Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Why I And Many Others Are Disgusted With White Evangelicals, One Of Worst Groups In U.S.

This cartoon pretty much sums up the hypocrisy of white
evangelicals nowadays. 
Liberals and Democrats have in the past several years tried to figure out how to deal with Evangelicals.

Especially white ones.

Is there something Evangelicals have in common with liberals? Is there a moral compass that liberals and evangelicals have in common?  Can these groups work together?

Um, no.

Now that Donald Trump has been president for a year, a lot of white evangelicals have shown their true colors. Gone is the assumption they're a "moral" group, even if a lot of us disagree with their positions on gays, feminists, abortion, marriage and such.

White evangelicals, at least the ones who speak for them, are hypocritical creeps. We are better off totally ignoring them. Or better, relentlessly mocking them.

For one thing, it's clear that probably a majority of white evangelicals are also white supremacists.

I can't state this case any better than John Pavlovitz, who recently penned a real stemwinder of a case against white evangelicals in a scathing open letter to them. It's so worth the read.

This is how he opens his devastating missive:

"I need to tell you something. People have had it with you.

They're done. 

They want nothing to do with you any longer, and here's why; 

They see your hypocrisy, your inconsistency, your incredibly selective mercy, and your thinly veiled supremacy. 

For eight years they watched you relentlessly demonize a black President, a man faithfully married for 26 yers, a doting father and husband without a hint of moral scandal or the slightest whiff of infidelity."

Pavolvitz, along with so many of the rest of us, noticed the black president Obama never got prayers, was never welcomed to their Christian organizations, was never given the benefit of the doubt, never received any kind of affirmation of his humanity, by white evangelicals.

And then there's Trump.

"You openly give a 'mulligan' to a white Republican man so riddled with depravity, so littered with extramarital affairs, so unapologetically vile, with such a vast resume of moral filth - that the mind boggles. And the change in you is unmistakable,. It has been an astonishing conversion to behold: a being born again."

Trump's sin, lack of repentance, and lack of compassion doesn't matter. Which is why they rest of us have had it with white evangelicals. As Pavolvitz says, we recognize the toxic source of your duality.

"They see that pigmentation and party are your sole dieties. They see that you aren't interested in perpetuating the love ofGod or emulating the heart of Jesus.

They see that you aren't burdened to love the least, or to be agents of compassion, or to care for your Muslim, gay, African, femail or poor neighbors as yourself."

No, white evangelicals live smugly, often in their gated communities.

White evangelicals always have felt a sense of persecution. That everybody is out to "get" them. Everybody wants to supposedly squelch their religious freedom.  What they really want is for everybody to be just like them, to do just as they say and do. There is no room for dissent, in their warped minds. Nobody can be who they are, what they are, in white evangelicals' mind. It's their way or the highway.

Screw you on that one.

One of the most despised leaders of all these white evangelicals is Tony Perkins. (To be fair, the white evangelicals love him.)

A former evangelist, Frank Schaeffer, was recently on A.M Joy - Joy Reid hosting -  and described Perkins as follows, and he could also be describing the bulk of these morons:

"Tony Perkins forgot his own theology and replaced it with a theology of revenge on people he disagrees with politically. That's what's going on here. This is the revenge of white evangelical right-wingers. Who they want to punch in the mouth is not just black Americans but, to put it in the words of the President of the United States, those who live in shithole countries. So they're willing to put up with anything when it comes to moral degradation to see those ends achieved."

White evangelicals seem willing to suspend any kind of disbelief to push their racist, pro-Trump narrative.  So they double down on their odd, awful beliefs. Which isn't good for this movement's future, let me tell ya.

Some white evangelicals, to their immense credit, see the rot and hypocrisy and are leaving this group. Five Thirty Eight noted:

"After dominating much of American politics for the past 40 years, white evangelical Protestants are now facing a sharp decline. Nearly one-third of white Americans raised in evangelical Christian households leave their childhood faith. About 60 percent of those who leave end up joining another faith tradition, while 40 percent give up on religion altogether. The rates of disaffiliation are even higher among young adults."

Five Thirty Eight goes on:

"......white evangelical population in the U.S. has fallen over the past decade, dropping from 23 percent in 2006 to 17 percent in 2016." Five Thirty Eight also notes the remaining white evangelicals are aging, with their average age definitely going up.

One more bit of info from Five Thirty Eight:

"Other research also suggests that one of the prime motivators for leaving a religion is belief incompatibility. A 2016 PRRI stuy found that the most common reason people give up on their childhood faith is that they no long believe in its teachings. Twenty-nine percent of Americans who have left their formative religion explictly mention negative teachings about gay and lesbian people as a proximate cause for their disaffiliation."

Things will only get worse for the remaining white evangelicals. People who can think logically are leaving, and the hypocrisy they've shown under Trump will only make the stampede out the door faster.

White evangelicals will alway think the larger society is "out to get them." Unlike the past, it's actually true now. Few, if any people want to force them to give up their beliefs. It's just that not many people want to join their bandwagon. Not many people will be upset if the evangelical movement withers and dies.

Politicians of all stripes quaked in their boots if evangelicals objected to them.  Going forward, political leaders will dismiss them as an unimportant fringe group. As long as Trump remains in office, white evangelicals will have a voice and influence, just like other white supremacists.

After Trump's gone, white evangelicals will be out in the political wilderness. Where they belong.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Ultimate Instant Karma For Package Thief. Ouch!

The package thief in this photo is about to get a very ]
painful dose of karma, and the video has gone viral. 
The video at the bottom of this post is really a sight to behold.

The video shows a UPS driver leaving a package at a Bothell, Washington doorstep. Moments later, a car pulls up and a woman is seen in the security video running up to the house to grab the packages.

She starts to run off across the lawn to the waiting car. We all know, though, that it's wet this time of year in Washington State and the grass is sopping wet.

Inevitably, our thief slips and falls on the grass, the packages scattering.

What gives us all a sense of mean satisfaction is the woman is definitely hurt. Badly. She can't get up.  If you look closely, it appears her ankle might be broken.

Her accomplice has to come out of the car, and carry her as she howls in pain. After the guy dumps the woman in the car of course he comes back to grab the packages. Gotta complete the theft, ya know.

The boxes that were stolen contained medication. If it's pain medication, this woman will need it.

Police say they've identified the woman in the video, so I imagine an arrest is pending. Sucks to have a hurt leg in a jail cell, I bet. Normally I don't laugh at injured people, but this poor excuse for a woman fully deserves to be mocked.

Here's the video:

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Understatement Files: Missouri Senate Candidate Probably Not Getting Womens' Vote

Courtland Sykes is either a wacko U.S. Senate candidate
from Missouri, a parody, or the star of a really bad
1980s soap opera. (He looks like the later)
There's quite a dodgy guy running for the U.S. Senate from Missouri who has some interesting campaign positions that are of interest to women, to say the least. 

Before I go on with this candidate, named Courtland Sykes, quite a few people, me among them, suspect this Courtland Sykes character might be some sort of parody.

It doesn't help that his supposed girlfriend is named Chanel. Courtland and Chanel. It sounds like characters from some really bad 1980s soap opera.

More on my suspicions about a hoax in a minute.

But first, our supposed candidate, Courtland Sykes, had quite a statement up on Facebook the other night regarding "women's rights."

"I want to come home to a home cooked dinner every night....One that she fixes and one that I expect one day to have daughters learn to fix after they become traditional homemakers and family wives."

Oh, but he was just getting started. He soon escalated into a fever pitch.

He goes on to tell us that feminists have an agenda they "made up to suit their own nasty snake-filled heads."

Sykes also hopes his would-be daughters don't grow up to be "career obsesses banshees who forgo home life and children, and the happiness of family to become nail-biting monophonic hell-bent feminist she deveils who shriek from the top of a thousand tall buildings they are (sic) think they coud have leaped in a single bound - had men not been 'suppressing them'. It's just nuts."

Wow! I wonder how long it took Sykes to think up that wild sentence!

I'm sure this all will endear Sykes to women in Missouri who just love being on the receiving end of 19th century-style sexism.

One question Missourians are asking is, "Is Sykes for real?" That's not all sarcasm. He might not actually be real.

The Riverfront Times, relying in part on reporting from the Kansas City Star, had this murky bit on Sykes:

"His LinkedIn page says he....attended Harvard University's Extension School... earning a degree in 2014. That page also had listed him as a graduate student at the University of London, but when the Star questioned him about that, he said he had to put those studies on hold to focus on his campaign.

The LinkedIn page was edited to remove the college shortly after. he is listed as the managing director for a military consulting firm named Talosorion, but he tells the Star that the firm currently has no clients."

Supposedly, Sykes recently moved from Arkansas to Missouri. But even that is questionable.

The Riverfront Times goes on:

"Even Arkansas seems flummoxed. The Arkansas Times notes the 'fudge factors' on his resume, and even goes so far as to ask its readers if anyone knows who the guy is."

Also, conservative consultants in Missouri who would jump at the chance to help a Trumpish  candidate like Sykes say they've never heard of this moron.

Of course, Sykes, if he really exists, hasn't got a prayer in this election. First, he has to get through the Republican primary. Missouri Republican State Attorney General Josh Hawley, who has the benefit of being considered sane, is the frontrunner, and Hawley will be the likely Republican to run against incumbent Missouri U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskell.

McCaskell, for her part, says she's not particularly worried about Sykes.  I can see why.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Burger King, Of All Outfits, Has The Best Net Neutrality Explanation

In a viral video that demonstrates the need for internet Net
Neutrality, a Burger King franchise angers customers by
modeling their service in a way that mimics an internet
without Net Neutrality. 
Net Neutrality, something important that the FCC just overturned, is a hard nut to explain. It's especially difficult to explain why it's important, and why the FCC's decision will affect you and me.

Essentially, Net Neutrality is a principle that prohibits internet service providers from speeding up or slowing down access to content, or blocking it altogether, from any application or website you want to use.  

The fear is big corporate internet providers - think AT&T and Verizon, that ilk - will slow down or block content that either they don't make money from, or contain messages they don't want you to hear or see.  Or they'll make you pay exorbitant prices for content you want to see, but is not normally a moneymaker for them.

Net Neutrality was how the internet worked under the Republican-led FCC, under its chairman, a former Verizon lawyer, decided to do away with it. 

Quite a few people in Congress, including a number of Republicans, are interested in enshrining Net Neutrality back into law. 

Of course, the internet service provider lobbyists don't want this. These internet providers are even trying to block or close down municipal internet service providers. There's now something like 750 local municipal providers around the United States.

 The municipal ones are usually run by local governments, or panels, and have faster download speeds and are less expensive to consumers than internet access offered by the big companies.

So anyway, it's up to the rest of the public to apply pressure. How do you get the public to sign on to such an esoteric idea?

Burger King, of all companies, has found a way to do that with its flagship Whopper sandwich. Burger King put out a wonderful video that demonstrates how a lack of Net Neutrality works.

People who want a Whopper right away would have to pay a whopping $26. Or, if you don't want to pay that much, you'd have to wait a ridiculously long time for your Whopper, even if there's no logical reason to make you wait - the Whoppers are already ready to serve. Or, in the video, if you don't want to wait for the Whopper, you can settle for a chicken sandwich, though you probably don't want chicken.

The video is brilliant. It is so worth the watch:

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Scandal Botox Cheating In Camel Beauty Contest. Really!

Yes, there's such a thing as camel beauty contests, and yes,
these big money events have cheating scandals
I've never though of camels as particularly beautiful animals, but we all know beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

So it is that in Saudi Arabia, they have camel beauty contests. They do! And these are high stakes contests, right up there money-wise, it seems, with Miss Universe or something like that.

According to The National UAE, about $57 million is awarded to winners of the camel beauty contests and camel races. Nearly $32 million just goes into the beauty pageants.

Who knew?

With any high stakes competition, you have to worry about cheating scandals and one just erupted.

The National UAE reported a veterinarian was caught performing plastic surgery on the camels to enhance their beauty, such as it is. Camels were given Botox, and underwent surgery to reduce the size of their ears. apparently, small, delicate ears are a sure winner.

Reports the National UAE:

"'They use Botox on the lips, the nose, the upper lips, the lower lips and even the jaw,' said Ali Al Mazrouei, 31, a regular attendee at the Gulf festivals and son of a top Emirati breeder 'It makes the head more inflated so when the camel comes it's like 'Oh look at how big that head is. It has big lips, a big nose.'"

These camel botox injections and collagen filters only last for a few months. Breeders buy these camel beauty contest winners only to realize weeks or months later they'd been conned by a cheater.

In all, twelve camels were disqualified from the recent Saudi camel beauty show because of cheating. I guess it's all a Middle Eastern version of the Russian Olympic doping scandal, huh?

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Texas Judge Is Latest Evangelical To Go Off The Rails

This weird Texas judge tried to overrule a jury by attempting
to get them to declare a defendent innocent because God
supposedly told this judge she was innocent. Riiiiight. 
I'm confused by some very conservative, so called Christian evangelicals who seem to think Donald Trump is some sort of hero.

It's a little hypocritical for them to embrace a guy who among so many other things, seems to have cheated on his wife with a porn star.

But, the more corrupt evangelicals (not most of them, but the ones in power, it seems) love Trump because it looks like he'll let them do anything they want. Or so they think.

The latest person who thinks he can get away with a lot is a Texas judge who recently try to get a jury to find woman accused of trafficking a teen girl for sex innocent. The reason? God told him to intervene, said the judge.

Judge Jack Robison told the jury, "When god tells me I gotta do something, I gotta do it,"

Or not. The jury ignored the judge, thank goodness and went with the evidence instead. The panel convicted Gloria Romero-Perez and she was later sentenced to 25 years in prison. The judge was also forced to recuse himself from the trial's penalty phase.

The jury foreman, Mark House said he and others on the jury either filed or intend to file a complaint with the Texas Judicial Conduct Commission.

Mark A. House, jury foreman in the weeklong trial of Gloria Romero Perez that concluded Jan. 12 has already filed a complaint. His filing states:   "Judge Robison came into the jury room during deliberations two times and informed the jurors that he did not believe the defedent was guilty or should spend 25 years in prison."

Talk about trying to tamper with a jury!

Let me put it as bluntly as possible. When somebody informs you that God told you to do something, that person knows deep inside they shouldn't do it. They try to throw you with the "authority" of God.

The only people who buy that argument are the people saying God made them do it. Right, Roy Moore?

Let's hope sane minds prevail in Texas and they get rid of Judge Robeson once and for all.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

"Crisco Cops" Coating Philly Telephone Poles Because Football

"Crisco Cops" coasting telephone
poles in Philadelphia with
vegetable shortening because NFL
If you're in Philadelphia today, don't touch the telephone poles.

I know that's strange advice, but really, listen to me. Because of the NFL utility poles in Philadelphia are now coated, in of all things,  Crisco.   

No, they're not going to bake pies on the telephone poles, and it's not some weird sex thing. No, the issue is that late this evening, the Philadelphia Eagles will face off against the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Championship.

Especially if the Eagles win, there will be big celebrations in Philadelphia. In the past, such parties involved lots of people climbing utility poles.

Which of course can be dangerous. A drunk guy climbing a pole and getting entangled in the wires above? With a crowd below. Yeah, you can see the problem.

So, if the telephone poles are coated in Crisco, people won't be able to climb them so easily. They'll be too slippery. So the "Crisco Cops" were out today, coating the poles with the vegetable shortening

Of course, I think Crisco can burn, so I'm not sure what will happen if people light the poles on fire. You never know what people will do.

So, if your favorite team wins, enjoy the celebration. Just try not to climb telephone poles, whether or not they have Crisco on them.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

BBC Reporter Mobbed By Lemurs

In our contining effort to distract you from the ills of the world, here's a BBC reporter struggling with lemurs.

You're welcome.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Latest Dumb Teen Trend: Eating Tide Detergent Pods

In their never ending quest to be as stupid as humanly
possible, some teens and adults are eating Tide Pods,
apparently because it's funny on YouTube, or something.
Teenagers and some adults are always finding creative ways to be stupid, get sick and endanger themselves.  

The latest seems to be the Tide Pod Challenge. Please don't be stupid enough to try this at home.

Tide Pods are those brightly colored little balls of concentrated laundry detergent Tide puts out. It's supposedly easier and less messy than pouring laundry powder or liquid into the washing machine.


First, there was the concern that little toddlers were starting to eat them because they look like candy. Understandable. A three year old doesn't know better, so best to keep the Tide pods up on the high shelf, away from curious little hands.

But teens, some of whom are always looking for fame and fortune and internet clicks on YouTube, have taken up the Tide Pod Challenge. On camera, they bite into and chew and grimmace eating these things.

In case  you don't already know this, laundry detergent is great if you want clean clothes. It's dangerous if you eat it. Duh!

Swallowing even a small amount of the detergent causes vomiting and diarrhea, and it can get into the lungs to really cause breathing difficulties. Plus, not everybody knows if they have underlying health problems, which can make illness from this worse.

Just this month the American Association of Poison Control Centers has reported 37 incidents of exposure to Tide Pods among teens, and at least half of those were intentional, says the Chicago Tribune. 

It might now be hard to find Tide Pod Challenges on YouTube, because YouTube is wisely pulling them off the internet. You don't want more copycats than there already are.

The Tide Pod Challenge has gotten so out of hand that New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, no stranger to exuberant behavior, has put out a PSA begging teens to not eat Tide Pods. "What the heck is going on, people!" the Gronk says.

When The Gronk has to reign in your behavior, you know things are out of control. Take it from Gronk in the video below:

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Corrupt Louisiana School District Arrests Teacher For Criticizing Superintendent's Pay

Photo shows a Louisiana teacher about to be arrested for
the high crime of asking why a superintendent is getting a
pay raise but not teachers. 
What seems to be a corrupt school district in Louisiana really stepped in it last week, and as always, that created its own even more intense firestorm on social media.

Let's back up here.

Recently, the school board in Vermillion Parish, Louisiana agreed to renew Superintendent Jerome Puyau's contract for three years. So far so good. But the school board also decided to give Puyau a pay raise, which didn't necessarily go over terrifically with everyone.

The trouble began when Deyshia Hargrave, a middle school English teacher spoke up during the public comment section of the meeting and asked why Puyau was getting a pay raise while teachers were not. 

Well, you'd think Hargrave was making some sort of terrorist threat by asking that simple question. I guess the question did strike terror into the hearts of the school board because they promptly had her arrested.

Just for asking questions and speaking up at a public meeting. She made no threats, she didn't yell, she didn't get violent.

I guess the public comment section a Vermillion Parish school board meeting can only involve opinions that the school board endorses.

School Board President Anthony Fontana is having none of the outcry. He says you're only supposed to express an opinion during the public comment section, not ask questions. (Every public comment period I've been at during public meetings, and I've been to a lot ot them, often involve lots of people asking lots of questions, so I don't know where Fontana is getting that.)

By the way, when ordered to do so, Hargrave left the room, but was still arrested and tackled to the floor outside the room. The school board later decided not to press charges against her.

Says Fontana "This is not about the board, it's about the teacher and everybody wants to side on the poor little woman who got thrown out.... Well, she made a choice. She could have walked out and nothing would have happened."

Yep, she could have walked out, and not ask any embarrasing questions of the school board, because really, why should a public school board be held accountable? I guess he thinks they should do whatever they want, huh?

I have a feeling that Fontana won't stick to his guns for long. This story took the familiar arc when it went viral. Many of the nation's major news media picked up the story, and it's been rocketing back and forth through social media for a few days now. 

Public opinion, unsurprisingly, has come down with the teacher and not the school board. What most people seem to object to, including me, is this apparent trend among people that have any power to freak out and overreact when somebody questions authority, like Hargrave did.

As Isaac Bailey wrote for CNN:

"She wasn't screaming hysterically or uttering a rapid-fire succession of four letter words. She didn't pull out a gun or knife. She didn't rush the board members or threaten them with bodily harm. In their eyes, and in the eyes of a police officer providing security, she did something worse -- she questioned the rightness of their decision making and the morality of their authority to their faces, for all to see. 

That willingness to question authority, more than anything else, seems to put fear in the hearts of those in power."

As Bailey points out, there's other examples of this mentality as well, the kind in which you question authority and they swat you down like somebody trying to kill a mosquito with a bazooka.

For instance, there was that case in Utah last year when a cop arrested and dragged out of a hospital a nurse who refused to draw blood from an unconscious patient. The cop was demanding it to see if there were drugs or alcohol in the patient's blood. The nurse was following the law, and hospital protocol by not drawing the blood without a warrant. But the cop took that as ignoring his authority, so he cuffed her.

Charges were later dropped, and thankfully, the cop was fired.

With every action, there's an equal and opposite reaction, so they say. About as ridiculous as public officials objecting to being held accountable by the, um, public, there's also what some people in the public do when they hear about the latest outrage.

Sure, it's OK to react. I sure as heck don't mind the outcry against this Louisiana  school board, it's totally warranted. What I don't like is, every time somebody does something stupid, or rude, or illegal or tasteless, the perpetrator gets death threats. As if every transgression deserves death. It happens every time. Somebody does something stupid. The response is a bunch of idiotic death threats.

People screw up all the time. Sometimes in small ways. Sometimes in big ways. But if we all deserved death for the times we've screwed up, there would be nobody left on Earth. Logic and proportion, of course, are lost on the legions of death threat trolls on this here internet thingy.

Could somebody explain what the thrill is of issuing death threats against somebody you don't like?  Because I surely don't get it. Maybe I'll get death threats for not understanding the logic of death threats? God forbid.

This school board in Lousiana definitely needs to be held to account. Wouldn't it be cool if for once, we did so without going nuts on the internet?

Can't we just all calm down? The answer to that question, in these divided and stupid times, is definitely not.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Worst Photo Portrait Photoshopping EVER Goes Viral

Photoshopping can be tough.

It can be especially tough if you're dealing with the harsh light of bright sunlight, and shadows if you're photographing in glorious sunny summer weather.

The Zaring family found that out first hand.

They hired a photographer to take family pictures on a bright, sunny day. It took forever to get the photos back, and when they did, Pam Dave Zaring burst out laughing.

You can see why in the photos in this post.     Click on the photos to make them bigger and easier to see.

The Zarings said their photographer, Lesa Hall, said the shadows were pretty extreme on that bright day the photos were taken, and that her professor never really taught her how to retouch photos. 

The worst part about this is the Zarings say the photographer won't return the $250 they paid her. Still, the Zarings say they hold no ill will against the photographer. My guess it was worth the laughs, and worth the traffic it got on social media.

The photographer might have started a trend, though. PetaPixel now has a tutorial on how to photoshop your portraits in the style that Hall seems to have perfected.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Saturday Night Live Cold Opening Awesome, But No Stranger Than Reality

The cold opening of SNL Saturday night, a parody of
the Morning Joe show, really had to try hard to outdo
the real life stuff that Trump is creating. 
I have to feel sorry for the writers at Saturday Night Live. 

Their forte is making fun and satirizing the news, but how in the world can you possibly top what's really going on in the world these days. Especially in Trump world.

SNL does a valient attempt, and in case you missed it, I share with you the cold opening of last night's episode.

It was a parody of Morning Joe, the a.m. news show on MSNBC.   Kate McKinnon did a wild, hilariously frustrated version of the Morning Joe co-host, Mika Brzezinski. Leslie Jones made an appearance as Oprah Winfrey, and the big hit was Bill Murray making a return engagement to SNL as Steve Bannon.

Worth the watch, below:

Friday, January 12, 2018

Anderson Cooper Gives Best Rebuttal To Shithole President Who Called Nations Shitholes

Anderson Cooper last night had a dignified but
devastatingtakedown of Donald Trump's shithole remake
Since yesterday, everybody has been flabbergasted and apoplectic over Donald Trump's comments about not wanting immigrants from what he called "shithole" countries like Haiti and African nations.

You have to hand it to Trump: He always manages to outdo himself with his outrages and his racism and his scumminess.

The sad part is that some Trump supporters, both in and outide the White House, are pleased as punch with Trump's remarks, because they will resonate with Trump's base. 

Yep, apparently, that's the most important part here, making sure Trump's small core of racist morons stay happy.

Like practically everybody else, I never thought Trump could actually hit a new low, but he did. Like practically everybody else, I could really get going on responding to this crap from Trump. Instead, I'll let Anderson Cooper do it. The CNN host had the most thoughtful, emotional and damning response to Trump I've heard so far.

Let's watch and listen:

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Check Out Jimmy Kimmel's Brief Mocumentary On Trump's 2,000 Lies (So Far)

Jimmy Kimmel last night unveiled a mockumentary
celebrating Donald Trump's greatest skill. 
Late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel is no friend of Donald Trump. He, like many late night hosts, mocks Trump constantly. Actually, Kimmel is much gentler than many other late night people. Right, Seth Meyers?   

Last night Kimmel celebrated "Lie2K" marking Donald Trump's 2,000 public lie since taking office. (Apparently, the Washington Post has been keeping track.)

The fun part is Kimmel came up with a spoof on one of those dreadful C-Span documuntaries on public figures. This mockumentary chronicles the crowning achievement of the Trump White House: The sheer number of lies.


Wednesday, January 10, 2018

This Here Woman Is Quite The Bowler

I'm an inexperienced bowler, but I like doing it every now and again.

I'm not that great at accuracy, so I try to throw the ball really hard in the hopes that the wind from the ball rushing past will knock over the pins I miss. Cool theory, but I haven't seen it work much yet.

It could be worse. There's a viral video of a woman bowling in Brazil where things really go off the rails. Maybe a bit high and destructive with the throw? You be the judge:

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Oregon Paper Turns The Tables On Garbage-Sifting Prosecutors, Delight Ensues

A fifteen year old article got new
 life on social media this week, with dumpster diving
reporters going through public officials' trash to
make a point about privacy and rights. 
I'm not sure why this  is making the rounds on social media today, but everybody seems to be reviving an Oregon alt weekly newspaper's turning of the tables on nosy police and prosecutors.

Given that police sometimes tend to be overly nosy, i.e. sans search warrants, this decade and a half old tale is one to remember in case this ever happens again.

At the time, police in prosecutors in Oregon decided it was A-OK to go looking through people's garbage cans at curbside looking for evidence of a crime. That is, without a search warrant.

The logic was the garbage and recycling is abandoned property, so it was fair game to go looking through the refuse.

Since there's a lot of personal and potentially private material in garbage - recepts, notes, documents, evidence of where you shopped and when you shopped and where you were, invading garbage seems pretty invasive.

I come down in favor of police sifting through your garbage - but only if they have a search warrant. Since the Willamette Week knew prosecutors and police and the local mayor thought it was OK to search through garbage without a warrant, the reporters there decided to brilliantly turn the tables.

They sifted through the trash left curbside by the prosecutor, police chief and the mayor. Abandoned property, right?

The police chief and especially the mayor were terribly displeased when the Willamette Week reporters fessed up to sifting through their trash. The local prosecutor had a better sense of humor about it.

The anger by the police chief and mayor seemed a little misplaced, because the reporters, judging from that week's trash, concluded that both officials seemed like fine, upstanding citizens. There was certainly more than a whiff of garbage, but no real whiff of scandal.

Here's how the paper wrote about the Police Chief's Mark Kroeker's reaction at the time:

"'This is very cheap,' he blurted out, frowning as we pointed out a receipt with his credit card number, a summary of his wife's investments, an email prepping the mayor about his job application to be police chief of Los Angeles, a well-chewed cigar stub, and a handwritten note scribbled in pencil on a napkin, so personal it made us cringe. We also drew his attention to a newsletter from the conservative political advocacy group Focus on the Family" addressed to Mr and Mrs. Mark Kroeker."

With that, the normally accessible and affable police chief abruptly ended the interview and complained to other media about the Willamette Week's invasion of privacy. The paper did not reveal what was in the personal note on the napkin, but it was nothing nefarious, such as an extra-marital affair or illicet activity.

The paper couldn't get to the mayor's garbage. The bin was up against her house, and the reporters would have trespassed if they'd gone on to her property to check it. But the recycling was curbside, so the reporters had a look.

The contents were mostly just newspapers, all mainstream and middle of the road and reputable.

Then-mayor Vera Katz was livid when she got wind of the recycling heist by the paper. She summoned the reporters, and the newspapers from the recycling bin to her office. She also ordered them to bring the name of the newspaper's lawyer.

The mayor's prepared statement read, in part, "I consider Willamette Week's actions in this matter to be potentially illegal and absolutely unscrupulous and reprehensible....I will consider all my legal options in response to these actions."

Funny, though. The mayor was fine with her police force digging through people's trash. What's the difference?

The local district attorney, possibly sensing a PR mess, didn't get too publicly excited about Willamette Week's dumpster diving. He only asked the reporters, "Do I have to pay for this week's garbage collection?"

However, the paper did detail the findings in the the DA's refuse bin. Again, nothing shady, but the reporters got a LOT of personal information about the guy.

Again, I know this story is 15 years old. But it's a master class for when government or police officials overreach.

I get it. Police have a job to do and we demand that they keep us safe while they conduct their often dangerous work. But it never hurts to keep them in check, though.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Logan Paul YouTube Apology Prompts Classic, Biting Apology Parody

Logan Paul is the latest YouTube star to apologize after really
crossing a line. This inspired the very biting
parody video in this post. 
A guy named Logan Paul has been in the news this week.

He's this big star on YouTube who does a blog in which he does all kinds of crazy, stupid and weird things for entertaining. He has quite a big following. At least did. (He did have up to 15 million subscribers on YouTube. )

He took it a step way too far recently when he uploaded images to YouTube of what was apparently the body of a person who had committed suicide in a Japanese forest. 

Needless to say, there was quite an outcry and the video was taken down. Paul issued two apologies. The first, in which he said he was just trying to raise awareness of suicide, was deemed inadequate.

Amid the growing furor, Paul says he is suspending is YouTube vlog for awhile to give himself "time to reflect."

This series of fumbles and bad apologies has become a trope among YouTube stars, who often try to get more and more outrageous to attract clicks, views and advertising dollars.

Which leads us to this parody series of "apologies" from this fake version of a YouTube biggie.

Lots of truth in the style of this parody:

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Impatient Man Finds Another Way To Get Off Plane

This guy decided to leave a plane by opening an emergency
exit and getting out on a wing because it took too long
to get out the usual way. 
If you've ever flown, one minor annoyance is the wait to get off the plane once it lands, particularly if you're seated near the rear of the plane.

The way the airlines overcharge for checked baggage, people cram their stuff as tightly as possible into the overhead compartments. Which means it takes FOREVER for people to get their stuff and get out.

One man on a Ryanair flight from London that landed in Spain found another way out. He just opened the emergency exit and got out onto the wing of the plane.

This is not a recommended means of egress. You do get in trouble for it. In this case, the man, identified as a Polish national, was coaxed back onto the plane and arrested. 

Here's a video from another passenger:

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

A Very Peaceful, Nature-Filled, Astronomical Look At 2017

Look to the sky to find peace and beauty. A 2017 shot of
northern lights and the big dipper viewed
from Alberta, Canada.
Like most of us, I'm still trying to recover from a chaotic, angry, scary, mean, corrupt, despicable 2017.  

Plus, I'm afraid 2018 isn't looking much better.

Which means we need to look at the bright side. The peaceful side. Nature usually helps.

Nature gets an assist here from Adrien Manduit, who gives us some of his best and favorite time lapses from 2017. You can watch and breathe easy and relax with his video at the bottom of this post.

Most of the images in this video were shot in Iceland, Malawi and Canada. The time lapses go heavy on mesmerizing views of northern lights and intense views of skies filled with millions of stars.

The video closes with this message: "All you have to do is look up."

I guess that will be my talisman going forward. Whenever the world gets to be too much, when people and leaders and the news get to be too much, all I have to do is look up. I already do this, given my fascination with cloud photography.

I guess I was on to something. Manduit proved it. And you should try his recipe. If only to stay sane.

This video proved surprisingly moving for me. I hope it does for you. (H/T BoingBoing)

Monday, January 1, 2018

Looney Tunes Tasmanian Devil Causes Family Crisis In Staten Island

A phobia of Looney Tunes' Tasmanian
Devil is at the center of a weird New
York family dispute 
The holidays are finally over, and most of us have headed home after spending time with our families.

Many of our extended families have a few eccentrics among them, but one Staten Island family takes the cake for oddness and discord.

According to the New York Post, Mazem Dayem, 36, has had a lifelong phobia of the Tasmanian Devil, the ill-mannered angry and inept Looney Tunes charactor.

Dayem's father in law, Yunes Doleh, 62, has been tormenting Dayem by menacing him with a toupee that supposedly looks like the Tasmanian Devil.

This all came to a head at a funeral in November, when Doleh waved his toupee at Dayem and grimaced, snarled, grunted and gesticulated toward him.

Which is odd behavior anyway, but especially at a funeral, but maybe that's just me. There's a chatge of criminal contempt against Doleh, lawsuits and general bad blood. I'd love to hear conversations in this family.

And how were your holidays?