Saturday Odds & Sods: Supper’s Ready

This week: Russian paranoia, Mallory McMorrow, The Shield At 20, Evans/Goode, Shirley MacLaine, and Carson/Falk. Music by Genesis, Nancy Wilson, ZZ Top, The Kinks, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Roy Orbison, Johnny Winter, and The Cars. Continue reading Saturday Odds & Sods: Supper’s Ready

We’re Not Going To Take It Anymore

No, I’m not a Twisted Sister fan. But I did see the news story about Ukrainians taking up their song “We’re Not Going To Take It” as a battle anthem. What is even better is that Dee Snider, whose grandfather was Ukrainian, endorsed their use of it while denying its use by the US trucker convoys: People are asking me why I endorsed the use of "We're Not Gonna Take It" for the Ukrainian people and did not for the anti-maskers. Well, one use is for a righteous battle against oppression; the other is a infantile feet stomping against an … Continue reading We’re Not Going To Take It Anymore

Chinese Checkers

Beijing Winter Olympics 2002 Logo

In two weeks the Winter Olympic Games ™ will begin in China.

I won’t be watching.

I will be boycotting these games. My physical attendance was never going to happen, so my boycott will be of the television kind. And I strongly urge you to join with me on this boycott journey.

First of all let’s face it, nobody really cares about winter sports unless they or a family member are playing them. Strapping boards on your feet and sliding down a mountain trying to be one tenth of a second faster than the other guy is not compelling sports viewing. Really, it is like auto racing, we’re just waiting for the crash. Don’t get me started on ice skating, a “sport” tailored to be a cesspool of corruption. Ice hockey? I have the NHL for that, if I really need it. Luge, bobsled, cross country skiing? Fine things to do, but a bore to watch. Now curling, that’s something I could get into, but until they let the curlers (don’t call them athletes) play it in their natural habitats, ie, with a beer can in their hands, I’ll pass.

But all that’s just my distaste for winter sports. That’s not the real reason I’ll be boycotting.

Did I mention these games are taking place in China? You remember China. The land that censorship loves so much it bought a timeshare there. The land of suppression and repression. Where surveilling leads to jailing. Where human rights are thrown into the back seat of a police car never to be heard from again. Yeah, that China.

China, or to be more correct the city of Beijing, was selected to host these Olympics through some pretty dubious means. Back in 2014 when the selection election was held, Oslo Norway was the leading candidate. That made perfect sense since, well, Oslo is well known for it’s winters, i.e., they have plenty of naturally occurring snow and ice. But at the last minute the International Olympic Committee (IOC) threw in demands such as:

“Diva-like demands for luxury treatment” for the IOC members themselves, such as special lanes on all roads only to be used by IOC members and cocktail reception at the Royal Palace with drinks paid for by the royal family. IOC also “demanded control over all advertising space throughout Oslo” to be used exclusively by IOC’s sponsors, something that is not possible in Norway because Norway is a liberal democracy where the government doesn’t own or control “all advertising space throughout Oslo” much of which is privately owned and has no authority to give a foreign private organization exclusive use of an entire city and private property within it.

Now the IOC is pretty well known for being a little footloose and fancy free when it comes to demanding things from potential host cities, but that was ridiculous. It actually sounds to me like the IOC made these requirements with the idea of gaming the election so that ONLY Beijing would be able to win. As it stands the only competitor for these games after Oslo pulled out was Almaty Kazakhstan, another Asian country with dubious credentials when it comes to human rights (but notably better than the Chinese).

So Beijing becomes the first city to ever host both a summer and a winter Olympics and they will have done both in the span of 14 years, far quicker than any other two time host city ever has. Then again, while once upon a time cities fought tooth and nail to get an Olympics now they mostly have an ambivalence about them, especially the winter games. Let’s face it, as a ski destination you only have a few months to make money and if those months have to be given over to preparing for and then hosting an event you don’t make money on, well thanks but no thanks.

But having the IOC game the system for them is the least of my problems with China hosting these games. Let’s talk about what they are requiring of those attending the games, both participants and partisans.

Continue reading “Chinese Checkers”

This Is A Fine Mess You’ve Gotten US Into

Duston Stockman, Chris Hayes, Jennifer Lawrence

So there I was the other night sipping my pre-dinner cocktail and multitasking back and forth from my phone to the TV. Chris Hayes of MSNBC was interviewing Dustin Stockton and Jennifer Lawrence (no not that one, the other one), aka, the Bonnie and Clyde of the MAGA world, about their involvement in the January 6th attempted overthrow of the United States government. You can watch the entire interview right here:

Before I go any further, what is it with Trumper women and makeup? Is it their belief that if some is good, more is better, and using a spackling trough as an applicator is best?

But I digress.

Stockton and Lawrence were in the news because they had played a large part in organizing the January 6th so-called “Save America” rally that ended up with the attack on the Capital. Unlike so many others in that group, these two had decided to come clean to the congressional committee investigating the attack and have been handing over texts, emails, and all other kinds of juicy tidbits. A lot of people are worried about what they have said. A lot of congress type people.

Of course in typical Trumper fashion their claim is “we did nothing wrong”. They claim to only have been the organizers of the rally outside the White House that day and only found out the mob was going to march down to the Capital when their chief cook and bottle washer Herr Oberfuhrer Drumpf told them to from behind the cloak of White House and Secret Service safety.

So setting the table means you have nothing to do with serving the dinner. OK, gotcha.

They were shocked, shocked I tell you to discover that Donald Trump would throw them under the bus by pardoning everyone else and leaving them hung out to flutter in the winds of justice. This even after Lawrence says she’d known Trump for a decade.

You’ve known him for a decade and hadn’t figured out he does that to EVERYONE?! It’s just occurring to you that Donald Trump only cares about Donald Trump?! The rest of the non-Trumper world knew that was the case, but it was only after your failed attempt to keep him in power and his subsequently throwing you under a multi axle vehicle that you realized, “hey maybe he’s not such a nice guy”.

I shouldn’t be surprised. A con man is always gonna be a con man. And the biggest defenders a con man can have are the people he conned. It might be because they are still under the influence of the con or it might be because they are subconsciously attempting to justify to themselves the fact they were conned. Whatever the reason, and whatever the evidence mounted to prove the con, they will only under the most demanding of pressure admit to their folly.

So little Dusty, even while he attempts to throw Trump under that multi axle vehicle, also tries to do the “but what abouts” with Hayes over MSNBC’s coverage of the Trump/Russia investigation. Credit Hayes for not buying into that and keeping the interview on as even a keel as could be hoped for. He did what Chris Wallace at the first 2020 Presidential Debate should have done, but then again Wallace had to deal with a crazy person high on anti-COVID drugs (and whatever else he uses) while Hayes only had to deal with a disgruntled man child who had lost his reason for being.

Come to think of it, maybe they were both dealing with the same thing.

Press this little link to see what else these scamps were into

Continue reading “This Is A Fine Mess You’ve Gotten US Into”

Two Years and Counting of Magical Thinking

Back in February I wrote about the US passing the 500,000 mark in people who died from Covid. Today we crossed the 800,000 mark, and there is no end in sight to the unnecessary death. I tweeted this a few days ago:  “Everyone wants to report back who died, but far fewer people want to talk about grief.” I was actually talking about the Sex and the City reboot “And Just Like That”, but it fits the real world, too. Even if you have not lost a loved one to Covid, the grief is palpable everywhere. In this moment as … Continue reading Two Years and Counting of Magical Thinking

Braking Bad

Tent Encampment Skid Row LA

I’ve had a good week so far, even the post COVID booster jab couldn’t bring me down.

So I’ve decided it’s time to play with the third rail of American liberal politics — homelessness.

There is no issue in America today that blurs the liberal-conservative divide more than homelessness. I know liberals who sound like die hard Republicans when it comes to the homeless (“Whatever needs to be done to get them off the street”) and conservatives sounding like bleeding hearts (“They need to be cared for”). But it’s within the liberal community where I see the most heated arguments over the situation. Even here in deep blue liberal Sonoma there are heated arguments over solutions.

It’s hard to have a solution when you don’t understand the problem.

Of course here in Sonoma our homeless population is eight guys who hang around the plaza during the day and to be honest are as well behaved and clean as can be expected. Mostly they pull together enough money to get a coffee and a roll from the Basque Bakery, cross the street to the plaza, and spend the day being your basic old man coffee klatch. One thing we have done is create a collaboration between the police and a local church to offer rides starting at 6PM for anyone without shelter to stay in the church overnight. Two rules. Once you’re in, you’re in till 7AM the next morning. The second rule is that means no sleeping on the streets at night.

Not a bad solution.

But we have many who decry that this is the government working with a religious organization and that is not to be tolerated. And we have those who cry that it’s not enough and we need to build shelters. And we have those who declaim that allowing them to congregate (congregate? eight guys?) in the plaza is a hazard for families and a bad image for the tourists. And we have those, again very liberal people on all other issues, who just want them run out of town as a warning to others of the homeless community that Sonoma is to be avoided. Not to mention the church’s neighbors who worry about homeless people in their neighborhood.

The point is we don’t really have it that bad. These guys, yeah they’re not all mentally there, none of them. They are the portion of the homeless population that, in a sane world, would be looked after by the state in fully equipped, hygienic facilities where they could get the therapy and/or drugs they need to get themselves together.

And that brings up the point I really want to get to.

The homeless are not all of the same ilk. Yes, some of them are the victims of a brutal economic environment where housing is expensive even on the cheaper ends, but that’s not all of them. Some of them, like the guys in the plaza have mental issues. Some of them are just people who think it’s their right to camp out wherever they want.

But the vast majority of the homeless have serious addiction problems that have lead them to the streets. We’re not talking about “oh Daddy has a few too many martinis when he comes home from work” addiction. We’re talking about “I’d rather pay for that next hit then pay the rent on even the most cut-rate rathole” addiction.

That is the where the real trouble lies.

Click the link to read all about P2P and the hell it has created

Continue reading “Braking Bad”

Imagine If It Were You

Texas Abortion Rights Protest

Imagine.

You’re a Roaring Twenties flapper. You like your jazz hot and your hootch cold. One morning after you had a few too many the night before you wake up and find yourself in bed with a man whose name you don’t remember. Thankful you woke up before him so you’re able to sneak out of his hotel room. Two months later you realize you haven’t had your period in, well, two months. You also have a burning sensation when you urinate. Sure enough you are pregnant. And you have syphilis. Both are courtesy of the man who is long gone. You can be treated for the syphilis but not while you’re pregnant, but if you wait to have the baby it’s likely to be too late to treat the syphilis. You need an abortion. With no safe place to go you turn to the local neighborhood woman who knows how to handle these things. She handles it so well you end up with a staph infection that ultimately makes the syphilis moot because you’re dead.

You’re a 16 year old girl in 1944. You’re a good girl, get good grades, honor your mother and father. You’ve always looked up to your big brother as your protector, but he’s off fighting Nazis now. One night you babysit for a neighbor down the street. After the couple come home, because your brother isn’t there to do it the husband walks you back home. On the walk home he violently begins to maul you. He’s an authority figure, you don’t know what to do. Finally he ferociously forces your legs apart and in just seconds your virginity is gone. His parting words to you are that if you tell anyone he’ll deny it and you’ll be branded a whore. Two months later you realize you haven’t had your period in two months. You’re too ashamed to tell your parents. You believe what he said. A girlfriend tells you there is a woman in the next town who can take care of it for you. She takes care of it so well you end up with septic shock syndrome and die on the bench outside the hospital where she dumped you.

You’re a 35 year old suburban matron in 1958. You have a husband with a well paying job, two kids under the age of ten, a neat split level three bedroom house with a girl who comes in twice a week to clean, a full social calendar, friends galore, and you even use (shhh!) birth control because sometimes the husband gets a bit randy after that post dinner martini. One night the condom fails. Two months later you realize you haven’t had a period in two months. You go to your family doctor and when he congratulates you on being pregnant you burst into tears. Your life is where you want it to be. You don’t want another child. Your husband’s job is good, but not great and another mouth means having to downgrade your lifestyle, maybe even move out of your three bedroom split level house. The doctor takes you into his private office where he hands you a slip of paper with a name and address on it. “He’s a doctor, well, sort of. He lost his license a few years ago. Now he takes care of things like this. But he’s really safe.” You get your best girlfriend to drive you to the address which is on the shadier side of town. His “office” is the backroom of a skanky looking storefront. He’s gentle and soothing and when you awaken he tells you everything is taken care of and that the bleeding is normal. But the bleeding doesn’t stop, even after your husband rushes you to the hospital in the middle of the night. The surgeon tells your widower that he was too late, there had been too much blood loss.

To continue, click the link. 

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It’s Not Schadenfreude…

…unless it comes from the Schaden region of Germany. Before the main course, the amuse-bouche:  You may have noticed Chris “I Ate The Meatloaf” Christie was all over TeeVee last week to promote his book. So far it’s sold fewer than 2300 copies. You hate to see it. Time for an appetizer:  So Dr. Oz, who I never watch because I don’t watch CNN, is running for the Senate seat currently held by Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, who is retiring. There’s one problem:  Oz doesn’t live in Pennsylvania. He lives in New Jersey. Now that in itself isn’t disqualifying—my own … Continue reading It’s Not Schadenfreude…