News & Links: Saturday, July 29, 2023

#349  [archive]

 Houston schools eliminate librarians and convert libraries into disciplinary centers at "New Education System" schools 

Michigan bans torture of LGBTQ youth (a/k/a "conversion therapy") 

Black man living in nice Georgia neighborhood now routinely films white neighbors asking him what he's doing there

Texas church firebombed weeks after visit from anti-LGBTQ wingnut  

Disney, Netflix aggressively hiring AI content scabs amid writer/actor strike 

IHOP in Massachusetts to be taken by eminent domain, demolished to make way for a parking garage
    I've never been to Massachusetts and hate IHOP, but eminent domain ought to be used rarely, and only for projects that undeniably build a better community. A frickin' parking garage does not merit seizure by eminent domain.

Refusal to search Winnipeg dump for murder victims "could encourage perpetrators to use landfills" 

Reddit is still looking for "a few new moderators" after axing, polarizing some of its best 

All cops continue being bastards 

Forests are losing their ability to hold carbon 

Conservatives have a plan to dismantle US climate policy for next Republican president
    Ass-backward, of course, but there's not much serious climate policy to dismantle.

After the vaccine became available, Republicans 43% more likely to die of COVID than Dems

The latest right-wing conspiracy theory is that the heatwave isn't real 

Republican Senate candidate speaks out against witchcraft 

DeSantis invokes Gerald Ford, floats a pardon for Donald Trump 

Republican wingnut is sentenced to 5 years in prison for his role in the "Build the Wall" donation fraud that Steve Bannon received pardon for 


Government accidentally releases documents on mind control (2018)

Crossing the country without a car 

Sinéad O'Connor and the vulnerability industry 

Train to nowhere and dead-eyed stares: my visit to the Korean demilitarized zone 

"Reduce, re-use, recycle," but by far the most important is *reduce* 

Getting around before the internet 

Analyzing subway water 

♫♬  AUDIO  ♫

Draft Dodger Rag — Phil Ochs 

Last Day of Our Acquaintance — Sinéad O'Connor 

Peaches en Regalia — Frank Zappa 

Sister Sinéad — Kris Kristofferson 

Thank You for Hearing Me — Sinéad O'Connor 







👁  VIDEO  👁

Earl Scruggs jams with Bob Dylan and others

The Jester (silent short, 1908, with pretty good special effects from before your grandmother was born) 

Christopher Nolan's 12 Angry Men


A man walks into a bar

These are all porn except one

Fifty Shades of Whey 


Julian Barry 

Beatle Bob 

Bo Goldman 

Henry Logan 

Wayne Maxner 

Randy Meisner 

Tommy Seigler 

Rocky Wirtz


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 the AVA, BoingBoing, Breakfast at Ralf's, CaptCreate's Log, Cogent Coquette, Depsidase, Kottke,org, 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. Captain HampocketsJuly 29, 2023 at 4:48 AM

    > I've never been to Massachusetts and hate IHOP,

    Bah, we used to eat at the IHOP near the Metreon. Back when it was relatively cheap, they had a fantastic Chicken Fried Steak meal with country gravy, eggs, hotcakes, and potatoes and toast.

  2. Have you IHOPped lately though?

    Maybe the problem is only the one on Madison's east side. The wife & I went a few times, and it was never good and once illegal, before settling in for better breakfasts at Bob's Diner.

  3. No, not in a decade. I'm sure it's shit now, like everything else.

  4. Why, why, why do people patronize corporate chain "restaurants" when there are plenty of locally family-owned eateries. Obviously, not every family-owned joint is better than every corporate boringly painted outlet, but if you do have a problem YOU'RE DEALING WITH THE OWNERS, not some employee of an international conglomerate. And local owners actually take pride in their offerings. Not all of them, but statistically more of them than the corporate boys. Jesus.


    1. When I eat at Applebee's or some other chain, I've been dragged there against my will, or at least I know that I'm settling for a cheap, low-quality meal.

      It's scary that so many people honestly *prefer* such places. My siblings, man — they say it's a special treat to eat at Denny's.

    2. Sorry brother, I wasn't referencing you. Last night I drove by a diner in University Place that had been there since the 40s, and went out of business during Covid. I see it's back in business under new local ownership, but the parking lot is pretty half-assed filled. Up the street is a Denny's that is going great guns. I'm going crazy, honking and yelling out my window (warm night) "Wrong restaurant. The real place is two blocks that way (pointing backward. People in the parking lot think I'm either crazy or a Democrat. They don't always make a distinction.


    3. And in answer to Amy, who frequently writes salient comments, THAT'S how I ought to be living my life -- spending the little time I have left directing traffic to the proper destination. Thanks Amy.


    4. Denny's is usually the wrong restaurant, if there's a choice.

      So that good little local restaurant that went out of business, but got re-opened — is it any good under the new ownership, and did they keep the old name?

      Old restaurants that get sold should always keep their old name, unless the old place sucked. It's an invitation to the old customers to come back. Change the name, and I'll feel uninvited.

    5. And on the other side of the equation, there's Countryside Cafe in Burien. They didn't make it through COVID, but there's still a big yellow sign out front that says "Countryside Cafe" and looks very inviting indeed.

      The building is something else entirely now, a tool shop or a nail salon or something. Which saddens me every time the bus goes by.

    6. Plenty of cardio drugs, but I get no kick from champagne.


    7. The Googs don't let me answer you directly, but at the moment, the restaurant just says "RESTAURANT". It had a family name and either the family who sold it didn't want their name on the place or they're still in negotiations. I think the most important thing is that there's once again a diner in University Place with the same locals who've been eating breakfast there for my lifetime and more.

      I'll let you know what happens to the name.


    8. Thanks, man. The name matters, at a diner, and also the sign matters.

      If it's an expensive-looking sign, I am of course less likely to look twice or walk inside.

      At my diner in Seattle, Mrs Rigby's I call it, the sign is as old as the restaurant, clumsy block letters painted on plain wood many years ago. It says something like, "Mrs Rigby's / American food," but what it really says is EAT HERE.

  5. Earl Scruggs is a-lookin' pea-kid. He looked much better when he was alive. I think there's a bad link, either technical or generational.



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