Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Seth Meyers Helpfully Unpacks Manafort Indictments, Fox News Emojis

Seth Meyers ever so helpfully got us to wade through the
Manafort mess and how Fox News broke a major scandal
Leave it to Seth Meyers, in his "Closer Look" segment, to help us understand the rather confusing swirl of events involving Monday's Manafort indictment and the whole thing with possible Russian collusion in his campaign.

Fox News was NOT helpful in this regard, as Meyers points out, but Fox News did uncover another grim scandal of national importance. A Google emoji of a cheeseburger depicted the cheese UNDER the meat rather than on top.

Of course, this was much more important than the Manafort stuff, so I'm glad Fox got to the bottom of the cheeseburger scandal.

Without further ado, here's Seth Meyers unpacking the whole mess of news yesterday:

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Vermont's Best Mugshot Of The Year

A teenager, home alone in the southern Vermont town of Marlboro, called police at around 3:30 this morning saying there was a strange man in the house, sleeping.

Which led to Vermont's best mug shot of the year, as you can see in this post.

According to NECN and other area media outlets, the strange man in the house turned out to be Sean J. Barber, 43, of nearby Wilmington. Police said they found Barber sleeping in the teen's house, in a clow costume, drunk and possessing cocaine.

So I guess he's in trouble, given the trespassing and drug possession charges he faces.  Definitely a sad clown look, don't you think?

Plus the embarassment of the mug shot, of course.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Spam, The Meat Product, Is One Of The Most Stolen Items In Hawaii

Spam is a popular choice of theft among
criminals in Hawaii lately.
The paradise state of Hawaii is being hit by a crime wave.

A weird one.

Thieves are making off with lots and lots and lots of Spam.

Of course we'd all like it if someone were to steal the spam junk that we get in our inboxes and take it away, but that's not what I'm talking about.

It's Spam the meat product, says television station KHON.

Thieves, a large proportion of them drug addicts, are stealing it so often that some stores have been locking up the Spam, like they do watches and medications to protect their stocks.

Apparently, there's two reasons why Spam is suddenly such a hot commodity on the crime circuit.  For one, a lot of people in Hawaii love Spam for some reason, so it's easy to sell to gain cash to feed drug addictions.

Secondly, Hawaii lawmakers recently passed a law raising the threshold level for felony theft from $300 to $750, says KHON.

Thieves often try to stay just under that $750 threshold and they've discovered an easy way to do that is to just steal boxes or shopping carts full of Spam.

Of course, there are other items that are newly popular with thieves with the raised felony threshold, such as clothing, electronics and power tools.

But Spam seems to be the biggy.  This would make a great weird episode of Hawaii Five-0 wouldn't it?

Worse, some of the criminals are getting more brazen. Instead of just running when confronted by store security, a few of them have increasingly been responding with fists, knives, even guns.

Which puts these thieves back into the felony category, but I guess they didn't think that through very well.

We hope this crime trend doesn't spread. I'm not a huge fan of Spam, but I'd hate to see stores hit with thefts like this.

Right Wing Wackos Have Interesting Theories On News Events

So here's one from the conspiracy kooks: One wacko
theory says that Ellen Degeneres was somehow involved
in the Las Vegas mass shooting. Um.....
It's been quite a week for extreme right wingers, nationalists, neo-nazis, and all wackos on the far right.

They've spent the week explaining things to us and proposing solutions to problems that are just stunning in their brilliance and creativity.

I'll offer just a few examples


Milo Yiannopoulous, the zany former Breitbart writer who we learned through Buzzfeed that he collaborated with white supremicists, has solved the big Las Vegas mass shooting mystery. The assault, the nation's worst in modern history, left 59 people dead, including the shooter, who committed suicide.

Milo's explanation is brilliant. Of course, he raises more questions than he answers. First, Milo said there is an "extraordinary lack of curiosity in the media" about the shooting because the guy who did it was white.

He also noted the media stopped asking about the security guard who first encountered the shooter in the hotel. He went "missing" and avoided the media until he appeared on Ellen Degeneres' show this week.

Milo noted that the guard was "sweating and panting like he'd been briefed to say certain things and not others" while being interviewed by Ellen. Moreover, Ellen supposedly has a "relationship with the hotel chain," and that, of course, proves that she was in on it, or maybe even masterminded it for all I know, but Milo didn't go quite that far.

Milo didn't offer a motive, but the right wing hates gay people, who they believe all are capable of unspeakable crimes. Ellen is gay. Then again, so is Milo, so this is a bit complicated.


In May,  then Montana Congressional candidate Greg Gianforte assaulted Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs because Jacobs was aggressively asking him questions, which reporters are supposed to do.

Gianforte won the election anyway, and ended up being convicted of misdemeanor assault. Gianforte apologized to Jacobs, and donated $50,000 to a press freedom group. It all ended well, right?

Well, Karen Marshall doesn't think so. She's with the Gallatin County, Montana Republican Women, and she said had Jacobs questioned her like he did Gianforte, she would have shot him.

Get that? If a journalist asks obnoxious questions, they deserve to be murdered. Why should the public, via the media, know what an elected official does or thinks? It's none of our business, right? Democracy, is stupid, Marshall seems to think.

So yeah, Marshall is creepy and someone to definitely stay away from.


I learned this week I've been committing a crime against humanity since 2012. That's when I married Jeff, my same sex husband. We're happy, but Roy Moore came into the picture to set things straight.

We learned from Moore that gay marriage is worse than slavery. 

First, some background. Moore just won the Alabama Republican primary for U.S Senate to fill the now empty seat of Jeff Sessions, who is now the very odious U.S. Attorney General. Moore won fame for, among many things, being kicked off the Alabama Supreme Court for defying federal court orders to remove a 10 Commandments statue and for telling state judges to ignore the U.S. Supreme Court Obergefell ruling legalizing gay marriage.

Moore is still very, very bitter about gay marriage.  This statement by Moore came out last November, but there's no evidence that he's changed his mind.

"In 1857, the United States Supreme Court did rule that black people were property. Of course that contradicted the Constitution, and it took a civil war to overturn it. But this ruling in Obergefell is even worse in a sense because it forces not only people to recognize marriage other than the institution ordained by God and recognized by nearly every state in the union, it says that you now must do away with the definition of marriage and make it between two person of the same gender or leading on, as one of the dissenting justices said, to polygamy, to multi-partner marriages."

Of course, if you don't want to be gay married, and don't want such ceremonies in your church, you're free to avoid that. And since when did Obergefell legalize polygamy?

And two guys or gals marrying each other is worse than holding someone captive for a lifetime and forcing him to work endlessly for no pay?

Oh, well.


There's a so-called pastor names Rodney Howard-Browne who took part in a "laying of hands" prayer on Donald Trump in the Oval Office last summer. He's got some interesting ideas on what really goes on in Hollywood.

And he says it's much worse than the extremely icky revelations about Harvey Weinstein.

Howard-Browne informs us that Hollywood is rife with devil worshippers who conduct human sacrifices and drink the blood of children.

And I just thought most Hollywood actors were sort of narcisstic hedonists, but otherwise pretty harmless.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Cub Scout Booted For Asking Lawmaker Good Constituent Questions

If you wanted any more proof that many (conservative) adults don't want kids to learn anything and keep them stupid, we bring you a Cub Scout in Colorado.  
This young Cub Scout was kicked out of a Colorado den
for the crime of asking a politician about her views
on gun control.

Recently, a Cub Scout den in Broomfield, Colorado hosted a Republican state senator named Vicki Marble for a question and answer session.

The kids ask Marble about gun control, a proposed border wall with Mexico and some racially charged remarks she made in 2013, says 7News, the ABC affiliate in Denver. 

One of the Cub Scouts, Ames Mayfield, was particularly prying with his questions, questioning Marble about her infamous 2013 remarks about African Americans, fried chicken and poverty. (I won't get into those comments, but they were pretty bad.)

During the exchange, Ames had clearly done his homework and his facts were correct, but Marble's weren't. 

Ames then asked a fairly lengthy but good question about gun control.

"I was shocked that you co-sponsored a bill to allow domestic violence offenders to continue to own a gun..... Why on earth would you want someone who beats their wife to have access to a gun?

Decent question, but the Cub Scout den leader cut him off. No question guns, please! Second Amendment! Second Amendment.  And too bad we didn't get to hear Marble's response. Who knows? Maybe she had a good answer. 

Ames's question about gun control was apparently so offensive to the so called leader of this scout pack that he booted Ames from the pack, just days before he would have become a Boy Scout. 

7News said the Denver area council of the Boy Scouts said it's up to the local organizations to determine who can stay with the Scouts and how can't. The Council said they would look for another den for Ames to join and latest reports say they found one for Ames. 

But Ames is understandably devastated by his getting kicked out. He actually really liked his den leader before he booted Ames. The den leader is not talking to the press.

So, unfortunate life lesson learned: We should not question our elected politicians anymore. Just let them do what they want, and don't hold them to account.

Is this the way we really should be raising kids?


Thursday, October 19, 2017

World's Biggest Anti-Take A Kneel Guy A Hit On Social Media

Talk about insincerity!
A little hypocritical maybe?

The photo in this post went viral this week. It shows a guy at the NFL New England Patriots vs. New York Jets game wearing a "I Stand For the National Anthem" shirt.

As you can see, though, he decided to take a break and sit down, using the American flag as a picnic blanket for his fat butt.

The fact that he's drinking beer out of a straw is a nice touch, too, but that's besides the point.

So let's see if I've got this straight: If a black NFL player kneels during the National Anthem to protest police brutality against African Americans, that's totally disrespectful. If a white guy gets tired walking around with his warm, flat beer, he can use the American flag to sit on to keep his butt comfortable.

Got it.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Might Be Possible To Shut Off Those Annoying Gas Pump Video Ads

I'll have to try this: It might be possible to shut off the
sound of those annoying ads at newer gas pumps. 
I came across something today that I want to try the next time I fill up the gas tank of the Tacoma.

Lifehacker, via Reddit, says it's possible to shut of the blaring ads and news headlines from the video monitors that are popping up like crazy at newer gas pumps.

All you have to do, the theory goes, is push either the top right or the second to the top right button next to the video monitor on the gas pump. This is perfect for people like me, who don't want to be constantly bombarded with ads no matter what I'm doing.

The video will still play, but at least you can turn your back on that.

Of course the drawback now is this news is out, so I'm sure they'll redesign the gas pumps so you won't be able to shut off those awful ads when all you want to do is buy some gas.

We'll see how this goes.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Postman Dutifully Delivers Mail To Neighborhood That's Not There Anymore

A postal worker delivers mail to a neighborhood that
no longer exists after the California wildfires
One of the strangest videos I've seen coming out of that California wildfire tragedy is one you'll see here:

It's a United States Postal Service van delivery mail to a neighborhood that was completely incinerated by the wildfires.

It seems stupid at first, but then I'm thinking what else was the guy to do? The mailboxes were still somehow intact.

I guess he just hopes the people who lived in those destroyed houses will come back. Maybe even get a millisecond of normalcy back in their lives by checking their mailboxes.

Here's the spooky video:

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Saturday Night Live Hits Perfect Note With Aldean Cold Opening

Jason Aldean captured just the right tone during his
cold opening appearance on Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live very often seems to know how to strike the right tone when the news gets tough.

SNL did it again last night.

Last week, we had the massacre in Las Vegas.  Jason Aldean was on stage at the country music festival in Las Vegas when the gunman opened fire, killing 58 people. Aldean wasn't physically hurt, but certainly shaken.  

There was the prerequisite snarky comments on gun control during the Weekend Update segment, but the cold opening of SNL last night got it just right.

Saturday, Aldean did the cold opening for Saturday Night Live, honoring the massacre victims and nodding to Tom Petty, the rock great who died last week.

He then performed Petty's defiant classic, "I Won't Back Down."



Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Trolls And Bots Are Why We Can't Have Nice Things

I got an ugly surprise on my Google News feed on
an ugly news morning the other day. 
Monday morning, I got up early, went to my computer, and went straight to my Twitter feed.

There I saw my first hint that a horror had occured in Las Vegas overnight. I wanted to learn more immediately, so I went to Google News.

Of course, the top story was the atrocity in Las Vegas that claimed 58 lives, plus the despicable gunman, who killed himself.

But this post isn't about Las Vegas. Under "related stories" about the Las Vegas massacre was this "top trending" headline: "Jessica Simpson Nude Pics."

Yep, some awful troll apparently gamed Google's algorithms or something to place that nude pics thing in the top news, for profit, obviously. And I'm sure if anybody was stupid enough to click on that link, they got a computer virus or malware.

We all know now that Russians and maybe some other creeps influenced the 2016 election and very likely help a lot in getting Trump elected by inundating our Facebook and Twitter feeds with fake ads, fake news and all that to boost Trump's chances and hurt Hillary Clinton's.

As The Guardian points out, YouTube had its own problems with trolls and hacks gaming the system. Early this week, if you were on YouTube and searched "Las Vegas shooting" many of the top videos on the subject were posted by wacko conspiracy theorists who said the mass shooting was fake, and a false flag to take our guns and rights away, or something.

So YouTube was giving a platform for all these nutjobs. YouTube says the videos comply with their standards, which may be true, but really. On the bright side, my YouTube search of "Las Vegas shooting" was a little better, with the top hits mostly consisting of reports from legitimate news sources or videos from eyewitnesses.

I don't know how to fix all this,  but that's the big flaw in all these web sites and social media is they're automated, and algorithms, whatever they are, guide us to what we see.

Which is why none of us can ever serendipitously just wander around YouTube or search engines like we would in a book store, seeing what pops out at us.

Nope, we've done a web search, or we've watched a particular YouTube video, and now the algorithms steer us toward similar videos or searches. You can look at something else if you have something specific in mind, but if you're just sort of searching for whatever interesting pops up, you can't just stumble on something cool that's unrelated to your past searches. You can't discover new things. You're stuck.

And what about those ads that follow you around. Say, for example,  I bought some athletic shorts from Under Armour online. Now all I get ads for those very shorts following me around for weeks. Why would I want to buy shorts that I just bought? If an advertiser must advertise, the least they and their algorithms could do is advertise something else from that company that I might be interested in. But no: Buy more shorts! Buy more shorts!

It's why we can't have nice things.

Again, I'm no technology, internet or social media genius. But I like to think for myself. The tech companies think I'm incapable of doing such a thing. And it's terribly insulting.

And in the case of the Russian bots and fake ads and news, very dangerous.