Morons and Drones, Morons and…Stuff

Media seems mystified–at least media writers in Arizona and England–that morons with drones are endangering people by their moronic activities.

First: a moron in Arizona launched a drone (link to article here) so he could record firefighting aircraft involved in the Goodwin fire near Prescott, Arizona. Aircraft were diverted from their duties and forced to land. In an unusual conclusion to this type of incident, the moron who was operating the drone was apprehended and will stand charges. Next case: a moron controlling a drone near London’s Gatwick Airport caused a snarl in commercial flights (link here). No one has been arrested at the time the butthead (a pleasing euphemism for a moron) writing this drivel is so writing.

Morons with drones, morons with guns, morons with control of the US government, morons in control of governments around the world, moron executives at Volkswagen ordering engineers to create test-defying software for VW cars, moron engineers obeying orders (recall the trials after WWII? I wuz ordered to do it…). Oh, yeah. Include morons with computers and internet access.

Folks, the world is full of morons. (Wanna see my Donald Trump bobble-head doll? Wanna see me drive around hard-core right-wing Phoenix with the doll in the back window of my car? Wanna see some moron with a gun shoot the moron with the doll in his rear window?)

Stay tuned for the adventures of moronperson. He or she is everywhere, faster than a speeding bullet, able to create fantastic fuckups at a moment’s notice. Yeah.

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Has Anybody Noticed?

Uh…has anybody noticed…seriously…that the new U.S. Attorney General closely resembles a famous media character from past years? Face is the same. Ears stick out like taxi doors. Strings are attached to the arms, legs, and so on…and well…they’re manipulated from behind the scenes by the puppeteer.

Is the head of the AG made of the same material as that of the famous puppet of days yore? It’s certainly possible.

Is the puppet similar in any other ways? Like…no heart? No brain? No blood flowing through the veins? No veins, for that matter. Once again, it’s certainly possible.

Are the words that purportedly flow from the puppet’s mouth created from within the little wooden figurine or do they emanate from outside, thrown from the mouth of a ventriloquist?

Yeah, folks, today’s Howdy is a vestige of the past that’s being resurrected by the magic of modern media. The original Howdy wasn’t real, not really. He was just a carved doll dressed up in a cowboy suit. He never existed as a living, breathing human being. That’s another similarity between the original and the new Howdy. The old Howdy was the personification of an outside world that didn’t exist. So’s the new one.

Back when Howdy was on the tiny tube, women knew enough to keep their mouth shut or men would shut it for them. Women knew who was the boss. If the boss wanted to grab them between the legs…it was OK. Unpleasant, maybe, but OK. After all, groping the women was the boss’s prerogative. Hmmmm. Another similarity.

That’s the world our Attorney General represents, a world that never existed other than as a fantasy. Who, I wonder, might be pulling his strings and putting words into his wooden mouth?

I wonder. I wonder.

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A “Good” Government Shutdown!

The current soi disant President of the US is quoted as saying, “We need a good shutdown,” referring, of course, to a closure of most US government offices and downtime for most US government employees.

Isn’t this an oxymoron? Is there such a beast as a good government shutdown? Yes, I understand that the fatman in DC will soon pucker his lips in his inimitable simulation of fellatio and chide the press for not understanding sly sarcasm. Is what he writes at 4AM on Twitter really a form of sarcasm?

I don’t think so. Neither does my cat. (I refer to said feline because our opinions are of roughly equal importance.)  However, going along with the concept of a good government shutdown, let’s examine other occurances we might need.

What about a Good Nuclear War? Certainly our relationship with the other crazy fat man…the one in North Korea…makes this a possibility at same point in the reasonably near future.

Consider postulating, “my wife needs a…good beating?” Hmmm? Or even, “I need a good beating?” Likely there are people who would agree with the latter suggestion, including some readers of this drivel.

What we need is a good earthquake. Surely the PotoS in DC (Yeah, it’s correct. Pot of Shit.) believes folks on the left coast deserve a massive quiver in the faultline culminating in a slide into the Pacific.

What our nation needs is a good impeachment and conviction. Hopefully that event will occur before the nuclear war or even the government shutdown.

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Filed under Odd, Odder and Oddest, Politics, Uncategorized

April Fools

Donald Trump, accompanied by his wife, daughter, sons and son-in-law all gathered around the Presidential Oval Office trough, has signed into law a decree that designates officially which Americans are April Fools.

All of us. Every American, regardless of how they voted, political party membership, height, weight, gender identification, hopes, dreams, goals and moral turpitude (or lack thereof) is officially designated an April Fool.

Unfortunately for Americans (and, unfortunately for the rest of the world, too, each and every human, animal, plant, fish, or inanimate object on the planet is encompassed by this legislation), the decree specifies that each and every day of each and every year is officially designated: April Fools’ Day.

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Fake News: Part…uh…2.38…or maybe part 2.5…

I planned back a month and a half or so ago…another aeon in today’s world…to finish the third part of “Fake News.” What a joke. All news is fake news, so it now seems. We have alternative facts proferred in place of…what? Real facts? According to the New American Oxford Dictionary, a fact is a thing that is indisputably the case, or, to quote the WordWeb Pro On-Line Dictionary, a fact is a concept whose truth can be proved. Well, that’s the fourth defination of fact listed on WWP.

Fuck me running, to quote Kurt Vonnegut and several other men who had such a daring way with words. Back in the day, as some old codgers mumble, a fact was simply the truth. Not a Bill Clintonesque distortion of depends on what IS is. Well, the truth is no longer…the truth. We’ve tumbled through the looking glass, we’re down the rabbit hole, we believe six impossible things every morning before the first bite of an egg McMuffin or a swallow of 197 degree coffee that we’re about to spill on our laps thus scalding our nuts and putting us in line for a big liability payout. ‘Course with no nuts we’ll merely pass the reward on to our kids or grandkids who can use it…wisely.

So: here’s our tautology for the day. At some point I either will or will not finish this three-part series concerning fake news. That’s the truth.

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Add Lip Gloss and Electoral Votes to a Cochina…Yeah…Still the Same…

Thought for the New Year: Add lip gloss to a cochina, provide it with a sufficient number of Electoral College votes to be ordained in high office…and underneath the makeup one discovers…yeah…same old, same old.

My apologies to Associated Press for purloining the above image then modifying it. Further apologies to the genus Sus and the many even-toed ungulates within the Suidae family for comparing their habits to the creature depicted in the above image.

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Self-Driving Cars: Absolutely, Positively Gotta Have One!

Woke up this morning–always a good sign–and realized that it’s Christmas Day 2016, which means I survived through another annual Christian holiday. This is three in a row since I played basketball with my head on the wooden floor of my office. Now that I seem to be back on track somewhat, I decided what I’d like for Christmas. Daddy. Please. Fucking Please, if that increases my possibility of getting what I want. Otherwise I’ll hold my breath until I turn purple. No. I take that back. I tried it a few years ago; didn’t like the way I felt.

So, back to what I want for Christmas.

I want a self-driving car, one like the Google God drives around cities clipping bicycles and flattening neighborhood pets who inopportunely wander onto the street. I’m not sure about the Tesla self-driver. It doesn’t see semi-trailers if they’re painted white. Cut the guy in the front seat’s head off but didn’t harm the computer. Gotta see the bright side, don’t we, Mr. Musk? Maybe Trump will require that all trailers and other large objects be painted a color the computer can see.

Self-driving cars seem like such a wonderful idea for people who don’t like to drive, people who know where they want to go before getting in the car, people who find such mundane tasks as turning the steering wheel while simultaneously operating fuel feed, clutch, gear shift and a multude of other controls just too, too boring. I mean, how many people do YOU know who pile into the family jalopy and go for a cruise around town with no idea of where they’re going to end up or even how they’re gonna get there? Surely no one…right?

These cars that drive themselves certainly are much more safe than the ones everyone else drives. Well, aren’t they? The only impediment in the path of self-driving cars is a bunch of cars driven by fucking human beings who don’t know where they’re going, don’t know how to get there and just want to poke around senselessly through town while cars that drive themselves need the road to themselves in order to be safe.

OK, so we remove people from the cars entirely. That’s a wonderful idea. Much more room inside for packages, items being delivered by Amazon, bags of drugs shipping from dealer distribution point to user end point, you get the idea. Car design changes are in line, too. No glass for windows; computer doesn’t need windows. No seats; computer doesn’t sit while it’s driving. No money wasted on colorful paint. Computer doesn’t care what color the car is.

Road requirements change simultaneously with the take-over of these new cars. No shitty scenic routes to be built or maintained. Computer don’t need no fuckin’ scenic route. More lanes available on extant roads. Computer don’t need space on each side to miss the other computer-driven cars. Lots more profit…LOTS MORE PROFIT…for Google, Amazon, Tesla, Uber, Unter, InsideYout, and all the poor, starving tech companies…when human-driven cars are removed from the roads.

What I really look forward to is self-driving motorcycles. Not enough space for packages, no practical application for the device, so it’s fun only for the computer itself. I’ll make sure my computer gets a Ducati.

Yep. I’m sold on the idea. Can’t you tell?

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Filed under Odd, Odder and Oddest, Wheels

Political Life with Filters Removed

Carl Paladino, Donald Trump’s New York State Presidential Campaign Co-Chair, has provided us with one more indelible image of political communication with all filters removed. Read about it here. So, one more old, ugly, obnoxious, overweight white male has vomited his hatred onto the national stage then grinned at the stinking mess he created. Did Paladino always think this way? Likely, but even in the edge of the civilized world environs of Buffalo, NY, (my domestic partner was born and raised in Buffalo, she says my characterization is unfortunetly accurate), Paladino probably limited his desire that Barrack Obama die and Michelle Obama return to being a man to sotto voce comments among his ignorant, overweight, rude and obnoxious, white male companions.

Not any more, folks. Pussy grabbing is in, people. Referring to people by the lowest possible common denominator terms is in. Ignorance is in. Hatred is in.

Maybe it always was but those polite society filters removed our awareness of such reality. Does anyone remember how shocked the nation was to read President Richard Nixon’s vulgar comments captured on a hidden audio system in the Oval Office? Well, neighbors, soon the Oval Orifice will reside in the Oval Office and rude pronouncements will be the order of the day.

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Memorable Occasions: 3rd Anniversary

Three years ago today I hit the floor of my office like a large sack of shit. My fucking heart had stopped.

Many fortuitous coincidences combined to culminate in my posting this web log entry today. My significant other was home at the time–not unusual but quite necessary in the overall scheme–and she heard the thud when I collapsed on the maple boards. My office chair has been modified, the right armrest has been removed so I might be able to practice guitar without wacking the instrument on a metal support. That missing section allowed me to fall from the chair instead of sitting upright until rigor mortis set in and I began to smell worse than usual.

Next, instead of ignoring the sound, SO investigated. Upon discovering me in the prone position, glasses askew, she grabbed the phone and called 911. According to the paperwork I read after returning home from University Medical Center in Tucson, I was Code Blue. Fucking dead. Prompt arrival of the paramedics and appropriate action on their part kick started my ticker.

And so on.

On December 23, 2013–two weeks after the big office party–Dr. Robert S. Poston, my cardio-thoracic surgeon, ripped my chest open with a chainsaw and carefully threaded three, shiny, new, stainless steel braided fuel lines and a fresh in-line fuel filter onto my heart. He did a wonderful job. Thank you, Dr. Poston. Wish you could have included six inches taller, forty years younger, a few million richer and much more handsome into the procedure but a functioning heart is still a good deal.

Three years later:

Memory of the events surrounding my heart attack is a tabula rasa. I lost about nine days from my hard drive. No recollection of a couple of days before the myocardial infarction, no memory of about five days after. No recall of the helicopter flight to Tucson. Likely that’s the way it is, folks. I awakened with the beast in my arms, no idea how she got there or what part I played in the performance.

I’m still irascable, as one might tell from reading my ramblings, flatulence and blather.

Three days ago, 6 December 2016, my cardiologist performed an echocardiogram. My EF–ejection fraction, not ejaculation factor–is in the mid-40% range. My system looks fine. Meds work. I take them every day, just as the doctor ordered. Carvedilol, lisinopril, atorvastatin. This morning, before breakfast, I walked two miles in the early frost. Felt great. Later today, I’ll add a couple more walks for a total of five or six miles. This is my normal, daily, aerobic activity. No shortness of breath, no angina.

In February, I visit my VA physician for my annual meet and greet. Each year his nurse asks me what my health goals are for the coming year. Each year I tell her, “I want to return next year without having had another heart attack or other significant health disorder.” Same old, same old…for another year.

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Filed under Heart and Other Vital Body Parts

Fake News Part II

Fake News stories aren’t accurate. Usually the inaccuracy is intentional, agenda driven distortion. No shit, I can imagine someone murmuring. How long did it take for you to figure that out?

Interestingly enough, these distortions have been with us for many years, varying primarily in the sophistication of their distortion. Fin de siecle (end of the 19th century) newspapers published in New York City by Hearst and Pulitzer were noted both for their extravagant claims and the bright yellow ink splashed across the front page. Yellow ink in a day of black ink, white paper, drew attention to the stories so effectively that the technique was eventually known as Yellow Journalism.

Examples of the genre: news coverage of the sinking of the USS Maine when it was anchored in Havana harbor back in 1898. Blatant charges of Spanish complicity in the explosions of the ship soon resulted in a war between the United States and Spain even though the US Navy itself believed the battleship fell prey to coal dust ignition in the hold. Of course those claims of Spaniards planting a mine of the outside of the ship’s hull had been preceded by many stories concerning mistreatment of the Cubans rising to the level of human rights atrocities.

The US won this little fight, and as a settlement claimed control over both Cuba and the Philippines. Well, our guys  won…so no harm, no foul. Right?

Skip forward a few years. WWI-era US newspapers were rife with vilification of people of Germanic descent, folks who thought socialism might have its merits, delusional union workers who thought the common guy had inalienable rights…the list goes on and on.

Two more modern examples of Yellow Journalism or…Fake News…occurred in Vietnam and Iraq. Lyndon Johnson wanted…really wanted…a war to be waged against the Communists in North Vietnam. Troops, supposedly unarmed and there for humanitarian purposes, had been crossing the Pacific to assist the South Vietnamese government since the time of President Dwight Eisenhower. Under President John Kennedy the flow of men and materiel had increased. A bit of manipulation by Johnson resulted in the Gulf of Tonkin resolution, unfettered flood of soldiers guns, planes and all the other delightful accoutrements of war and…as we know…the collapse of the South Vietnamese nation, loss of more than 50,000 American lives and so on.

Then, we have President George W. Bush and his fixation with Iraq, massive stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, and, of course, another war. The US media was complicit by adding its own weapons of mass distraction so that we were mired in the mess before most people realized that once again we, the people of the US, had been bamboozled.

All of this Fake News, this Yellow Journalism, is old news. Men with an agenda, especially men with power and money, win out over the best intentions of honest legislators and forthright journalism every fucking time.

Winston Smith, the protagonist of George Orwell’s1984–the guidebook of the twenty-first century–is alive and in deep shit. Big Brother, antagonist of Orwell’s book, has just been elected President of the United States and Breitbart News, now reborn as the Ministry of Truth, has provided a slovenly advisor to the about to be crowned fat man in the White House.

In Fake News Part III we’ll examine the state of truth and honesty in journalism and why the paradigm of words meaning whatever people of power say they mean at the moment has arrived. Bigly…

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