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Thursday, January 18, 2018

Offensive Product of the Day

The last few days I've been seeing TV ads for this real estate app or website or whatever called "Trulia."

So, this Trulia thing lets you check out neighborhood info before you buy a house. A lot of this makes sense. You can see how good the schools are or what the crime rate is. But what's that second one there?  Second from the right?

Oh. "Demographics."

So. . . . hmm. You know, it's one thing to be able to see how good the schools are or whether there's easy freeway access, but if you really want to be sure that you're buying in the "right kind of neighborhood," well only Trulia has the helpful "how many minorities" feature.

Seriously, is there any other reason to have a "demographics" search function?

How is this a product that exists in 2018? And they're not even ashamed of it! They mention it prominently in their ads. They don't even do a sort of "you can see if it's a good neighborhood, wink wink" kind of thing.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Our 51st State.

New California declares "independence" from rest of state


Okay, first of all, "New California," no you didn't. You absolutely did not get a majority of the people living in whichever part of the state you think should secede to sign on to this. It's like me saying that my neighborhood is seceding from Atlanta without getting any of the neighbors to sign on.

What do ya got there, about 10 people? Maybe a dozen? Do all the millions of other people who live in your part of California even have an inkling that you've just declared Independence on their behalf?

SACRAMENTO -- With the reading of their own version of a Declaration of Independence, founders of the state of New California took the first steps to what they hope will eventually lead to statehood. CBS Sacramento reports they don't

want to leave the United States, just California.

Well, sure. Wanting to leave the United States would just be silly. You need to set realistic goals.

And which part of California would you like to slice off into the creatively-named "New California?"

The blue part?

I mean.
You do know where the money comes from, right?
You're going to excise Los Angeles, San Francisco and Silicon Valley? I mean, sure you'll have Fresno and the surrounding agricultural area, but No film industry, no Bank of America, no Google,  no Marriott Hotels, no Intuit, no Oracle,  no Northrup Grumman, no Occidental Petroleum, no Mattel Toys, no Kaiser Permanente, no Clorox, no Facebook. . . well, you get the picture. Good luck replacing all that revenue.

So, anyway, what is the problem you have with California Classic?

"Well, it's been ungovernable for a long time. High taxes, education, you name it, and we're rated around 48th or 50th from a business climate and standpoint in California," said founder Robert Paul Preston.

Ungovernable? What does that even mean? I mean, I know what "ungovernable" means. Like the nation of Afghanistan is considered ungovernable because it is more a collection of independent clans than a coherent nation, but in the context of an American state, what the hell do you mean by "ungovernable?" Are the Governor, State Senate, State Assembly and state courts unable to enforce the laws? It's been several years since I've been back to California, but I find it hard to believe that the state has descended into anarchy since then and neither of my sisters would have called to let me know.

Also "high taxes, education, you name it" is an awfully vague listing of grievances. High taxes? Okay, I get why you'd object to that, but education? What about education? I assume you are saying that the California educational system is doing a poor job? Something like that? To be fair, the verrrrry conservative US News & World Report listed California as the 25th ranked state in education. Not great, but not terrible. Not as good as Massachusets, not as bad as South Carolina. Right in the middle. Do you really think that score will improve when you cut the big cities out and your schools are populated mainly by rural meth heads and migrant farm workers?

And sure, California has a fairly high tax rate, compared to a lot of states, but how high do you think your taxes are going to be when you no longer have the Bay Area and Los Angeles/Orange County paying in to the government coffers? When your tax payers are farmhands and river rafting guides, you're going to have to pay a much higher percentage to make up for no longer having computer programmers and aerospace engineers chipping in.

And you say California consistently ranks 48th or 50th in "business climate," but 5 seconds on Google (an "Old California" company) showed me that Forbes ranks them 31st. CNBC ranks them 28th. Sure, there are states that are more attractive to businesses, but do ya really think a bunch of CEOs are gonna decide "hey, let's move the home office to Yosemite!"?

And, you know, it's not like new companies are ever springing up in, say, Silicon Valley, amirite?
The state of New California would incorporate most of the state's rural counties, leaving the urban coastal counties to the current state of California.
"There's something wrong when you have a rural county such as this one, and you go down to Orange County which is mostly urban, and it has the same set of problems, and it happens because of how the state is being governed and taxed," Preston said.

Wait, what?

If your rural county has the same problems as (sub)urban Orange County, then you've pretty much blown your only real argument for secession. If you could argue that the problems of inland California are so vastly different than the problems of the coastal urban areas that no one government could really address both, you might have a leg on which to stand. But if you're saying that the problems are the same, then what's the advantage of splitting up?

What is it about coastal California that is so troubling to you?

Ohhhhhhh, right! Of course! Well, good luck to you. All ten of you. Good luck explaining to the millions of other people in rural California why you need them to join your new state.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

You Know What We Don't Need?

Oprah Winfrey for president: a wild idea that just got dramatically more real

The entertainment entrepreneur’s electrifying speech at the Golden Globes produced an outpouring of reaction urging the celebrity to run in 2020

As far as I can tell, Oprah Winfrey is a very smart woman. And she has been very successful. And she has done many nice things. And I would think she's probably on the right side of a lot of issues. But no. No, we do not need another god damn celebrity president. And we don't need a celebrity candidate pulling the votes of the "Yass Queen" #Resistance away from actual qualified candidates.

Pictured: What qualified candidates look like.

If the lesson that Democrats learned from losing to Donald tRump was "voters want a teevee person to be President,' well that's actually not that surprising, given Dems' insistence on always learning the exact wrong lesson. But no. We do not need Oprah running for President. We do not need Mark Zuckerberg running for president. We don't need Mark Cuban or Kanye West or Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson or any other half-baked celebrity or zillionaire who thinks that President of the United States is an entry-level position.

Running a nation requires a very different skill set than starring in movies, or running a computer company or providing housewives with untold hours of garbage television. You want to run for president? Fine. Run for Congress. Spend a few years learning about how governance works. Get on some important committees. Prove your worth. Then you can be considered for the top job. You don't walk out of business school and apply for the job of CEO. You'd be laughed out of the office. And this is harder. President of the United States of America is a HARDER job than being CEO of a company. I shouldn't have to point this out.

Now, as I may have mentioned, I believe that Oprah Winfrey is a very smart person, so I assume she's smart enough to know that she's not qualified to be President. She's obviously smarter than Ross Perot, or Steve Forbes, or Herman Cain, or Carly Fiorina, or Ben Carson, or Cheeto Mussolini, or any of the other right-wing idiots that think being good at one thing equals being good at every other thing too.

So here's what we do need in a candidate for President in 2020:

1. Applicable job experience.
     Have a resume that includes words like "Senator," "Governor," "Congressional Representative," and/or "Secretary of. . ."

2. A commitment to equality.
     That is equality between men and women, between cis/het and LGBT, between white and black and brown. You name it. Name a group of people, and we want full equality for them.

3. A commitment to a minimum wage that is a living wage.
     I don't know if $15/hr is the right number, someone smarter than me can figure that out, but it needs to be a wage that allows workers to pay their rent and their car note and not be constantly on the brink of destitution.
And then it needs to be pegged to inflation so that we don't have to keep fighting this battle over and over again. Inflation was 3% last year? Minum wage goes up 3 % Jan 1st. Easy-peasy.

4. Must support universal single-payer healthcare.
      Not "managed competition." Not "market-based whatever."
 Universal single-payer everyone-is-covered healthcare.

5. A willingness eagerness to raise taxes on the wealthy.
      Not even just the one percent. Everyone who is "affluent" or "financially comfortable" needs to chip in. But especially the very wealthy and corporations. The candidate should have no problem facing the camera and saying "hell yes, I'm going to raise taxes on rich people." Bonus points for becoming physically aroused when saying it.

6.  A commitment to preserving what's left of our environment and to fighting global warming.
     Solar, wind, geo-thermal, bio-fuels, etc etc etc. There are so many things we can do to get off of fossil fuels, it just takes the political will to fucking do it. To look the oil and coal companies in the eye and say "sorry, we're moving forward without you. Tough luck."

7. An embrace of regulations.
     Let the right-wing baboons hoot all they want about "job-killing regulations." That pesky government red tape is what keeps our water drinkable, our air breathable, our food edible. Do you think people really want to go back to this?

Or this?

8. Support for marijuana legalization.
     Not because marijuana is so great and everyone should try it (although it is and you totally should), but because smoking marijuana is something that virtually everyone does at some point in their life and people shouldn't have their lives ruined because they did something that didn't hurt anyone and made them feel a little better.

9. Plans for a federal program to address police brutality.
     Something along the lines of: every time a cop kills someone, it automatically triggers an investigation by the justice department. If there is evidence that the killing was not justified, a special prosecutor is brought in to try the case. NO bullshit grand juries. No local D.A.s that have to work with the police in the future. You bring in an experienced defense attorney, someone who has made a career of going up against the police, who isn't afraid to oppose the police department and won't have to work with them in the future. You convict a few of these trigger-happy sobs and see what happens.

So that's all I can think of off the top of my head, but I don't think it's too much to ask. Democrats/progressives/liberals are constantly being told that we have to choose between economic justice and "identity politics." That is, of course, bullshit. Republicans don't. They have no difficulty promising prosperity through tax cuts and budget-balancing while also promoting straight, wite, Christian identity politics. And it works for them. A lot.

This is the approach that, in my humble opinion, we need.

What we don't need is President Oprah.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Getting Caught Up

So work has been insane lately, too many hours and too much aggravation. So I ahve been sadly neglectful of my blogging duties. So what've I missed?

Let's see.
There was this proof that God has a cruel sense of humor.

Michele Bachmann Is Asking God Whether She Should Run For Al Franken’s Senate Seat
 Hahahaha!!! Remember when I told her she should run for president? Hahahaha!!!

 On last Wednesday’s show, Bachmann said that she has “had people contact me and urge me to run for that Senate seat” and that she is asking God if doing so is His will for her.

 You're gonna run no matter what I say, just go ahead and do it ya nut!

“I trust in a big God,” Bachmann said, asserting that she knows that she “was supposed to run for president” in 2012 in order to make the repeal of Obamacare a central issue of the Republican campaign. “I feel like I was wildly successful … I didn’t win, but I moved the debate.

Really? That was you? You were the one that got the Republicans to try and repeal Obamacare?The thing they'd already been voting to repeal since January 2011? Yeah, that was a worthwhile use of your time.

Anyway, you know "God" is going to "tell" Bachmann to run and then we all get to have a good laugh as she tailspins into anonymity.

What else happened? Oh, Il Douche announced some fake awards he was supposedly going to be giving out to news outlets. And then he postponed them. And like everything else that Dolt45 has no intention of ever actually doing, it got pushed out for two weeks by which time he will have done enough unforgivably stupid shit that everyone will have forgotten about the whole stupid thing.

Oh, and someone in journalism finally took my advice:

Jake Tapper Cuts Off Stephen Miller After Contentious Interview: 'I've Wasted Enough Of My Viewers' Time!'

It's 12 simple words, television news people: "You're a very silly man and I'm not going to interview you." You'll be amazed at how much easier your life gets.

"Raw Water" is now apparently a thing. And by "raw," they mean taken straight from the river with no filtration or purification. Just like our ancestors did! Right before they died of dysentery!
The good news is that "Raw Water" is apparently pretty expensive, so only the truly deserving should be contacting any long-thought-eradicated water-borne diseases.

Aaaaand a couple of South Carolina mouth-breathers decided to prove that their love of the Confederacy is totally not at all racist by putting up some sort of a statue of tall the black soldiers who fought FOR the South in the Civil war. And also all the chickens who have totally blown Colonel Sanders! Only one little problem.

Records show no black armed Confederates


I'm sure there was more, but this computer is being very uncooperative right now and needs to take a little time to consider whether it still wishes to remain employed here. Back soon, I hope.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Credit where credit is due.

So Il Douche was congratulating himself for there being no airline fatalities this year - the same number as last year, and the year before and the year before. . .but this time the lack of deaths was directly attributable to the um, thing. . . that Cheeto Mussolinin um,. . . did since taking office.

So what other tragedies have been averted due to the quick thinking and bold decisive action of Orange Julius Caesar?

1. Zero Americans have been mauled by tigers this year.
   Outside of zoos.

2. No parents had their children stolen and replaced with changelings in all of 2017.

3. Zero incidences of radical Amish terrorism.

4. No American tourists were drowned in the Court of Neptune Fountain, as far as we know..

5. Poltergeist activity down 53 percent!

6. A complete eradication of pizzeria child sex rings.

7. Chemtrails replaced by pine-scented air freshener.

8. Treasured American actor Ashton Kutcher 100% un-murdered during the entire year.

9. The embdiment of evil, the Los Angeles Dodgers, were prevented from winning a single World           Series championship in all of 2017.

10. Zero attacks from the dreaded moon men!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

The Year in Television Part III

Okay, first I'm going to have to pull a Steve Harvey. Or a Warren Beatty or whoever screwed up at the last Oscars. Anyway, I have to correct myself and say that the best actor in a comedy for 2017 is actually Rob Delaney from Catastrophe.

Sorry about that.

Okay, now to new business.

Biggest disappointment:

Broad City Season 4

It seemed like we waited forevvvvvvver for Broad City to come back while Abbi and Ilana were busy "making mooovies" and "building their careeers," and when it did finally come back on the air somehting just wasn't right. The chemistry seemed a little off or the timing or something, I don't know it just wasn't the hilarity I've come to expect from Broad City.
And I think they may have known this because they trotted out a couple of gimicky episodes - the "Sliding Doors"-esque When Abbi  Met Ilana episode and the mostly animated tripping on mushrooms episode. Neither of which really worked very well.

There was one positive thing about this season, though. . .

Best Character Addition:

Marcel, Broad City

It's RuPaul!
I knew he could sing and I knew he could host a reality show, but I did not know he could act. I don't know whether he's going to continue on the show next season, but they'd be crazy to let him go, he is hysterical as the arrogant restaurateur who gives Ilana a job and teaches her to be profitably bitchy.

Worst character addition:

The Garbage People, The Walking Dead

They're probably not really called the Garbage People. I think they're the "scavengers" or somehting, but the idea is that they have been hiding in a garbage dump during the zombie outbreak and somehow, even though there are at least a couple dozen of them and it's only been a couple years, they have somehow forgotten how to speak normally?. They talk in this ridiculous pidgin English, saying things like "Shot you. Why back after?" or "Show Rick up up up." Plus they all dress like extras from the Star Wars prequels. There are normal clothes everywhere for the taking, why in the hell would they all be wearing these post-apocalyptic tunics?  Everything about them is annoying.

Biggest Gamble that Paid Off:

"Killing" Ozzie on People of Earth

Ozzie, played by Daily Show alum Wyatt Cenac, is the main character. Having him get shot and killed was a huge risk. Sure, you assume that the aliens will resurrect him, they have that technology, but this would be like the producers of Seinfeld decided to film a few episodes without Jerry Seinfeld. Anyway, it worked. We got to see the supporting characters develop, we got storylines about various relationships and it was still funny.

Come to think of it, George Elaine and Kramer probably could've pulled off a few episodes without Jerry too if they'd had to.

Worst Trend:

AMC going all in with nerd culture.

Sure, AMC somehow stumbled on to a huge hit with the Walking Dead. So I guess it shouldn't be surprising that they would try to duplicate that success. But now nearly their entire schedule is made up of shows based on comics or designed to appeal to the comic-book-reading demographic.

You jave the Walking Dead, of course, and the post-episode talk show Talking Dead. You have the spin-off series Fear the Walking Dead.
Then there's Preacher,,0,630,1200_AL_.jpg Based on this comic --->

There's Into the Badlands,0,630,1200_AL_.jpg

There's Comic Book Men with Kevin Smith

There's Robert Kirkman's Secret History of Comics

and James Cameron's Story of Science Fiction


This from the network that gave us so many great original ideas from Breaking Bad to Mad Men to Halt and Catch Fire to Turn.


Nothing against nerd culture, but I would hate to see this once great channel start churning out sci-fi and comic book adaptations instead of coming up with new and original ideas. I mean, we already have the SYFY channel.

Show I used to Like that has Become Unwatchable:

Last Man on Earth

This show used to be pretty funny. I mean, it wasn't brilliant, It wasn't Arrested Development or Curb Your Enthusiasm. But it was enjoyable. Now it's just grating. Like fingernails onm a chalkboard-level grating. Will Forte's character has always been an annoying doofus, that was the point, but now he's just aggressively obnoxious. Like he's trying to win a bet by proving he can drive away his entire viewership. Worse, Kristen Schaal isn't even funny anymore. Do you know how hard you have to work to make Kristen Schaal not funny? She's not even likeable on this show. For some reason they decided that her character should just be negative and rude and unpleasant. A running "joke" o the show is that she corrects people's grammar.That's it. That's the joke.
The show has gotten so bad that bringing on Kristen Wiig and Chris Elliot didn't even help.

Best Opening Credits:


It's spooky, it's trippy, and the mirror effect eventually turns it into a game of "how many vaginas can you spot?" And since it seems to be a show (I've only seen 2 episodes) that centers around caves and tunnels and the dangers therein, I have to think this is probably not accidental.

Most Wildly Inappropriate Theme Song:

Mother, Better Things.

I get it. Pamela Adlon's main character has children, ergo she is a mother.  Got it. But the John Lennon song Mother is a cry of pain from a boy whose mother has abandoned him by dying. My God, the ending of the song is Lennon shouting "Mama don't go. Daddy come home!" over and over again. It's heart-wrenching.


Mother, you had me but I never had you
I wanted you, you didn't want me
So I, I just gotta tell you
Goodbye, goodbye

Father, you left me but I never left you
I needed you, you didn't need me
So I, I just gotta tell you
Goodbye, goodbye

Children, don't do what I have done
I couldn't walk and I tried to run
So I, I just gotta tell you
Goodbye, goodbye

Mamma, don't go
Daddy, come home

Definitely not appropriate for a "haha look how messy my life is, I get sarcastic with my disrespctful children" comedy that was better the first time when it was called "Roseanne."

Speaking of which. . .

Annoying trend number two:

Digging up old tv shows

So there are suddenly new episodes of Will and Grace? With the same cast and everything? It's been off the air for a decade, did anyone really miss it?

They did a new season of Gilmore Girls. Rosanne is coming back. There's a new One Day at a Time and a new Odd Couple? I mean I know the entertainment industry is averse to original idea, but this is just sad.