The News: Thursday, June 22, 2023

Thursday, June 22, 2023 

Revealed: New Orleans archdiocese has concealed serial child molester since 1999 

Scientists on Twitter head for the exit 

McDonald's & fandom replaced a wiki page with an advertisement 

Religious wingnut wants to buy the land around Slab City 

Authors and parents sue Lake County Schools over banned book about penguin family

Reddit experiments with removing mods, blocking attempts to switch subs to NSFW 

Reddit filters out insults aimed at its CEO 

Ah, Reddit — thanks for 15~ years of happy and occasionally pissed-off memories, but it's time I bid you adieu.

With the (temporary, I hope) exception of a few very narrow-interest subReddits, the new sites Lemmy and Tildes are satisfying my low-key jones for internet buzz. They have far fewer participants than Reddit, but exponentially fewer idiots, all without advertising, without too many dumb rules, and without an asshole in charge.

Sonic The Hedgehog  co-creator Yuji Naka sentenced to prison for insider trading 

Climate change: Sudden heat increase in seas around UK and Ireland 

The U.S. power grid isn't ready for climate change 

Climate change is making trees larger, but reducing their lifespans and carbon capturing capacities 

Giant seaweed blob piling up on Florida beaches could carry an added threat 

Police coerced confessions out of them, and then suppressed evidence that would have exonerated them, including cellphone records placing one of them three miles away when the murder took place 

Police are still stealing money with no pretext; this Nebraska town makes millions from it 

Cops won't name cop caught on video trying to kill a moped rider, but they assure you he's been suspended 

Texas man illegally detained and truck ransacked by cops 

Effects of Dobbs on maternal health care overwhelmingly negative, survey shows 

NeoNazi asswipes target drag story hour 

Samuel Alito did not declare gifts from billionaire with case before US supreme court, because that would be ethical so why would he? 

ProPublica asked Alito to respond; he ran to the Wall Street Journal instead 

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



My browser history
without the porn

Only whistleblowers do hard time for violating the Espionage Act. Generals and high officials like Trump typically get just a slap on the wrist. 

Arizona's most recent Confederate monument went up in 2010 

Queen City: remembering the black neighborhood erased for the Pentagon 

Beatrix Potter and the nostalgia for someone else's past 

The hunt for the missing Orient Express trains 

Do-It-Yourself bee vacuum 

Microsoft Windows has a secret emergency restart button

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

Bad Day — Daniel Powter 

Brand New Day — The Wiz 

Making Plans for Nigel — XTC 

Mean Old Bed Bug Blues — Bessie Smith 

Pyramania — Alan Parsons Project 

Eventually, everyone
leaves the building

James Loveless 

Max Morath 

Robert Payne 

Jacques Rozier


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. The Catholic church is still covering up for pedophiles. Still! That's awful, why aren't they being prosecuted!

  2. It's our warped democracy. Most voters are Christians, and — they don't say it out loud and maybe don't even think it consciously, but — most Christians would rather that the church get away with everything.

    1. I was an agnostic on a Methodist basketball team. When we played the Catholics, the second priority was winning. The top priority was yanking St. Christopher medals off their necks and adding them to our collection. My limited experience is that most Protestant Christians deplore the abuse doled out by sex-addled Catholic priests. We should note here that not al Catholic priests are molesters. I have no idea what the numbers are, and I doubt that anybody does. The worse crime is the coverup by the Catholic church. And, yeah, there are Protestant abusers as well.


    2. Putting aside my disdain for religion, it's the constant coverups that nail it to the cross for me.

      Priesting is a job that presents many, many opportunities to work closely with young children, often with no-one else in the room. It's the perfect job for kiddie-fuckers, but I wouldn't hold a grudge against the entire church over an occasional kid-diddling priest — *if* the church did something about it.

      Instead the church covers it up and facilitates more and more child rapes, not by coincidence but as a matter of policy. (I don't have a link handy, but one of the Popes but it in writing in the late 1950s or early '60s.)

      And of course, we only know about the kid-porking priests over the past 50 years or so, as it's become acceptable to speak of such things. Pervy desires weren't invented just 50 years ago, so I reckon priests have been diddling kiddies since the time of Jesus, and of course not just Catholics, but the equivalent of priests in every religion.

      What a racket, all through human history.

      Don't forget to tithe. :)

  3. I have no idea whether I've touted Local Hero on yer site, but I likely have. It's a fine film with a terrific score by Mark Knopfler (of Dire Straits which has vanished like a fist when you open your hand). here he is playing the main theme live (sorry) . . .


    As I recall, Dire Straits had some licks. Mr. K also played church piano for Bob Dylan during his religious phase and played a little guitar on the radio.


    Yeah, I know that priests are still playing grabass, but how do you know but ev’ry bird that cuts the airy way, is an immense world of delight, clos’d by your senses five? Bill Blake said that, or part of it.


    1. It's been a long time since I saw the movie. There's a story about how they got Lancaster in order to get financing for the film. Mr. Riegert came cheap (as do I), so that one's on Bill Forsyth. But you can't make a movie without money, so I tolerate the Lancaster scenes and move on. Actually, I thought Riegert was pretty good, but I know more about obscure bass players of the 60s than I know about acting.

      I liked Local Hero enough that I made it a point to see the other two films in the trilogy, Gregory's Girl and Comfort and Joy. Neither worked for me. Geez, this is all off the top of my head, but I think I'm recalling the films correctly. I should probably stick with the 60s bass players. Only four strings to worry about. Yeah, now they come with five for bass players too lazy to slide their hand down the fretboard.(now called the fingerboard). They always gots to get fanzy, so I present them with MY finger.

      Bus rides to the Island of Lust now at countdown stage. (Sorry, I didn't have a big finish).


    2. I remember wanting to see GREGORY'S GIRL when it first came out, but my girl wanted to see something else and I never got around to it.

      You write pretty dang good off the top of your head.

      I mix up Peter Riegert and Paul Reiser. They both bother me in kinda the same way.

    3. "I can no longer hear or read the name William Blake without thinking of this"

      Not this?


      "always-hammy Burt Lancaster"

      Dude, Lancaster was fucking awesome: Brute Force, The Killers, I Walk Alone, Sorry Wrong Number, Criss Cross, The Crimson Pirate, Vera Cruz, Run Silent Run Deep, The Leopard, The Train, The Swimmer, Sweet Smell Of Success, etc.

      Also, this:


    4. OK, wait, I never saw DEAD MAN, but someone in that preview calls Bill Blake a poet. Is Johnny Depp playing *that* William Blake? Seems a century or so too late.

      The media pretty much unanimously told me DEAD MAN was shit, and we always believe what the media tells us, but damn if that preview didn't actually look kinda good.

      As for Lancaster, well, I must admit that he had some roles perfectly suited to his lofty, every-line-is-profound delivery. Can't imagine anyone else who could've done the SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS so splendidly.

      Did he ever, though, play a character who *didn't* have that lofty, every-line-is-profound delivery? To me, he was William Shatner before William Shatner, but even more so.

      Gorshin — smokes alive. It's not just the voices and he gets 'em perfect, he plays the faces too. Actually looks a lot like Lancaster and Douglas.

      I'd forgotten he was an impressionist. And why don't we have impressionists any more?

    5. Dougles, a couple of comments on your comments. I think Bill Shatner is at last in on the joke (see also, Boston Legal). Lancaster clearly wasn't. Lancaster was nearly perfect in Seven Days in May. It suited his persona just right, and he stuck with it 'till the end. I read the book when I was about 13 at the advice of my smartest uncle. I couldn't put it down. And the film was as close to true to the book as films get. Nice screenplay. Except for Ava Gardner who was as superfluous as as an actor can get. I think Frederick March ought to be President, but it's too late.


    6. I saw several old movies at the Fredric March Circle Theater in Madison, named for him cuz he went to the college there. The theater was cool, actually laid out like a slice of a circle.

      Then they took his name off the place, because he had some KKK connections when he was young. I don't remember the particulars, but it all smelled like BS to me. By golly yes, let Fredric March be President.

      Great movie, by the way, and yeah, another one where Lancaster was perfectly cast.

  4. I'm not going to let a Bull Durham reference go by without comment. You movie-boys can say what you will about the film. Serious baseball people know that minor league baseball is to baseball what The Beatles in the Cavern Club are to Let It Be: The thing itself in its purest form, without the gloss but with all the soul.

    Bull Durham captured much of it, certainly not all, but more than any other film. Guys playing a kids' game for slightly more than they could make selling appliances at Sears, seemingly always twenty singles and ten doubles away from being a wealthy enclave American. Always another bus to Salt Lake City to catch, always another tuna sandwich and diet Pepsi for the road, practice balls that were more grey than white and used elastic bandages for muscle pulls.

    People who have lived and loved minor league baseball saw Max Patkin actually trade lines with Kevin Costner and hold his own, but weren't surprised; hell, Max had been in show business 120 nights a year every year since Costner was in diapers.

    You movie guys will have interesting and cogent things to say about the construction of the film, and I'll enjoy your comments if and when they come. I figure any story that is told with as much affection as this story has for minor league baseball has a puncher's chance for greatness.


    1. BULL DURHAM is one of those movies I've seen so many times I know the dialogue pretty much by heart. I remember the theaters where I saw it, all of which are demolished now, except one's a dollar store.

      It's also one of the many movies I won't see again, since I have great memories of watching it several times with my mrs.

      Did you ever see the Clown Prince? I think I saw him twice, once at the Kingdome and once at the minor league park in Everett. Dude did not need to dress up as a jumbo chicken to get laughs.

      Kostner might go back to diapers, but we'll never have another Max Patkin.

  5. Trey Wilson died at 40, but he left us this . . .

    Skip : You guys. You lollygag the ball around the infield. You lollygag your way down to first. You lollygag in and out of the dugout. You know what that makes you? Larry!

    Larry : Lollygaggers!

    Skip : Lollygaggers.

    1. What's our record, Larry?

      8 and 16. How'd we ever win eight?

      It's a miracle.

    2. Wilson died way too young. 40. Jeez.

    3. I spent 20 years in low level management, and I NEVER heard better or more succinct advice than, "They're kids -- scare 'em." My audio isn't working, but I'm pretty sure I remember the line syllable for syllable.

      I was 38 the year Bull Durham came out. It's the year I got married for the second time for several hundred dollars and a player to be named later. I saw the film and thought, hey, I'm still kinda young. Now that I can afford to go to movies, just think of all the great films like Bull Durham I'll get to see. As it turned out, there were damn few that came close for me, mostly because of my love of minor league ball and my admiration for Max Patkin, who I saw only once at Cheney Stadium.

      I think I've mentioned that I grew up and lived across the street from a family whose daughter married Bill Hain, a utility infielder who was smooth as silk in the infield and hit in the mid-200s. He played for ten teams in eleven years, and never made it to the majors. He stayed busy during the season and the couple went south during the winter, but he somehow made time to give a few ten and eleven-year-olds some tips on fielding. I love Willie Mays and Yogi Berra, but I'll always admire Bill Hain for his love of the game.


    4. I'd need an outfielder's advice. Never ever did I learn how to judge where a fly ball was headed, other than 'down'.

      I've been to more minor league than major league games in the past 30 years, and if I had my choice I'd go to a minor league game today. Too loud, though, and too many people, so I'll just stay in my recliner.

      Are the minors philosophically purer, or do we simply appreciate the lower ticket price for better seats, and knowing the fuckers on the field aren't all earning more that afternoon than I've ever earned in a year?

  6. Every fuckin base and brawl isn't sponsored by Smitty's the Plymouth Dealer.


    1. Oh gawd yes, how could I forget?

      Maybe I've already mentioned this, but I can't even listen on the radio any more. Opening night, I clicked the radio on midway through the game, and immediately they told me the Home Town Bank score, and I haven't listened since.

      I follow the games by googling Mariners game today, which gives me the score, and that's enough. Fuck baseball on the radio, fuck baseball on TV, and I'm perilously close to saying simply, fuck baseball.

    2. Or you could pick a minor league team and follow them. Commercials between innings, but very few during play.


    3. My last minor league team was the Beloit Snappers, 45 minutes outside of Madison. Wife and I went, frequently. They played at Pohlman Field, a charming and rickety old place.

      Now they have a new name, "the Sky Carp," and play in a new park the county built for them, where they sold naming rights to ABC Supply, a hardware chain.

      It's not just the majors that insist on sucking.

    4. You must know that that's different than having every fart by the second baseman sponsored by the local gas company. My hometown baseball stadium, a cold concrete structure that kept me warm many nights of my youth, is named after a local lumber baron because he substantially funded its construction.

      I have friends who traveled to Cuba two years ago because they could. Yes, I know people who can afford to go to Cuba. I can't afford to go to South Tacoma, but I have a winning personality as you can fuckin' tell, so people with money flock to me like ants to a picnic. Where was I?

      Oh, yeah, they went to a baseball game, one of the things the government of Cuba recommends for tourists. Rickety stands, pretty good baseball, and individuals selling various hispanic foods out of coolers and semi-heaters. My friends are progressives, but insufficiently progressive to take a chance of the homemade food, because in Cuba doctors are ubiquitous but undertrained. One per block, but if you live on the wrong block you get a lousy doctor, and you can't sneak to the next block.

      The stadium had no reserved seating because the economics of baseball in Cuba don't enable the stadium to hire ushers, or whatever you call the people who referee seat ownership. It's baseball in its purest form, and it's almost free to get into, but a coat of paint on the bleachers might keep the splinters at bay.

      And new baseballs would be easier to see.

      I've been to one Mariner game in my life, and that was courtesy of my employer at the time. I can't afford that shit.(But I was right above Buhner in his last year in right field. It was fairly cool.) In Cuba, I could go several times a year, but I'd be dead because the cardio treatment I've received here via Medicare is largely unavailable in Cuba.

      Maybe that's the way of the world, but at the moment I prefer being alive. The scenery is better and the baseballs fly, fly away.


    5. You write like a guy who loves baseball. I'm a guy who used to, but she jilted me and she's changed. Now we're just friends.

      My new infatuation is pickleball.

    6. Just kidding about pickleball. I don't get it at all, and all it gets from me is a sneer.

      Not kidding when I say I'd love to visit Cuba, though. If they'd get past their damned fool repressiveness, I might even want to stay.

    7. I spent a few years at Weyerhaeuser (long enough to figure out how to spell it). This was the early 80s, and I worked at corporate headquarters for two years. Pickleball was the official sport of Weyco because it is a relatively low-ceiling indoor game. And you can play for a half hour or so in a tee shirt without absolutely requiring a shower, so you can get back to work faster. It's pretty good exercise, it's fun, and it isn't as silly as the name sounds. It's a nice sport for a non-athlete like me. I suppose, 45 years later, now that it's popular again with corporate types, they'll fuck it up with fancy clothing, fancy equipment, and fancy courts. Too bad. It was a good compromise between exercise and productivity.


    8. I have never seen the sport. My knowledge of it comes solely from pickleball headlines, but I've never read any pickleball articles. Your comment here is the most in-depth coverage of pickleball I've bothered with, but how exactly are pickles involved?

    9. At the end of a match participants are allowed, but not required, to eat pickles.


    10. Pickles should be required.

      I used to eat 'em by the giant jar, sour and whole, but as I got older they started messing with my bowels, so now I eat 'em by the smaller jar.

    11. I suppose now that people of means play pickleball, the National Pickle Association will get involved as a sponsor and do their best to try to make their products evoke penises without drawing a lawsuit from the National Penis Association to which I used to belong but time passed and my ambitions shriveled.


    12. Ah, your ambitions probably still got some crunch to 'em.


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