They need a little more time.

Leftovers & links #37
Click any image to engorge. 

Asadullah Haroon Gul has been imprisoned for 14 years at Guantanamo, without a trial. That's illegal and unconstitutional, abhorrent but not aberrant.

Now, a federal judge has ordered him to be freed.

Are we allowed to even briefly be happy about this, to cross our fingers and hope that the judge’s order will be followed?

Probably not. I'm sure it'll be quickly overruled by the obviously rigged US Supreme Court, and Asadullah Haroon Gul will spend the rest of his life in an American prison, guilty of absolutely nothing.

♦ ♦ ♦

White House once again delays
release of JFK assassination documents

Secret government files relating to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy were supposed to be released by next week. But now President Joe Biden has postponed the release once again, this time blaming delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The documents will now be released in two batches, one later this year and a larger one late next year, Biden said in a White House memo.

I’ve said this before, I’ll say it again, and I’ll keep saying it because it keeps happening: BS like this is a key reason so many millions of Americans think they’re being lied to about everything, up to and including the 2020 election and COVID vaccines.

Kennedy was killed 58 years ago, but the feds need a little more time to decide what to redact from the reports?

If we want people to trust the government, the very first step would be having trustworthy government. This ain’t that. 

♦ ♦ ♦

I haven’t seen a doctor in several years, and have no known need to. I’ve never seen my current doctor, because my employer switched health plans a few years back, and then COVID came calling, and for safety’s sake “seeing the doctor” meant talking to him on the phone.

This new doc wouldn’t renew my perpetual prescription unless I made an actual appointment, though, and the next available appointment was two months in the future. His office said they’d renew the prescription as soon as I’d made the appointment, which is low-level blackmail, but also ordinary.

I made the appointment, and they renewed my prescription. They also told me to get some medical tests before the appointment, so again I did as I’d been told. “What will this cost?” I asked, and the answer was, “You’d have to inquire with your insurance.” 

Inquiring would've taken two hours on hold. The answer would've probably been inaccurate. I shrugged, went into the clinic, got jabbed with a needle, and had some blood sucked out of me.

A month later, still a month before my appointment, they’ve sent a bill for the lab work. It’s $111.49. Sure, you and I both knew the lab work wouldn’t be covered by insurance, and it’s not a lot of money.

There’s a principle here, though. At a restaurant, at a car repair shop, at a grocery store, just about anywhere else you might spend money, you know the price. Before.

At a medical clinic, they pull a price out of their ass. Afterwards.

I already have no credit rating, and I’m losing my job and health insurance in a few months, so this seems like the perfect time to take a stand.

You want $111.49? Frickin’ sue me.

♦ ♦ ♦

Speaking of health care: Vitamin C.

I read the idea somewhere long ago, and modern science confirms it, so for many years I've taken a whole heck of a lot of Vitamin C in response to the slightest symptoms of a cold coming on. And for all those years, I've very rarely had anything more than a hot-sauce sniffle.

Just now, I sneezed seven times in one minute, which is six times more than I’d sneeze in an ordinary day. Immediately I took ten pills, totaling 5,000 milligrams of Vitamin C.

♦ ♦ ♦ 

Top basketball recruit goes off the plantation.

♦ ♦ ♦ 

Two headlines ten days apart:

When Alec Baldwin shoots someone accidentally, he’s the one doing the shooting, actively. (New York Times headline: Alec Baldwin fatally shoots crew member with handgun...)

When a police officer shoots someone intentionally, it’s always the victim who “is fatally shot.” (New York Times headline: Teenage girl is fatally shot by police...)

♦ ♦ ♦

Twerker’s butt is
censored in mural

♦ ♦ ♦

No time to die: An in-depth analysis of James Bond's exposure to infectious agents.

♦ ♦ ♦

Sexy women moan your IP address.

♦ ♦ ♦

Hyperloops are basically a pneumatic tube, like the ones carrying documents from a bank’s drive-through window into the building, only much bigger and the tubes have people inside. It's a cool concept, but tragically, most talk of everything hyperloopy leads back to Elon Musk, a very wealthy man who, unsurprisingly, is an enormous throbbing butthole.

Musk, and probably his money, has inspired Zeleros, a lovable but kooky daydream of a worldwide hyperloop network

Given workable public transit, I’d always rather take the bus, train, subway, or hyperloop, and I’m absolutely a geek for such things. It used to be a hobby of mine to buy a city map, and use a felt pen to plot out routes where a subway should be built.

Zeleros seems every bit as practical as that. 

♦ ♦ ♦

 Mystery links  — Like life itself, there’s no knowing where you’re going:


♦ ♦ ♦ 

Sincere tip 'o the hat to:

• Becky Jo
• Dave S.
Captain Hampockets
Follow Me Here
Messy Nessy Chick
National Zero
Ran Prieur
Voenix Rising
• and One of the Butt Sisters but definitely not the other.


Leftovers & links 

← PREVIOUS          NEXT →  


← PREVIOUS          NEXT →


  1. Thank you for coming back; I'm here every day and enjoy your writing.

    Complaint (not to you)>>> We KNOW Abraham's gender, and he walked the earth long before we had the new fangled fancy pants genders. When we have this much information, is it too much to follow the syntactical and grammatical rules and say "his" rather than "their"? Whatever his sexual preferences, and whether he actually existed, can we at least agree that Abe was ONE PERSON?

    So the Abe reference should say "his child". I don't know why the "their" shit bothers me so much, but I know we all have trouble agreeing these days. Maybe if we used agreeing nouns and pronouns, we'd have a starting point.

    But I rant . . .


    1. I like a good rant. No worries about that. And I *love* the name johnthebasket.

      Maybe you're old like me, and find the increased complexity of gender and proliferation of pronouns a bit bewildering? I don't understand most of it, just that people are hurting and want to be addressed with respect, and I can certainly understand that.

      I must be making progress in grasping it, too, because I hadn't even noticed the 'them' instead of 'his'.

    2. I'm older than you and younger than Abraham just to put a bracket on the thing. It is a social injustice to not let people be who they want to be. My little point (and points get littler as you get older just to give you a heads-up) is that when we know the person in question and have a pretty good idea of his gender ID, why not use proper grammar and syntax?

      I'm not talking Emily Post-it-note here, but as a crabby old guy I suspect that sloppy G&S lead to sloppy thinking.

      OK, I've beaten the horse to within a furlong of his life. Didn't mean to do that. And for another crabby old guy, your writing is charming. I know in your fair city that's not always a compliment, but I certainly mean it as one.


    3. You're right, of course. All historical evidence suggests that Abraham's preferred pronouns would be he/him/his, and we ought to respect that, too.

      Younger than Abraham I can understand, but more and more I suspect there's nobody older than me. I'd like to stick around until that's true.

  2. Hey man, I know you might think it's woo-woo bullshit, but the millisecond I feel a cold coming on, I take zinc lozenges, specifically Cold-Eeze brand. They make the cold shorter and less harsh. They taste like unwashed ass, but work for me.

    1. Good to know and I'll file that wisdom away. I serious can't remember when I last had a cold, but it's been years.

      Except at work, of course. Often I have a "cold" and need to take a day or two to recover.

  3. Zeleros reminds me of Futurama.


    1. Excellent! I would totally take that ride to work, and I'm sure Musk is working on it.

  4. Hi Doug,

    I found your site mentioned by someone on reddit. I've been reading it for a few hours now and it's been intense. It's...I mean, I don't know how to say it but since you have 'Ask me Anything' on here, I was wondering whether you'd be able to answer a question I was thinking about, since you've faced difficult times and like me you may have also asked it to yourself along the way. The question is, what's the point of life? Of anything at all?

    Basically I'm 23, a grad student in LA, fat, awkward, pathetic, no friends, no girlfriend, and I feel like my youth is on the verge of ending now and life will be pointless real soon. Now I just have to work in a stuffy office with people I hate for the next 37 years, and then just sit in a chair and rot for the next 20 years after that (best case scenario here btw). All the while, the only people I love in the world (my family) will die one by one leaving me alone forever (a loving wife and kids obviously aren't in the cards for someone pathetic like me). What's the point of anything if my mom's going to die? And especially in times like COVID when I realize it could even happen tomorrow and there's nothing I can do to stop it...what kind of life does one live after something like that happens? How do you even call that life?

    Anyway, hope you're doing well and take care. I'm wondering whether I should go on reading right now or if I'm sad enough for one Sunday.


    1. Wow. Great questions.

      Right now I gotta go to work in a stuffy office with people I hate,
      but at least it's only virtual, and I'll actually just be in the next room in my underwear. When the work is done, though, I promise you a better answer than this brief note...


      Eight hours later...

      For a serious consideration of the meaning of life, you’ll need to talk to a priest or a rabbi, someone who pretends to know such things. I don’t pretend.

      My own perspective is that life is pointless, but so what. Who ever said there had to be a point?

      Closest I can come to a point is that I try to have a good time every day. The things I do for fun will look pathetic to most people, but I don’t give a fuck about most people. I am having fun, even if my mom disapproves and my brother thinks I’ll spend eternity in Hell. I am having fun, even if I'm entirely alone (and I am). I am having fun, even if I go a week without talking to a soul. I am having fun today, having fun right now writing this, and intend to have some fun tomorrow too.

      I hope you're having some fun. If you’re *not* having any fun, what’s preventing it? That’s a serious and crucial question. What do you want to be doing, that you’re not doing? What's keeping you from doing whatever would be fun for you?

      Inquiring minds want to know.

      Office work? I won’t write a joyous ode to it, but it’s better than some of the alternatives. You get to sit in a chair instead of doing anything sweaty, and not being sweaty is nice. If you hate office work, though, there are a billion other options, assuming you’re reasonably healthy.

      > All the while, the only people I love in the world (my family) will die one by one leaving me alone forever (a loving wife and kids obviously aren't in the cards for someone pathetic like me). What's the point of anything if my mom's going to die?

      I met my wife when I was 39 — about 15 years after giving up and *knowing* I’d be alone forever. I thereby conclude that we don’t know squat about the future.

      As for ‘what’s the point if everyone’s going to die?, well, here’s the bad news: everyone *is* going to die. If there’s any damn point to life at all (not saying there is, just saying ‘if’) it’s to eke out a little fun before it’s your turn to croak. I want a bumper sticker that says: Eke today.

      I dunno which pages of mine you’ve read that made you sad, but there aren’t many I’ve written with sadness as the intent. I am completely fucking hellbent on having a good time here, and also I'm succeeding in that endeavor.

      Look, I am old and fat and widowed and I’ll never again lick a vagina, nobody’s ever going to say “I love you” to me, bake me a lasagna, or even hold my hand. I’ve packed on fifty pounds during COVID that I’ll probably never drop. Half the people I’ve known in life are already dead, and the other half will be dust soon enough. I certainly will.

      But I am still having fun, damn it. I insist upon it.

      You gotta insist on it too.

    2. I don't have a vagina, but I love you, I'd bake your fat ass a lasagna, and I'd even hold your hand.

    3. Thank you for the insightful words. I do try to have as much fun as I can when I can, and you're so right that it's something to always insist upon, especially since everything's pointless anyway (you should check out the philosopher Diogenes, I think you'll like him).

      When I talked about sadness I was referring more to the memorial site, which I came across through your original site. I read most of it yesterday and...the idea of things ending...the idea of the void and fallout left behind by those things almost forming an outline that, when the light hits it just right, makes it feel like they're still right there, just lurking around the corner, because how could they possibly not be...the fact that something so real and so here and so now could be nothing but a memory tomorrow...the inevitability that the first time you do a thing means there will be a last...the fact that a phone number you call and have 3 hour conversations with everyday will one day suddenly stop being picked up and never be picked up ever again...the fact that you'll only see someone's face in photos ever again...hear their voice only in videos ever again...never be near them ever again...never tell them anything, ask them anything, not even one more word, one more smile, or even just one more look at them...and the fact that this could happen tomorrow. It's a lot to think about. The fragility, the cruelty, and the uncertainty of life. It just feels like...I didn't sign up for this. I don't have what it takes to face this.

      Interesting that you say LA is too big. That's exactly why I've been loving it. It feels almost comforting in a way to feel like you're just a very small, very insignificant part of such a vast place with so many people and stories. Also we have the best therapists and therapy is the only thing that's been helping me with any of this. I remember you said something like writing this was kind of therapy for you in a way too. Therapy rocks. Anyway, thank you for chatting and I'm very happy to meet you too.

    4. Chi Charone —

      Such kind words — thank you. Stouffer's makes a frozen lasagna, so I’ll make it tonight, and make do.

      Anway —

      Yeah, I can see the appeal of being a part, even a small part, of something so huge and occasionally glorious as Los Angeles. When I was there, I was blowing in the wind and in a hurry to find a place to touch down. I found it elsewhere, but hope you find it there.

      Diogenes was actually a friend of mine. Not the real Diogenes, the original hippie — he was a few weeks before my time — but a zine writer who’d adopted his name and philosophy. Most of what my friend Diogenes wrote was based on the legends and wisdom of the real Dio, and it was all wise and occasionally a little pompous, but it made me a Dio believer, and I still am. The original Diogenes and his namesake zinester were both major influences on me, and chipped in substantially toward making me who I am.

      Then I met the guy, the person who was writing as Diogenes, and he was just an ordinary schlub like the rest of us. He lived in a crappy apartment, worked a crappy job he didn’t like, argued with his brother-in-law, and wished he had a girlfriend, but didn’t. Even the best among us are schlubs, I guess. We’re all of us schlubs. Even the original Diogenes was probably a schlub.

      Ah, the Steph Memorial site. Yeah, that place is more obviously sad, and I do miss my wife, every minute. Even that sadness, though, is largely about how crazy lucky I was to have had her in my life. We came very close to never even meeting, so I could’ve been the Pathetic Life schlub for all of my pathetic life. Sad as I am that she’s gone, I am still damned happy she was here, and a better man because of it.

      It’s complicated. Probably I’m not describing it well, sorry, but trust me, even my saddest, most teary-eyed entry about Steph is written from a baseline of happy.

      You write movingly about how “something so real and so here and so now could be nothing but a memory tomorrow” and “the fact that you'll only see someone's face in photos ever again...hear their voice only in videos ever again...never be near them ever again...never tell them anything, ask them anything, not even one more word, one more smile, or even just one more look at them...and the fact that this could happen tomorrow,” and that’s all true and terrifying. Seriously it sucks, and reminds me of my favorite Slim Whitman song, “The First Hello, the Last Goodbye.”

      When they begin the overture, they start to end the show. When you said ‘I’ll never leave you’, then I knew that you would go. The sound of all our laughter is now echoed in a sigh, and the first time that we said hello began our last goodbye.

      All the good times end, and the end is coming and can’t be prevented. Only thing we can do is squeeze every damned drop of available joy out of whatever time remains, between hello and goodbye.

    5. This is all an interesting conversation, thanks both of you, for taking the time to write it all out, and also thanks Roger Witaker, which was surprisingly nice.

      To anway who said, "I don't have what it takes to face this." I think you do.

    6. Yeah, I think he does, too.

      People still joke about Mr Whittaker because of all those infomercials decades ago, but the gent could sing. And that's a great song.


🚨🚨 If you have problems posting a comment, please click here for help. 🚨🚨