News & Links: Friday, July 21, 2023

#345  [archive]


Country Music Channel goes woke, won't play popular pro-lynching ditty 

A black man was elected mayor in rural Alabama, but the white town leaders won't let him serve
    Mighty big news from a site I'd never heard of, but some rapid Googling confirms all the major details. Patrick Braxton won the election — three years ago — but the town's white mayor has never left office.

Over Republican objections and two Republicans on the state Supreme Court, Illinois eliminates cash bail
    Cash bail is a tremendously unfair system, effectively equating lack of funds with lack of character. "Presumption of innocence," my ass — the poor sit behind bars until their trial, period.
    This ends that, and it's worth noting (so I've noted it, and will note it again) that Republicans have opposed this every step along the way, because they hate anyone who isn't white and rich.

Nebraska woman sentenced to 90 days in jail for abortion when she was 17
    Read it and weep.
    This is an unconscionable and infuriating cruelty, which puts the lie to everything behind the right-wing's anti-woman agenda. If anyone truly believed that abortion is murder, that this woman killed her infant child, the sentence certainly wouldn't be 90 days.
    It's never been about babies. It's only about control and punishment and stopping women from having childfree lives.

Seattle's primary tool for sweeping encampments without notice ruled unconstitutional
    This is beautiful, a refreshingly sane and humane ruling. When the homeless have gone out of their way, out of OUR way, to be secluded and obstructing no-one, it’s sickening when the city comes after them and destroys everything, again and again.
    Absolutely, count on the City of Seattle to appeal.

Why Manitoba refuses to search for missing Indigenous women's remains 

Landfill workers' union calls for search of the Winnipeg city dumps
    "We have the ability to do this."

Climate protestors block entrances to two Scottish oil refineries

Tornado damages Pfizer plant in North Carolina, will "likely lead to long-term shortages" of medicine
    This is a sneak preview not many years into the future, when there'll be no workable supply chains at all, as climate change wreaks hellish havoc everywhere, consistently.

"We are damned fools":
Scientist who sounded climate alarm in 80s warns of worse to come

Even if the planet doesn't get any warmer than it is now, melting ice in Greenland could add at least 1.5 meters to the global average sea level 

As climate change progresses, we don't really know when or how fast things will fall apart 

College Station Police officer arrested, terminated from position for stealing money from arrested suspect
    If the facts are as presented, this cop ought to be fired and charged, of course. That seems to never happen, though — not lickety-split like it happened here — unless the cop in question is black.
    Let's start treating all cops the way cops and prosecutors treat black cops.

LPD officer placed on administrative leave after reportedly dragging arrestee through park
    ① In the newspaper's headline, "reportedly dragging arrestee through park" actually means "there's video and it's gone viral." ② The police department refuses to name the cop or release his bodycam video. And of course, ③ never forget that "administrative leave" means the cop is suspended with pay, unless someone specifically says "without pay."

Off-duty Adams County deputy arrested for assault after fight outside of a Walmart
    He's not even suspended with pay; he's been placed on "restrictive duty," whatever that means.

Police chief is suspended with pay during investigation nobody will talk about
    No, this isn't the same police chief from earlier. It's only the same headline, and same turn of events.

How the Seattle Police Dept manipulated the media narrative around the 2020 protests
    A very long article, but a major revelation. And this is journalism from Seattle's homeless hand-out freebie newspaper, certainly not The Seattle Times.

Cook County prosecutor publishes list of "rogue cops" too corrupt to testify in court 

New York police officer indicted, accused of using stun gun 7 times on handcuffed man 

St. Louis County police officer arrested for beating handcuffed man 

Prison guard arrested for tampering with evidence 

Off-duty cop goes nuts with ATV, flees other cops, crashes and dies 

Staten Island NYPD officer arrested again, accused of sex acts targeting young teen 

Kansas City pays $500,000 to settle police abuse lawsuit 

Un-named cops are suspended with pay for un-stated reasons 

Police lieutenant suspended without pay amid investigations into tasing, road rage fights 

Second officer charged in connection with police brutality investigation 

Pennsylvania cops kicked, punched, choked arrestees, indictment says 

"High school resource officer" resigns after allegations of inappropriate relationship with 18-year-old 

Florida schools will teach how slavery brought ‘personal benefit’ to black people 

Republican Congressperson displays sexual images of Hunter Biden at IRS whistleblower hearing
    Probably illegal, but that's irrelevant; as a member of Congress, she can't be charged.
    What I'm wondering is, when a member of Congress waves photos of someone having sex, in Congress, does it mean that imagery of Hunter Biden's privates is now part of the Congressional Record?

Republican Senator is really, really mad about the Barbie movie 

Republican Congressman seeks to defund investigations into Trump's criminality 

Republican Senator promised to donate "every dine" of his salary to veterans, and hasn't 

Judge explains what rape is, to Trump, the rapist 


The crazily unconstitutional new laws trying to criminalize filming cops 

Meet the Wisconsin teacher fired for protesting ban on Miley Cyrus & Dolly Parton song "Rainbowland"

Inside America's failed, forgotten conference to save Jews from Hitler 

Could a turtle be a taxi, ferrying future generations of fairy shrimp across a mosaic of African wetlands? 

Major League Cricket is underway in America 

San Francisco before the internet
    This is a rerun from a few years ago, but nostalgia only gets better with age.

♫♬  AUDIO  ♫

Earn Enough For Us — XTC 

I'm a Man — Chicago 

The Mists of Time — John Mayall & the BluesBreakers 

Resist — Janis Ian 

Watermelon In Easter Hay — Frank Zappa 

👁  VIDEO  👁

Atomic bomb test, Nevada (1955) 

Cloning in baseball 

A wiener dog dances to elevator music (18 seconds of silliness) 

Drawing on the Blackboard (trippy music and effects) 








Tony Bennett

Walt Groller 

Sue Marx 

Kevin Mitnick 

James Reston Jr 

Dedric Willoughby


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, Kottke,org, Looking for My Perfect Sandwich, One Finger Medical, Two Finger Magical, Miss Miriam's Mirror, Nebulously Burnished, RanPrieur.com, Spock Variety Hour, 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. I think there's a real fear here in Illinois that some judges will become reactionary and deny bail in all cases they can. We elect our judges here, which is insane on the face of it (I've never known a single thing about a single judge on any ballot I've filled out) but frequently makes them cower to public pressure. Republicans see their future in the cities on the back of targeting local officials, who can be ousted from office for an almost ludicrously small sum of money.

    I also think it's pretty likely that if the measure were up for a vote again today it would probably be voted down. It was passed prior to CRIME WAVE 2021, amended after it began and is likely to be repeatedly amended after that. The suburbanites are going to fuck us again over this, I think.

    1. It's a step in the right direction, something I hope other states will emulate.

      But yeah, certainly and of course, the right-wing monsters who've already fought it will continue fighting it. The "horrors of no-bail" will probably be a central theme of the CRIME WAVE 2023 campaign that's doubtless coming soon.

      I'll bet they're already trying to repeal the law, and using any politician's support of it as the basis for smear commercials on TV.

      Keep me posted on further developments, please.

    2. 100% a step in the right direction. Progressive DAs who set policy not to prosecute drug possession or petty theft are at best a stop-gap, because obviously the next DA can come in and charge all of those people with the maximum possible sentence.

      They've also begun allowing people who have bonded out but are required to wear ankle monitors days in which they can leave their home to conduct essential business. It was part of the same program, but not contested in the courts:

      > Starting January 1, 2022, every participant will be allowed essential movement. If your Booking ID ends with an odd number, you will receive a permanent schedule of Monday and Wednesday from 8:00am-4:00pm. If your Booking ID ends with an even number, you will receive a permanent schedule of Tuesday and Thursday from 8:00am-4:00pm.

      The next big thing is to get rid of a lot of the dumb fees associated with the justice system (including electronic monitoring). The amount of money being made off people obligated to pay it or go to jail despite not being convicted of anything is crazy, not to mention the price gouging of people after they're incarcerated.

    3. Where did this bail reform come from? It's not an issue on most Democrats' radars. Do you have some wild lefties in Illinois?

      That said, I'm boggled at those Monday & Wednesday or Tuesday & Thursday hours of freedom. I know it's a step forward, but with such limited hours of semi-freedom, someone bonded out couldn't even work for a living. Just seems to me, if someone's allowed to walk the streets 16 hours a week and deemed not a threat to society, not a flight risk... well, do they need the ankle monitors in the first place?

      The dumb fees, yes, get rid of all of them. It makes the justice system look like a racket, which in some ways it is.

      Sorry to keep you waiting days for a reply, by the way. I somehow missed your comment entirely, until ten minutes ago.

    4. You know, I have no idea how this took hold. After the fact you look and see the advocates for prison and bail reform but I can't name a single one offhand so I doubt how prominent or effective they are. Illinois has had a multi-session Democrat supermajority, I would guess that's a pre-condition to doing something like "make jail less lethal for people who haven't been convicted of anything."

      Re: the "hours of freedom," that's definitely a problem but if you work it's usually exempted from your house arrest, so if you have a job at Jiffy Lube from 9 to 5, you can leave your house at 8:30 and have to return by 5:30. Truthfully the ankle monitors are a colossal waste of money: anyone determined to go out and do something bad just cuts them off, they're not made of metal from Superman's home planet or anything, and it's not like there will be a statewide manhunt to track you down.

    5. It must've been powered by some good Democrats. Unusual Dems. There's no money to be made from ending bail, no businessmen happy to ante up. From a purely political perspective, ending bail doesn't please anyone but crooks and the accused and the poor. Impressive. The rest of the country could use a few Dems like yours.

      Ankle monitors, man. "There's a scam someone's getting rich off," has always been my gut reaction. Maybe they make sense in some cases. Basically it's home confinement which would certainly NOT be punishment for me, and such mild punishment for most people really what's the point?

    6. On the nose about ankle monitor fees. The privilege of not being murdered or assaulted daily in a deliberately medieval hellhole before you're even put on trial will put you out both "set up fees" (varies, usually $150 to $300) and daily use fees (varies again, usually between $5 and $30 per day.) Since courts are so backed up we have a ritual hearing now about suspending the right to a speedy trial, this will be months of paying for your (non-)freedom.

      I've never been through the system but the finer points are inhuman, and of course underpublicized.

    7. I do with there was a general desire among we the people to blow it all up (in an organized manner) and start over, this time giving a damn about people instead of money.

  2. You always find the worst news, bless your heart, and your top two stories today are especially horrible.

    How does he win the election and get locked out? It's a small town and it's Alabama but really why isn't this on the news everywhere?


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