The News: Saturday, June 17, 2023

leftovers & links
Saturday, June 17, 2023 

San Francisco's county jail is the first in the country to provide inmates with tablets and internet access.

Which is nice, but ponder the unspoken cruelty. It's 2023, and until now, no American jail has ever provided what you'd consider almost a basic human need in a civilized 21st century nation — internet access.

When it comes out at all, it comes out lots later 

In January, here in Seattle, a cop driving one of those big beefy mini-tank SUV cop cars was responding to a reported drug overdose, when he struck and killed a women in a crosswalk.

This was reported as a tragedy, one of those things, so sad, etc. The woman had come out of nowhere, we were told, foolishly entering the crosswalk when sirens were sounding, and the cop was all torn up about it.

As happens so very often, if the truth comes out at all, it's lots later: Now it's revealed (by a local news blog, not a newspaper or TV station) that ① the cop was driving at triple the speed limit in a crowded area, ② the woman would've had time to cross the street if he hadn't been speeding, ③ the drug overdose wasn't even an emergency, and ④ the cop knew it wasn't an emergency.

He was doing 74 mph in a 25 mph zone, for no reason at all, except that it's fun to drive fast and blare the siren. 

Climate activists smear paint on priceless Monet painting 

8 activists in Massachusetts drop their drawers to protest climate change

SUVs targeted in south Dublin by group protesting against climate change 

Is this a trend? Sure hope so.

As for that third item, the headline "SUVs targeted" is misleading — they're deflating tires on parked SUVs, not vandalizing the cars themselves. The article never uses the word "slashed," so maybe they're merely letting the air out, causing no lasting damage at all.

With climate change, writing letters to your Congressperson is folly. Political and corporate leaders aren't doing squat about it. They lie and deny, or they pretend to give a damn, but it's only pretense. 

Climate change is time-delayed mass murder — we are killing millions of people, now, only they won't be dead until 'then'. I think that's important, and it ought to be stopped, but working through the ordinary channels gives us nothing but endless international yakkity-yak conferences.

Me, I'm too lazy and comfortable to engage in guerrilla activities like these, but three cheers for the people brave enough to do it.

"I have not seen one cent": billions stolen in wage theft from US workers 

Big business isn't doing so much of the fake gaywashing this year 

Here’s the note Reddit sent to moderators threatening them if they don’t reopen

It's a kooky situation. CEO Steve Huffman had a hand in writing the original Reddit software, and it made him rich and that's OK with me. 

What made Reddit fun and made Huffman rich wasn't the software, though, it was the users posting interesting stuff, and the subReddit moderators putting in long unpaid hours keeping things on-topic.

Huffman doesn't write software any more. All he does is make the decisions that make the site worse. He's shitting on the users, threatening to 'fire' the volunteer moderators.

Kooky. Reddit is fueled by users and moderators having fun, and he's single-handedly sucking the fun out of it. Now the fun is watching him unintentionally sink the site.

Unprecedented Atlantic Ocean heating and El Niño in the Pacific are pushing the climate into uncharted territory 

"We're always going to have extreme weather, but if we keep driving in this direction, we're gonna have a lot of extreme weather." 

Hay fever may get worse due to climate change, says Met Office

Remember when Chicago cops raided the wrong house, and forced a woman to strip for law-enforcement purposes? One of the cops has been fired, only 4½ years later. 

Mississippi deputies tortured Black men, shot one in mouth, lawsuit says 

Fired cop pleads guilty to kiddie porn, "is also on track to lose his law enforcement certification" 

One can only wonder how much time and money the Justice Department wasted 'discovering' that police have a pattern of aggression and discrimination. 

The FBI groomed a 16-year-old with "brain development issues" to become a terrorist 

Republicans declare banning universal free school meals a 2024 priority 

Clarence Thomas' billionaire Republican megadonor pal Harlan Crow gave millions to dark money groups: CREW 

Southern Baptists expel US churches with female pastors 

Actual member of Congress tries, fails to show the COVID vaccine causes miscarriages 

House Republican panel releases budget that would "destroy Social Security as we know it" 

Republicans seek to strangle transit funding in Wisconsin 

Complaints from Polish conservatives ends 666 bus to Hel

Mystery links
There's no knowing where you're going






♫♬  It don't mean a thing  ♫
if it don't have that swing

Ball of Confusion — The Temptations 

Brave — Sara Bareilles 

She Came in Through the Bathroom Window — Joe Cocker 

End of the Line — Traveling Wilburys 

Tommy's Overture — The Who 

Eventually, everyone
leaves the building

Daniel Ellsberg 

Glenda Jackson 

Manabu Kitabeppu 

Blackie Onassis 

Don Triplett


Cranky Old Fart is annoyed and complains and very occasionally offers a kindness, along with anything off the internet that's made me smile or snarl. All opinions fresh from my ass. Top illustration by Jeff Meyer. Click any image to enlarge. Comments & conversations invited. 

Tip 'o the hat to ye olde AVA, BoingBoing, Breakfast at Ralf's, CaptCreate's Log, Looking for My Perfect Sandwich, One Finger Medical, Two Finger Magical, Miss Miriam's Mirror, Nebulously Burnished, RanPrieur.com, Voenix Rising, and anywhere else I've stolen links, illustrations, or inspiration.

Special thanks to Linden Arden, Becky Jo, Wynn Bruce, Joey Jo Jo, John the Basket, Dave S, Name Withheld, and always extra special thanks to my lovely late Stephanie, who gave me 21 years and proved that the world isn't always shitty.


  1. By coincidence, while I was looking at dead people, I spotted someone who is retired but very much alive at 95, Tom Lehrer. These are the lyrics to his song "Werner von Braun":

    Gather round while I sing you of Wernher von Braun,
    A man whose allegiance, is ruled by expedience.
    Call him a Nazi, he won't even frown.
    "Ha, Nazi Schmazi," says Wernher von Braun.

    Don't say that he's hypocritical,
    Say rather that he's apolitical.
    "Once the rockets are up,
    Who cares where they come down?
    That's not my department,"
    Says Wernher von Braun.

    Some have harsh words for this man of renown,
    But some think our attitude
    Should be one of gratitude,
    Like the widows and cripples in old London town,
    Who owe their large pensions to Wernher von Braun.
    This song was originally posted on protestsonglyrics.net
    You too may be a big hero,
    Once you've learned to count backwards to zero.
    "In German oder English I know how to count down,
    Und I'm learning Chinese," says Wernher von Braun.

    1. Chuckles galore. And to think, before this conversation all I would've known about Werner is rockets and Nazi-American. Vedy ediccational, thanks sir.


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