Friday, April 29, 2016

How Could Anyone Get Violent at a Trump Rally?




The question here is, why doesn't this happen every minute of every day and why don't these people save us the trouble and just punch themselves in the face?

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

You Can't Fight City Hall




People like to think they can make a difference:

Human
waste dumped

A bag of human waste was reported dumped at 2:50 p.m. Monday at Albert Lea City Hall. The incident reportedly happened shortly before 10 a.m.

I don't want to make a wild guess, but I think it was someone who is unhappy with the current direction of the city as a whole and probably not someone who set down their bag of human waste and forgot it.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Shaddup




No one ever considers this possibility--what if they were horrible singers and the cop was just trying to spare everyone else?

A group of North Carolina middle-schoolers were allegedly told by security guards at the 9/11 Memorial in New York City to stop singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” during a Friday visit. According to the kids’ teacher, the New York Post reported Monday, the guards implored the students to cease singing because it would be considered a “public demonstration,” something that requires a permit at the site of the 2001 attacks. Video of the truncated anthem shows the choir of wide-eyed kids singing before security guards interrupt and begin speaking with the music teacher, identified as Martha Brown.

I mean, damn, son. Middle schoolers can't sing. And whatever happened to showing reverence? It's not about you, after all. It's about something else sometimes.

Friday, April 22, 2016

They Are Full of Crap in Utah




Utah has declared war on pornography at just the right time for Ted Cruz to speak up and say something that will make everyone sick to their stomach. Just how much of a "public health crisis" is pornography? Not so damned much.

Biological examinations of so-called “porn addiction” have generally been fruitless. A2015 neuroscience study published in Biological Psychology found that electrical activity in the brains of people who felt their porn usage was problematic looked nothing like the patterns found in the brains of actual addicts. That didn’t stop the Utah state legislature from declaring that “recent research indicates that pornography is potentially biologically addictive.”

Why might someone believe in “porn addiction” without supporting evidence? Recentresearch in the Archives of Sexual Behavior has shown that “religiosity is robustly predictive of perceived [pornography] addiction.” This perception of addiction is unrelated to actual use. In other words, a religious person who watches pornography once a week is probably more likely to consider himself “addicted” than an atheist who indulges every night.

Relevant here is the fact that most Utah state legislators are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and that one of the most frequently cited figures in anti-porn pseudoscience is Donald Hilton, a Mormon neurosurgeon. The Mormon Church itself has endorsed the concepts of “sexual addiction” and “porn addiction,” treating them under a 12-step model in its Addiction Recovery Program.

It does take a great deal of faith to believe many of the other unscientific claims in SCR9.

For instance, the resolution contends that pornography “can impact brain development.” This claim might appear credible based on a 2014 study that found an association between porn use and gray matter volume in one region of the brain but even the authors of the study note that the relationship may not be causal. The decreased gray matter volume, the authors acknowledge, could simply be “a precondition that makes pornography consumption more rewarding,” rather than a result of frequent viewing over time.

This is about codifying values and not so much about actually taking care of people. This is about modifying behavior through the imposition of values that not everyone shares. 

We have a mental health crisis in this country, that's a given. But there are two contributing factors to how this crisis threatens us as a nation. One, we don't spend enough money to take care of the mentally ill--that's a value judgement made by inept politicians who don't want to see their budgets go haywire and force them to tax the wealthy. Second, we allow too many mentally ill people access to guns because we don't have the courage to change those laws.

And porn is supposed to be an issue here? The puns write themselves--come on.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

This is Not the Last You Will Hear of Him




I can't wait to see how all of these scores will be settled:

Corey Lewandowski, Donald Trump’s campaign manager and notorious arm-grabber, has been demoted to a body man and a scheduler, according to a CBS News report. Paul Manafort, who was hired last week, will now run the GOP presidential frontrunner’s campaign in his stead. The number of staffers that report directly to Lewandowski, known for a history of yelling at employees and making demeaning comments to women, has been reduced considerably. The campaign’s national field director, Stuart Jolly, also resigned Monday.

Whoever "moved" Lewandowski out of his role and into his new one will be destroyed before the new moon if not sooner. This man operates as if the world is his personal toilet. He does not care what happens to the toilet because he's renting the house and the landlord is an asshole. He is a media-savvy Millennial and he knows how to dig the holes where the bodies will be buried.

Trump could not fire this man; that would be too dangerous. He has to be eased into something else and then handled carefully for the next twenty years. Lewandowski is something so toxic that he is beyond unemployable. He is someone you should never, ever come into contact with or form a business relationship with because he is a force unto himself. He will consume everything before him just as would a cloud of locusts.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Hillary Ruined Haiti? Give Me A Break




Come on, try harder:

Much of the blame for Haiti’s chaotic political scene can be pinned on Hillary Clinton’s State Department, whose handpicked president has only made things worse.

Last week Haiti’s Electoral Council postponed the nation’s current presidential election indefinitely. The present chaos is a fitting coda to the recent presidency of Michel Martelly, a novice politician who governed accordingly.

Amid the current upheaval, the name Mirlande Manigat is well worth recalling. As Haiti struggled to dig out from the disastrous 2010 earthquake, Manigat stood poised to become its first elected female president—until Hillary Clinton’s State Department intervened.

A former First Lady of Haiti and a respected university administrator, Manigat invoked Brazil’s Lula as she ran on a moderately left-wing platform championing universal public education. Manigat, who holds a Ph.D. from the Sorbonne, also campaigned in the U.S., detailing at length her vision for Haiti.

This is another ridiculous hit piece on Secretary Clinton's tenure at State. First of all, no one ruined Haiti - Haiti was already ruined. Second, she championed someone who let the NGOs come in and try to help. Third, she opposed a Sorbonne-educated candidate who, umm, went to New York City to campaign for the presidency of Haiti because that's where the money was. She made a judgement call based on what she was being told by the State Department's people in the region--the professionals who understand diplomacy.

So, in effect, you have someone criticizing Hillary because she rejected the candidate who was wallowing in outside money raised in another country. Tell me again how her ties to corrupt people are supposed to "disqualify" her from the presidency?

When it comes to Haiti, steel yourself for heartbreak. There have never been any great options for the place so blaming Hillary is really stretching it. Next up- an expose from Slate on how everything that went wrong everywhere in the world until modern times was also Hillary's fault.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Not Entirely Fair Reporting




The University of Missouri is hemorrhaging students:

Following a drop in students applying for housing, the University of Missouri will not be placing students in two dorms for the fall 2016 semester.

Mizzou will be closing the Respect and Excellence halls (ironic names, given the circumstances) in order to utilize dorm space "in the most efficient manner" to keep costs down.

In March, the university announced that it saw a sharp drop in admissions for the coming school year, and will have 1,500 fewer students. This will lead to a $32 million budget shortfall for the school, prompting the need to close the dorms in order to save money.

Of course, these two things won't happen:

1. They won't touch their endowment to make up the budget shortfall in a meaningful way.

2. They will blame former professor Melissa Click because she's the ready-made face of racial and social unrest at the university.

If the leadership at the school had been competent in any way, shape, or form, they would have already had in place a plan to deal with racial disputes between students. Instead, they were caught sitting on their hands. Now, nobody wants to go to school there.

What a shock.

And what's funny about this piece by Ashe Schow is that it reads like a condemnation of the students who decided that they were sick of going to a school where racism was ignored.  Hey, asshole--here's how capitalism really works. When you don't respond to your customers, they vote with their feet. The University of Missouri is about to learn how things really work.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Good to Know




In the midst of the worst banking scandal since the worldwide crash of 2008, you have this little nugget of wisdom:

The CEO of Austrian bank Hypo Landesbank Vorarlberg resigned Thursday, following the release of 11.5 million documents from a Panama law firm accused of setting up secret offshore accounts to evade scrutiny. According to local news, the bank was one of the many institutions around the globe named in the documents released. Executive Michael Grahammer said he was “100 percent convinced that the bank broke no laws or violated sanctions” but that he was still leaving the company, due to an alleged misrepresentation in the media. Prime Minister Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson of Iceland stepped away—but did not resign—from his post on Tuesday following protests over allegations that he and his wife own an undisclosed tax haven-based company with large claims on some of the country’s collapsed banks. In a new interview with The Wall Street Journal, Mossack Fonseca partner J├╝rgen Mossack also denied wrongdoing and said the controversy wouldn’t change its business model. “We’re not going to stop the services and go plant bananas or something,” he said.

That's good to know, but can you make money with a banana tree plantation nowadays? And don't you think that the shareholders of Mossack Fonseca are feeling a little nervous when they hear flip answers from the man in charge?

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The New Republic is Hiring

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="800.0"]  via Gawker  via Gawker [/caption]


Are you looking for a gig handling the Twitter account of a media empire that has seen better days? The New Republic is going to be hiring, soon...

Friday, April 1, 2016

Fewer and Fewer Bums Out There




Thanks to President Obama, there are fewer bums out there:

The rest of the world economy and Wall Street may have been shaky, but American employers were full steam ahead in March, adding a stronger-than-expected 215,000 jobs, according to new figures Friday from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Average hourly wages rose 0.3 percent, up from the 0.1 percent registered in February. However, the unemployment rate edged up to 5 percent, a slight bump from 4.9 percent a month ago. So far this year, average monthly job gain have averaged out at 209,000.

Now, there may be an uptick of hobos, but that simply means that Obamacare has given them the option of spending the summer on the lam from all the railroad dicks out there because they know that if they take a truncheon to the throat, they can spend a month in County Hospital eating that spread.

I used to think I would end up sleeping under a bridge, using the railroad tracks as a sidewalk. What happened to my dream? How did I end up respectable and bathed?