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Where's the League of Women Voters when we need 'em?

Sigh and sigh again, I'm waiting impatiently to hear from Social Security about my retirement. Their estimated response time is 2-4 weeks, and it's been five.

Optimistically, though, I'm poking around the internet looking for cool things to do and places to go in and around Seattle, and found this on an official City website — the joy of sailing, illustrated by a man checking out a woman's butt.

There was a Presidential debate last night, which I certainly didn't watch. From having foolishly watched such farces before, there was no doubt that the questions would be stupid, the answers pablum, the moderators blow-dried, and the analysis afterwards tedious. All this, plus commercials on CNN? Don't even wake me when it's over; I need a good night's sleep.

CRANKY
OLD FART

#433  [archive]
JUNE 28, 2024

From headlines that have accidentally crossed my eyes this morning, Biden was a bit bumbly and lost on stage, but for all I know or care that's just a Republican spin.

The debates are of great importance, of course, as sway factors for casual and undecided voters, but beyond that they don't matter to me. Biden isn't much but he's not Trump, so even if he has a stroke and can only answer questions by ringing a dinger like Hector Salamanca, Biden has my vote.

The Seventh Circuit Appeals Court says it's OK for feds to demand your password and search your phone, so long as you're within 100 miles of the border or of an airport. That's most of America, of course.

The wingnut in charge of public education for Oklahoma has ordered that the Bible must be part of the lesson plan in public schools, effective immediately.

"The Bible is an indispensable historical and cultural touchstone," says State Superintendent Ryan Walters. "Without basic knowledge of it, Oklahoma students are unable to properly contextualize the foundation of our nation which is why Oklahoma educational standards provide for its instruction."

A tiny sliver of the media has noticed what I figured out while I was looking for work: A lot of "job openings" are phony as sugar-free fudge.

I don't give a damn about sports (well, I still follow baseball a bit) but it's obscene that NBC is using AI to mimic sportscaster Al Michaels' voice for TV coverage of this year's Summer Olympics. 

The American Climate Corps is finally under way — a mere whisper of what's needed, but it's unfake good news against climate change, and that's mighty rare. 

As anyone thinking about it would've expected, banning abortion in Texas has caused higher infant mortality. The pro-life monsters' response, of course, will be no response at all.

Very obviously (so obviously I hesitate to type it), they're anti-woman, not pro-life.

There's no pretending I have any understanding of what's going on in Greece, but jeez this is nuts:

They're claiming they're so short of workers, companies need a six-day work week, and "employers are permitted to require staff to work up to two unpaid hours per day for a limited period in return for more free time." From across the ocean, my response would be to walk. 

The policeman, as always, remains your fiend.

All the cops haves to do is dial up the Post Office and say please, and they'll send photos of all your incoming mail.

♦ ♦ ♦  

Please be aware how rare this is — a few cops have been held individually responsible for their misconduct! 

Each of the four protesters was awarded $20,000 in compensatory damages from the city, with the remainder coming in the form of punitive damages levied in various amounts — all exceeding $60,000 — to be paid by the officers individually. 

♦ ♦ ♦ 

Ain't it curious that it takes four years and an investigative news source to ascertain that the cop in a fatal wreck was driving way over the speed limit, in a lane going the opposite direction?

And it takes some serious hypocrisy for cops to try shifting the blame to the innocent dead woman, driving at the legal speed limit and in the correct direction. But no worries — cops have a steady supply of serious hypocrisy.

⚡ LINKS FOR THINKS ⚡ 

The Supreme Court just lit a match and tossed it into dozens of federal agencies 

The steep price of Julian Assange's freedom 

⚰️  DEAD PEOPLE  ⚰️

Jewel Brown
sang with Louis Armstrong's band 

Bill Cobbs
actor, Night at the Museum 

Kinky Friedman
singer-songwriter, "They Ain't Makin' Jews Like Jesus Any More"

Leah Levin
good guy 

Don Madden
cartoonist 

Jonathan Morano
writer, The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson

  6/28/2024   

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, Bleepity-Bleep, Breakfast at Ralf's, Chuff, Dirty Blonde Mind, It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time, Lemmy.world, Looking for My Perfect Sandwich, A Sudden Violent Jerk, Mr Souza's Happy Place, 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.

41 comments:

  1. Unfortunately, that wasn't republican spin regarding Biden's debate performance. He was laugh out loud bad, including one memorable rambling *answer* to an abortion questions that had him saying woman were getting raped by in-laws and spouses and brothers and sisters, and when you try to arrest them, they cross state lines. He had me howling with laughter, and then feeling terribly sorry for him during his numerous freeze-ups.

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    1. Well, that sounds unpleasant for the old fart, and perhaps for all of America. You saw it, so what do you think — was he still there just having a bad night, or has he mentally moved back to Delaware?

      Still gotta say, what are our choices? Even if Biden is senile, slobbering, in a coma, diapered dead and taxidermied, he's better than Trump intentionally trying to dismantle what little of America ain't worth dismantling.

      Delete
    2. It's been painfully clear for awhile now that Biden is unfit for the job. Our choice is an easy one. Let America have her Trump. Let's be real, life was not noticeably different whether Obama, Trump or Biden was president. Tougher now for some women to get an abortion. What else? A few minor differences. American is need of radical change. But the sheeple are so distracted, and still have relative comfort, they have to have real hardship before they will demand meaningful change, real government. A people that were in pain and wanted real government would not send Greene, Boebert, Gaetz, Trump to represent them. Not enough Americans suffer yet. Not enough fentanyl zombies, not enough suicides, not enough hungry people. Too many people still have enough credit to buy Only Fans porn. They deserve Trump. Hopefully he has enough energy left in him to do what he says he wants to do. A Trump content to sit in the White House eating McDonalds and watching TV would be a missed opportunity.

      Delete
    3. America is in need of a radical, 360° change in dang near every way, and Old Man Joe is never going to be or support a solution, since he'd the embodiment of the problem.

      Trump is worse, yeah, and I see your argument that worse is better. Maybe it's true. I have no arguments against you.

      It's just that I have five or ten years left if I'm lucky, and that's long enough for a fascist state to ban my politics and atheism, and have me executed.

      Delete
    4. That's the real *American Dream* for us: everything sucks, but as long as we can eat our can of beans and watch Tubi, we'll stick with being door mats for the Elites.

      Delete
    5. We're all doormats for the elites, until we're dead. We're allowed to complain about it, but never allowed to escape it. Best we can hope for is slightly better beans.

      Delete
    6. During the replay, I clipped a bit of the debate from my phone to show a friend who wasn't watching and was asking how bad it was. I watched it back and then deleted it. It's just sad. Not that Biden was my girl, ever, or that he had such a great life that it's depressing to see, but watching anyone whose body fails them makes me feel bad for them. It's humbling and it should be.

      He's been this way for awhile, that much is beyond question. But he has managed to put in some good people in good spots (some bad people in bad spots too) that has probably resulted in more good moves than any president in my lifetime. Expanding the room for labor organizing, punishing employers that try to sabotage elections, and the anti-trust work of Lina Khan and the FTC is more than the most powerful government in the history of the world has ever done for its people. Probably more since anyone since Roosevelt. Sad huh?

      Sadder is almost nobody knows about that stuff because the bad people in bad spots are almost ashamed that this guy is doing things for Amazon workers and garbagemen and against the MegaCorps they plan to become VP of Comms at in 2027. All that stuff will stop dead if the other guy is in.

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    7. Any small decent things Biden did are insignificant compared to his despicable actions in arming Ukraine and Israel. The war in Ukraine would certainly have ended long ago without his enabling Zelensky. And the loudest laugh I have had in quite some time was when Trump called Biden a Palestinian! Biden has remained bent over for Israel for months, he even calls campus protests against Israel *anti-semitism.* Shameful.

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    8. In Biden I see, sorry Granville but, just another politician vaguely of "the left," which means the middle of the road, since America isn't allowed an actual left. He's done some good things, but only accidentally, at about the same rate as the bad and awful things he's done. The only *passion* that drives him is that he's always wanted to be president.

      Now he's president, but it took longer than he'd hoped and he's old and flailing and it's sad, but what's sadder is that he might take us all down with him.

      Delete
    9. Helping plucky Ukraine hasn't angered me as much as helping feisty Israel, but I'm less foreign in my interests and more domestic. Rarely know enough about international affairs to know what I'm talking about, so I mostly keep mum.

      Agreed on Israel and maybe you're right about Ukraine. In both places, it's ugly now and it'll still be ugly when it's over and it's never really going to be over.

      I'd just say, anything America does on the world stage should be seen with skepticism, and any cause America's for should be suspect.

      Delete
    10. Hey my feelings aren't hurt, he's not my guy and never was and I'm very surprised by many of the things his appointments have accomplished. Making it easier to organize in the workplace is an unalloyed good for humanity. Some of these things were so basic it's criminal they were never in practice before. For instance, if an employer was found to have illegally interfered in an election by organizing workers, they simply ran the election over again. There was zero incentive for them to behave. Now, any employer found to have done that automatically loses. Basic stuff that made union organizing feasible again.

      But I put a huge amount of emphasis on union organizing as the only way to stop, or at least resist, a whole lot of horrors being unleashed.

      Delete
    11. Trump wants a 10% import tax and wants to substantially reduce the highest marginal income tax rates. Joe wants to raise the income and inheritance tax rates for the wealthy and sees the world as a global marketplace. If I didn't already know that Joe is a good and decent man, those facts would cause me to vote for him. I don't care how loud he can shout. I don't like shouting.

      John

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    12. Granville, I hadn't had the unionization election thing explained to me until now, and it sounds pretty dang fine. Couldn't agree more on the importance of union organizing. For lots of people, 'politics' is distant and feels irrelevant, but the politics of the paycheck and workplace hits home.

      John, I've been watching Joe Biden for (feels like) all my life, and I'm not convinced "Joe wants to raise the income and inheritance tax rates for the wealthy." What he wants is to be seen as wanting to raise income and inheritance tax rates for the wealthy, which is almost the same thing but not quite.

      Delete
    13. I don't blame "media" for not publicizing these things. Ishmael Reed once wrote that that their primary role in American history was to raise lynch mobs; their second was probably to break unions. But I am annoyed that Biden's team has done so little to amplify this stuff. 70% of Americans are pro-union; 10% actually belong to one. So it's welcome news but you'll largely only find it in dot-gov blog posts and legal sites.

      Here's the one about elections. Google Cemex + union and again you'll see a lot of info but almost entirely on obscure sources:

      https://www.nlrb.gov/news-outreach/news-story/board-issues-decision-announcing-new-framework-for-union-representation

      The media would have no trouble explaining this one: if bosses cheat in an election to organize a union, then fuck them, the union is automatically recognized. Before this, they could cheat with impunity and did, and counted on the understaffed NLRB not to notice (the headcount at the NLRB was almost halved from Bush II to Trump; it ticked up by 20% under Biden).

      They just don't want to explain it and Biden's team, probably due to being whitebread as fuck and wanting to slide into to a plum job in tech like Team Obama had waiting for them, has done a shitty job telling people about it.

      Delete
    14. For a long time even before Biden was Prez, Dems have done a piss-poor job marketing their successes and themselves. Almost like they don't want to rudely interrupt the Republicans' storytelling with a contrary view or a set of genuine facts.

      Yeah, most Americans are pro-union, pro-civil rights, pro-democracy and rule of law, but the Dems are so darn polite that even when they bring up such stuff, they soft-pedal it.

      Maybe I'm too hard on Biden. I don't think he's evil. He seems like a decent fellow, he just has no willingness to do or say what's needed, and maybe he's faded so far he no longer even has the ability.

      Blows the wax right outta my ears that despite everything going on and the obviousness of Trump's severe unfitness for any position of responsibility, he might win in November. And that's entirely on the Democrats' half-ass salesmanship.

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    15. I think Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are pretty good salespeople. And Biden took progressive positions in the Senate for something like six terms. I suspect that the people who speak for the Democrats just think democracy and equality are self-evident and don't need to be sold. You treat your neighbors well, you treat strangers well and sooner or later the strangers will become your neighbors.

      You can vote for that or vote for the godfather of a global crime family. That has to be sold, and THAT is the sad thing.

      John

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    16. To say Biden took progressive positions in the Senate is to ignore all the times he didn't, which were lots. He has the advantage of having *sometimes* done the right thing, which his opponent never has.

      Delete
  2. The Rolling Stone -- allegedly a music publication -- omitted to say that Kinky toured as part of Dylan's band for nearly four years. They also forgot to mention that when Nelson Mandela was imprisoned on Robben Island, the guards were able to sneak a music tape to him every night, and that every night he requested inclusion of a Kinky Friedman song. RS also failed to mention that after Kinky's parents died, he turned the Echo Hills Ranch into a shelter for neglected and abused animals, and that he somehow got Willie Nelson to put on an annual show to raise funds for the operation of Echo Hills and care of the animals there.

    I think I have all 20 of Kinky's books in my modest library (there isn't a clunker in the bunch) and several of his mystery novels were best sellers.

    Here's Kinky's song "Marilyn and Joe". The song starts 1:06 in, so skip the first minute.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1i0Z9NZ7SW8

    There are very few people of whom it can be said, "He was one of a kind." I've been a Kinky Friedman fan for fifty years, and he was one of a kind.

    John

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  3. Doug, the song you might be referring to on the Kinky Friedman obit item is "They Ain't Makin' Jews Like Jesus Anymore". Unfortunately, yours doesn't scan. Since this is the unofficial National Anthem of Israel, it should.

    Shalom,

    johnthebasket

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    1. Kinky deserved a better bio and more fame, and yessir, "Marilyn and Joe" is another fine song from his long list of fine songs.

      I mentioned his death to my nephew, a man who's into sarcasm and punk and should've been in the front row of Mr Friedman's audience, but he only said, "Who's that?" It's a sadness it's not more of a sadness to more people.

      And thank you; I have corrected my mistake of the title, or almost, but even though it's what he wrote, I can't accept 'anymore' as one word.

      Delete
    2. Thanks for fixing the part I was concerned about. I don't care how many words you break any more in to. As a serious fan of Kinky's songwriting, playing and singing, storytelling, books, fights against animal cruelty and injustice, and love of cats, I will sleep easier knowing that he will be remembered, at least for a while, as a guy who lived in a small green trailer on a piece of land that his family used to give a summer ranch experience to kids who had lost a parent to war or had otherwise grown to need a couple of weeks of peace in their lives. Kinky never worked a 9 to 5 job, but he spent a fair amount of his life working for peace as a Peace Corps volunteer in his youth to a friend in peace of Nelson Mandela as he aged. Fortunately, many of Kinky's thoughts and ideas about how to live a rich live without getting rich are captured in the twenty-some books he wrote. I appreciate your giving him some column inches.

      John

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    3. Ah, I've never given him the attention he clearly deserves, just listened to some songs, that's all, and liked 'em all.

      I'm tempted to check out a Kinky novel, but I already have a stack of books unread, some of which are still unopened in the package that came in the mail.

      Hoping to do more reading of more books in this new and improved life of retirement, if it ever comes to pass. What's Mr Friedman's best fiction?

      Delete
    4. The early ones are best:

      A Case of Lone Star
      When the Cat's Away
      Greenwich Killing Time
      Frequent Flyer

      But any of the detective novels are good. Maybe something later like Roadkill.

      John

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    5. Are they a series, with the same character, or all stand-alone detective stories?

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    6. A dozen or so feature the same amateur detective, Kinky Friedman, based on an actual incident where he rescued a young lady who was being robbed at a cash machine. Only Kinky, a man who never punched a time clock, could turn that happenstance into a well-written detective series. The series also features a number of New York characters, including the upstairs lesbian and Kinky's cat Cuddles.

      I'm a detective fiction guy: read all of Hammett, much of Chandler, and all of Stout. Kinky's not them, but he gives them a run for their money.

      John

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    7. One more thing: The detective Kinky Friedman and the real Kinky Friedman both smoke Cuban cigars. He always says, "I'm not supporting their economy -- I'm burning their fields."

      I punched a clock for fifty years: I guess I needed a hero who never had a regular job.

      John

      Delete
    8. Well, you got me. I almost bought one, but I'm still a man with no income so I placed a hold with the library.

      Delete
  4. Movies take you on a journey; books make you smarter.

    jtb

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  5. Two old men representing two dying ideologies competing for the presidency of the United States...

    The only thing that unites these two groups is their absolute devotion to the capitalist imperative of continual economic growth.

    Both of these ideologies are dying. They are dying because neither of them can or will face the actual future.

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    1. Sounds like the "both sides do it" doctrine, which is true but often misleading, and often intentionally, especially in an election year.

      Both ideologies and both candidates suck, but they do not suck to a similar extent. It's important that less-sucky candidate wins.

      Delete
    2. Not unlike the 1934 election in Germany. You think socialism is the answer? I suspect that depends on the question. I'm voting for Biden.

      John

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    3. . . . and if you think Trump is running on a ideology, you need to pay closer attention.

      John

      Delete
    4. Yeah, I'm voting for Biden too, but with no enthusiasm. There's never any enthusiasm for lukewarm milk.

      Delete
    5. My sneaking suspicion is that your vote with no enthusiasm and my vote with only slightly more enthusiasm will count the same as Mrs. Biden's vote.

      jtb

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    6. What worries me is, how many millions will have so little enthusiasm, they'll find something else to do on November 5.

      Delete
    7. If there's a 55% turnout, Republicans win. If there's a 60% turnout, Democrats win. Anything more than 60% and Democrats win in a landslide.

      Nobody is enthusiastic about Biden. Without voter enthusiasm he doesn't win.

      Delete
    8. The Biden team's latest plan to survive this is to be a "populist" and the man who was elected to the Senate before I was born is taking on those "elitists." Just wow, man. You wonder if these people have ever met an actual American not employed by a campaign before.

      I don't view my vote as a precious thing, it's just a very minor lever that I try to use for my advantage. Ironically it has the most impact in the primary and downballot - the races most people don't bother to show up for. But I don't find this vote very hard at all, though I hope it's for someone who is still a functioning human being in the same way that you and I are functioning human beings.

      Delete
    9. One vote means nothing, especially one vote in a Presidential election in a state that's decidedly already decided. Here in Washington, Biden will win by millions of votes so he might not get mine. If I still lived in Wisconsin, where the election is up for grabs, I'd be a reliable Biden voter, but still my vote wouldn't matter. We're mites on the hairs on the dingleberries on democracy's ass. It's sticky!

      Delete
    10. But yeah, enthusiasm matters, and Biden generates none.

      Delete

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