Hot takes on news breaks

The Proud Boys are scum, anyway you look at them, but a 33-year jail term for national leader Enrique Tarrio for organizing the Jan. 6 (choose the word you like best) insurrection, riot, protest at the U.S.  Capitol is excessive.

The 13 last Americans to die in Afghanistan

“Seditious conspiracy” or not, he wasn’t even there, but “led from afar.”

If it were an insurrection, it was the most poorly organized in history, and when the media calls Jan. 6 “deadly,” they never report that the only person “dead” was an unarmed protester, Ashli Babbitt. Not excusing her illegal behavior, just keeping the record straight. In Philadelphia, a murderer got a shorter sentence than 33 years. I guess restorative justice only applies to people on your side.

Don’t get me wrong. He deserves jail time, but 33 years is crazy vengeful. 

OK, OK. I hear you, on the Right. How many people were jailed for the “mostly peaceful” riots/protests of 2020 that resulted in 19 deaths and at least $1 billion in damage? None that I know of, but I could be wrong. [Update: It turns out I was wrong, and there have been prosecutions.]


It is obvious there is something wrong with GOP Leader Mitch McConnell and President Joe Biden.

Denying it is futile. They each have mental issues. Former President Donald J. Trump has all his marbles, but they are square and don’t roll. His failure is moral, not mental.

None are fit for the offices they hold, or seek.


It’s a damn shame that Bryce Harper, one of Philly’s most loved athletes ever, had his so-timely 300th home run soiled by a loss to the Angels.

Both teams battled back when they fell behind, but it looked like a lock for us when closer Craig Kimbrel took the mound in the 9th.

The crane blew the save, raising questions, such as, did he have enough rest between starts, and, is he done?

Harper has engraved his name on Philadelphia’s heart. I will do a list of the others some other time.


The Taliban is celebrating two years of running Afghanistan, and women in particular, into the ground.

The U.S. military didn’t do this to Afghanistan.

Politicians and the public did.

Although the U.S. had just a few thousand troops in Afghanistan, it was enough to hold the Taliban at bay. 

In 2021, the year we pulled out, we lost 13 soldiers during the entire year — those we lost on the one day of the poorly planned evacuation. We lost 11 military members in 2020.

While any death is tragic, the military loses more people in accidents each year. 

But the constant drum beat of “America’s longest war” rattled the politicians and neither Left nor Right was able to explain that the cost of staying was worth it. Am I saying we should have stayed, and been OK with a stalemate (such as we have in Korea)? Yes, I am saying that. A stalemate is better than a loss. I know many of you disagree. 

Even had our withdrawal been perfect, and had we been able to evacuate all our friends, which we didn’t, the end result would have been the same — a Taliban victory, with their worthless assurance that they won’t support terrorism. 

We fought and died and spent billions for 20 years to walk away with nothing, other than the Flag-draped coffins of 13 Americans.


Yep, disgraced Rudy Giuliani will stand trial for defaming a couple of Black, female election workers in Georgia.

His bald-face lies about them led them into harm’s way from the Trumpster morons who believe the election was stolen, when anyone with half a brain knows it was not.

That’s not just me talking. It is the former U.S, attorney general, the Georgia governor, the Georgia secretary of state, saying it. And they are ALL REPUBLICANS.

Defamation is often difficult to prove, but less so when the lies are obvious, deliberate, with the intent to harm.

Believe me, I know.

I hope Rudy has to pay through the nose.

29 thoughts on “Hot takes on news breaks”

  1. Bush & Cheney should never have invaded Iraq and Afghanistan (& cut rich peoples’ taxes by trillions of dollars). In Afghanistan, we took down the Taliban and supported the Northern Alliance to take over. We shouldn’t have stayed. From Bush 1 ( The New World Order) to Bush 2 (nation building) were abject failures that cost the lives of tens of thousands and trillions of wasted American taxpayer money.

    The Afghan gov’t. was so corrupt, it was bound to fall, no matter how much money we poured in. The populace didnt support their highly corrupt government; they supported the Taliban. Didn’t anyone learn from the catastrophic failure of American intervention in Vietnam?

    1. This is so on point I can hardly stand it. When did we become the world’s cops? It’s one thing to fight tyranny when one country attacks another sovereign country. But when did it become okay for us to go into a sovereign country and attempt to establish the government WE want in power? Seems wrong to me on many levels. The Taliban is an authoritarian mess and I hate them. But at this point, I don’t know what we can do about it from the outside looking in. And staying in was NOT an option.

    2. I expected pushback. In vase you forgot America was like 90% in favor of going into Afghanistan, to remove the Taliban. We did that. Easily.
      In all honesty, I could argue against by saying we have no right to demand they turn over al-Qaeda to us.

  2. Speaking of how the US government pisses away money, the house of cards that is the US economy will soon (and inevitably) come crashing to the ground, and the resulting civil disorder will make the Watts riots look like [use your own metaphor here].

    I think the Phillies, as a team, now hold the MLB record for more home runs in August. Amazing.

    1. Well since they piss away money, thank god we got Trump out of office. He pissed away millions.

      1. No, never. (Who would enjoy a recession?!) But I see one coming because of the debt load that will eventually become irredeemable. I would NEVER bet against America. We as a nation can do anything, ANYTHING we set our minds on. What we need is a LEADER around whom we can galvanize, and I don’t care if said leader is a Democrat, Republican, or Independent.

        1. You would be surprised how anti Americans some of your comments sound. As for recessions, as you know, economists have predicted 8 of the last 3.
          With debt outstripping GNP, it is possible, but most economists note our economy is actually pretty good, and this is NOT a Dem talking point.
          My financial advisors are both Republicans and they believe it is unlikely (although Ameriprise believes Sept/Oct/Nov may be rough.)

          1. Remember the saying: “America, rights or wrong. When right, to keep it right. When wrong, to set it right.” It’s that second half of the saying that makes sense for the nation. If I point out what I see as the wrongs of our country, that does not make me anti-American. I pray I am wrong; I had to listen to my mom and dad talk incessantly about the horror of the Great Depression. Scary…not for me (I’m too old to give a damn), but for my own sons and their families it would be a nightmare.

          2. The US economy is not a “house of cards” nor is its collapse in any way “inevitable.” Excess spending tends to be inflationary, not recessionary. (Big contributors to the Great Depression were Hoover’s misguided attempts to “fix” things by balancing the budget and the Smoot-Hawley tariffs stifling trade that slowed the economy even more).
            The current fear of recession stems from the worry that the Fed’s anti-inflationary monetary policy–increasing interest rates–may over-slow the economy. The notion is that it can be hard to fight inflation and get to a “soft-landing” without throwing the economy into recession. So far it hasn’t, despite the doomsayers. Inflation remains the greater worry.
            Actually, the bigger threats to the economy are government shutdowns and failures to increase the debt ceiling as political maneuvers. My view: You don’t take the economy hostage to force policies that can’t be passed based on political support. It is the logic of “we had to destroy the village to save it.”

  3. Stu,
    The Democrat’s, “narrative,” a word they love to misuse about the J6 riots, the J6 Committee of Nincompoops which was Pelosi’s vicious vendetta attempt at a third impeachment, and now these grossly unbalanced trial sentences is far more Third World behavior than I thought our “leaders,” even Democrats, could ever sink to. Thoroughly unhinged, unwarranted and unfair.

    The ragged remnants of the Inquirer, (probably dead in the water, but for Lenfest’s subsidy from his grave,) suffer every day with their looney editors, their nuttier than Phillip Bump, the Inquirer’s own nutcase Will Bunch, and the more one-sided racist than the stereotypical gap-toothed, ridge-runner, Solomon Jones, all being lead over the cliff by the “you are all vile racists and always will be,” E. Hughes, herself!

    Goodness me, what a line-up at our formerly respected Inquirer.

    The best and most balanced thinkers seem rarely to be found in main newspapers any longer; scattered to the rock ledges where they can snipe with precision at those maliciously misleading and lying to our country.

    Always a pleasure to read your thinking, as above in “Hot Takes.”

    All the best,
    Gardner A. Cadwalader

    1. Well, Gardner, apparently you didn’t have a TV during the January 6 rioting and still haven’t seen the video from that event. Here on my TV, I saw people spraying bear spray into the eyes of capital officers, literally shitting in the Capital building, breaking into offices and stealing private property, and for good measure, waving insurrectionist confederate flags in there, too. Maybe if they had been black people, you might have seen it differently? I don’t know you; just asking. Furthermore, the people being tried for their crimes, Trump included, were indicted NOT by Democrats, but by Grand Juries made up of citizens just like yourself who, when presented with evidence, came to the conclusion that a crime had been committed that was worth an indictment. So instead of harping at Democrats, how about you go complain to the literally HUNDREDS of Republicans who testified against Trump? Or is that fact simply inconvenient to the “reality” in which you live?

      1. Freeze,

        I am not speaking for anyone else but myself. What we saw was no different than the Black Lives Matter (use whatever term you wish). It was ugly and very sad. Those that were abused doing their service are the same as those abused during the BLM protests. The people on both sides have been pumped with misinformation and lies, leading to horrible events.

        I may sound like I am headed for a “what about this” type excuse for January 6, but I am not. They deserve to be punished for their actions, I do think the amounts of time being sough5 is excessive compared to other crimes that we are experiencing. If you cannot see the politics behind that, you have your eyes closed.

        As far as it being an insurrection, I wholeheartedly agree with Stu, it was poorly planned and executed. It went as far as it could possibly go and was never a real threat to our democracy, those assholes would have been squashed and eliminated through force in a matter of hours if they wer3 an actual threat.

        1. I think rioters of all stripes should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. The difference I see is that it was the Capitol–a symbol of our democracy and housing the only branch of government that is elected directly by the people. No offense to the American retail industry, but storming a Target or Walmart is not the same as storming the Capitol.

          When someone burns the American Flag, in some sense it is no different than burning any other piece of cloth– but I think it is profoundly different. And that’s what we had here.

          Aside from that, the Proud Boys–unlike most of the rest the of the rioters– had plans (as the government proved–seditious conspiracy) to literally overthrow the US government and gleefully texted each other “#f*cktheblue” (they didn’t use the asterisk). Yeah, they were bad at it, but it’s the thought that counts.

          And finally, it is very unlikely he will get what the prosecutors asked. The judge has been cutting their requests in half for Torres’ co-defendants. He won’t get the recommendation.

          Seeking the maximum for crimes committed is what prosecutors do. When they don’t, everybody says they’re being “soft on crime.” They don’t pull this stuff out of the air. They wrote an 80-page Sentencing Memo citing statutes, similar sentences, and the Federal Sentencing guidelines.

          Political? As my mother used to say, “nothing is unmixed.” Most prosecutors have political ambition behind high profile prosecutions, e.g. Chris Christie and Rudy Giuliani.

          Also, if you noodle around in the woke-o-sphere, you’ll see similar complaints about BLM prosecutions, some of them, seemingly legit. E.g., a 20 year kid–clean record–basically says “let’s riot” on facebook, and then foolishly films himself in front of an Old Navy that’s being looted claiming the “credit” for the riot. He was convicted of incitement to riot. Prosecutors ask for 7 years, and get 4 with a big plus: $1.5 million in restitution. He can’t get rid of that in bankruptcy. For the rest of his life, he’ll owe half his disposable income in restitution to pay back Old Navy, Burger King, JCPenney, and Walmart. The theory was that he was responsible for all the damage done, because he incited the riot.
          He didn’t make plans, or draw diagrams, form an organization, wear body armor, communicate with his “lieutenants” or coordinate things with walkies-talkies, much less seek to overthrow the US government. He posted on Facebook and filmed himself at a riot. As his lawyer pointed out he got a longer sentence than folks convicted of conspiracy to riot in the Unite the Right rally. Sooo…political? “Systemic racism” or just a “tough on crime” prosecutor?

          On the other hand, he appealed, which Torres is free to do as well. Judges, not prosecutors, decide sentences.

      2. Freeze,

        I would suspect that grand juries, whenever they are convened, disproportionately commit to bringing charges against the accused. The District Attorneys and prosecutors know this. The act of commissioning these grand juries, in types of cases that are flimsy, uncommon or borderline, is why people consider these proceedings biased by design.

  4. Hey mister freeze! Serious question. Do you sniff glue before submitting these utterly hateful, insane posts of yours? For one who’d actually peruse them, you come off as someone who’s seriously unhinged. Seriously.

    1. Hey mister Stude, if you want to be a smartass, first you have to be smart, which you are not! That means you are seriously just an ass. Seriously.

      1. Read my post. Subtract ‘mister freeze’ and apply “humphrey” and there, you have my retort. The two of you remind me of a set of Siamese Twins, joined at the lips and the anus.

        1. You know quite a bit about lips and anuses Stude since your lips are permanently attached to the anus of that orange- skinned POS.

  5. Stu, Enrique Tarrio was not there because he was arrested two days before the Capitol riot on charges of defacing a Black Lives Matter banner during an earlier rally in the nation’s capital. A judge ordered him to leave the city after his arrest and he did so. He was not there because he was just scared shitless about being arrested again.

    Also, as far as I can see, he has not been sentenced yet. The prosecutors are asking for 33 years.

    1. I said he was not there. He wasn’t. I could have been more clear that he is looking at a 33-year sentence prosecutors are asking. It is excessive, IMO.

      1. Stu, I am not necessarily disagreeing with how you feel about a 33 year sentence. I was merely pointing out it was not a done deal yet.

        The reason he was not there though, in my opinion, is very important. It is not as if he just decided to stay away because he wanted to. He was ordered to because of another crime is was just charged with.

      2. Stu, he hasn’t been sentenced yet, and won’t be until Sept 5. 33 years is the sentence recommendation by the prosecutors, not the sentence imposed. Prosecutors aren’t known for low-balling on their sentencing requests. (Prosecution: “death penalty!” Defense: “how about a stern reprimand and a promise to never do it again?”-that’s how it goes.) The prosecutors job is to seek the highest sentence the facts support, while the defense’s job is to seek the lowest.

        The judge will likely agree that a 33 year sentence is too much.The DOJ also sought 33-years for Tarrio’s co-defendant, Bigg’s–who was apparently the on-site commander, using a walkie-talkie to direct and coordinate the attack–got only 17 years when he was sentenced on Thursday. Prosecutors asked for 30 years for Rehl, another seditious conspirator who was a bit lower down on the formal chain of command, and he got only 15 years.

        So, so far, the Judge seems to be cutting the DOJ recommendations by about half. It therefore seems likely that he will come in substantially below the thirty-three years. I expect Tarrio will get the stiffest sentence as the top banana–I’m guessing 20-25. The fact that he wasn’t there is as legally and morally irrelevant as the fact that a person who hires a contract killer is not the one who pulls the trigger and has an alibi for the night of the murder. Calmly planning a crime usually warrants stiffer punishment than acting in “the heat of passion.” Also, when, as here, there is an organized conspiracy, the guy at the top is supposed to be given an enhanced sentence, regardless of whether he is the “trigger man.” He wasn’t just head of the Proud Boys. He was head of a group within the organization that they called the “Ministry of Self-Defense” that planned and implemented their actions on Jan 6.

        Also, in fairness to the prosecution, if the sentences for the crimes he was convicted of were served consecutively instead of concurrently, he’d go away for 81 years.

        I think it’s fair to say that sentences should be based on the individual facts of the case, rather than one’s general impressions of what happened based on news reports. That is why we have trials instead. This trial lasted four months. The jury deliberated for a week, rejecting some charges (one guy got off on the seditious conspiracy charge), getting “hung” on others, but unanimously finding that Tarrio and others guilty of seditious conspiracy and several more charges. The Sentencing Memo is 80 densely written pages. A more superficial summary is in the DOJ press release.

        It seems that the Proud Boys planned to specifically storm the Capitol to prevent the electoral count. The great majority of the folks there were “mere” rioters, but the Proud Boys were literally insurrectionists who specifically intended to take down and take over the government, hence, “seditious conspiracy.” Here’s some factual tidbits:
        1. They were at the Capitol while Trump was still speaking and before Trump told people to march there. They marshaled their forces around 10 am, and left the speakers for the Capitol. They timed their attempt to break in to the start of the electoral count. In other words, these were not folks who got carried away in the heat of the moment and followed the crowd. It was planned, not spontaneous.
        2. The planning for the Jan 6 “event” started in December, and included detailed plans to storm and occupy federal buildings and literally take over the federal government in order to keep Trump as president. One of the plans was code-named “Winter Palace” about which Tarrio wrote “This is it” during the storming of the Capitol.
        3. They characterized their actions as a “raid” and their aim as “revolution.” In my view, that is insurrection, not riot.

        1. I should have said he was facing 33 years. I know he had not been sentences.
          And I believe he/they need jail time, just not 33 years. Thanks for the info.

        2. What would’ve happened if those lunatics got a hold of Mike Pence & Nancy Pelosi? It would’ve disrupted the vote and ‘Orange jesus’ would’ve used the crisis he instigated to declare an emergency & stay in power. In war time you can get executed for treason, which is what they and trumpo🤡 committed.

  6. Just a comment on the BLM riot prosecutions, i.e., “None that I know of, but I could be wrong.”

    I have been puzzled that no one’s been tracking prosecutions related to the protests. One guess is that right is fine with that, as it’s “narrative” is that nobody’s getting punished. On the other hand, the left wants to minimize the the bad stuff related to the protests so has no interest in highlighting the associated crimes. Nobody has a political interest in tracking this stuff down. Perhaps a less cynical explanation is that the vast majority of the arrests were for state crimes, so there is no natural central clearing house for the information like the DOJ. Instead of looking at a single source, one would have to do a national survey of local news sources to be able to track the various cases. From what I can tell there were 14,000 (WaPo) to 17,000 (the Hill) arrests associated with the BLM protests.

    Of course there were some federal crimes committed as well. All I’ve been able to easily find on that is a DOJ press release in Sept 2020. and a couple other references.

    “The Department of Justice announced today that more than 300 individuals in 29 states and Washington, D.C., have been charged for crimes committed adjacent to or under the guise of peaceful demonstrations since the end of May.

    To date, of the 94 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices (USAOs), more than 40 USAOs have filed federal charges alleging crimes ranging from attempted murder, assaulting a law enforcement officer, arson, burglary of a federally-licensed firearms dealer, damaging federal property, malicious destruction of property using fire or explosives, felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, unlawful possession of a destructive device, inciting a riot, felony civil disorder, and others.”

    A follow-up story from the AP reports: “The AP found that more than 120 [federal] defendants across the United States have pleaded guilty or were convicted at trial of federal crimes including rioting, arson and conspiracy. More than 70 defendants who’ve been sentenced so far have gotten an average of about 27 months behind bars. At least 10 received prison terms of five years or more.”

    Your garden-variety Jan 6 rioter gets a sentence of about 60 days, according to Time magazine. “So far, the median prison sentence for the Jan. 6 rioters is 60 days, according to TIME’s calculation of the public records. An additional 113 rioters have been sentenced to periods of home detention, while most sentences have included fines, community service and probation for low-level offenses like illegally parading or demonstrating in the Capitol, which is a misdemeanor.”

    In terms of the federal BLM prosecutions, the left predictably accused the Trump DOJ of sticking its nose into what should have been only state prosecutions to suppress BLM (i.e. a “politically weaponized” DOJ–sound familiar?), but the Biden administration continued the prosecutions and brought new BLM-related cases, as well.
    “President Joe Biden’s Justice Department has continued the vast majority of the racial injustice protest cases brought across the U.S. under Trump and has often pushed for lengthy prison time for people convicted of serious crimes. Since Biden took office in January, federal prosecutors have brought some new cases stemming from last year’s protests.” (AP)

    Needless to say, the progressives are livid. The Intercept complained: “far from breaking with the Trump administration’s prosecution of civil disorder cases, the Biden administration has doubled down with an expansive view of so-called domestic violent extremism and domestic terrorism.” (note the “so-called”) Apparently it was shocking to them that Garland said “Anything that breaks the law is subject to prosecution,” referring to the prosecution of BLM-related crimes.

    So now we know. BLM related riot/crime is and has been prosecuted–with the Biden administration “push[ing] for lengthy prison time for people convicted of serious crimes” though our information on it is not as thorough and complete as the Jan 6 cases. And, what-do-you-know–everybody committing a crime in furtherance of a political agenda claims it is their politics, not the crime, that is being prosecuted. And what-do-you-know–the Justice Department seems to be interested in prosecuting crime instead of supporting a political agenda. What a coincidence that that is what they are sworn to do.

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