News & Links: Sunday, July 16, 2023

#343   [archive]

In-N-Out orders workers not to wear masks unless they have a doctor's note
    In-N-Out is regionally famous for pretty good burgers and fries, served with a side of stale conservative politics and Bible verses on the Coke cups, burger wrappers, etc. During the COVID pandemic, the chain publicly bristled at public health rules, and their restaurant in San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf was closed for noncompliance.
    They're shit-heads, in other words.
    If I'm hungry, I might buy burgers made by Republicans, but never made by shit-heads.

Without explanation, Smithsonian abruptly cancels Asian American literary festival
    Midway through the article, there's passing mention that "a festival event featuring books by trans and nonbinary writers" had been planned for a sliver of the festival's time and space. Hmmm.
    Absent any honest explanation that makes sense — and it's very absent — my guess is that some right-wing Senator, moneybags, or loudmouth pundit promised to make trouble if the Smithsonian gave the queers a spotlight.
    To be clear, I have no evidence to back up the above suspicion, except, of course, the USA in 2023.

Volkswagen uses AI to resurrect dead Brazilian singer for a commercial
    Corporations have no sense of shame, so now that this is possible, it'll soon be commonplace. Janis Joplin will endorse Wendy's, and we'll hear from Humphrey Bogart for Levi's.

Before becoming fish food, the imploding sub's 'captain' was an asswipe
    CEO Stockton Rush was born to wealth, lived above the rules, and threatened his critics with SLAPP litigation.

Elon Musk's Hyperloop was never meant to be built. He admitted it was all about fueling opposition to California's high-speed rail project so it would get canceled.
    I've always thought the Hyperloop was simply a stupid idea — a one-lane tunnel for cars to drive through? Yeah, that'll work at 10 mph, until there's a fender-bender.
    Hadn't occurred to me it was a monkeywrench aimed at thwarting a better future. How very... Elon Musk.

Judge orders Winnipeg blockade removed, but blockade remains
    The authorities really, really don't want to search Winnipeg's city dumps for the bodies of murdered natives.

Millions in US under warnings as record heat expected to continue next week
    Here in Seattle, we've been spared the worst of the current bake-off, but still, it's been hotter every day for the past two weeks than almost any day of any summer in my childhood.

Climate change is increasing stress on thousands of aging dams across the US 

Chicago's costly Deep Tunnel flooding project can't handle the area's severe storms fueled by climate change 

Where are all the fireflies? 

Natural gas can rival coal's climate-warming potential when leaks are counted 

Fired Kentucky trooper pleads guilty to lying under oath about repeatedly striking man with flashlight
    And what does he get? No jail time, and the conviction will be expunged from his record, if he stays out of trouble.

Deputy charged with on-duty rape
    "The victim also claimed she saw two other patrol cars pull into the back of the school but 'they turned around and took off'."
    What do you suppose was said in the other squad cars? "Ah, that's just George raping somebody again. We'd better give him some space..."

NYPD officers accused of wrongdoing can now watch all relevant video of an incident before speaking to investigators
    This is an invitation for cops to alter their testimony to match the video.

Connecticut police won't say whether trooper who issued more than 1,000 fake tickets still has a job
    They'll probably fire the guy, if there's enough public pressure to do so... and then he'll be hired as a cop in the neighboring town — at a higher wage, since after all, he has valuable experience in police work.

Jail guard falsified security check prior to inmate suicide 

Thousands remained at Rikers despite making bail. Now, they’re collecting $143 million. 

Wife-beating cop gets 45-day paid suspension, no charges 

45-day suspension for cop who led warrantless search and filed false report
    The article doesn't say whether it's suspension with pay or without, which usually means it's paid. Maybe Officer Hughes will take a vacation to Vegas.

Las Vegas police officer found guilty in string of brazen casino heists could get life sentence
    But won't.

LAPD refused to name the officers who accidentally blew up a neighborhood; LA Times has the names
    Can't think of another line of work where you can burn people's houses down, and not only keep your job and avoid prosecution, but keep your anonymity, too.
    Kudos to the Los Angeles Times for naming names.

Former correctional officer sentenced to prison for using excessive force on an inmate

FBI investigating violent incidents by L.A. County deputies
    Things are close to hopeless, when the frickin' FBI is your best chance for justice.

Ex-officers at federal women's prison in California plead guilty to multiple sex abuse counts 

House Republicans seek 80% cut to federal program for students from low-income families
    Ever-so-slightly terrifying, actually.

House Republicans plan overhaul of federal elections, to mimic anti-black restrictions in southern states
    Also terrifying.

DeSantis rebuilds Florida State Guard as not-so-well-regulated militia for "aiding law enforcement with riots and illegal immigration"
    Also terrifying.

Republican prosecutors target corporate diversity programs
    They're going to keep white men in power, by any means necessary.

Montana State Library withdraws from American Library Association
    Fear of Marxists and lesbians is more important than running libraries.

Wingnuts oppose bat research facility
    Republicans have been stupid and trending toward kooky all my life, but these are new heights of lunatickery.

After months of criticism, Republican Senator un-endorses white nationalism

Conservatives furious at actress chosen to play Snow White in Disney remake, and you'll easily guess why 

Donald Trump brands US a "third-world hellhole" run by "perverts" and "thugs"
    Closest I've ever come to agreeing with the Orange Asswipe.


The success of "Fast Car" by Luke Combs "proves that when you put a White face on Black art, it seems to be consumed a lot easier" 

Individual responsibility is a big fat lie. 

Chuck E Cheese's 1982 Annual Report for Kids 

Two-solution crossword puzzle in the New York Times 

The joy of the Bee Gees and the horrors of Stigwood Castle 

Louis Leakey selected three women to study the great apes, and women still dominate primatology 

Escher and The Rolling Stones 

♫♬  AUDIO  ♫

Born to Be Wild — Steve'n'Seagulls 

I Ain't Marching Any More — Phil Ochs 

Moon River — Audrey Hepburn 

Taxi — Harry Chapin 

Willie the Pimp — Frank Zappa 

👁  VIDEO  👁

Bugs Bunny in Ballot Box Bunny 

Swim with a seal 

Icon's Story





          • Click 

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⚰️  THE DEAD  ⚰️

Jane Birkin 

Lord Creator 

Peter Nero 

Stephen Pieters


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 prefer when you write stories, but you do a bangup newscast too. Most of these are "news to me" and I like your spin.

  2. I spin at 33 1/3, but thanks.

    Writing stories is what I ought to do, but when I lack the gumption I surf the net and read the news instead.

    1. I am glad that you do. I read other newsy blogs like Kottke and Talking Points and a few more but yours has the best "Oh my god really?" ratio.

    2. Well, thank you again. TPM has never been in my surf cycle, but I do like Kottke, among the big time blogs.

    3. We all come from different places and carry our suitcases of different experiences and passions. I know now that Kottke is a blogger, but in my world there's only one Kottke: Leo. He's been fingerpicking for six decades and now does most of his work near home (Minneapolis) because he's even older than me. Leo is another reason I'm pissed at our Prairie Home friend for diddling his assistants. Keillor would invite the real Mr Kottke to join him on his show a half dozen times a year, and since, when the show was home it was a 20 minute drive for our guitar genius, he often accepted.

      I fell in love with Leo's music with the release of his fourth album (his first on a major label), Mudlark in 1971, so I've been a fan of both his guitar and his crazy stories for over 50 years.

      Sometime I'll have to check out the blogger. For now I'll just let Leo play his 6- or 12-string and drift away.


    4. No links to YouTubes of Leo's best? Ouch!

      Inexplicably I have no Leo on my playlist, so I'll turn to YouTube and offer two:

      Standing in My Shoes

      The Spanish Entomologist

    5. This is Bob Dylan's favorite Leo Kottke song.

      So Cold in China by Leo Kottke . . .




    6. That's nice, man.

      Kottke wanders across genres but to me he's folk. And I like folk music.

    7. Malick used his songs in "Days of Heaven"

    8. Might've been where I first discovered him.

  3. I had not heard that version of "Willie The Pimp." That's fucking hot as hell, man. It was already in my top-10 of Zappa.

    1. May I suggest Funkadelic's "Maggot Brain?"

    2. It's been decades since I've listened to that, and I don't know why.


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