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Electoral Colleges – Time For Them To Go!

Time For One Voter = One Vote

Today, the United States Supreme Court ruled that states can punish electors for voting against the popular vote result for their assigned state. This was brought before the court because, in 2016, ten state electors, out of 538 went rogue and voted against the popular vote. The problem is the use of ‘ can ‘, this indicates to me that it’s the states’ choice, not a requirement to take action or disqualify that elector.

But, that is not what this article is about, this writeup is about the electoral colleges and the lack of direct representation of the people, or you could call it voter suppression. The problem I see is that each state regardless of land area or population carries the same weight in a presidential election. Literally, the 29 least populous states have roughly the same population of just California and Texas. The 578k people residing in Wyoming have the same weight as California with 39.5m people, does that seem democratic?

Yes, I know that the US is a Democratic Republic, in which power is given to the states, which makes me wonder how united the states are; because laws can be very different from state to state, but I digress. I believe in 2020, we should have direct voting, one eligible voter, one vote. it’s messed up that 23% of voters are enough to elect a president, assuming that everyone who could, voted in the general election.

If all states had a similar population, I would not have such a massive issue with this; but the difference in population between the smallest state, by population and the largest, by population is 38,933,464 people, Wyoming has just 1.46% of the population of California, or to put it another way, each Wyomingite has the same voting weight as 68.27 Californians. In my mind, this is complete lunacy.

So, what I would like to see is an amendment to the constitution, abolishing the electoral colleges, in favor of a system where everyone’s vote is equally weighted, i.e. the national popular vote. This is not because of Trump, although I have to admit, it has brought it to the fore. I have held this position since I learned about the electoral college system when I came to the United States some 12 years ago now, it’s crazy for one voter to have the same voting power as 68 1/4 voters in another state.

I know a lot has to happen for an amendment to become a reality, but I believe in the future as younger, progressive politicians are elected into state and federal legislature, we have a chance of getting the required 34 states (2/3) needed to call a convention, and then maybe get the 38 states (3/4) required to ratify an amendment. I reside in a state in which there are just 36,598,909 fewer people than California, and I still hate the system, despite having 13.5 times voting power than my brother-in-law, in California.

PS: I have been amazed by the number of people defending the electoral college system on social media. I don’t understand why anyone would want to support something that suppresses YOUR vote.


Why Wait To Mandate Wearing A Mask Until Now?

Why Wait To Mandate Wearing A Mask Until Now?

On Monday, June 29, 2020, the Kansas Governor’s Office announced that ‘most’ people in Kansas will be required to wear a mask when in public spaces from 12:01am on July 3, after a spike in cases in Kansas over the past few weeks since Gov. Laura Kelly’s Ad Astra: A Plan To Reopen Kansas entered phase 3.

My question is; why now? why was wearing a mask not mandated before now, during the statewide lockdown, when the cases were at their highest, or when reopening commenced? It defies logic to reopen the state and not mandate mask-wearing until two months after Gov. Kelly’s reopening plan started.

Kansas is not the only state to see a spike after reopening their respective states, and now mandating wearing a mask in public spaces. I understand that governors want to reopen their economies and get people back to work, but the decision making has been suspect. I expected such stupidity from states with Republican governors, but I hoped for better in Kansas with a Democrat governor, but it seems not.

It was even dumber to try to mandate mask-wearing over the 4th of July weekend. I looked outside at people setting off fireworks, all standing close together and NOT wearing a mask. And then there is the super dumb “my body, my choice” brigade, in regard to wearing a mask, which, ironically is also so-called “pro-life” conservatives, more than likely, seems that life doesn’t matter after it leaves the womb.

Doctor’s warned that a second wave was likely if people did not wear a mask and practice social distancing. And the people of Wichita certainly did not heed those warnings, I would estimate as many as 70% of people I saw out in public over the past 2 months were not wearing a mask. So, again, I ask why was wearing a mask not mandated before wave 1.5 kicked off, it seems common sense to me.

People may be back at work now, but how long before a second shut down happens? And that’s even before a true second wave, we are still on the first wave, hence wave 1.5, as the first wave never ended. It was on the decline with the lockdown, now that those states are reopening, we are seeing infection rates rise again, with Florida leading the charge with 10,000 daily cases and 57,000 new cases nationwide.

But as long as Wall Street is prospering, then the death of 132,000 Americans is acceptable. And then we have Donald J. Trump, the person that we laughingly call the President of the United States who is on record as saying “if we stop testing right now, we’d have very few cases” while refusing to wear a mask at public engagements, attempting to get tens of thousands of his followers to congregate in a big arena.


Finally, Liverpool Are Premier League Champions!

Liverpool - 2019/20 Premiership Title Winners

It’s been 30 years since Liverpool’s last English top-flight league title, winning the old Division 1 title in the 1989/1990 season for the 18th time, since then, Liverpool has come close a number of times, but never managed to win the Premier League title since it’s inception in the 1992/93 season. That is, until this season, with a dominant performance, securing the Premiership title with seven games remaining.

Liverpool fan’s hearts were breaking when COVID-19 hit, and the football season was suspended, with the potential of the season being voided, despite Liverpool only needing two more wins to secure the title, when the Premier League was suspended due to the Coronavirus. For months, football fans were put on hold, while the FA went back and forth on how to proceed. Thankfully, the FA did the right thing in the end, playing the remaining games behind closed doors, after months of uncertainty due to COVID-19.

I understand and agree that people’s lives are more important than any sport, but it is devastating for every Liverpool fan, to see their team put on a football masterclass in the 2019/20 season to have it potentially ripped away with just two more wins needed to secure Premier League title glory.

Liverpool did get the job done in two games, although the first game back, the Merseyside derby was a disappointment, resulting in a no-score draw at Goodison Park. The Reds made up for that disappointment, with a 4 – 0 victory at Anfield against Crystal Palace, but that was not enough to claim the title. Then the news came in that Manchester City lost to Chelsea, meaning that City could no longer mathematically catch the Reds. It’s a real shame that Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool could not celebrate the title win in front of a packed out Anfield, but the long wait is over, LFC are Premier League champions.

Will Liverpool return to the glory days of the 70s and 80s and win multiple league titles? I don’t know, but I am quietly hopeful that under Jürgen Klopp’s leadership, Liverpool can return to being a true force in English football, where teams fear coming to Fortress Anfield. ***whisper of a dream***


COVID-19 has made me realize how little F1 interests me in 2020!

I have Canceled My F1 Subscription

I have canceled my subscription to Formula 1’s F1TV Pro service, because by the time the F1 season starts over the weekend of July 3rd in Austria, a full four months after the season was supposed to start. I have not at all missed F1. 10 years ago, I would be Jonesing for the season to start, but over the past four to five seasons, I have been apathetic at best, due to the lack of competition and predictable nature of the sport. I kept watching out of habit, I was not really paying attention to the race for most of its duration.

Last season was particularly bad in terms of my interest, I watched one race live, the rest were watched on-demand, and even then, I only watched the highlights. When a 30-minute highlight show features very few actual highlights, watching a 1 hour, 40 minute race would be unbearable. The idea of paying $80 per year to watch races live, when it holds near to zero interest for me is just a waste of money.

My subscription does not expire until August 10, 2020, so I have access to five races in three countries, which I will probably just watch the highlights, to see if I have any interest at all in 2020, then I might subscribe to F1TV Access, which gives me access to on-demand programming after the live race for just $2.99 per month or $26.99 a year. I feel that F1 is not worth $79.99 a year for me at this time.

I feel that F1 in its current form is going in the wrong direction, Liberty, F1’s owners need to open up the formula, like we had in the 80s, when racing was genuinely exciting to watch. Unlike today, where the leading team, Mercedes need to have some sort of drama for another team or driver to win a race.

German free-to-air broadcaster RTL has declined to renew its deal with F1 after lackluster viewing figures over the past five years, despite having multiple Germans in the sport, and the rising fees demanded by Formula 1. So it looks like F1 in Germany will be subscription only from 2021, which, like the UK, will have a very negative effect on the sports viewership, with so many people not willing to pay to watch F1.


New “Photo Theft” Email Scam/Malware Distribution

Photo Copyright Email Scam

Late last night, I received a message on my work Email address claiming that one of our properties was using photos without permission from the photographer, “Mel Davis”, threatening legal action if we did not “delete” the photos. The Email message also featured a link to a Google Sites webpage, which downloaded a JavaScript (.JS) file. I clicked the link using a virtual machine because no-one should open a link in an email from someone they don’t know on the everyday computer they use. Even on a Virtual Machine, I did not run the file, although I have to admit I was kinda curious about what it would do.

The first of these Email’s happened to target one of our community websites where the photos featured came from a third party, due to the property being a significant distance from where I am based out of, so we commissioned some photos from a third party company. This is the reason I looked into it, then a second came in for a community website, where I know for sure that all the photos are 100% legal, as I took them myself, which is my preference, to avoid this kind of bullshit from third-party photographers.

I cannot remember the exact file name, but it was something like “phototheft_evidence.js”, As soon as I saw it was a JavaScript file, I deleted it; and closed down the VM. There is no reason for anyone to download a .js file, it’s something that runs from a web server, on the client-side to do something interactive on a webpage. But JavaScript can also be used for nasty stuff like malware, viruses, and ransomware. Bottom line, never click any links in an email from anyone you don’t know.

The Email reads as follows, with the links redacted; the second Email is in the featured image above;

Hi,

This is Melinda and I am a certified photographer.

I was discouraged, to put it nicely, when I came across my images at your web-site. If you use a copyrighted image without my approval, you should be aware that you could be sued by the owner.

It’s illegal to use stolen images and it’s so filthy!

Take a look at this document with the links to my images you used at <link redacted> and my earlier publications to get evidence of my legal copyrights.

Download it now and check this out for yourself:

https://sites.google.com/<redacted>

If you don’t delete the images mentioned in the document above within the next few days, I’ll write a complaint on you to your hosting provider stating that my copyrights have been infringed and I am trying to protect my intellectual property.

And if it doesn’t work, you may be pretty damn sure I am going to report and sue you! And I will not bother myself to let you know of it in advance.

Both messages had a phone number attached, which I will not publish, as I suspect it’s a random number and I don’t want the person who owns that number getting bombarded with phone calls. The names and Email addresses used were Melinda Davis (Mphotographer292@yahoo.com), and Melika Robinson (Melphoto796@hotmail.com). Both messages were the same, except for some small wording changes.

Being someone who is webmaster for literally hundreds of website and listings, I see all sorts of scams in my Email, but this is the first time I have seen someone trying to scam or infect computers with malware, using a cease and desist of photography that has not been licensed from the photographer. As a photographer myself, I protect my work, that is why I took the time to even look into it, as the company who we paid, might not have had the correct licensing deal with the person who actually took the photos.

A bit of advice, if you do use a photographer, ask for a contract which details what is agreed to in terms of number and type of photos. Also, the contract should detail the usage rights, where you can use the photos and the timeframe in which you can use them. In the majority of cases, the photographer will retain the copyright to the photos. If you don’t have a legal contract, you leave yourself open to a photographer coming back to you later demanding more money to continue using the photos or even taking legal action. A photography contract is designed to protect both the client and the photographer.

To be clear, most photographers are honest, hard-working people, but there are some unscrupulous photographers out there, so insist on a contract and read it in its entirety, to protect yourself.


How does removing or destroying history help POC today?

Will toppling these statues change anything for black Americans?

Over recent weeks, ever since the murder of George Floyd, we have been seeing statues of people involved with slavery being toppled by protestors in the US and Europe, or they have been removed by local authorities. Also, classic brands like Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben, which yes, are inherently racist are being renamed, but honestly, will this change anything in 2020, will 1/3 of Americans suddenly become accepting of people of color? realistically no, if anything it will cause these racist assholes to double down, making the life of people of color even more difficult, because their racist heroes have been toppled.

My take is, lets put history in context, instead of glorifying it, I don’t believe we should ever destroy history, we should learn from it. Americans seem to have very short memories, it amazes me how quickly anger dies down after a mass shooting, especially those that involve children, and every time a black person is killed by police, which results in zero action being taken. I really hope that these multi-racial protests continue; to force our lawmakers into making real change, not platitudes to appease the masses,, this is what I see the removal of statues and renaming brands as, no real change will come of it.

#DefundThePolice

I was watching the TYT Juneteenth special and Cenk Uygur posed the question is “defend the police” a good slogan for political change. In my opinion, I agree with Cenk’s assessment that the term “defund”, for most people means, to stop funding, i.e. abolish the police. Or even worse, put funding of law enforcement in the hands of private equity, we already have private prisons, so private police is not a big leap. I do understand that “defund the police” is a term to reallocate funds to other services to lift the African American, and poor communities up and out of poverty, creating a level playing field for everyone.

Politically, running a “defund the police” campaign is political suicide, not everyone is like me, a person that does their research to understand the issues. Most people hear soundbites like “defund the police” from the mainstream media, who rarely go more in-depth than repeating the soundbite, and automatically think abolish the police. This is why independent media and social media is so important to get the facts out there, mainstream media will not tell you the whole story unless it suits their bottom line.

The youth are the people who follow independent media and are active on social media, this is why so many 16 to 30-year-olds of all races are out on the streets protesting. But the reality is that most of the voter base is 40 plus and the idea of no police scares them, especially coupled with the mainstream media propaganda that black men are dangerous and black women are just “angry black women”. I think people campaigning for change in regard to race and policing needs to be smarter with their slogans if they want any desperately needed change for POC, the poor and even the middle class this November.

I understand that the black and brown community are angry, I’m angry, as a British white man, albeit with a black wife and bi-racial kids living in the USA, that people of color are still fighting the same damn battle, 56 years after the Civil Rights Act of 1964. But straight-up anger, destroying the history that so many older white Americans hang onto, will only hinder progress. Obviously, the rebranding of Uncle Ben and Aunt Jemima is a business decision, to protect their bottom line, these CEOs don’t give a damn about the black community, I don’t really consider this progress in regard to race relations in the United States.

I desperately want change, on many fronts, changing police culture, change American culture and attitude in general, changing our government to represent the people, not the corporations and wealthiest Americans. I am thankful that my kids are light-skinned enough, to more than likely not have to worry about being killed by police, being shot in the back, like Rayshard Brooks and Andres Guardado. But, I do not take that for granted, so I will teach my kids to be careful around law enforcement.

A few bad apples, really?

I think we can comprehensively dispel the myth that there are “a few bad apples” in police forces across the US. Two Buffalo, NJ police officers aggressively pushed a 75-year-old man, Martin Gugino to the ground, who was no threat to them, then walked over him as he was lying unconscious and bleeding from his ear, later, Gugino was confirmed to have a fractured skull. The two officers, Robert McCabe and Aaron Torgalski, were charged with second-degree assault, and all 57 members of the police riot response team resigned in protest, to be clear, all 57 did not quit the police, just the riot response team.

In the Rayshard Brooks shooting,, where the officer, Garrett Rolfe, who killed Brooks was fired and charged with murder. His fellow officers proceeded with a sick-out in solidarity with Rolfe. A few bad apples, you say? if you say that, you’re full of shit. Police officers shoot a black man in the back, and they get all bent out of shape because the officer has to face the music. Any officers that support’s murder, just because the person committing the crime wears a badge, should quit now, the whole barrel is bad, not a few bad apples, just look at the avalanche of evidence from the past few weeks since the murder of George Floyd, we have video after video of police assaulting people exercising their 1st amendment right.


Have I been unlucky or are Corsair peripherals suspect quality?

No More Corsair

In the past 4 years, I have dropped almost $550 on five Corsair peripherals, and three of those peripherals have failed. The latest of these is the $80 Dark Core RGB mouse, which when using the mouse wheel, scrolling down, it will every 1 or 2 clicks, bounce back up, despite continuing to scroll down physically, so I guess the sensor has gone bad, making it next to useless, as I use the scroll wheel a lot.

I like to invest more in my peripherals, with a view to not having to replace them every 1 1/2 to 2 years. Which, in the case of Corsair, spending more does not mean longevity, in 4 years, I have gone through 2 keyboards, $150 Strafe RGB and $180 K70 RGB Mk.2, in addition to the Dark Core RGB mouse.

The Strafe RGB keyboard suddenly failed about 2 1/2 years into ownership while using it. The backlighting turned off, and when attempting to turn the backlight on again, I notice the CTRL, SHIFT, and Windows keys on the left side stopped working. Forcing me to run down to Best Buy to drop another $180 + tax on a Corsair K70 RGB Mk.2 as I was in the middle of my workday and needed a keyboard.

Within seven months of owning the K70 RGB Mk.2, the backlighting started to fail, certain keys no longer maintained it’s assigned color of white (#FFFFFF), albeit with a blue tinge. In addition to that, it would randomly stop responding, even a reboot would not fix it. Playing musical USB ports would eventually resuscitate the K70 Mk.2, at least until next time it had an episode. The K70 Mk.2 got so bad that it would stop responding almost daily, so I ditched the K70 Mk.2 in favor of the Apex 7 from Steelseries.

I have reverted back to using the Corsair M65 RGB Pro, which I replaced with the Dark Core RGB, at the same time I replaced the Strafe RGB with the K70 RGB Mk.2, June 19, 2018. The M65 works fine for now, but given my experience with Corsair peripherals, I don’t expect it to remain reliable going forward, I’ll be looking to get a Steelseries mouse to match my current keyboard in the coming months.

Am I expecting too much? If a cheap keyboard included with a pre-built system from 10 years ago still works, I would expect a $200 (incl tax) mechanical keyboard to last at least that long, and realistically way beyond that. If paying 10 to 15 times more for a keyboard results in a sub 2 1/2 year lifespan, maybe I should just buy that keyboard and mouse combo deal for $14.99 and replace them when it fails, instead of giving Corsair my hard-earned money. I won’t be buying any Corsair peripherals in the future.

Update [Jul, 4 2020, 19:27]: As I am now using the M65 Pro on my desktop computer, which I previously used on my Asus Zephyrus laptop, I decided to use the Dark Core RGB on the laptop, even without a fully functional mouse wheel, it’s better than the built-in mousepad. And guess what, I cannot connect the Dark Core RGB to the laptop via Bluetooth, Windows can’t find the mouse, it previously worked, now it does not, so I have to plug in the wireless 2.4Ghz dongle. The laptop works fine, I tested it with another Bluetooth device and it connected the first time, so it has to be the Dark Core RGB at fault.


US Police: A Military Occupying Force!

US POLICE, A Military Occupying Force

It has become increasingly clear that the looting has been perpetrated by criminals using the #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd protests as cover, I said in my initial post about the looting and destruction of local businesses that I hoped that it was not Black Lives Matter and legitimate demonstrators, and that seems to be the case. Also, it has become apparent, that outside actors from both left and right-wing extremist groups are the ones *mostly* responsible for the destruction of property and inciting violence.

Moving onto the subject matter, the militarization of police forces around the country, acting as an occupying force. Last night, we saw Police and national guard around the country teargassing, pepper-spraying and firing rubber bullets at people, black, white and even members of the press, who were peacefully protesting, yes, being disruptive, closing down streets and highways, but people, until the police went in full military-style to disperse crowds, were peacefully protesting and chanting.

There is a bigger problem in America and it goes to the very top, the President, Donald J. Trump, who has repeatedly blown the dog whistle to his base on Twitter, the latest being MAGA night. And the day before this, he tweeted “when the looting starts, the shooting starts“, which he later claimed that MAGA loves black people, and in regard to the shooting of looters, he claims that business owners will be shooting people who try to loot their stores, despite his tweet talking about sending the military to Minneapolis.

Everything that has happened in the past week at a city, state, and federal level shows that law enforcement, national guard, and military forces are looking to put down protestors, not allowing for peaceful protests, which is a constitutionally protected right. Law enforcement should be a peacekeeping force, not a military force to put down people who are using their constitutionally protected right to protest. Law enforcement in the US is inherently broken, and the people in power don’t want to fix it.

Of course, racism is a massive problem in the United States, even in 2020. It seems to me that police forces around the US are attracting the wrong kind of person; when African Americans make up about 13% of the US population, yet make up 50% of the deaths at the hands of law enforcement. And in the age of cell phone cameras and social media, we are seeing this sort of police brutality go viral in hours. Yet, despite clear video evidence, prosecutors regularly refuse to indict murderous police officers.

I’m not saying that all police officers are bad, but clearly, it is not “a few bad apples”, racism in police departments is pervasive. When white people can turn up at a statehouse with assault rifles over Coronavirus lockdowns and a requirement to wear face masks, forcing the legislative session to be canceled, and police do nothing. Then we see Derek Chauvin put his knee on George Floyd’s neck for nine minutes, 2 1/2 minutes of that after Floyd had died, over the suspected use of a counterfeit $20 bill.

Given all the video evidence from multiple police murders of black people, we have to believe that if George Floyd was white, he would have been put in the back of the police car, taken to the 3rd Precinct, and be back on the street an hour or two later, living and breathing. But George Floyd is black, so he is dead, and his murderer will probably plead down to a lesser charge than Murder 3, and manslaughter and be out in less than 2 years. I have zero faith that prosecutors will go for the maximum sentence.

The solution, we need to change the policymakers, our representatives at the city, state, and federal levels. Elect people that will enact change, not reelect the same people, who continually vote to further their donors’ interests over their constituents. Having mayors, and governors with the balls to fire police officers, up to the highest levels of the force, who show a propensity towards racism and excessive force, to stop the murder of people like George Floyd, and remove prosecutors who refuse to indict.

Some examples of Police Brutality in America over the last few days, do you find this acceptable? If you do, you’re are part of the problem, if there are THUGS in America, it’s law enforcement.

As a footnote, if you are saying or using the #AllLivesMatter hashtag, you are missing the point, of course, all lives matter, but white people, like me, are not being killed by mostly white police officers for alleged petty crimes like selling loose cigarettes or using a counterfeit $20 bill. And no, black people are not more violent, its right-wing propaganda, that perpetrates that black people are more violent. African Americans like everyone else are just trying to get through their day, pay their bills, and live their lives.


George Floyd: Rioting, Looting & Destruction Won’t Change Anything!

GEORGE FLOYD MURDER, Rioting, Looting & Destruction Won’t Change Anything!

I have been interested in and supported the civil rights movement, and the modern-day extension, Black Lives Matter since the 90s. Like many people in the US, I am angered that George Floyd was murdered by a white cop, Derek Chauvin, while 3 other cops stood by as Floyd died. But I cannot condone the reaction of looting, rioting, and destruction of property, this is straight-up criminality. I just hope that the people genuinely protesting were not among the criminals looting and burning down local businesses.

Police and mainstream media have labeled black people as thugs, dangerous, and violent and used this as justification for murdering black men and women, and these riots in Minneapolis and other cities, just help them create that narrative. We saw the same scenes of rioting, looting, and destruction of property after Mike Brown was murdered in Ferguson, MO, and what good did that do? nothing, other than to allow the media to further demonize the black community and further their violent blacks narrative.

I want to see all four former officers, firstly, arrested and charged, then face trial. I won’t go as far as saying what the sentence should be, that’s for a judge and jury to decide, regardless of these officers’ actions, they deserve their day in court. I will say that the charge should be first-degree murder, Chauvin is on video holding his knee on George Floyd’s neck, while two other officers were also holding Floyd down, after being handcuffed, while he repeatedly pleaded for his life. It is disgraceful that often police departments put up the blue wall, shielding the involved officers, trying to justify murder.

The three other officers involved in this senseless killing are Thomas Lane, Tou Thao, and J. Alexander Kueng. I believe all four should be charged with murder as they actively assisted or watched on as Floyd repeatedly said “I can’t breathe”, very reminiscent of Eric Garner, who was choked to death by NYPD officer, Daniel Pantaleo, who remained employed with the NYPD for a further five years before being fired, no charges were ever brought. We cannot respect police departments when they defend murder of the people they are charged with protecting, protect, and serve seemingly does not apply if you’re black.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey called for Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman to bring Chauvin up on charges, what those charges might be, we don’t know, but his words indicate that he wishes for at least one officer to be arrested and charged. Going back to the Minneapolis Police Department, we have to question their motives, why were the four not immediately arrested after the videos surfaced of what happened, a later video showed that their claim that Floyd resisted was a lie, Floyd is seen calmly walking to the police car when he stumbled on a curb and fell to the ground behind the police car.

Back to the rioting and looting, I really hope that the genuine protesters did not take part in this criminal activity, and I really hope that the official Black Lives Matter movement does not condone this sort of action. I suspect the people looting are criminals taking advantage of the situation, as there appear to be black and white people looting multiple stores in the Lake Street area of the city of Minneapolis.

It’s hard to know what is true on social media as the propaganda is flying from all sides, I heard some justifying the looting and setting ablaze of Target because allegedly store employees refused to give or sell, depending on which tweet you read, milk to black people who had been teargassed by police on the previous day. It is also claimed that Target funds the local Police Department, which some claim makes them a legitimate target. In my opinion, neither of those things justify the criminality we saw last night.

I’m all for peaceful protest, and activism, either in person or by making phone calls to local police and justice departments and posting your support on social media, it all helps. We have seen this in recent times, the Ahmaud Arbery shooting is a prime case of social media pressure directly caused the arrest and charging of his murderers, which the local Glynn County, GA Police Department had covered up.

I’m a white guy, originating from Great Britain, married to an African American woman, with two bi-racial children, so I am very aware of race issues, as an interracial couple, we have experienced racism from both whites and blacks. I worry about something happening to my wife or kids while interacting with police or just some racist asshole with a gun. I have even been accused of being a race traitor because I chose to marry a black woman. Every time I hear about or see videos of African Americans being murdered by police or other white people, it angers me, it’s fucking 2020, why is this still a problem?

This is exactly what I was talking about; rioting and looting just allow racists like Donald J. Trump to call for further violence, violence begets more violence. And in the meantime, the narrative has gone from George Floyd’s murder to non-stop video of destruction perpetrated by the African American community.

May, 30 2020, 06:07: Unsurprisingly, the riots have continued overnight, expanding to other cities, after the arrest and announcement of third-degree murder and manslaughter charges for Derek Chauvin, while the other three former officers involved in the murder of George Floyd are still free. I would love to think that these riots would make a difference, but it won’t, African Americans protesting has never changed the minds of the people in power, racism is rife in the US, and Trump is the Grand Wizard.

Hennepin County Attorney, Mike Freeman said after the arrest “This is by far the fastest that we’ve ever charged a police officer”, my response, are you fucking joking? how much evidence do you need? there were multiple videos, from multiple angles showing everything that happened from the time George Floyd was pulled from his car to the moment he died under the knee of Derek Chauvin, on day one.

A third-degree murder charge is an insult, George Floyd’s death was not an accident, it was premeditated; when a person keeps their knee on the neck of a person that is clearly in distress, pleading for his life, and even after Floyd had passed out, Chauvin continued to keep his knee on Floyd’s neck for a further 2 1/2 minutes, that is first-degree murder, not third-degree murder, and certainly not manslaughter.

I’ll leave you with this very raw and powerful message from Killer Mike, sentiments I agree with.


My thoughts on the Dominic Cummings situation

Dominic Cummings "I don't regret what I did"

On March 23, 2020, British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson enacted a “must stay at home” lockdown order. Four days later, Johnson’s chief aide Dominic Cummings made the decision to drive almost 270 miles to his parents’ farm in County Durham with his wife who had symptoms of COVID-19 and their four-year-old son, which would seem to contravene the Prime Minister’s “must stay at home” lockdown order.

Many Britons are pissed off by Johnson’s aides’ actions, rightfully so, in my opinion. And Boris Johnson’s defense of his aid has angered the people of the UK even more. I don’t buy Cummings’ explanation that he feared that should he also fall ill with COVID-19, he would not be able to find care for his son. I’m 100% sure that Cummings and his wife could have found appropriate childcare in London if necessary.

Not just that, three people in a car, a confined space with recycled air, for almost five hours, one with symptoms of COVID-19, traveling to the home of his parents, who are more likely to be at risk of dying from COVID-19, that doesn’t seem “reasonable” to me. The advice is to self-isolate at your home, your primary residence, not your parents’ home, 267 miles away. Potentially infecting others on the journey, anyone who has traveled with a four-year-old knows traveling for 5 hours without stopping is a big ask.

On top of the journey to his parents’ farm, Cummings then made a 30-minute drive to get his eyes tested, to make sure he is good to drive. Can you see the irony? he drove 30 minutes, despite being unsure if he is safe to drive. And even more crazy is that he had his wife and child in the car on his journey to get his eyes tested, not only potentially risking himself, and other road users, but also his wife and child.

The feeling I get is that there is a distinct double standard going on here. If it were you or I that had made this journey, we’d be facing significant fines. We expect our leaders to lead by example, but in this government, we cannot expect them to make smart decisions, after-all, Johnson contracted COVID-19 by shaking hands with people infected with the Coronavirus in a hospital tour in early March.

Cummings’ actions and Johnson’s defense of his top aide is a kick in the teeth to the people that have stayed home, isolating themselves from their families, while their loved ones passed away, just miles away, and not being able to attend the funerals of their loved ones due to social distancing. Others have been stopped by the police and turned back home while making shorter car journeys for similar reasons. You can read just a few of the stories of people angered by Cummings do as I say, not as I do actions.

After this episode, the PM cannot seriously expect people to abide by stay at home or stay alert rules.

Should Cummings be fired? I would say yes, as he was one of the people involved in drafting the “stay at home” rules, which he flouted and unashamedly defended breaking those same rules. If our leaders cannot lead by example, they need to go, if we cannot trust our leaders, that is a real problem. But politicians these days don’t care for the will of the people, so I expect no consequences for Cummings.

May, 28 2020, 08:23: As expected, despite a suspected minor breach of lockdown rules, according to Durham police, no retroactive action will be taken; and Boris Johnson has urged the people of the UK to “move-on”. I have a feeling that the public discontent won’t go away as readily as the PM hopes.