Every two years, independent and "third" party candidates for various offices scramble to get their names on ballots around the United States.

Every two years, those candidates come up against and many of them fail to overcome "ballot access" obstacles custom-made to produce the Republican/Democratic monopoly on political power.

Here we go again: Fear of a "second wave" of COVID-19 infections is on world tour. Naturally, the same "experts" who demanded a global lockdown/shutdown in response to the "first wave" are saddling up for an encore. Their logic, faulty the first time around, is even more so the second.

Every few years, some particular instance of a pervasive phenomenon police violence in the form of unjustified or at least highly-questionable killings "goes viral" with the result that America's cities explode in protest.

Every four years without fail (and usually a little earlier in each quadrennial cycle), both "major" American political parties wind up and toss the same slow, fat pitch across the public's plate:

This is the most important presidential election of our lifetimes.

Maybe even the most important presidential election ever.

You gotta vote.

And this time, just like every other time, you can't risk voting for anyone but Candidate X.

Protests quickly broke out nationwide following the May 25 killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, which was caught on video and quickly went viral.

Yes, Chauvin has been arrested and charged with murder.

Yes, the usual "voices of reason" are issuing a new round of calls for "police reform," just as they do after every police murder of an unarmed, non-violent civilian.

On May 28, US president Donald Trump signed an executive order on "Preventing Online Censorship." From the title and the document respectively we can draw to two lessons.

First: Never, ever, ever believe the title of a government document. The internal texts of congressional bills and resolutions, as well as executive branch orders, "findings," intelligence "estimates," etc. seldom have much, if anything, to do with their titles.

In mid-May, the US House of Representatives passed a resolution authorizing remote voting by proxy. Per the resolution, one congressperson may vote on behalf of up to ten others. In theory,  as few as 40 of the House's 435 members could show up in Washington for the House to do business.

As the COVID-19 pandemic ran its deadly course in New York, governor Andrew Cuomo affirmed a state policy forbidding nursing homes to reject suffering from the disease. At least partially as a result (Cuomo himself acknowledged early on that the virus spreads through such facilities "like fire through dry grass"), nearly 6,000 long-term care residents have died so far.

When US president Donald Trump mentioned that he's taking hydroxychloroquine, he immediately got an extra dose of flak from both the mainstream media and noted medical experts such as US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). Trump has been using the drug prophylactically versus COVID-19 — which he's likely been exposed to via a personal valet — with the concurrence of his physician.

On May 15, city officials declared Atwater, California, a "sanctuary city." Not for undocumented immigrants, but for businesses and churches who choose to ignore Governor Gavin Newsom's COVID-19-related shutdown orders. The city won't be enforcing the governor's edicts. Those edicts, Mayor Paul Creighton told local businesses, are "between you and the state of California."

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