Category Archives: Weird & Peculiar

A Statement on Musk & Twitter

After extensive research and deliberation, this blogger has reached a definite conclusion about the purchase of Twitter by Elon Musk, to wit:

Furthermore:

So now Elon Musk has bought Twitter.
Let some scream & howl, I’m not bitter;
He’ll tweet in his cars,
Then fly them to Mars;
I’ll stay right at home & just titter.

 

 

 

 

Friday Follies: the Culture War & The Tostitos Hint of Lime Chip Conflict

Jamelle Bouie, one of the best new columnists for the New York Times, today highlights a recent book, The Second Red Scare and the Unmaking of the New Deal Left.

Jamelle Bouie

[In it, he writes], “the historian Landon R.Y. Storrs shows how conservatives used loyalty pledges to purge the federal bureaucracy of government officials ‘who hoped to advance economic and political democracy by empowering subordinated groups and setting limits on the pursuit of private profit.’

Left-leaning New Dealers in the federal government, she explains, ‘believed that race and gender inequality served employers by creating lower-status groups of workers who supposedly needed or deserved less, thereby applying downward pressure on all labor standards, including those of white men. They saw their mission as sweeping away beliefs and practices that were based on obsolete conditions but defended by those whose interests they continued to serve.’

The Red Scare is, in this view, less a sudden outburst of reactionary hysteria than a political project aimed directly at dismantling the New Deal order and ousting those who helped bring it into being, both inside and outside the federal government.

Without making a direct analogy between then and now, [NOTE: But the parallels are pretty darn close!] I think that this perspective is a useful one to have in mind as conservatives pursue yet another witch hunt against those they perceive as enemies of American society, using whatever state power they happen to have at their disposal. Continue reading Friday Follies: the Culture War & The Tostitos Hint of Lime Chip Conflict

A study in Contrasts: DJT & Biden coming to North Carolina

This is strange. Weird, actually:

DJT is coming to North Carolina today, for a rally in Selma, about 90 minutes east of me here in Durham.

Nothing strange about that. DJT carried the state twice, and would be a strong contender in 2024, if Jesus doesn’t return & Merrick Garland still tarries. DJT’s endorsed some far-out candidates in our 2022 races.

What’s odd is that, at the same time his “team” has been promoting the hell out of the rally’s date (April 9) and time (7PM), its location remained a secret until yesterday.

It makes a difference. NC is not a postage stamp state like Rhode Island or Delaware: Continue reading A study in Contrasts: DJT & Biden coming to North Carolina

Alaska and the Weirdest House Primary Ever?

Anchorage Daily News, April 3, 2022 (With comments)

When it comes to name recognition in the free-for-all Alaska Race to succeed the late Rep. Don Young, who served 49 years, Sarah Palin is only Number Two.
[Who’s Number One? Ho ho ho . . .]

A non-MAGA red hat was among the 50 (count ‘em) thrown in the ring Friday, when Santa Claus joined the race.

The man once known as Thomas O’Connor changed his legal name in 2005 and now lives, aptly, in the city of North Pole, outside Fairbanks, where he serves on the city council. He is not affiliated with any party but describes himself as an “independent, progressive, Democratic socialist.” He also said he would not hire any staff or accept campaign donations.

[In North Pole, Alaska, Santa Claus is a bastion of blue on a city council as red as Rudolph’s nose]

Claus, 74, said Friday that he would run only for the special election to carry out the remainder of Young’s term. “I don’t like getting dressed up,” Claus said. “So I’m thinking, well, if I went to Congress, maybe I should just wear the Santa suit.”

SANTA CLAUS FOR ALASKA
@SantaClausforAK
I’m happy to announce that I’m a Candidate in the Special Election for the U.S. House of Representatives for Alaska in 2022!
I’m an independent, progressive, democratic socialist, with an affinity for Bernie Sanders, and aim to represent ALL Alaskans :-)}
http://SantaClausforAlaska.com

While his politics are different from those of Young, his unusual approach to Washington traditions would be in line with Young’s unique antics, which included once wearing a propeller-topped beanie to a congressional hearing.

The list of candidates who had already announced runs before Young’s death includes Republican businessman Nick Begich III, the grandson of Nick Begich Sr., who was elected to Alaska’s lone congressional seat in 1970 but disappeared during a 1972 flight from Anchorage to Juneau. Begich Sr. was replaced by Young in 1973.

Amid the who’s who of Alaska politicians were some everyday Alaskans throwing their name in the mix.

“My greatest qualification is that I’m a fully functional adult,” said John Callahan, an inspector general for the Alaska Air National Guard.

He filed . . . just an hour before the 5 p.m. deadline. “We’ve been sending weirdos to D.C. for 50 years, and I feel like it’s just time we sent a normal person.”

[Weirdos?? Is that really fair to Santa?]

. . . The race also includes some candidates who don’t even live in Alaska. Two men from California and one from Montana are among the candidates. The U.S. Constitution, which sets the requirements for serving in the House, requires that elected members of the House live in the state they represent, but it does not require candidates to do so.

[The candidate roster even includes one whose name is, frankly, Gross. Al Gross, an orthopedic surgeon. But imagine a bumper sticker: “Vote Gross.” Needs some work. Don’t quit your day job, Al.]

With a candidate list so long, politicos across the state were struggling to capture the uniqueness of the race ahead. The election will be Alaska’s first after voters in 2020 adopted a citizens initiative under which the outcome of statewide races will be decided through ranked-choice voting. . . .

“I believe we might be looking for the superlative: wildest. The most wild,” said Joelle Hall, president of the Alaska AFL-CIO and its former political director.

Hall speculated that with so many candidates in the race, it will be almost impossible to predict how many votes will be needed to advance from the primary to the general election. . . .

The huge number of candidates combined with the brief 2.5-month window for campaigning make the primary something of a popularity contest, said Democratic former U.S. Sen. Mark Begich.

Everyone registered in the state’s voter rolls by May 12 will receive a ballot in the mail. . . .

When it comes, the ballot will be a hefty one, with candidates listed alphabetically by last name, A-Z.

. . .The four candidates who receive the most votes will advance to the Aug. 16 statewide primary, where a winner will be chosen by ranked-choice voting.

Well, why not? If you’ve got Sarah the Mama Grizzly versus Santa as a friend of Bernie, and 48 more, bring the popcorn & enjoy the show.

Behold: the USA Truckers Caravan Cometh

I wonder how many temporarily “Canadian” truckers, recently evicted from the bridge at Windsor/Detroit, are now chugging their way west across the windswept snowy plains, aiming for the desert around Coachella, near Palm Springs California?

Arrests, begin in Ottawa. About time, eh?

It’s not just the weather (weekend forecast sunny, dry & high 70s) that’s drawing them. Or the three local Indian casinos. Coachella is the announced starting point for a trucker insurgency which reportedly means to barnstorm its way across the continent, converge on Washington DC, and paralyze it a la Ottawa, for
— Well, for something.

The Gone-viral Facebook announcement of the U.S. convoy.

I’ve been watching the mess in Canada for weeks, and I’m not yet sure what they want, except maybe for the pandemic to go away without vaccines, masks, or anything else, and to take Justin Trudeau with them. Oh, and free gas.

Yesterday I read that one “occupier” repurposed a red MAGA cap to say, “Make CANADA Great Again.”

Poutine, classic: fries, cheese buds, brown gravy. Lots of other stuff can be added, but this is the basic patriotic Canadian staple. I like it.

Really? From my vantage point, Canada never stopped being great; but I’m an outsider, though I still like poutine.

And Coachella is certified as a great spot for a music festival (it now hosts several per year), so there’s plenty of parking, so why not borrow it to kick off an 18-wheeler apocalypse?

Coachella, at work.

Of course, gas prices are a bother (pushing $4.40 for regular). But heck, sounds like there’s plenty of rightwing dark money pouring in to fuel it.

There better be: those rigs average 6 [= six] mpg, or about 400 gallons, which is close to $1600, for the 2545 mile hike to DC, one-way, not including, food, tolls, bail and lawyer’s fees.

The gas & mileage is likely a low estimate: after all, how can the convoy resist taking the long way east, with stops for rallies in places like Phoenix, Houston, New Orleans, Memphis or Atlanta?

Almost holy water . . .

The free media would be worth a fortune, and they can almost be guaranteed at some point to get a slow drive-by baptism from the Orange Pope of Mar-a-Lago Himself, sprinkling Diet Coke from the owner’s box and sanctifying them, “In the Name of Let’s Go Brandon, the Junior & the Javanka.”

For that matter, the route almost has to join eventually with that main eastern artery of flyover country, Interstate 40, across North Carolina towards its Rendezvous With Destiny, at Interstate 95, where one left turn will aim them straight at the nation’s capitol.

I-40 meets I-95: Left past Rocky Mount, Washington is straight ahead. Right, I-40 to Raleigh for work, or Wilmington NC, to the Atlantic beaches.

Among the many benefits of that leg, besides the best barbecue, cheese grits and hot Krispy Kremes, I-40 takes them past a crucial pit stop in the historic town of Mebane, where they can refresh their most treasured supplies.

I speak, of course, of guns, and that central Carolina landmark, Mace Sports.

Even the rankest newcomer can’t miss it, with its huge electrified billboard of solidarity flashing Big Go Brandon love day and night right next to one of the busiest roadways in the region, showing its political vision for 2024 every minute, and highlighting the basics of tactical support, such as:

This Taurus snub-nosed pistol is made to be easily and fully hidden inside the waistband. It is not for hunting deer.

— this pistol, which is made for concealment. They also sell a mini-holster for keeping them at one’s side and out of the sight of snooping cops and troops, not to mention all kinds of ammo).

The .223 REM and 300BLK bullets are specially designed for use in such guns as AR-15s, AK-47s, and other rapid fire weapons used bu U.S. Special Forces in secret missions. (Not for deer hunting.)

Of course, this is America, not lily-livered socialistic Canada, so many (most?) of the convoy truckers will likely be packing their own heat. And who knows, maybe this time they’ll get to use it.

I’m trying to imagine the triumphal arrival scene:

The lead truck will be hauling a float, carrying MTG, firing her AR-15 into the air (or at liberals), flanked by Cawthorn, Hawley, & Boebert, who will each get a turn with a trigger, while behind them Paul Gosar slashes the throats of a pile of AOC dolls, and tosses them to the gleeful crowd.

And what will be the official response? Does anyone recall how many National Guard troops were surrounding the inauguration last year?

I didn’t notice them, myself. I figured they were all hidden somewhere behind Bernie Sanders and his mittens. And were they packing?

But now, how can any regular Fox news viewer believe that Sleepy Joe Biden would put up any kind of serious cordon like that?

More likely he’ll resign first, take Kamala Harris with him, both wearing masks, and leave Nancy Pelosi to deal with the convoy, armed only with her ceremonial gavel. Right?

I’m sure a second truck will showcase an electrified cross, and a gallows — but hey, that will just be for old times sake. I mean, like the RNC says, “legitimate political discourse,” and Mace Sports underlines that It’s all in  good fun.

From the Mace Sports website.

Yeah, the convoy is coming. Watch for the Signs of the Times gathering in Coachella, and then follow them rolling east like an inland Tsunami.

Unless your name is Mike Pence. Then I’d suggest checking into Dick Cheney’s old “undisclosed  location,” right quick.

As for me, if I had my druthers, about that time I’d be ordering an extra-sized serving of poutine.

Oh, but Don’t call DoorDash, eh?

I’ll come pick it up.

 

Santa Went to Lunch in Durham . . .Not Making This Up

The other day I went to lunch with my buddy Micah at my favorite diner, Elmo’s. It was busy & we talked & ate for a couple hours.

At a nearby table, several
Middle-aged folks were sitting with a much older woman.

I didn’t “pay them any mind” until a shadow loomed over me unexpectedly. Looking up from my bacon, I saw it was the very old woman, who was quite tall, and of a stately bearing. I didn’t know her from Adam. Or Eve.

She leaned down toward me, and behind her I noticed the other people at their table, also strangers, watching closely, wondering what might happen.

The woman looked right into my eyes and then said, dead-serious, “I’m on your list . . . .” Continue reading Santa Went to Lunch in Durham . . .Not Making This Up

Correction: My Personal Independence Day

Yes, it finally happened.

I’m free.

Dr. King spoke it best, but I can say it too:

And in the end, it was pretty easy:

– A quick search;

– The right turns in the Labyrinth of Settings.

– A single swipe;

– No money down, and

– Not even any “Accept” and “Agree” buttons to click.

Then, when I moved the little dot from “On” to “Off”

PRESTO! It was gone.

I had broken the shackles.

Sawed through the handcuffs.

Picked the lock on the thick cell door.

Yes, mark it on the calendar: September 19, 2021 is The Day I —

TURNED OFF “Auto Correct”!

Yes, much-maligned Google still had enough juice to point the way without putting me through several hours worth of self-playing ads.

And while the IOS geniuses of Apple had buried it several layers down, the switch was right where Google said it was supposed to be.

So now, I am finally liberated and able to feel at long last the thrill of—

Making my OWN stupid mistakes again.

Not some damned fiendishly inventively algorithm’s anymore. MINE.

I was late to the grim party of recording the old regime’s endless horrors: the slip of a pinkie on one letter that was used to turn a weighty colleague’s name into a rude insult; the recurrent demonstration that even after a serious brush with the Ivy League, I had no clue how “its” differed from “it’s”. Or with more at stake, the time  “Clopidogrel” (a blood thinner crucial to many heart patients) became “Cloud ogres” in an email to the Doc. Or when “Short link” turned into “chortling”; and “Bibles” morphed into “Orca inlets.” (Not making any of these up. Other sufferers will have their own lists of lasting humiliations.)

But those days should finally be past. Now the ball is back in my court, and the old gang of familiar typos and screwups can regather, where they’ll be, one hopes, more manageable, less monumentally dumb.

I mean, “Orca inlets”??

 

 

 

 

 

Capitol Pro-Insurrection rally: An Independent View

The much-ballyhooed Sept. 18 rally in support of the January 6 Capitol invasion was largely ignored by much U. S. Media Saturday afternoon.

By midafternoon, the Drudge Report still featured it, but Fox News was fixated on refugees crossing the Texas border. Other networks were also ignoring the rally.

But The Independent, a major UK daily, had a succession of end-to-end live dispatches. Here are some excerpts:

Far fewer than expected in attendance at Capitol

While the rally has officially begun, crowds are much smaller than had been anticipated. Around 700 people were expected to attend the event, but so far no more than 200 protesters have shown up. Scores of media and security personnel are on site too.
– – –
Rally speaker reads note comparing treatment of rioters to Holocaust victims

As the rally progressed on Saturday in front of a small audience of supporters and a larger group of assembled media, one female speaker read a note claiming to have been authored by the mother of a defendent currently awaiting trial for their actions on 6 January.
The note’s most shocking line indefensibly likened the treatment of accused rioters to victims of the Holocaust, which the author justified by claiming that the accused persons did not have access to shaving equipment or haircuts.

“This reminds me of how the Jewish people were treated by the Nazis,” the female speaker said, reading from the note.

The woman identified herself as “Kelly” and as the girlfriend of Jonathan Mellis, a man accused of attacking Capitol Police officers with a stick or other blunt weapon of some kind during the 6 January attack.
– – –

Attendee tells NBC she’d celebrate ‘nuclear bomb’ being dropped on Capitol

A paralegal from Georgia who argued that she did not support the mob that stormed the Capitol but nevertheless was at the rally in support of them on Saturday told NBC News that she wanted to see the US Capitol destroyed in a nuclear blast.

“If a nuclear bomb dropped on that Capitol building,” said 58-year-old Lori Smith, “I would celebrate.”

The woman went on to argue that the officer who shot Ashli Babbitt, a woman who was killed while allegedly attempting to breach the House chamber with lawmakers inside, should be charged in a manner similar to Derek Chauvin, the former officer convicted of killing George Floyd.

Capitol Police announced that the officer, who recently revealed his identity publicly as Lt. Michael Byrd, would not face disciplinary action.
– – –
Attendees chant names of two rioters slain during Capitol attack
One of the speakers at Saturday’s rally led rally attendees in a chant of the names of two women killed during January’s assault on the Capitol.
The small crowd, along with the female speaker, chanted the names of Ashli Babbitt, who is thought to have been shot by a police officer and killed while inside the building attempting to breach the House chambers, and Roseanne Boyland, who was trampled outside of the building as chaos ensued while hundreds of protesters attacked Capitol Police barricades.
– – –
Rally concludes less than two hours after beginning
Saturday’s rally on the grounds of the Capitol ended with little fanfare and none of the violence feared by law enforcement and residents of DC ahead of the event, likely due in no small part to the small crowd size and overwhelming police presence.

Videos showed rallygoers walking calmly out of the Union Square venue as counterprotesters blared the YG & Nipsey Hussle hit, “FDT (F*ck Donald Trump).
– – –
– 4:40 PM EDT: Stage taken down, attendees, media, law enforcement leave

The last remnants of the Justice for J6 rally were already disappearing mid-afternoon on Saturday as a few stragglers remained behind to debate with counter-protesters who also attended.

Well, that’s a wrap, folks. Stage & law enforcement all wrapped up and gone after the Justice for J6 rally, where many people commented that the number of members of the media seemed to match the number of protesters. No violent incidents that I saw. Some ppl lingering to debate pic.twitter.com/4xNFCeiK3A

— Emily Brooks (@emilybrooksnews) September 18, 2021
A massive law enforcement presence and dozens of reporters also were seen clearing the area as the event concluded and the stage was torn down, leaving only the Capitol fencing as a reminder of the rally.

Friday the 13th, Judgment Day? — A Harold Camping Memorial

What’s the billboard below got to do with Friday the 13th in August 2021?

Harold Camping

Let’s take a glance back, to ten years ago: then Harold Camping was a radio preacher from Oakland, California, who figured IT out.

IT” was the date of Judgment Day, when  Jesus would return, sinners tumble into hell, the elect fly off to heaven, and the world would soon end.

Not making this up. The year was 2011. The billboard was real; I took the picture.

Continue reading Friday the 13th, Judgment Day? — A Harold Camping Memorial

For A Hearty Holiday: Our Democracy Is Approaching Cardiac Arrest

My fickle finger of fate, lit up for the big MRI

So: I went in for a thorough cardio checkup, a long  overnight at Duke Med. As the capstone of the process they stuck me in this MRI machine for a long hour of lying stock still on my back, eyes closed and hands slowly going numb under the barrage of whanging and zapping aimed at discovering what if anything functional was left in my upper torso.

In cardio terms, the MRI was a success: they said my heart was pretty much okay for a guy my age: go home, take the pills, and keep in touch.

But an hour later, when I clicked the news on the iPad, I got an eerie sinking feeling: maybe there had been more to that big machine than just a very noisy electronic stethoscope. What if it was also a reverse time machine, doubtless part of the CIA’s vast secret UFO research: when they rolled me in, it was 2021. When I came back out into the light, in much of America it was 1964, or maybe 1953.

Not that I was younger, or anything good was back from those days (big Hershey bars for a nickel, Cokes for a dime, and Elvis on the juke box). Instead, 56 years of civil rights history was gone. While I was in that light beige reverse birth canal, the Voting Rights Act disappeared. Continue reading For A Hearty Holiday: Our Democracy Is Approaching Cardiac Arrest