Friday Clutter: Texas School Shooting, GOP Blocks Domestic Terrorism Bill, Trump Ordered to Testify, Elon Musk, Boston Red Sox, Ray Liotta, Kevin Spacey, Ed Sheeran, and more
Monday Clutter: President Biden, Merrick Garland, Boston Celtics, Top Gun: Maverick, Wynonna Judd, Dire Straits, and more

Sunday Clutter: Uvalde Shooting, Donald Trump and the NRA, Elon Musk, Meta Privacy, Gabe Kapler, Boston Celtics, The Flight Attendant, The Boys, The Chicks, and more

Hi folks,

How are you?  Enjoying your long weekend so far?  No complaints on this end.  The sun is shining, and we're all in good spirits.  I took care of the usual errands yesterday.  Today should be pretty quiet, apart from watering the plants and mowing the lawn later this afternoon.  Of course there will also be some garden time.   Oh, and BDH and Little Buddha said I'm always welcome to listen to the birds with them at some point.  Works for me.  We've got a big week coming up, so a little downtime sounds just fine.  Now, who is ready to check out today's headlines?  The guys made coffee, so grab yourself a nice medium DD, and let's clear out some Sunday Clutter. 

The outrage and sadness continues to grow over the reality that the Uvalde police failed the 19 children and two adults who were murdered this week.  These little kids repeatedly called 911, begging for help.  Instead,  19 police officers left the shooter alone with his victims for over an hour before finally taking action.  That goes against protocols, according to experts, and it also goes against basic human decency. 

No one wants to get into an armed conflict.  However, if you signed up to be a police officer, it's your job to protect the innocent from a madman with a gun.  Conservatives constantly repeat the lie that the answer to gun violence is "good guys with guns."  These "good guys" were right there and did nothing.

Why did Uvalde Police Chief Peter Arredondo think he was at active shooter training sessions in 2020 and 2021?  For kicks?  This tragedy also stresses the need to reexamine the mythology around the police in this country, because there's no doubt the Uvalde force is not the exception to the rule. 

Uvalde School Shooting May 29 2022How many lives could have been saved if the police had done their jobs?  (pic via durangoherald.com)

Texas Governor Greg Abbott tried to deflect the focus from gun control to mental health, which is the default excuse for gun nuts.    The biggest issue above all else is that this country is awash in guns.  However, putting that to the side for the moment, Abbott cut state funding for mental health programs in April.  Folks, Republicans have no real solutions for this or any other problem facing our country.  They're not a serious political party.  They're elites protecting elites, and the rest of us are here to do their bidding, as far as they're concerned.

Of course Donald Trump and other Republicans rejected calls for stronger gun control laws at this weekend's annual NRA meeting.  The NRA is a trade group whose mission is to sell as many guns as possible, no matter the cost in lives.  They're not focused on personal freedom, they're here to maximize profits above all else.  The better the gun industry does, the more money they funnel to Trump, Mitt Romney, Mitch McConnell, Ted Cruz, and the rest of their lackeys to make sure no one hurts their margins or can try to hold them responsible for selling a weapon to a teenager that left 19 police officers terrified to confront him. 

Donald Trump has now started referring to the January 6 coup attempt against the U.S. government as "a hoax."   It's the latest delusion in Trump's never-ending quest to create an alternate reality where he is a competent human being, and not a failed casino operator.  Trump made the comments during a rally for Rep. Liz Cheney's opponent, because he's still irate that Cheney had the backbone to vote to impeach him, as well as agree to sit on the January 6 House select committee.  This is nothing but a personal vendetta from a man who runs from accountability like his life depends on it.  The fact that it's a woman speaking out against him inspires an extra level of anger.  We're no fans of Rep. Cheney, who is about as conservative as they get, but in this particular case, she's putting her country before partisan politics.

Elon Musk thinks you should be grateful that billionaires exist.  Counter-argument:  Billionaires are a symptom of a broken economic system that pits 99% of the population against each other for survival, while the top 1% exploit all of them.

We were pleasantly surprised not to hit any holiday traffic yesterday.  Perhaps everyone drove off on Friday?  Whatever the case, we're also glad that we won't be dealing with any plane trips anytime soon, because the ticket price and chance of flight cancellation could put a big damper on our mood before we even reached the skies.  That's on top of the fact that there's still no way you're getting us to sit inside a crowded metal tube with recycled air for a few hours in the first place.  If we can't walk or drive, we're not going.

Do you have the Twitter Circle option yet?  Just took a quick check, and it's still not there for us, but that's fine.  Twitter, like any other company, wants to keep people on their site for as long as possible, but this doesn't really make a lot of sense from our perspective.  Our tweets are meant to be read by anyone who wants to follow us.  If you're going to tweet a select assortment of friends, why not just send a group text? 

Meta's updated Privacy Policy says the company “is not collecting, using or sharing your data in new ways."  The problem is that you could drive a truck through the loophole created by the use of the word "new."  The company is built on a foundation of exploiting user data in every possible legal fashion, and then belatedly apologizing when they do something illegal.  The fact that they're not making anything worse at the moment is good, but it's no excuse for stronger laws regarding privacy.

(Disclosure:  We use Facebook ads because BDH and Little Buddha like drinking coffee and hanging out with people.)

The Boston Red Sox split a double-header with the Baltimore Orioles yesterday.  The Sox won the first game 5-3 and then lost the second one 4-2.  It's a little disappointing that they've only won one out of the first three games in this series against Baltimore, especially since they blew it on Friday.  We were hoping they would take at least four out of the five games and continue building on their recent momentum.  However, the Red Sox could still win the series if they take the final two games.  Next up:  Nick Pivetta gets the start against the Orioles this afternoon.

San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler said on Friday that he will no longer take the field for the national anthem until he, "feel(s) better about the direction of our country."  Kapler's comments come in response to the Uvalde tragedy.  We applaud Kapler for having the courage to take this stance, especially since MLB isn't particularly strong on the advocacy front.

However, it's still impossible for us to see Kapler's name and not think about the sexual assault scandals* he was involved with while serving as the director of player development for the Los Angeles Dodgers.  Kapler is basically accused of downplaying the situations, and that's unforgivable.  (*One of these incidents involved Boston Red Sox outfielder Alex Verdugo, which is one of the reasons why we're already looking forward to Verdugo's eventual departure from the organization.)

We had the Boston Celtics winning Game 6 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat and finishing the series on Friday.  It seemed like a pretty safe prediction, but the Celtics had other plans.  This team still seems to have trouble elevating to the next level, and they wasted a huge opportunity.  However, for whatever reason, the C's also play their best when their backs are against the wall.  They also haven't lost consecutive games since March, so we're still going with them to win Game 7 tonight and move on to face the Golden State Warriors. 

Wide receiver Antonio Brown announced that he won't play in the NFL in 2022.  You can decide for yourself if that was really his decision, or if it's because he's burned every last bridge in the league and no team wants him at this point.  Either way, Brown still seems like a man in need of a serious support system, and if he doesn't find it, his problems are not likely to end anytime soon.

We caught the season finale of The Flight Attendant on Friday.  You could argue that the show didn't need a second season after tying things up so well in its debut outing.  However, Season 2 was still pretty entertaining, and Kaley Cuoco did a terrific job playing multiple versions of her character.  At the end of the day, none of it grabbed us quite as much as the first season, and the ending felt rushed, but it was all still a fun trip.  Final grade:  A-/B+.  We look forward to Season 3, because the powers that be clearly aren't finished with Cassie Bowden.

Hey, did we miss an episode of Barry on HBO Max this week?  We'll double-check that later and get back to you tomorrow.

Season 3 of The Boys finally starts on Friday!  The series will release the first three episodes at the same time and then go to a weekly format.   Can't wait to see Billy Butcher and friends take on the supes again.  Plus, we finally get to see Jensen Ackles in his new role.

Okay kids, that's going to do it for now.  Seeing as how this is Memorial Day weekend, let's have The Chicks close things out with a moving live performance of, "Travelin' Soldier" for today's, "Song of the Day."

Thanks for stopping by, everyone.  It was a treat to see you, as always.  Enjoy the rest of your day, be good, and we'll catch up with you again soon.  Until next time, that's today's Clearing out the Clutter, and we are outta here.

 

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