News & Links:
Sunday, January 28, 2024



#402  [archive]
JAN. 28, 2024

Schools are using surveillance tech to catch students vaping, snaring some with harsh punishments
    To protect kids from the perils of vaping, they threaten to ruin kids' lives. 

Biden says he’ll shut down the border on "day one" if deal gives him authority
    Republicans will keep saying the border’s a crisis every two years, just before the elections, whether Biden plays Republican or not. Saying what he said will only turn off decent people, lessening the already-minimal enthusiasm for his re-election.

Judge releases last of the 'Newburgh Four,' excoriates FBI for the entrapment it calls 'counter-terrorism'
    Excerpt: … The FBI had a guy committing actual crimes but chose to focus on four men Judge McMahon said were “hapless, easily manipulated and penurious petty criminals,” rather than the terroristic masterminds the government portrayed them as while securing 25 year sentences for the men.
    James Cromitie is the last of the “Newburgh Four” to be released. The government portrayed him as the ringleader of this (imaginary) four-person terrorist cell. Cromitie is now free, albeit after having lost 15 years of his life to the federal prison system.  

Boeing’s manufacturing, ethical lapses go back decades 

Global warming was primary cause of unprecedented Amazon drought, study finds 

How beloved indie blog The Hairpin turned into an AI clickbait farm 

Kentucky Republicans push to legalize killing homeless people  

High-profile Republicans push Texas to defy Supreme Court razor-wire ruling 

How Republicans could legally steal this year's Presidential election 

Investigative report proves what most people already suspected: the 'war on woke & DEI' is mostly pushed by a bunch of censorial, racist shitheads  

FCC to end broadband discounts for poor people after Republicans undermine program  

The White House has its own pharmacy — and, boy, was it shady under Trump 

Inmate died after jail medical staff denied him HIV medication for months, lawsuit alleges 

21 bodycam videos caught the NYPD wrongly arresting black kids on Halloween. Why can’t the public see the footage? 

Internal audit slams shoddy investigations of police shootings. St Louis keeps it secret. 

Amusing, Interesting, Outrageous, or Profound
    AIOP is my Lemmy page, for anything that's (in my opinion) amusing, interesting, outrageous, or profound. It's mostly a rough draft of this page, but you're invited to stop by. 


Sounds of the forest

♫♬  MUSIC  ♫ 

American Woman — The Guess Who 

1812 Overture — Tchaikovsky 

Mourning in America — Brother Ali 

Step Right Up — Tom Waits 

Zip — Red Prysock 


Marvin Ray Beck
forgotten man 

Francisco Ciatso
wrestler, "The Journeyman" 

Herbert Coward
actor, Deliverance 

David Emge
actor, Dawn of the Dead 

Frank Farian
rock'n'roller, Boney M 

Gary Graham
actor, Star Trek: Enterprise 

Rod Holcomb
TV director, The Six Million Dollar Man 

forgotten man 

Jesse Jane
porn actress, Pirates 

Norman Jewison
filmmaker, Moonstruck 

ABilly S. Jones-Hennin
LGBTQ rights activist 

Dexter King
civil rights, the next generation 

Brett Dean Nelson
friend of a friend 

Charles Osgood
broadcaster, POSSLQ poet 

Arno Penzias
Big Bang theory 

Jerry Pryor
street cleaner 

Margaret Riley
film producer, Bombshell 

Melanie Safka
rock'n'roller, "Brand New Key" 

Linda K. Shropshire
forgotten woman 

Steve Skaggs
baseballer, Toronto Blue Jays 

David Skal
author, Dark Carnival 

Margo Smith
country singer, "It Only Hurts for a Little While"

Red Swanson
baseballer, Pittsburgh Pirates


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, Chuff, Dirty Blonde Mind, It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time, Lemmy.world, Looking for My Perfect Sandwich, Miss Miriam's Mirror, Voenix Rising, and anywhere else I've stolen links, illustrations, or inspiration.

Special thanks to Linden Arden, Becky Jo, Wynn Bruce, Joey Jo Jo emeritus, Jeff Meyer, 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'm pretty sure that's The Guess Who playing American Woman and I believe that's Tom Waits playing/singing Step Right Up (a lovely song about evening in America). but is that really ol' Tchaikovsy playing 1812?


    1. We are so old, John, that I'm pretty sure you made the same crack last time I linked to Tchaikovsy, circa 1812.

    2. I'm pretty sure that's The Guess Who playing American Woman and I believe that's Tom Waits playing/singing Step Right Up (a lovely song about evening in America). but is that really ol' Tchaikovsy playing 1812?

    3. First smile of the morning, and soon I go to work so it'll be the only smile.

  2. And thanks for the sad news that Melanie Safka has died. I sort of doubt she was a rock 'n' roller, but she could play the acoustic guitar and had a voice to sing with angels. Ms Safka and Jimi Hendrix sort of became the voices of Woodstock by accident and stunning talent. What, in heaven's name, have they done with my song? The news distribution services have their place: I get my obits here.

    with thanks,


    1. One of those songs, maybe one of those singers, I'd taken for granted. But it really is a fine song.

      Have you heard Miley Cyrus's cover of "Look What They'd Done To My Song, Ma"? I have not, will not.

    2. Ms Safka wrote the song, so I assume she banked the $27 ASCAP fee and forwent the thank you card. Dats what I woulda done.


    3. The obituary surprised me cuz I'd always thought the song was from Joni Mitchell. I never had the record, only heard it on the radio, and paid no attention to the DJ unless he was being funny.

  3. Thanks also for catching the death of Arno Penzias. Penzias' and Wilson's discovery of evidence of the Big Bang in a prosaic wooden time machine while trying to separate bird shit from the history of the universe was one of Richard Feynman's favorite stories about the use of inductive reasoning in tackling the really big problems of astrophysics. Of course, Dr Feynman had his own prosaic stories about discovering huge laws from small events: the spinning plates of the college dining room perhaps among the most famous.

    The obits are priceless and for this non-scientist and non-musician provide a continuity in the history of curiosity.



    1. We live, we die, we decompose. Along the way, a few of us figure something out. Very few.

  4. Incredibly SPICY news round up here, because I want to yell about all of them.

    I remember 20 years ago when storage began to get very cheap there was an ongoing debate about surveillance — not just online (but also online) but on street corners. That debate appears to have been dead and buried. Nearly every fictional dystopia features constant surveillance because it was unnerving, and I'm old enough to remember that the fact that Thought Police managed to photograph Winston and Julia even in a meadow was shocking.

    I think the only way to not lose your mind over this is to pretend it doesn't exist. It is incredible how many things we now have to pretend do not exist. Like we know very well the things that push people over the edge, and we're using it as a checklist.

    1. Giving a damn about privacy makes us a punchline to jokes. We're nuts, conspiratorial, because what could possibly go wrong with having the internet track you eternally, having ads tailored to your desires, having cameras keeping watch over all the commons and 70% of American front porches?

  5. It occurred to me that some folks had gone entirely too long without hearing and seeing The Jimi Hendrix Experience play and sing The Wind Cries Mary live.



    1. That is unlike what little Hendrix I've heard. Less geetar showmanship, more beat poetry. First time for me, and I love it.


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