#Trump #GoldenShowers

WTF.

The former British intelligence officer who gathered the material about Mr. Trump is considered a competent and reliable operative with extensive experience in Russia, American officials said. But he passed on what he heard from Russian informants and others, and what they told him has not yet been vetted by American intelligence.

The memos describe sex videos involving prostitutes with Mr. Trump in a 2013 visit to a Moscow hotel. The videos were supposedly prepared as “kompromat,” or compromising material, with the possible goal of blackmailing Mr. Trump in the future.

The memos also suggest that Russian officials proposed various lucrative deals, essentially as disguised bribes in order to win influence over the real estate magnate.

The memos describe several purported meetings during the 2016 presidential campaign between Trump representatives and Russian officials to discuss matters of mutual interest, including the Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee and Mrs. Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta.

More here and here and here. Buzzfeed shared the actual report here.

Those sex videos apparently contain prostitutes, who Trump supposedly hired to pee in front of him [sound of Internet exploding].

The report’s details are unverified and maybe unverifiable, un-sourced and totally sketchy so who knows if this is real. Certainly falls within the parameters of “stuff I could’ve imagined but am glad I didn’t.” I hope the Trump-haters will be appropriately skeptical, because as much as we all might enjoy the U.S. intelligence community taking down Trump, a coup is still a coup. (I can’t believe I’m writing about a possible coup this early in 2017).

Is this guy even going to make it to the swearing-in ceremony?

Weekly Reckoning: Turn, Turn, Turn Edition

weekly-reckoningHappy mid-September everyone! The leaves are turning, the weather is turning, and generally everything is spinning right round like a record, baby. In honour of September’s revolutionary axis, let’s read some stuff and let our minds slowly rotate over the burning issues of the day.

1. LET’S iOS. Good day, Apple owners. iOS 8 is out and haunting your devices already. What amazing/irritating features does Apple’s latest ghost in the machine have? Here’s a resource.

2. SOME GOOD NEWS ABOUT OMAR GONZALEZ, THE MAN WITH THE KNIFE WHO BROKE INTO THE WHITE HOUSE ON FRIDAY NIGHT Apparently the 18-year military vet was just trying to warn Obama that “the atmosphere was collapsing and [he] needed to get the information to the president of the United States.” Good thing he wasn’t, say, someone from ISIS coming to warn Obama about the atmosphere.

3. THIS ISN’T TERRIFYING AT ALL Josh Barro wonders why American conservatives seem so enamoured of Canada lately. The most obvious answer – that our country is currently run by a reptile wearing an ill-fitting suit of human skin and hair – isn’t addressed. Seriously, conservative voters in Canada must have said, “Well, he’s not human and possibly not even terrestrial, but I respond to his fiscal policy/ revulsion to science/ diet of human orphans” before marking their ballots.

4. WHO’S GOT A GENOCIDE? According to PostMedia columnist Stephen Maher, Canada’s got a genocide, even if we don’t want to acknowledge it. Article accompanied by a profoundly strange photo of A Tribe Called Red.

5. SASKATOON TRANSIT IS A TOTAL MESS Feel like taking a bus in Saskatoon? Good luck with that; city bus services braked to a halt last night. Meanwhile, people who can’t afford cars are out of luck.

A Seattle-Regina Cross Border Cuddle-Party

Have you read Paul Constant’s feature on gun culture in the United States? You should because it’s great. Sample:

Because mass murder in the U.S. always arrives wreathed in statistics like a professional sport, CNN reported we’ve seen 73 school shootings since the ghastly Newtown massacre in December 2012. A few days later, CNN corrected itself, claiming there have been 15 school shootings since Newtown. Where’d the other 58 shootings go? CNN deemed them unofficial because they “included personal arguments, accidents and alleged gang activities and drug deals,” rather than garden-variety madmen. Because those other wounded and dead students don’t count as victims of gun violence if their shooter had an understandable motive. Because gun death somehow doesn’t count if it’s an accident.

The whole thing is here.

Paul is an editor at The Stranger, the best damn (and Pulitzer Prize-winning!) alternative newsweekly in the United States. The Seattle paper, which is editorially directed by the legendary Dan Savage, also have the best blog of any alternative newspaper on the continent — and it’s ON this blog that Paul mentioned his Prairie Dog feature:

Every so often, I try to explain American politics to the good Canadians who read Prairie Dog, a great alternative weekly up in Regina. In this week’s Prairie Dog, I maybe overstep my bounds as American explainer. I try to offer them some advice on gun violence.

Thought you guys might like to see your silly little indie fish-wrapper get some love from a major alt paper in a major-ish U.S. city. I was pretty tickled. Hugs all around!

Weekly Reckoning: Enjoy What You Have Edition

Weekly Reckoning1. LOU REED 1942-2013. Like most of us, Lou Reed ate breakfast, read the papers, went for walks and eventually died. Unlike most of us, he played in the Velvet Underground, hung out with Nico and Andy Warhol, and made some of the best music of the 20th and 21st centuries. He also recorded a rap song in the late ’80s, which should have been terrible – but which, even now, I still find myself singing in the shower. The details of his death haven’t been released, but it’s known that Reed had a recent liver transplant. I suppose we could stroke our chins and throw around terms like cancer and hepatitis C, but the truth of the matter is that he’s gone, we’re all going to hit that marker soon enough, and we should probably focus on doing something even one-tenth as amazing as Transformer or Magic and Loss. I mean, even if Lou Reed did nothing in his life but record vocals for Rock and Rule, he’d still be awesome. So let’s remember Reed and do something incredible today.

*curtain rings scrape along shower rod* *hot water hisses* Better check that sausage before you stick it in the waffle/Make sure that candy’s in the original wrapper/ Hey pitcher better check that batter/ Make sure the candy’s in the original wrapper hey hey

2. THE TRUTH ABOUT MUCOUS. Ever wondered why your nose drippings are green? Click and be satisfied. This is why the military-industrial complex created the Internet.

3. THE US ESTABLISHMENT IS BUSY EATING ITSELF ALIVE. Allegedly, Obama knew as far back as 2010 that German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone was tapped. And how do we know? An anonymous source in US intelligence told a German newspaper. Is it true? Is it nothing but a plume of disgruntlement’s noxious smoke? This is mesmerizing. UPDATE: If you follow the link to the original piece, you’ll see that the copy has been replaced by a flat-out denial of the allegations.

4. I BLAME LORNA. Regina’s oldest church is missing its crozier! Quick, someone call the crozier police! What, no crozier police? Well okay, contact the Crozier Squad at 1-900-CRO-ZIER. When the hell did that become a phone sex line? Citizens, it’s up to you. Go forth and form roving bands of crozier-seeking vigilante thugs. Raid homes. Steal children. Unleash your petty grievances on the city in the name of restoring croziers to their rightful places.

Seriously, though, St. Paul’s crozier is beautiful and irreplaceable. Let’s hope it makes its way home.

5. “GENETIC MATERIAL ONCE THOUGHT OF AS TRASH IS NOW BELIEVED TO BE IMPORTANT IN PERSONALIZING YOUR FACE.” Ha ha, scientists. If it’s personalizing your face, then it’s definitely trash (link goes to video) (a video explaining how some molecular trash makes our trashy faces look like they do).

George Zimmerman Might Have Been Arrested?

The acquitted killer of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was possibly taken into police custody this afternoon — CNN, ABC and USA Today say he has, other news outlets say he hasn’t been arrested. Le confused shrug. What IS clear is that his soon-to-be-ex-wife, who recently filed for divorce and incidentally is also a convicted perjurer, called 911 claiming Zimmerman assaulted her father and an iPad, and threatened all three with a gun. Or something like that.

“There’s No Need To Write Any More.”

Do you like living in a free society with some degree of democracy, political accountability and press freedom? Elements within the U.S. and British governments (and doubtless others) want to take that away. This just in from Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger:

A little over two months ago I was contacted by a very senior government official claiming to represent the views of the prime minister. There followed two meetings in which he demanded the return or destruction of all the material we were working on. The tone was steely, if cordial, but there was an implicit threat that others within government and Whitehall favoured a far more draconian approach.

The mood toughened just over a month ago, when I received a phone call from the centre of government telling me: “You’ve had your fun. Now we want the stuff back.” There followed further meetings with shadowy Whitehall figures. The demand was the same: hand the Snowden material back or destroy it. I explained that we could not research and report on this subject if we complied with this request. The man from Whitehall looked mystified. “You’ve had your debate. There’s no need to write any more.”

Also, this:

Britain was facing intense pressure on Monday to give a detailed explanation of the decision to detain the partner of the Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald after the White House confirmed that it was given a “heads-up” before David Miranda was taken into custody for nine hours at Heathrow. As the UK’s anti-terror legislation watchdog called for a radical overhaul of the laws that allowed police to confiscate Miranda’s electronic equipment, the US distanced itself from the action by saying that British authorities took the decision to detain him.

More here and here and here. This is like stuff communist China would do. The times are getting worse, people. Thank God we’ve got people like Edward Snowden to blow the whistle on governments that break laws, reporters like Glenn Greenwald to write about them and newspapers like the Guardian to publish it all. You can’t fight back without information.

(Oh! And the U.S. wants to put another whistleblower who released details about political and military crimes in jail for 60 years. And criminals like Dick Cheney and George Bush, who spearheaded an illegal invasion that wasted trillions and murdered hundreds of thousands, enjoy not insignificant public support and sleep on the softest sheets. They’ll never answer for their crimes.)

And In Other Terrible American News Today

This afternoon, evil Republican dumbfuck Rick Perry signed a bill effectively nuking abortion rights in Texas. From the Guardian:

Rick Perry, the Republican governor of Texas, signed into law the nation’s most sweeping new abortion limits on Thursday morning, in a move that is likely to be subject to a challenge in the courts. The bill, which will drastically reduce access to abortion in the state, failed to pass last month because of an 11-hour filibuster by state senator Wendy Davis, a Democrat. It was passed last week after Perry called a second special session to do so. “It is a very happy, celebratory day,” Perry said, before he sat down to sin the bill, at the Capitol auditorium, where the bill-signing ceremony was held amid tight security. “This is an important day for those who support life and for those who support the health of Texas women,” said Perry, a staunch anti-abortionist. “In signing House Bill 2, we celebrate and further cement the foundation on which the culture of life in Texas is built.” A dozen state troopers were stationed outside the building, alongside scores of protesters in orange shirts, carrying coat hangers and signs that read: “Shame”, according to Dallas News. Bill HB2 bans abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy in the state, limits the procedure to surgical centres, mandates that only a physician may dispense or administer abortion-inducing drugs, and requires clinic doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. Only five of Texas’s 42 abortion clinics currently meet the new requirements.

Sigh. I suppose I’d get flagged as a terrorist on NSA lists if I printed up “Abort Rick Perry” T-shirts, wouldn’t I?

Okay, seriously: I know that some people like to pretend that their so-called “pro-life” ideology is a legitimate moral position but laws like this kill women and the fuckwits who fight for them must be stopped. And as we’ve pointed out before, a lot of these Texas-type pro-life dingbats live in Saskatchewan and would lurve to bring the same laws here. You can see their propaganda on city buses and billboards. Even Dog Blog has regular readers who think abortion should be outlawed (hi Seanbot!).

The Rick Perrys are out there and they want to fuck up our rights. You gotta be ready to fight ’em, people.

UPDATE: Check out this gif of abortion clinics before and after Texas’ new law. Via Daily Kos.

texasmapbeforeafter

Holy Moly, Detroit Declares Bankruptcy

The city is declaring bankruptcy. From the Detroit Free Press:

The City of Detroit filed this afternoon for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection in federal court, laying the groundwork for a historic effort to bail out a major U.S. city that is sinking under billions of dollars in debt and decades of mismanagement, population flight and loss of tax revenue. The filing begins a 30- to 90-day period that will determine whether the city is eligible for Chapter 9 protection and define how many claimants might compete for the limited settlement resources that Detroit has to offer. The bankruptcy petition would seek protection from creditors and unions who are renegotiating $18.5 billion in debt and other liabilities. “The fiscal realities confronting Detroit have been ignored for too long. I’m making this tough decision so the people of Detroit will have the basic services they deserve and so we can start to put Detroit on a solid financial footing that will allow it to grow and prosper in the future,” said Gov. Rick Snyder. “This is a difficult step, but the only viable option to address a problem that has been six decades in the making.”

A big part of the problem is that the city can’t/won’t cover city worker’s unfunded pension liabilities. Also from the Free Press:

Detroit’s two pension funds on Wednesday sued emergency manager Kevyn Orr and Gov. Rick Snyder in an attempt to block Orr from slashing pension benefits for thousands of current and active city workers as part of his plan to restructure the city’s massive debt. The lawsuit asks the Ingham County Circuit Court to declare that Snyder cannot authorize Orr to take any actions — including filing for municipal bankruptcy — that would cut pension benefits, which the lawsuit says are protected by the state constitution.

I imagine the retired city workers who lose their homes will really help get Detroit back on track. Getused to this kind of thing.

There’s a lot more coming as the United States declines.

Your Body, Your Choice (Note: Offer May Not Be Valid In Texas)

In response to Texas being dicky-dicks about reproductive rights, comedian Christi Olson (full disclosure: she’s my fiancé) wrote a blog post giving information on how to terminate a pregnancy on your own if you do not have access to a safe and legal abortion.

Also super helpful: Women on Web

A Good, Long Essay About Police Militarization In The United States That Every Cop, Lawyer, Journalist And Participating Citizen Should Read

Actually, it’s not an essay, it’s an excerpt from journalist Radley Balko’s book Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces. Anyway, it’s a compelling read that covers massive, widespread overuse of force by U.S. police against casual small-time gamblers, underage drinkers, protesters, chihuahuas and other dangerous dogs, college students and people who had the misfortune of living at residences SWAT teams mistakenly think house child pornography watchers. Includes a guest appearance by Shaquille O’Neal. Here’s a short excerpt.

The fact that the Postal Service offers such training and most police departments don’t lends some credence to the theory that dog shootings are part of the larger problem of a battlefield mentality that lets police use lethal force in response to the slightest threat—usually with few consequences. “It’s an evolving phenomenon,” says Norm Stamper, the former Seattle police chief. “It started when drug dealers began to recruit pit bulls to guard their supply. These dogs weren’t meant to attack cops. They were meant to attack other drug dealers who came to rob them. But of course they did attack cops. And yes, that’s awfully scary if one of those things latches on to your leg.”

But Stamper says that like many aspects of modern policing, dog shootings may have had a legitimate origin, but the practice has since become a symptom of the mind-set behind a militarized police culture. “Among other things, it really shows a lack of imagination. These guys think that the only solution to a dog that’s yapping or charging is shooting and killing it. That’s all they know. It goes with this notion that police officers have to control every situation, to control all the variables. That’s an awesome responsibility, and if you take it on, you’re caving to delusion. You no longer exercise discrimination or discretion. You have to control, and the way you control is with authority, power, and force. With a dog, the easiest way to take control is to simply kill it. I mean, especially if there are no consequences for doing so.”

This is a great piece of writing and you guys should head over to Salon and read it. And maybe even buy the damn book.

Terrorism Or Crime? That Might Depend On Whether A Murderer Is Muslim

Glenn Greenwald has a must-read piece on the Boston Marathon bombing in the Guardian today:

Over the last two years, the US has witnessed at least three other episodes of mass, indiscriminate violence that killed more people than the Boston bombings did: the Tucson shooting by Jared Loughner in which 19 people (including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords) were shot, six of whom died; the Aurora movie theater shooting by James Holmes in which 70 people were shot, 12 of whom died; and the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting by Adam Lanza in which 26 people (20 of whom were children) were shot and killed. The word “terrorism” was almost never used to describe that indiscriminate slaughter of innocent people, and none of the perpetrators of those attacks was charged with terrorism-related crimes. A decade earlier, two high school seniors in Colorado, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, used guns and bombs to murder 12 students and a teacher, and almost nobody called that “terrorism” either.

In the Boston case, however, exactly the opposite dynamic prevails. Particularly since the identity of the suspects was revealed, the word “terrorism” is being used by virtually everyone to describe what happened.

The essay by Ali Abunimah Greenwald links to is also a must read:

All of these cases reinforce the widely noted observation that acts of violence, especially mass shootings, carried out typically by white males are immediately labeled as the acts of “disturbed individuals” while the acts of a person identified as “Muslim” are to be labeled “terrorism” regardless of the facts.

These are unsafe assumptions and foreclose the possibility of full understanding. Moreover, by reinforcing popular stereotypes, they give new force to the anti-Muslim backlash that seems only to be growing stronger and more poisonous as the 11 September 2001 attacks recede into the past.

It is also important to note the contrast between Obama’s eagerness to label the Boston attack as “terror” and its alleged perpetrators as “terrorists” – without evidence – and his reluctance to label last August’s mass murder at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin as “terrorism” despite the identification of the shooter as having a history of white nationalist and supremacist activism.

Add the 2009 murder of Kansas abortion doctor George Tiller by an anti-government extremist to the list of crimes that weren’t widely called terrorism–despite the fact that the convicted murderer, Scott Roeder, was a highly religious political extremist (he belonged to the Montana Freemen and the sovereign citizen movement) whose motive was to bring about the end of abortion by terrorizing abortion providers.

But Roeder’s religion wasn’t Islam. And his skin colour wasn’t brown.

Boston Explosion: News Links

I don’t have time to write anything and what’s there to say right now, anyway? If you’re following the news in Boston online, I recommend The Boston Globe, The Guardian, the Washington Post, the New York Times, maybe MSNBC.

Rosie promises a blog post later. For now, our thoughts go out to the citizens of Boston.

Six In The Morning-ish: Maaake It Stooooooooooooop

6-in-the-morning1 SNOW MORE PATIENCE It’s -4 and snowing on and off, whyyyyy? It suuuuucks! And the highways are baaad! Also, the roof of the old Comic Readers–which was recently a daycare but thank god is now empty–collapsed under 20,000 pounds of snow.

2 MORE SASKATCHEWAN AND REGINA NEWS The long-time head of the Saskatchewan Union of Nurses steps down; the Province has appointed a mediator in the contract dispute between Evraz place and workers. the union hasn’t had a contract since 2011 and are asking for a 30 per cent raise, which is pretty much a meaningless number without knowing what the salary range is; and someone maybe saw a grenade in Saskatoon; and Saskatchewan has dog racism.

3 QUEBEC DAYCARE SHOOTING One adult dead, 53 children unharmed. Besides psychologically. Story here.

4 IDIOT VIRGINIA AG (WHO’S RUNNING FOR GOVERNOR) WANTS TO MAKE ORAL SEX ILLEGAL however his campaign won’t discuss whether any of its staff have committed this “crime against nature”. Republicans sure are fucked. In the HEAD (haw haw haw!).

5 IDIOT U.S. CONSERVATIVES AREN’T GOING TO LIKE THIS A U.S. federal judge has struck down a “”arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable” U.S. federal government agency rule forcing women under 18 to require a prescription for the morning after pill. Good. This rule was insane — the pill could prevent scads and and scads of abortions which conservatives claim to want. U.S. conservatives are such imbeciles, ha ha ha– wait, what? Democratic President Barack Obama supported this bullshit? Well, shit. I guess in America, everyone is fucked in the head.

6 A 1,600 YEAR-OLD SHEET OF GLACIAL ICE MELTED IN JUST 25 YEARS But don’t worry, it’s snowing in April so climate change is still just a socialist theory.

VIDEO! Oldie but a goodie. Parents, don’t let your kids read comic books. They’ll grow up to have psychotic breaks in diners.

Speaking Of Faith-Based Political Nonsense

Hey nonsense is now officially afoot in the not-so-great state of North Dakota.

North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple (R) on Tuesday signed the most restrictive abortion ban in the country, enacting a law that would prohibit abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected. A fetal heartbeat can be present as early as six weeks, which would make North Dakota, by far, the state that bans abortion at the earliest point. With Dalrymple’s signature, North Dakota leapfrogged Arkansas for the most restrictive abortion law. The Razorback State earlier this month enacted a law that would effectively ban abortions after 12 weeks, or when a fetal heartbeat can be detected with an abdominal ultrasound.

You can–and should, if you enjoy phrases like “anti-choice hellscape”–read more here.

Anyway, this is the direction a lot of Stephen Harper’s Conservatives want to take our country. Does this sound familiar?

 Dalrymple also signed two other abortion bills that would prevent abortion in cases of gender preference or genetic defects — something a few other states have, as well — and require doctors performing abortions to have hospital-admitting privileges.

Give it up for North Dakota!

Connecticut Shooting: Sunday Roundup

Here’s some worthwhile reading on Friday’s school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

The Guardian has a story about shooter Adam Lanza. In a nutshell: quiet, no friends, hard working, highly intelligent, possibly had autism. Meanwhile, Talking Points Memo has an early, tentative thumbnail sketch of Lanza’s mother, and it sounds like she might have been a doomsday-obsessed survivalist. UPDATE: here’s a more in-depth piece in The Telegraph: “Sandy Hook Elementary School killer Adam Lanza was taught how to shoot by the mother he murdered, it has emerged.” Yikes.

Alternet has a good summary of gun lobby lies and propaganda. It’s a must-read. Over at Seattle’s The Stranger, reporter Cienna Madrid interviews gun advocates over the shootings. Their comments range from interesting to offensive and demented. Example: “I think that, through the realism of today’s video games and movies, we’ve desensitized people into committing violence.” As another Stranger writer, Paul Constant, wrote here about pro-gun Americans blaming the separation of church and state for the school shootings: “These motherfuckers will blame anything as long as they don’t have to blame guns.”

Want to read about gun control and U.S. politics? The Guardian (yeah, yeah, but it’s the best so I link to it a lot) has an article on President Barack Obama’s political cowardice. And Nikolas Kristof has a smart column in The New York Times:

Look, I grew up on an Oregon farm where guns were a part of life; and my dad gave me a .22 rifle for my 12th birthday. I understand: shooting is fun! But so is driving, and we accept that we must wear seat belts, use headlights at night, and fill out forms to buy a car. Why can’t we be equally adult about regulating guns? And don’t say that it won’t make a difference because crazies will always be able to get a gun. We’re not going to eliminate gun deaths, any more than we have eliminated auto accidents. But if we could reduce gun deaths by one-third, that would be 10,000 lives saved annually.

Esteemed Dog Blog commentator Barb Saylor seems to dislike ferociously outraged rants so she should probably skip this one, which addresses the ugly smears and political legislative attacks public teachers constantly get from U.S. Conservatives.

Fuck the whole lot of you.  You don’t deserve to breathe the same air as our public servants. Would you risk death to shield a child?  No, if the security of your gated world failed you, you’d all be running for the door trying to save your own asses and pushing anyone who got in your way to the ground.

I’m glad Barb consistently pushes for a more sober, less frothy discourse–it keeps us on our toes. Still, things like this need to be said.

Finally, The Blue Review published an excellent article by Liza Long, the mother of a 13-year-old with profound mental illness who could well be on his own trajectory toward violence. It’s titled “I Am Adam Lanza’s Mother”. It’s been widely re-posted in the last 24 hours but in case you haven’t seen it, here’s an excerpt.

I live with a son who is mentally ill. I love my son. But he terrifies me.

A few weeks ago, Michael pulled a knife and threatened to kill me and then himself after I asked him to return his overdue library books. His 7 and 9 year old siblings knew the safety plan—they ran to the car and locked the doors before I even asked them to. I managed to get the knife from Michael, then methodically collected all the sharp objects in the house into a single Tupperware container that now travels with me. Through it all, he continued to scream insults at me and threaten to kill or hurt me.

That conflict ended with three burly police officers and a paramedic wrestling my son onto a gurney for an expensive ambulance ride to the local emergency room. The mental hospital didn’t have any beds that day, and Michael calmed down nicely in the ER, so they sent us home with a prescription for Zyprexa and a follow-up visit with a local pediatric psychiatrist.

We still don’t know what’s wrong with Michael. Autism spectrum, ADHD, Oppositional Defiant or Intermittent Explosive Disorder have all been tossed around at various meetings with probation officers and social workers and counselors and teachers and school administrators. He’s been on a slew of antipsychotic and mood altering pharmaceuticals, a Russian novel of behavioral plans. Nothing seems to work.

At the start of seventh grade, Michael was accepted to an accelerated program for highly gifted math and science students. His IQ is off the charts. When he’s in a good mood, he will gladly bend your ear on subjects ranging from Greek mythology to the differences between Einsteinian and Newtonian physics to Doctor Who. He’s in a good mood most of the time. But when he’s not, watch out. And it’s impossible to predict what will set him off.

Full column here. I think Barb will find wisdom, value and good sense in it.

I might update this post periodically with more links, so you might want to check back. In the meantime, please have a safe and peaceful night.

What The Onion Says

Despairing sources confirmed that the gunman, armed with a semiautomatic assault rifle—a fucking combat rifle, Jesus—walked into a classroom full of goddamned children where his mother was a teacher and, good God, if this is what the world is becoming, then how about we just pack it in and fucking give up, because this is no way to live.

Full story here.

My American Aunt And Republicans

The Republicans really are in trouble. Last night I found out, through my sister, that my 81-year-old aunt voted for Barack Obama. That in itself isn’t stunning — she’s voted for both Democrats and Republicans in her life. What’s surprising is why she voted for Obama. Apparently, she was furious at the Republicans for their non-stop creepiness about rape. She also thought their position on same-sex marriage was ridiculous, telling my sister “they need to change with the times”.

My aunt voted for George W. Bush in 2004. George “mission accomplished” Bush!

When an allegedly conservative political party’s freaky social positions cost it the Bush-supporting,  Caucasian, successfully retired real estate agent senior’s vote, it has a huge, huge, huge problem.

Nerds > Republicans

This is hilarious. Democrat candidate Colleen Lachowicz won Maine’s Senate district 25 on Wednesday, defeating a one-term Republican senator.  Republicans had vilified Lachowicz because she has an orc character in World Of Warcraft. “Colleen Lachowicz spends hundreds of hours playing in her online world Azeroth, as an Orc Assassination Rogue named Santiaga,” said one Republican ad. “We need a Senator who lives in OUR world, not Colleen’s World.”

There was even a website that “exposed” Lachowicz’ harmless and amusing chat comments, I suppose because Republicans thought people would care.

Shockingly, this tactic didn’t work out so well for Republicans.

Playing video games is something normal adults do. Trashing gamers makes you sound like an out-of-touch freak who has trouble separating reality and make-believe. It’s the 21st century analogue of complaining about Elvis Presley’s hips.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go fight the urge to renew my WOW account.