…it’s a lottery [DOT 13/5/21]

in some cases literally...

man throwing paperwork in the air and quote "looks like it's fuck this shit o'clock"

…well…shit…there’s a fair chance I’m not going to get to everything I kind of want to…which is good news for folks who don’t like to scroll…but I’m not sure I’ve found much good news besides that…so I guess we could start with that pipeline being open again?

There was a sign of relief late Wednesday when the operator of the pipeline, which transports gasoline, diesel and jet fuel from Texas to New Jersey, said it had “initiated the restart” of operations. But the company, Colonial Pipeline, said supplies would take several days to return to normal.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation said the ransomware attack had been carried out by an organized crime group, DarkSide, which is believed to operate from Eastern Europe, possibly Russia. While the attack was not on the pipeline itself, Colonial shut down both its information systems and the pipeline until it was sure it could safely manage the flow of fuel.

The company has refused to say whether it had paid a ransom or was considering doing so. On Wednesday, administration officials said they believed the company was avoiding paying the ransom, at least for now. Instead, they said, the company was trying to reconstruct its systems with a patchwork of backed-up data.

Gasoline Buying Fever Rages as Pipeline Company Begins Restart [NYT]

…& I guess it ought to be a good thing that they seem to be trying to do something about making a repeat performance less likely


…well…it’s a positive gesture, at least

The weaknesses have been known for years: Eighty-five percent of American critical infrastructure is owned by private companies, and few regulations govern how those companies must protect their computer networks. Criminal hackers like the ones the FBI says attacked Colonial Pipeline are given overseas sanctuary by hostile foreign governments, out of reach of American law enforcement. The vast majority of ransomware attacks originate abroad, many of them from Russia, experts say.

Against this largely foreign threat, the U.S. government leaves it to the private sector to protect itself. The National Security Agency collects intelligence about cyberattacks, the FBI investigates them after they happen and the Department of Homeland Security tries to protect government computers. But no federal agency is in charge of defending the American public against hackers, be they criminals or intelligence operatives.
The secondary role of federal agencies was on stark display Tuesday, when the acting head of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, a unit of DHS known as CISA, acknowledged that five days after the attack on the company was first reported, Colonial Pipeline had yet to share with his agency the technical deals of the hack. Colonial never notified CISA of the breach — the FBI did that, Acting Director Brandon Wales said.

“Right now we are waiting for additional technical information on exactly what happened at Colonial so that we can use that information to potentially protect other potential victims down the road,” he told an incredulous Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, at a hearing of the Senate’s Homeland Security Committee.

The government, Portman noted earlier, can’t even say definitively which agency is in charge of securing its own federal networks, let alone private ones that are crucial to the American economy.
While CISA’s name implies it is the main cyber defense agency, it actually plays a limited role, focusing on testing vulnerabilities and promoting best practices. CISA is not a regulatory agency.

“CISA works with FBI and other investigative agencies, but they are not the lead,” an agency official told NBC News. “CISA is not who you would call if you need immediate assistance — that would be FBI.”

President Joe Biden has plans to change some of this, including a proposed executive order that officials say would require companies that operate critical infrastructure to tell the government when they are hit by a cyberattack. But only Congress can impose comprehensive cyber regulations, and an effort to do that failed in 2012.
“The only silver lining is this is going to be a big enough deal that I believe this will be the wake-up call the government needs,” said Eric Cole, a cybersecurity expert and author.

Kelvin Coleman, executive director of the National Cyber Security Alliance, had a different take.

“I’m tired of getting wake-up calls,” he said. “It’s time to stay awake.”

Who’s in charge here? Colonial Pipeline hack exposes huge holes in U.S. cyber defenses, say experts

…but…well…sometimes you wonder what goes on in the heads of some people

The commission’s advice, seemingly obvious to many who wouldn’t consider storing a highly flammable liquid in a flimsy vessel, was shared widely on Twitter, as people wondered, “Seriously, someone needed to be told this?
While massive emergencies like this run on gas stations can spur hoaxes online — think the image of a shark swimming down a street shared in the aftermath of hurricanes — people filling plastic bags with gasoline has happened before.

In a video captured at a Kroger gas station in December 2019, a woman wearing a white shirt and black apron can be seen double-bagging gas, as the liquid seemingly spilled out of the white plastic bags onto the ground. The clip has resurfaced this week, gaining millions of views as some speculated that panic-buying of gas would look similar to the woman with her white plastic bags.
Another moment drawing recent attention: A March 2019 photo of a car trunk stuffed with clear garbage bags filled with gasoline, according to Mexican news outlet Noticieros Televisa. The photo was reportedly taken after two men were arrested for allegedly stealing from a gas station in Huauchinango, Mexico, about 100 miles northeast of Mexico City.


…so maybe that doesn’t count…although speaking of counting…there’s a chance this might?

Because the judge ruled there were aggravating factors in the murder of George Floyd, he is allowed to sentence Derek Chauvin to up to double the 15-year state guideline.

Chauvin May Face Longer Sentence Over ‘Cruel’ Actions and Abuse of Power

…& speaking of legal consequences

The National Rifle Association’s attempt to evade a legal challenge from New York regulators was tossed out by a federal bankruptcy judge on Tuesday, in a ruling that cast further doubt on whether the group’s embattled chief executive, Wayne LaPierre, would remain at the helm after three decades in power.

The ruling was a victory for Letitia James, the New York attorney general, whose office is seeking to remove Mr. LaPierre and shut down the gun rights group amid a long-running corruption investigation.

Mr. LaPierre, the face of the American gun lobby, now battered by the N.R.A.’s internecine warfare and revelations of extravagant personal spending, had sought to end-run Ms. James by relocating to Texas and filing for bankruptcy there. But the gambit instead proved a strategic blunder: The testimony over a 12-day trial only buttressed Ms. James’s contentions of corruption, and led the judge, Harlin D. Hale, to declare, “The N.R.A. is using this bankruptcy case to address a regulatory enforcement problem, not a financial one.”

Judge Hale, the chief of the federal bankruptcy court in Dallas, also said Mr. LaPierre’s move to file for bankruptcy without telling the group’s board of directors, or his own chief counsel or chief financial officer, was “nothing less than shocking.”

And he warned that any effort to revive the case was likely to lead to another unpalatable outcome: the appointment of an outside trustee to take control of the organization and its finances.

In Rebuke to N.R.A., Federal Judge Dismisses Bankruptcy Case [NYT]

…& with all due respect to those of you who are good enough to read these despite seeing this somewhat differently than I…even the complete demise of the NRA seems like too little too late from where I’m sitting


There are 39,000 gun deaths in the United States every year, about 100 a day. It is time — long past time — to treat the problem like the public health emergency it is.

Instead, reasonable gun-safety legislation languishes in the Senate because of opposition from Republicans focused on their narrow political interests. Measures that would expand and strengthen background checks for gun buyers are supported by a majority of Americans. But even as gun violence has surged, a number of Republican-led states are allowing the carrying of firearms without a permit, a background check or any kind of training; Texas seems poised to become the latest state to join in this lunacy. And in a development that has gun-safety advocates justifiably worried, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case testing how far states may go in regulating whether an individual may carry a gun outside the home. Given the more conservative makeup of the court since its ruling a decade ago guaranteeing the right to own a gun in one’s home for self-defense, the outcome could well be a ruling that restricts or bars states from regulating the carrying of guns. Just what the country needs: more guns on the street.

Gun violence is surging. It’s time to treat it like a public health emergency. [WaPo]

…not that there isn’t worse stuff going on in the world

Last September, President Donald Trump was exultant. Accompanied at the White House by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and senior leaders from Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, Trump hailed the normalization of ties between Israel and the two Gulf monarchies. The agreements were lumped under the grandiose title of the “Abraham Accords,” a nod to the promise of coexistence and shared prosperity in the birthplace of three great religions.

“We’re here this afternoon to change the course of history. After decades of division and conflict, we mark the dawn of a new Middle East,” Trump said from the White House balcony, adding that the agreements would “serve as the foundation for a comprehensive peace across the entire region.” In the following months, both Sudan and Morocco entered their own processes of normalization with Israel.
Then came this week’s spasm of violence between Israelis and Palestinians, triggered after weeks of unrest and clashes in Jerusalem. On Tuesday, militants in the blockaded Gaza Strip launched one of the largest salvos of rockets ever fired into Israel, killing at least three people.

“The onslaught was even fiercer in Gaza, where Israel waged one of its most intense air campaigns since a 2014 war engulfed the sides for more than a month,” my colleagues reported. “The Israeli military said it struck more than 500 targets in retaliation for the rocket attacks from Gaza. By Tuesday evening, the Palestinian Health Ministry said the strikes had killed 30 Gazans, including 10 children, and injured about 200 others.”

The escalation followed spiking tensions in Jerusalem, where recent marches of far-right Jewish supremacist groups, an Israeli push to evict Palestinian residents in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah and brutal crackdowns by Israeli security forces on Palestinian protesters all laid the tinder for a far bigger spark. The unrest spread to cities outside the occupied territories, as Palestinian citizens of Israel rallied in support of their brethren.


There were a myriad individual triggers and turning points in the days and weeks leading up to the rapid spiral of violence now racking Jerusalem and surging outward, including heated clashes between Israeli police and Palestinian protesters in and around the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque/Temple Mount compound, rocket fire directed at Israeli cities from Hamas-controlled Gaza and retaliatory airstrikes against Hamas targets in Gaza by the Israeli Defense Forces.

But a more fundamental reason the world’s holiest city is once again a flashpoint for conflict is because of a power vacuum in both Israel and the Palestinian Authority, in which the former has been distracted during back-to-back-to-back-to-back inconclusive elections and the latter refuses to hold elections at all.

With Israeli and Palestinian politicians weak and focused on securing their own positions, extremists have been able to kick off another round of death, hatred and mutual recrimination. These paroxysms of violence tend to drive both Israelis and Palestinians to the right, weakening the possibilities for a peaceful resolution.[…]

For two straight years, the day-to-day governance and fraught geopolitics facing Israel have often been overlooked as its leaders angle for political advantage during an endless election loop, concentrating their remaining energies on facing down the coronavirus pandemic.

Palestinian officials have been paralyzed in the opposite way; no elections have been held in the Palestinian Authority since 2006, giving President Mahmoud Abbas and his functionaries what amounts to lifetime appointments. Just last month, Abbas again announced the delay of elections for the Palestinian Legislative Council.

The vacuum means radicals on either side can tilt the scales. Protests simmered over land disputes in the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah for weeks with minimal intervention from an Israeli government that ignored the escalating protests while worrying about future coalition-forming. In the absence of a clear government response, far-right politician Itamar Ben Gvir inflamed the situation by moving into the disputed neighborhood, positioning himself and his allies as the only politicians willing to stand up to the Arab protesters and assert a Jewish presence in the neighborhood.
Hamas has been, if you will, the political sponsor of the uptick in violence on the Palestinian side. At the same time that tensions in Sheikh Jarrah were boiling up, Palestinian protesters in the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex, incensed over Covid-based limitations on congregating during the holy month of Ramadan, stockpiled rocks and waved Hamas flags over the weekend, chanting “we are all Hamas” while facing off with Israeli security forces. With Hamas shut out of legislative elections, the social media-ready protests helped the opposition political party/terror group reinforce its appeal.


…so, I’ll be honest…when I hear this

Israel will not stop its military operation in Gaza until “complete quiet” has been achieved, the country’s defence minister has said, as airstrikes and rocket fire continued throughout Wednesday.

Israel vows not to stop Gaza attacks until there is ‘complete quiet’ [Guardian]

…& people are seeing this

Late on Wednesday a mob of far-right Israelis dragged a man they thought was an Arab from his car and beat him until he lay on the ground motionless and bloodied.

Footage of the attack in Bat Yam, a Tel Aviv suburb, was broadcast live on television but police and emergency services did not arrive on the scene until 15 minutes later, while the victim lay motionless on his back in the middle of the street.

Those in the crowd justified the attack by saying the man was an Arab who had tried to ram the far-right nationalists, but the footage showed a motorist trying to avoid the demonstration.
Elsewhere in Bat Yam, a group of black-clad Israelis smashed the windows of an Arab-owned ice-cream shop and ultranationalists could be seen chanting: “Death to Arabs!” on live television during a standoff with border police.

Live TV shows Israeli mob attack motorist they believed to be an Arab [Guardian]

…or (not) seeing this kind of thing

7amleh, a nonprofit focused on Palestinians’ access to the Internet and freedom of expression, told Reuters on Monday that it had fielded more than 200 complaints of posts being taken down or accounts being suspended.

Both Instagram and Twitter blamed the takedowns on an error made by their automated systems, and said that the posts and accounts in question had been restored. Instagram, in a statement this week also addressing content that appeared to be missing from other regions as well, apologized to those in East Jerusalem who “felt this was an intentional suppression of their voices and their stories — that was not our intent whatsoever.”

But their explanation has not satisfied digital rights groups, who say that it demonstrates why social platforms need to be more transparent about how their algorithms function.

As violence in Israel and Gaza plays out on social media, activists raise concerns about tech companies’ interference [WaPo]

…it’s a long way from feeling like any part of that is headed the right way…but there is one thing it shares with a miserably large swathe of the headlines…hypocrisy…I mean…some of it comes with a side order of irony so thick it’s almost funny

Tesla has suspended the use of bitcoin to purchase its vehicles, Elon Musk said in a tweet on Wednesday, citing concerns about the use of fossil fuel for bitcoin mining.
Musk said Tesla would not sell any bitcoin, and intends to use bitcoin for transactions as soon as mining transitions to more sustainable energy.

Elon Musk says Tesla will no longer accept bitcoin due to fossil fuel use

…I won’t get into how he just recently tanked the value of another cryptocurrency while being a bad joke on SNL…or the yet-another-cryptocurrency that claims to be less ecologically irresponsible because it burns through hard drives by the truckload instead of GPUs (it’s called chia if you want to go independently increase your chances of steam coming out of your ears) but I can’t be the only one who sometimes wonders if it wouldn’t have been better for the environment if they’d shot elon into space instead of his damn car…but – as ever – when it comes to hypocrisy…you just can’t beat the GOP

Several House Republicans on Wednesday tried to recast and downplay the events of Jan. 6, comparing the mob that breached the Capitol to tourists, railing against law enforcement for seeking to arrest them and questioning how anyone could be sure the rioters were supporters of President Donald Trump.
The comments by a handful of House Republicans came during a congressional hearing with former acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen, former acting defense secretary Christopher C. Miller and D.C. Police Chief Robert J. Contee III, focused understanding the security lapses that allowed the Jan. 6 attack to happen.

A handful of Republicans used their time to defend the actions of those who stormed past security barricades and broke into the Capitol with the intent of stopping the affirmation of Joe Biden’s election victory. Trump repeatedly and falsely has claimed widespread fraud resulted in a rigged election.
A few Republicans chastised the FBI for seeking to identify and arrest everyone who breached the Capitol that day. Rep. Paul A. Gosar (R-Ariz.) accused the Justice Department of “harassing peaceful patriots across the country.”
Another Republican suggested the rioters, who marched to the Capitol from the “Stop the Steal” rally after Trump encouraged them to go there and “fight like hell,” may not have been Trump supporters.

‘Normal tourist visit’: Republicans recast deadly Jan. 6 attack by pro-Trump mob [WaPo]

…I mean…fuck all the way off…& when you’re done…fuck off some more…& take this asshole with you while you’re at it

McCarthy pushes out Liz Cheney, then pushes bipartisanship at the White House [WaPo]

Kevin McCarthy says no one is ‘questioning the legitimacy’ of the 2020 election. That’s not true. [NYT]

…in fact…you’re gonna need some kind of bus…maybe the one the fatuous fraud is so fond of throwing his “friends” under?

Christopher C. Miller, who was the Trump administration’s acting Pentagon chief, will defend his choices regarding the timing and manner of National Guard deployment to the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, telling a congressional committee that he stands by “every decision I made that day.”

[…]“I am keenly aware of the criticism regarding the Department of Defense’s response to the January 6 events at the Capitol. I believe that this criticism is unfounded and reflects inexperience with, or a lack of understanding of, the nature of military operations or, worse, that it is simply the result of politics.”

[…]“I am keenly aware of the criticism regarding the Department of Defense’s response to the January 6 events at the Capitol. I believe that this criticism is unfounded and reflects inexperience with, or a lack of understanding of, the nature of military operations or, worse, that it is simply the result of politics.”

Former Trump acting defense chief defends ‘every decision’ made on Jan. 6 [WaPo]

…& I mean…to some extent the hypocritical son of a bitch isn’t entirely wrong…the result of politics does stand a decent chance of being worse

The 2020 presidential election ended six months ago. It has dominated Republican politics ever since. As Senate Democrats mark up their version of the House’s election reform bill, supporters are sounding more anxious and desperate about the situation facing them without it, imagining “minority rule” by Republicans that they will never be in a position to reverse unless they federalize most election laws and prevent how GOP-led states can change them.
Democrats don’t currently have the votes to pass H.R. 1, which would eliminate or neuter the state-level laws they’re worried about. Those laws have already begun to reshape the electorate; were the 2020 election run again today, several voting practices that were allowed last year would be illegal today. In several states, the number of votes cast by methods since eliminated or banned by legislators was comparable to the final margin between Biden and Trump.


…it’s all about playing the odds, apparently

Mike DeWine announced on Wednesday that over the next five weeks, the state will draw the names of five people from its ledger of residents who have received at least one jab, and award them $1m each. The lottery scheme will be funded by federal coronavirus relief funds, DeWine said during a televised address.

…& yeah…that sounds fucking crazy…but this part actually seems like something that I’d have more trouble objecting to…even without the context of covid

In addition to the $1m lotteries, DeWine announced that to incentivize children aged 12-17 to get vaccines, the state would draw the name of one vaccinated child to receive a full, four-year college scholarship at a state university – including fees for room, board, and books.


…whereas, this…this just seems straightforwardly wrong

in the state of Idaho, new legislation signed days ago by Governor Brad Little will allow professional hunters and trappers to use helicopters, snowmobiles, ATVs, night vision equipment, snares and other means to kill roughly 90% of the state’s wolves, knocking them down from an estimated 1,500 to 150. A group of retired state, federal and tribal wildlife managers wrote to Little asking him to veto the wolf kill bill, saying statewide livestock losses to wolves have been under 1% for cattle and 3% for sheep. The group further noted that the overall elk population has actually increased since wolves were reintroduced into Idaho more than two decades ago. It made no difference.
America’s demonization and slaughter of wolves has been going on for centuries – fed by myths, fairytales, Disney films and more – and continues today, full throttle from Wisconsin to Idaho to Alaska. This is our true forever war – the war on Nature, specifically on wildness and its sinister poster child. The wolf could be out there right now, sneaking under the barbed wire, stalking our profits.

In November 2020, the Trump administration, as part of its rollback of environmental regulations, ordered the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to remove the gray wolf from the endangered species list. Western ranchers and farmers were pleased; wildlife advocates called the decision “willful ignorance”. EcoWatch reported that the de-listing occurred “despite the enduring precarity of wolf populations throughout much of the country. According to the most recent USFWS data, there are only 108 wolves in Washington state, 158 in Oregon, and 15 in California, while wolves are ‘functionally extinct’ in Nevada, Utah, and Colorado.”

“Wisconsin’s brutal wolf hunt in late February generated outrage – and for good reason,” Jodi Habush Sinykin, an environmental attorney, and Donald Waller, an ecologist and conservation biologist, wrote in the Washington Post. “Throngs of unlicensed hunters joined those with licenses with packs of dogs, snowmobiles and GPS technology. The wolves stood no chance. This unprecedented hunt took place during the breeding season, killing pregnant females and disrupting family packs at a time critical to pup survival. A full accounting of the hunt’s biological toll is impossible, as the state declined to inspect carcasses.”
And wolf attacks on humans are so rare as to be statistically non-existent.

Over the past half-century, wildlife around the world has dropped 68%. The human race, together with our livestock, now accounts for more than 95% of all mammal biomass on Earth. Everything else – from whales to wolves to lions, tigers and bears – adds up to only 4.2%. And that percentage continues to fall.

Idaho is going to kill 90% of the state’s wolves. That’s a tragedy – and bad policy [Guardian]

…not that there aren’t plenty of bad ideas we all get to live with

Chemical giants DuPont and Daikin knew the dangers of a PFAS compound widely used in food packaging since 2010, but hid them from the public and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), company studies obtained by the Guardian reveal.
The companies initially told the FDA that the compounds were safer and less likely to accumulate in humans than older types of PFAS, also known as “forever chemicals” and submitted internal studies to support that claim.

But Daikin withheld a 2009 study that indicated toxicity to lab rats’ livers and kidneys, while DuPont in 2012 did not alert the FDA or public to new internal data that indicated that the chemical stays in animals’ bodies for much longer than initially thought.
Industry reports and communications among the FDA and PFAS producers between 2008 and 2020 show how a sequence of inadequate chemical safety analyses, hidden studies and lax oversight created a scenario in which Americans continue to be exposed to the dangerous compound in food packaging.


…not to be the voice of doom…but it’s mother’s milk to some people

A new study that checked American women’s breast milk for PFAS contamination detected the toxic chemical in all 50 samples tested, and at levels nearly 2,000 times higher than the level some public health advocates advise is safe for drinking water.

Study finds alarming levels of ‘forever chemicals’ in US mothers’ breast milk [Guardian]

…& when it comes to killing things with abandon…there’s no shortage of volunteers

Officials opened 12 slots to kill bison at Grand Canyon National Park. 45,000 people applied.



  1. …& with all due respect to those of you who are good enough to read these 
    its not that i dont read your posts mate..
    its just that by the time i actually get through all the shit what needs talking about its about time for the duan and adding my usually unimportant 2 cents seems a little pointless by then….you must be a quick reader
    also..its coz i figure my america should just sink so it can be like atlantis except backwards and full of guns instead of treasure stance wont really win me any friends amongst the people trying to actually live there


      • …you might be surprised…if you narrow the scope a little even some of the natives might not be far off your way of thinking…I miss bill hicks

        …that’s definitely funnier than the DOT…at least until/unless it gets removed from youtube…although the DOT doesn’t have ads, so…swings & roundabouts?

        …either way…I get the thing about not commenting…I don’t seem to be any good at not overloading these with links…but there’s always the OT part…much as I do tend to think most of not all of the stuff I stuff these posts with is worth talking about I know it’s not all there is to talk about on any given day…& hard as it might be to believe given how long-winded I get…I prefer hearing from other people to the sound of my own voice…I get more than enough of that most days…that’s the problem with an interior monologue…it’s hard to find the mute button?

        • My daughter was asking how I felt about the U.S. leaving Afghanistan and what would happen to the kids there.  I told her about the war there since the beginning of time & how we can’t be there forever.  She said how sad it was to be born into hopeless situations like that.  I agreed and compared it to the starving people in Africa.  I told her about a great comedian that said instead of sending food (or troops) maybe we could think outside the box?  (Hey, I was trying to lighten the mood a bit!)


    • I read them all (if not the link at least the quote), and usually have an opinion on most, but by the time I get to the comments section I can’t remember anything 🙂

  2. bill hicks was hilarious…angry…but hilarious
    but tbh….ive found one common trait amongst americans…even the nice ones…and thats they do not take well to shitting on americans
    its our goshdarnjob to shit on our cuntry and fuck you for thinking you get to do so as well
    its the kind of attitude what put me in a wierd ass position where i actually like almost every american ive ever met in person (they’ve been pretty good people,,,in person…cept that dude what called me the norweege….he was an idiot) but dont like americans
    anyways…what i was trying to say before i got sidetracked by myself..is i actually like your posts…. 🙂

    • …thanks…it’s always nice to be appreciated

      …as to the other thing…I guess I have funny ideas about that stuff which I put down to having been raised in britain…I know all the brexit-happy assholes are doing all they can to double down on the ways that brits are loathed in a lot of places…much the same way that the ones who liked to get hammered & sunburned & piss off the locals anywhere they went on holiday were/are wont to do…but personally I think a bit of national self-deprecation is healthy…not to mention traditional in that part of the world…& not least because it helps not to make one inclined to fly off the handle when someone from somewhere else points out something bad about where you’re from…& last I checked there really isn’t anywhere that gets to claim it’s all good?

      …there’s a lot to like about the US…but it’s not exactly hard to find things about it that are open to criticism…& when it has such outsize influence on the rest of the world it seems a bit disingenuous to suggest that the rest of the world isn’t entitled to do any of that

      …but I guess for some folks that’s hard to swallow…although I can’t help but suspect that for a lot of those folks part of their problem is that they don’t know enough about the world outside the US to repay that kind of favor…so they default to “you don’t get to say that about my country” & try not to think too hard about why they can’t say much of anything about yours?

      • …there’s a lot to like about the US…
        *tries to think of things that arent scenery and humongulous portions of food or the people ive met*
        nope…i exhausted me options
        oh wait i know….you can drive any kind of shit…coz what inspections? that shits awesome…and terrifying…(but im a gearhead..so i fucking love it…its like being a gun nut cept my method of destruction will probably take out me first…you accidentally)
        unless of course you are in cali….which is ameuroca..
        anyways…every place is worthy of being shat on imo…some places just take it better than others.. the us of a is particularly thin skinned

        • americas thin skinnedness was especially funny when i recommended some of the chinese flicks on netflix
          and got a bunch of people telling me how they we are all just nationalist propaganda
          and im just like??
          so what…its only cool if its yous doing it?
          check out the fucking space ships maaan!

          • …yeah…I love a good kung fu flick…but the propaganda angle is for sure a thing…I’d argue it’s heavy-handed enough to be obvious & thereby somewhat possible to set aside…but it’s also a reality that very few actors in that part of the world can afford to buck the state…although I think chow yun-fat is kind of remarkable that way?

            …then again the likes of disney bend over backwards to make things acceptable to that regime despite plenty deep pockets…so I’m not clear why, say, jackie chan deserves to be vilified but corporations/studios should get a pass…either it’s the cost of doing business or it’s selling out at an unacceptable price

            …I guess that’s (one of) the problem(s) with “letting the market decide?

            • maybe i misread your post
              but it kinda sounded like you had a problem with chinese propaganda in movies
              i dont see the difference between china good and murica good in movies
              its the same shit stained coin
              dont make the movies bad tho

              • actually…i lied…
                chinese movies tend to be less subtle about the propaganda
                but then….they havent had a hundred years to learn the art yet….they already caught up on sfx….gonna be a hellova thing when they catch up on western story telling

              • …I don’t know about misread, exactly…I guess maybe I didn’t really settle on a point, as such?

                …like…you’re not wrong that I have somewhat of a problem with propaganda in movies…but you’re also not wrong that it isn’t only china that does it…hell, you can make a pretty good argument that the bond franchise is an exercise in “soft power” but I still find ’em hard not to watch when they’re in front of me

                …I’d even argue that in a bunch of ways most of hollywood’s output for a long time functioned as propaganda…& it worked damn well…it sold the “american dream” to all sorts of places…& played a big part in the fact that in a lot of those places in the world I grew up in america was in a lot of ways thought of as a place to aspire to…to the point that making things in your own corner of the world “more american” was something to brag about, even…like owning levi’s in soviet russia

                …& like I said for the most part it’s obvious enough that I can kind of take it out of the equation when it comes to whether or not I enjoy the movie in question…but I’d be naïve to assume I don’t get suckered by any of it…& I guess sometimes I do worry about what some audiences swallow up & take away from a film when they don’t know better…because it informs their understanding/view of the world…& it sure would help if that kind of thing was less liable to be founded on bullshit

                …like…there are kids out there who probably think shit went down the way it was portrayed in U-571U-571…& that isn’t necessarily their fault…but it seems like there’s not a lot to like about the result & it’s hard to argue the responsibility doesn’t lie with the studio that made the movie that way?

          • …that show (& a lot of sorkin’s stuff) gets a fair bit of flack…& at least some of it’s deserved…but like that scene…it does also make some really good points

            …like…just because some people always want to cut taxes it doesn’t mean it’s never the right call

        • …I mean, I don’t know that I could necessarily come up with a list off the top of my head…let alone a definitive one…but I’m pretty confident I could manage more than the landscape & the generous portion sizes

          …I think part of the problem is that although it’s not that hard to find something good to point at it’s hard not to feel like it’s equally easy to find something on the other side of the equation & those sometimes seem like they outweigh the good thing

          …like (since I forgot this link earlier) I tend to think AOC is “a good thing”…but it’s not easy to convince yourself that the stuff she says & does translate into the sort of results you’d hope they would…whereas “empty” greene…there’s plenty of rats happy to follow the tune that particular piper whistles?

           Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, causing New York congresswoman to raise security concerns [WaPo]

  3. Clearly I have been vacationing wrong my entire life. Normal tourists go out and try to overthrow the gubmint. Who knew. Actually I knew I was touristing wrong when I went to Hawaii, while everyone else hung around the hotel I rented a car,  drove around and met people who actually lived there. Oh and one time someone almost ran me off the road, Massachusetts license plate!
    I have so many feels about the articles cited, but they all boil down to ‘most people suck’, if not for you guys I’d be really discouraged.

    • …sometimes it’s not easy even when you find people of like mind

      …but yeah…our little crowd here does a lot to remind me that there are still people out there I haven’t met who I might actually like to…which I consider a major favor on the part of all concerned since I come across more than enough stuff to otherwise feel like I’d kind of like to go live on an island that only my friends get to visit?

    • I find it so frustrating that even on MSNBC they report from the Israeli point of view.  “Rockets launched into Israel!”  My news just said 6 Israelis dead and 50 Palestinians”, I’m sure the Palestinian number is MUCH higher.  It is such a fucked situation and getting worst.  Netanyahu is just like Trump and now would be a great time to put some pressure on him to cut this shit out, seeing as how he loved Trump so much.  Won’t happen but I can dream!

    • /me thanks the flying spaghetti monster for his continued zoom free existance
      on the upside tho…zoom has proved that humanity is fucking incredible
      i mean shit….theres only one species in the world that could fuck up working from home.

      •  My boss actually asked yesterday what my preference was in regards to wfh vs working in the office. I told him I would gladly take the bullet and WFH so that others could be in office. What a question!! Has he even met me?

        • i got an official complaint for asking why fucking sales wasnt working from home…
          apparently its vitaly important they are in the office to answer emails….
          (no seriously….me team lead came to me to tell me to lay off the negative vibes maaan…..)
          im not fucking negative…. theres nothing you can do in the office you cant do at home
          so fuck off…and stop bothering me
          jesus fucking H christmas….what qualification do i need to make you see that point?
          i swear….people learn to get stupid

  4. As always, thank you for keeping on about gun violence in the United States, @SplinterRIP.

    The vacuum means radicals on either side can tilt the scales” – that appears to be true everywhere, and as @Sedevilc pointed out “most people suck” (except for the DeadSplinterati, of course).

    The constant world-wide news cycle inflames anger on all sides, and any light shone on injustice is dampened by the onslaught of outrage. From slaughtered Palestinian children to slaughtered wolves to intentionally cruel political maneuvering – we humans are horrible.

  5. Idiots are lining up at the gas stations here, apparently fueled by social media posts from morons and a decree from our Trump-worshipping governor that Florida is in a “state of emergency.” I didn’t realize what was going on, and tried to stop for gas on Tuesday. Every pump was in use. I got there just as someone was pulling away so good for me, but it was another day before I found out what all the fuss was about. 

  6. Matt Gaetz has to be wetting his pants right about now:
    As I understand it, Greenberg would not enter a plea until after he had testified to a grand jury. And as the article points out, since Greenberg is an somewhat unreliable witness, investigators must have ironclad evidence of crimes to corroborate his testimony. So what will happen here? 
    A. Gaetz is going to get arrested. (Basically a sure thing at this point.)
    B. Other Florida Republicans are going to be arrested. (There have been reports that others may have been involved and Greenberg seems to have styled himself as a wannabe pimp.)
    C. Other Republicans from other states are going to be arrested. (The fake IDs suggest to me that the women in question were going to travel on behalf of Greenberg/Gaetz.)
    D. Gaetz is actually the ringleader of the whole criminal enterprise. (Greenberg seems to be too erratic to plan and administer a hot dog stand, much less a sex trafficking ring.)
    E. All of the above. (Bill Barr’s decision to avoid any physical proximity to Gaetz suggests to me that this was an EXTREMELY widespread “secret” in political circles.)

  7. Got my second dose! I’m all Pfizer’ed up!! While myself and another 60-something lady were waiting, a pharmacy employee leaned out and asked if either of us were waiting for Mirena? Uhhhh… No? Lady looks at me and says what is that? I say, “I think it’s an IUD. We wouldn’t get that here.” She could NOT stop laughing . I *think* the pharmacy employee meant Moderna? But yeesh. 
    Then I got plants for my garden. If my arm is going to hurt tomorrow and/or I have flu like symptoms for a day, I wanted to get them in. We’re hopefully done with overnight temps in the 30s 😩

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