Alright! [DOT 23/4/21]

"I've only had half of four bottles of wine."

“The real tragedy is that I don’t have time to get nachos before we start.” – Linda Belcher

Happy Friday gang! I hope you all had a great week. I get my second vax today, so tots and pears it doesn’t jack up my weekend.


Speaking of…

One dose of Pfizer or Oxford jab reduces Covid infection rate by 65% – study
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2021/apr/23/one-dose-of-pfizer-or-oxford-jab-reduces-covid-infection-rate-by-65-study


Yup.

Opinion: Everyone is tired. We need to give ourselves an actual break.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/04/22/everyone-is-tired-we-need-give-ourselves-an-actual-break/


Stonks!

Stock futures tick higher after concerns over capital gain tax hike prompt selling
https://www.cnbc.com/2021/04/22/stock-market-futures-open-to-close-news.html


Grifters gonna grift.

Foxconn’s giant factory in Wisconsin sounded too good to be true. Turns out it was
https://www.cnn.com/2021/04/22/tech/foxconn-wisconsin-factory-scaled-down/index.html


As one does..


Join me…


Have a great day!

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57 Comments

  1. Re gender reveal: I’m about 12 miles away from Kingston, NH and had not heard this story. NH Knucklehead prolly thought he was being clever detonating in a quarry, what could possibly go wrong.
     
    Today is the start of my summer schedule, 3 day weekends until September! Too bad it is frickin cold and windy here. It is windy all the time here now it seems.
    Happy Friday!

  2. I get my first shot after work today and I don’t know how I feel about it because there are so many people who need it more than I do that haven’t been able to get their shot.

    Leave it to the conservative party to make vaccinations a moral issue for people.

    • A friend of mine got her shots really early on during the rollout. She was feeling guilty about it, but she’s a mental health counselor and does home consultations. I counseled her. “Don’t feel guilty or like you’re jumping the line. Every vaccinated person is doing their public health duty. You’re protecting yourself and your clients. And me, the next time we meet, but the way the chaos in NYC is going I’m not going to get the jab until spring, 2023.”
       
      Mirabile dictu, I’m getting my second shot in a few days. I was willing to wait, because I’m basically housebound for now, except for doctor appointments, but my drill sergeant got me a slot and demanded that we go. He’s fully vaccinated and past the two-week post-second shot period. 

    • I understand how you feel, but it’s really okay. I felt weird too — I have a chronic condition (asthma) and technically could have skipped the line here and gotten mine. But I didn’t want to skip ahead of old people (well, older than me) so I waited my turn. But when it got to be my turn based on my age, I didn’t hesitate.
       
      Remember, you’re also helping to make sure the hospitals and health care workers aren’t overloaded taking care of you so they can work on other people. You’re making sure you’re less likely to pass covid to someone else. You’re also making sure a shot doesn’t get thrown out at the end of the day (though that doesn’t sound like a big problem in your area). 
       
      A couple of weeks after my appointment Florida basically dropped all age restrictions and now anybody can get it if they want. Thanks to Republicans, a lot of people are starting to say no, and we’ve got a basic surplus at this point. 
       
      Get your shot, Myo.

    • congrats.
      I saw something a while back, where someone said something along the lines of “if you are eligible to get the vaccine without lying, please get the vaccine”
      And, as others have mentioned, there are a lot of openings now because so many people are deniers/hesitant.  So every additional vaccinated person pushes us a bit closer towards potential herd-immunity.

  3. For some reason, Law & Order SVU managed to hook and shook me a bit last night. It started with a montage of an NYC restaurateur going from last March to the present, with the steady pile up of heartbreak and people who lean on her leaving (or dying) before she could lean on them, then she snaps and Benson has spends the episode talking her down.
     
    It helps that the actress (sorry don’t remember the name) is a ringer.
     
    It got me thinking: how many of us are wound so tight because we can’t cross that fear boundary to let other people take care of us for a change? I know I’m in that boat, and it’s been slowly taking on water.

    • I used to be that way until my not-so-recent surgery. In the beginning, I hated feeling so infantilized. Now, I’m just very grateful to the hospital staff and the visiting nurses and of course the ever-patient Consort. Even the Faithful Hound tries to help out, but that involves jumping on the bed, lying across my legs, and trying to lick at the wound, but he is A Very Good Boy so I can tell him to go to his bed and he obeys.

    • People need to see this shit and realize how out of control the police are, that it can and will happen to them unless we have accountability and reform. I just don’t understand this whole ‘it can’t happen to me’ thing. I feel a song coming on.


       

    • Colorado Springs is a very, very strange place. It’s about an hour south of Denver, and home to the USAF Academy and HQ of Focus on the Family. It’s also where Pike’s Peak is. An hour north of Denver is Boulder, which is almost a “Portlandia”-type parody of upscale white people cycling around and taking up all kinds of social justice causes. If, for some reason, I were to be forcibly relocated to the region I’d pick Denver, which is also a little weird, but big and varied enough that I wouldn’t be rolling my eyes every couple of minutes.

      • My sister used to live in Colorado Springs, her husband worked at NORAD.  It is a very strange place & way more conservative than Denver or the liberal heaven of Boulder.  Pike’s Peak is okay but the best thing in Colorado Springs is the Garden of the Gods.  I went horseback riding there and when we started out it was about 60 degrees, 5 minutes later it was snowing and 30 degrees.  I almost froze my ass off but still love that place!
         
        https://www.gardenofgods.com/
         

        • It’s funny you should mention horseback riding in Colorado Springs. I went there on a long road trip with an old friend and in the downtown, I think that’s where we were, we went to place for coffee. It overlooked a clogged highway and beyond that was Pike’s Peak. That wears off after a few minutes so I picked up a local free weekly and there was an ad for an outfitter that had horses and guides to rent for “any abilities.” I think they meant people who had never ridden a horse before, not people in wheelchairs, but who knows.
           
          “Oh, we should do this! I haven’t been on a horse in a few years. You know how to ride, I know you do. And it says we can go to The Garden of the Gods. What do you suppose that is?” 
           
          “Mattie, I want to go [this other town] and we have to get back to Denver. There’s no time to go galloping through the Garden of the Gods, whatever that might be.”

    • Y’know, I’ve said before that the whole “defund the police” thing was a non-starter and did more harm than good. I still believe that. 
       
      But I wish we could coalesce around a new slogan, “retrain the police.” Because right now it appears they get less training than the average Target employee. I swear to God they’re just handing guns and badges to any moron who applies. Anyone who has ever watched a cop show on TV knows how searches and warrants work, but these idiot cops apparently do not. 
       
      It’s not that they need less funding, police need to be put through mandatory training programs that operate initially on a national standard, then another based on individual state law, and both need to incorporate interpersonal skills. If you can’t pass those, you’ve got no business being an officer. They’re required to spend time on the range, but they’re not required to spend any time with books. So it’s no wonder that every time they’re confronted with literally anything, they pull their weapons. 
       
      It would also have the effect of weeding out the bullies and assholes that gravitate to police because they can’t do anything else and they’ve already been fired from Walmart and the Dollar General. 

      • The trouble is, retraining does not fix the toxic culture. I’m not sure it’s fixable. Early on, I wasn’t sure, but now I’m at the point where I believe we need to abolish the police altogether. We’re past the point where retraining helps – the police have been trained that they’re in constant danger from the public. That we are the them to their us. That every member of the public is a lurking threat to their lives. Can you retrain them out of that kind of brainwashing?
         
        Defunding gets us somewhere at least. It doesn’t just mean pulling money away from them, it means rethinking public safety. Let’s have a new department of people who handle traffic infractions, who are not armed because why should they be for handing out speeding tickets and recording accident reports? Let’s fund social workers more and let them handle cases of mentally ill people making a scene, and homeless people loitering. (Let’s make loitering not a crime, because it’s quite possibly unconstitutional.) And yeah let’s take away the police’s military grade weapons that they have no idea how to properly use. 

        • You’re right, and I agree. But damn, we gotta start somewhere. And the word “defunding” comes across as inflammatory because it’s being reframed by the people who don’t want the shitty system to change. It’s really hard to co-opt “retrain” for evil. But hell, they pulled it off for antifascist. 

          • Yeah that’s the thing – I don’t think it ultimately matters what language we use. The right will twist whatever we say and their base will eat it up. I feel like it’s just infighting amongst people who mostly agree, and no matter if we take the radical liberal or moderate line, the conservatives will demonize us just as much. So why not go for broke? 

        • It needs to be a combo of reevaluating the existing pool (and retraining whoever they keep), reallocating funds (cops don’t need to respond to mental health or dog catcher calls), and NOT HIRING NAZIS. 
           
          Not sure how many people know this but I have a BS in criminal justice. I spent a lot of time applying to different law enforcement agencies after graduating. My academics were stellar, but I was not a good culture fit. They don’t want college educated GIRLS who are feminist LIBS. Not to mention, even back then (prob 10 yrs ago) I knew I’d be unhappy. I knew they were all big ol boys clubs who liked to tune people up. But I wanted to be Olivia Benson so I thought I’d find my niche. I am glad I never got in. Anyway, I always failed when it came to the personality testing. Probably because I am not a nazi. 

          • I worked with a lot of cops over 10 years or so selling police software and hardware. There’s definitely a pervasive mindset and “boy’s club” is putting it very politely. I mean, I had to “protect” my female employees from the customers, who were COPS. That’s a fucked up scenario. There’s a ton of work to be done, but I think at least establishing some baseline training levels and raising the barriers to entry is a start. 

          • I work at a jail that uses polygraph testing in the hiring process for line staff.  They ask about things in your past like drug use or bestiality, but they apparently don’t ask whether the applicant thinks its okay to fuck the inmates.  Or beat the hell out of them for looking at them the wrong way.

            • Yeah i remember one assessment that asked about a thousand questions about drinking (even in your off hours) and marijuana, but nothing about domestic violence, prior criminal history, or anything like that.

      • We need to re-think and re-tool our entire approach to use of force.  Cops show up expecting compliance because they have a badge on, and don’t bother even trying to talk people into compliance anymore.  Verbal Judo should be a universally mandated training.
         
        When I was a juvenile corrections officer, I received training in how to read a material safety data sheet, bloodborne pathogens, and how to use a fire extinguisher, all of which I rarely or never used.  But I never received even five minutes of training in what to do when an inmate says, “Fuck you, I’m not doing that,” and that happened pretty much every day.

      • Agreed.  If there is truly one thing that liberals suck at consistently, it’s how we message our ideas. 

        I certainly agree that there needs to be a reapportionment of funding away from police to other services to deal with things that police shouldn’t be expected to do–such as dealing with someone having a mental health event.  At the same time, we should not fall into the same trap that Republicans use deliberately–declaring something isn’t working properly and then stripping it of funding to the point where it becomes truly broken.

      • “Retrain the police” would get zero percent more traction because the same people who jumped up and down screaming about “Defund” would have the exact same reaction. Is “retrain” more acceptable to white people? Perhaps! But that would also allow police forces to say “Look, we’re doing something!” by bringing in experts like Dan Grossman, who told officers that after shooting a suspect they can expect to have the best sex of their lives. His books are required reading at many police academies and is widely regarded as a top if not THE top police trainer in the country.

        Message issues here aside, we need to get over a much bigger hump to fix police problems, and that’s white people’s fucking obsession with crime and the belief — 100% on the right but also probably about 75% on the center and left-leaning — that every minority neighborhood in big cities is basically a war zone and that if police aren’t there, everyone would be robbed, raped and killed.

        • Yes! Exactly this. Training has been an excuse for decades. A cop does something bad? The chief says they’re going to do new trainings. Big protests over brutality? The mayor says they’re going to ban choke holds and do new training, and everyone pats themselves on the back. Meanwhile, nothing changes. The training is useless, and the cops know it’s useless. 

        • This is an interesting website that describes the differences in police forces in different democracies…
          https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/how-police-compare-different-democracies
          Defund the police was a terrible description for what the Dems should really be talking about, programs like CAHOOTS, moving away from sending police to calls they have no training for.  Another key takeaway from this site is the democracies with the best police forces require a degree or years of training.
          “Some countries, as well as several U.S. cities, have sought to address this by creating specialized units to respond to mental health emergencies. In Stockholm, some responders drive a mental health ambulance. Through a similar program known as CAHOOTS in the Oregon cities of Eugene and Springfield, unarmed medics and crisis workers respond to 911 calls relating to individuals experiencing psychological crises, an approach other cities are trying to replicate. In 2019, CAHOOTS responded to twenty-four thousand calls, about 20 percent of total 911 dispatches. Other countries rely on unarmed professionals to respond to low-level crimes. In England and Wales, community support officers can fine someone who litters or confiscate alcohol from a minor, but they must ask police officers to make arrests. Experts say these and similar programs have reduced incidents of police violence.”
          Denver is also trying a similar program to CAHOOTS:
           
           
           


           

        • That’s a good point and one I should have made clear: I don’t think the cops should get to “pick” their training program. That’s why I feel like it should be done on a national and state level, not an agency level. And it shouldn’t be set by police. Teachers don’t get to create their own training. Neither do nurses or emergency responders. We need a national baseline training program that every person who wants a badge has to pass, no exceptions. 

    • I was just having this conversation the other day – I wish cases like these got widespread attention. White victims generally get more attention than black victims, but I feel like cases like these have the potential to wake some idiots up to the danger police pose. This guy looks like them. He’s a white Marine who loves the police. And the police acted like gangsters with total disregard for the law and people’s safety. No one is safe. 

      • You don’t know until you watch the video that the daughter was 19 months old so this was never going to end well for the parents, the cops probably thought they were investigating a child abuse situation, whoops, profiling, like that never happens, either. I’m surprised they didn’t send in child protective services and take the kid away.

  4. The Humpty dance is a really fun one. I’ve mentioned before that I’m whiter than Tilda “Ancient One” Swinton and Better Half is pretty dark, like his parents. None of them could have passed “the paper bag” test. If you don’t know what that is, don’t google it. 
     
    Anyway, when the Humpty was really popular it was prime wedding season in Cousin Matthew World. He Who Cannot Be Named is incredibly wedding-averse, but at the time the people getting married were very close to me and he was invited and game, so we’d go. The song was usually played and we were front and center on the dance floor.
     
    God, 30 years ago. Half those people are divorced and their kids are college graduates, mostly. This is what happens when you don’t have children. One day you wake up and you’re 26; the next you wake up and you’re 56.
     
    To kick off your weekend, I’ll leave you with this. Admire the hair and the mustaches:
     

    • If that was directed at me, personally, I will confess that I talk to my black Lab all the time. He has quite a wide vocabulary. So much so that when I would say something like “I’m going to take a walk to the supermarket…” and that would set off alarm bells. “Tonight I’m going to make chicken…” “As a treat I’m going to…”
       
      Three or four years ago I compiled a glossary of these terms in three foreign languages so that I could communicate with aggressively monolingual Better Half without riling up The Faithful Hound. Within two or three days FH learned all of them. 
       
      His facility with languages works to my advantage when we are (were) in public. He seems to have a particular affinity for German. He’s an exceptionally friendly and sociable creature, and if I ever unleashed him would no doubt race in front of a speeding oncoming car to say hello to it. The neighborhood is beset by unsavory characters because of the pandemic, so I’ve taught him three commands. “Sitz,” meaning sit. A lot of people around here are afraid of dogs, so I do this as a courtesy to them. “Vorsicht”, meaning careful. This is reserved for the run-of-the-mill idiots like dirt bikers who race through red lights, or weekend “Tour de France” cyclists who do the same. Or delivery folks riding e-scooters on the sidewalk. “Feind”, meaning enemy, so he’ll crouch a little, tail straight up, and show his teeth. This is for when someone approaches aggressively asking for money. 
       
      FH weighs 125 lbs. and is not to be trifled with.

      • Literally can’t teach Butcher Dog how to look fearsome in front of people.  All people and all other dogs are playmates, full stop.  Funny thing is that she’s half boxer so she really could look frightful if she wanted to.

        The main problem we have is getting her to internalize that the rules still apply when people come over.  Doesn’t matter how many times they’ve been here, she treats them all as if she can be as obnoxiously lovable as she wants.  The people who really get it do their part and make her sit and don’t encourage her.  The others we have to train over and over again that winding her up is not actually OK.

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