News & Links: Wednesday, July 19, 2023

#344  [archive]

The Supreme Court uses a made-up doctrine to put itself in charge of the executive branch
    This is seriously worrisome stuff.

NHTSA investigating Tesla Autopilot after yet another fatal crash
    Is there no regulation of the auto industry? Seriously, WTF, when a company can introduce and advertise a "self-driving option" that's killed dozens of people already, without any required testing or approval in advance.

From laws targeting fossil fuel protests to the crackdown on Stop Cop City activists, corporations are calling in militarized law enforcement to crush dissent 

Abortion pills are now *free* in states with abortion bans, through community support networks 

Despite policies against it, Google is sending users straight to non-consensual deep-fake porn 

Base air show featuring scantily clad models raises questions about justification for drag show ban
    This is better than the coverage I would've expected at military.com.

Ta-Nehisi Coates crashes school board meeting over banning his book
    The school board didn't even have the balls to vote on banning the book, while he was there.

Protesters prepare to end Winnipeg landfill blockade, will instead camp at human rights museum
    Seems somehow fitting. More and more, and certainly in this matter, human rights belong in a museum.

"It can be done safely":
Experts say method for landfill search has been successful in the past

    If someone kidnapped and killed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and his body was believed to be at the Winnipeg city dump, would they search?
    The answer is yes for Justin, so the answer damned well ought to be yes for 'ordinary' native rape and murder victims.

A sexy outfit can get you arrested in Phoenix — especially if you're Black or trans 

Post-COVID downtown recovery rankings
    My former home town, San Francisco, is in last place for downtown recovery, and Seattle is close to the bottom.

Spanish activists vandalize super-yacht believed to belong to billionaire Walmart heiress
    More of this, please.

A fish with teeth that can breathe air, live up to three days outside of water, move short distances on land and grow 3 feet long has been found in Louisiana
    And less of this.

Satellite image shows Hudson Bay sea ice breaking up earlier than usual 

Gymnosperms critical for coniferous forest health may be steadily declining in response to climate change 

Research links climate change to "lazier" jet stream, leading to extreme weather 

Sinkholes near old Texas oil wells may signal issues in climate change fight 

Climate change threatens supercomputers 

Warming planet may have overwhelming impact on infectious diseases 

Already baking in record heat, China braces for more hot air 

LAPD is furious about newspaper reporting names of negligent bomb squad officers who blew up neighborhood
    They wanted to keep the incompetent cops' names secret forever.

Chicago cops sidelined for allegedly seizing guns without making arrests, then lying about it 

Texas troopers told to push children into Rio Grande, deny water to migrants, records say 

He was making a documentary about police brutality. Then the LAPD tased him in his home. 

County jail chief quits after drawing fire over warning her daughter about cops
Apparently, she said said "cracker cops," and that's why she was forced to quit.
    Are there actual white people somewhere who're actually offended by the term 'cracker'? No, only these snowflake cops, who are no doubt chuckling about costing that African-American woman her job.

Cop is suspended for racist "challenge coin" 

Fired police officer connected to two rapes is freed after taking plea deal

For four years of bizarre targeted littering, NYPD sergeant is docked a day's vacation pay 

Albuquerque police officer charged for arresting disabled man for the hell of it 

It's trans adults, too: Republican candidates now back trans medical restrictions for all ages 

Right-wing disinformation on Plan B vending machines at colleges "harmful to young lives" 

Ohio Republicans introduce bill to ban drag performances in locations other than "adult cabaret" 

Missouri Republicans are going to absurd lengths to stop voters from having their say on abortion 

Michigan Republicans are finally hit with felony charges for fake elector scheme 

North Carolina housing development is for "patriots" only; flying the American flag required 

Billionaire slashed his tax bill by taking Clarence Thomas on super-yacht cruises 

Trump has a detailed plan for fascism if he retakes the White House 

Trump wanted cows to climb ladders over border wall, ex-staffer says 

Author of spoof story shared by Texas Governor calls him one of the "dumbest people in the country" 


At Charlottesville in 2017, student activists stood up to neo-nazis 

Scenes from humanity:
A cake on the 22-Fillmore

Republicans beware, Donald Trump will turn his Big Lie against his party
    Of course he will.
    Just ask Trump and he'll tell you, he's never made a mistake in his life, never broken a law, never lost money unless someone else was a crook, never been outsmarted because he's a very stable genius, never touched a woman who didn't want his touch because he's the sexiest man alive, and never lost an election unless it was stolen from him.

Is it time for the San Francisco Chronicle's "Little Man" to retire?
    I'm not sure "that guy has a jockey on his lawn," but I agree with most of the criticisms of Little Man, and always found him obnoxious when I lived in SF and read the Chronicle.

Total recall: A brilliant memory helps chickadees survive 

Six Flags Great Adventure's legacy of death 

♫♬  AUDIO  ♫

Bad Blood — Neil Sedaka & Elton John 

Burnt Weeny Sandwich — Frank Zappa 

I Walk the Line — Johnny Cash 

Meaningless Songs in Very High Voices — The Hee Bee Gee Bees 

New York Mining Disaster, 1941 — The Bee Gees 

📸  IMAGES  📸

Supertrain returns 

True love ends with a double casket 

Some of San Francisco's murals

👁  VIDEO  👁

Dudley High School's marching band wants YOU to join!
    They had me at about 2:30, when a couple of kids want to high-five a third kid, but he reaches for a bottle of hand sanitized instead. Where can I sign up?

Joy Ride, a cautionary tale aimed at young, thrill-seeking teens 

When are you going to stop partying?
When I'm dead.

Japanese trains go choo-choo in a hurry 





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Jerry Bradley 

João Donato 

Harry G. Frankfurt 

Fred Hoffman 

Mary Ann Hoberman


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. OK, Jason Kottke was born in Minnesota, did his first work for 3M (headquartered in Minneapolis) and is 49 (the right age to be Leo's son). I'm about Leo's age, and Leo was a big deal for my generation. If Jason isn't Leo's son (or nephew) why doesn't he mention it?

    I spent an hour on this question, and that's all it's worth, but I wonder . . .


    1. Fairly uncommon name. Seems like a possibility. I have his email address (Jason, not Leo) but I wouldn't ask him. If he wanted to talk about it, he'd talk about it.

      Big believer in boundaries I am, and the sperm and egg that made him is not my business.

      But like you, I'm suddenly curious.

    2. Maybe we could ask the sperm and just give the egg her privacy.

      I did a little more research, and Wiki says Leo had two kids, neither of them named Jason. Hell, maybe in Minnesota every other house has a Kottke of one kind or another.


    3. The name does sound Norwegian or something. Maybe Minnesota is the land of ten thousand Kottkes.

    4. "Helga, you better throw some more trout in the lake and, for god's sake, don't forget to feed and water the Kottkes."


    5. First smile of my morning, thanks. I've been working on tedious things...

  2. This is a performance by a bunch of amateur locals on a backwater independent television station somewhere south of Glasgow in the gentle hills of Scotland not far from where my grandfather was born. Sounds like they had chairs for an audience of somewhere between four and six, roughly the size of the band including the horn section. But it's beautiful music. jtb


    1. Hey, this is pretty good, thanks.

      Jump right in, if you have more music videos from further bands of little or no renown. Even not being musical myself, I feel more of a kinship with the unknowners.

    2. Sorry to have kept you waiting, by the by. I took yesterday off from the blog, and vegetated.

      It was spectacular.

    3. So Craig Ferguson, a late, late show host for almost a decade and a native of that part of Scotland tried to get the unknown band booked on his final show, but he was too late to get them through Customs -- so he and his staff sang the same song with a little higher budget as an opening to his very last show.



    4. So excellent.

      Mr Ferguson was the last late-night show I watched and liked. If he still had that show, I'd still be watching. Never saw this song before, though. So excellent.

      Who's the band? The cheap bastards at CBS never gave Ferguson a band. Googled my own answer: Wikipedia says it was Ferguson's "occasional semi-house band Bone Patrol, [with] Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones."

      I of course like it better than the original.

      After quitting the show, Ferguson ran a game show for a while, which was meh. No idea what he's doing now, but I wish it was The Late Late Show.

    5. I thought I might be the only Craig Ferguson fan in the conterminous United States. He doesn't look much like my grandfather, but he is from Glasgow, just a stone's throw from Grandpa Jack's birthplace, so he sounds a little like him. Craig's interview with Desmond Tutu was honest and brilliant, as were his raps on drinking. He hosted a decent show for a decade with no budget and made it entertaining. Not a bad legacy.


    6. CF is a former drummer in a punk band, a former flat-on-his-facer who picked himself up and got back in the race.

      There aren't many celebrities I'm willing to confess liking. Craig is one.


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