News & links: Congressman Jim



#413  [archive]
APR. 3, 2024

Los Angeles spent $1.73m on anti-homeless signs
    I'm unable to find an obscenity that's obscene enough. 

A ship crashed into a Baltimore bridge and demolished the lies about immigration 

Republican Congressman suggests nuking Gaza 

Seattle detective under investigation for pulling over Metro Bus driver
    Excerpt: The person who posted the video of the interaction included a caption that said, "I was one of 2 dozen ppl on this bus ride this AM the driver was completely in the right and the officer had his ego bruised."
    Me again: Just another cop who ought to be fired, but won't be.

After nearly two years of stonewalling and lies, cops release video showing police fatally shot teenager who was reported kidnapped  

Suicide Mission: What Boeing did to all the guys who remember how to build a plane
    Excerpt: … CEO Jim McNerney, who joined Boeing in 2005, had last helmed 3M, where management as he saw it had “overvalued experience and undervalued leadership” before he purged the veterans into early retirement.
    "Prince Jim" — as some long-timers used to call him — repeatedly invoked a slur for longtime engineers and skilled machinists in the obligatory vanity “leadership” book he co-wrote. Those who cared too much about the integrity of the planes and not enough about the stock price were "phenomenally talented assholes," and he encouraged his deputies to ostracize them into leaving the company. He initially refused to let nearly any of these talented assholes work on the 787 Dreamliner, instead outsourcing the vast majority of the development and engineering design of the brand-new, revolutionary wide-body jet to suppliers, many of which lacked engineering departments. The plan would save money while busting unions, a win-win, he promised investors. Instead, McNerney’s plan burned some $50 billion in excess of its budget and went three and a half years behind schedule. …

Living abroad, a lefty former Congressman finds his liberal utopia
    I hope former Congressman Jim McDermott enjoys his retirement in France. He's one of the few, very few, current and former members of Congress who probably shouldn't be prosecuted. 

Project 2025's goal: Trump as President for life 

Spinning, whirling fish in south Florida prompt emergency response 

Cleveland Plain Dealer editor shows how to cover Trump: Tell the truth
    The letter from the editor is slightly weasely, not as firm as it ought to be, but it's the best refutation of Republican bullshit that's yet run in mainstream media.

AT&T’s being weirdly cagey about a major data breach impacting 73 million AT&T users  

Incredible AT&T chat transcript with terrible customer support specialist 

Berkeley's Small Press Distribution, champion of indie books, shuts down 

Kansas newspaper sues over raid by cops  

Best Buy offers to screen donations to LGBTQ nonprofits to appease conservatives 

Missouri AG sues Media Matters as Republicans take on critics of Musk's X

♫♬  MUSIC  ♫ 

Bohemian Rhapsody — Queen 

500 Miles — Celtic Thunder 

It's a Beautiful Day (album) — It's a Beautiful Day 

Percolator — The Ventures 

The Typewriter — Leroy Anderson 


Ross Anderson
cryptographer and security engineer 

Barbara Baldavin
actress, Medical Center 

John Barth
author, Tidewater Tales 

Lou Conter
Pearl Harbor 

Alexander Dewdney
mathematics of species abundance 

Joe Flaherty
actor, Freaks & Geeks 

L. Jane Hastings

Daniel C. Lynch
data networking 

Tim McGovern
special effects, Total Recall 

Troy and Andrew Nelson
Star Trek fans 

Barbara Rush
actress, When World Collide 

The Tropicana
What happens in Vegas, stays at the Tropicana


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. Is there anything from any big company that's as good as it was a few decades ago? I bought some Pop Tarts last week, and there's still jelly inside, but barely. A dry Pop Tart won't kill ya, though. Boeing is sure trying to.

    1. Man, last year my refrigerator died. I have lived a life that can now be reasonably expressed as a percentage of a century and I never had a refrigerator die. The wild thing? It was like 5 years old. What do you even do when this giant boxy thing that should last you decades if you own it or until well after you move out if you don't just stops working?

      I called some handyman from Craigslist who came by, told me the cost of the part that had broken and that I could look it up myself but there wasn't going to be much difference between the cost of this part and the cost of a new refrigerator. He was exaggerating but only a little: it was basically 50% of the cost of a (slightly smaller but fine for me) new refrigerator. Factor in the cost of the handyman's visit (reasonable) and the next one to install the thing and we're talking about a hundred dollar or less spread between repairing this one and buying a new one.

      So refrigerators are now among the list of disposable products, I guess.

    2. If they can save a fraction of a penny on a flange, they'll make a cheaper flange and it'll fail and you're stuck with a worthless fridge a few years later.

      It's a cliché, but also it's true: they *really* don't make *anything* as well as they used to, not if it's from a giant corporation. Everything I've bought in this century, from coats to can openers, it's a roll of the dice whether it'll fall apart.

      I always at least make an effort to find whatever I need from a small company, not a big one.

    3. Smaller multiplier, smaller profit, smaller motive, and changing out a part has a cost associated with it. As you know, that's the math behind buying from a smaller company, and I try to do the same, but I'm mostly down to buying used shit.


    4. Used is best for maybe everything but food and condoms.

      Still never bought a new computer. Even my cat came used.

    5. All eight of ours were in a variety of dire conditions when we took them in. Now the youngest is 11 and we don't have money to be their Medicare but we'll do it anyway.


    6. You have eight cats? At once?

    7. I don't know any other way to have eight cats. We had nine, but one died about a year ago. Before I was married, I had one named McG (she went by "Mac") after the presidential candidate I was supporting. Things have been more feline since.

    8. That's the last big-time presidential candidate worth having a cat named after him.

      I've always only ever had one cat at a time, so I gots to ask: Do you have litter boxes all over the house, or one giant 80-pound litter box they all share?

  2. I don't want to compress time. Mac was born in 1972, the year George was running. She moved in with me when I rented my own house. When I married my second wife in 1988, Mac was gone, and she brought her cat Molly. She then proceeded to rescue a lot of cats. Not like going to the pound and seeing a cute kitty: rescued from dire circumstances sometimes one at a time and sometimes in batches of kittens from abandoned houses. All the cats she came home with were underfed and had likely never seen a vet. Anyway that's the story.

    Answer to your question: 9 cats, 10 litter boxes in the basement. 8 cats, 9 litter boxes in the basement. The cats don't decide who uses which littler box: it's pretty mix and match. I subsist on a fairly small income, and the cat food bill exceeds the people food bill. Cats don't come with a warning, and neither did my wife.


    1. Man, it's hard for a solo-cat-guy to comprehend. It's always been a one-on-one relationship with every cat in my life, getting to know one cat and one cat getting to know me. It cant' be the same with so many, though. Jeez, even disregarding the expense and the litter chores, where's the time to bond with so many cats?

      'Splain it to me and I might get a second cat... :)

    2. I tried to subtly explain that the first acquisition was mine and the rest were by my wife. She can't stand to see a cat or cats in distress. She's found homes for homeless cats all over Pierce County. We end up with the cats nobody wants. I have reasonable relationships, with them, especially the older ones. We commiserate about our respective dotages.


    3. Your house is like The Waltons, only with cats instead of kids.

    4. Cats differ from on another almost as much as people do. My relationships with our cats vary from cat to cat. What these cats all shared was dire straits in their youth. So they have that in common. Now, of course, they're kings and queens of Sheba.


    5. My current cat is a rescue and I love her to heck and back. Adopted a stray once, a tiny kitten that some cruel bastard had left atop my car's back right tire. Not likely a kitten would be there of its own choice, in a very crowded parking lot.

      All my other cats came from friends who hadn't comprehended spay & neuter. The wife and I *almost* adopted a cat from the pound once, but the place and staff gave me bad vibes, and then they wouldn't let us adopt the cat without an inspection of *our* place. Since then, I've never given a nickel or a kind word for the Humane Society.

    6. I don't mind other people using the word "rescue", but it's not a word I choose to use, based on my belief that we're all rescues.

      And now Monolito is going to sleep on my keyboard. I change my name, but not my cats' names. Actually, Monolito doesn't have a last name, and I use my real first name.


    7. In the old days people took in a stray or went to the pound, but never 'rescued' a pet. 'Rescue' in that sense is a newish word, isn't it? Never heard it until the last ten years or so. Sounds sorta wrong to my ear and brain, now that I pause to listen.

      My beloved Izzy had been tortured by her previous 'owners' (another word that sounds wrong) but I didn't rescue her. The shelter rescued her. I only took her in and loved her.

    8. I literally rescued two pups off the street, from a homeless meth head who treated them poorly. No abuse, just neglect. That's what my Brindlekin Tales are all about, though they cover many other issues as well. Here's a video of the two pooches, Lucky & Flaco, howling from a fire engine siren that just careened by:


      Lucky's on the left, he's male. Flaco is his sister from a second litter. They are a dachshund/terrier mix, and the sweetest, most delightful hounds I've ever met. Lucky is now living with me, thanks to an Emotional Support Animal certificate. Flaco was adopted by a very kind woman who runs a small shop here in the Castro. Only six blocks away from my own residence, so the pooches get together often. How I rescued them is an amazing tale in and of itself...will be revealed in upcoming chapters that are presently on hold.

      - Zeke Krahlin

      P.S.: I sometimes accidentally type my name as "Zeke K-Holmes," because that is my pseudonym in Brindlekin Tales. Which are mostly composed of email exchanges to a dear friend in Mendocino, whom I call in my stories "My Dear Wattson." I am so used to typing my "Holmes" alter-ego, it's kinda automatic, so that's why I occasionally type it in your comments section, by mistake.

    9. I was wondering what the dogs wanted, but of course, they wanted you to pet 'em. Awww.

      Your memories of the bubble lady and Caffe Mediterraneum brought back memories of my own. I very much remember Julia and her bubbles in Berkeley, and may have spoken with her once or twice. I didn't know she was a poet, though. To me she was just the bubble lady.

      Another missed connection, because I always stay in my shell.


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