Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Fire in the Hole

From the Season's Bleedings file comes this Christmas heartwarmer:

COLTON, Ore. -- A 2-year-old girl was accidentally shot in the cheek Christmas morning by a family member that was cleaning a .45 caliber handgun, the Colton Fire Department said.

The toddler is in stable condition and is expected to survive, the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office said.

According to the sheriff's office, the child's 24-year-old uncle was cleaning his gun when it went off. The bullet went out the other side of the girl's cheek, officials said.

The shooting appears to be accidental, and Sergeant Don Boone said he expects no charges will be filed.

Okay, someone needs to explain to me why no charges are being filed. Obviously it was unintentional, but there is criminal negligence here, in that this guy is a fucking moron who shouldn't be allowed to have a goddamned gun in the first place.

Sgt. Boone added that one of the cardinal rules of gun cleaning is you always unload your gun, and always assume that it's loaded.

Gee, ya think so, Deputy Fife? Jesus H. Bushmaster Christ, it seems that pretty much everyone except the fucktard who shot his two-year-old niece through the cheek KNOWS THAT. This is pathetic. I personally know full-on gun nuts who would want this asshole strung up by the balls, just for being a complete idiot. It's people like that who make responsible gun owners look bad.

I really don't understand, will never understand, why there are never any charges when these "accidents" occur. This was unintentional, but it's no accident, anymore than it's an accident when a little kid goes over to Grampa's house and finds his loaded Desert Eagle under the bed. Everyone has a sad and no consequences are pursued over the completely unnecessary, completely preventable death.

It's really galling to think that this is somehow the grisly price we've collectively agreed to pay in order to have an infinite supply of guns. Gun rights folks are consistent in saying that existing laws should be enforced, rather than devising new ways to hinder responsible ownership. Very well then, let us take them at their word. Prosecute these dumb motherfuckers already. Stop letting them off the hook. A person who leaves a loaded gun around where a little kid can find it, or who farts around with a gun while a little kid is in the room, is not a responsible owner. They might as well leave a can of gasoline and a lighter sitting in the middle of a preschool playroom. It's time they were treated as such.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Rebels Without Pause

After a year punctuated more and more by health scares and cancelled shows, Lemmy has died. The seemingly indestructible icon passed just a couple of days after turning 70 on Christmas Eve, and just two weeks after ending the most recent leg of their world tour.

I only got to see Motörhead in concert once, back in 2001, but it was one of the most memorable shows out of the dozens I've been to over the years. For one, the venue in Chico, then known as the Brick Works, was small, maybe 500 in capacity but probably more like 300. For another, the band had arrived several hours before the show and headed straight for the all-day bar (Panama's) next door. A friend of mine called me at work at about 4:00, saying, "Guess who's sitting at the bar at Panama's?". I broke off early and headed over, and of course Lemmy was still sitting there, by himself, as the bar didn't usually pick up until 6:00 or so.

Some people are afraid to meet their idols, too intimidated, don't know what they'd say, whatever. I'm not one of those people; not that I know what to say, but those opportunities are rare and you shouldn't pass them up when they come along.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Have It Your Way, Part 3: Your Call Is Important to Us

A short parable about customer service in the era of optimization:

Since I live in a fairly rural area of Northern California (although I can literally see Interstate 5 from my property, the area is sparsely populated), we've always had substandard internets speed. For the last four or five years I've had what AT&T calls (presumably tongue-in-cheek) DSL service, which means a "guaranteed window" between 250-750kbps. Yes, that's right, in a country and state where the majority of folks would sneer at a megabyte per second, we've had to put up with this bullshit download rate. There simply weren't any other options for the area.

Finally, at the beginning of October, I took a week of "vacation" from work, ostensibly to work on an ever-growing pile of side projects and honey-dos. After a couple days of watching my downloads slow to a fucking crawl, I ran hourly speed tests, averaged them out at under 100kbps (barely more than dial-up, fer chrissake), and called their tech line. They sent out a tech who helpfully told me I was shit out of luck.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Have It Your Way, Part 2: The Trumpening

(A real thing, by the way. Ain't 'murka grate?)

The nineteenth season of South Park just ended, and the final trilogy of episodes contained an intriguing premise -- the idea that advertisements (especially internet ads), through quickly accelerating iterations of evolution, are gaining sentience. Between the ubiquitous pop-ups, embeds, "sponsored content" posing as news, and the cookie-reading that enables the sites you visit to know what you looking at on Amazon, the show raises two essential points:

  • Already it is difficult for many, if not most, people to differentiate between an advertisement and an actual news item.
  • It's only a matter of time before we won't know the difference between a sentient, three-dimensional ad and a living, breathing human being.

The second point is for now the stuff of Dickian sci-fi, but given that author's track record so far, that future is probably much nearer than it seems. Maybe it'll come from the military engineering and tweaking robot warriors, or it could be open-sourced from the bottom. Whether it's Big Brother or Little Brother or both, the tech is improving, probably more rapidly than we know. We are used to hearing about the more sinister Terminator-style possibilities of weaponized mayhem, or aggregated domestic spying. But it's equally likely that it would be used by advertising weasels to continue their never-ending quest to monetize literally everything you see, hear, read, talk to, fuck, or otherwise experience or interact with.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Have It Your Way

One of the cornerstone concepts we covered in MBA grad school was customer service. By "cornerstone" I mean that this idea underpinned every facet, every class that made up the program, from supply chain management to finance to drawing up the dreaded weebis. It was very much a central theme by choice rather than absolute necessity, not unlike writing a history of the world from the viewpoint of, say, Sicily, or organizing musical theory around the Lydian mode (or, for that matter, the major scale, instead of some other scale).

Until relatively recently, business clichés such as "the customer is always right" existed alongside sayings such as "you break it, you bought it", and in practice the relationship was one of patronage; i.e., business>consumer. The lack of logistics and technology made the relationship much more of a dependent one, to a degree that would be difficult to explain to a much-derided millennial -- perhaps as difficult as explaining to them why phones used to be rotary-dial, or that television was not always in color, much less in high-definition resolution.

Saturday, December 05, 2015

Bullshit By Numbers

After being spurred on by a headline from tomorrow regarding yet more Trump bafflegab, I felt compelled to once again take a bullet for y'all, and listen to the full rally to see if there was even a little bit of context or elaboration. Let's begin with the nonsense in question:

Republican front-runner Donald Trump promised his approach to terrorism would be "so tough you don't want to hear" during a raucous rally in Raleigh, North Carolina.

With nearly half the 50-minute event devoted to audience questions, Trump talked up the value of waterboarding and other enhanced interrogation techniques and told a questioner he would take a very different approach to terrorism than President Obama.

"We are going to handle it so tough," Trump said. "I would handle it so tough you would have no idea."

Okay, well, suppose you give us some idea, genius. That's kinda how this is supposed to work. Put it this way -- we want to hear, we would like to have an idea. Quit sounding like a twelve-year-old scaredy-bragging about he's like rilly rilly gonna kick yer ass like soooo fuckin' hard, you don't even wanna know. And his dad can beat up your dad.

He also said the attacks in Paris and shootings in San Bernardino could have ended differently if the victims had been armed.

"If the people in Paris or California, if you had a couple of folks in there with guns, and that knew how to use them, and they were in that room, you wouldn't have dead people, the dead people would be the other guys," Trump said.
You mean like armed security guards or cops? They didn't have any security at the Bataclan?

Two of the six security agents on duty that night were stationed at the main door, and they rushed to open up the emergency exits when the first shots rang out. "Didi," who was overseeing security at the Bataclan, told French daily Le Monde that the attackers fired at the security team and shattered the glass windows in the entrance of the hall.

So the first five minutes or so are about how awesome Mister Man is doing in the polls. Of particular note is how he's kicking the shit out Hitlery in the head-to-head polls, how it's not even close. Well, the flaming lie-berals at Real Clear Politics seem to disagree.

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

The Family That Preys Together

Right now just about everything you're reading and hearing about the massacre in San Bernardino is speculation, whether it's the usual "completely pulled outta my ass" type that clutters the internets, or the perhaps more pernicious sort that takes known facts as they drip out to the public, and conflates them with long-held assumptions and prejudices.

So it's no surprise that when the name of the main gunman is found to be Syed Farook, it's only a matter of time before someone says "ISIS". It's as predictable as the sun rising in the east, or Charlie Sheen having every sexually transmittable disease known to man, and probably more than a few that were previously confined to livestock.

What can we observe about ISIS' terrorist efforts so far, or the efforts of al Qaeda or Islamic terrorist attacks in general? When they attack targets in the West, what sort of targets do they tend to be? Densely populated areas of cities that everyone in the world has heard of -- New York, Paris, London, Madrid. There are pretty obvious reasons for choosing such targets.

Have you ever been to San Bernardino? As a kid, I lived for several years just a half-hour up the I-10 from it. I know it very well. There is nothing distinguishing about it; it is basically one of the last few cities of any appreciable size on the way to Vegas from LA. I'd bet that a good number of Americans outside of California don't know where it is, and certainly nobody outside the country would know of it unless they've been or have people there.

Put it this way:  San Bernardino is not a place for a fanatic representing an internationally-based religious terrorist group to Make A Statement. That doesn't mean that it's impossible that it's ISIS, just unlikely. Added to that the other known fact that as of this hour, the shooting occurred at a holiday party of county employees, and Farook was a fellow employee, and you have a far more mundane -- and almost uniquely American -- dynamic, that of the disgruntled psycho.

Get ready for the usual idle speculation and fabulism all the same, since a good chunk of us have collectively decided that "facts" and "knowledge" and "evidence" have no value, and are merely quaint notions that our ancestors were forced to deal with in simpler times. Now you can just make shit up, put it on the internets, get people to like it and share it, no problem. Hell, you can be full of shit and proud of it, and run for president.

When tragedies like this occur, another dopey (but harmless) custom in the online era is to Show Your Support by taking a couple seconds and typing "prayers to the families" or some such. Coming from random strangers across the ether, it's a nice enough thought, if easy and essentially without real power or lasting impact. Je suis Charlie and all that.

But when those anodyne electro-homilies emanate from the pulpits of the various hyper-christians vying for the Grand Deacon spot, and every one of said godly men promise to do everything they can to retain the current status quo that has resulted in more than one mass shooting every day this year, the words not only ring hollow, they sting a little. We know that none of these men would do anything at all to curb lunatics from acquiring as many assault rifles and banana clips as they can carry. That's not speculation; they are not at all shy about telling you this fact as a selling point.

So really the only surprise in this sordid narrative so far is that a fairly well-known publication has actually stepped up and said in response to those men, "Your prayers mean jack shit." That is a rare thing. This nation's political and speechifying discourse is rotten with pointless benedictions and catch-phrases, and we're all just supposed sit and listen quietly and pretend to be respectful, knowing full well that they don't respect anyone who believes differently from them.

Can you imagine the outcry if the sekrit mooooslin in the White House failed to end a speech with "God bless America"? The people who will tell you till they're blue in the face that Obama is a traitor who has irreparably fucked up this country are the exact same ones who will yammer on and on about being gawwwd's most favrit nation. Okay, well, if He likes us so danged much, then why did he saddle us with Black Hitler for eight years, hunh, hmm? They don't seem to have an answer for that one, they just continue jabbering in their Idiocracy patois of barely decipherable grunts and squawks. Seriously, pick any ten random comments from the Breitbart link. These morons make YouTube commenters look like Rhodes scholars.

It needed to be said, and it's a good thing that someone finally said it out loud. Again, prayers and kind thoughts from strangers are nice, if essentially without a practical function. Coming from politicians who can actually affect policies that would in turn affect or even prevent future incidents like this, which have become alarmingly routine, it's at best an empty sentiment, at worst a flat-out insult. I'm not necessarily convinced that any or all proposed gun control measures would work -- again, we don't have very many facts at all right now -- but I can definitely tell you one thing that will not bring any of the slaughtered back, nor prevent the next inevitable incident.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Headlie News

Steve at No More Mister Nice Blog has a nice catch, very similar to what I mentioned the other day, about these conservative weasel sites putting up inaccurate and deliberately misleading headlines. This is not an isolated phenomenon, it is becoming increasingly common and shameless.

And it's not a small thing, either. When you have a party and a movement whose two current political front-runners for president can be best characterized as having a very casual relationship with facts and accuracy, it's a problem. Not just or even primarily because of the candidates themselves. The problem is that the followers know and don't care. The notion of even basic intellectual honesty is eliminated by their terminal case of Obama Derangement Syndrome, which borders on late-stage dementia at this point.

It's only a matter of time before the bozos that run these disinformation entities, from Fixed Noise on down, realize that there is literally no downside to pursuing these lurid headlies to their logical conclusion. Why not, for example, post something about the Obama family eating brined and barbecued fetuses and decorating the "holiday" tree with parts, thanks to a timely donation from EVERY PLANNED PARENTHOOD? It's what their illiterate crowd believes anyway.

[Update 12/2/15:  Also, too.]

Saturday, November 28, 2015

And the Home of Depraved, Part Three: Season's Bleedings

Here's a feel-good holiday fable involving a gun being used at a Waco Wal-Mart. Talk about coals to Newcastle.
A woman who fired a pistol as a suspect fled in a purse-snatching incident Friday outside a Wal-Mart store in Bellmead appeared at the police station late Friday afternoon to identify herself.

No charges have been filed against her, Bellmead police said Saturday.

Police plan to sit down with the woman for a more in-depth interview in the upcoming week, Bellmead police Detective Kory Martin said.

He said it appears, at least initially, that the woman fired into the air, not at the man.
Even for Texas, this is fucking nuts. Is this what we've fallen to, gunning down petty thieves in the street? Worse yet, she's just goddamned lucky she didn't hit one of the pursuers, an innocent bystander, a kid sitting in a car across the street, etc. This is a busy area in a downtown commercial district. Anything could have happened.

This is a textbook case of "the only thing stopping a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun" thinking -- except, of course, this bad guy had no weapon at all, and while he's obviously a failed turd of a human being if he's purse-snatching little old ladies a couple days before Thanksgiving, again we do not have the death penalty for such crimes. [Ed. -- Yet.]

So what you have is some dingbat trying to be the hero of whatever revenge-porn narrative is on a loop in her head, a fever-dream mishmash of Making A Difference and Stopping A Criminal. The worst part of it is that she probably has no clue that life turns on a dime, an inch here or there, a second earlier or later, and that it is just the purest of luck that she didn't hurt or kill someone with erh incredible incompetence and negligence. This is not Starsky & Hutch, you stupid twat, this is real life, and people get killed when untrained, unqualified morons go around thinking they're Yosemite Sam or some shit.

That, not to mention most of the comments in the article, is bad enough. There's an interesting cherry on this particular cake:

The man accused of attempting to steal a purse from a shopping cart, Andre Dawson, 27, remained in jail with a $10,000 bond late Saturday under a misdemeanor charge of theft of property and a felony charge of credit or debit card abuse. Martin said if the purse contained a credit or debit card, it would have triggered the credit card charge.

Now that's just a perfect example of how the law has been perverted to become more absurdly cruel, to the point where people are up for charges on crimes they very clearly did not commit. Dawson didn't get away with the purse, so not only did he not have a chance to use the debit and credit cards, he never even found out such things were in the purse.

Again, it's hard to feel sorry for someone who picks on octogenarians, but such measures are clearly in place for no other reason than to give a hardliner judge an additional mechanism to completely shit-hammer a perp he just doesn't like. And if Dawson had physically harmed somebody, anybody -- the old lady, a bystander, a child, a stray cat -- it would make more sense. But he's a fucking dumbass who got caught in the commission of a particularly stupid crime, though not especially lurid in the overall scheme of things.

In the end, it won't matter -- this is Texas, after all, so Dawson will get tagged with a felony charge for a crime he had no chance to commit, while the shoot-'em-up dunce who will never know how close she might have come to killing someone over a fucking purse won't get charged with anything at all. This should be unacceptable, but hell, she'll probably still pack heat to the damned Wal-Mart, even though by all accounts she does not have a license to carry a concealed handgun.

It's no small indicator of what this nation has sunk to, when a nation of people whose great-grandparents came here fleeing various forms of violence and persecution, are much more concerned about Syrian orphans fleeing a government that drops barrel bombs on their houses, than the day-to-day dangers lurking in plain sight. I would be much more concerned about the fat fuck trying to make some bizarre "point" by taking his AR-15 to Target to buy Oreos, or the Helpy Helperton suburban dipshit indiscriminately shooting up a crowded parking lot over a relatively minor property crime, than some "durka durka Mohammed jihad" shenanigans. But try telling that to the yahoos in the comments section, who inexplicably feel safer knowing that there are armed idiots in the supermarkets just itching for an excuse.

And the Home of Depraved, Part Too: Dipshit Boogaloo

As more information on the horror at the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood yesterday comes in, one thing is clear:  it would be a mistake to focus on the gun-control aspect of the case. Unless this asshole literally bought his weapon out of the trunk of some other asshole's car in a cash transaction -- and probably even then -- nothing will be done. The usual bloviators will do their thing, and America will go right back to what it was doing.

We seem to have collectively "agreed" that these now-routine events are the cost of doing business, as well as (rightly to some extent) that's there just no percentage in penalizing the majority of responsible gun owners because of the actions of a growing number of psychopaths. You may not agree with that, yet still recognize that it's the way things are, and they're not likely to change. This is not exactly a surprise or a secret.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this is that they took the gunman alive, even after he killed a cop (who was also a Christian minister). I can't be the only person to wonder that if this fool had been black, they would have turned his dumb ass into Swiss cheese. Do we even need to guess about that one, given that black men get shot into the double digits just for maybe having a knife, or trying to buy a BB gun? But they took this cracker motherfucker alive. If you didn't know better, you might start to think that some lives matter more than others.

But what really makes this one a bit different is that there is almost certainly a direct line that can be drawn from the (to put it mildly) creatively edited stealth videos designed to put Planned Parenthood in the worst possible light in the summer, to the (to put it even more generously) fact-challenged speechifying from most of the Gooper clown car over the fall. Obviously, this is a highly emotional issue, and the anti-abortion movementarians seem to be an emotionally turbulent group of folks, unmoved by appeals to logic, reason, common sense, or even just the basic idea that adults should be allowed to make their own medical decisions without interference from the basement case picketing on the sidewalk.

It's even more nakedly cynical than that, as there is at least enough of a plurality in the Republican party that is pro-choice, to make the repealment of Roe v. Wade very unlikely. It is a false carrot dangled by the party establishment, like gay marriage, to gull the "social conservative" maroons into voting for something that doesn't affect them in the first place (until, of course, as inevitable as the sun rising in the east, of their kids comes out of the closet or needs a "procedure"). Even then, it doesn't matter, as the right to choose has been gutted throughout most of Jebusland, thanks to the Democrats' complete inability to convince broke-ass dopes to vote for their own rational self-interest.

So there was no practical reason for those PP videos to even be made, as the issue has no national traction, yet is succeeding already at the state level. They just did it to do it, again to consolidate the vaunted base. But the ramped-up inflammatory rhetoric aimed at the aforementioned emotionally turbulent target demo takes it to another level. They were asking for it, and now they got it; an irrational person responded irrationally to an argument that was irrational in the first place. Who could have predicted such an outcome?

Maybe someone should ask Cruz and Fiorina and Huckabee and the rest of the short bus crew how they like their wedge issue now.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

For Those About to Mock

Hey, if bullshit antics like this are what it takes to get the dopey corporate media to stop giving Trump a free pass, then I suppose we'll have to say it's worth it. It's time to stop with the usual "opinions vary on shape of earth" coverage, and call the man out for what he is -- a liar, a fraud, and a bully.

Part of this problem, unfortunately, is Serge Kovaleski's own fault. When he answered that he "didn't recall" seeing any such video that Trump was talking about, with "thousands" of Muslims in New Jersey "cheering" 9/11, thinking that would serve as a polite way of saying that Trump was full of shit, he should have understood what sort of prick he was dealing with. Kovaleski should have said, "If such a video exists, then Trump should be able to produce it and show us all. Has he not heard of the YouTube? His kids can probably show him how it works."

Let me put it this way:  Donald Trump is to the media what ISIS is to Europe and America -- a noisome, toxic presence, built up in part by the very forces it attacks, that needs to be shut down already, before it does any more damage. The vile sentiments that Trump unleashes from the shit-brains who support him are getting worse and worse, and are bound to erupt at some point.

Monday, November 23, 2015

The Enema Within

The circus comes to town, and more hijinks ensue. Violence against protesters has already occurred at several Trump rallies, mostly in the south, which more and more is looking like an area we should have either let go in the first place, or completely eradicated every trace of traitor-slaver existence. It's only a matter of time before someone gets seriously injured or worse.

These yahoos mean business, and by "mean business" I mean that these Horst Wessel rallies provide emotionally retarded morons an opportunity to be their true selves. And that means that if someone browner than themselves is at the rally, they're up to no good, and must be stopped by any means necessary. You know, pointing out that every word out of Trump's asshole-shaped mouth is a lie, including "and" and "the", makes the baby Jebus cry blood.

Not that they care if anything their hero says is true or accurate, or is even grounded in reality. It affirms their bullshit, it validates what they knew all along. There is no perceivable benefit to pointing out that Trump is a liar and a fool, that Ben Carson is even more so. These people don't care about facts or reality. They want what they want. They think Trump is the guy to give it to them, good and hard.

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Hos Before Bros

Apparently noted call-girl aficionado and diaper enthusiast David Vitter is running for governor of Louisiana, and in an uncharacteristic display of smackdown from a Democratic challenger, Vitter's past is being smacked across his face like a dead mackerel:

Democrat state Rep. John Bel Edwards has cut a TV ad attacking Republican U.S. Sen. David Vitter specifically about Vitter’s prostitution scandal for the first time during the Louisiana gubernatorial campaign.

Though Edwards has questioned Vitter’s character on the campaign trail and in advertisements, the new ad is the first time Edwards has addressed the scandal specifically and runs counter to Edwards’ tactics so far.

A photo of a young Edwards in his U.S. Army Ranger uniform appears first in the ad with the narrator saying, “The choice for governor couldn’t be more clear. John Bel Edwards, who answered his country’s call and served as a ranger in the 82nd Airborne Division …”

And then, a photo of Vitter wearing a dark trench coat with a cellphone to his ear appears on the screen with the narrator saying, “or David Vitter, who answered a prostitute’s call minutes after he skipped a vote honoring 28 soldiers who gave their lives in defense of our freedom.”

“David Vitter chose prostitutes over patriots,” the narrator concludes. “Now, the choice is yours.”

It probably won't help Edwards' chances, but it's fun all the same. These family values assholes need to be called on their lies and hypocrisy at every opportunity. Regardless, few things make me smile more than knowing that every time Wendy Vitter sees her husband, for the rest of her life, she has to mentally eat her sanctimonious crowing at Hillary Clinton. She'll never admit it, but it's there all the same, she knows it, and more importantly, she knows that we all know it. I despise people like the Vitters, people who claw their way into power and fortune by bearing false witness and riding their high horse. And the only saving grace is knowing that they have to live day-to-day with the burden of being the awful human beings that they are.

Thanks But No Thanks

Well, you can't say the headline doesn't try to warn you, but yeeeeaaahhh, I don't think any of us really needed to see Kim Davis' emails to know that she really is a narcissistic loon with a persecution complex. Ordinarily you might figure that at least some Kentucky taxpayers might resent their tax dollars going to keep such a clearly unqualified fool employed in any capacity.

But then, this is the state that, despite being one of the most unhealthy in the nation, overwhelmingly voted for a governor whose main promise is to dismantle Obamacare in the state. So fuck 'em. May they reap exactly what they sow.

Do Your Duty, Flush Twice

Here's just a few of the more outrageous instances of police misconduct and brutality in recent days. Let's take a quick spin around the dial:

  • In Loozyanna, a coupla Deppaty Dawg types moonlighting as "town marshals" took it upon themselves to fire upon a truck containing an unarmed man, who may or may not have had a warrant out for his arrest, and may or may not have backed his truck up toward the "marshals" in an attempt to evade them. We'll give these discount motherfuckersfine upstanding Christian men a chance to get their story straight, but in the meantime, one thing is indisputable:  in addition to shooting the alleged perp (who is still barely alive in the hospital), they also hit the man's six-year-old son, who was buckled into the passenger seat, five times, killing him instantly. Good job, guys. You can rationalize it any way you want, but you murdered a first-grader.
  • In West Virginny, a state trooper who took it upon himself to be the neighborhood asshole, and had a couple local kids leave wet underwear on the hood of his car as a prank, went over to the home of the kids' friend, and tried to arrest him (because leaving underwear on a car is a capital offense or something). Anyhoo, the kid "resisted arrest" (in other words, questioned Officer Friendly's authoritah to arrest people for nothing), and so of course was summarily pepper sprayed, beaten with a baton, tackled into a ditch (with assistance by a helpful neighbor, since after all, the cop was only half a foot taller and fifty pounds heavier than the kid -- who again, did absolutely nothing wrong in the first place), and finally shot dead like a fucking dog. This actually happened in June of last year, but since prosecutors declined to their job and get this fucking animal out his uniform and into a jail cell, the kid's family decided to file a civil lawsuit. We'll see if they manage to live long enough to see it through.
  • Quentin Tarantino got himself on the radar of the Fraternal Order of Police, after having the nerve to attend and speak at a rally against police misconduct. Apparently we have First Amendment rights, as long we don't say something cops disapprove of. Don't be too surprised if QT gets pulled over in the next month or so, and they just happen to find a brick of heroin in his wheel well.
  • Finally, we have the story of one Charles Joseph (aka "GI Joe") Gliniewicz, a police lieutenant in the village of Fox Lake, Illinois. Gliniewicz was the third cop to be shot over a particularly violent weekend at the end of August, and his death sparked a huge manhunt, not to mention countless sanctimonious graphic memes from your uncle who does nothing but masturbate on Facebook over "those people".

    Gliniewicz had the perfect story for breathless "cop lives matter" coverage by the lazy media -- military veteran, decorated cop, family man with four kids, ran the police youth auxiliary fund. They had this guy nominated for sainthood before they even had him dropped into the ground. Funny thing about all that, though:  turns out GI Joe was stealing from the youth fund, and had a personnel file full of complaints about groping and threatening his colleagues -- when he wasn't pressuring his subordinates into sucking his cock to keep their jobs. Gliniewicz even tried to hire a gang member to assassinate a city administrator who had gotten wise to his embezzlement scheme.

    So after weeks of sanctimonious posturing by the usual media assholes (i.e., the slack-jawed mutants at Fixed Noise), it turns out that Gliniewicz, seeing the walls close in, decided to take the weird way out, and killed himself after calling in a foot chase of non-existent perps. It fit in perfectly with the mythical narrative of a "war on cops", even though the violent crime rate and the rate of officers dying on the job have both been steadily declining. They have been notably quiet in the wake of the revelations about Gliniewicz, though. What a surprise.

Oh, and the first officer who was murdered on that fateful weekend in August, shot while pumping gas in Texas? Turns out this fine family man had his mistress in his squad car -- off-duty by the way -- when he was shot by a mentally ill  man who was immediately characterized as a Black Lives Matter activist, although of course that was not at all true. It gets even better -- during the investigation, Goforth's mistress then hooked up with the investigator. Even in Texas, this sort of thing is kinda frowned on. I'd say more, but I'm afraid this cock-gobbling skank might put down whichever knob she's servicing at the moment and try to give me her HPV.

The problem here is one of accountability, of course. As always, most cops are decent people doing difficult work. But I don't want to hear anymore about how tough it is, and we just don't understand. The beauty of living in a (relatively) free country is that you are able to pursue pretty much any line of work you want. So if it gets too tough to be a cop, do yourself and society a huge favor and be a fucking plumber, or a mechanic. The last thing anyone needs is some asshole with a badge, a gun, and a wildly aggrieved sensibility about How Unfair Life Is.

This goes for the people who work with these assholes every day and know something's up. Everyone who had worked with Gliniewicz for years knew he was bent, a corrupt pervert who bullied silent complicity out an institution that he knew was pre-aligned to take his side in the instance of any complaints. They knew GI Joke was a fucking turd, and refused to flush, until it was too late. The state trooper in West Virginia got away scot-free with murdering a kid in his own front yard for no goddamned reason; the best you can hope for there is that the civil lawsuit bankrupts that piece of shit so that he's living on a sidewalk giving handjobs for crack. But we all know that won't happen. The cops who killed that kid in Louisiana, they'll get away with it, the cop who shot that guy in the back in South Carolina and tried to plant a gun on him, he'll get away with it. Just you watch.

In a just and fair world, these clowns would all do the decent thing and eat a fucking bullet, simply because of the burden of living with what they've done. But they won't, because they don't need to. They know they'll get away with their misdeeds. And it happens because they won't flush these fuckers, they never do. They wait and wait and wait until these bent cops snap and kill someone, then do damage control and find a way to get the charges dropped or lowered. Even the WV trooper, he's not going to pay a dime, unless they're able to get him on the civil lawsuit as well. But chances are they'll just hit the deep pockets, the city and county and state. So the West Virginia taxpayers will pay for this murderous turd, and he'll continue to work until he cashes out with a 90% pension.

The argument is not whether cops lives matter; of course they do. The problem is that cops have come to think that their lives matter more than yours or mine; they no longer regard themselves as servants of the public interest, but a specialized class of paramilitarized guardians who can do whatever they want, and demand only compliance and obedience from the public. Anything else gives them license to kill, and they are all too happy to use that license, since they can do so with impunity.

Friday, November 06, 2015

Question of the Day

Which part of the race to the bottom between Donald Trump and Ben Carson is more hilarious -- Trump's continued insistence that he doesn't need a teleprompter, even though he extemporizes like old people fuck; or Ben Carson's Scarface-to-Urkel redemption narrative becoming unraveled with each tedious retelling?

Look a few months down the road, folks; this is how the Gooper field gets narrowed to Rubio. Rubio should send Trump a thank-you card attached to a $10k/night call girl for cockpunching Yeb?! into irrelevance, exposing him as dickless, a political Ken doll. Trump and Carson are not running for president, they're running for something with more money and fewer headaches -- a book tour, a teevee show, some tiresome bullshit soaking their moron fan bases out of their unearned cash (it is axiomatic that if you're spending any money or time on anything from Trump or Carson, you didn't work nearly hard enough for it).

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Trump and Trumper

Not that his moron fan club will notice or hold him to it, but this pitiful attempt by His Douchiness to pick a fight with John Oliver is bound to backfire. First, and most obviously, Oliver does not have guests on his show, certainly not in the conventional sense that Captain Fucktard is used to. I'm pretty sure I've seen every episode of Last Week Tonight so far, and the only interview guest I recall is a gay-rights activist from Uganda last year. Second is in the context of the interview Trump says that he finds Oliver's show boring, then follows up with the assertion that he's never seen the show.

Again, these are small but telling features that will do him no damage with his base, because they are truly stupid people, who cannot distinguish between beliefs and facts. They cannot think critically, or they would listen closely to any of Trump's interminable stemwinders, and realize that not only can the man not extemporize nearly as well as he thinks he can, but that there is no substance at all to what he says.

But here's perhaps the most telling thing, the feature that might actually get picked up by the dipshit press that's enabled this toxic asshole from the word go -- Trump's reasoning behind picking at this week's scab is that he doesn't like to let things go. This is the proverbial character flaw that is a feature to his believers, but it's a flaw all the same, and a nasty one.

Look, there are certainly things in life that you don't just "let go" of, and move on with your life like nothing happened. In the personal realm, losing a loved one or a home in a disaster, catching your spouse cheating on you, that sort of thing. In terms of world events, terrorist strikes fall into that category; nobody is letting go of, say, 9/11 anytime soon. (Although there should be a way to move forward from such things, and not get caught in an endless feedback loop of meaningless commemorations. I mean, next year will be the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, think there'll be some media monkey-spanking over that?)

In this instance, however, we're talking about Trump being unable to "let go" of John Oliver supposedly lying about trying to book Trump on his HBO show. This is the guy you want with his hand on the nuke button, a guy who spends every waking hour guarding his vaunted brand like a Faberge egg, a guy for whom no grudge is too small to hold in a raging death grip?

I've said it a million times, but bears repeating -- there's something weird, something off, about a nearly 70-year-old man who can walk away from it all a thousand times over, but prefers to spend his time pinballing between media tools responding to slights. I'm telling you right now, at that age and with even one-hundredth of that net worth, I'd be a fucking ghost, on the yacht anchored off Majorca with carrying capacity of hot Russian chicks, surf-and-turf and Ketel One. Most good politicians have a narcissistic streak, but there's no streak here -- if there was a meter that measured that personality trait, Trump would have it pegged at all times.

Credit where it's due -- Trump has done a good job in trash-talking and schoolyard-bullying prepster rival John Ellis "Please for the love of gawd, call me Jeb" Bush, who has been reduced to begging his meddling nonagenarian parents for help. Sidelining that useless dynasty troll is the one decent thing Trump has done since June. Quitting his bullshit campaign and going back to pushing around Penn Jillette and Gary Busey would be the second.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

The Beautiful People

One of the more bemusing, played-out memes in this wondrous clusterfuck of a nation is what you might call the "what's wrong with 'murka" schtick, the tired-ass notion that if only kids were beaten more, forced to pray in school, and we had the Ten Commandments posted at every stoplight, the way it all useta be, we'd be better off.

The subtext is that the reason "those people" don't know their place, whether it's uppity knee-grows or smartass teenagers, is because now you have cameras everywhere to record when nutjob cops go off on them in, say, a classroom.

The reflexive counter to that is to point out that anyone supporting that dumbass cop in the South Carolina classroom is the problem. (More to the point, I know at least two people who have been to state prison, who vocally support that dumbass school cop. Talk about complete cognitive dissonance.) And indeed, they're part of the overall problem.

But it's really people like this who are the fucking problem -- a dopey second-grader being pimped by her star-fucking parent for an assclown pretending to run for office. Why am I supposed to care what this kid thinks about anything, much less the complex issues that make up politics? They're after "publicity"? For what? There's nothing interesting about them, other than that the mother needs to do a better job coaching up her seven-year-old on what to say and how to say it, and the sign is wrong. It's MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, dummy. The AGAIN is there for a REASON, dammit.

"Reality" teevee has utterly ruined what culture this country might have had, not just because of the ubiquity of it all, but because of the genre's preening insistence on taking completely mediocre people with no discernible talent whatsoever, and putting them in front of us until we know their names and faces. They are, by the current definition, famous at that point.

The best we can hope for at this point is that their scheme goes awry when mom is caught on video blowing a security guard to get into a Trump speaking engagement, and the kid ends up in -- wait for it -- public school. Yes, I would like fries with that.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

What You Wish For

The maps and demographics don't lie, and it doesn't matter. Red-state rubes insist on voting against themselves, again and again, and you can never talk them out of it, because rebel-flag-y'all or whatever. So they get what they get, and maybe if enough of them die younger and dumber than they should have, enough of them will be left to finally sit up and take notice.

Or they can go down to the local snake-handler in their state-subsidized Rascals, gobble their gubmint pills, and repeat the chanted mumbo-jumbo. I'll be goddamned if I can find room to care anymore; I am only interested insofar as their pervasive stupidity doesn't infect the rest of the nation.


Of course China's one-child policy had a lot of side effects. Those problems were entirely predictable, and you can bet the Chinese leadership saw them coming. And allowing for a second child now will alleviate their coming demographic slump somewhat.

(Although, quite frankly, if the spam section of my various websites is any indication, I assume China's number-one industry now is spambots hawking shitty knock-off merchandise. No, asshole, I'm not going to buy a counterfeit designer handbag or NFL jersey from your 55-character-URL shitball website. I mean, if that's all they're going to do, why the fuck do we need more of them? Fucking die already.)

But nowhere in the linked interview is the acknowledgement that the one-child policy was a demographic as well as an economic necessity, and that China still has close to 1.5 billion people. The current populations in many of the East and South Asian countries right now is unsustainable, and have adversely affected their environments. What will it look like in another generation, with India and China approaching 2 billion each, with Indonesia pushing half a billion, Pakistan and Bangladesh around a quarter billion each?

At this very moment, one out of every three human beings currently alive resides in either China or India. One in every two -- every second person -- is in Asia. This concentration has already had a negative impact on those areas, as has Africa's population explosion. The U.S., with just five percent of world population and over three million square miles of territory, is comparatively blessed with low population density. But we still manage to have an outsize effect on the environment, both at home and in the countries that produce our consumables.

But it doesn't really matter who or where, so much as how many overall. We're over seven billion, nearing eight, predicted to be between nine and ten billion by 2050. Just as there is a physical limit to which we can push, for example, the ppm rate of carbons in the atmosphere, so there is also a carrying capacity of humans that the planet can handle, all of them eating, drinking, shitting, fucking, dumping their garbage, building houses. Many of them live super-size lives, consuming more, driving gas guzzlers, sport-hunting endangered species, and so on. There is a point of equilibrium to these things, and you don't generally find that point until it's been crossed, and it's too late.

I'm not ready to go completely antinatalist, here or in Asia. But there has to be some shared responsibility at some point in managing this; the world population cannot continue to grow infinitely. Depleted freshwater aquifers, ravaged wildlife and environment, and a whole host of social evils, from religious-based oppression to slavery, are all consequences of too many rats stuffed together into too small a cage. The cruel and ruthless subjugate the pliant and weak, perpetuating suffering as much as anything else for many.

It will be looked at as yet another instance of Western imperialist encroachment, and perhaps it is. But overpopulation is something that affects everyone around the world, and as the world gets ever more interdependent, it will more and more become everyone's problem.

The New Normal

For the past four months or so, I've been talking an awful lot of neck about one Donald John Trump. (Actually, it's gone on much longer than that, of course, but let's say the topic has gained some traction since he came down the escalator and told us all he was going to save us from ourselves.) Now, I think I make at least a token effort here to have links that are relevant to the point I'm making (which in this case, of course, is that Trump is a full-blown tool), but last week presented an opportunity to take that a large -- yuuuge, you might say -- step further.

Trump's recent rally in Jacksonville had gotten some press, and I decided that instead of cherry-picking pull quotes from some mainstream media source, let's listen to the entire speech unabridged, and see what all the fuss is about. Who knows, I might gain some insight not only into the man, but the fans.

After all, despite the polemics and snark by which we mostly communicate these post-irony days, experience teaches us that most people -- and even most politicians -- are neither entirely good nor bad. The ones we tend to like or agree with can be assholes about some things, and the ones we despise probably at least care about something, their families, their vision of 'murka, whatever.

So maybe there would be some redeeming quality lurking in the thicket of Trump's semi-improvised bluster, something that might provide some sort of clue as to what inspires such adulation among his faithful. It's unlikely, given that Trump has been something of a national media fixture for a good thirty years or so, but it's possible.

Or so we thought.

Reader, I shit you not when I say I expected very little from this, and it still didn't even hit the low bar I set for this little exercise. It wasn't entirely futile, in that now I know that my previous perceptions of Trump and his flock were off only by a matter of scale and degree -- he and they are much stupider than I had supposed.

Trump is stupider like a fox, of course -- whatever his net worth actually is, it's more than most of us combined, and truly stupid people don't get and stay that wealthy for very long. He is notoriously free of the baser vices -- drugs, alcohol, pussy -- that seem to plague many second and third generations of wealthy families into dissolution and louche behavior. He has considerable strengths as a salesman, and even as a trash talker, which is an underrated skill, and perhaps the most important to his particular fan base.

But that's about the extent of his skill set. In the nearly ninety minutes of the Jacksonville speech, I would bet serious money that a good seventy-five minutes of it was just basic dick-swinging -- every talk show I go on to plug my campaign gets record ratings; I'm drawing record crowds; I built this casino and that golf course, and they were the classiest ever; and on and on.

It's just sad after a while, watching an old, bitter man with fucked-up hair and a fake tan trying to convince "thousands" -- despite a decent amount of searching, I could not find even a ballpark number as to how many people attended this rally, or even what the capacity at Jacksonville Landing is -- that he has a three-foot cock. How many "thousands" -- two, ten, five hundred, one-point-three? Who fucking knows? More to the point, if it was a large number, the accounts would be much more specific; in other words, if it was 50,000 you'd never hear the end of it, but they're not going to brag about 1,500 people, or specify such a number.

For someone who famously eschews teleprompters, Trump really should consider using one. His opening schtick consists of how he doesn't need or use them, but there's no coherence or structure to his arguments that come afterward, and everything just naturally digresses back to his giant cock, which apparently his crowd wants to suck before they vote for it. He throws a little red meat by way of talking tough about trade policy with China and nuke deals with Iran, but provides zero detail on how those negotiations would actually work. He seriously banks on the premise that the Chinese and Iranians will get into the room with him, and just be so intimidated by Trump's enormous cock, that they'll have no choice but to suck it as well, and give him whatever he wants.

Trump's "Make America Great Again" slogan is pitch-perfect for his crowd, who to a person appear to be very much like Trump himself -- old, bitter, white. He's definitely got the Archie Bunker crowd locked up. Throughout the speech, there are several spontaneous chants of "Trump! Trump! Trump!" at random intervals, usually when he's saying something completely baseless and impossible to either confirm or refute (such as his threats to impose a trade deal on China that's more favorable to the US). You almost want the camera to turn and show the crowd, just to see if there are a couple of shirtless flabbos, faces and guts painted, one holding a "D" and the other holding a piece of picket fence. These jabbering idiots really do sound like little more than slightly more advanced feces-throwing zoo monkeys.

It would be one thing if the chanting and cheering were occurring during the precious few moments were Trump is making what passes (for him and them) a salient point, and they do. But they also do it when he talks about his golf courses and his ratings, things that have fuck-all to do with running the country. These mouth-breathers seriously believe that leading a huge nation is exactly like building a casino in Atlantic City.

Which brings me to my real point here:  just how far and fast the bar has been lowered. There is a direct link from George W. Bush to Sarah Palin to Ted Cruz, and now to Trump. Each step along that unholy path, we thought it couldn't get worse, or stupider. But it continues to get worse, as reliably as the sun rising in the east. The mistake the media tend to make is focusing on the candidates, but the candidates are merely escalating symptoms of the problem.

The problem, of course, is the base, the voters themselves, the perennially discontented group of nincompoops who continue to wonder where their country went, and as a result get gulled repeatedly into voting against themselves, every damned time. With each successive cycle, their fandom gets weirder, more incoherent, less balanced. They seem determined to live out Mencken's quote about every complex problem having a solution that is clear, simple, and wrong.

Times change, people generally don't. Trump will eventually get tired of this game, if he hasn't already, and surely already knows that even if he's serious in his effort, he's signing up for an impossible amount of headaches for a pittance. I'm sure that Barry O would be more than happy to warn Trump that being president mostly involves trying to do the impossible for the ungrateful, that Russia and China and Iran are the least of your worries when you can't even get Congress to work with you.

Trump's trainwreck of a candidacy is being billed as some sort of societal indicator of widespread discontent, but it really should be seen as a warning and a reminder, of just how stupid and venal people can be, and that they can always find a way to get even worse. Wait till one of the Gooper moneybags assholes gets their own -- incrementally worse than even Trump -- for the 2020 cycle.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Corn Pwned

There are many tedious rituals in 'murka's interminable campaign process, but one of the worst is this weird insistence that some inbred shithead small state possesses some sort of intrinsic wisdom that us city slickers (I say this from a town in California that has fewer than 8,000 inhabitants, in a county with fewer than 30,000 people, and not even a movie theater) jest cain't reckon.

People who classify themselves as "traditionalists" tend to hew to the idea that just because something has been done in a certain way for a certain amount of time, it should continue to be that way. Slavery was one such tradition; subjugating women was another. I wouldn't say that having states like Iowa and New Hampshire have first call at anointing national politicians is as ethically abhorrent as those things, but it is certainly at least as counter-productive.

This is a no-win situation for those states, quite frankly. There are only two lines of defense -- Iowa's miserable track record at picking eventual nominees either makes the process a harmless, anodyne event, or it renders its considered collective opinion completely useless. So why not just set up a rotating schedule throughout all states, large and small?

While most of us may not have traveled around the world, visiting every country and culture, I would guess that most of us have traveled at least some. I wouldn't say I'm well-traveled by any means, but I've been through half of the U.S., half of Europe, and parts of Canada and Mexico -- enough to know, like most people who have traveled far more also know, that once you get past the cultural bullshit, people are basically people. They mostly want the same things:  a decent living for themselves, a future for their families, a community that provides opportunities for prosperity, freedom to live their lives more or less how they please.

There is nothing special about a small rural state, nor a large urban city. Again, the individuals in both of those locales want essentially the same things out of life, even if they self-actualize those desires differently. The only real, measurable socioeconomic differences mostly have to do with the levels of education, which in turn center around people with degrees leaving for the cities, where the money is.

Many people in rural communities are simply stuck there in lives of inertia and clutter, but there are also some very intelligent people in those areas. Unfortunately, most of those smart folks are retirees who moved out to the sticks to save a buck and get away from the crime and assholes. So they can help and skew the IQ curve, but not much and not for long.

The point is that, despite our cultural reverse pretensions, there is nothing particularly special about these areas at all. It is merely a fiction perpetrated by the corporate media, as part of their endless PR arm to simultaneously guilt-trip white urban liberals, and falsely empower aggrieved rural conservatives, who apparently are unable to count, or they would have noticed by now that no one with any real brains or ambition wants to live in Cooter's fucking Gulch anymore.

It doesn't matter that Iowa Republitards are jacking off to Ben Carson this week, when they were spanking it to Trump a month ago, and Michelle Bachmann a few years ago. They should know by now, just by the empirically verifiable and consistent results, that no one gives a red-hot monkey-fuck what they think. But for some reason we persist with this odd fiction that Iowans "should" continue to have first opportunity to kick the tires on potential leaders.

Just as Every Cop Is a Criminal, and All the Sinners Saints

Look, I think most people across the ideological spectrum will attest that the majority of police officers are decent people doing difficult work the best they can under adverse conditions. This is not really in dispute. The problem is that when there is a turd, they refuse to fucking flush it. You can't make them, la la la they can't hear you, they will insist that not only is there no turd, but not even a bad odor.

It has less to do with whether the individual that gets shot is black -- though that clearly is a statistically significant factor -- and more to do with the victim in question being of the "marginalized" class. This is what those aerosol-cheese-sucking yahoos counter-protesting in Ferguson and elsewhere don't seem to get:  this is a socioeconomic issue, even more than a racial one. If you're a dipshit drug dealer and they decide to cave in your front door without warning, you're fair game. In a southern state, the odds double. And in Florida or Texas, they triple. And they get away with it, every goddamned time.

Hair Today, Goon Tomorrow

It's amazing yet immensely fun to realize that John Ellis Bush, of all people, has become the ideal target for Donald Trump's weekly campaign cockpunching. The added entertainment, given that Trump has been almost Palin-esque in his sheer contempt for anything resembling facts or objectivity, is that the glowing bull's-eye on Yeb's fivehead has made Trump more accurate in his attacks. He's forced Jeb to defend and obfuscate his brother's failures, and now Trump is calling Bush out for having to confer with his nonagenarian parents and dipshit brother over What To Do Now.
"Bush now has gotta cut back," Trump said at a campaign rally in Jacksonville, Florida. "Here's a guy who wants to run our country. And he can't even run his own campaign. And you know what? He's cutting back big."

The billionaire diagnosed Bush's campaign as "failing" and supplied with "no money." His White House bid, Trump said to wild applause, was "losing badly and embarrassing his family."


In Florida, Trump lambasted Bush's pivot towards family support, mocking Bush for "meeting today with mommy and daddy."

"They're working on the campaign," Trump jeered. "They're working!"
Even a stuffed asshole is right once in a while. Things will even out at some point, because Trump is a terminal douchebag with an impossibly high sense of self-regard, and he's a bully by nature. It is axiomatic that sooner or later he will step on his dick by talking shit about Oprah or beating up a penguin.

But in the meantime, it is fun watching him suck the lifeforce out of what remains of the vaunted Bush dynasty, political barnacles who have affixed themselves to the hull of this nation for several generations now. No doubt Poppy and Barb sincerely believe that after their Hispanic son, Neil and Marvin deserve a turn, or maybe one or more of Jeb's fuck-up children. That's the thing about this family of layabouts and parasites -- like rats and cockroaches, there's always one more of them.

We'll know pretty soon, like by January 1st, whether the Bushes still have any real juice or not, if Poppy or Dubya can actually lean on anyone with money these days. I think it's an even split -- they'll find a last few loyalists, maybe even enough to get them over the hump. Bush has the built-in advantage that, if he can just hang on for dear life long enough for that inevitable Trump implosion, he'll be a shoo-in.

What's hilarious is this belief that such an ascendancy is a logical event, rather than a symptom of the GOP's ongoing malaise (which is like referring to end-stage HIV as a nasty cold). The Bushes think that their next family scion belongs there, similar to how the Clintons believe that Hillary belongs there, but in a deeper and more pernicious way. One major difference is that there is no one in the Clinton family beyond Hillary waiting in the wings; maybe Chelsea wants in at some point, but there is at least as much chance that she grew up seeing how the sausage gets made and wants nothing to do with any of it. Even if she did, there's no one beyond her.

Anyway, back to the Donald-slamming-Jeb meme, what actually makes it mean something is how adeptly Trump illustrates the raw truth that there is no real reason for Jon Ellis Bush to be President of the United States. That there is also no earthly reason for Trump to be preznit is beside the point. We must take our nuggets of illumination wherever and however they happen to be unearthed. Sometimes it's from a billionaire turd miner.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Cruel and Usual

Now that the summer silly season is winding down, and "serious" (at least in comparison) observers and observations are getting more involved in what passes for a political discussion in this country, Donald Trump's oldest children are flooding the zone to defend dear old dad's spewage and tone.

Let's play devil's advocate for a few:  I don't doubt their sincerity. I believe that if he likes you, needs something from you, or you at least pull your weight, Donald Trump is probably a reasonably generous person, nice even. There, I said it.

He's an obnoxious tool partly by temperament, partly because, like Jesus and Gandhi and L. Ron Hubbard, Trump intuitively understands that he has to fully commit to his own hype. It's kind of like being in an up-and-coming band -- if you don't believe you're awesome and destined for success, why on earth should anyone else?

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Guns 'n' Poses

While most of the media oxygen regarding gun violence tends to get sucked out on whatever mass-shooting horror of the week is getting visited upon [pick one:  students/shoppers/family members/neighbors/friends/random bystanders] this time, we shouldn't ignore the incidents of toxic stupidity with firearms that may not even kill anyone, but should at least make folks think about some of the maroons that are allowed to pack heat.

The latest and greatest is this dumb cow in Michigan who shot up a Home Depot parking lot trying to "help" HD security chase down a shoplifter. For some reason the dumb cow has not yet been identified in any of the media reports I've seen, so we'll just keep referring to her as "dumb cow" or "DC." Now, it seems that DC may not even be charged with any crime or infraction. This seems preposterous, yet completely predictable in our gun-culture climate.

Fortunately for DC, she did not hurt anyone. Lucky break for her; I doubt if I'm alone in saying that had my family or I been hit by her stray stupidity while walking across the parking lot, I'd have sued every loose dime out of her. And if she didn't have a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of, I'd make sure she at least couldn't afford a gun.

Sometimes the worst punishment is to have to explain one's stupidity. DC's punishment should be to have to come forward and tell the class what the hell she was thinking. Part of the problem with our entertainment culture of revenge porn and violent retribution is that it encourages this weird fantasy life where you end up with all these would be Walter Mittys and their projectile-spewing metal penises, always getting the Bad Guy, always Saving The Day. It's unusual for women to fall for this Everyman Action Hero nonsense, but there are female morons too.

Friday, October 02, 2015

Down with the Sickness

How many times can you hear it? It goes on all day long. Everyone knows everything, and no one's ever wrong  -- until later.... -- Rush, Show Don't Tell

Another week, another mass shooting. Let the rush to assumptions begin:  he was a jihadist hunting Christians; no, he was a radicalized atheist hunting Christians; no, he was a gun nut and Irish Republican Army(!) sympathizer who was -- wait for it -- hunting Christians.

The real story is not how, in a nation of 320 million people with even more guns, and fairly liberal gun laws compared with most of the rest of the world, some of those folks turn out to be psychopaths, armed and dangerous. Those are, unfortunately, the odds we're playing here. The real story is how quickly so many people from every point across the political spectrum were able to fit the actions of some random, deranged asshole into their political template.

I don't know what the deal with this idiot was, and neither do you. It's barely been 36 hours; the feebs are still sifting through his search history, trying vainly to limn clues and piece some sort of narrative to make sense of the senseless, to describe why crazy people do crazy things, when sufficiently motivated and locked and loaded.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Stop the Inanity

Company man Peter Wehner, in Commentary (hey, I was just there to jerk off to the pictures, not read the articles, m'kay?) finds himself on the horns of a dilemma, what with the bumptiousness of Trump and all, undermining Serious People Doing Very Important Work.

Citing not just the popularity of Corbyn but the rise of Donald Trump and avowed socialist Bernie Sanders in America, as well as unfolding events in Greece and France, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair argues, “There is a politics of parallel reality going on, in which reason is an irritation, evidence a distraction, emotional impact is king and the only thing that counts is feeling good about it all.”

He went on to say this:
The explanation for this parallel reality is something to do with people feeling empowered by their ability through it, to “fight back” against “the system”, the traditional ways of thinking about politics with all its compromises, hard decisions and gradual increments. It is the clarity of full-throated opposition versus the chin-stroking nuance of: “What would we do if we were in government?” It’s a revolution but within a hermetically sealed bubble…

Mr. Blair concluded this way:
Because it is a vast wave of feeling against the unfairness of globalisation, against elites, against the humdrum navigation of decision-making in an imperfect world, it persuades itself that it has a monopoly on authenticity. They’re “telling it like it is”, when, of course, they’re telling it like it isn’t.

Jesus H. Christ. Talk about a hermetically sealed bubble. Blair is firmly encased away from the consequences of his decisions, and the decisions of his friends, hard and otherwise. Corbyn's election, and the candidacy of Trump -- and yes, that of Bernie Sanders as well -- do in fact all share a common thread of frustration with the mendacious tendencies of "the system" Blair worked within. There is much talk about "hard decisions" and "compromises" but no talk at all about who bears the brunt of those things, every goddamned time.

You have to wonder sometimes if these assholes really and truly don't get it, or if they're just Oscar-caliber actors. If one of their hectomillionaire backers loses, say, 10% of their net value in a recession, well, it sucks, but fortunately they have many other tens of millions of dollars with which to cushion the blow. Not so for an average lower-middle-class (since the US hates the fucking middle class, and has driven it into the dirt) family, whose net worth is mostly tied up in the value of their home, which went underwater in the recession, and will take years to recoup its value, assuming he can hang on to it long enough.

Joe Hecto has cash flow, cash reserves, and an economy of scale to help him get back on his feet and recoup his losses quickly and reliably, while Joe Schmo has none of those things, and has to hope his job doesn't pull up stakes from under him and leave him destitute while he's trying to recover from the economic downturn -- the naturally foreseeable result of all those "compromises" Tony Blair described with such smug anguish.

Whatever policies Blair and his ilk -- and this includes the Clintons and the Bushes alike -- the outcomes are predictable: successes accrue to the elites, while failures fall on those least able to bear it. The rich do not send their kids to die or get maimed in some bullshit war, don't have to deal with a fracking company turning their water table into flammable chemicals, never have to worry about their job getting sent to Bangalore so some cocksucker can make one more million on top of the dozens or hundreds he already has.

If the risk-reward scenario were spread out more evenly, if Our Betters (bettors?) faced even remotely the same consequences for their own decisions that everyone else does, it would be a different story. But they never do, and it's not even close. And now Tony Blair has the fucking gall to come out of the woodwork and chastise the peons for their ingratitude. Look, asshole, I'm about the last person to defend a troglodyte like Donald Trump, or the ignorant mouth-breathers who support him. But it's almost impossible not to get why they're frustrated, and that they intuitively understand that the politicians are out to get them.

I don't know enough about Corbyn to comment one way or the other, but that's really the brass ring that just barely evades the Trump-lodytes. They are correct that the system is out to fuck them over; what they miss is that their boy is playing them like a fiddle as well. Like any good huckster, he's going to pull the rubes along until the critical moment, and then pull the rug out from under them.

What's tough to figure out here is what Trump's endgame is. He's almost certainly not as wealthy as he claims, but he is wealthy. And he's already taken some hits, between losing his deals with NBC and Univision. Unless he's got some mad scheme to compete with Shelly Adelson for some Macau casino real estate, where's the financial gain for him? Secondly, while Trump is not as smart as he thinks he is, he's not stupid, either; in fact, primarily because of his immense ego, he probably understands the ideals of rational self-interest more than most people. And he has to know that the odds of actually succeeding are against him; a snake-oil salesman knows better than anyone that the media is geared to a build-them-up-and-tear-them-down cycle, and that his time is coming.

Maybe his ego outweighs his better sense, who knows? Again, this is a guy who spends his time -- or at least pays someone to spend their time -- fucking around on Twitter, picking and responding to fights over the most mundane, idiotic things. You don't see Warren Buffett doing that, you don't see Bill Gates, Carlos Slim, any other billionaire, doing that stupid shit. Trump's a queer duck, no doubt. Good luck figuring out his master plan.

But whatever it is, the fact is that the rage he's channeled, however poorly, to whatever end, much of that rage is justified. Because these elites, these transnational merchant princes and their political dogsbodies, like Tony Blair, with no loyalty but to themselves and each other, have screwed them over royally. The plebes don't know much, and they don't know what exactly to do about it, but they know that much well enough. When they finally figure out the proper direction to focus their anger and frustration, it might be a good idea to look at property in The Okanagan or some such.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Something for the Ladies

Although most of my musical tastes tend to revolve around various shades of metal, with a bit of classical and Beatles/Beach Boys pop once in a while, I grew up on old-school R&B, and still have a soft spot for it. And this is a great rendition of a newer song that harks back to those classics. Just amazing. And almost poignant, stripped of the production doodads of the original.

Fuck You got billed as something of a novelty hit by a can't-miss auteur, but it's exposed here as a truly sharp, bitter cri de Coeur. Anyone who was ever sixteen years old and had an unrequited crush can relate to this. It's every bit as legit as anything Marvin Gaye or Al Green did.

Lie of the Crier

Not sure what the hell Mike Huckabee thinks he's going to get out of bandwagoning and orchestrating the small (300 people? really?) pep rally for oft-married, recently converted super-Christian Kim Davis' release from county jail. If he thinks his single-issue preaching to the converted is going to get him so much as a low-level cabinet appointment in a never-gonna-happen Ted Cruz administration, he's even dumber than he sounds trying to defend this sanctimonious dunce.

Are her fifteen minutes up yet already? Again, who gives two shits what a handful of inbred rubes and jokers think about anything? They've already got their minds made up; we know who they'll be voting for next year and for the next ten to twenty years. There's no mystery about places like this. These are people who literally cannot decide whether or not they should be allowed to purchase alcohol. Are they Moooslims, or just stoopid?

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

No Lives Matter

Oh good -- the organization whose protected members decided to accost and assault an innocent man for no reason, in broad daylight on a busy city street, is going to investigate itself. Awesome.

While they're at it, they might want to investigate precisely why these assholes need to go all Delta Force on "a ring believed to be using fraudulent credit cards to buy cellphones". Since when do they give two shits about white-collar crime?

Wait, that's right -- when it's banksters stealing billions of dollars and rigging interest rates, fucking the world over, they do jack shit. But if they suspect you might be a credit-card fraudster, they will throw you down on the sidewalk and fuck your shit up before they even ask your name. I suppose Blake should just be thankful they didn't fill him full of lead.

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Speak English or Die

If this nation had any sense of irony anymore, it would be ironic -- a vapid, notoriously incoherent moron whinging about immigrants not learning Gawwwd's Favrit Language quickly enough for her liking. But irony is deader than William McKinley at this point, so not only does no one get the joke, most of 'em don't even understand that there is a joke.

Let me tell ya something, sugar-tits:  if I had just a goddamned penny for every time I saw a native-born 'murkin confuse you're/your or they're/their/there, write "ect." instead of etc. (which fucking stands for et cetera, see), or throw apostrophes around like they got paid for each use, I could have retired at the ripe old age of fifteen.

And there seems to be some sort of law of inverse proportion to these mutton-heads -- the more strident they are that everyone should learn English the day they get off the boat and receive our blessings, the more likely it is that they make these comically dopey, basic errors of usage.

I am just arrogant enough to tell you with 100% confidence that I can tell you with almost absolute certainty how much  -- or if -- someone else reads, just by reading a few lines of what they write. Even celebritard ass-sniffing magazines know how to use homophones and apostrophes (or in the current dipshit parlance, homophone's and apostrophe's, since every word that ends in s need a fucking apostrophe).

But, you know, the last thing the world needs is another tedious language lesson. What's more interesting about La Palin's plaint is that, as Suckaterry o' Energy in a Trump administration (brought to you by Brawndo), her goal would be to disband that agency. Because we have an infinite supply of oil and coal, and no other energy source matters or is useful, and climate change is a complete hoax. Seriously, what fucking planet do these idiots live on?

The real problem with people like Sarah Palin is not their opinions per se, which any reasoning person can instantly dismiss as the random, opportunistic jabber that it is. The real problem is that plenty of fools buy into the nonsense, believe what these dummies are saying. Worse yet, they drive automobiles, reproduce, vote. It's like they set out to prove Mencken right, over and over again.

Monday, September 07, 2015

1 Thing You MUST Know About Assholes

That douchebag dentist is back to work, and probably with little to no drop-off in business, since his long-term patients will pull the Yew Cain't Tell Me Whut Ta Do card, and show all y'all jest whut the deal is. Or he might actually be proficient at his job, in which case his patients almost certainly won't pull away. Maybe their insurance doesn't cover a lot of other dentists.

At any rate, the salient point here is that this guy clearly still doesn't get it. The problem is not that he killed a lion that had a name, or was "popular" with locals; the problem is that he, Walter Palmer DDS, enjoys killing things just for the sheer fun and pleasure of killing them, and he gives zero fucks whether the animal in question is already endangered to the point that every act is an impactful destructive act.

Hang your fucking trophy on that, asshole. You're part of the problem; you are what's wrong with humanity. And either your actions mean nothing in the scheme of things, in which case nothing you do means anything at all, or karma is actually a thing, in which case you are well and truly -- and deservedly -- fucked.

Sunday, September 06, 2015

The Right, Stuffed

Of course "right people" can (and for the most part should) be interpreted to mean whites, but the teabaggers' disdain runs deeper and broader than that, and who comprises the "right people" is even simpler than that. They really just don't want any gubmint dollars going to anyone besides themselves, or some rich asshole who might "create" a "job" for them, even if they're beyond working age, or don't have any marketable skills, or are too addled on meth and/or oxy to do much in the first place.

Working in social services for several years now, I've seen and heard many people and stories in this area, both pro and con. One of the most common sentiments is that people shouldn't have children they can't afford, which is reasonable enough in principle. Nobody wants to feel like they're being forced to subsidize the bad habits and poor impulse control of others.

But many of the people saying that have nothing at all to say about the billionaires and corporations that they're also forced to subsidize. They have an iPhone, but no reservations about the conditions under which their devices are constructed, and no thoughts about Apple offshoring billions of dollars in order to avoid paying taxes. They shop at Wal-Mart, but can't be bothered to care about the fact that if the employees can't get by on their shit jobs (and can't get a second job because of unpredictable scheduling constraints), they have to seek gubmint services to supplement the shortfall. Great racket for the multi-billionaire Walton family, to soak up the profits and force taxpayers to pick up the tab for food stamps and medical care.

The teabagger "movement" itself, regardless of what its addled adherents think, is bought and paid for by Koch Brothers types who hire shithead consultants who know how to sell shit to these rubes, over and over again. These are the people who lose to tic-tac-toe-playing chickens at county fairs. That people like Reihan Salam and Frank Luntz and all the others continue to have lucrative careers either selling the scam or writing about it proves that maybe the rest of us should just get in on the racket, since it never seems to run dry.

Friday, September 04, 2015

Snark Week

Look, I'll go along with the argument that verbally smacking Kentucky dingbat Kim Davis around for her looks or her (in the past) apparently loose moral code might not be all that productive, might even be something that the flying monkeys on the other side would do. [Ed.: There's no "might" about it.]

But Davis chose to put her selective religious observations above the law, above the functions of her job, above basic common decency. And because her cause is explicitly deciding who can and can't get married on her watch, because said institution is a sacrament in the eyes of gawwwd, it is fair game to point out that Davis' own track record with said institution is a hell of a lot worse than what she takes it upon herself to impose on others.

Since Davis was elected rather than hired, she can't simply be fired. But instead of letting her make herself into a martyr behind bars, maybe the county board of supervisors might initiate a recall election, or a recommendation to suspend and dismiss Davis, something along that line.

Over the past year or two, we've seen several high-profile stories where small businesses owned by religious people have been fined, threatened online, etc., by your garden-variety social justice warriors looking to set them straight. Those folks I can see a little more neutrally, in the sense that within reasonable bounds, small businesses should have the right to refuse service to people you deem objectionable.

The line gets finer and the slope gets more slippery as you try to parse the intellectual difference between refusing to bake a cake for a neo-Nazi versus a gay couple versus a black person, but for now, if I don't want to (for example) give a guitar lesson to someone who posts on Stormfront and talks about his love for Hitler and hatred for those people, that's my right. The point (and there is one) is that it is possible to have an intellectually honest debate about small business rights, and air both sides to at least some extent. (Should a neo-Nazi who owns a small business be compelled to serve me, even though he's offended by what I said about people like him?)

But Kim Davis is a public servant, and the Supreme Court has affirmed the right for same-sex couples to petition the state to recognize their union. No clergyman can be compelled to officiate their ceremony, no beleaguered baker or hand-wringing photographer can be forced to cater or capture the magic moments. But the person who issues the licenses can and should be expected to do her job.

The hypocrisy of Davis' personal history simply serves to illustrate not only her own ethical impasse with what she's trying to impose on others in defiance of the law and the government she works for. Like the Duggar family and countless other religious folks who've made it their mission to hector and lecture us heathens about our wicked ways, Davis' hypocrisy serves as yet another in a long line, a veritable pattern of this sort of "do as I say, not as I do" behavior. That is precisely why it is not only okay, but practically necessary to hoist these idjits on their own petards every time it happens.

And the louder they proclaim their virtue, the more likely it is bound to happen. Say what you want about Larry King and Mickey Rooney, they never took it upon themselves to serve as moral arbiters of the personal lives of consenting adults.