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Monday, October 16, 2017

This is a joke, right?

North Korea EMP attack could ‘shut down US power grid and kill 90% of Americans’

Rachael Revesz,The Independent 9 hours ago
Okay, this is a joke right?

 Experts have warned Congress that it is ignoring a newly-developed weapon from North Korea which could shut down the US power grid and kill the vast majority of Americans within a year.

Oh, "experts," eh?  Who, pray tell, are these "experts?"

William Graham, chairman of the former EMP commission and its former chief of staff, Peter Vincent Pry, warned the hearing that such an attack could “shut down the US electric power grid for an indefinite period, leading to the death within a year of up to 90 per cent of all Americans.“

Ah. Okay, so who is William Graham?

 Graham is actually a highly-educated physicist and the model for the character Ron Burgundy.
He has degrees from Cal Tech and Stanford, and maybe should be taken seriously as an expert in. . . wait, what?

In 2013, Graham signed an open letter to President Barack Obama calling on the president to modernize the U.S. nuclear arsenal. It criticized the president’s stated goal of “ridding the world of nuclear weapons,” an aspiration the letter claimed would “result in the unilateral disarmament of the U.S. nuclear deterrent.” The letter insisted that North Korea was “amassing” nuclear weapons know-how “together with other nations hostile to us and our allies—notably, Iran,” which “raises the possibility that the threat posed by North Korea’s nuclear weapons technologies will soon metastasize around the globe.”[1]
Published by the Center for Security Policy, the letter’s signatories included a host of neoconservative pundits and right-wing policy wonks, like Frank Gaffney, Thomas McInerney, James Woolsey, John Bolton, Douglas Feith, Kathleen Bailey, Paul Vallely, and Henry “Hank” Cooper.[2]

Ohhhh. Never mind. He's a nut.
When your writing gets co-signed by guys like Frank Gaffney and John Bolton, there's no need to pretend to take you seriously.

Under President George H.W. Bush, Graham was a member of the Defense Science Board and chaired the committee on the Strategic Defense Initiative—a Reagan-era missile defense project known to its critics as "Star Wars" for its exorbitant cost and fanciful ambitions.[4]

No, yeah, we got it. He's not credible.

During the Clinton administration, Graham served on two congressionally appointed panels chaired by Donald Rumsfeld. One, the Rumsfeld Missile Commission, warned that "rogue states" could attack the United States with ballistic missiles in as little as five years. The other, the Rumsfeld Space Commission, famously cautioned that the United States could face a "Space Pearl Harbor" if it did not take precautions to avoid it.

Okay, okay, he's a loonie! Got it. Thank youuuu!!!


What about the other guy? This Peter Vincent Pry?

**Googles him**

Aaaaaand. . . he's a frequent guest on Jim Bakker's Armageddon and Potato Slop Hour, so there's really no need to look any further into him.

So, are weaponized EMPs a real thing? Well, yes and no. They are certainly being looked at as a way to disable enemy military equipment. And a large enough EMP could certainly knowck out power in in a city. But from everything I've been able to find on-line, EMP weapons don't really exist other than prototypes built by the US. Exploding nuclear bombs does cause EMPs, but the idea of North Korea being able to explode a large enough nuke over the US to shut down the nation's pwer grid seems incredibly implausible.

Two members of the disbanded congressional Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) commission said at a recent House Homeland Security subcommittee hearing that a nuclear EMP attack from Kim Jong Un was the “biggest threat” to the US yet it remains “unacknowledged” by the government.
More attention has been focused on the regime’s continued testing of intercontinental ballistic missiles this year, but the dictatorship also recently claimed to have tested a hydrogen bomb underground in September.

And, as we all know, the government of North Korea can totally be taken at its word. If they say they have a hydrogen bomb, you can bet they have one even if no one has seen it. You don't know this hydrogen bomb, she goes to a different school, but she's totally real.

But let's say they did. Let's say that Kim Jong Un has a hydrogen bomb that he can drop from, let's say a flying unicorn, that can knock out the electricity in every city and town in the United States from sea to shining sea. How exactly does it follow that 90 percent of Americans would end up dead?

 Former Republican representative Curt Weldon, one of the founders of the former commission, wrote in The Hill last month: "A nuclear EMP attack would destroy electronics everywhere, cause planes to crash, stop cars and rail traffic, blackout electric grids and other critical infrastructures that make modern civilization, and life itself, possible. Eventually, millions would die from starvation, disease, and societal collapse."
And walkers. Don't forget walkers!

Have you ever seen what happens when the power goes out in an American city? People run to Home Depot, buy generators, and use them to power their homes until the electricity is restored. Is the EMP going to also stop gasoline and diesel powered motors from working? And is the EMP going to fry our circuits so badly that they can never be replaced? Will the memories of every single electric engineer be wiped clean by the pulse so that no one will be capable of designing and building new power plants?
You know we used to have no electricity. Then, without using electricity because we didn't have it yet, we built things that made electricity. We made dams, we made turbines, we made coal-fired power plants. Then we strung wires from those electricity-making things to people's houses and businesses so that we could have air conditioning and television and humorous cat videos. Is there some reason we couldn't do that again?

The two former commission members added that North Korea is thought to have 60 nuclear weapons, and its intercontinental ballistic missiles could reach Denver and Chicago, and “perhaps the entire US”.
 This yam? Nuke! That lettuce? Nukes! Those green beans? All nukes!

 Look, there goes one of my nukes. Oh, you missed it. It totally just hit Denver.

Mr Graham and Mr Pry condemned the one-upmanship between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un, who have called each other “rocket man” and “mentally deranged”, which has worsened tensions between the two countries.
The EMP commission was defunded under the new administration.

Wait. Trump de-funded the EMP commission?
Shit, maybe there is something to this after all.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Random Thoughts, musical and otherwise

1. Imagine putting in all the time, effort, and expense it must have taken to create this album cover: 

And then to have this:

be remembered for all time as your "iconic cover art."

What'd that take, like 10 minutes and a pack of Magic Markers?

2. Speaking of Pink Floyd, why in the song "mother," does Roger Waters ask "mother, should I run for President?" when he's an Englishman. They don't even have a president. They have a Prime Minister, and for some inexplicable reason they still have a queen, but no president. I mean, I could see where you can't say "Mother should I run for Prime Minister?" becasue it doesn't really fit and doesn't rhyme with the next line "Mother, should I trust the government?" but you know what does fit and does rhyme? "Mother should I run for Parliament?" Why not say Parliament? It makes no sense. 

 3. Why is the first line of "Easy Like Sunday Morning" I know it sounds funny, but I just can't stand the pain?
 Who is this song intended for? What kind of person would hear someone tell them "I just can't stand the pain" and find that funny? "You can't stand the pain? Ahahahaha!! Oh, that's hilarious!" You'd have to be a psycho.

4. I keep hearing this song called "Rude."
Never by choice., but they play it ove the intercom speakers at work sometimes.
I embedded the video if you want to listen to it, but don't. You'll hate it.

First of all, it's just a really annoying song. It has that faux-Caribbean rhythm that you normally only hear in the cocktail lounge of an all-inclusive resort, and basically it's just a dumb song. But what gets me is the chorus:

Can I have your daughter for the rest of my life? say yes, say yes
Cause I need to know
You say I'll never get your blessing till the day I die
Tough luck my friend but the answer is no!

Okay, I get the idea of going to your intended's parent(s) to ask for their blessing or permission to marry or whatever. It's old-fashioned and corny, but whatever. I guess it makes you look gallant or something. But literally asking "Can I have your daughter?" Seriously? Like how many goats are you offering in exchange? You're not saying "I would like your approval to ask your daughter to marry me," you're literally saying "would you please give me your daughter," like she's a used car or something.

And after that disturbing line, nothing else should really be a big deal, but "say yes, say yes, 'cause I need to know" makes no sense at all. If he says "yes," then you know. I f he says "no," then you also know. I f he says "it's not up to me, she's a grown woman and she can marry whomever she likes," then you know.  I need to know is not a reason to say yes. It's a reason to give an answer - any answer. I don't know why that sticks in my craw, but it does.

5. It takes a lot of gall for FOX employees like Tucker Carlson and administration bullshitters like Kellyanne Conway to go around acting all outraged about Harvey Weinstein and to complain about Hillary Clinton's response to recent revelations about his predatory nature. Here's the rule: If you never condemned Bill O'Reilly, if you never denounced Roger Ailes, and if you voted for, support, and/or work for Donald "grab 'em by the p***sy" Trump, you can just shut the fuck up about Weinstein, about Hillary, about Ben Affleck, about anyone involved in this horrible story. Sit the fuck down and shut the fuck up and don't ever presume to tell anyone else how they should react to these kind of shocking revelations. You have no credibility, you have no moral high ground, and you have no decency.

6. The same goes for Il Douche and any of jis minions who are trying to get Jemele Hill fired from ESPN.  You scumbags welcomed Ted Fucking Nugent into the White House. You made him a guest of honor at the State of the Union after he referred to President Obama as a "sub-human mongrel" and a "worthless punk" who should suck on a machine gun. So you don't get to say ANYTHING about Jemele Hill, and you sure as hell don't get to complain about LeBron James calling Dolt 45 a "bum." Just shut the fuck up, you have nothing to say.

7. Mike Ditka is proof positive that NFL players risk severe brain damage.

8. Eminem is still a dick.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Fuck Christopher Columbus and Fuck Bill O'Reilly

I'm not sure how Bill O'Reilly ever began to fancy himself an historian. Maybe he spent enough time with David Barton to think "well, hell, if this idiot can do it. . ."

At any rate, Bill decided to weigh in on the controversy over celebrating Columbus Day.

Bill O'Reilly: Killing Columbus and never learning your history

Oh, something tells me that title is going to turn out to be pretty ironic!

In Los Angeles County, the holiday of Columbus Day will soon vanish. The Board of Supervisors has replaced it with "Indigenous People's Day."
The reason: Christopher Columbus was "oppressive."
Kind of like the traffic in LA.

Ahahaha! Good one, Bill. Having to sit in traffic is totally like having your hands cut off because some asshole Spanish pirate isn't happy with the ammount of gold you brought him! Hahahaha go to hell.

The hate-Columbus movement is led by a woman named Sheila Kuehl, who once upon a time played Zelda Gilroy in the classic 1960s sitcom Dobie Gillis. It is hard to imagine Zelda, Dobie and their pal Maynard G. Krebs protesting the great explorer back then but, hey, who knows?

 Yeah, I don't think anyone is "leading" the "hate Columbus" "movement."

It's like saying someone is leading the "hate Charles Manson movement," or the "hate Harvey Weinstein movement" or the "hate Bill O'Reilly movement." But, putting that aside, what the fuck kind of pop-culture joke are you trying to make about Dovie Gillis and Maynard G. Krebs? You do know a joke has to be funny, right? I know you've spent a lot of time with Dennis Miller, but you can't just toss out a pop-culture reference and act like you're doing comedy. That's his bit.

One thing is for sure, the wave of political correctness that has taken root in America is way beyond "oppressive," but that's another column for another time.

 Yeah, I mean, it's getting to where you can't even tell your employees how much you'd like to rub a falafel over their naked bodies without getting into some kind of trouble!

Right now we have to deal with places like Los Angeles County, New York City, Denver and Albuquerque, N.M., disrespecting old Chris and, by extension, many Italian-Americans who celebrate Columbus Day as an ethnic holiday because the explorer was born in Genoa in 1451.

 Oh, well in that case, let's all celebrate Hitler! To disrespect Hitler is to disrespect, by extension, many German-Americans!
 And let's have a day for Meyer Lansky and Louis Buchalter. If we don't respect these two murderous thugs, we're not respecting the many Jewish-Americans who. . . well you get the point.

 For those who admire Christopher Columbus there is a feeling that the PC nitwits know little about him, and that is most likely the case

 And a happy opposite day to you too, Mr. O'Reilly!

First of all, "Indigenous People's Day" might sound good on the campus of U.C. Berkeley, but it may be troublesome. Yes, some native tribes were enlightened societies but many were not. After inter-indigenous battles, torture and enslavement were often on the menu for the losers.

Oh my God! Thank the great good lord that that sort of thing didn't happen in enlightened Western European societies!,c_limit/080225_r17107_p646.jpg 

(or doesn't still!)

And then there is Columbus himself. I am almost certain that the L.A. Board of Supervisors do not know that Chris never set foot on what is now mainland USA. Nope, the closest Columbus got was Cuba.

In fact, that's often one of the reasons given for why we shouldn't have Columbus Day

 Jeezus, there is nothing worse than a dumb guy getting all smug because he thinks he's smarter than everyone else. It's like when George W. Said something about "people who dis-assemble," then added "that means they don't tell the truth!" Like he was the only one in the room who knows what the word meant, even though he was the one getting it completely wrong. Arrgh! So aggravating!

 For the record, Columbus made four voyages across the Atlantic between 1492 and 1504. He was looking for a route to Asia so he could buy spices at a discount or something.

We all know why Columbus sailed. We also all know that he got it wrong, landed in the Caribbean, and thought he was in Indonesia. What a hero!

But Chris kept running into various Caribbean islands, also the formidable obstacles of South and Central America. There was no passage to the Far East, only an endless drifting around.

Now let's all have a fucking parade to celebrate Endless Drifting Around Day!!!

Along the way, Columbus ran into some Indian tribes, most notably the Caribes. They did not like Chris and his malodorous European crews. Strife broke out and some bad stuff went down on both sides.

Seriously? "Both sides?" You're seriously going to trot out "both sides?" 
Okay, you're a pretend historian, let's look at the actual historical record. 
Here's an entry from Chritopher Columbus's own diary:

They … brought us parrots and balls of cotton and spears and many other things, which they exchanged for the glass beads and hawks’ bells. They willingly traded everything they owned… . They do not bear arms, and do not know them, for I showed them a sword, they took it by the edge and cut themselves out of ignorance. They have no iron. Their spears are made of cane… . They would make fine servants…. With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want.
 This is from a book Columbus wrote about his voyages:

 They Natives are very gentle and do not know what evil is, nor do they kill others, nor steal, and they are without weapons and so timid that a hundred of them flee from one of our men.

And here is the writing of a Catholic Priest (you're Catholic, you have to believe him) Father Bartolome' de Las Casas:

Endless testimonies . .. prove the mild and pacific temperament of the natives…. But our work was to exasperate, ravage, kill, mangle and destroy…

 So I don't know where the fuck you're getting this "both sides" bullshit. Also, even if in your shriveled little brain that Columbus and his men were met with violence, bear in mind that THEY WERE AN INVADING ARMY. They should have been met with force. But they weren't.

On the island of Hispaniola, present day Haiti and the Dominican Republic, Columbus did establish slavery to support various laborious enterprises. Not good. Slave labor was common at the time the world over, but that's no excuse.

Okay, there. That's it. We're done. Argument over. Columbus established slavery. That's enough. That's enough of a reason to not celebrate this man.

However, that was a minor part of the "Columbus business," as Hollywood would have put it if they were wooing him for a three-picture deal. Mostly, Columbus was a brilliant navigator who opened up the world for travel. No small achievement.

 Oh, fer fuck sake! First of all, stop trying to be funny. You're not funny. You're not clever. You're not witty. Just stop. 

 Secondly, how brilliant a navigator was he? He sailed West from Spain and eventually ran into a land mass that he had no way of knowing was there. How is that an accomplishment? I mean, if he had found the passage to India he set out to discover, you might have an argument there, but he literally just stumbled into land that he had never intended to arrive on. You're right that it was "no small achievement," it wasn't an achievement at all.

We now live in a time where severely misguided people with little frame of reference are dictating how history should be told and what Americans have a right to see and hear. And if you disagree with them, then you, yourself, are "oppressive." And they'll cover up your statue.

That's what you're doing. You're doing it right now. You're trying to dictate how the story of Columbus should be told. You're doing the exact thing you're complaining about!

Christopher Columbus was not a villain and does not deserve the vilification the PC police are heaping upon him. Every person on the planet has done bad things, but it is the totality of a human being that should be the litmus test.

 Oh my God. Are you fucking serious? "Every person has done bad things?" Are you serious? I mean, there's bad things - there's swearing in front of your mom, there's cheating at poker, there's lying to get out of jury duty -  and then there's bad things like this:

"The Spaniards forced their way into Native settlements, slaughtering everyone they found there, including small children, old men, pregnant women, and even women who had just given birth. They hacked them to pieces, slicing open their bellies with their swords as though they were so many sheep herded into a pen. They even laid wagers on whether they could manage to slice a man in two at a stroke, or cut an individual?s head from his body, or disembowel him with a single blow of their axes. They grabbed suckling infants by the feet and, ripping them from their mothers breasts, dashed them headlong against the rocks."
--- Pg 15 Bartolome De las Casas

 How many good things would you have to do to balance that out? It wouldn't be possible. Jesus Christ and Mother Theresa together couldn't do enough good to counter that horror.

 "All those who could do so took to the hills and mountains in order to escape the clutches of these merciless and inhuman butchers, these mortal enemies of human kind trained hunting dogs to track them down. Wild dogs who would savage a Native to death as soon as look at him, tearing him to shreds and devouring his flesh as though we were a pig."

--Pg 16 Bartolome De las Casas

Oh, and if shockingly brutal violence isn't enough, there's also this:

In 1500,A hundred Castellanoes (Spanish Coin) are as easily obtained for a woman as for a farm, and it is very general about there are plenty of dealers who go about looking for girls; those from the ages 9 and 10 are now in demand, and for all ages a good price must be paid.

--Pg 102 Christopher Columbus

 Yeah. Selling 9 and 10-year-old girls as sex slaves. That's your "great explorer" in action.

Amd this is how Columbus extorted gold from the native people for his own enrichment:

"They tortured him with the strappado, put burning tallow on his belly, pinned both his legs to poles with iron hoops and his neck with another and then, with two men holding his hands, proceeded to burn the soles of his feet. From time to time, the commander would look in and repeat that they would torture him to death slowly unless he produced more Gold."
--Pg 117 Bartolome De las Casas
So, you say Columbus was "not a villain." Let's let someone who was there have the last word:

"Such in humanities and Barbarisms were committed in my sight as no age can parallel. My eyes have seen these acts so foreign to human nature that I now tremble as I write."

--Bartolome De Las Casas

What we committed in the Indies stands out among the most unpardonable offenses ever committed against God and mankind, and this trade as one of the most unjust Evil and cruel among them.
--Pg 31 Bartolome De las Casas.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

How will we explain ourselves to future generations?

How are we going to explain ourselves to future generations? What are we going to tell our grandkids when they ask us why we allowed things to get this fucked up? (Full disclosure, I have no kids, so it will be my grand-nieces and nephews I'll have to answer to.) When they ask us why we allowed mass shootings to become a regular occurrence, what will we tell them? That we knew how to stop this, that Australia had provided the blueprint for stopping mass shootings with military-style assault weapons, but we chose not to act? Why? Why did our generation decide to accept this as the norm? What are we going to say/ "Well, we had a ban on these horrific death machines, but we made a conscious choice to let it expire? Because a very small group of people thought that being allowed to stockpile weapons of war meant 'freedom,' and we were afraid of offending them? It was better to let one of these lunatics snap and murder a few dozen people every once in a while than to have a serious adult discussion about the limits of freedom?"

What are we going to tell them when they ask why the government didn't do anything to help? "Well, kiddo, you see, a bunch of Congressmen and Senators were getting money from the gun lunatics, so they wouldn't do anything to stem the flow of money into the gun makers' pockets or the flow of death and misery onto the streets of America?" And when they say "why didn't you just vote these guys out and vote in someone sane?" What will we say?

Will we tell them about all the thoughts and prayers we sent after each mass murder?

And what will we say when they find out there used to be a time when it was unusual for large parts of the US to be underwater? Will we let them assume that we didn't know any better? Or will we be honest and tell them that we knew exactly what was happening. That we had scientists who spent their lives studying this exact phenomenon and they warned us what was going to happen and we just sat there and watched it happen? Will we tell them that there were some people who chose not to believe the experts? And that as a society, we made a conscious decision to humor them? That we decided to pretend that there were two sides to the story and each side should have equal weight? That the men and women who had spent their adult lives studying climatology were given the same weight as your Facebook aunt who says that global warming isn't in the Bible so it can't be true?

And when they ask "were the people who chose not to believe such a huge majority that their willful ignorance could not be overcome?" Will we admit that they were actually a minority? That most of us knew better, we just decided it wasn't worth doing anything about?

How will we look them in the eye? How will we justify our inaction? What defense will we offer when they curse our stupidity and cowardice? What will we tell them?

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Fuck Hugh Hefner. And a couple other guys.

Fuck Hugh Hefner.

I mean, I don't hate him for publishing a magazine featuring photos of nude women. As long as there are women willing to get nude for money and people willing to pay money to see women in the nude, I don't think it's anyone else's business.(Although looking at Hefner's opulent lifestyle I gotta think he did not pay those nude women nearly enough. Well, that's capitalism for you. The ones who provide the value never make as much as the pig who buys and sells that value.)
Anyway, I have no objection to Playboy Magazine. What I object to is everything else. I object to this creep promulgating the idea that part of the  accoutrement of the sophisticated, modern Playboy lifestyle was women as playthings (or "playmates" as he called them).!.jpg

Dressing up women as adult versions of stuffed animal toys and having them serve drinks to creepy, leering pseudo-sophisticates listening to jazz on their hi-fis and puffing on pipes really doesn't seem like it should have been a hallmark of urbane modernity.

Related image
Remember, fellas - if you achieve this level of success, you too can surround yourself with de-humanized women!

And of all the stupid tributes pouring out, this is maybe the absolute stupidest:

Hugh Hefner’s Legacy Is About More Than Sex

Hefner’s life will be derided as profane, but his work celebrates the sexual complementarity that has bound men and women together since the dawn of time.

Oh dear God.
Seriously, Hugh Hefner was the one who realized that penises and vaginas fit together?

Also, if that's his legacy, then how is his legacy not about sex?

You can read the whole article here if you want. I don't want to read any more about Hefner, because you know, fuck that guy,

Oh, and also. Fuck this guy:

 This is former unsuccessful football coach Rex Ryan. Rex Ryan is just so mad at Donald Trump!

"I'm pissed off," Ryan said on ESPN's "Sunday NFL Countdown." "I supported Donald Trump.
"I'm reading these comments and it's appalling to me. Calling our players SOBs and all that kind of stuff. That's not the men that I know. The men that I know in the locker room I'm proud of. I'm proud to be associated with those people."
[These comments] are appalling to me... I never signed up for that.

Oh, sure. You definitely didn't sign up for that. You signed up for "Mexicans are rapists," but not that. You signed up for "grab 'em by the pussy," but not for this. Not for insulting football players! You know, it's one thing to make fun of P.O.W.s or mock a handicapped person, or encourage violence against protestors, but when he insults people you know personally, that is just a bridge too far!

It's the Joe Scarborough scenario. Scarborough promoted Il Douche as much as any FOX sycophant throughout the campaign and never had any problem with his divisive rhetoric until tRump took a shot at Scarborough's wife. Then suddenly he's all hashtag resistance man. Fuck Joe Scarborough, too.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Random Thoughts Interspersed with Serval Kittens

I hate this argument:

Pastor Robert Jeffress, the megachurch pastor who is one of Donald Trump’s official evangelical advisers, has attacked NFL players who protested racism and defied Trump.
Appearing on Fox News, Jeffress — who spoke at Trump’s poorly attended inauguration — said players who directly rebuked Trump after he demanded that the NFL penalize them should “be thanking God” because they don’t have to worry about “being shot in the head for taking a knee like they would be if they were in North Korea.”

Every time someone points out something that's wrong with America and would like to fix it there's always some jackass who trots out the "at least you don't live in. . ." argument.

Women are complaining about inequality? Hey, just be glad you don't live in the Middle East where you'd have to wear a burqa and be someone's property! LGBT people would like to not be treated as second-class citizens? Just be glad you don't live in Uganda. They kill gay people over there.

There's always some place where you'd have it worse. So what? That's not a good reason to not improve things over here.

Okay, I know that Republican candidates for any elected office are required to demonstrate their love for firearms, but I'm not sure ol' Roy is doin' it right.

Roy Moore Pulls Out Handgun During Campaign Rally

Dude. That is a lady gun. Where'd you pull that out of, your purse?
The whole point of waving a gun around on stage is to look like a tough guy to people who have no idea what a tough guy looks like. When you're daintily holding that little derringer like you just pulled it out of your garter, it kind of defeats the purpose.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders is clearly in over her head.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders suggested Monday that if NFL players who kneel during the national anthem at games are doing so because of police brutality, they should protest the officers instead of the song.
“I think if the debate is really for them about police brutality, they should probably protest the officers on the field that are protecting them instead of the American flag,” she said.

What does that even mean?

If you want to protest murder cops, you should protest these other cops who are just standing there doing their jobs? Are you saying you might as well protest them because it's only a matter of time until these cops also shoot some unarmed black men? 

“That’s not what I’m saying,” Sanders said. “I was kind of pointing out the hypocrisy of the fact that if the goal is, and the message is, that of police brutality — which they’ve stated — then that doesn’t seem very appropriate to protest the American flag.”

Oh thanks. That totally clears it up!

There's probably a template for this headline:

Trump Says NFL Ratings Are 'Way Down' Because Of Protests. They're Actually Up.

 All you have to do is fill in the blanks with two words or phrases that are opposites.
 "Trump says _______. It's actually____________."

Moms Reward John McCain With Cupcakes for Crushing Republican Health Care Efforts

 It is just so goddamm depressing that we have to have this much gratitude for elected officials who decide reluctantly to not kill a bunch of people.  Just not being a completely heartless psychopath apparently entitles you to being considered a damn hero now.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Roger Stone is a huge douche

Celeste Katz

Roger Stone has his plan—and his outfit—all laid out for when he appears before congressional lawmakers on Tuesday.

As to his strategy: “I will systematically go through the exact words of every committee member. I will take their exact words and I will shove them down their throats," he vowed.

Image result for i'm so scared gif

As for his clothing: “Blue will be the theme of the day, because it connotes authority,”
Respect My Authoritah!

“They're standing there with nothing in their hands," he said. "After months and months of investigation, hundreds of thousands of tax dollars, they still have no evidence of Russian collusion. None at all. None that would hold up in a court of law.”

Which is totally what an innocent person would say. "You have no evidence. Well, none that's admissible anyway." That line always worked on every episode of Law & Otder.

Enjoy prison, asshole!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

It's Your Fault We Have Trump

I've seen a few of these lately. These weird articles from conservative writers that basically amount to "hey, liberals. It's your fault Trump got elected." Which is odd in a couple of ways. First because no it fucking isn't. I mean, I guess we bear some responsibility for not coming out in larger numbers to vote for HRC, but Trump is your fault, conservatives. You own this mess. And secondly, you voted for Trump, you wore the stupid hat, you cosplayed as him in Charlottesville. 
Some of you did this.

So why are you looking to put the blame on other people? You never hears conservatives saying "stupid libs, it's your fault we got Reagan" Or "Your political correctness is rthe reason Dubya got elected." Have you already fugured out that voting for Trump was a collossal mistake? 

Anyway, someone on the Twitter called my attention to this well-thought-out thesis:

Your Refusal To Date Conservatives Is One Reason We Have Donald Trump

Wow! Where to begin with this guy?

First of all do you want to date liberal ladies? Why would you want to date someone whose politics you find repulsive? Am I to understand that if left-leaning women were to say "oh hell yes I'd date a right-wing troglodyte," you'd be running to their doorstep with flowers and chocolates?

Also, maybe it's not "conservatives" that women are refusing to date so much as it is guys who look like this:

Jerrod Laber

When you look like someone who is legally obligated to let his neighbors know he's moved in, I gotta think that limits the pool of eligible ladies who are interested in you. Have you ever thought that maybe it's just you? I mean, most conservative fellas seem to have no trouble attracting a mate.

Anyway, back to the article.

Your Refusal To Date Conservatives Is One Reason We Have Donald Trump

OkCupid will let users indicate their support for abortion. This type of assortive mating is one factor that allowed for the rise of a candidate like Donald Trump.

Ohhhhh, assortive mating! Sure. Of course. And here I thought it was "economic insecurity" or "blatant racism" or "hatred for the strong woman" that Trump rode to victory, but clearly it was "assortive mating!" Oh, it's all so clear now!

The popular dating website OkCupid announced Wednesday that it would make the online dating scene a little easier for progressives who can’t risk interacting with someone with whom they disagree (imagine the horror!).

Oh my God! You people literally created Conservapedia so you wouldn't have to interact with any facts that don't jibe with your narrative. You've built an entire infrastructure of FOX News, am talk radio and websites like the one on which you are currently posting so you would never be inconvenienced by a dissenting opinion. And you're complaining about proressives who don't want to spend their evenings making out with someone who reflexively shouts "Benghazi!" every few minutes?

They announced a partnership with Planned Parenthood that allows site users to put a badge on their profile signifying support for the nation’s largest abortion provider, much the way Facebook becomes saturated with similar kinds of profile pictures during the newest disaster.

That seems eminently reasonable. Seems like it benefits everyone involved. Conservatives don't have to waste their time chatting up baby murderers and progressives don't have to have their time wasted by someone they're going to break up with as soon as he mentions that he doesn't believe she should be allowed to make decisions about her own body. It's a win-win. 
Oh, wait. I forgot. For conservatives, everything has to be part of a nefarious plot against them personally. Sorry, please continue.

It’s hard to not see this as a reaction to the rise of President Trump

Well, it is if you're not obsessed with Trump. But, sure it's hard not to see how a multi-million-dollar for-profit company, a division of an even larger corporation, would obviously be a part of a liberal conspiracy against the Turd Reich. Duh!

It’s hard to not see this as a reaction to the rise of President Trump, as Planned Parenthood has long been a political football tossed back and forth between left and right, although dating sites have never made such an overt venture into politics. But, in our current bizarre world of politics, this represents a widening chasm between those who are most politically active, causing people to see an opposing viewpoint as an all-out assault on their personhood. The irony is that the type of assortative mating OkCupid is encouraging is one factor that allowed for the rise of a candidate like Trump.

Gee, I wonder how that chasm got so widened? Who could have introduced this type of eliminationist rhetoric into the mainstream?,204,203,200_.jpg,204,203,200_.jpg

I guess we'll never know!

The Effects of Assortative Mating

Assortative mating is when someone partners and starts a family with someone of a similar background.

Oh. So. . . what almost everyone does? And has done since the dawn of time? And that's what caused Trump to be elected? How did it take this long?

Assortative mating is when someone partners and starts a family with someone of a similar background. It can be based on innate characteristics, such as race and ethnicity, or socioeconomic backgrounds. People have always engaged in assortative mating of some kind or another, but as social scientist Charles Murray explains

Woah, hold on there. 
Charles Murray? 
The "Bell Curve" Charles Murray? 
You're going to cite Charles Freakin' Murray?
You sure? You sure that's who you want to bring into this? 
All right, let's have it!

. . . as social scientist Charles Murray explains in his book “Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960–2010,”

Oh my God, you couldn't pick a book with maybe a less racist-sounding title?

. . . as social scientist Charles Murray explains in his book “Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960–2010,” there was a shift to a particular type of mating in the ‘60s which continues through the present day.
As cognitive ability became the most valued aspect of human capital––and the biggest predictive indicator for professional success––people began marrying others with similar intellect. Ivy League graduates marry other Ivy League graduates, and their kids do the same, and so on and so forth, causing severe economic stratification between what Murray calls the “New Upper Class” and “New Lower Class.”

Right. That never happened before the 1960's. Scions of wealthy families never married the daughters of the similarly well-placed until the Nineteen Fucking Sixties. It's not like the royal families of Europe all married each others' cousins or anything.

This is all developing at a time of increasing polarization in politics. . . 
Polarization is a result of the emotional reactions that politics naturally bring out in people. The most politically active are the most extreme of each group––the most likely to surround themselves with only the likeminded, and the least likely to give an inch to an opposing viewpoint.
These groups also vote heavily in primaries, which pushes candidates further left and right. 

 Yes, which is why the Democratic Primary was won easily by Senator Bernard Sanders oh wait!

 And, as represented by the ascendance of the Tea Party, they demand ideological purity.

And I suppose you have a similar example for the Left? 

We're waiting. . . .


Demagogues Love Tribalism

Assortative mating serves to intensify this polarization. It amplifies an already significant ingroup-outgroup mentality around contentious social issues. Social and cultural issues create severe disagreement because they trigger the emotional part of the brain: the disagreement challenges a core part of group identity. . . 
Trump was able to convince rural and working-class people that he was the answer to their collective malaise. Economic anxiety, which Never-Trumpers are so wont to point out as the reason for his success, is intimately tied to cultural issues, because the anxiety is seen as a product of unfair cultural decline.

Or, to put it more succinctly: Racism.

You didn’t lose your job because your skill set didn’t match a changing economic reality. Instead, it was the result of a rigged system that benefits the elite, liberal urban centers on each coast and their progressively government-dependent constituents, at your expense.

Are we going to bother pointing out what a load of bs that is? That Blue States contribute more to the federal government than they get back, while it is Red States who are suckling at the government teat?
Are we going to mention the way the system is actually rigged in favor of smaller-population rural Red States, in that a state like North Dakota gets the same number of senators as does California despite having fewer people than the city of Los Angeles? And how that system gives these small rural states an outsized influence on the Electoral College? 

In a less polarized environment, that schtick might be seen for the nonsense that it is. But in a world of ignorant voters and social stratification––in which progressives who live in wealthy ZIP codes and small-town conservatives share a mutual disdain for one another––you get stratification that populist blowhards can exploit.

Okay. Good. You acknowledge that this "schtick" is "nonsense." Good. But it's also nonsense to suggest that progressives are the wealthy elites while conservatives are good ol' salt of the Earth regular folk. 
But at least you seem to realize that the Trump voters are people who have been lied to over and over by the Limbaughs and Hannitys of the media hellscape, but somehow you still believe that these people voting for an unqualified senile malignant narcissist is a result of their dating habits? 

Humans naturally form groups, but when rampant partisanship is the foundation upon which the group lies, extreme politicians are those most likely to win their sympathy.

Hmm, interesting. Especially since, prior to the current occupant of the White House, the major party nominees for the presidency in the last few cycles have been Barack Obama, John McCain, Mitt Romney, and Hillary Clinton. Not an extremist among them. If this stratification has been going on since the 1960's, how is it that, for example, the Republican primary voters have managed to reject Pat Buchannan, George Wallace, Rick Santorum, Pat Robertson and Michele Bachmann without any of them making a real dent in the race? If this is a phenomenon that has been going on for five decades, shouldn't we have had a President LaRouche or a President David Duke by now?

If a progressive doesn’t want to date a conservative and vice versa, that’s perfectly fine. Everyone has deal-breakers. But as a political protest, this form of virtue-signaling is counterproductive in the long run.

Oh my God! Please, ladies. Please someone go out on a date with this creepy little weasel. It's the only way to prevent Trump's re-election! If Jarrod Laber doesn't get to second base with a liberal girl soon, he'll have no choice but to vote for Trump again! One of you gals is going to have to take one for the team.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Flashback friday - Rock Docs

The last few weeks I've been watching a lot of music documentaries on Netflix and Amazon. Here are some recommendations.

Who Is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin' About Him?) Poster

Who Is Harry Nilsson?  (And Why is Everybody Talkin' About Him?)

I didn't know much about Nilsson. I knew the theme from Midnight Cowboy and the lime and the coconut song. And I'd heard about the legendary benders. I learned a lot from this movie about a brilliant songwriter and singer whose career and life were cut short by his own self-destructive impulses.

Family Band: The Cowsills Story Poster

Family Band: The Cowsills Story

I knew almost nothing about the Cowsills other than that they recorded the version of "Hair" that got played on the radio and that people thought of them as corny, like Sonny & Cher-type faux hippies or something? Any way, I had no idea that they started out as a serious rock band, that they were extremely talented, or that their career was sabotaged at every turn by their monster of a father.

Betty Blowtorch: And Her Amazing True Life Adventures Poster

Betty Blowtorch and Her Amazing True Life Adventures

TW: Talking about rape/incest

I had never even heard of Betty Blowtorch, but they apparently had at least one album out and had been on MTV or VH1 or both maybe? Betty Blowtorch was the band name of four hard-rocking women who broke out of the Los Angeles club scene and briefly flashed across the sky before their lead singer. Bianca Butthole, was tragically killed in a car wreck. Mostly they did raunchy sex-drugs-and- rock'n'roll type party songs with titles like "Shut Up and Fuck" and "Size Queen," but Bianca also sang an absolutely harrowing song about being raped by her stepfather and another about the breakup of her marriage. Even if you don't enjoy hard rock music, it's an interesting story full of interesting people and definitely worth a watch.

Feats First: The Life & Music of Lowell George Poster

Feats First: The Life and Music of Lowell George

Little Feat was one of those bands I had always heard of but never actually heard. All I knew about them was that they had some sort of connection to Ry Cooder and that they were highly thought of by other musicians. Turns out they were great, and Lowell George dying young might be the biggest loss for the music world since Jimi Hendrix passed.

Salad Days Poster

Salad Days: A Decade of Punk in Washington DC

The story of a moment in time in Washington Dc that somehow produced an astonishing number of great bands: Minor Threat, Bad Brains, Government Issue, Fugazi, Minimal Man, etc.

Scott Walker: 30 Century Man Poster

Scott Walker: 30th century Man.

I had no idea who Scott Walker was, but the movie description said something about him being one of the most influential musicians and it was produced by David Bowie, so I figured it was worth a look. I only watche maybe 2/3 of this one because, even though Walker is revered by luminaries from Bowie to Sting to Radiohead, I hated his music. I found it pretentious and silly, but that's just me. Obviously, when Brian Eno, Johnny Marr and Marc Almond all think someone is great, their opinion should carry a lot more weight than mine, so check it out. There's a good chance you'll love him.

P.S., It turns out I did know one of his songs, the Walker Brothers' "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore," which is a perfectly nice song.

The Past is a Grotesque Animal Poster

The Past is a Grotesque Animal

This chronicles the history of Athens, GA- based band Of Montreal. I'd been hearing about them for years, what with them being based just down the road in Athens, but I didn't really know anything about them. Turns out, they're pretty freakin great. And frontman/songwriter Kevin Barnes is a musical genius. And really the movie is as much a portrait of him as it is a document of the band and he is a fascinating character. You should definitely give this one a watch whether you're familiar with the band or not, even if it's not your type of music (think Flaming Lips or Arcade Fire, maybe?)

Fair warning, if you are offended by full frontal male nudity, there is a scene of Kevin Barnes performing on stage in nothing but a cumberbund, but it's fairly brief . I know how sensitive a lot of y'all are.

David Bromberg: Unsung Treasure Poster
David Bromberg. Unsung Treasure

If you've never seen Bromberg perform (I was fortunate enough to catch a show on one of his many farewell tours) he is not only a wildly talented musician, but a raconteur and showman and all-around extremely entertaining performer. This is a nice overview of his life and career interspersed with terrific concert footage.

Whatever Happened to Pink Floyd? The Strange Case of Waters and Gilmour Poster

Whatever Happened to Pink Floyd? The Strange case of Waters and Gilmour

Spoiler alert: What happened was Roger Waters is a jerk.
Okay, there's a lot more to it than that and this is definitely worth watching if you're even a casual Pink Floyd fan like me.

Beware of Mr. Baker Poster

Beware of Mr. Baker

(spoilers ahead)
I didn't know much about Ginger Baker, other than that he was the drummer for Cream. I had no idea he was a highlty respected jazz drummer before turning to rock and roll. I had no idea he had, at the height of his career, gone off to war-torn Nigeria to study African drumming techniques and play with Fela's band. I had no idea he had pretty much bankrupted himself buying polo ponies. And I didn't know he was a godamm maniac! The opening scene of the movie is  Baker breaking the filmmaker's nose with a metal cane.
This is absolutely worth watching even if you have no interest in music at all because Ginger Baker is just a wild man.

Lemmy Poster


Should you watch this? It's Lemmy. Of course you fucking should.