22 October 2020

A murder in Paris

Last Friday Samuel Paty, a French middle-school teacher, was murdered in a suburb of Paris.  He is the latest victim of religious bigotry and hate and of the fanatics' determination to impose their ridiculous and barbaric taboos on entire societies.

A few days earlier, Paty had been teaching a regular class on freedom of expression as part of the standard French school curriculum.  As part of the class he showed his students two of the now-famous Muhammad cartoons which were published in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten in 2005 and reprinted in Charlie Hebdo in 2015, leading to murderous violence by Islamist thugs in both cases.  The Muslim father of one student complained to the school and on Facebook.  A local mosque posted a video on the internet containing threats against Paty.  Finally, last Friday, a Muslim fanatic murdered him outside the gates of the school and sawed his head off with a knife.

If there is any positive side to this sickening story, it's the vigor with which French society and the French leadership have responded, upholding the values of free expression and secularism.  Thousands turned out at rallies in cities across the country in honor of Paty and in defiance of the Islamists.  President Macron posthumously awarded Paty the Légion d'honneur, describing him as "the face of the Republic" and those involved in his murder as "cowards" and "barbarians".  The government has closed down the mosque which posted threats against Paty, and has arrested about a dozen people, including students who identified him to the murderer (the murderer himself was shot and killed by police minutes after he killed Paty).

Most Muslims in Europe are assimilating into mainstream European culture and becoming more secular, but there remains a minority of true believers who are Europe's nearest equivalent of the bigoted, dominionist fundamentalist Christians of the US.  Their numbers in Europe are too small to hope for political power, but they are more willing to resort to violence to terrorize people who don't kowtow to their taboos.  And don't forget that the same mentality holds sway, to varying degrees, over the vast belt of territory from Pakistan to Morocco, using force and fear to impose medieval rules and restrictions on hundreds of millions of people, growing numbers of whom are themselves secular and even non-religious but know all too well how dangerous it is to speak or act in ways that the devout bigots and thugs might disapprove.

This is war.  Freedom of expression, an essential part of democracy and the free way of life, is under threat, and all of us must be ready to stand up for it as the French are doing, without any "but, however, on the other hand" or any compromise with the apologists for murder and terror.  Anyone who uses violence to suppress a dissenting opinion is evil, and anyone who tries to justify or legitimize doing so is evil.  And that's all they are.

20 October 2020

Two more weeks

No, not two more weeks until the election.  The election has been under way since early voting began.  It's two more weeks until the end of the election -- so make sure your voice is heard, if you haven't already.

I've already voted -- dropped off my ballot at the official drop box on Sunday morning.  Others, I know, live in states where voting is made more difficult.  But the very fact that the Republicans are fighting tooth and nail all over the country to discourage people from voting shows how important and effective it is.

People understand this.  Early voting turnout has been massive in state after state, most recently Texas.

We can do this.  We are doing it.

Yes, even if we win, we'll need to keep up the pressure on those we elect -- to abolish the filibuster, enlarge the Supreme Court, make DC and Puerto Rico states, enact federal prohibition of gerrymandering and vote suppression, and many other things.  But only if we make Biden president and get the biggest possible Senate and House majorities will there be any chance at all of getting those things done.

Make it happen!

18 October 2020

Link round-up for 18 October 2020

Various interesting stuff I ran across on the net over the last week.

o o o o o


Virtual meetings are basically modern séances.

Cats, cats, cats.

Take these jokes out on the road.

This is parrot-shaming.

Debra She Who Seeks observes Canadian Thanksgiving.  Also, meet her new neighbors.

It's a horseshoe.


Entering season.

A shocking assault takes place in broad daylight (slightly NSFW).

This chess game will hold your attention.

Do you wanna build a snowman?

Every picture tells a story, of some sort.

Be a modern witch.

Don't miss Lady M's Halloween graveyard.

I suspect Satan owns a controlling interest in this bank.

Very disappointing how Stephanie turned out.

He invited his cat into the hammock.

Converting kids' animal drawings to photorealistic pictures produces a menagerie of monstrosities.

It's alive!

Don't use activated charcoal in food (people do that???).

There are Halloween movies for every taste.

Esme's Cloud features some disquieting art.

Some decent writing tips here.

I hereby baptize you in the name of the Lord!

"Being a Canadian right now....."

Airline pilots have a disruptive effect on hospitals, apparently.

Tumblr is basically dead.

This would take 2,300,000 years.

A tough woman in a tough world.

Biggest rat ever (it's true -- I looked it up).

On YouTube, watch out for this.


One priest managed to make church fun (found via Notes to Ponder).

"You'd be prettier if you smiled" (seriously, this is cool).

Remember the HMS Otranto disaster at the end of World War I.

I don't think the Village People would have approved of this.

The wingnuts are too dumb to carry out another civil war.

These people exist, and they can't stand the fact that we exist.

Stop picking fights with allies -- there are enemies out there, dangerous ones.

A new book explains why, if nature has an intelligent designer, he must be a monster.

"But Trump is a perfect specimen."  Compare and contrast.

Maybe SpaceX was never about Mars.

The anti-Semites are throwing a fit about Gal Gadot again.

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe.  If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened.  But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

Postal workers in Maine undo DeJoy's sabotage.

Preachers lie about the Christian Heaven.

It's the Republicans who have been packing the courts (including at the state level).  We're entitled to use every legal means to reverse their abuse of the process.  Their bitching about it is just another example of their bottomless hypocrisy.  If Democrats get a mandate to move the country forward, we can't allow one wingnutized and corrupted institution to stand in the way.

I keep telling people, don't use Google for searches.  It's dangerous and there are alternatives.

A new film documentary chronicles Trump's bungling on covid-19.

Don't confuse symbols with substance.

She's seen some changes (found via Yellowdog Granny).

Bari Weiss is the kind of journalist we need more of, and that the MSM keeps giving us less of.

Republicans aren't what they used to be.

Dive deep down the rabbit hole of the wingnut mind.  There are people out there who believe this stuff, and they vote.

Oregon is shutting down its only coal-fired power plant.

Read one of the real stories of abortion which belies the forced-birth fetishists' airy abstractions.  If you want to reduce abortion, here's what works.

This time, don't listen to the Russians.

Religious leaders remain at the forefront of spreading covid-19.

Telling the truth is not "phobic".

To the fundamentalist, no matter what you do, it's never good enough.

Maybe Trump is just becoming boring.

Decline of the cities:  An armed mob in Portland vandalized the Oregon Historical Society (among other locations) and threatened and attacked people trying to video them.  They also stole and dumped this.  Our mayor has been pretty much useless, but his opponent in the election is.....this.

Forcing people to kowtow to delusion is dangerous.

The Trumpanzees are an interfaith death cult.

The Propaganda Professor examines conspiratardia (found via Fair and Unbalanced).

This is the Christian God's idea of justice.

Detailed overview here of the changing politics of the southwest.

The FBI has thwarted an anti-Jewish terrorist attack in Colorado.

Never, ever accept this as normal (found via Octoberfarm).

As the pandemic worsens, Americans double down on doing the wrong things.

Etsy bans "promoting hatred", except against people it disapproves of.

In New York City at least, religious nuts have to follow the same laws as everyone else.

Darwinfish 2 debunks a comprehensive list of Trumpanzee talking points.  Part 2 is here.

The issue with Coathanger Coney is all about religion.  She isn't so good on civil rights either.  Democrats can't stop her confirmation, but they can make Republicans pay a price.

Hey police, the militia crazies are not your friends, or anybody's.  They're very good evil and deranged people.

"Pro-life" is a euphemism for increasingly ghastly cruelty.

"That high-road shit only works when your opponent has a conscience."

There's some history behind the location Trump chose for his Monday rally.

Here's a particularly horrifying example of the Catholic Church's claim to be a law unto itself.  It's a criminal organization, period.

Trump's corruption is unprecedented in the presidency.

Being even moderately overweight increases the danger if you get covid-19.  Explore your options.

Making icebergs to fight global warming could actually help.

Some animals do information processing outside their brains (as humans do, when we use computers).

Male ginkgo trees produce motile sperm that develops from pollen.  If you inhale ginkgo pollen, that tree is basically cumming in your nose.

Canada wisely keeps its border closed with the disease-wracked US.

Most US meat is contaminated with dangerous bacteria, raising concerns about possible imports into the UK.

Ireland is phasing out the influence of the Catholic Church from its schools.  Don't erase Irish women's history.

In Germany, resistance to change is making the Catholic Church irrelevant.

Islamist filth lash out at free expression, again.  Others remember Samuel Paty.

Harris's VP run stirs interest across the world's largest democracy.

Uyghur women released from concentration camps in Xinjiang still end up in forced labor.  The regime's brutal policies come from the very top.

The US isn't the only country with a police brutality problem.

Trump is losing because he's losing women (found via Mock Paper Scissors).  He rages at his own toadies for failing to produce a magic bullet.

Here's a simple guide to how people will actually vote.

We could easily know the result on election night -- if Biden wins.

There's a moral to remember in Trump's covid-19 infection (found via Yellowdog Granny).  And it may have damaged his mystique more than we realize.

If you care about your future, vote for it.

Most Jewish Americans support Biden -- but the ultra-religious back Trump.

Church Militant's Michael Voris knows which side he's on.  Watch to the end to see how nutzoid these people really are.

They have their parades, we have ours.

Republicans' frenzy about confirming Coathanger Coney shows they know they're going to lose big (found via Silverapplequeen).

The Russians are trying to mess with the election again, with Giuliani's helpInternet wingnuts make a mountain out of a fake molehill.  If you think Giuliani's story is at all credible, read thisAnd this.

Here's another enemy talking point.  Don't be fooled.

Republican senators are scrambling to distance themselves from the doomed Trump.  Again, don't be fooled.  For four years they've enabled him at every turn.  They're just getting desperate now because they realize they're on a sinking ship.  Recent polls look very promising -- but will only be fulfilled if we vote.

More links here.

[1,368 days down, 94 to go until the inauguration of a real president.]

16 October 2020

Easy prey

The above cartoon is from February -- Pence is featured because Trump had just put him in charge of the US coronavirus response -- and I think we can all agree that it was prescient.  Despite the hard work and dedication of doctors and nurses at great personal risk, the virus found the US an easy target due to Trump's negligence and incompetence, and to the irresponsibility of the "stupid one-third" of the US population.  After eight months, the pandemic is still out of control in much of the country, and with 4% of the world's population we've suffered 22% of the deaths (and that's probably an undercount).

It's of some interest, though, where in the US the disease is hitting hardest.  This map shows number of cases per state relative to state population size (rather than absolute numbers), so it shows the actual level of severity:
With three exceptions (Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota), the states in the hardest-hit category are all solid Republican.  That's superficially surprising because most of these states are heavily rural, with scattered populations.  California, New York, Oregon, Washington, etc. have most of their populations concentrated in dense urban areas which should be more susceptible to a highly-infectious disease like covid-19.  Yet it's states without that vulnerability which are suffering the most.

The reason, of course, is that the factors that made the US easy prey for the virus -- bad leadership and mass stupidity -- are especially evident in the red states.  Blue states at least mostly have competent governors who took effective action as the Trump regime stonewalled, and populations sensible enough to observe the recommended precautions once the danger became obvious.  Red-state governors failed to act or lifted restrictions too early, while all too many of their inhabitants trusted talk radio, pastors, and Trump for information rather than scientists and doctors, and disdained masks and social distancing.  These errors far more than offset the advantage of thinly-scattered population, leaving them with higher per-capita rates of infection than the densely-packed coastal cities.

Elections have consequences.  So does behavior.

14 October 2020

Biden's Gettysburg speech

This is 22 minutes, but it's worth watching the entire thing.  It's interesting on multiple levels.

Most obviously, what a relief to see a leader who can speak coherently in complete sentences with an adult vocabulary, and who focuses on ideas instead of toddler-like insults and bragging.  Our country needs to get back to the kind of leadership for which other democracies can feel respect instead of anxiety and incredulity.

The national-unity talk is what he knows he needs to use, to appeal to that large category of voters who have paid no attention to what has actually been going on for the last twelve years.  They need to be told what they want to hear, because they can't handle the truth.

I'm convinced that he actually knows better because he was Obama's VP for eight years.  He saw the Republicans' obstructionism up close and he must know better than anybody that he can no more find common ground with them than with the coronavirus itself.  And if you listen carefully, he shows it here.

After all the talk of unity and building bridges, he says that white supremacy cannot be tolerated.  But that's who they are now, or a great many of them.  That was and is Trump's appeal -- it's how he won the Republican primaries in 2016 despite the opposition of the party establishment, winning the support of the Republican masses, and it's how he retains the fervent loyalty of those same Republican masses to this day, by racist dog whistles that sound more like nuclear air-raid sirens.  To condemn white supremacy rules out reconciliation with the majority of Republicans as they truly are.  Biden knows that.  It's not remotely possible that he doesn't know that.

Biden says that mask-wearing is a scientific prescription and should not be partisan.  But the rejection of science -- and of expertise and education generally -- is a central defining tenet of the American right wing and has been so for decades, on evolution and global warming and homosexuality and now also on the pandemic.  Again, he's defining something integral to the mentality of most Republicans as being unacceptable to the unified consensus-based America he wants.

He rightly extols the vote as the true power and inalienable right of all citizens.  But Republicans for years have used every scheme and scam imaginable to suppress the vote of people unlikely to support them, and are still fighting tooth and nail to do so right now.  He's claiming as a consensus value something that Republicans are grimly determined to destroy.  Again, it's not remotely possible that he doesn't know this or doesn't fully understand the implications.

If there's a message of reconciliation here, it's that right-wingers can be accepted back into American civilization if and only if they renounce most of what now defines being right-wing.

Trump and Trumpism are not some sort of odd aberration from which the Republicans will recover and revert back to being a normal party once Trump is out of office.  They're the natural culmination of where the US right wing has been heading for decades.  Even the Republican leaders and officials who opposed Trump's rise in 2016 now grovel before him, toadying to his every insane whim and pronouncement.

I'm convinced Biden is a lot smarter than most people give him credit for.  He's running this campaign on multiple levels.  He gives the naïve the unity-and-reconciliation talk they want to hear, while signalling to those of us who live in the real world that he, too, lives there.  As president he'll probably make a genuine effort to work with the residual Republican minorities in the House and Senate, and when they spit in his face and pledge their undying hatred and obstructionism as they did with Obama, he can say that he gave it an honest try -- and then he'll get down to doing what needs to be done.

Thanks to Annie Asks You for posting this speech and getting me to think about it.

13 October 2020

Video of the day -- Memory

An animated adaptation of Lovecraft's shortest tale.

11 October 2020

Link round-up for 11 October 2020

Various interesting stuff I ran across on the net over the last week.

o o o o o

Do not talk to my parrot.

Explorers on a strange planet make a horrifying discovery.

The witching hour is close at hand.

For Halloween, Rawknrobyn has a warning about chocolate and a playful poem.

Artful skeletons adorn the shops of Manitou Springs CO.  More here.

People in Alabama have their own way of operating elevators, apparently.

Plowing through Life is back in action.

Have you ever wondered how they weigh an owl?

This post is haunted.

Dellgirl has a few questions.

Worst romance/porn novel concept ever.

If the year 2020 were a Star Wars film.....

Not for sale?  But many would buy.

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!

More Halloween decorations here.

Mary had a little lamb.....

Faces, faces everywhere.

Kids find an ancient relic of the forgotten past.

Green Eagle finds what may be the silliest movie ever.  There's a trailer too.

A satirical porn author showcases Pence and his new companion.

The Slashstreet Boys perform "I'll Kill You That Way".

If you yearn to know all about the effect of gum and nanoparticles on horse semen, you're in luck (found via Fair and Unbalanced).

This style of clothing will make you feel reflective.

Mary Kirkland has some tips on the new Blogger interface.

Don't feed the trolls.

They're giving Trump too much of the good stuff.

What do you do when skeletons come visiting?

Sometimes vampires aren't so bad.

Appearances can be deceiving.

What a bunch of crap.

A lonely widower finds love via online dating (found via Butterflies and Wheels).

Real art takes work.

Is your Are you computer disabled?

A blog I've recently discovered, Raistlin0903, specializes in meaty reviews of mostly SF, fantasy, and horror movies and TV series.  Check it out if you're into that kind of thing.

Esme upon the Cloud poetically portrays a final union.

Here are some Halloween movies for people who don't like horror (found via Miss Cellania).

Pence's encounter recalls Americans' long war with germ-spreading flies.

Apparently Disney is threatening AO3.

WordPress users may find this post helpful.

With the best will in the world, Trump is not an easy guy to care about.

Boys with pride pwn the Proud Boys.

Visit Debates Motel.

Political cartoons here, many fly-related.  Will Pence follow his own rules?

Retail work is different from office work.

Twitterers get snarky about Republicans' covid-19 woes.

Religio-wingnuts lament the decline of female submissiveness (there's nothing wrong with people who find dominance and submission an erotic turn-on, but these creeps preach that there's just one right way for everybody).

Failure is the only thing Trump has really succeeded at.

Albert Mohler has some objections to reality -- well, too bad for him.

Jefferson got it right about the supernatural.

Censorship always starts with porn, but it never stops there.

Check out this wall of shame for covidiots.  You can nominate people too.

Background here on the Michigan kidnapping plot.  Trump reacted like a toddler, Rick Wiles reacted like a lunatic, and I hope that the FBI is keeping an eye on this asshole.

Hear a young woman describe the liberating effects of leaving a cult.

We'd be better off if the parasite class didn't exist, or at least didn't impinge on our attention.

Shower Cap looks at Trump and his gang under siege from covid-19.

Christians can talk, but so can we.

Since 1980 workers have received none of the benefits of the rise in their own productivity (this period covers my entire working lifetime).

Don't let covid-19 dominate your life.

Steve Schmidt pwns Trump.

Come out of the box.

I challenge you to not gloat.


Evangelicals donate to those in need.

God has sent a thousand special-ops angels to help Trump get re-elected.

I wonder whether all the assholes bashing Rowling for respectful dissent will say anything about this guy.

See a candid family moment with Kellyanne Conway.

Racism, more widespread than you think.

Trump's return to the White House plumbed new depths of assholery.

This movie feels oddly relevant to our current situation.

Objecting to calls for violence can now get you branded a bigot.

He tried to make a five-year-old child smoke a cigar.

The fate of the Canary Islanders foreshadowed what the Conquistadors would do in the Americas.

600,000 black women worked in industry during World War II.

Evangelicals emphasize soul-winning, but unfortunately they suck at it.

Turns out, she was right about everything.

One building makes a whole city a viral hotspot.

Maryland votes, Trump and the gang keep on spewing bullshit.

Death threats on Twitter may or may not be OK, depending who the target is.

Dr Fauci gets some well-deserved appreciation.

Coathanger Coney's cult is weird as hell.  Also sick and evil.

Don't buy sex toys on Amazon.

Authoritarians have a simplistic, hypocritical mentality.

Decline of the cities:  More and more businesses are leaving downtown Portland.  One business destroyed by looters during the riots is suing the city for failing to provide protection.

Trump and his gang getting covid-19 serves them damn well right.  They never gave a shit about us.

Here's what Jeff Sessions deserves to be remembered for.

Which disease is it?

There's an odd stray asteroid whizzing around Earth -- but it may not be an asteroid.

Sharks eat their own siblings -- in the womb.

You can help discover planets.

The BBC enforces conformity of thought.

The Church of England, like the Catholic Church, has had a policy of shielding child abusers rather than protecting the victims.

Europeans overwhelmingly want Biden to defeat Trump.

Italy, hard-hit by the first wave of covid-19, is effectively resisting the second.

India is racing to upgrade its nuclear capabilities in response to Chinese aggression.

Globally, unfavorable views of China are at an all-time high.  Well, running an Orwellian fascist state, unleashing a pandemic on the world, and putting ethnic minorities in concentration camps tends to have that effect.

Trump at the "debate" was a man raging at his own inevitable defeat.

Republican vote-suppression efforts in Ohio are failing massively.

Good overview here of political and demographic changes in the southeastern states.

Lo Imprescindible has a message for gay voters.

The contrast speaks for itself.

Trump appeals to some working-class Democrats due to a toxic "honor culture".

Vote for the America you want to see in the world.

Texas is looking interesting, and not just for the presidential race.  At least one scheme to make voting harder has now been foiled (link from Ranch Chimp).

Shower Cap sees light at the end of the tunnel.

More links here.

[Image at top found via Progressive Eruptions]

10 October 2020

To the trolls

OK, it's obvious by now that you have the reading comprehension of coleslaw, but please pay attention as I try to explain this in the plainest and simplest language possible (normal readers, who I assume already get this, can disregard).

I really don't give a rat's ass if a man wants to claim he's a woman or vice versa.  I think the concept is balderdash, but hell, whatever floats your boat.  What I do have a problem with is the specific, concrete dangers to women and infringements on their rights which arise from certain actual applications of trans ideology in the real world, such as incarceration of biologically male sex criminals in women's prisons, or allowing biological males to compete in women's sports, or giving biological males access to shelters for battered women which are supposed to be male-free spaces.  That's the issue.  Then there's the fact that in some countries hormonal treatments that disrupt normal body development, with life-long consequences, are being given to children too young to meaningfully consent -- most of whom are probably just normal gay people but have become persuaded, thanks to this fad, that their feelings are evidence of transgenderism.

It's like my opposition to religion.  The problem isn't that some people believe that the Earth is 6,000 years old or that they'll get 72 virgins in the afterlife or that a child molester can transform a cracker into the flesh of Jesus by reciting some Latin phrases over it.  Such beliefs are obviously ridiculous, but that isn't the issue.  The issue is when people with those beliefs try to ban abortion for everybody, or plant bombs in the subway, or hold super-spreader church services during a pandemic, or try to revoke gay people's right to marry and live normal lives.  That's the problem.

You can self-identify as a hammer-headed shark for all I care.  But if you start biting people, I have a problem with that.

Meanwhile, your relentless trolling of this blog (invisible to readers due to comment moderation, but it keeps on keeping on) has convinced me that you're mentally unhinged in ways I would never have expected.  You never have the guts to click through and challenge the writers I link to, who say the things you don't like -- you just hassle me for linking to them.  When I wrote my first and only post on the topic last year, I imagined this to be a simple difference of viewpoint like any number of others which arise when one writes an opinionated blog.  Your incessant troll commenting has shown me you're obsessive and deranged.  Probably every single reader of this blog could find some post of mine, or some link in the link round-ups, that they disagree with -- even strongly.  None of them behave like you do.  That impression is reinforced by the menacing and ludicrous rage I see directed against people like Rowling or Navratilova for expressing Incorrect Thought, and against anyone else who challenges your delusions.  After seeing this and this, nobody will ever convince me there isn't some kind of dangerous mental aberration at work.

There are a million blogs on the net which express ideas I find wrong or even abhorrent.  If I find someone's views to be intolerable, I just quit reading and go elsewhere.  I don't hang around for months pestering the blogger with troll comments.  That's abnormal behavior.

In short, your OCD has transformed me from someone who casually disagreed into a deeply-committed opponent.  All you're doing now is doubling down on that.

But no, nobody will ever see it.  As I've said before, this is a blog, not a debating forum -- and I'm not obligated to provide a platform for views I find repugnant or hateful or insulting, or for arguing and bickering I find wearisome.

I'm not persuaded (or intimidated) by harassment.  I don't care about "woke" taboos, and I'm not going to do a cringeing soul-search every time you throw a stupid label or an irrelevant link at me.  So fuck off.  You are wrong.  Deal with it.

[Comments are closed.  This is a one-way broadcast from me to the assholes.  Please respect that and don't post responses to this in the comment threads on other posts.]

08 October 2020

Rats and fleas

Trump rode out in a sealed SUV to wave at supporters, putting the driver and Secret Service agents in the car with him at risk of infection.  He left the hospital prematurely and ostentatiously removed his mask before re-entering the White House, to endanger the maids, butlers, and other staff who cannot work from home.  Pence, who has been exposed and should be in quarantine, continues to campaign and even resisted having a plexiglass screen at the VP debate.  Lindsey Graham refused to have one at his Senate race debate -- so Democrat Jaime Harrison brought his own.

Other officials and spokespeople for this "administration" have skipped precautions when talking to the media (BuzzFeed has pulled its reporter from what has become a cesspit of disease).  They've refused to cooperate with contact tracing of people at the announcement event for Coathanger Coney, which seems to have triggered this outbreak that has infected at least three dozen members of Trump's inner circle so far.  Republicans are still trying to ram Coney's confirmation through before the election, even though some Republican senators are infected and their presence could endanger colleagues.  The top leadership of the US military has had to go into quarantine due to possible exposure by these idiots, compromising national security.

And this dingbat moronically declared it mysterious that so many Republican leaders are getting the virus while so few Democratic ones are.  I think we all know the answer.  Republicans as a party reject science and the precautions it prescribes, while Democrats adhere to them.  It's a textbook case of natural selection in action.

Trump and his gang have long contributed to the spread of covid-19 by downplaying it in public statements and convincing their legions of ignorant knuckle-draggers to scorn precautions.  Now they've escalated to themselves, personally, becoming disease vectors.

Like the callous religionists whose insistence on holding in-person church events has been a major driver of the pandemic, Trump and his officials and toadies have become rats and fleas of this plague.

Take what comfort you can from the knowledge that they will pay for this.  Many senior Republican leaders, like Trump himself, are old and fat -- highly vulnerable to death or permanent organ damage.  But they will take many innocents down with them.

06 October 2020

Video of the day -- getting healthy

This must have been a challenge, given his former habits.  If he could do it, so can you.

04 October 2020

Link round-up for 4 October 2020

Various interesting stuff I ran across on the net over the last week.

o o o o o

Time flies.

Big Moggy is watching you.

Have a few laughs at California, among other things.

It's October, and that means pumpkins!

When you log off, do it in style.

The Vikings were a multi-faceted bunch, but how many were there?

Manitou Springs CO kicks off Halloween season with the Skeleton Craze.

Yes, the Kardashians really are this dumb.

I'm not sure they should reproduce.

Things are so bad even the birds are swearing at us.

Covid-19 testing.....where?

A kitten goes out on Halloween.

There are already Trump-covid jokes.

This odd creature's race against time may spook you just a little.

You're never to old to play with dolls.

Something weird is happening with American pickup-truck design (found via Miss Cellania).

Hans Holbein was a hell of a painter.

Zombification takes several forms.

This is what a wet rat does.

It's spider time, but don't panic.

John Cleese pwns the "woke" assholes.

Trump's treatment for covid-19 has begun.  See how his messaging has evolved through the year.

People have the right to be left alone.

Smithsonian is making millions of digital images available for use by anyone, copyright-free and at no charge.

The founder of the Proud Boys once engaged in self-sodomization to own the libs.

"Trump isn't a billionaire.  He's a clown living on credit."

Atheist activists, stand your ground.

Please, not this idiot again.

Twitter is a failed experiment (found via Fair and Unbalanced).

No art, no poetry, no music, no humanity.

In hard times, remember what makes us human.

Layoffs are on the rise again as the pandemic drags on.

How can the stock market be booming while the real economy is in the toilet?

If you want a "tiny house" but find them unwelcome where you live, this small Texas town may be the place for you.

I think I know the reason for this.

Even booksellers can now be hypocrites.

No, the "Portland sheriff" did not endorse Trump.

Isn't office work dreary enough without making a religion out of it?

RedState warns that Satanists and demons are attacking Trump with black magic on Twitter.  As best I can tell, they're serious.

Brainwashing isn't what you think.

Read a few timely quotes.

Catholic archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò warns that a Trump defeat would mean an apocalyptic "New World Order".

"If you require the affirmation of others to exist, you don’t actually exist."

Back to the 1950s?  Good idea, in some ways.

Shower Cap reviews another chaotic week.

In Oregon, you can be fired for spoiling your co-workers' fun.

Heroic postal workers have been fighting back against DeJoy's sabotage.

Some black Americans are opting out of white-dominated society.

Here's how Democrats should handle the hearings for Coathanger Coney (link from Tengrain).

Will we soon see a campaign to push women back into traditional roles?  It's happened before (found via Silverapplequeen).

"Sextortion" scams are on the rise.

Evangelicals are just looking worse and worse.

Republican leaders confront the consequences of their arrogant covidiocy.

Self-deception feeds on itself.

People who think they're entitled to their own reality are dangerous.

"And you wonder why the world never goes in the direction you want" (must-read).

Parscale's meltdown is the latest manifestation of the toxic masculinity at the core of the MAGA movement.

Decline of the cities:  Columbia Sportswear is the latest major business to pull out of downtown Seattle.

They're not "owning the libs".

Escapees from the QAnon cult describe how its appeal works.

No, Trump is not faking having covid-19.  Clues suggest his condition is more serious than we're being told.  His illness is devastating the Republicans -- but remember the real victims.  Mock Paper Scissors has an overview of the situation.

Trump's efforts to fake working are pitifully feeble.

Who is the real threat?

"China virus" rhetoric correlates with a rise in anti-Asian racism.

Political differences are not just a matter of opinion.

Someday the Trump cult will fade away, but the Trumpanzees will never admit they were conned.

We need to decide whether or not religion has to follow the same laws as the rest of us do.

Republicans have made politics a matter of raw power, not principle.  Remember that when we have the power.

Sign here to help stand up to control-freak cancel culture.

Fundamentalists just can't endure the thought of people living freely outside their taboo system.

The QAnon qrackpots are now menacing a congressman who's trying to get the House to condemn them.

Covid-19 surveys in rural Minnesota have been halted due to the belligerent reactions of the natives.

Legal Feminist responds to Judith Butler (it's long, but the most important part is excerpted here).  More here.

Life in prison for stealing hedge clippers?  Well, it's Louisiana.

Crying is good for you.

We're learning more about how chimpanzees communicate.

Africans have neanderthal DNA just as all other humans do.  And neanderthals had some human DNA as well.

Stars that look close together usually aren't.

Yet again, a violent sexual predator has been put in a women's jailMore here.

Australia's example shows that a culture similar to ours can get covid-19 under control.

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has flared up again.  This is an area with a mostly-Armenian population which is part of Azerbaijan due to the way the old Soviet internal borders were drawn.  Religious differences (Armenia is Christian, Azerbaijan is Muslim) don't help.

Indian tech companies hope to break the US giants' dominance, at least in their home market.

India's religio-nationalist government is cracking down on human-rights groups.

Democracy is in danger -- stop being shocked at Trump's behavior and focus on the one thing we can do to save the country.

See reactions to this week's "debate" at CNN, Electoral-Vote, and HackwhackersDarwinfish 2 has his own observations.  For how the right-wingers saw it, see NRO, RedState, and the comments thread here.  Green Eagle has a report from around the wingnutosphere.

Republicans increasingly feel their hold on the Senate is doomed.

Reminder:  Shower Cap blog has an action guide to the Congressional races.

Need more reasons to vote for Biden beyond "he's not Trump"?  Here they are.

Hammer of the Blogs finds grounds for optimism.

We can't change Trump's base, but.....

More links here.

[Image at top:  how a neanderthal might look with modern clothes and grooming]

02 October 2020

Trump has covid-19

Donald and Melania Trump have tested positive for the virus.

Realistically, this shouldn't come as a surprise.  Over the last few months several politicians and religious leaders who downplayed the pandemic have been infected, and a few have died.  The precautions they mocked do, in fact, have good reasons behind them.

My first thought on hearing this news was that it may finally induce him to acknowledge the seriousness of the crisis.  Many on the right suffer from a peculiarly cramped sense of empathy -- they seem unable to acknowledge an issue until it strikes home at them personally in some way.  There have, for example, been cases of anti-gay politicians who suddenly became more sympathetic after one of their own children came out as gay, and I regularly see comments on right-wing blogs to the effect that covid-19 is a hoax because nobody the commenter personally knows has come down with it.  If Trump's case becomes symptomatic, will even he, as bizarrely emotionally-limited as he is, have a change of heart on the issue?  One can at least give credit for telling the truth about the diagnosis, rather than trying to hide it in order to preserve the narrative.

Given what we know of covid-19, the risk to Trump is serious.  He is 74, weighs 240 pounds, does not exercise, eats a terribly unhealthy diet, and is routinely under considerable stress.  Melania, who is much younger and to all appearances much healthier, is thus in less danger, but the virus sometimes does not spare even those who seem least susceptible.

There are obvious political implications.  For one thing, it's now far less likely that the remaining presidential debates will take place.  If Trump develops a serious case of the disease, he will be incapacitated to some degree during the final weeks before the election.  Since covid-19 often leaves survivors with permanent damage to major organs, including the brain, a serious case could raise questions about his ability to do the job even among those who have so far refused to recognize that he's already hardly doing it.

On the other hand, if he gets through this without serious symptoms, he and his supporters will feel vindicated in their downplaying of the disease.  Trumpanzees and covidiots generally will become even more resistant to taking precautions, helping the pandemic get even further out of control.

If Trump were to die, of course, the impact would be enormous.  His personality cult would not easily transfer its enthusiasm to Pence.  Many Trumpanzees, desperate to preserve the narrative, would deny that he had died of covid-19 (even though he announced it himself) and would instead scream that the "deep state" or the Satanic pedophile conspiracy had struck him down just as he was finally about to move against them.  If president Pence were to appoint a new vice president, that person would require confirmation by both houses of congress, confirmation which the Democratic House might deny on one basis or another, especially given the anger over the rushed Coney Barrett nomination.  This would leave Pelosi next in line.  Conservative voters who have felt compelled to support Biden due to Trump's unique repulsiveness might find Pence more acceptable, making the presidential race closer -- but if Trumpanzees unexcited by Pence stayed home, that would have an offsetting effect.

Let this, at least, serve as a warning to those who disdain precautions.  If all the resources available to the White House could not keep the president safe when he refused to take the threat seriously, what are your chances?