Taking Note of a Few Things: The Road Rage for a Friend Issue

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Today is July 4th and like my editor recently noted, I am thinking about the concept of freedom and how so many of us are ignorant to how few people in this nation enjoy it to its fullest level. I am also struck by how so many of those who do remain just as ignorant to how privileged they are.

This nation was built on the backs of those who were not free. Now that slavery, child labor, and importing cheap labor are no longer legal, the process has begun to remove equal rights from citizens who have had to fight hard to gain them. Meanwhile, the rich are enjoying record profits at a time where they want us to believe inflation is the result of rising labor costs.

The average American has no concept of freedom and even less about what constitutes equality. We accept different standards for different groups and only really gripe when we are on the receiving end of getting screwed.

Brittney Griner sits in a Russian prison cell months after being arrested for carrying marijuana, at least that’s what the Russians say. If it were Tom Brady, our outrage would have been a hundred-fold more than what it has been, and he would have been freed a long time ago. The way we handle a black woman and a white man unfairly imprisoned shows us how we are not all equal under the law, even in the eyes of our government.

Can someone explain to me how a young man ends up with over sixty bullet holes in him from the police that justifies their actions?

For the life of me, I do not get an adult’s fascination with fireworks. Other than waking your neighbors from a slumber or making all the dogs in a neighborhood go crazy, what does it do for a grown person to light off fireworks? They pale compared to any of the big shows that are out there.

I am about as tan as I have ever been. I am laying out under the sun to get my vitamin D which was a bit low despite my taking a supplement. I lay face down and cook my back before turning over and hit my front side with the sun’s rays. I am lucky in that I never use sunscreen unless I am at the beach. I recently fell asleep for an hour face up and did not get burned.

My mind wanders a lot while I am tanning myself. Today, I wondered why the top of my feet and hands will tan but the bottom of my feet and palms of my hands don’t despite both facing the sun for extended periods.

Lately, my spine has been making my life miserable. I am good for about six hours a day before things go south for me. Some days I spend more time on my back than a hooker.

Just once, I would like an owner of a sports team to tell a player they are not going to honor their request for a trade. How is it an athlete like Kevin Durant can sign a contract extension worth over $200 million dollars a year ago and then demand a trade? The worst part is these athletes like to tell the public we do not fully understand the reasoning behind their demand. They are out of touch and do not understand that the average fan is tired of spoiled brats being rewarded financially when the rest of us struggle to pay our bills.

It turns out Freddie Freeman had some issues with the way his agents handled his trade
(Claudia Gestro)

The baseball season is half over and no one cares. One hundred sixty-two games are 60 too many. I would do what they did several decades ago when the players went out on strike in the middle of the season. Split the season into two separate seasons. Have the winners of the first half square off with the second half winners. I would add in a two or three week break at the halfway mark and let teams make trades before starting over fresh.

Does California Governor Newsom not realize people over the age of 65 drive? Why exclude them from the new gas rebate he wants to send us? It doesn’t make any sense.

Trump can’t wait to start another run for president. He won’t need secret service to protect him. He can get all the volunteers from the Proud Boys and other fascist groups he appeals to.

Supporting Ron DeSantis instead of Trump is a weak attempt at claiming you support change.

After the Highland Park parade mass shooting, does anyone still believe the new bipartisan gun law will curb gun violence? How are we going to keep guns out of the hands of lunatics when we can’t even find their Facebook postings — which are in plain sight?

Billions are spent on our modern air arsenal, from (clockwise from top left) V-22 Osprey, Blue Angels in the FA-a8 Super Hornet, FA-18 Super Hornet, F-22 Raptor (Tim Forkes)

America has huge problems. We spend ten times more money than the next nearest nation on defense. We have more people incarcerated (per capita) than any other nation. More citizens die from gun violence by far more than any other nation. We have more guns in the hands of citizens than there are citizens. Rather than solving these problems, our GOP leaders would rather take away the rights of women and minority groups instead of sitting down with Democrats and accomplishing real change.

Joe Biden is either the most confident person on the planet or he has made up his mind not to seek re-election in 2024. If he chooses not to run, Democrats are in a perfect position to offer a strong female candidate.

If Biden does not run, we are likely to see two bloodbath campaigns to see who takes the mantle of each party. By the time the dust settles, anyone who sees themself as a moderate will find it hard to support any candidate.

President Joe Biden at the signing of the gun safety legislation
YouTube screenshot ( https://youtu.be/KMWME2_y4QM )

Joey Chestnut not only won another Nathan’s Famous Hotdog eating contest, he also managed to subdue a protester while continuing to eat a hotdog. It reminded me of the scene where Clint Eastwood shoots a bad guy while still eating his hotdog in Dirty Harry. It made my day.

Clint Eastwood as “Dirty Harry” “ I know what you’re thinking: ‘Did he fire six shots or only five?’ Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, I’ve kinda lost track myself. But being this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do you, punk?”
( https://youtu.be/KqgGihIfq5U )

I was warned by Mark Zuckerberg to knock off my threats of violence or I would be placed in Facebook prison. It seems all the technology that is out there is incapable of discerning what is real and what is humor. My friend Craig, who I have known since junior high school, posted a comment to which I replied. He simply wanted to know what hospital a very beautiful nurse who happens to post short dance clips of her in her scrubs works at. I offered to run him over with my car and then drop him off for treatment. A day later, I was warned I could face banishment from Mark World.

Is even offering to run a guy over considered a threat? Guys used to offer to shatter a friend’s thumb or hand to get him out of serving in the military. They were doing a favor. If I have a friend who is in love with a dancing nurse who looks a lot like Joey Heatherton back in the day, and he wants her to treat him, then how am I promoting violence by offering to run him over?

What is a threat is if I tell Mr. Z if he places me in FB prison, I will run his ass over. However, given he probably receives about a million such threats a day, I have to bet it might take a while before Facebook issues me a stern warning.

The problem with Facebook prison is the same with all our prisons. Once we are released from it, we are just sent back to the same environment we came from and are more apt to resort to our criminal behavior. Wouldn’t it make more sense once I was released from Facebook prison to be either given all new friends or a new identity? Maybe then I do not become a hardened criminal best kept in social media isolation.

The LaPX Editor Tim Forkes behind bars. (Tim Forkes)

And why is it I am not afforded due process in Mark’s World? Who has more rights, me in a court of Zuckerberg or Brittany Griner in a Russian court?

I recently saw footage of Andersen Cooper flying inside what amounted to a drone on steroids. Apparently, it is the future of commuter transportation. I think I would prefer taking my chances with my old ’61 VW Bug on the Autobahn.

The MLB All-Star game will soon be played. This, in case you were not aware, is not to showcase baseball talent at the halfway mark of the season, but rather is to remind us to wake up from our hibernation and get ready for the upcoming NFL season.

Shohei Ohtani of the Angels has made the 2022 AL All-Star Team is a pitcher and a DH
(Claudia Gestro)

I have a great idea for all those WWE fans out there. How about for the next WrestleMania we pit Vince McMahon off against his soon to be ex-wife in a cage match?

A lot has been written about USC and UCLA moving over to the BIG 10 conference. Most people seem to think both schools are in for a rude awakening having to play football games in the cold and snow of November. I tend to think this is not as much of a problem as what it will be like to play in front of packed stadiums, some that hold over 100,000 rabid fans. West coast football is far more laid back and less intimidating on the fan front.

UCLA vs Nebraska, Penn State, and Wisconsin in volleyball will become must see TV for fans of the sport.

Gavin Newsom, the governor of California, doesn’t seem to be waiting to see whether President Biden runs for re-election. He’s already begun campaigning against his counterpart in Florida, which makes me wonder if he is more of an opportunist than a viable option if Biden opts out of another run for office.

Are there any centrists who can appeal to those who see the far right as moving the nation backwards and the far left wanting us to jump the shark and go totally progressive? If ever there was a time where a very rich and levelheaded person wanted to back such a party, now is it. Otherwise, if Biden does step down, I have a feeling we will be selecting from a list of two very different and extreme candidates.

If Biden does not run, personally, I prefer Pete Buttigieg or Amy Klobuchar over Newsom. I still have not made up my mind on Kamala Harris, however. As far as the GOP is concerned, I just do not see anyone who is not linked to Trump or Trumpism not being their candidate. I hope I am wrong.

I have been listening to a lot of Lindsey Buckingham when I work out. His work on Out of the Cradle which came out thirty years ago is nothing short of perfection. More recently, his album with former bandmate Christine McVie is also great. However, if you love his weird side like I do, you should also give a good listen to his second solo album, Go Insane. All great stuff from a man who doesn’t know how to read or write music, but when left alone in a studio will produce some amazing songs.

Presidential Executive Orders are more for show than anything. The perfect example of this is Biden’s most recent one on abortion. After Roe v Wade was gutted by the Supreme Court last month, the executive order signed by Biden does little more than tell his base what they already know about where he stands on the issue.

If he has not officially been anointed, I would like to nominate Jason Statham as the official go to cranky bald-headed actor who cleans up the world’s messes now that Bruce Willis is no longer acting.

Finally, I read today what I seem to read at this time every year: this year’s fire season is the worst in the last ten years. I am sure it is just a coincidence and has nothing to do with global warming.