31 July 2022

Link round-up for 31 July 2022

Today is supposed to be the last day of our heat wave, temperatures dropping into the 80s Monday.  I hope so.  This week has been awful.

Update:  Nichelle Nichols, who played Uhura on the original Star Trek, has died.

o o o o o

She does have apeel, but.....

A chipmunk goes nuts, Thor strikes, and beetles disappear.

Not much point in superhuman wisdom if it's not put to practical use.

Do not wank -- you may summon a demon!

See the savage and brutal Disney princess war.

Evil meatballs, joking salads, and more.....

At the Creation Museum (found via Hackwhackers).

Clearly the owl on the right is an anti-masker type.

Lady M pursues sanity through gardening.

Just go where your GPS tells you to go.

The alien invasion has begun.

This book from 1830 should have had a preface, but.....

Curious theme for a store (the Arabic writing in the white rectangle says "Hitler").

Become a tree.

Hand-crafted Halloween-themed art here.

See the nine realms of Norse mythology, and a possible tenth.

Fear these mythical mice.

"The man was enjoying the scenery, when it suddenly occurred to him that he was dead."

Painter Al Bean turned a unique experience into art.

Traditional wedding outfits here.

This is the Reed Flute caves in China.

Somebody's getting a spanking.

Well, that's nature for you.

If you're sick of the heat -- I sure am -- remember that better days are coming.

Most terrifying wave ever (actually it isn't, but.....).

It's long past time to stop making a fuss about men wearing ties.

Real classics aren't created by diktat.

The world is becoming drab and colorless.  Aside from color, notice the last two pictures -- the old McDonald's at least has some form, the new one is just a shoebox.

People have differing views on "cultural appropriation".

Here's a way to help medical personnel find your emergency contact number.

This is a wind turbine that's been hit by lightning (probably an extreme case -- I imagine they get hit by lightning quite often).  For comparison, though, here's an oil well fire.

The humble card catalog was a vital part of the organization of human knowledge for two hundred years (found via Mendip).

Remember our successes.

This book author came up with an analogy better than she realized.

Injustices against you are just as real, even if greater injustices exist elsewhere.

This must have been one weird conversation.

If you're being bullied and harassed, writing about it can be valuable.

Blogger Annie finds some poetic inspiration in what is surely the least inspiring topic possible -- Donald Trump.

A black man responds to a racist insult with remarkable restraint and wisdom (found via Fair and Unbalanced).

Capitalism cannot exist without government.

No big surprise that this blind date didn't work out.

Religions and ideologies are local and transient; science is universal.

Does God use pain to communicate?

The original Oz meets the new crappy one.

Here's how fake abortion clinics run by forced-birthers mislead and deceive women in need.

Karen-callers are truly vile.

No, a cure for aging and "natural" death won't destroy the world by "overpopulation" (I've discussed the broader issue extensively).

Online ads are in decline, and several evil corporations are hurting.

Somebody came up with an even dumber version of Pascal's wager.

This Texas woman turned an insult from Matt Gaetz into a successful fund-raiser for abortion care.

It's not only young people who are leaving religion.

Shoplifting is a growing problem.  Stores are pulling out of areas where it's too uncontrollable.

Jesus divides.

The media are now pushing abortion-shaming.

It's silly to fight patriarchy by embracing nonsense.

Here's how porn ruins sex.

Eartha Kitt told the truth.

"God will judge America over abortion and gay marriage."

The cryptocurrency collapse helps the fight against global warming.

This jackass won't be attacking any more store workers.

Armed revolution would be a stupid thing to attempt, no matter what your ideology is.

Those who best understand smartphones and social media keep those things away from their own kids.

Who represents true Christianity?

Government safety regulations are written in blood.

"Whose freedom? What kind of freedom? When do women get to have some?"

Here is the kind of childhood religious indoctrination that shapes evangelicals.

Lake Mead is drying up, threatening the ability of the Hoover dam to generate electricity.

Some seriously scary wingnut-fascist stuff here, especially the tweet about Mastriano.  More here, with an update quote that truly wouldn't sound out of place in Mein Kampf.

Most Christians have weird misconceptions about atheists.

"What have they done to me..... let's see....."

Will Andrew Yang follow in the foul footsteps of Ralph Nader and Jill Stein?  It depends on how many voters are dumb enough to fall for the third-party thing once again.

If Hillary had won, we wouldn't be in this mess.

Starting in the 1970s and continuing for thirty years, Berlin carried out a policy of placing homeless children in foster homes with pedophiles.

This is pure indoctrination and brainwashing right here in Portland, in schools down to the kindergarten level.  The people responsible need to be voted out regardless of what the alternative is.

A culture of censorship is poisoning our publishing companies and libraries.

The January 6 hearings are turning some of Trump's former supporters against him.  He's also losing some support among Evangelicals.

The demography of gun ownership is changing.

If this is a recession, let's have more of it (found via Hackwhackers).

Blogger Matthew Noto and his wife have suffered severe cases of covid, and he's not at all shy about expressing his views on the country that unleashed the pandemic on the world.

Committed right-wingers and left-wingers combined make up just 14% of Americans.  Two-thirds of us belong to "the exhausted majority" who are mostly not centrists or moderates, but are sick of the polarization and conflict.  Whichever party can disentangle itself from its own dead-end ideological hard-liners and appeal to them will reap a great reward.

Why are we trying to support an ever-growing population in the least-habitable part of the country?

Here's what's in the new Schumer-Manchin deal.  Here's what's in the CHIPS act which the Senate has actually passed already.

An ob/gyn talks about working with pregnancy in very young girls.

Darwinfish 2 reviews miscellaneous wingnuttery.

What would be the impact of Liz Cheney running for president?  (See my comment, though.)

I am so glad I got out of academia before this nightmare settled over it.

Despite propaganda, most who have quit their jobs don't regret it, even among those who haven't found another job.

Republicans are seeing a drop in small-donor fundraising, possibly because they have so many dud candidates.

The US military can't recruit enough soldiers, and that's probably a good thing.

Bipartisanship is neither good nor bad, but a tool to be used where it can work.

Here's why a left-wing intellectual moved to a conservative think tank.

There is no such thing as the "LGBTQI+ community".  It's several different "communities".

Libertarianism turns against science, and gullible people suffer and die.

In another sign of Trump's declining influence, a block of 157 House Republicans praised Pence for defying him.

Sometimes telling the truth takes courage.

Pope Francis's apology to indigenous Canadians for past atrocities was pretty meaningless.

In a victory for free speech, Allison Bailey has won her discrimination lawsuit in the UK.  Predictably, the MSM aren't interested in talking about it.  In another win, the National Health Service is closing down the Tavistock clinic for its gross negligence toward minors.  Here's what it was doing -- will the UK avoid just repeating the same mistakes?

In yet another win, changes in police procedure have improved the country's dismal rate of prosecution of sex crimes.

The euro currency was a bad idea, but the countries that have it may be stuck with it.

The Putin regime doesn't understand how normal countries interact with each other.

Here's what's in the latest batch of US aid for Ukraine.

Putin is counting on us to tire of the Ukraine conflict -- don't give him his wish.

Per US intelligence, Russian casualties in Ukraine have now surpassed 75,000, about half the original invasion force.  More info and links here on the turning of the tide.

This wrecked tank got incorporated into a garden.

Here's an in-depth look at the devastating impact of sanctions on the Russian economy (found via Earth-Bound Misfit).

Americans -- always remember, not everything is about us.

This man burned his wife to death for failing to produce a son.

Pelosi's planned visit to Taiwan has triggered the usual screaming tantrum from the snot-nosed little tinpot autocrats in Beijing (found via Fair and Unbalanced).

In the twenty-first century, a religious state has sentenced a woman to be stoned to death for adultery.

Eight years after the Islamist mass kidnapping at Chibok, the search for victims continues.

More links at Angry Bear, Miss Cellania, and Fair and Unbalanced.

My own posts this week:  illustrating the world we live in,  HIMARS turning the tide in Ukraine, Portland's heat wave, and Ricky Gervais on religion.

o o o o o

Everybody is normal until you get to know them.

On public opinion, polls (while imperfect) are the best data we have.  They usually provide fairly reliable information; if they didn't, political campaigns wouldn't spend millions on them.

I don't agree with those who complain that there's too much mistrust of the government.  The government lost all right to be trusted with its handling of the Vietnam war.  After that, it will never again be worthy of our trust, not if a thousand years pass.

29 July 2022

Videos of the day -- Ricky Gervais on religion

An abundance of common sense from an unapologetic unbeliever.

28 July 2022


After a mostly-mild early summer, my area is now in the middle of what looks to be a week-long heat wave.  The high on Tuesday reached 102 and Wednesday apparently 96, and the temperatures are expected to stay like that through Sunday.  I know this isn't as hot as some areas have been getting, but Portland is not geared for this kind of thing -- most housing doesn't have built-in air conditioning, for example.  And heat waves that get that high, besides being rare, almost never last a full week.  The governor has declared an "extreme heat emergency" for twenty-five counties.

As I write this, it's a little after midnight and the air outside has only just now become noticeably cooler than inside.  My normal method for dealing with heat waves is to open the windows in the early morning and let the cool air in for a few hours, then close everything up at sunrise.  It helps, but it only works if the air outside really does cool down in the early morning.  I do have a portable air conditioner, but the building management's rules for setting up such things are too onerous to bother with.

Others have it worse.  Despite a state law guaranteeing renters the right to use air conditioning, some landlords are threatening fines or eviction for doing so.  Usually the stated reason is that window air conditioners are unsightly and they want the building façade to look nice, though I suspect that deep down it's just a matter of "assholes gonna asshole".  Either way, if a few elderly people die from heat stroke, screw them, apparently.

27 July 2022

The tide is turning in Ukraine

As mentioned here earlier this month, the US-supplied HIMARS system is emerging as a game-changer in the Ukraine war (the UK and Germany have also been supplying similar systems).  The Ukrainians' ability to destroy ammunition stockpiles, command posts, and other logistical targets far to the rear of the Russian front line has seriously degraded the Russians' fighting ability.  They are grinding forward only very slowly in a few places, and Ukraine is increasingly going on the offensive.  There has also been a dramatic decrease in Ukrainian battlefield casualties, probably because Russian shelling is down to a fraction of its former intensity.

Russia seems to be trying to regain the upper hand by continuing its missile attacks on random civilian targets, to terrorize the population, but even there, the Ukrainians are getting better at shooting down missiles.

Poland and the Baltic states are ordering HIMARS and similar systems, a wise precaution in light of Putin's aggression.  Even Kazakhstan, formerly at least somewhat subservient to Russia, is becoming alarmed enough to start seeking Western support.

The tide is turning.  But as the war enters its sixth month, it's obvious that no fast and easy solution is in the offing.  The democracies will need to continue their support, in the form of both weapons and sanctions, for months to come yet.  A negotiated peace that allows Putin to keep some gains would be a de facto positive for him and encourage further aggression.  Ukraine needs to win.

25 July 2022

The world we live in

She is referring to the destruction of abortion rights

"All of them" in the first tweet refers to the January 6 insurrectionists

We will stop attacking religion when it stops attacking us -- not before

Left-leaning readers please substitute "far left" for "far right" -- same principle