The Electric Cat: advance promo

I have fans on all inhabited continents. My demographic is 18-24, girls & boys. The messages I receive from them are mostly, “Wow!! How come I’ve never heard of you? You’re amazing!!” These are serious young kids who have been scouring the internet for new acts, kinda like the kids who devoured the fanzines & watched MTV obsessively back in that day. My reply to them is, “I’m too good & too far left, so I’m blacklisted. Read all about it on my site.”

That’s how I’ve marketed & promoted myself over the years. Eventually the platform cuts me off from my fans as a power grab and that’s when I stop on that platform because you can do anything without a true connection to the fans. The industry rule is: there is no money for Ric Size so every platform steals my juice to pump themselves up & put me down.

In the real world, I’m blacklisted from every venue and even if I could book something, that venue would soon get pressured to drop the show. That’s the nefarious influence of the CIA Democrats. No one will pay 100% in advance, non-refundable to an artist, so I’m being unreasonable there, etc. It’s impossible for me to do business with anyone and that’s why I don’t perform live. I have covers and can do-it-all solo, but too few people in the business even respect that anymore. The fans are the ones who suffer the most. Mainstream music today sucks and it’s been that way since the late 1990’s.

With that introduction, I’d like to advance announce the latest Ric Size single, “The Electric Cat”. This is the cover image and it was created with artificial intelligence (AI) by my producer. I’ll be publishing much more on this exciting & powerful new technology.

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Artists are the culture

Film, music & art are highly personal & aesthetic tastes. With that said, there are objective processes to all of them. It’s the objective material forces of imperialist capitalism that are acting on all artists, and what we get is a reflection of that in their work. The best artists understand imperialism from a Trotskyist perspective and can make great art that will have lasting influence. The creators of House of Cards (S1-5) are an example of great art. Those who can’t (won’t) understand the world as it really is are limited by that. That’s why most movies & television today is unwatchable.

The Velvet Underground (2021) documentary speaks about 1960’s music, art & culture. The VU, Andy Warhol, Captain Beefheart, the Stooges, Sun Ra, etc, were considered & labeled ‘subculture’ by the mainstream press & entertainment industry. But Jonas Mekas makes it clear in that film that these artists were (& still are) the culture. These are the visionaries who pushed things forward in an era of Beatles-style hippie idealism. Drummer Maureen Tucker speaks about how the VU despised naive hippies who thought they could change the world by wearing flowers in their hair & smiling at everyone. They were right.

And gay rights, that started with Andy Warhol & the VU– as Lou Reed was bisexual. David Bowie pushed through his sexuality in the 1970’s and by the end of the decade it was okay for Elton John to be gay, at least in Hollywood. These are the true artists who re-invent our culture. To carry that artistic torch, you have to be influenced by them.

Under capitalism, corporations eventually appropriate the culture (created by these mostly unattributed artists) for itself. It censors what it doesn’t like, and filters any progressive content into its propaganda through identity politics. It was female alternative-rockers & hip-hoppers in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s that established women as artistic & earning equals in music entertainment. When Madonna was attacked for “Justify my Love” and such, she became alternative-influenced and arguably made her best albums while the feminists mostly hated on her.

In sports, it was the 1999 USWNT that made ‘soccer moms’ a phenomenon that has stayed. They did it all with passion, as there was very little money. For years when the USWNT were WC champions (1991) and #1 in the world, no one knew or cared. It wasn’t any easier for race car driver Danica Patrick, who broke though by competing against men (and attracting sponsorship) for many seasons in Indycar & later NASCAR. The feminist crowd had nothing do with any of these iconic sporting moments & cultural advances, as they ignored Danica Patrick getting intentionally-wrecked weekly in NASCAR, yet they claim the be the infallible arbiters & guardians of all culture. That’s their big lie. The artists & athletes create the value, but only those who “play ball” are recognized & compensated. Corporate wins in all these cases.

By the 1990’s, the kids had gotten the message, largely through music & sports culture: men & women are equal, don’t be a gay bigot or racist Nazi skinhead, etc. Gay-themed shows started appearing on network TV making homosexuality mainstream because the kids had (largely) already accepted it, but that didn’t stop the networks from taking credit for this sudden phenomenon of gay awareness. That’s what they do.

Since then, it’s been about getting MORE rights for these elite gay, feminist & black groups, so they can be more equal than others in Orwellian doublespeak. Identity politics is about unequal rights for those making the demands. Equal rights isn’t good enough for them, and that’s the fundamental issue with all reactionaries & philistines.

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Indianapolis 500: 2024 notes

I now watch the Indianapolis 500 annually. That event far eclipses anything NASCAR has to offer. The political purpose of the race is to promote nationalism & militarism on Memorial Day weekend. I try to block the politics out and focus on the sporting event, but that’s somewhat impossible in racing. All this high-performance machinery was developed by (& for) the military, and professional circuit racing is an ancillary of this.

People love racing, and that isn’t going to change, but I watch these spectacles to observe the spectacle in all its glory & decadence, not because I love motorsports. Going fast doesn’t appeal to me, but I do appreciate the innovation and what it can do for humanity– if it’s equally shared. When the sponsors & mouthpieces for the Indianapolis 500 talk about “tradition & respect,” they use the same tone & moral authority that Genocide Joe & university officials use to talk down to student protesters before sending in the police. With that said, it was a great race and congratulations to the winning driver & team.

As for the NBC broadcast: I love Mike Tirico, he’s the best (with Jim Nantz) so you hardly notice his corporate shilling. Danica Patrick is now becoming stiff. NBC needs her for sure, but she asks fake questions with fake interest & name-drops too much. Jimmie Johnson, who had to leave early for the Charlotte 600, wasn’t fooled. She does much better when the race starts as that’s her passion & aptitude. You can see that Danica Patrick lives entirely in an elite bubble, surrounded by security & handlers, even during the broadcast with all those fans there. Class divisions are out in the open & in your face every year at the Indianapolis 500.

One of my favorite broadcast moments was pre-race when NASCAR’s Jeff Burton was trying to explain how important it was for Kyle Larson to run in the Charlotte 600 that evening. “It could affect his playoff points,” etc. All complete nonsense, as Kyle Larson has won a race which locks him into the playoffs, and from there it’s about finishing well & winning in each round, not “bonus points” going in. I think Jeff Burton’s idea was for Kyle Larson to skip the Indy 500 when the rains came. Hilarious NASCAR stupidity & arrogance, promoting the idea that the Charlotte 600 is more important than the Indianapolis 500 to Kyle Larson. Kim Coon (whom I love) stood next to Jeff Burton, but stayed quiet on that…

Storms held off the race (and pre-race ceremonies) in Indianapolis for ~4 hours, so it’s a long day just to watch. “Adjust your schedule and do something else” is my attitude when that happens to an event I want to watch on TV. When the race finally got going, it was a mess for the first third or so. Danica Patrick correctly stated that too many drivers appeared to be too caffeinated coming out of the rain delay. For me it was like a ballplayer popping too many greenies, and then having to wait out a rain delay when wired to go. Adderall (or an equivalent) is the PED choice of professional race car drivers.

I’m getting ready for bed, and I decide to flip on Fox one last time. It’s total darkness in Charlotte and NASCAR has their jet-dryer trucks mopping up the track after a spring deluge. No sun to dry the cold, wet track; so Mike Joy & Kevin Harvick (love them both) are talking about the Ricky Stenhouse Jr/Kyle Busch team fight last week and how NASCAR promoted it to the point where no one remembers who won the million dollar All-Star race. I’m thinking, “They’ve run over half the race, why haven’t they called it? They can’t get this track dry! No bleeping way I’m waiting for the ‘re-start’ they are promising fans. Christopher Bell is the winner of the rain-shortened Charlotte 600.” Click.

I wake up Monday morning, and check ESPN dot com to learn they called the race sometime after. This was all about Kyle Larsen getting into his car and driving laps at Charlotte. That (& the fight) are the only things NASCAR old-guard cared about promoting on Memorial Day weekend. Having some “sports sense” will tell you when a story is over and thus spare you the agony of staying up late for nothing, such as the finish of the 2024 Charlotte 600 with Kyle Larson running laps.

Kyle Larson’s performance illustrated the difference in competitiveness between Indycar & NASCAR. If you make a mistake which sends you to the back, you are finished in Indycar. In NASCAR, Kyle Busch & Denny Hamlin are regularly caught speeding on pit road, etc, and are sent to the back of the field, but they always get right back up front after not-too-long because their cars are so much faster than two-thirds of the grid.

At Indy yesterday, we saw a few engines blowout & some rookie mistakes in the back, but you had to have a great car with not too many driver mistakes just to be top-20. Kyle Larson was busted for pit road speeding and that took him from top-5-ish, to a lap down and he finished 18th. Actually, it was a very good performance for a rookie at the Indianapolis 500, but NASCAR is humbled by it. He’ll try again next year. NASCAR hates it on a certain level which I’ve explained, but they also recognize how it helps them so there’s nothing they can do to stop him.

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Graham Parker @ Shank Hall

Graham Parker is playing a solo set for his Last Chance to Learn the Twist (2023) tour. He played 4-5 songs from his latest album (“It Mattered to Me”, “We Did Nothing”, “Lost Track of Time”, “Them Bugs”), then one song from the rest of his records. For this set is was “Back to School Days” from Howlin’ Wind (1976), “That’s What They All Say” from Heat Treatment (1976), title track from Stick To Me (1977), “Discovering Japan” from Squeezing Out Sparks, (1979), etc. I’m a fan, but don’t have all his records, so when he introduces songs from Up The Escalator (1980) and Steady Nerves (1985) I’m basically hearing them for the first time and they are holding up with the rest. I’m saying to myself, “I’ve got to get the rest of his records,” and that hasn’t happened to me in a long time.

I’ve been to a lot of shows in my life and seen many great bands & performers, but the truth is most live shows disappoint in many respects. Often the performance isn’t good, and doesn’t reflect the standard set with their studio versions, videos, etc. Most bands & acts need a great producer to prop them up a bit. It’s one thing to be able to record yourself well, it’s another thing to translate that into a live performance that commands an audience. Graham Parker does all that & more.

Shank Hall is general admission, doors at 7:00, show at 8:00– and yes, there are Spinal Tap (1984) reminders all over the place. Legendary venue. I arrive just before the doors open and there’s already a line of a dozen people. Mostly men, my age or older. Once you’re in you can sit anywhere and the people ahead of me mostly go for the tables. I let everyone go ahead, then walk down to the front row and select the chair directly in front of the microphone. Best seat in the house. I order a Guinness and relax. More people now start seating themselves up front.

Graham Parker’s set-up is a telecaster electric (not electrical!) guitar plugged into a Fender combo amplifier that is microphoned to the house PA. He uses one effect box, which I didn’t identify. He came out on stage with an acoustic/electric guitar that fed into the house soundboard, while wearing a harmonica rack– ala Bob Dylan. He substitutes a kazoo for harmonica on an encore number “Them Bugs” that brought the house down.

I have tried the harmonica rack in the past for live performance, and I can tell you it is one of the most difficult things to well as a rock musician. It’s extremely difficult to get comfortable on stage when your strapped in with that thing, as you feel like a restricted paraplegic. You can’t dance around to distract the audience or naturally to release tension. You have to be completely into the music and focus everything on delivering the song no matter how uncomfortable you are feeling. Graham Parker does this very well and makes it look relatively easy, which is quite a trick.

Graham Parker has the magic, by that I mean he can focus his songwriting spirit, singing voice, guitar playing & (when necessary) harmonica playing into one sound which fills up the room & captivates the audience. I’ve never witnessed an original rock performer who was more relaxed and 100% sure of themselves than Graham Parker. That is a total artist.

There are two basic situations which make it difficult to relax on stage. First is if you have a tough crowd and no friends in the room. You have to handle that FAST, otherwise you’ll get run off stage. I’m sure Graham Parker has dealt with that in the past and knows what to do. You have to have a chip on your shoulder and then let it rip. If you can do that, you can play anywhere.

The other case where it’s tough to get comfortable on stage is when the crowd loves you. There’s a lot of excitement & anticipation which infects the audience, and the artist feels this. That is perhaps an even tougher pressure to deal with, because you’re fighting yourself. You want to do well for this crowd that adores you and expects a great show. It’s very tough to relax and live up to those expectations. I’ve never seen anyone handle that better.

Graham Parker didn’t even play 20% of his best songs, and everyone (newbies & longtime fans) left that show saying to themselves, “That guy is amazing, I definitely underrated him!” Graham Parker played for 90 minutes, and performed about 20 songs– 4-5 from his new album, and 15 classics he decided he wanted to play that night. What that means is that his next show where he still promotes his new songs (as he should), he can play 15 entirely different songs from his catalog of classics and that show will be just as good. He can do this at least 2-3 more times before he runs dry or starts repeating. How many artists can you name who can do that? There are very few, and most of them are dead. Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello & Thurston Moore are among the living artists who are in Graham Parker’s class.

This leads to another point, which I had in discussion with a longtime fan before the show. You have to survive to be this great, and that’s not easy. The music industry will kill you, and few know this better than Graham Parker. You can hear it in his music. There’s always an intellect working and the music has soul. This no longer exists in the music industry because everything revolves around superstar performers like Taylor Swift & Beyonce. Nothing exciting or original can be allowed to interfere with these mega-releases. The industry can’t afford that, so there are no original rock bands anymore, and songwriting has been pushed to the side in favor of American Idol winners.

I can’t imagine Graham Parker kissing Simon Cowell’s ring in order to get a record deal. I don’t think it would happen, and furthermore I know it wouldn’t work. A young songwriter like Graham Parker isn’t allowed to exist in the music industry today. The corporate blacklist on originality & meaningfulness in music is complete. So for all these reasons, I highly recommend Graham Parker in concert. The title of his latest record leads one to believe there may not be many chances left to see such a true artistic genius as his. Don’t miss it.

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Bond Market backs Trump

Digital World Asset Company (DWAC) is the blank check company that partnered with Donald Trump for his IPO of Truth Social– the shitshow social media platform he formed after he was banned from Twitter & Facebook for his coup attempt on Jan 6, 2021. A blank check company is a publicly traded company that has no operations or assets at the time of its IPO. Also known as a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), these are people with money to burn and no ideas of their own, but always with a political axe to grind. That axe is being sharpened to cut down working class opposition to fascism, which is the billionaire class preference over Genocide Joe Biden.

Truth Social (DJT) reaches <2% of Americans, and by all metrics it is hemorrhaging active users. Truth Social lost over $50M last year, and only had $5M in total revenue. Five million dollars is a fair measure of what Donald Trump’s grassroots support is worth in a year. But as always, it is the cost of Donald Trump that decisively outweighs any of his cash flow.

Trump Social (DJT) as a publicly traded company is grossly overvalued & insanely out-of-proportion with its underlining business metrics– because of politics. Trump reportedly owns about 79 million shares of Trump Media, 70% of the total. Trump Media stock closed at $57.99 on Tuesday, March 26, giving the company a market value of roughly $8 billion. That is the bond market speaking. Donald Trump will not be threatened with asset seizure, prison time, etc, due to debts he can’t pay. The bond market backs Trump. That eight billion bucks surely isn’t coming from his grassroots supporters.

In an illuminating side note, one of the partners in the deal, Patrick Orlando the former CEO of Digital World is already suing Trump, claimed he was short-changed. Patrick Orlando, Digital World, and Trump Media are all “no comment” on this– it’s a ruling class affair. After the deal was signed last October, Trump fired CEO Patrick Orlando, changed the company name to Trump Media, and replaced its board of directors with Trump loyalists. The SEC approved the Trump-Digital World merger last month.

According to the bond market, the “leftist” credentials of Bernie Sanders, AOC, etc, have been worn out, and Joe Biden doesn’t inspire any confidence, so it’s time to prepare for fascism in the form of Donald Trump.

There is no need to talk of the Republican Party anymore. Republicans are now the Trump Party, which is the right-wing, anti-science lunatic fringe. Donald Trump has purged the entire Republican Party of those deemed insufficiently loyal, and is in control of its political machinery & bank accounts. It’s the Trump Party & the Democrats now.

The right-wing “independent” campaign of RFK, Jr represents more of a ballot-box threat to the Trump campaign than to Joe Biden & his Democrats. It’s the Democratic Party that is going after the RFK, Jr campaign with everything it has got because their job is to disorient the working class and pave the way for Trump. Democrats are always moving to the right.

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Bibi & the bond market

In Israel, at least one-third of Jews oppose Bibi & his criminal Zionist regime. Anti-semitism is defined as hated & persecution of Jews. Jews in Israel who oppose Zionism are branded ‘antisemitic’ in the Western propaganda media, which is nonsense. Jews for peace in Israel are dismissed & marginalized because they don’t correspond to the interests of Western imperialism.

Photo credit: Matty STERN/U.S. Embassy Jerusalem

Benjamin ‘Bibi’ Netanyahu is a Jew who is a Zionist. Bibi is a criminal because he is the leader of a reactionary tendency that uses the Holocaust as political cover for genocide of Palestinians in Gaza. This is a class issue– first & foremost. Bourgeois politicians & its corporate media partners are the capitalist class that consciously introduces nationalism, racism, religious fanaticism, feminism & sexual orientation into politics– as a tool to divide & disorient the international working class.

You may have seen the term “left anti-semitism” come into the fake media recently. To start, “left anti-semitism” is an oxymoron, a political big lie. It is the technique of the Black Hand– the elitist hidden class that runs US intelligence & the military through Wall Street finance.

Current US national debt is over $34.5T. This debt created & inflated the global bond market, the most powerful expression of capitalism. The bond market is all-powerful & can not be defied under capitalism. The bond market decides US elections long before voters go to the polls in November. But when a revolutionary & united international working class says, “We the working people of the United States & the rest of the world, are canceling all monies owed to the super-rich and declare ourselves debt free,” that will kill the bond market. That’s a revolution. The rest is BS.

For those who ask (and I’ve been asked), hyperinflation is defined as rapidly rising inflation, typically measuring more than 50% per month. Right now inflation in the US (depending of whose numbers you read) is 5-10% annually. If US inflation reaches even 20% annually, there will be masses in the streets demanding serious change, because most people can’t afford even those price increases.

Hyperinflation happens in the third world, with Turkey being the latest example. The third world is where the US State Department & CIA exert their nefarious influence to make sure things don’t get out of control as far as workers organizing, etc– all under the banner of “fighting communism.” This keeps Wall Street happy, and makes sure the trains run on time.

The main issue with inflation is workers’ wages, which aren’t keeping up with the cost-of-living. The Federal Reserve Bank has tools to prevent runaway inflation through interest rate hikes, but this cools the economy by putting people out-of-work, which increases the available labor pool and thus suppresses workers’ wages. This is a downward spiral for which bourgeois economists & politicians have no answer.

One last point, whenever you read the Fed is “fighting inflation” by raising interest rates, what they really mean is they are trying to control the inflation of workers’ wages. The price of sellable goods going up (traditional inflation) means more money for corporate, which is good according to the Fed. But a rise in workers’ wages cuts into corporate profits, and therefore is unacceptable “inflation” which must be squashed.

You can not defy the bond market or the Federal Reserve Bank, which transcend political parties & their puppets. You can’t protest against it to any effect. This financial oligarchic set-up is the real power that is oppressing humanity & destroying our planet. You can’t compete playing their game, because everything is rigged for them to win, until everyone loses.

Organize the revolution by thinking outside-the-box. Assume that 100% of what you see & hear in the corporate news is fake. Learn to understand the motive behind the lies, and ask out loud, “Who benefits?” These corrupt institutions, which control the critical levers of capitalist power, rely on being hidden & unaccountable. As soon as sunshine is cast upon their numerous misdeeds, they lose their moral authority to rule.

Political philistines have this notion that revolutionary leaders are the ones who browbeat politicians, chant slogans at rallies, or bang their fists in fury in the tradition of Che Guevara, when history has proven that to be a reactionary dead end. Revolutions aren’t negotiated by liberals and they don’t come from a gun barrel, although guns are always necessary to defend revolutions against liberals who are with the fascist bourgeoisie trying to strangle it.

The bourgeoisie will always seek to attack & kill revolutions with all their venom & hatred, and this must be met with firm & unwavering workers’ resistance with a will-to-win in permanence. Revolutionaries are the ones who educate people by telling them the truth in all things. This has always been the true definition of a revolutionary.

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Talkin’ Padres 2024 hot stove

TRADE DETAILS
Padres receive: RHP Dylan Cease
White Sox receive: RHP Drew Thorpe (MLB Pipeline’s No. 85 prospect; SD No. 5), OF Samuel Zavala (SD No. 7), RHP Jairo Iriarte (SD No. 8), RHP Steven Wilson

Love this deal consummated yesterday for the San Diego Padres. AJ Preller used the top pitching prospect he didn’t like in the Juan Soto deal (Drew Thorpe) as a primary trade chip to acquire a front-of-the-rotation starter. RHP Dylan Cease is not as good as Corbin Burnes, but the Padres get two years of affordable team control without surrendering their top prospects.

Padres gave up three prospects and a reliever in the deal: RHP Drew Thorpe, a high floor soft-tossing top 100 pitcher with a 3rd starter ceiling; RHP Jairo Iriarte, a riskier high-ceiling top 100 pitcher and the key to this deal for the White Sox; OF Samuel Zavala, a 19yo lottery ticket; RHP Steven Wilson, a decent cheap reliever. If you are interested in winning, you would rather have Dylan Cease than what the Padres gave up.

This keeps the Padres competitive AND under the luxury tax, so they can reset after splurging and coming up snake eyes. Teams pay huge penalty amounts for being over certain tiers of payroll, and it’s difficult to get back under without tearing a team apart. For example, in 2020 the Red Sox traded RF Mookie Betts to the Dodgers and dumped LHP David Price as part of the deal. Red Sox ownership was no longer willing to pay the penalty for being over the payroll threshold, especially for a team that didn’t win. Red Sox haven’t been competitive since and currently are a mess.

Splurging in free agency sure ain’t what it used to be. Teams lose multiple draft choices and/or international draft money for signing free agents that rejected qualifying offers, especially when the signing team is over certain team-payroll tiers. That’s why the Yankees are locked-in with ace RHP Gerrit Cole now on the IL for ~3 months. GM Brian Cashman can’t sign LHP Blake Snell even though they desperately need him after losing out on Cease. The Yankees luxury tax on any Blake Snell contract would be 110%, meaning if they offer him $30M/year, the Yankees must also pay MLB another $33M in tax penalty. Plus, they lose their 2nd & 5th round amateur draft picks in the 2024 & international draft money [!].

That hurts, and it’s what happens when you spend yourself into a corner. What really hurts the Yankees is the Padres using trade capital (Drew Thorpe) from the Juan Soto deal to get Cease. If the NYY pitching staff falls apart, Soto is long gone after 2024. Padres dumped Juan Soto to the Yankees (because they had to) and acquired three pitchers who are going to fill out their 2024 rotation in Micheal King, Jhony Brito & Randy Vásquez. C Kyle Higashioka for CF Trent Grisham was an even swap based on the Padres need for a reliable veteran catcher; and Drew Thorpe reduced the Padres organizational cost of acquiring Dylan Cease to flame-throwing pitching prospect Jairo Iriarte.

The DSG bankruptcy in 2023 cost the Padres an estimated $60-80M in TV revenue, and caused them to operate at a financial loss of over $50M for the season. The death of majority owner Peter Seidler after last season reset the Padres onto a ‘get younger & cheaper’ trajectory. Padres GM grade: A+

The Padres are replacing veterans they lost with younger players, especially on the pitching side. The only opening day hole that remains is LF after trading Juan Soto, the rest they are filling internally. They even filled their manager vacancy internally, which I like.

Several years ago the Padres had the consensus ‘best farm system’ in baseball, but only Fernando Tatis Jr remains from that crop. The rest of those prospects were traded and most disappointed. This time around the Padres have drafted better & improved their player development, yielding a farm system that can feed more of its own talent onto their big league roster instead of becoming exclusively trade chips. It’s all about developing young talent in a way that helps a team win. It helps there is an organizational foundation now, because when AJ Preller arrived in San Diego there was little-to-nothing.

Trading Juan Soto to the Yankees helps the Padres because they won’t have the “will Soto resign” questions all season which was a distraction for the team in 2023. The Yankees get that headache in 2024. LHP Blake Snell was reportedly offered a 6-year deal at $28M/year by the Yankees in December, but refused it on the advice of his agent Scott Boras. Yankees then pivoted to RHP Marcus Stroman on a shorter deal.

Yankees, Giants, Angels & Rangers have been reported as being interested in the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner, but no team wants to give up draft picks and international pool money for him on a short-term free agent deal, and no team will match the Yankees earlier offer for Snell. That’s how a professional athlete overplays his hand in looking for the big payday while not understanding the market and letting greed go to his head.

Those teams I listed as being in on Snell are it. Padres, Cubs, Mets, Red Sox, Dodgers are all taking a pass. No other teams are interested because 1) too expensive in dollars/win, and/or 2) too costly in draft capital. For what it costs in draft capital, you have to get at least a 4-year deal on Blake Snell. Maybe $20M/year at this point. Snell says he prefers the Angels. Rangers, Giants (& Yankees) need him more. Significant risk he busts.

If Blake Snell really wants to be an Angel, then he shouldn’t have retained Scott Boras (pic above) as his agent. Boras clients (Juan Soto, etc) go where the money is highest. I feel like Blake Snell is yet another case of an elite-level athlete who is very confused and it’s costing him dearly. At this point, he needs to think outside the box, possibly a deferred money deal like Shohei Ohtani with the Dodgers.

As a bookend, this is the first significant trade AJ Preller has made with the White Sox since he dumped RHP James Shields in 2016, eating half his remaining contract to get a prospect to go with injured LHP Erik Johnson. AJ Preller selected a recent international signee, not yet ranked on any organizational prospect list– Fernando Tatis, Jr and the White Sox agreed to it. Before long ESPN was asking, “Who is Fernando Tatis, Jr?” and that was the LAST time an old-school MLB franchise got robbed of a generational prospect. So it is fitting that the White Sox firesale from this failed era ends with AJ Preller getting just what he needs at a price he likes.

This winter I read a series of articles on Fangraphs written by their prospect guru Eric Longenhagen. For the record, I respect his method & scouting reports for young players whom I can’t see personally and don’t have time (or inclination) to research. One thing Eric Longenhagen admitted (that I very much agree with) is that player/prospect evaluation in the minors has taken a quantum leap in the last 5-10 years. It used to be so much guesswork and biased opinions of old school scouts, where now there is more raw data & video out there that can be analyzed & used.

This is good because it used to be that organizations such as the Yankees, Red Sox & Dodgers could hype their latest top prospects on TV and thus fool rival GMs into thinking they were better than they actually were. Today, input from analytic understanding fans on social media & blog sites won’t allow that crap to gain traction.

Prospect rankings are much more of a science now, with the clear understanding that a few organizations have outstanding farm systems, while most will be mediocre, spotty, or weak. Top prospects across organizations aren’t equal and depth is just as important in terms of winning. Top talent is identified more readily in this ‘stathead fan’ era, but sleepers still do exist, and that’s a GM focal point in most player-for-prospects deals.

It’s not that teams are less willing to trade prospects today, it’s teams valuing their prospects more correctly (more highly) than in the past. It started for real when the 2016-17 hot stove season froze out non-superstar free agents, and the analytic ‘Moneyball’ philosophy was proven correct. Young players were more highly valued by most GMs by then, and so the market for veteran free agents cratered. Guys who thought they were getting 4/$80M were settling for 2/$16M or 1/$8M. Free agents who refused qualifying offers were shunned by a majority of teams that valued draft picks & young prospects above expensive veterans.

There was huge player anger at MLBPA leader Tony Clark in spring training 2017 for him signing CBA’s (since 2003 when tax thresholds were first set) that allowed a de facto salary cap on free agents through a Competitive Balance Tax (CBT) on team payrolls by MLB. A competitive balance or luxury tax was first levied upon the five highest-payroll teams from 1997 to 1999, in response to Florida Marlins ownership buying a World Series in 1997 and then selling off the team before Opening Day 1998. That was a wild card team that got hot in October and so their title wasn’t respected by many baseball purists.

In the 2000’s a system was put in place to ensure the biggest spenders would eventually be reigned in by CBT penalties, while the pretenders could collect MLB revenue sharing and be profitable with 90-100 losses per season. Commissioner (and former Brewers owner) Bud Selig was hailed as a genius for this and installed into the HoF for keep the peace among the owners during this boom period in MLB revenue due to satellite TV & internet streaming.

What the old system of MLB free agency (1977- 2002) always relied upon was another willing spender. Today, at least a third of MLB franchises are in survival mode. The A’s don’t have a home, Marlins never draw, Rockies can’t develop pitchers at high altitude, Brewers, Pirates, Reds, White Sox, Tigers, Royals have cheap owners… When a top talent goes on the market, it’s always the same teams getting the cream. The smartest teams budget & plan for it.

The Rays are the best at developing and dealing their young talent. Rays say they can’t afford to pay top arbitration salary, so they deal early and look for sleepers in other systems they’ve scouted. They are the best at the modern Moneyball game. Everybody respects them, but they never quite have enough in October. The last homegrown ‘small-market’ team that won it all was the Royals in 2015. That was less than ten years ago and yet that era of baseball seems a lifetime away.

It’s fear that drives many of these decisions. Fear of being wrong and crucified in the media & on social media. Fear of losing your job. GMs who operate based on fear are doomed. You can’t win like that. It’s the boldest and most ruthless organizations that are able to exploit the fears of those who are just happy to survive. In between the haves and have-nots, there are a few interesting teams like the Rays, Orioles & Diamondbacks who know what they are doing. It makes this unpredictable game more predictable than ever in terms of who will win in 2024. Is that progress? It depends on who you ask.

Tue 19 Mar 2024 10:30 AM CDT

MLB sources now report that LHP Blake Snell is about to sign a 2-year contract worth $62M, with a player opt-out after 2024. Blake Snell rejected a QO from the Padres, so the Giants will lose their third-round draft pick in 2024, as well as $500,000 from their international bonus pool for the upcoming signing period. San Francisco had already forfeited its second-round pick (and international pool $) after signing 3B Matt Chapman, who declined a qualifying offer from the Blue Jays.

For the Giants, this is an expensive price to pay for what could be one year of Blake Snell. If Snell pitches well in 2024, he can re-enter the free agent market and try his luck again, without a QO tag attached to him. If Snell pitches poorly this year, he will pick up his (overpriced) 2025 option. That $31M option for 2025 makes Blake Snell tougher to trade at the Aug 1 deadline if things fall apart for the Giants in 2024. They would have to eat significant contract to deal him for any prospect value in return. Deals that are so costly, and lock a franchise in like this, are extremely risky. That’s why most teams stayed away.

Blake Snell didn’t get the long-term deal he was seeking because he played his cards poorly, and/or he was never serious about joining the Yankees. He didn’t wind up with the Angels either, which was his preferred destination. Most MLB players who are fortunate enough to reach free agency, only get one chance to negotiate a deal of a lifetime and Blake Snell blew it with Scott Boras as his agent.

The only way the Giants can win this deal is if Blake Snell pitches great and leads them on a deep post-season run. Every other scenario pans out with the Giants losing value & paying the price. When you do risk assessment as a GM, this screams, “DON’T DO IT”, but teams can’t help themselves. They have billionaire owners who want to win, pushing the front office to foolishly go for it when it’s a bad risk, which if it fails will set the organization back. That’s what Scott Boras & MLBPA executives have always counted on, but it’s getting harder to pull off. That’s the current dynamic in MLB.

Final thoughts: If QO free agents can’t find the long-term deal they are seeking, the next-best option is to take a 1-year deal for maximum money with a player option for a second year in case they have a bad season or get hurt. Teams have WAR/$ projections, injury risk analysis, etc, for every MLB player, so coveted players really don’t need an agent to represent them. Players simply need to understand their true value– warts and all (particularly the QO tag)– to determine what the market is and what they can get.

Scott Boras & the MLBPA executives represent the star players (& now top prospects) of MLB. The young players & non-star players are the majority who sacrifice themselves the most for these superstar salaries & MLB owner profits. Most MLB players are well-underpaid for their first 6 years, and since 2017-18 they have been squeezed in free agency, as it is well understood that (in most cases) veterans can be adequately replaced with younger cheaper players. This is how MLB free agent salaries have been driven down for the majority of the players, while a thin layer of superstars get mega-deal$.

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Banned from Fakebook (again): Super Tuesday edition

Preface: Before I had a chance to post this paragraph below, I was locked out of my Facebook account ~9:30 AM CST on Super Tuesday.

Super Tuesday notes– the “Uncommitted” campaign is a DSA strategy to save Joe Biden. It is meant to corral leftist-leaning voters (ie- young kids) back into the Democratic Party. Since Trump isn’t an option for this massive voter constituency, it can’t be allowed to find a 3rd party. Understand that the DSA, Greens, etc, orbit the Democrats; and the Libertarians, Teabaggers, etc, orbit the Republicans. That is the two-party strait-jacket of modern bourgeois politics which always shifts to the right.

Here’s the text from the three (3) emails I sent to Facebook tech support:

What’s the deal with FB locking me out? I entered the code you people emailed (multiple times before it was accepted as valid), but then wasn’t allowed to reset my PW.

I keep entering a new PW and it’s strong, but your system fails to register it every time. Remarkable

It’s Super Tuesday, and I’m blacklisted (again) on Facebook because Mark Zuckerberg is a fascist tool. This is why people call it Fakebook. To Zuckerberg: Make your peace with Trump, he’s your daddy now.

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  • BTW, I’m an “antisemite” for calling Mark Zuckerberg a fascist. I’ll update here when/if my unexplained Facebook ban is lifted. Thank you to all who love & support what I do!!

Wed 06 Mar 2024 07:47 AM CST

Tried to log in again, but the still locked out. Here’s my email message to FB in response:

Your code never works. Why can’t you people just admit you’re blacklisting me? Weak

Mon 11 Mar 2024 12:25 PM CDT

I’ve been banned before and have learned to deal with it. Facebook always allows me back because THEY NEED ME. It is exactly the same as a capitalist’s need for a worker to exploit. My posts create interest & provoke thought, and you don’t get that with most people on social media. From personal friends I get mostly family pics, pets & vacations, which is fine, but it’s usually nothing enlightening or thought provoking. For most users, social media is telling your group what your life is like. For celebrities (& wannabes) it’s about shaping an image & brand which they can sell. Celebrities sell to corporate as that is the BIG money which can satisfy them.

I have changed the dynamic of social media by being who I am and connecting with my preferred celebrities though comments & the ‘like’ button. It’s how I talk to my friends, except these people are more worldly & experienced. Always be respectful, since there is a level of admiration, but don’t worship them as idols, which only patronizes & cheapens them. Artists seek to be understood above all else. If you can respectfully understand an artist they will always approve it.

This is how I converse with artists and others on social media. I respect talent and what it does, with the understanding that I’m also at that level, perhaps even beyond. The blacklisting issue is what sets me apart. I was never allowed to break through commercially as a musical artist in any way. No record or distribution deal, no venues available for me. Therefore no tours or merch for the fans. I don’t apologize for it, I just explain it. I publish myself here, so when I’m cut off from social media, I still have an independent online organ.

This always allows me a voice, so fans can understand what’s going on. Being banned from Facebook is a blessing in many ways. Social media can be addictive, and action in the real world is what counts most. Social media is a tool to describe those activities to the world without having to tour & travel. It allows an alternative explanation of events. Without corporate backing, social media is a critical tool for connecting with fans. The contradiction of course is that Facebook (and all the rest) are corporate entities tied into US intelligence, police & the military– and these institutions are the enemy of peace & freedom.

A long time ago I tried Twitter and quickly abandoned it. I should have cancelled my account before Elon Musk bought it, but whatever. Twitter was 120 characters-a-post back then and far too limiting as compared to Facebook. It is mostly gossip and too much white noise, with little depth of thought. It’s like everyone on Twitter is trying to be superficially clever, or make a witty joke. Twitter is for people who don’t want to read too much, and all this is why it didn’t appeal to me.

YouTube has turned me down (sonically) and attacked my videos with algorithms since I started in 2011. Obama/Biden had their Intelligence fingers on me instantly, it was unmistakable. If YouTube is going to turn you down, de-list, and shadow-ban you, then just post thumbnail videos for each song and forget about it. That’s all you can do until things seriously change with YouTube. I have videos for every song I’ve released, a film, interviews, etc, but they are extremely difficult-to-find in searches, and all my ‘likes’ and ‘views’ get deleted. My YouTube page looks abandoned because I had to.

The reason I’m so viciously attacked by corporate is because I’m too good. I’m better than all that corporate fake rock they’ve been jamming down your throat (and up your ass) for the past 20+ years. I kick ass over all that and for the correct reasons. Nothing in modern popular music can beat me– and they know it. That’s why I’m at the top of the blacklist.

To continue with my social media history, I used Disqus for awhile because it was the best option for posting on the WSWS when they started allowing reader’s comments. After becoming a prolific commenter in that forum for years, I was shadow-banned by Disqus on the WSWS, just as the MeToo campaign was coming into being. My comments on Russia Today were also through Disqus, but they weren’t shadow banned. They were selectively deleted at times by RT, but not shadow-banned.

Shadow-banning is when you post and it shows up on your computer/device, but not on anyone else’s. You know you’re shadow-banned when you no longer get any responses or likes to what you post. Disqus clearly didn’t want me posting as Ric Size on WSWS articles. Too influential in the wrong direction. Today, all my WSWS comments have been scrubbed away by Disqus. I have many screenshots to prove their existence. I also dominated the ESPN.com & MLB.com forums, until comments were abruptly ended around the same time period- largely due to my activity in both cases.

This is what you face for being critical of authority. Julian Assange is in prison on trumped-up charges for exposing the criminality of the ruling elite. Facebook is owned by Mark Zuckerberg, and he is owned by Uncle Sam, which is the unaccountable & hidden power behind this blacklist. Expose a blacklist and its authors to the light, and they will shrivel-up in their own ugliness.

All I can do is ask my fans to unite and take action against this evil force known as capitalist imperialism. It is ruthless, unapologetic & stupid. Its arrogance knows no bounds with this class of parasitic billionaires that has been created in the past 30 years. They only answer to their own greed & avarice, and must be beaten down by the masses to be made to yield. Until then, the blacklist & all this suckitude will continue…

Tue 12 Mar 2024 09:15 AM CDT

Logged into FB this morning for the first time in about a week, and PRESTO I’m back. No explanation given to me for being banned. Told you.

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The NCAA & NIL $$

Ed O’Bannon, a former UCLA Bruins basketball player who led his team to a national championship in 1995, saw his college-era image on the cover of a video game, and got upset. Then he got a lawyer, eventually bringing an antitrust class action lawsuit against the NCAA which would change college sports forever. The suit was first brought to court in 2009, finally tried in 2014 as Ed O’Bannon v NCAA, with a verdict declaring that college players are entitled to own & sell their Name, Image & Likeness (NIL) rights for money. The NCAA appealed, and as this case bounced around higher courts, its ruling was amended in the process until it finally was appealed to the US Supreme Court, which denied to hear the case in October 2016.

It was a slow rollout for NIL rights in their inception. No one in the NCAA knew how to do this under these new legal guidelines. Finally, in July 2021, NIL rights became codified into NCAA bylaws, and universities could now allow their student athletes to be paid. NIL rights means endorsement money. Micheal Jordan was the first modern athlete who was highly charismatic & marketable in this sense. NIL deals go to players who can win, but also those who are marketable. Winning makes you marketable in sports. Having a famous father who was/is a great athlete helps even more.

Bronny James is the eldest son of NBA superstar LeBron James. Bronny James is a freshman at USC, averaging 5.0 pts, 2.8 rebs, 2.4 asst coming off the bench for the 6-12 Trojans. Yet, Bronny James NIL valuation is $6.1M, the highest in college athletics. “Will he go to the NBA?”, the pundits ask. My reply, “Why should he? He’s the six million dollar kid, paid though a corrupt system of glorified paternalism. As far as making money goes, it doesn’t get much easier than that. Stay in school, son.”

Of course this NIL money doesn’t disappear once the athlete goes pro. But in turn, it’s harder to win in the NFL & NBA, the competition is tougher & more skilled. It’s easier to win and be a star in the NCAA, so staying makes sense with the money involved. Case in point is Angel Reese, the LSU women’s basketball star in her junior year.

Angel Reese’s NIL valuation is $1.7M. She has at least 15-20 deals where she sells her NIL rights to a business that uses her for their commercials, advertising & marketing campaigns. This allows any university booster to directly pay an athlete through legal channels. It’s an advertising expense for the booster’s business, and it’s NIL money for the athlete. Slush funds for top recruits are no longer necessary.

The rookie salary for top WNBA draft picks is ~$70K/year. Angel Reese is considered a top WNBA draft pick, but why come out early after her junior year, when she’s winning at LSU and making NIL money that dwarfs her expected WNBA salary? Obviously there will be endorsements for her as a pro, but it’s easier guaranteed money if she stays.

NIL money incentivizes athletes to stay in college, so now we have 5th-year & even 6th-year seniors with NCAA eligibility. Iowa basketball star Caitlin Clark just announced she will forgo her 5th year of eligibility and declare for the WNBA draft. It wasn’t an easy choice for her.

A lot of the men’s athletes aren’t good enough for the NFL or NBA, but they can help their college team win, and that means NIL money for them. This is what the transfer portal is all about. Free agent college athletes looking for the best deals for themselves, at the expense of team & university. This has hurt college football & men’s basketball irreparably. There are very few college football & basketball programs anymore.

Here’s Tom Brady in The Athletic last November: “I actually think college players were better prepared when I came out than they are now. Just because so many coaches are changing programs, and I would say there’s not even a lot of college programs anymore. There’s a lot of college teams, but not programs that are developing players. So as they get delivered to the NFL, they may be athletic, but they don’t have much of the skills developed to be a professional. When I played at Michigan, I essentially played at a college program that was very similar to a pro environment. When I see these different players come in, they’re not quite as prepared as they were, and I think the game has shown that over the last 12 to 13 years. I think things have slipped a little bit.”

The blueblood, win-at-all-cost universities are all-in on paying athletes NIL money. Take a look at this list below, published less than 6 months ago, which gives the reader a good indication of which college teams are going to be good this year. These are the going rates for top players, and if your school isn’t paying, it likely isn’t winning.

Top 20 College Athletes With The Highest NIL Valuations
Published on September 15, 2023

Bronny James – $6.1M (LeBron’s eldest son) USC hoops freshman
Shedeur Sanders – $4.1M (Deion’s son) QB junior Colorado
Livvy Dunne – $3.2M gymnastics LSU junior
Arch Manning – $2.9M (Peyton’s son) Texas QB freshman
Caleb Williams – $2.6M junior USC QB
Travis Hunter – $1.8M soph Colorado CB
Evan Stewart – $1.7M Texas A&M soph WR
Angel Reese – $1.7M LSU junior hoops
Drake Maye – $1.5M QB UNC, redshirt soph
Bo Nix – $1.4M QB Oregon, QB senior
Marvin Harrison Jr. – $1.4M WR Ohio State junior
Michael Penix Jr. – $1.3M QB Washington senior
Bryce James – $1.2M (LeBron’s 2nd-eldest son) Committed to Duquesne University
Quinn Ewers – $1.2M QB Texas, redshirt soph
Hansel Emmanuel – $1.2M Austin Peay freshman hoops
Jordan Travis – $1.2M QB FSU redshirt senior
Nico Iamaleava – $1.1M QB Tennessee freshman
Jared McCain – $1.1M V Duke freshman hoops
Flau’jae Johnson – $1.1M LSU women’s hoops freshman
Blake Corum – $1.1M Michigan RB senior

NCAA cheating used to consist of boosters creating a slush fund to entice top recruits to attend their university. Suitcases of cash, money secretly wired into accounts, expensive cars, and other perks were funneled to players through the boosters using hidden means to evade NCAA enforcement & sanctions. Bluebloods are allowed to get away with an acceptable level of this because their programs have great traditions of winning which makes money for everyone involved. Pony Exce$$  (2010) is the ESPN ’30 for 30′ film that best examines this style of “old school” cheating in NCAA football.

ESPN’s ’30 for 30′ film series was perhaps the best thing that network has done in the 21st century. For those too young to remember, ESPN used to show regular sports, new sports (X-games, monster trucks, Asian kickboxing, etc), PLUS the highlights of all the MLB, NBA & NHL games. That was ESPN’s staple programming from its 1979 inception through 2000.

When ESPN started broadcasting Texas Hold Em poker in the early 2000’s, the network changed forever. Gambling & fantasy sports became mainstream, and thus football boomed, because the NFL is by far the highest-wagered sports book, with NCAA football second. This is when Stephen A Smith, Michael Wilbon, Chris Russo, etc, rose to prominence by screaming about sports on ESPN.

Classic ESPN at least had Bob Lea going Outside the Lines once in awhile, in an effort to educate sports fans. But when ESPN became Skip Bayless & Pat McAfee yacking everyday, all day, sports journalism became so degraded that it wasn’t taken seriously anymore by most sports fans. ESPN’s decline is a large reason why so many Americans have cut the cord. ESPN is a large part of your cable/satellite TV bill, whether you want it or not.

Sports are expensive. It costs a lot to broadcast & televise these games (NCAA & professional league), and that is reflected in the number of commercials you see during a game on TV. It is reflected in the salaries of the players in the professional leagues, the high cost of team merchandise, and now in the Name, Image & Likeness money available to college athletes.

Epilogue: What we have in college sports now is a few great individual performers and then a bunch of crap. Not only are coaches & players coming & going at will, but major conferences are falling apart. USC & UCLA are abandoning the Pac-12 to join the Big 10 in 2024, which will then have close to twenty teams from coast to coast. The travel & logistics of all this scream “DON’T DO IT”, but it’s about to happen and it’s all about money. The SEC is the power conference everyone else in the NCAA is chasing. The SEC is absorbing Texas & Oklahoma from the Big 12. Gee, I remember when Texas was in the Southwest Conference and Oklahoma was a Big 8 football powerhouse under Barry Switzer. Back then, coaches stayed at their schools forever and their teams were arguably better and certainly more entertaining to watch. It’s the big money that turns everything to crap.

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US Supreme Court v 14th Amendment

The 14th Amendment established birthright citizenship & freed black slaves. It also contains this paragraph below, which specifically applied at the time to President Andrew Johnson who sought to conspire with Southern Democrats after Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. President Johnson attempted to use his veto power to block congressional efforts to carry out the Reconstruction of the South.

“No Person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two thirds of each House, remove such disability.”

As the WSWS has written, ‘This constitutional language leaves little room for interpretation. Trump was “an officer of the United States”— indeed, the chief officer— who took “an oath… to support the Constitution,” but who then “engaged in insurrection or rebellion.” The clause also bars from public office those who have given “aid and comfort” to an insurrection. Donald Trump is therefore barred from holding “any office” by the Fourteenth Amendment, just as Confederate president Jefferson Davis was banned from running for US office after the Civil War.’

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Supreme Court justices Amy Coney Barrett, Neil M. Gorsuch, Brett M. Kavanaugh, Ketanji Brown Jackson, Sonia Sotomayor, Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., Samuel A. Alito, Jr. and Elena Kagan pose for their group portrait at the Supreme Court in Washington, U.S., October 7, 2022. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein/File Photo

Last week the US Supreme Court heard arguments from both sides over a Colorado ruling that Donald Trump should be disqualified from the ballot on the grounds of him violating the 14th Amendment on 1/6/21. The US Supreme Court is packed with far right zealots & Trump appointees, so their decision has already been made– just like ‘Bush v Gore’ in 2000. If the US Supreme Court needed to rule that ‘2+2=5’ then it would find some technicality or distort whatever reality is necessary to confirm that majority opinion. There are no checks & balances on government power, just class interests concealed under the illusion of democracy.

Thousands of MAGA Trumpists swarmed over the Capitol building on 1/6/21 with the purpose of stopping the certification of the 2020 election for Joe Biden. Trumpists attacked Capitol & DC police and were chanting “Hang Mike Pence!” Scores of cops were injured and five people died as a result. Donald Trump told his mob to “Fight like hell or you won’t have a country anymore.” That’s as clear-cut a violation of the US Constitution as it gets, and everyone saw it on live TV. Trumpists act like they are so persecuted, but Joe Biden & his Democrats protect Trump more than anyone.

The State of Colorado’s oral arguments are legally sound, but have been met with hostility & indifference from the justices. Clarence Thomas & Samuel Alito directed a barrage of politically-loaded questions at the attorneys for the State of Colorado, as compared to Trump’s lawyer who rambled technically & incoherently for a few minutes & then quickly signed off with no questions from any of the justices concerning their paper-thin defense [!]. Basically, Trumpists are threatening another insurrection if the Supreme Court upholds Colorado’s decision.

The US Supreme Court is being asked to make a decision it doesn’t want to make– a sure sign it has outlived its usefulness. The State of Colorado (and its voters) are seeking clarity, while the Supreme Court tries to dodge & duck the issue. Justice Clarence Thomas & his wife Ginny were part of the 1/6 insurrection, yet he has not recused himself due to conflict of interest. These are the ethics of the SC, where justices consider themselves (& Trump) to be above the law in a constitutional system of ‘checks & balances’ that is nothing more than out-of-control corruption.

There are six Republican appointed justices and three Democrat appointees on the SC. None of the Democrat appointees are challenging the Trump narrative. No discussion of Trump’s failed coup attempt and what it means. All the Supreme Court wants to do is deflect, split hairs, and keep Trump on the ballot. That’s pre-decided here. The critical question the SC is avoiding is, “Did Trump attempt an insurrection to overthrow the US Constitution on 1/6/21?”

If the Supreme Court refuses to examine the issue of whether Donald Trump incited an insurrection on 1/6/21, then what purpose do they serve except to protect privilege? Two states (Colorado & Maine) have defined Trump’s actions as insurrection. The Supreme Court’s job is to address that issue directly and with impartiality. They are doing neither.

Trump lawyers argue it’s up to Congress to rule on this matter. It’s been three years since the House voted to impeach Trump for insurrection and the Senate acquitted him behind Republican majority leader Mitch McConnell who himself was a target of the Trump mob on 1/6. Nothing since from Congress, or Joe Biden, so it now falls to the Supreme Court. A clear & Constitutionally-sound ruling by the US Supreme Court is required to maintain any illusion of democracy in American politics, yet it will not be allowed to happen. What is being illustrated now is the complete rot & corruption of capitalist politics.

To be fair & balanced, the 25th Amendment, proposed by Congress and ratified by the states in the aftermath of the assassination of JFK provides the procedures for replacing the president or vice president in the event of death, removal, resignation, or incapacitation. Clearly Joe Biden is mentally incapacitated. Disqualification of Donald Trump under the 14th Amendment is entirely justified, just as is removing Joe Biden from the office of President due to his diminished mental capacity. It is entirely reasonable that the people of the Untied States should expect any Presidential candidate to take a mental exam to prove competency, and it is likewise reasonable to bar from public office those who willfully violate the Constitution.

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