Welcome to Buster's Blog

Irregular commentary on whatever's on my mind -- politics, sports, current events, and life in general. After twenty years of writing business and community newsletters, fifteen years of fantasy baseball newsletters, and two years of email "columns", this is, I suppose, the inevitable result: the awful conceit that someone might actually care to read what I have to say. Posts may be added often, rarely, or never again. As always, my mood and motivation are unpredictable.

Buster Gammons

Monday, September 26, 2016

The Debate (I'll Be Ready)

Like a jillion others, I'll watch the damn thing tonight.  Donald Trump makes me puke, but I'll be ready.

We Have To Watch These Bastards Every Second

I was encouraged by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recent ruling against Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted's attempted illegal purge of Ohio's registered voter rolls.  If you hadn't voted in 6 years, Husted assumed you were dead or had moved, so he just deleted you, and maybe others as well with names similar to yours.

Under Husted, Ohio joined with twenty-seven other states in using a "system" called the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program, developed by Kris Kobach, arch-conservative Kansas Secretary of State.  The states share their voter lists and Crosscheck's database searches for voters registered in multiple states.  It compares first, middle and last names, dates of birth, and the last four digits of SSN's.  All this is done in the name of the Great Republican Myth:  preventing "voter fraud."

Crosscheck has flagged an unbelievable 7.2 million suspected names!  Wow!  That's a lot of double voters!  Of course, a grand total of only four people have so far been charged with voting twice or intentionally registering to vote in more than one state.  Four out of seven million.  But what the hell.  Crosscheck dutifully sends it lists of potential duplicate voters to the states, for them to do what they will with them (like purge them from the lists of voters).

The reality is that Crosscheck's program is deeply flawed and their data is bogus -- middle names, birthdates, SSN's, Jr.'s and Sr.'s are ignored or not even provided.  Mark Swedlund, a database expert from eBay and American Express, called Crosscheck's methodology "childish" and said, "God forbid your name is Garcia, of which there are 858,000 in the U.S., and your first name is Joseph or Jose.  You're probably suspected of voting in 27 states." 

Essentially, all Crosscheck does is spew out a bunch of common names -- Jones, Washington, Hernandez, Kim.  "I can't tell you what the intent was," says Swedlund.  "I can only tell you the outcome.  And the outcome is discriminatory against minorities."

In Ohio, Husted has used Crosscheck to flag almost half a million voters.  One of them is Donald Webster, an African American from Dayton.  Crosscheck shows him registered in Ohio as Donald Alexander Webster Jr., and registered a second time as Donald Eugene Webster (no "Jr.") in Charlottesville, VA.  Webster says he's never been a "Eugene" and has never been to Charlottesville.  Even so, both Dayton Donald and his Virginia "twin" are in danger of losing their right to vote.

Ohio voting-rights attorney Bob Fitrakis puts it bluntly:  "Husted doesn't want to match middle names because he doesn't want real matches.  They're targeting people with clearly defined ethnic names that typically vote for the Democratic Party.  Husted wants to win Ohio the only way he knows how -- by taking away the rights of citizens to vote."


Source:  http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/features/the-gops-stealth-war-against-voters-w435890

It Won't Wash

The Charlotte police changed their minds and released some of the body com/dash cam video of Keith Scott being killed.  Just the "relevant" portions, as determined by those who did the shooting.  The whole thing stinks!

The cops were there to serve an arrest warrant on someone else!  "Wrong guy, but while we're in the neighborhood . . . "

The video doesn't show much -- just a small army of frenzied cops pointing their guns at Mr. Scott's car, screaming at him to drop his gun.  The video doesn't show Mr. Scott holding or brandishing a gun at all.  It does show him slowly backing away from his car.  Then it shows him shot dead.  For what?

The real issue in this instance and in all the others just like it is cops lacking in self-control, cops too eager to draw their weapons and fire them, cops who use lethal force unnecessarily and then excuse themselves with "evidence" and stories of feeling scared.

It won't wash.

It doesn't matter if he had a joint in his car, or if he looked like a "bad dude."  It doesn't matter if he was in possession of a gun (especially in an open-carry state like North Carolina).  It doesn't matter that he didn't immediately "obey orders."  And it certainly doesn't matter to discover after the fact that he had an arrest record.  We don't shoot people for those reasons! 

The cops nabbed the wrong guy.  The cops compounded their error with an unnecessary show of force.  Then they killed Keith Scott for no apparent reason.

The cops fucked up.  They do it too often.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

And This Is A Fact!

The Daily Donald WTF

Today's WTF List:

  • Donald says he'll invite Gennifer Flowers to attend tomorrow's debate.   Mark Cuban said he'd attend in support of Hillary.  This is Donnie's payback -- he'll have the gold-digging professional mistress who once gave Bubba a knob-job in his corner.  WTF?
  • Donald and his campaign handlers are unhappy that many are asking the debate moderators to point out any of Donald's lies. They insist that their candidate has the right to unlimited, unchallenged lying because everybody knows facts are unfair.  WTF?  

Friday, September 23, 2016

The Daily Donald WTF

Today's WTF list:

  • Donald blames Hillary Clinton for the protests and unrest in Charlotte and elsewhere.  WTF?
  • Omarosa Manigault, his "director of African-American Outreach" (reaching out to Trump's 3 or 4 black supporters), said that soon The Donald will get "the ultimate revenge" as "every critic, every detractor will have to bow down to President Trump."  LMFAO! and WTF?
  • According to a RAND Corporation analysis, Donald's health care proposal to repeal Obamacare and replace it with an income tax deduction, and to turn Medicaid into a block grant program would cause 20 million Americans to lose coverage.  WTF?

Charlotte, Tulsa, et al

Type the word "cops" into the Buster's Blog search window at top left (desktop version, not mobile) and see how many posts are found.  Way too many.

"It is not enough for me to stand before you tonight and condemn riots.  It would be morally irresponsible for me to do that without at the same time condemning the contingent, intolerable conditions that exist in our society.  These conditions are the things that cause individuals to feel that they have no other alternative than to engage in violent rebellions to get attention.  And I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard."

Immediately, if not sooner:
  • Across the nation, throw out "the book" on policing practices, because the book sucks.  We need a new and improved book, emphasizing de-escalation techniques and options other than lethal force.
  • All law enforcement personnel are subject to thorough psychological testing.  We need to weed out the unfit, and we need to be ruthless about it.
  • All cops everywhere must wear and use body cameras, as well as dash cams.  No excuses.  If cameras are not worn, not working, not turned on, the police and city will face penalties and fines, and police testimony in such instances will be inadmissible in court.
  • Body cam/dash cam videos will be turned over to independent authorities for review, and the videos will be released to the public promptly.
  • No more internal investigations, no more police chiefs deciding how things will play out, no more delays of  months and years while everybody gets their story straight, no more laws prohibiting the release of body cam/dash cam videos.
Stephen Colbert on the topic: