Cosby walks on a technicality

By John Kanelis /

When word came out today that Bill Cosby’s sexual assault conviction had been overturned, my thoughts turned immediately to a sign I once saw way down yonder in the office of the Liberty County, Texas, district attorney.

It spoke to the desire to see a conviction “upheld on a technicality.”

Of course, that never happens. Technicalities usually result in situations such as what happened today.

Cosby is going home after serving two years of a sentence in which he was convicted of sexually assaulting a woman after giving her high-powered drugs. The technicality? The Pennsylvania Supreme Court said Cosby was denied due process because a prosecuting attorney had said there was insufficient evidence to bring the case to trial. That prosecutor left, was replaced by someone else, who then brought the case to a trial that produced a conviction for the still-disgraced former comic and film/TV icon.

Bill Cosby was denied his constitutional Fifth Amendment guarantee against self-incrimination, the court said in its 79-page opinion.

Bill Cosby Released From Prison After Sexual Assault Conviction Overturned (

Two things about this case deserve brief mention.

One is that a conviction reversal involving someone with the kind of celebrity status as Bill Cosby has pushed most of the other grim news aside; the nation now is going to talk about Cosby rather than talking about other stuff, such as phony election theft and related matters.

The other thing is that Bill Cosby is — in many Americans’ eyes — still a convicted sexual assailant despite the court’s decision to overturn the conviction. to my way of thinking, the legal technicality that sprung Cosby loose from the slammer does not wipe away what a trial jury concluded.

Who’s a socialist?

By John Kanelis /

The dictionary offers a comprehensive explanation of a term that has been weaponized in the current political debate.

It is socialism. The dictionary describes it this way :

” … a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.”

That is where I want to start this brief blog post.

Republicans throw the “s-word” out there whenever they hear a policy that want to oppose. It’s socialist, they say. Those who preach it believe in socialism. They want to strip away capitalism.

That’s the mantra of the demagogues who throw around “socialism” and “socialist” as if they know what the hell they’re talking about.

They don’t.

I have heard nothing from President Biden or Vice President Harris to suggest they favor taking over complete control of the means of production, distribution or exchange.” They remain, as far as I can tell, as dedicated to capitalism and the traditional American way of life as you and me.

That isn’t stopping the critics, though, from tossing around hot-button terminology as if it’s gospel. Socialism has become the term du jour that right-wing critics are using to scare the daylights out of those who adhere to their world view.

Here’s my suggestion for the day.

How about just chillin’ out? Americans elected a mainstream politician as our president in 2020. He chose an acknowledged political liberal as his running mate. Let us remember, too, that President Biden is in charge of the executive branch, which is one of three co-equal branches of government.

All of this is my way of saying that a president can propose all he wants, but it falls on the legislative branch — Congress — to enact legislation that becomes the law of the land.

Are the POTUS and VPOTUS going to pitch a notion that we become a socialist nation?

Not in a zillion years.

House to OK select probe of Jan. 6

By John Kanelis /

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi can count votes as well as any politician who’s ever served on Capitol Hill.

With that knowledge in the bank, she is planning to ask House members to vote on choosing a select committee to do something the U.S. Senate choked on: investigate the Jan. 6 insurrection against the U.S. government.

What do I think about this? I believe Pelosi is going to proceed where she must go, but I also believe she is going to invite ferocious criticism from those who think she is stacking the deck against any sort of impartial finding into what transpired on that terrible day.

A mob of terrorists stormed Capitol Hill. They crashed through windows, beat cops nearly to death. They wanted to stop the certification of the Electoral College victory that President Biden earned in the 2020 election. They attacked our governmental process. They threated the lives Pelosi and Vice President Mike Pence.

But the Republican caucus in Congress doesn’t want a probe to look into it.

So, Pelosi is going to ask the slim Democratic majority in the House to approve establishing a select House committee.

The committee won’t comprise just Democrats. Pelosi is slated to ask House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy to select GOP members to join this panel. I am quite interested to see who McCarthy picks, whether he finds Republican moderates or taps the shoulders of GOP conspiracy goons to muck up the works.

Speaker Pelosi is doing what she must do, given the Senate Republicans’ refusal to do what they should have done in proceeding with a bipartisan commission to examine the riot, its consequences and recommend ways to prevent this kind of insurrection from recurring.

I also hope that Pelosi’s select committee, presuming the House approves it, will be thorough and will offer recommendations for preventing a recurrence.

As for GOP resistance to the work that will commence, let ’em gripe. They only will undermine their own credibility as the nation seeks to understand the cause of what we all saw develop as the terrorists launched a frontal assault on our democratic process.

Hoping for the best

By John Kanelis /

OK. I shall remain opposed the legislation that will become law effective Sept. 1.

However, I am going to enter a new phase of opposition. I want to give “permit-less carry of handguns” a chance to work until – or if – my worst fears become a reality.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed the bill into law the other day. It is the “constitutional carry” legislation that became a favorite of legislative Republicans. It allows anyone to pack a gun without even requiring them to take a mandatory gun safety course and passing a mandatory test. The state has had a concealed carry law on the books for decades. This new law renders the concealed carry law moot.

The Legislature did tweak the bill before sending it to Abbott’s desk.

According to the Texas Tribune: Before approving the bill, the Senate tacked on several amendments to address concerns by law enforcement groups that opposed permitless carry, worried it would endanger officers and make it easier for criminals to get guns.

The compromise lawmakers reached behind closed doors kept intact a number of changes the Senate made to the House bill, including striking a provision that would have barred officers from questioning people based only on their possession of a handgun.

The deal also preserves a Senate amendment enhancing the criminal penalties for felons and family violence offenders caught carrying. Among other Senate changes that made it into the law was a requirement that the Texas Department of Public Safety offer a free online course on gun safety.

Big-city cops opposed the law along with most Texans. So I don’t feel like the proverbial Lone Ranger in fearing what this law could produce, which could be a spasm of violence created by those who are packing heat under the new law.

To be fair, I had much the same fear about concealed carry legislation. To my pleasant surprise, the concealed carry law has not produced a huge tick in gunfights on the streets, or in the grocery store parking lot – or anywhere else, for that matter!

I am going to hold out hope that this new law can produce the same sort of reasonable reaction.

Will it turn me into an avid supporter of this law? Probably not. I am willing to honor the role as someone who accepts the law if not embracing it.

I will simply hope for the best.

Note: This blog was published initially on

Demagogues are winning the argument

By John Kanelis /

One word came to mind when I read this post that showed up on my Facebook news feed today.


Yes, the demagogues among us are winning the argument over these matters. They have persuaded others that to be pro-choice on abortion means you favor abortion; that you favor “open borders” if you’re horrified at the treatment of refugees; that you want to dismantle the Second Amendment if you think legislative solutions to gun violence are an option.

The demagogues are winning this argument because they appeal to people’s lesser instincts, which are easier to bring to the surface than their better instincts.

You know how it goes. Someone who agrees with something you say cannot tell you precisely why they agree with you, or even exactly what it is that earns the high praise. If that someone disagrees with you, why they can recite to you every point you make word by word.

Thus, the demagogues among us are winning the argument.

Man, we gotta find a more effective way to respond to these simpletons.

How do you make this call?

By John Kanelis /

Of all the jobs on Earth that one shouldn’t ever want to have, I believe I have found the one job that no one should ever have to do.

It’s the one that requires an individual to decide when a “rescue” mission becomes a “recovery” mission.

That’s the call facing someone involved in the search for victims of that horrific and horrifying building collapse in Surfside, Fla.

As I write this brief blog post, 11 people are known to have died in the collapse of the condo tower; 150 are still missing and unaccounted for.

Crews are working desperately to find survivors. They’re getting help from teams from Israel, Mexico and perhaps other nations lending a hand to assist the desperate searchers. They have deployed search dogs to sniff through the mountain of rubble for any sign of life.

I only can imagine the difficulty of determining when to stop looking for survivors and start searching for human remains. I also know how difficult and wrenching it is to be a loved one waiting for word on the fate of whoever was caught in that disaster. My own father died in a freak boating accident more than 40 years ago and it was several days before they found his remains floating in a frigid inlet north of Vancouver, B.C., Canada. My heart goes out to the loved ones waiting for closure.

They don’t pay someone enough money to make that call.

I pray for their well-being and for their sanity as they wrestle with how to make this horrific decision.

Why not probe the riot, GOP?

By John Kanelis /

A Facebook meme showed up today on my news feed that posed an interesting question.

It came in the form of a fake conversation between Wally and Beaver Cleaver. It goes something like this: Gee Wally, if Republicans think that Antifa, Black Lives Matter and assorted communists started the riot on Jan. 6 … why don’t they want to investigate it?

Hmmm. You know the answer to that one. I’ll offer my own view.

It’s because they don’t believe the lie they are telling. The know that BLM, Antifa and other lefty-leaning groups aren’t responsible for the attack on our democratic process. They know in what passes for their hearts that the attack was done at the behest of the moron who lost the 2020 presidential election, but who cannot to this very day declare that he lost fair and square.

We are witnessing the cult of personality at work. It has declared its fealty to a man and thrown aside any pretense of loyalty and adherence to the Constitution of the United States.

Still, little ol’ Beaver has asked his brother Wally a pertinent question. Don’t you think?

POTUS 45 blasts Barr, McConnell?

By John Kanelis /

The disgraced ex-president of the U.S.A. now has turned his rhetorical guns against the Senate Republican leader and a key member of the administration he led for four of the longest years in anyone’s memory.

Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell and former Attorney General William Barr drew POTUS 45’s wrath for perpetuating the alleged vote fraud that never happened.

You see? The former Liar in Chief just cannot stop lying about the election he lost to President Biden by 7 million ballots cast.

And so it goes on and on.

The disgraced ex-president continues to foment the lie, continues to rev up that fanatic corps of goofballs comprising his electoral base and now goes after two of his (formerly) favorite public officials who stood behind him while he perpetuated the Big Lie.

The ex-Imbecile in Chief calls Barr a RINO — a Republican In Name Only — because he quit the administration just a few weeks before the whole cabal of gangsters was set to leave office. He accused McConnell of doing “nothing” to overturn President Biden’s victory. Hmmm. Well, there was nothing to be done … dipshit!

Oh my goodness. This clown simply continues to astound many millions of us.

POTUS walks back a demand

By John Kanelis /

President Biden had me, then he lost me. Then he got me back again.

Biden and a bipartisan group of U.S. senators hammered out a deal on an infrastructure plan. They marched out in front of reporters at the White House and declared “We have a deal.”

Then the president said this: “I expect that in the coming months this summer, before the fiscal year is over, that we will have voted on this bill, the infrastructure bill, as well as voted on the budget resolution. But if only one comes to me, this is the only one that comes to me, I’m not signing it. It’s in tandem.”

As the saying goes: Oops!

GOP senators accept Biden walk-back on infrastructure | TheHill

Biden signaled right then that he wanted a more expensive and expansive infrastructure deal that only Democrats could approve. He drew complaints from Republicans and from Democratic moderates who worked their tails off trying to hammer out this deal.

Then the president in effect took back what he said.

To which I say that’s a good thing for the cause of good government.

President Biden should take the deal worked out. It’s not as much as he and many others want to spend but, hey, a trillion dollars-plus is still a lot of dough.

As for Biden’s walk-back, his change of tune has satisfied at least two members of the GOP negotiating team — Sens. Mitt Romney of Utah and Rob Portman of Ohio. They both said they “trust” the president and are going to work to ensure that the infrastructure deal upon which they agreed gets through Congress and lands on Biden’s desk.

Americans want their bridges, highways and rail lines to be safe for human activity. They want their seaports and airports to be modernized and made safe for travel. The Internet has become an increasing part of Americans’ lives and they want high-speed Internet service. The infrastructure deal is widely popular among Americans.

The deal worked out by members of both major parties signals the kind of cooperation, camaraderie and common good the president said once was a hallmark of his days as a senator and even as vice president.

He should take this deal all by itself. As for the rest of it, fight that fight another day.

POTUS 45 keeps The Big Lie alive

By John Kanelis /

There he stood before an adoring throng in Ohio.

The disgraced former president of the United States once again told The Big Lie, that he won the 2020 presidential election. He did not win. He lost it bigly.

And yet he trudges on, launching his “revenge campaign” against Republicans who voted to impeach him after he incited the Jan. 6 insurrection that sought to overturn the results of a free, fair and legal election.

As others have said, this individual — who I have declared will not see his name published in this blog — has failed the supreme test of statesmanship. He cannot admit he lost.

Others have lost. Adlai Stevenson, Thomas Dewey, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Al Gore, Walter Mondale, John McCain, Mitt Romney, Hillary Clinton all stood before the nation — before their supporters — and stated the obvious, that they lost. They threw their support behind the individual who defeated them.

What is with this political reprobate who the nation had the bad sense to send to the White House for four years?

He has launched his revenge tour. Fine. Let him speak. Thanks be to all that is good, though, that he has no constitutional authority left to do any further tangible harm.