“Bernie did not have the black vote and it is questionable if Bernie could have gotten the black vote”

Reasonable unbiased observers would agree the Bernie Bots are lazy and intellectually and emotionally crippled by their sense of entitlement.

In 2016 Bernie Sanders and his Bots walked in at the 11th Hour demanding that the people who have sacrificed their time and money for the Democratic Party for years, that the people who have done all the heavy lifting, just step aside and get the hell out-of-the-way and turn the organization over to Bernie.

Any reasonable observer would agree that was an unrealistic expectation.
Of course people are going to fight tooth and nail for the organization they built when they see people who never lifted a finger on behalf of that organization in the past and clearly have no intention of lifting a finger in the future pushing them aside.

Reasonable people will ask

“After all what have the Bots or Bernie himself done SINCE the 2016 election to support or try to strengthen the Democratic Party?”

And reasonable people will answer “Absolutely nothing.”

As far as Bernie winning the election there’s absolutely no evidence beyond the delusion of his Bots that victory would have been a done deal.

But there is much evidence to the contrary.

We know for certain that Bernie Sanders didn’t win the primaries.

And the Democratic Party cannot win without the Black Vote.

Bernie did not have the black vote and it is questionable if Bernie could have gotten the black vote.

We need to remember that there were strong and reasonable suspicions of a racist element among Bernie’s young white base which would surely have
been exposed had Donald been the nominee.

And reasonable people would also point out that it is the height of arrogance to assume that Hillary Clinton’s base was going to welcome a Bernie Sanders candidacy with open arms.

They may not have gone to the extent that the Bots did and vote for Donald J Trump but they damn sure could have (and many would have) stayed home on Election Day.

Further evidence of Bernie’s vulnerability can be found in the various primaries this year where the candidates Bernie has supported have not been entirely successful.

While his minions have won a couple of high-profile contests, his kind has failed miserably in others which puts the lie to the contention that the Bernie Sanders philosophies are universally popular on the national level.

That is not to say Bernie Sanders “could” not have beaten Donald Trump.

After all Hillary Clinton ran an incredibly incompetent campaign, allowing her arrogance to color her judgment and her friendship with Huma Mahmood Abedin to take precedence over the welfare of the people of the United States of America.

Bernie may well have been able to run a more effective campaign.

Then again he may not have.

After all Bernie is not a man without crippling arrogance himself.
And he is an individual that was never vetted to the extent that Hillary Clinton had been.

We may well have found that Bernie had considerable dirt under his fingernails once the campaign heated up and America took a closer look at the man and his family.

The fact is just as Hillary Clinton was a candidate with considerable baggage Bernie Sanders has baggage of his own.

Regardless of what Bernie’s Bots may wish no reasonable unbiased observer would ever say that a Bernie Sanders victory would have been in the bag in 2016.

As the old saying goes “If wishes were horses beggars would ride” and we rarely see beggars riding.

J. Randolph Fuller brand commentary

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“Dianne Feinstein’s tactics have radicalized Kavanaugh and weaponized him as a warrior for the right”

 

The votes are in and Brett Kavanaugh will assume his position on the Supreme Court of the United States of America.

Whatever kind of Justice he may have been before this confirmation process started America can rest assured that Dianne Feinstein’s tactics have radicalized Kavanaugh and weaponized him as a warrior for the right.

Credible sources agree that as a Justice Kavanaugh has been moved much father to the right then he would have had the confirmation process be uneventful.

Punishment and vengeance will be the Hallmark of Kavanaugh’s service you bet.

Dianne Feinstein aimed high but in the end she had neither the means nor the will to succeed, and her flawed tactics ultimately will cost this country dearly.

But that is all water under the bridge right now.

The man is on the bench and the male right-wing community is going into the midterms energized like they not been since 2016.

We can rest assured they will vote, every man Jack and Jackie of them.

So what are liberals to do? What would be the most effective strategy to assure any chance of victory in the midterms especially given the excellent economy under Donald J Trump?

Up until this time it’s been an Open Secret that the only REAL issue in this election has been the impeachment of President of the United States Donald J. Trump.

This was never discussed openly by members of the Democratic Leadership because it was rightly recognized that such talk would serve to motivate Donald’s base. It had the very real potential to “awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve” of Admiral Yamamoto fame (though he may not have said that ).

Pre-Kavanaugh that was the right call, just as it was proper to silence loose cannons in the Democratic party such as Maxine Waters who continuously played the “Impeachment Card” to the delight of Donald J Trump an his political connections
and handlers at Fox News.

It made sense. We the voters all knew what the stakes REALLY were in these upcoming midterms and we knew enough to take any denials along those lines from party leaders with a wink and a nod.

We knew, we ALL did, that a vote for our local Democratic Representatives was nothing less and nothing more than a vote to drag Donald J. Trump kicking and screaming from the Oval Office.

Since we all knew, there was no reason to say it out loud and very good reason not to.

But has the Kavanaugh victory and the fantastic economic gains under the leadership of Donald J Trump changed that equation?

There are experts who would say “maybe so”.

Now it’s not the Republicans but the Democrats who are on the ropes, dispirited and feeling hopeless in the New Political Reality Dianne and the Bernie Bots have helped create by energizing Donald’s white base and given them reason to show up by the millions and millions come this November.

There are some who can say with some credibility that the great Blue Election Day Wave of 2018 reached its high water mark today, October 6th, in the Chambers of the United States Senate when Dianne Feinstein’s once promising tactic came crashing down around her ears.

Given the political realities we face today with the Donald Trump Economy on a roll and holding most of the cards reasonable people would agree that an argument can be made to play the “Impeachment Card ” and play it openly and aggressively.

And not just against Donald J Trump, but against Brett Kavanaugh too.

Credible political analysts will tell us that there is very little downside to playing the “Impeachment Card” at this point.
After all Donald’s white base is already energized and primed for election day and open acknowledgement and embracement of the “Impeachment Card” might serve to energize the currently dispirited and disorganized Democratic and liberal opposition as well

In short it may well come to be if the liberal community desires to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat this year the “Impeachment Card” may be the only card they have left to play.

A J Randolph Fuller brand commentary.

– 30 –

“If you take care with your Selfies today they will certainly take care of you tomorrow.”

Life is not always about politics and hating Donald J. Trump though it seems that way today.
There are some other important issues that may even be of greater consequence to the average American.

Today Carl Denham is at our Lifestyles Desk where he is opining about one of the more compelling issues of our time, the ubiquitous and ever-present “Selfie” and how this universal symbol of our age and aging can be transformed from all too often bottom drawer  into a thing of at least acceptable quality.

Here’s Carl.

I’ve noticed over the years that the problem with most “Selfies” is that they make even the most attractive people look much less so and some can be downright ugly.

That’s the big reason various “beauty filter” apps have been added to smart phones and the like, the smart phone in various configurations being the tool of choice for the “Selfie” generation

The problem with that technology is that increasingly while pleasing the end result can have very little in common with the original subject as far as an accurate representation of same.

Now we are seeing serious psychological distortion among  otherwise sane and well-balanced folk, and frustrated “Selfie” addicts are breaking down the doors of plastic surgeons around the world demanding major facial reconstruction and dropping wads of hard-earned cash in the process in a vain attempt to force the reality of their mug to more closely match the ersatz physiognomy they are showing to the world via social media and dating apps.

Now that may be fine for the well-heeled who don’t mind pain but what about honest people of limited means who cannot afford the many thousands of dollars required for that nose job and chipmunk cheek reductions and enhancements to the eyes.

Not to mention those who would rather avoid becoming one of the many horror stories making the rounds of surgery breaking bad, with noses falling off and even the occasional fatal consequences.

Fortunately there are cheap and easy ways to improve the quality of any self-portrait, and without the need of technical tricks or gimmicks or a substantial outlay of Benjamins.

And best of all, the picture will look like YOU, so that Mr. or Ms. Right you scored on your on-line dating platform won’t necessarily bolt when they see you for the first time and in the flesh… you can put your  days of hiding out in dark bars and candle lit eateries behind you forever.

There is no such thing as a free lunch of course so you will need to assemble a bit of  inexpensive  kit.

First out of the chute is a camera support of some sort.

Tripods
Various Camera Support Tools

As this illustration shows, this can  be anything from a full size tripod to a gorilla pod that can be folded and carried in a pocket, even that “Selfie stick” you already have can be pressed into service if you spring for some rubber bands.

Next thing you need is a target. A Plastic Head like Dorothy here is the gold standard of course and can be found in great variety on Amazon for very little coin.

head insaude
“Dorothy”, the “Selfie” target

If you don’t want to spring for the Plastic Head ask your mother or grandmother if she will give you hers.
Women 50 and older were very big into wigs in their youth and they generally have a head or two stowed away somewhere … an attic, maybe a garage.

The advantage of the Plastic Head is that it allows a precision in both focus and framing that you cannot obtain by any other means.

The disadvantage of course is that you are apt not to have a plastic head with you when you need one, unless you are car tripping where an extra head can work magic avoiding fines when illegally using the HOV Lanes on your local Interstate.

And that case a little creativity will serve you well.

Arbys
A Plain Paper Bag

A plain paper bag for example can serve as an acceptable target as can an empty water bottle.
This time of year you might find a pumpkin or other fruit or vegetable that can be pressed into service, though not easily. I would not recommend using this pumpkin.

pumpkin
A Pumpkin

The last piece of kit is the picture taking machine.

Cameras
A Smartphone and a Camera

While a  dedicated camera guarantees Superior Results, more than likely all you’re going to have with you is your smart phone and that’s good enough for the average “Selfie”, at least dumbed down for  posting on social media.

You will of course need a bracket so that you can mount it on your camera support. If you have a “Selfie Stick” you already have a bracket and if not they’re easily obtainable for a couple of coin.

You will also need a Self Timer app for your smart phone. This could be either free or at most a couple of coins depending on how much capability you want.

Now  technique.

Technique is what is going to make or  break your picture.

In terms of general principles exhaustive studies have demonstrated conclusively that no matter the camera, no matter the lens, no matter the settings people look their best when the camera is placed a little over 3 meters (10 feet)  away from the tip of their noses.

Selfie ten feet
Ten Feet
Selfie 3 meter
Three Meters

Except with extreme wide-angle lenses 10 ft (a little over 3 meters) will give you an  image without noticable distortion, especially the  kind of distortion that makes many “Selfies” butt ugly by adding 5 to 10 pounds to the subject in addition to big noses and slack Jaws.

Cameras placed 10 ft (3 meters) from the subject completely negates any distortion and you are instantly ahead of the game.

Second principal.  The camera should always be placed at least at eye level for skinny people and above eye level for those carrying a couple extra pounds.

Head Shot
Camera Above Eye Level

Some Stellar Photographs can be taken from chin level and  below but they are best left to the professionals because they  rarely make people look their best in the hands of the average “Selfie” addict.

Camera on tripod
Camera at Ideal Height for “Selfies”

Finally there’s the question of light.
Light can make or break your portrait.
In fact it is the most critical part of the equation.

Of course we are talking about both the quality and quantity of light.
It goes without saying that you must have enough so your picture-taking device is not forced into High Gain mode. And the quality of such must emphasize the positive aspects of you and not the negatives.

Some basic rules, unless you want your “Selfie” to look like a mug shot, don’t expect the built-in flash to do much for you. They invariably suck.

And avoid light from directly above unless the raccoon or kangaroos looks appeal to you
Also avoid  strong backlight … and  full sun too.

A personal experience of mine illustrates the latter.

There used to be this famous actress named Cheryl Ladd ( no relation to Alan of “Shane” fame ).
Beautiful woman, her most famous role was when she played one of Charlie’s Angels probably. Her “white bikini” in “Angels in Paradise” was the stuff of legends

A  number of years ago I handled photo duties during an interview with her at some farm up-country..

I don’t remember why we were there ( probably some environmental issue )  but I do remember Cheryl had several years on her since “Charlie’s Angels” and while she was still an exceptionally beautiful woman I could easily see some tiny age lines and crow’s-feet  sneaking in.

Cheryl wouldn’t do the interview unless we did it in open shade. Reason being as a professional Cheryl knew that FEW men look good in full sun and women NEVER do (unless it’s a character study where  you want to show the ravages of time for  documentary work or whatever).

So take a tip from Cheryl. Unless it is the so-called Magic Hour right around sunrise or sunset, full sun should be avoided at all cost.

The other principle, strong backlight or a background that is much brighter than the subject will always result in substandard product.

Head window
A Perfect Balance Between Subject and Background

The key is brightness balance between the subject and the background.
It’s actually better if the background is darker than the subject if you can manage that.

Disregarding the strobes these principles are encapsulated in this photograph

WS Head
All the Elements for a Successful “Selfie”

Use a target to frame and focus the shot.
Camera placement just over three meters ( 10 feet) from  the subject, and above eye level.
Light on the subject sufficient in quantity to balance with the background.

You can see from these comparison shots of me ( Carl Denham )
that these principles apply equally be you inside or out.

2selfie_pp-1
Carl Denham “Selfie” Inside
Jack Rusak Day 2_pp-1
Carl Denham “Selfie” Outside

Adherence to these basic principles are almost guaranteed to produce a result far superior to what your friends are able to accomplish and without the need for goofy filters and post processing tricks and gimmicks.
And most importantly without the need to spend thousands of dollars on potentially dangerous surgery that may or may not be successful in order to bring your physical appearance in line with that face you’re showing the world.

Is it worth the effort?

That  of course is a personal decision but the thing to remember is that images live on the internet forever ( in theory anyway but not actually. But that’s a tale for another day).

Do you really want to be defined 5 10 20 years from now by your grand and great-grandchildren by some less than adequate pictures taken today in your prime after the ravages of age may have rendered you less attractive than you were in your youth?

That is something only the individual can answer but if you take care with your “Selfies” today they will certainly take care of you and your tomorrows.

Carl Denham

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The Roots of the Predatory Male in the 21th Century?

J R F Park logo

 

The consensus today seems to be in both the liberal and conservative communities that all American males in their youth were/are sexual predators and there seems to be evidence to support that.

This is somewhat confusing to many representatives of the senior population.
They remember the interaction of the sexes quite differently.

Many tell us that in their youth the sexually predatory male was largely unknown in what passed as “polite” society.

Certainly not in high school and not even in college for the most part throughout the 60’s ( though one senior citizen reports there were incidents involving the male teaching staff and female students that generated a certain amount of conversation ).

Historians may at some point come to ask how much easy access to birth control and abortion had to do with the apparent change in male attitudes resulting in what we started to see in the 1970’s and beyond

Back in “the day” for many older Americans there was a real fear of pregnancy among the boys and girls and it was the rare boy or girl that didn’t show great restraint because of that.

There are always exceptions but they were the “bad” boys and “bad”  girls from the “wrong side of the tracks” living out on the “Pike” as they called it.

This would be an interesting angle for some credible researcher or institution to pursue given the realities of the world today, though it would not be a study that can be conducted without condemnation from some elements of society.

-30-

“… he was now definitely an old man, and headed at last for silence…” H.L. Mencken

Jack Rusak Quote

William Jennings Bryan said that. He spoke those words at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, the 9th of July 1896.

William Jennings Bryan was the greatest orator of his time, three times a candidate for the Presidency of the United States of America.
Bryan was also the role model for the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz and the foil of Clarence Darrow and cannon fodder for H.L. Mencken in the Old Courthouse in Dayton Tennessee 21st of July 1925.

Bryan died soon after the “Monkey Trial” and Mencken noted in his eulogy.

“It was plain to everyone, when Bryan came to Dayton, that his great days were behind him  that he was now definitely an old man, and headed at last for silence.”

( The eulogy in its entirety makes for compelling reading. You can find it here here)

That speech, destined to be known for evermore as the Cross of Gold speech, was Bryan’s greatest moment.

A lot of changed since the voice of William Jennings Bryant thundered across the American political landscape.

Today we’re no longer on the gold standard and even silver certificates are a thing of the past.

In fact the American dollar is without foundation at all except for the assurances of Donald J Trump.

But that’s not why we’re here.

I talked about my lucky coins in various venues recently and today I will expand upon that theme.

Jack Rusak

There’s never been a time man or boy that I can remember that I have not carried one or more lucky tokens in my kit.

Of course the number of coins and the configuration has changed over the years as my fortunes have ebbed flowed and my tastes changed.

Coin Stack
Carl’s Pocket Change

 

( A couple of caveats.

1… I also pack two modern Sacagawea golden dollars dated 2017 and 2018. They are not included in the graphic as they are not relevant to my story.

2… While all the coins I actually pack with the exception of the modern dollars were minted in 1964 and earlier, I have replaced the 1964 Kennedy half-dollar with one from 1967 for the photography session.
Reason being the 1964 Kennedy is pristine and handling the coin could reduce its value

3… For the purposes of calculations in the story I’ve decided to use the year 1964 as a base.
Reason being in 1964 all of these coins were in common circulation and within the course of a year the average American could expect to at least occasionally come across all of them in his or her daily commerce.
Even the Indian Head Penny was a frequent visitor in my change drawer.
Now back to the story)

Pocket Change
Carl’s Pocket Change

The graphic places the face value of these coins at the impressive sum of $0.98.

You can’t buy much today for $0.98 in Donald J Trump’s America and even less tomorrow as Donald’s attack on the American consumer unfolds through his misguided trade wars.

But what about the base year 1964?

According to the CPI calculator in today’s dollars that $0.98 would cost
you $7.98 in goods and services today.

Now personally I believe that estimation is low.
Example, in 1964 that $0.98 would get you 3.2 gallons of gas. Today in my area that $7.98 will only cop you 2.8 gallons of go juice.

At Sam’s Restaurant (long gone) down at the Farmers Market in 1964 I could buy a business man’s lunch which consisted of extra cut steak ( t-bone) with two vegetables, homemade rolls, iced-tea, and homemade pie for dessert for the handsome price of $1.57.

Even the Inflation calculator tags that $1.57 at $12.73.

No way can you get a steak dinner with all the trimmings for $12.73.
No way can you eat that well for that little today

In short the numbers don’t “add up”

But that’s not the whole story. There is still treasure in those old coins.

Coins
Real Silver Coins

The silver coins pre-1964 WERE REAL silver coins, not the ersatz clads we have today.

So there’s another way to calculate value, using the melt value of the coins as opposed to their face value.

Now the melt value changes minute-to-minute as the price of silver changes throughout the day so please note that these prices are only valid at the time I wrote this story.

Let’s see what we have. Using the melt value calculated at the current spot price of silver I am packing a fat $9.88, already a nice profit over inflation.

Melt Value

Once we add in the 3 pennies we pump up our treasure to $13.64, a full 164% over inflation numbers.

Not a bad day’s work.
And the point of this story?

If you have any coins from pre -1964 or an elderly relative with a jar of dimes and quarters, or run across a jar of coins at a yard or estate sale going at face value then snap them up and you may well find yourself in Fat City.

You may find their melt value beats the face value all hollow and brings new meaning to the old saw “a dime’s worth of difference”.

A Carl Denham commentary

– 30 –

“Impatience for victory guarantees defeat.” Louis XIV

As our political commentator J Randolph Fuller is taking a break back on his uncle’s farm in Kentucky for a couple of days helping with fall cleanup duties we are going to divert from our mission
statement and join our guest commentator Carl Denham on the Health Beat.

Jack Rusak butter 3_pp-1
Carl Denham On the Health Beat

 

 

Today we’re going to be talking about peanut butter, a staple in the pantry in the household of every true American Patriot and the favorite lunch for millions of children since well back in the last century.

First a little history.

“Impatience for victory guarantees defeat.”

Louis XIV said that. Something the liberal community needs to take to heart as they try to bring down the sitting president Donald J Trump.

The groundnut as food source likewise has a long history, predating the Roi Soleil by many centuries.

Word has it the Incas and Aztecs were the first to realize the nutritional benefits of the Arachis Hypogaea (or goober) in paste form.

And of course the West Africans were famous for their peanut stews and soups.

I myself frequently used the fat groundnut in my crock pot cookery.
Peanut butter slow cooked with vegetables and blueberries, grains and chicken broth makes quite the tasty dish on a cold Winter’s day.

While we can assume that ancient peoples used a peanut paste akin to peanut butter it really wasn’t known in its modern form until around 1884 if memory serves when it was officially “invented” by a certain Canadian name of
Marcellus Gilmore Edson.

Even then it wasn’t an American tradition, appearing in over 95 percent of American homes, until George Washington Carver and Dr. John Harvey Kellogg ( the Kellogg’s cereal dude ) popularized this nutritional powerhouse as a cheap and tasty source of protein, a welcome substitute for expensive steak and chicken during Hard Economic Times.

Unfortunately this healthy meal has been bastardized over the years.
The modern product is often far from the healthy food that Carver made into a national obsession and today is all too often laced with salt and sugar and various oils and fats of questionable nutritional value.

Fortunately over the last couple decades there has been a move back to basics in food and All Natural peanut butter without salt or sugar or chemicals of dubious safety can be found on just about any grocery store shelf and for a good price too as major manufacturers join smaller outfits tooting on the goober bandwagon.

But there is a caveat to all this good eating.

The problem with All Natural peanut butter is that the oil separates from the “butter” if the jar is left to sit and it is a Royal Bitch to get it back together.

It takes a long time and a mighty lobstering with a spoon or a knife or a fork.
You’ll get your butter you bet but you’ll also get a hell of a mess on the jar, the floor and everywhere else.

But there is a better way.

Get yourself one of these, the peanut butter stirrer.

WS BUTTER
Goober Crank on Jar

Perfection in Simplicity, you just unscrew the original top, replace it with this device (top included), give it a dozen cranks or so

CRANKING
Only a Dozen Turns Needed

and there you go.
All natural 🥜 butter with all the easy spreading texture of the chemically laced “no stir” spreads.

 

POST CRANK
Clean Up a Snap

 

And cleanup is a snap.
A wipe with a rag, a run under a faucet followed by a wipe down with alcohol and you’re good to go.

Just make sure that “natural” peanut butter has only one ingredient though… peanuts

Coming up, the value of pocket change, then and now and then some.

 

backside kennedy
Coming Up, Riches in Your Pocket

 

– 30 –

Kavanaugh Beyond Scotus

Storm Clouds over the Nation
The Storm Approaches (photographed by Jack Rusak)

Now that two  women are making accusations of sexual misdeeds against Brett Kavanaugh credible observers would say an investigation by the FBI would be entirely appropriate.

But there is a wrinkle no one is talking about.

If Kavanaugh is found guilty then clearly the man is not qualified to sit on any bench and therefore must relinquish his current position.

And since there is no statute of limitations on sexual abuse in Maryland, it would be entirely proper that Kavanaugh be prosecuted in a court of law and if found guilty be added to the national sex offender hot list.

On the other hand if Kavanaugh is cleared by the FBI investigation that would mean his two accusers clearly lied and the legal penalties should swift and just.
If either accuser is employed in a position where public trust is a requirement, then clearly the person’s employer would be duty bound to reevaluate.

Justice also demands they also be subject to appropriate legal remedies related to  defamation of character and whatever damage it can be proved that they caused to Kavanaugh’s reputation and future and the mental health of his family.

Whichever way this goes any lack of follow-up when it comes to legal consequences  would be a slap in the face to the credibility of the #MeToo movement and an insult to all the peoples of the United States of America who believe in due process of law.

This is a discussion America needs to have and it needs to start now.

Contributed by JRF

– 30 –