Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"Foreign Relations Boil Down to Two Things: Talking With People or Killing Them." -- Unknown

"Mobs Do Not Rush Across Town to Do Good Deeds." -- James Lee Burke

"Colt .45s; putting bad guys underground since 1873." -- Unknown

"Stay Strapped or Get Clapped." -- probably not Mr. Rogers

"Let’s eat all of these people!” — Venom

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Thursday, June 30, 2022

JB Welding These Down, Here






The Star Spangled Banner, LGEN Flynn Style

Stephen Colbert and The Late Show audience sing it:



I screwed it up last night, so I just went to bed instead of fixing it.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Time Flies Like an Arrow, MOH Ed.

Hershel W. "Woody" Williams, the last remaining Medal of Honor recipient from World War II, died Wednesday. He was 98.

Williams' foundation announced on Twitter and Facebook that he died at the Veterans Affairs medical center bearing his name in Huntington.

As a young Marine corporal, Williams went ahead of his unit during the Battle of Iwo Jima in the Pacific Ocean in February 1945 and eliminated a series of Japanese machine gun positions.

His MOH citation:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as demolition sergeant serving with the 21st Marines, 3d Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces on Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, 23 February 1945. Quick to volunteer his services when our tanks were maneuvering vainly to open a lane for the infantry through the network of reinforced concrete pillboxes, buried mines, and black volcanic sands, Cpl. Williams daringly went forward alone to attempt the reduction of devastating machine-gun fire from the unyielding positions. Covered only by four riflemen, he fought desperately for four hours under terrific enemy small-arms fire and repeatedly returned to his own lines to prepare demolition charges and obtain serviced flamethrowers, struggling back, frequently to the rear of hostile emplacements, to wipe out one position after another. On one occasion, he daringly mounted a pillbox to insert the nozzle of his flamethrower through the air vent, killing the occupants, and silencing the gun; on another he grimly charged enemy riflemen who attempted to stop him with bayonets and destroyed them with a burst of flame from his weapon. His unyielding determination and extraordinary heroism in the face of ruthless enemy resistance were directly instrumental in neutralizing one of the most fanatically defended Japanese strongpoints encountered by his regiment and aided vitally in enabling his company to reach its objective. Cpl. Williams' aggressive fighting spirit and valiant devotion to duty throughout this fiercely contested action sustain and enhance the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.


The Second World War is going from living history to just history. They deserve the highest honor.

Monday, June 27, 2022

"I Could Never Shoot Another Person."

That's what a friend of mine told me earlier today. She's almost my age, she's white, Christian and has lived a typical middle/upper-middle class life. So I understand where she is coming from.

I'm almost like her, except for one important difference: I'm not Christian. My religious tradition teaches that there has been many times when government-sponsored groups have attempted to enslave us and to murder us. They have had varying success, but we're still here.

BadTux has pointed out that, thanks to the Supreme Court's hard turn to the right, that those times are coming for this country.

He is right about one other thing: The Supreme Court, in 1954, did not hand down Brown vs. Board of Ed. of Topeka like a bolt from the blue, the way that they just overruled Roe v. Wade. The NAACP attacked Plessy V. Ferguson for decades, challenging "separate-but-equal" in case after case. The NAACP picked apart Plessy, challenging the denial of admission of a Black man to U-MO because there were no state facilities for higher education of Black people. The NAACP challenged school conditions in other states, each time, proving that there was no equality and obtaining Supreme Court orders to change those conditions. Finally, it because clear to the Court that there was no piecemealing to be done and they made a national ruling.

That wasn't what the Right did. They, instead, worked for decades to salt the judiciary with ideologues and, when they finally got their majority on the Court, they struck. Not by appealing to reason, not by providing evidence, but imposing a decsion based solely in ideology and their religious beliefs.

Worse, they have worked diligently to strip away voting rights, to ensure that their voices are heard above all, and to ensure that the states can tilt their playing fields so that their voters have an outsized impact. They are working to ensure that, even if they lose elections, that those results will be thrown out.

We are standing on the edge of a right-wing, Christianist authoritarian state.

We are in real danger of losing our democracy. Not to any external enemy, but to the enemies of democracy and freedom that we, ourselves, have grown.

What are you going to do about it?

Russian War Crimes Continue

Scores of civilians were feared killed or wounded in a Russian missile strike Monday on a crowded shopping mall in Ukraine's central city of Kremenchuk, Ukrainian officials said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a Telegram post that the number of victims was “unimaginable,” citing reports that more than 1,000 civilians were inside at the time of the attack. Images from the scene showed giant plumes of black smoke from the shopping center engulfed in flames, as emergency crews rushed in and onlookers watched in distress
.

Russia had to have hit the mall with a long-range precision-guided missile, so it's pretty clear that the Russians did exactly what they wanted to do: Hit a civilian target and cause large numbers of casualties.

In short, this is nothing but a deliberate attack carried out by a nation of barbarians. They may have fine ballet, theater and a tradition of literature and the arts, but they are barbarians, descended fom the Golden Horde.

Scratch a Russian, find a Tartar.

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Saturday, June 25, 2022

USA:1/3rd Theocracy, 2/3rds Republic

For now.

Your vote is the only thing that will stop this Christianist bullshit.

Caturday

There be birds, matey!

Friday, June 24, 2022

The Overturning of Roe v. Wade Has Been Brought to You By Susan Fucking Collins

That is all.

Well, not all.

There are a lot of "judge-made" rights out there that have come about since the 18th Century. For example, the right to not have a confession beaten out of you by the cops (the Supremes outlawed the "third degree" in the 1930s). The right to be informed of your rights. The right to engage in private sex acts with your spouse. The right to marry someone outside of your racial classification.

Someone else pointed out that in the 19th Century, a Black man who looked directly at a white woman in parts of this country, let alone dating or marrying her, would have found himself dangling by the neck from a tree.

One thing is clear: The Supreme Court has been captured by a far-right cabal. They are not deciding based on the law or the facts, but on their ideology, an ideology that is not very far removed from the Dark Ages. Their goal is to have a nation where men are on top, women are in the kitchen, gays are in the closet and those people know their places.

Now Commence the Fun and Games

ETA:


The Supreme Court has ended constitutional protections for abortion that had been in place nearly 50 years. The decision by its conservative majority to overturn Roe v. Wade on Friday is expected to lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states. The ruling came more than a month after the stunning leak of a draft opinion by Justice Samuel Alito indicating the court was prepared to take this momentous step. Three of the court’s liberal justices wrote in a joint dissent that the decision would bring “sorrow” for the many millions of American women who will be losing a “fundamental constitutional protection.”

Let's see if those fuckwads on the Right now follow up with supporting mothers and families who are now faced with having to take care of children born of rapist fathers and of incest. Let's see if they do anything to help mothers whose lives have been placed at risk, such as the women in Missouri who would have been sentenced to death by ectopic pregnancy, until the language was exposed to the light of day.

Next on the agenda of the Christian Taliban will be banning the right to use contraception, use in-vitro fertilization to have a child, and to marry the person of your choice.

When the law impacts the freedom of men, this Court works to protect them. When the law impacts the freedom of women alone, this Court has worked to limit their freedoms.

If a woman has money, she will be able to get an abortion, as was true in the pre-Roe era. If a woman does not have a lot of money, she will have to bear the consequences of becoming pregnant.

But the men will not have to bear the consequences of getting a woman pregnant.

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Shed a Tear for the Richest Asshole on the Planet

Elon Musk says Tesla's new factories in Germany and the US are "losing billions of dollars" due to battery shortages and supply disruptions in China.

The multi-billionaire also called the plants in Berlin and Austin, Texas "gigantic money furnaces".
...
The plants are "losing billions of dollars right now. There's a ton of expense and hardly any output," he added in an interview with the Tesla Owners of Silicon Valley, a company-recognised club.

Whaaaa-fucking-whaaaa.

Now Commence the Hand-Wringing!

In a major expansion of gun rights, the Supreme Court said Thursday that Americans have a right to carry firearms in public for self-defense.

I would be a bit more sympathetic about the hand-wringing if I wasn't away that the Sullivan Law in NY was enacted to deny gun rights to the political opponents of Tammany Hall as well as those people.

Then there is this bit of pernicious hand-wringing:

One might recall that the segregationists took the same stance as Olbermann now does when the Supremes handed down Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka and Heart of Atlanta Motel v. U.S.. They said the same thing as Olbermann, that the Supreme Court doesn't have the capacity to enforce its own rulings.

I get that a lot of people don't like this ruling. But to say "let's just disobey the ruling" means that people are making common cause with some of the worst people in American history.

Goobering These Down, Here





Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Modern SAT Question

If a person believes Donald Trump's claims that the 2020 election was stolen, they are:

a) A seditionist who is trying to subvert and destroy American democracy;

b) A follower of Vladimir Putin who is trying to cripple the United States of America and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization;

c) A follower of Xi Jinping who is trying to cripple the United States of America;

d) A sad example of someone who has been brainwashed by Trump and seditionist media into believing their falsehoods;

e) Some of the above; or

f) All of the above.

Pro tip: None of the answers will be graded as being wrong.

A vote for a Republican at any level of government, from school board to the Congressa, who has not denounced Trump's lies is a vote against the American democratic system. You don't have to vote for a Democrat. You can vote for an independent or a non=Trump Republican, if one is on the ballot. You can deface your ballot in protest. You can stay home.

But if you vote for a Trump-aligned candidate, you are voting against the United States and you might as well make your way to Moscow and join the Red Army. For you will be that much of a traitor.

Summer Solsticing These Down, Here






Monday, June 20, 2022

Another Russian Joke

Sergey Victorovich Chemezov, one of Russia’s leading oligarchs and a colleague of Vladimir Putin’s from their time in the KGB, paid Putin a visit to see how he is holding up under the strains of the Ukrainian “special military operation.” After the initial greetings, Chemezov asked how he was doing.

“Ah, Sergey Victorovich, it has been difficult. All I do is read the reports of my generals and issue order that may not be obeyed. I don’t know if this is all worth it,” Putin sighed.

“Come with me, Vladimir Vladimirovich, I have something to show you,” Chemezov said.

They left Putin’s office and went to the Ostankino Tower, also known as the Moscow Television Tower, the tallest structure in Europe. Putin and Chemzov took the elevator up to the top floor and then took a special maintenance elevator the rest of the way up. There, they stepped out on a small balcony.

“Look around you, Vladimir Vladimirovich,” Chemsov said. “This is the greatest city in the world. Within the sight of your eyes are tens of millions of Russians who will do your bidding. They will lay down their lives for you if you command it.”

Putin grasped the railing and looked out. “I know, Sergey, but do the people love and respect me or do they fear me?”

Chemsov said: “That, I do not know.”

Putin asked: “I want them to love me. How can I reach their hearts and make them love me?”

Chemsov thought for a minute and then offered a suggestion: “Well, you could jump.”

A Russian Joke

This joke is allegedly the rounds in Russia - quietly, of course.

A wife asked her husband: "What is this 'Special Military Operation' our great leader keeps telling us about?"

"It is a proxy war, held in Ukraine, between Russia and NATO." he replied.

She asked: "And how is it going?"

He replied: "Well, we have lost 24,000 troops, 2,000 tanks, 200 aircraft, many helicopters, loads of armored personnel carriers and artillery pieces plus the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet."

"Wow - that's a lot. What about NATO?" she asked.

"They have not yet begun to fight," he replied.

(OK, I confess. I changed the last line, a little.)