News & Links:
Monday, February 19, 2024



#405  [archive]
FEB. 19, 2024

Study shows long-COVID hits hardest in Republican states
    Excerpt: Overall, the CDC found that seven states in the South, West, and Midwest had the highest prevalence of long COVID in the country, between 8.9 percent and 10.6 percent: Alabama, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Wyoming, and, the state with the highest prevalence of 10.6 percent, West Virginia. …
    On the other end of the spectrum, New England states, Washington, and Oregon had lower prevalence rates, between 3.7 percent and 5.3 percent. The lowest rate was seen in the US Virgin Islands with 1.9 percent. Washington, DC, and Guam had ranges between 1.9 percent and 3.6 percent. …
    Me again: Who'da thunk it? Being intentionally stupid isn't good for your health. 

New York archdiocese calls funeral for trans activist at cathedral "scandalous"
    I hate funerals and memorial services, and haven't been to one since late '80s. Missed my old man's. Told my mom I won't be at hers. If family or friends try to stage a funeral for me, I've promised them I won't be there.
    But this one pissed off the church, and jeez I wish I could've been there.

Amazon argues that national labor board is unconstitutional, joining SpaceX and Trader Joe’s
    Of all the assorted Big Money and right-wing bullshit currently percolating, this is one of the scariest. Regulation of corporate capitalism is already almost nothing, but they're trying to end it entirely. 

Faced with ‘Cop City’ referendum push, Atlanta changes up its election rules
    Opponents filed proper petitions to put the question of Cop City to voters, but the local (Democratic-run) government has blocked those petitions and that election.
    Denied access to democracy, the opposition is now morally authorized to blow up every trace of Cop City, and I wholeheartedly hope they do. 

Plastics companies knew for decades recycling was not viable but promoted it regardless, Center for Climate Integrity study finds 

Authors were excluded from Hugo award nominations over "China concerns"
    "Rabbit Test" unwins the Hugo 

For revealing how little Trump and other rich bastards pay in taxes, whistleblower gets five years in prison 

GoFundMe is a health-care utility now 

Air Canada must pay damages after chatbot lies to grieving passenger about discount 

Luxury brand Hermes sues tiny used book shop in Turkey called 'Hermes Sahaf' 

Middle-aged woman who's not the manager actually runs the office… in every office 

The original WWW proposal is a Word for Macintosh 4.0 file from 1990 — can we open it?  

How three housemates in COVID lockdown discovered their Brisbane home was a biodiversity hotspot 

Allan Sherman (or his lawyer) on the phone 

On Capitol Hill, Republicans routinely use bigoted attacks against political foes 

My dad was a white slave, Kentucky Republican tells NAACP 

Republican Rep claims 'bullshit' as expert says COVID vaccine saved 14-million lives 

Florida Republicans defend proposal to teach kindergartners about 'threats of communism'


Go outside or go to jail: Top North Carolina Republican targets trans restroom rights  

One of the police officers charged with killing Freddie Gray will oversee complaints against other Baltimore cops 

Police used spit hoods on at least 31 people who died in their custody between 2013 and 2023 

Florida cop fires his gun until it's empty, runs for cover after acorn falls on car 

♫♬  MUSIC  ♫ 

Bella Ciao — Chumbawamba 

Eminence Front — The Who 

I Walk the Line — Johnny Cash 

Superman — John Williams 

This Land is Your Land — Tom Morello 


Bob Edwards
Morning Edition host, squeezed out by NPR 

Ross Gelbspan
called bullshit bullshit 

Cecilia Gentili
human rights activist 

Don Gullett
baseballer, Cincinnati Reds 

Jim Hannan
baseballer, Washington Senators 

Jack Higgins
editorial cartoonist, Chicago Sun-Times

Alec Mills
cinematographer, The Living Daylights

Bob Moore
founder, Bob’s Red Mill 

Damo Suzuki
rock'n'roller, Can 

forgotten man 

Jimmy Van Eaton
drummer, Sun Records


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. Oh my. Until this morning, the only Aimee Mann music I've heard was in the movie Magnolia, wherein she mumblewhispered several songs that drove me and my wife nuts in the theater. Wife said on the way home, "Every time that movie started to get interesting Aimee Mann came on mumblewhispering, and I wanted to throw the popcorn at her." The intent was to be 'haunting', or maybe it was a missetting in the theater's sound system that sent the quiet high notes through my head like a spike, but when anyone mentions Magnolia or Aimee Mann I still cringe. Following your link was the first *intentional* Aimee Mann in my life, but she sang that song instead of mumblewhispering, there were no brain spikes, and it was not unpleasant, even listened a second time, thanks.

    Chuck Berry rocked. It's cheating I know, but I saw Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll and the memory tricks my head into thinking I saw him in concert.

    Greatest tea orchestra ever. :) Also one of Mr McCartney's finest.

    And Mr Simon in a lovely performance of one of his best too.

    For a national anthem I'd still go with This Land is Your Land.

  2. I must have watched the acorn video about 15 times and I can't stop laughing. This guy hurled himself to the ground at the sound of an acorn bouncing off his car. He did a barrel roll. He pointed his gun at his own car and emptied his clip, hoping to hit a man who had been patted down, handcuffed, strapped in by the safety belt in the back seat. He began screaming I'M HIT for reasons that nobody can fathom. His partner, a sergeant, also began opening fire into the car, before asking what she was shooting at. He then assures his fellow homicidal maniacs that I'M OKAY BUT I FEEL WEIRD. Meanwhile swat had arrived with rifles and deployed around the acorn and the terrified man in the backseat.

    Like this is the most insane cop video ever released. The ones where they actually murder people are not nearly as insane. It's like a skit from a Police Academy sequel. Astonishing.

    1. It's a great video, eh?

      In America, the background check for being a cop is minuscule, and frequently skipped. Training is a matter of weeks. To be fired, someone has to be flamboyantly incompetent *on camera*, and even then there's a job waiting in the neighboring suburbs because police experience gets anyone a job as a cop.

      I have read that none of this is like this in Europe. Caps have actual training, actual standards, and the worst cops actually get fired. But maybe that's a fairy tale.

    2. They do have incidents with local cops in the UK. Of course far fewer of their cops are armed, only "Authorised Firearms Officers."

      In Paris there's actually a "Place de la Bataille-de-Stalingrad" and a "Stalingrad Metro" station, which is wild, considering even Stalingrad is no longer called Stalingrad. I was checking it out and found it was at the time kind of "ground zero" for migrants passing through Paris on their way north to try to cross into the UK. I talked to a group of them, they had few worries about local police (maybe because this was a containment area where they were directed to and temporarily tolerated their existence, I guess) but hated and feared the Interior Ministry police. A couple of them had been beaten up when "caught" which they implied basically meant having the cops stumble across a migrant camp outside of Stalingrad.

      I don't know if a migrant's impressions are universal to even all migrants, but considering they're now considered the "worst" of society (now in more continents!) I thought it was a valid take.

      But supposedly cops of all kinds in Paris kill about 13 people during traffic stops every year: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-66038227

    3. I have never been to France, but also never particularly wanted to. They don't even speak English.

      On the killer-cop link from Paris, this kinda blew my mind:

      > The officer accused of shooting him has been detained on homicide charges.

      That was the morning after the killing. On those rare occasions when killer-cops are prosecuted in America, they first walk free for months or years after the deed.

      And why is it always *migrants* who get scapegoated and hated and herded into camps? Why not priests, cops, politicians, all of whom do so much more damage, and intentionally?

  3. When the third Homo Erectus read a book and became a Homo Sapiens Sapiens, the first guy got the Tenth Avenue Freezeout treatment. We see ourselves as inclusive, but we are an exclusive species. Somebody has to take the rap for this madness, and it ain't gonna be me. Blame an immigrant.


    1. So much anger and hatred and blame, not just in America but all over the world, for people who cross an imaginary border looking for work, safety, better lives. Give me an immigrant as a neighbor, over a Republican any and every time.

    2. Right, it's comical that they're trying to make me believe I have more solidarity with Jamie Dimon or Lindsay Graham than some guy who digs in literal dirt for under the table wages.

      (Sadly it'll work though.)

    3. You know this, but I'll say it anyway: lizards like Dimon and Graham have no interest in the lives of any of their lessers, and to the lizards, we are *all* lessers unless they know us by name from their meetings or dinner parties.

      I am not courageous enough to hasten their deaths like they're hastening mine, but news of their demise is always welcome.


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