Screenshot from Mother Jones. (fair use)  >>CLICK here >>

Sept 18. Mother Jones has now obtained the full video of Trump’s deposition [from Trump University suit]

When Forge asked, “Do you believe you have one of the best memories in the world?”  Trump replied, “That I can’t tell you.” Forge noted that Trump had previously stated he indeed possessed one of the best memories in the world and referenced an NBC News report from the previous month in which Trump had declared he had “the world’s greatest memory.” Trump said, “I don’t remember that.”  Here it is [on tape, in his own words, and more] . . . Scroll to paragraph /video titled Trump’s Memory: Best in World then click to play.  Watch his eyes.




IF you must vote by mail, use a real stamp!  A slow free ride could cancel your ballot, according to post office’s top lawyer!


“Multiple states received communications from the USPS general counsel outlining standard mail delivery times and prices leading up to the November election and warning secretaries of state that election laws established by the states would not necessarily guarantee that mail-in ballots will be received in time to be counted.  [. . .]

“USPS General Counsel Thomas Marshall wrote to California’s secretary of state that there is “a significant risk that some ballots will not be returned by mail in time to be counted under your laws as we understand them.’.
“The letters suggest election mail be sent by first class mail, at a higher rate than the nonprofit rate most states use, an obstacle for cash-strapped states dealing with the pandemic.”





Did you know that over a half million mail-in ballots were rejected this year in primary elections, in just 23 states? Was one of those ballots yours? (The coming general election could dwarf this number.)


Because Republicans say they will disproportionately vote in person, Donald Trump could well lead the vote tallies on election night, when most voters are glued to their screens and in-person vote totals are released. If Democrats disproportionately take the absentee route, as anticipated, Joe Biden might begin to overtake Trump slowly, as those ballots get counted in the following days.
The mainstream media will preach patience, as they should. But they will be preaching only to the choir. Trump will likely try to proclaim that the vote is being stolen; cable and social media allies will quickly amplify that message; efforts to stop the counting of absentee ballots will erupt in election offices and courts; and the scenarios could only get worse from there. Whichever side of the country loses will struggle to accept the outcome as legitimate.”
So : VOTE IN PERSON. Avoid rejection if your signature of twenty years ago doesn’t match the mailed ballot. IF you must vote by mail, ask a friend for help, by witnessing your ballot being HAND CANCELLED at a US Post Office. Defend our Nation Don’t be casual with your ballot. Machine cancellation is often illegible, justifying rejection.

Hand cancellation by rubber stamp with time and date. Wikimedia Commons photo by Lerdsewa

The US Consulate in Merida offers to forward ballots — BUT WAIT.  They won’t be hand cancelled !!!  If you drop your ballot into the maelstrom, er, the mailstream, your voice may be drowned !  (I hope you will share this blogpost.)  This election is being stolen at the post office, with help from the Postmaster General.  Don’t vote at this graveyard ! :

Postal graveyard. Photo by Brian Snyder, Reuters. (Fair Use)


Cartoon by Tom Toles, Washington Post (fair use)


There’s a viable plan here.  Please consider how to take back our governance:


Excerpt, from essay by Thomas Geoghegan, at The BAFFLER :

At a time when we are disoriented by everything happening around us, we are disoriented all the more by our relationship to our federal government because we cannot recognize ourselves in the strange fun house mirror of the “United States” as it is represented in the Senate. It is not just that the U.S. Senate represents a distorted version of the United States but also that it deprives the real United States—the people as they truly are—of acting in its best interests. And in doing so, it deprives us of the full measure of our citizenship and leads many of us not to bother with being citizens at all.


Because of the U.S. Senate, which denies the principle of one person, one vote, it is unsurprising that we have one of the lowest voting rates in the world—far lower than other democracies, whether in Europe or Asia, whether rich or poor. For all the rage over vote suppression in the red states, the Constitution itself is a form of vote suppression. The vote suppression built into the Constitution by frustration of majority rule just makes more tempting the overt suppression of which we justly complain. By design, every single American has a different and arbitrarily weighted vote, by virtue of the Senate structure laid out in the Constitution. Understanding that the odds are against their self-government, it’s easy to see, in part, why 100 million Americans choose not to vote, which in turn makes each vote even more arbitrarily weighted.  [ Continued . . . ]

source :


Book : : The UNWINDING : An Inner History of the New America, by George Packer

Each of us has arrived on Earth with a sacred rear-view mirror.  This blessed feature of being human enables us to learn from our mistakes by watching instant replays of the past.  Some of them are etched in our memories for decades. And some of these get viewed with a preface If only I had . . . 

This ability to learn from our mistakes requires peering into that mirror, as much as it may discomfort us.  Yes, some of us are quicker than others to catch on.  But pain is a patient and persistent teacher.  

Photo by John Pollard, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

George Packer understands this :  We live in stories, and thousands of instructive stories dwell inside of us.  Learning to squeeze juice out of them is key.  Too often we glory in our own retelling, rather than extracting the lessons for application today.

Packer has paid close attention to the events of the past 50 years of American history.  He’s a brilliant storyteller, using an unusual approach — close-up accounts of the lives of (mostly) regular citizens.  Yes, there are a few “great men”/great women who people his historical tellings, but he’s inclusive, and  uses a full-spectrum palette,  His real life characters present a slow-motion train wreck of the country’s recent past, with hope for the future.  As we approach our next presidential election, Lincoln Republicans, Democrats, and Libertarians would likely find  THE UNWINDING  entertaining, edifying, and informative., refreshingly without polemics. (Published before Trump was nominated originally.)  National Book Award, nonfiction, 2013.  (A shout out to friend Jeff for lending me his copy!)  There’s a forward-looking article by him about America’s dawning opportunity in the October issue of  The Atlantic, online.



America has been hijacked by Big Money.  Until we wake up to this fact, we are merely watching a puppet show inside Plato’s cave, and refusing to come out into the light.  Yes, do vote for Joe Biden, who gave us Clarence Thomas and denounced busing in Delaware to prevent school integration.  Yes, forget that Joe is a puppet, and Kamala is an enabler of the police state — if you really think it will make a difference to elect them.  It can’t be worse than what we’ve got.  But wake up to the fact that it is not real community, not real change,

Photographer unknown. Internet. Fair use.


Nothing will change until Little Money, from many small donors evicts the owners of the casino’s puppet show (Congress) where “money is speech” and donations somehow are not bribes.  We need to demand an end to gerrymandering — in the street, if necessary — by which politicians of both stripes game us, and own our electoral system.  We need to defeat the Big-Lie propaganda spewed by Fox, CNN, NYT, Facebook – with our own truth-telling.   Today, All politics is digital, and you are the agent of change.  Be the change you wish to see!  Pull back the curtain, and yank down the wizard’s pants! Let go of tribalism, and join genuine community.  

EXCERPT, below, from CaitlinJohnstone dot com – see especially the embedded link :

If you are an American who is dissatisfied with the presidential choices you are being offered in election after election, consider focusing your energy on the status quo itself. Consider taking the energy you might have put into talking about Donald Trump and Joe Biden and putting it into waking up your countrymen to the fact that the political class is there to rob them and the media class is there to deceive them on behalf of their oligarchic owners.

What prevents real change from coming to the most powerful nation in the world is not the fact that the “lesser evil” loses elections, it’s the fact that everyone’s being manipulated into buying into a fake performance that is wholly owned and operated by a single oligarchic force which benefits directly from oppression, exploitation and mass murder. It’s that there is no “lesser evil”.  


The Missing Links, Good cop/bad cop, MentalFloss dot com (fair use) 

If you’re tired of being good cop /bad cop’d you might want to tune in to  The Movement for a People’s Party, Sunday, August 30 for the start of something fresh — a viable third party which can’t be bought — (registration required to view the event) – with great speakers lined-up. Both parties, and their major donors know that keeping the game narrow means they always win.  A third party would make this more expensive and less likely, especially if they can’t buy dominance of the new party.  The current two-party puppet show has become boorish.  Small donors can change this.

TUNE IN !   ¿ Are you weary of money as $peech, yet?  (In Citizens United The Supremes decided that “he who donates the most dollars” wins; and we the little people lose.)  Our two-party system got the memo, er, they sent the memo on behalf of their corporate overlords which bought and paid to own this rigged and tedious game.

That old notion, when the people lead, the leaders will follow, still has currency — in many small donations.  We the People need to buy back our governance.  Got appetite?  We already have a good foundation in our Constitution, but we’ve allowed it to become stale and stinky by failing to challenge the nonsense of “originalism” powerfully debunked here by Dean of Stanford Law School :

Edwin Chemerinsky’s WE THE PEOPLE.  






Official Ballot, 1926, NYPL digital collection

My wife and I became “federal voters” in the spring, and were able to vote in both our state’s primary election, and to cast primary ballots for candidates for federal office (which may vary depending on your state) — as we had to declare our intention eventually to return to our state, in order to participate in state elections. (Federal voters also get to vote in the General Election.)  

We accomplished these changes by contacting our former county board of elections, submitting signed encrypted documents electronically (rules may vary).  We were then able to cast our primary ballots by shipping them to a friend in Florida by FedX, who took them to a local post office where they were hand-cancelled (to verify the date of their entry into the mail stream).  Don’t rely on foreign mail to deliver any of these documents in either direction, as they likely will not arrive on time.  

If you want to attempt this, I’ve linked some details, gleaned thru or from League of Women Voters (by referral, to US Vote Foundation) and the federal government to point you in the right direction, but you might best contact your former board of elections to get an application by email.  (We wanted to avoid partisan recruiting by party operatives, as my sense is that they sometimes engage in pesky fund-raising schemes.)  Be alert!  Don’t give your personal details away online, without encryption. Know the destination, with certainty.  More on federal voting from Federal Voting Assistance Program.

NOTE:  NEVER send ballots to a board of election by private carrier, such as UPS, or FedX.  They will be invalidated.  Ballots must be carried by US MAIL, and need a valid, readable postmark — which can only be assured if someone submits them for hand cancellation.  Over 550,000 ballots were invalidated for various reasons in the last federal election cycle.  Don’t let your electoral voice be snuffed by casual handling!



Close the S-trap, please!

Some of us get bitten by mosquitos, more indoors than outdoors.  Unless you’re a plumber, you may not be aware that there is a tiny swamp of standing water in the drains of your sink basins and shower stalls. (This S-trap, desaguadero en estilo-S; estilo ese) is designed to retain water as a plug while allowing spillage, locking septic gases below ground, yet still enabling drainage.)  This liquid plug is an ideal hatchery, and needs to be screened or blocked to prevent those hatchlings from being deposited, and then biting and breeding indoors.   But it’s easy, if you disrupt access to where they’re laying their eggs.  

Go to a kitchen store, or maybe a plumbing supply, and get a mesh strainer, as shown above.  Or simply cover the drains when not actually draining — with those handy lids that cap off your water garrafa arriving from e-pura or Cristal.  For the floor drain in the shower, lids from those clear plastic containers of nuts sold at Costco are of a perfect size. (I’ve entered many articles on mosquito control, which can be searched in the white field at the upper right.)




Screen Shot 2020-07-31 at 5.24.18 AM

“LADY LIBERTY”   A.I.-generated portrait, by Bas Uterwijk (fair use)

Dear Reader,

Digits are ephemeral.  I’ve lost two recent blogposts which I posted last week, before migrating my site to a new host,.  The photos are easy to repost, but the writing seems to be gone.  As exceedingly unlikely as it might be, maybe somebody out there filed the text of either of these posts?  One was titled FILM REVIEW:  A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood; (posted July 27) and the other was titled  ¿¿ What is Liberty ??  (posted July 31).  If you happen to have either of them, I would be most grateful to hear from you in the comment section, or at my personal email, if you have it.  (If you don’t wish to see your name in print, simply say so, as I can keep your response private.)  Note to anyone who might need to migrate a WordPress site:  Recent drafts are fugitive, and will be abandoned during transit!

If you’ve passed up this film, thinking it’s sappy, smarmy, kids-stuff, you’ve missed a gem about a true encounter between a hardboiled journalist and a PBS children’s entertainer which is subtly powerful.  An acquaintance who worked with Fred Rogers at the TV studio encouraged me also to read the cover article from Esquire magazine which hatched the film.  I did, and it’s quite good.

(Still hoping to find the original blogposts)