorta being pushed into the background, while the unconfirmed Brett Kavanaugh sexual abuse allegations are brought to the fore of American politics. It fits their needs, and these political phonies and media lapdogs have nothing else to discuss.

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Reflections on a Music Career

I know the update I posted here was a shock to many fans. He is my explanation for those who truly supported the music, and therefore deserve one. The rest of you may follow along and hopefully you will learn something. The fact is I’ve been going down a dark road for a long time, in being this musical artist of such uncompromising intensity. It’s led to wonderful discoveries & revolutionary content, but it’s also isolated me.

When you burn for the truth in everything, you become intolerant of hypocrisy & lying behavior. The more I try to eliminate it in myself, the more I become disgusted & distanced from others who don’t understand. Artists are bold, restless, uncompromising & revolutionary by nature, and thus don’t do well with patience & temperance.

I’ve leaned on my best friend & collaborator Tom Pearce way too much over the years, because I had to. I won’t let that friendship (& what we’ve accomplished), end up turning into anger directed towards him– out of frustration. Those are the outside stresses that get internalized and refracted into art, and it’s done by real human beings, which means it takes an emotional toll.

People generally don’t think about art & artists too deeply, because they are busy living their lives, just trying to get by. In their free time they mostly seek escapism, instead of studying & learning. That’s how an artist becomes an outcast in a society where culture has been degraded, and it reaches a point where the artist has to make a decision. You either: 1) continue down that road, which leads to self-ruin; or 2) give it up and save yourself.

The truth is, I can’t continue to hold myself (& everyone else) to the artistic standards I’ve set. It gets to where it becomes too destructive. I think this is how jazz-bassist pioneer Jaco Pastorius felt at his end, and I didn’t want that for me. Even with this acceptance & understanding, it’s still an extremely difficult & emotional decision to quit your life’s passion.

As far as what was accomplished, here it is. Ric Size and his collaborators since 2011, through the music and the content on this site, have profoundly influenced music, art, society & politics on many levels, locally & globally. I’m confident Tom Pearce will soon find himself in-demand, as a webmaster, sound engineer & producer. Many others I have worked with over time have also benefited, and I wish them well. The truth is that Ric Size’s music is still too raw & intimidating for most people, and seen as extremely dangerous & provocative by the ruling class.

I’m the kind of person who excels at what I put my mind to, and I never tried harder or wanted anything to succeed more than this music. Now that it’s receding into the past, I see how impossible it all was. I’m definitely an optimist at heart, as I kept thinking I could find a breakthrough, right up to the end.

My final preoccupation as a musical artist was around security. Personal safety for me, my band mates, and the audience was going to be an issue. Ric Size is radioactive politically, and that can’t be separated from the performance. No matter what songs we were going to play, every event was going to have issues with Nazi’s & other right wing hates groups (Republican & Democrat backed), astroturfing our shows.

On top of that, there’s the lone wolf shooter that no one accounts for. This is Orlando where Christie Grimmie was killed after a live performance downtown. Of course, no one in Orlando will forget the Pulse nightclub massacre that happened only a few weeks after Grimmie’s slaying. Preventing these-type scenarios from happening at a Ric Size show was a dilemma that kept me awake at night for weeks. I wasn’t counting on any help from the local police of federal authorities, if you know what I mean. The only solution was to retire, as security was going to be a necessity, cost prohibitive, and in the end an impossibility.

At this stage I’m at peace with my decision, and feel much better. Relief, soothing away the disappointment is my best description. The money was never going to show, and TomP & I took it as far as we could. My initial goal when I came up with the concept of Ric Size over 20 years ago (before I met Tom), was to do it my way and change the world in the process. That mission has been accomplished, and now I happily work towards that objective as a blog writer. I’m still at it, just in an updated form for the times.

I still own a record label called Infinitelink Records, which owns the publishing & copyrights to all Ric Size music. That’s what you need to control and hold onto, boys & girls. Tom & I will work at finally getting everything packaged up & CD-formatted for your purchase online, at whatever pace events allow.

Thank you AGAIN to all our fans for your love & support!!

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#MeToo’s House of Cards

House of Cards is a political thriller series created by Beau Willimon and released by Netflix. First released on February 1, 2013 House of Cards instantly became a “binge watching” hit, defining a new cinematic genre & home delivery method. It’s influence has been incalculable. It is impossible to understand House of Cards, without discussing Netflix. Founded in 1997, Netflix’s initial business model was DVD sales and rentals by mail. Netflix entered the content-production industry in 2012, and House of Cards soon became its flagship “Netflix Original” series. Today, Netflix is a multi-billion dollar conglomerate (Forbes: $141.9B), in part because of House of Cards.

Keep in mind that House of Cards is an adaptation of the 1990 BBC miniseries of the same name, and both are based the Michael Dobbs novel. The UK version of post-Thatcher England is very British, if you know what I mean. The stars are ugly & grotesque by design. It doesn’t have the delicious eye candy & sizzle of the US version. It’s still worthwhile viewing, as the power politics translate clearly, in the tradition of “civilized” England.

What makes the US version of House of Cards everyone’s favorite, is that it has something for everybody. This series has sex of all varieties, it has power politics & cat-fights, it has all sorts of behind-the-scenes maneuvering with insights that no other film or television series has ever delivered. House of Cards has a cast to dream about. Kevin Spacey as Frank Underwood is instantly innovative in talking directly to the audience concerning his personal feelings of contempt & disdain for us, and it becomes part of the rapture. We, the Audience are finally being let in on secrets that Washington insiders have kept hidden from the start.

We get more truth and political insight from a season of House of Cards, than years of interviews & political “analysis” from the likes of Larry King, Rachel Maddow, Anderson Cooper, Sean Hannity, etc. It’s part of this series’ subtle irony that these real life talking heads are often dismissively parodied as cameos. This show knows how to deliver a punch, which is another exciting element for viewers.

House of Cards wasn’t afraid to kill off important characters to teach its audience valuable political lessons. I’ll abbreviate by pointing out the talent that has been deceased in this series, and none by natural causes: Kate Mara as Zoe Barnes, Corey Stoll as Peter Russo, Sebastian Arcelus as Lucas Goodwin, Nathan Darrow as Edward Meechum, Rachel Brosnahan as Rachel Posner (favorite character), Paul Sparks as Thomas Yates, Neve Campbell as LeAnn Harvey (2nd favorite), Damian Young as Aidan Macallan, and now [!] Kevin Spacey as Frank Underwood. Those are all brilliant & unforgettable portraits of human striving and ambition gone wrong. Most series never come close to casting that level of talent, and that’s only what’s dead at the beginning of Season 6.

Most of the characters in this groundbreaking series should be considered as personifications of social types. One of the most remarkable features of House of Cards is its sweep in characters among the variegated social classes that inhabit Washington, DC. Most cinematic features which promise to reveal the mechanizations of power politics don’t have the time (or inclination) to highlight its impact on the broader population. Conversely, House of Cards illustrates the lives of political & business royalty, while also narrating the common people who serve & oppose them.

The young reporters trying to uncover & publish the truth are captured in great detail, as their influence is powerful. Sebastian Arcelus as Lucas Goodwin is a beautifully drawn-out example of the consequences of attempting to “out” those in power. Mozhan Marnò as Wall Street Telegraph reporter Ayla Sayyad is another example. Keep in mind, this is what is going on in real life with the persecutions of Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, Bradley/Chelsea Manning, and many, many others who are interested in revealing the truth in news.

Korey Jackson as Sean Jefferies (pic below) is an obscure example, as a young black reporter who isn’t brilliant, but is good at schmoozing elites & manipulative games. That gets him ahead in his work, but alienates him from his woman and respected colleagues. Real decisions & consequences; that’s what this series illustrates so well, on so many levels.

The creative bankruptcy of today’s “artist” is also personified brilliantly in this series, as Adam Galloway & Tom Yates are posers who get in WAY over their heads. When tragedy is revealed, we hardly feel badly for them, as they exist in a cynical world of hype & pretentiousness. For example in Season 1, a homeless man on the street teaches Claire more about art (origami) in an instant, than her clueless-but-sensitive photographer lover does in their entire relationship. A lot of viewers seem to have missed many of these subtleties.

Later in the series, Tom Yates is the dashing drinking companion who stole a dying friend’s written work to make himself a legend he can’t live up to. When Claire strikes in the end, we feel glad it’s over for him. We understand the killer and the victim. That’s a rare feat in cinematography, which takes extraordinary dedication & sensitive talent to pull off. I keep using that term cinematography because this series isn’t television, but it isn’t film either. It’s somewhere in-between. House of Cards is a phenomenon that created a whole new genre, and profoundly influenced the politics of its day which runs up to the present.

A revolutionary facet of this series is how fast it comes at you. If you’ve only watched this series once, then you don’t get it, because you are only understanding things on a superficial level. Such a viewer is merely following storylines for personal drama, and doesn’t absorb the meaning of this series. House of Cards is about personifying characters into political & social types that viewers can relate to, in order to reveal modern American politics. It’s the political lessons learned that count. If you’ve missed that, then you weren’t really watching or understanding what you saw. I estimate I’ve watched the 1st Season 7-8 times, the 2nd Season 4-5 times, and Seasons 3-5 three times each. I think I understand most of it by now, but there are still subliminal bits & pieces that elude me. That’s how artistically complex this series is.

If you watch closely, you will see elements of yourself in many different characters in this series. You will also see your enemies. Your enemies don’t like the fact that they’ve been exposed by this series. That’s why Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) testified last fall before the Intelligence Committee. Warner claimed (CNN image above) that Netflix’s House of Cards was a threat to “national security,” just a few days before the sexual assault allegations by burnout actor Anthony Rapp were leveled against Kevin Spacey through the media. Spacey has been a pariah ever since, and the series went on hiatus until a new season’s script was worked out.

That’s why #MeToo took down Kevin Spacey last October. It was to strangle this series into submission for its past sins against the establishment. For five seasons this series kept its audience up-to-date, revealing what goes on behind the curtain, in a riveting fictionalized narrative than mirrored current events. The writers for this series always paid attention to the news, and their storylines reflected this. That’s how this show managed to stay ahead of its audience and the censors– for five seasons at least.

House of Cards was always scheduled to go six seasons, and the belated final one arrives November 2, 2018– the Friday before the mid-term elections. House of Cards was always a political series that defined the times. This release date timing is proof positive of that– to be sure. As to the quality of the final eight episodes, we’ll see. The first five seasons ran 13 episodes, each 50+ minute length. The five deleted episodes this season represent the void left with Kevin Spacey’s dismissal.

Before this series is finally finished on November 2, it would serve us well to consider the balance sheet for #MeToo feminism in it’s first year on the job. It’s hard to believe it still hasn’t even been a year with this media-driven hysteria on sexual politics known as #MeToo. It feels like much longer. In this period, the most reactionary & vile elements of the political establishment have launched a false-flag hate campaign in the name of women against men. This is the sum of their political vision, the entire Democratic party’s populist “program” for November 6th, and beyond. Consider that as political food-for-thought while binge watching this series to the end.

House of Cards has been talked about extensively, yet it’s clear that many in the media don’t understand this series, or are hostile to its content. This fictionalized examination of the media, and how it is manipulated by power brokers has had an enormous impact on American political consciousness. House of Cards is the most artistic and lastingly relevant cinematography achievement that Hollywood/NYC has produced in this decade. That is why this show has been attacked by the reactionary #MeToo campaign and it’s hidden supporters.

House of Cards is entertaining because the people are so beautiful, the plots move in brilliant directions, and the dialogue is razor sharp. The drop-off begins at Season 3, as this series was expensive to produce and was repeatedly forced to yield to economic stresses & political mandates. Removing Kevin Spacey was one of them. Before that it was product placement, and even an outright ad for a new fertility drug by Robin Wright worked into a contrived scene where she’s consulting her physician on having a baby. As blatant and crass as that was, in many ways it rightfully belongs in the entirety, as it proves what paid for this series, and it wasn’t a $10/month subscription.

This series was always smart enough to predict the times and give itself room to maneuver into the next season. This final season of House of Cards will be a test of that resolve & ingenuity. If they’ve maintained their focus & hard-hitting style, then the show can rest in (relative) peace. But if Season 6 lags and turns into soapy dialogue for identity politics, then the #MeToo feminists can rightfully claim to have killed this series.

That is my greatest fear for House of Cards as the final season approaches. This series shouldn’t be turned into a political tool for the CIA Democrats, who are the political force behind the witch-hunt #MeToo campaign that removed Kevin Spacey from this series. This series is an artistic achievement with lasting cultural value. All the writers, directors, cast and crew from House of Cards represent a creative & intellectual triumph that should be celebrated & defended for its collective genius.

Sun 04 Nov 2018 11:59:07 AM EST

Having now watched Season 6 to the end, I’ll leave my final comments which include no spoilers. This is the weakest season of House of Cards— by far. If Season 6 had been Season 1, very few would have been interested in this series, beyond fans of The West Wing (1999-2006), etc. There is little that is edgy & new in the final eight episodes. It’s mostly rehashing old themes, and winding up the drama.

This final season missed Kevin Spacey, big-time. Greg Kinnear was presumably brought in as a star replacement, but he is woefully miscast as an evil, big-money power broker. Gerald McRaney as Raymond Tusk was a much more convincing & intriguing portrait, and that’s the sort of actor that was needed to replace Spacey. This was a casting mistake, as Greg Kinnear is a fine actor, but was ill-suited for the role he was asked to play. Season’s 1-5 had flawless casting.

It is undeniable that Season 6 suffered due to the influence of the #MeToo campaign, in every way discussed above. This reactionary feminist ideology can’t rise above the simplest narratives, and maybe that was the point, but it came off stilted & one-dimensional. The first five seasons were just the opposite. The final wrap-up for House of Cards is that it’s an instant classic, as it transformed its genre. It will be forever re-watched, and was profoundly & positively influential on American politics. Thank you to all the artists who made it possible.

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Florida Gubernatorial Race & Trump 2020

It recently was revealed that Republican Florida gubernatorial hopeful Ron DeSantis spoke four times at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, an Islamophobic institution for Zionism in America, founded in 1988 and formerly known as the Center for the Study of Popular Culture. Their name change leads to the obvious question: why do these groups keep changing them? Ron DeSantis has no comment on the matter.

What looked like a Republican hopeful, with Donald Trump’s solid gold endorsement to take the governor’s seat in Tallahassee, has turned into a campaign of self-inflicted wounds for Ron DeSantis. It happened from the start, after easily winning the primary over heavily-endorsed establishment Republican Adam Putnam. It was then that DeSantis told the voters of Florida not to “monkey up” this important election. That’s been played in Democratic attack ads & media pieces ever since, and will be until Gillum’s victory on November 6th.

In-your-face, overt racism will mobilize black voters. That’s a political tip for Republican strategists who don’t get it. Black & Hispanic voters are THE key racial demographics in this race, and Andrew Gillum is the African-American mayor of Tallahassee. He is seen in the media as more “folksy,” which is nice during an election, and appears to have more energized supporters with the better “ground game.” The latest Rasmussen Reports poll conducted on 9-10/9-11, have Gillum at +6, with a 3.5% margin-of-error, which puts a black Democrat in the Florida governor’s mansion. That’s a potential political bombshell just seven week out.

Florida has been consolidated top-to-bottom under Republican-controlled machinery since 1998. It was governor (and brother) Jeb Bush, along with Republican Secretary of State Katherine Harris who delayed the final counting of votes during Election 2000. Bush/Cheney were in sync with the Republican machinery that controlled the electronic voting machines and paper ballots. The right-wing US Supreme Court was eventually maneuvered to intercede, and declared the election certified with the remaining uncounted votes not needing to be counted. The rationale was that the Electoral College decides the US Presidency, therefore there is no right to vote, and thus no need to count all the ballots. Case closed: Bush v Gore 2000.

This machinery also locked up Florida in 2004, in the Bush/Cheney squeaker to outdistance the blah Democratic ticket of John Kerry/John Edwards. It came down to manipulation in Ohio that cycle, but Florida was also highly-fudged and possibly tipped to the Republicans. The point is Florida is always in play, and is a bellwether for US Presidential elections. That makes the Andrew Gillum campaign of more-than-passing interest to astute political observers of all parties.

Trump won Florida, Michigan & Pennsylvania in Election 2016. If Hillary Clinton had won one of those states, she would be US President. Of those three battleground states, Michigan is the one Democrats must hold, otherwise they lose. Hillary Clinton’s reactionary feminism and identity politics campaign came off as too phony to too many voters dealing with mass poverty, industrial blight, and infrastructure collapse (Flint water) that Democrats have ignored on their watch for too long. That’s why she lost, when it was all handed to her, and the Democrats are still pretty upset about it in case you haven’t noticed.

People don’t get energized by Democratic party rhetoric anymore, because it’s been revealed in countless ways to be lies & hype. With that said, Trump is widely perceived as worse, so he can’t expect to win Michigan again in 2020. Pennsylvania is the swing state of the three in play here, in that the Keystone State can go either way, and in that sense it is the decider of the Electoral College if everyone else holds. Florida is a must-hold for Republicans and Trump 2020. The kicker is that Trump probably can’t win Florida without the Republican state machinery fully backing him. Those are the stakes here, and it has nothing to do with ideology– it’s pure power politics, which means reaction all down the line– unless the working masses intervene.

In comparison, the Senate race between Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson and term-limited Republican governor Rick Scott (+1.6%) is a sideshow. We’re talking about a hotly contested, heavyweight political race in a key swing state, with the context being a current Republican 51-49 majority in the US Senate up-for-grabs, and it’s second fiddle to a local-yokel governor’s race, which is seen by many analysts & insiders as decisively influencing the 2020 Presidential election. Trump can lose 2020 here in 2018, and his team knows it. That’s why they are upping the fear factor and bullying aggression, which has no other logic except this.

This is high-stakes politics and Ron DeSantis (above, right) isn’t up for it. He has looked like a clown repeatedly, and unless there is a major “gaffe” or scandalous revelation from Andrew Gillum, the Tallahassee mayor should win comfortably– as his lead is already beyond the margin-of-error and increasing. There are still plenty of good ol’ boys who think they should decide everything, and billionaire Ron DeSantis is one of them, but they are no longer the majority.

In what was seen as a highly-unusual political move (even by Florida standards), DeSantis ceded his incumbent congressional seat on Monday September 10, to “focus exclusively on the gubernatorial race.” The way the political winds have been blowing recently, I get a sense that Ron DeSantis would have a hard time holding his congressional seat against any significant Democratic challenger.

DeSantis doesn’t have any real Republican support in Florida that is helpful. Adam Putnam would have at least given Gillum a better run, and possibly been able to steal it for the GOP. DeSantis’ campaign has no specifics on anything, little local support, and is overtly racist– making him DOA. Trump picked him, so he deserves to lose in 2020 (if we get that far) for his low-IQ decision to endorse Ron DeSantis over someone who had actual political clout in Florida. It’s just another example of Donald Trump’s ego in self-destruct mode, and it’s why Republicans are so divided over him.

Since I live in the middle of all this, I scan the media for attendance of each party’s rallies & public events– however I can. I observe that it’s mostly empty chairs, as it’s way too hot to listen to political nonsense outdoors in the middle of the day, just to be on TV as part of a crowd. That’s what I’m noticing. I’m also not seeing very many signs in people’s yards, or much enthusiasm concerning capitalist politics. In certain neighborhoods, you need to be extra careful about what you put in your yard. People will rip out your sign and trash it if it’s not locally agreeable, and when it’s this hot with no relief in sight, people tend to get disagreeable quickly. That’s just how it is in Florida at the end of summer. Global warming and all…

Yes, there is still good ol’ boy resentment over losing the American Civil War (1861-65), and it doesn’t respect Yankee authority– especially when it’s been exposed as hypocrisy. These are your Bible thumpers, n-th generation rednecks, and conservative “snowbird” retirees who have lived here forever and run all the local governments, police and public utilities– and they are nearly all Republicans. This is not going to be a peaceful co-existence if/when leftist-posturing Democrat Andrew Gillum wins the governor’s mansion. This political intrigue & social powder keg in Florida is a perfect microcosm of the US political economy.

High Times & Tides: Marijuana legalization is a political issue in Florida, and it became a police issue in Ormond Beach in the days preceding the passage of Hurricane Florence, as surfers spotted square groupers (above) among the waves. Local authorities seized the bales of cannabis in plastic wrap, and speculated it came from a drug boat that got caught in the storm and had to dump cargo.

Aye, Taipan!!

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