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Later, ‘gator!

Intermission

We leave for Boston in the morning to attend this year’s Go Congress, followed by a last-minute mini-vacay in Montreal, where we will meet the Astas’ school friends 1  who, accompagné par les parents, are abroad visiting relatives.

All things equal and the ReThugs don’t riot, we’ll be back mid-August; as always posts will be somewhat intermittent and of dubious quality. in other words… 2

Stay frosty.

Later, 'gator!

Show 2 footnotes

  1. And quite possibly rob a bank while we’re there; tuition costs are freaking soaring!
  2. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

Boston

Registration for the Congress starts in about two and half hours. I’m totally psyched; think I have a pretty good chance in the lower kyu pairings this year. Time will tell…

Boston, or more aptly Cambridge, seems to my eye to have changed very little. Part of that is the numerous colleges here; there’s far less realty growth/change in this area of the city. But a large part is due to the Charles. The river seems timeless, a rippling constant winding through the city’s commercial ebb and flow.

Kyzr Willis, the 7-year-old boy who disappeared from a city-run day camp hours before being discovered, drowned, on a South Boston beach earlier this week, is a hot topic of conversation, of course. Tempers are still running high. However, this being Boston, the Tom Brady “controversy” is getting plenty of equal time – will Belichick start Brady in Week 5! Really really pissed-off minds are loudly demanding answers!

But what’s got the local Tupperware social media crowd abuzz is reddit user MBTAhole, who innocently posted the following: “What’s the worst goddamn restaurant downtown?  Looking for some great bad recommendations to give to my shithead brother-in-law who self-identifies as a foodie.” Everywhere I went yesterday someone was talking, in that uniquely gawddamned aggressively loud Boston voice about the topic.

I don’t have an opinion other than to note that any restaurant that still slides a scoop of those infamously nasty Boston baked beans onto your plate, even with freaking breakfast, is a contender. My favorite reddit “recommendation” is this: “Is Jerry Remy’s in the seaport still open? Guaranteed food poisoning.”

Boston

Trump’s Chemtrails

chemtrails
This nicely sums up the Trump voter: suckers for conspiracy theories 1 who believe a well-know grifter’s meaningless campaign slogan about a time that never really existed in America.

Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy election…

Trump's Chemtrails

Show 1 footnote

  1. And yet anthropogenic climate change is too unbelievable for these same people.

Lees and Orts

Public editors, or ombudsmen if you like, never teeming to begin with, are becoming even rarer.

Recently the Star‘s public editor, Derek Donovan, went on a six month hiatus. At this announcement Donovan and I had a brief tête-à-tête in the comments section of the newspaper.  My position was that public editors served both readers and their papers far better, as well as improved public trust, by taking an adversarial stance toward their papers, rather than defending the paper per se.

Donovan’s mild response was that the public editor at the Star was not structured that way. 1

I suppose, given Donovan’s bread is thinly buttered by the Star, that’s a not unexpected, if disappointing, response. However it pales in comparison to NYT public editor Liz Spayd’s recent naval gazing:

WHAT’S happening at The Times isn’t only about The Times. It’s part of a fracturing media environment that reflects a fractured country. That in turn leads liberals and conservatives toward separate news sources. A Pew Research Center survey two years ago found that liberals are flocking to The Times, with 65 percent of its readers possessing political values that were left of center.

Does that mean The Times should write off conservatives and make a hard play for the left and perhaps center left? I hope that question is not on the table. It would change everything about what the paper is and the force of its journalism.

Imagine what would be missed by journalists who felt no pressing need to see the world through others’ eyes. Imagine the stories they might miss, like the groundswell of isolation that propelled a candidate like Donald Trump to his party’s nomination. Imagine a country where the greatest, most powerful newsroom in the free world was viewed not as a voice that speaks to all but as one that has taken sides.

Or has that already happened?

This is at the tail end of an article where Spayd examined, and refuted, the “librul only” charge often held against the paper. Moreover it’s useful to weigh statements like “Imagine the stories they might miss, like the groundswell of isolation that propelled a candidate like Donald Trump to his party’s nomination” against their necessary origins: The fact that reporters found the Trump phenomenon as an irrational behavior that NEEDED explaining.

It seems these days much of the right-leaning conservative public believes that every news organ, to include the Star, needs to present all news with the ‘fair and unbiased’ clarity of Fox News.

The rest of us believe public editors need to forcefully make the distinction between news and opinion rather than waffling about with the both-siderism that muddles public thinking.

Lees and Orts

Meanwhile, over in Too Much Time on Their Hands Land, we get this:

Alerting all parents! Nickelodeon Kid’s Network plans to feature a family with two dads in the animated show “The Loud House.” The series, which centers around the life of Lincoln Loud and his ten sisters, will be the first Nickelodeon show in history to feature a married same-sex couple. The gay couple will make their debut on Wednesday, July 20, at 5:00 p.m. ET/ 4:00 p.m. CT during the episode “Overnight Success.” The married gay couple is revealed while dropping off their child Clyde at the Loud residence for a slumber party.

Yes, that’s right: Something called One Million Moms is calling for a boycott of a cartoon because one of the child cartoon characters will have gay cartoon parents.

You can’t make this fuckin’ shit up… 2

Lees and Orts

Trae Crowder on the just past RNC clusterfuck in Cleveland:

Lees and Orts

Filed this one under Teh Stoopid Runs Downhill. One of the largest newspapers along Mexico’s border with Texas is calling for a border wall.

The editorial board of El Mañana, one of the largest newspapers in the border state of Tamaulipas, penned a piece called “Yes to the Border Wall … but in Mexico’s South.” The piece praises the idea of a border wall, not on the border with Mexico, but on the border with Central America.

So Mexico also has an illegal immigration issue, and like the US, a portion of the populace has opted for Trump’s scare-mongering tactics, with the paper referring to the problem as “the new invasion”.

Seems like Trump’s infecting even things he just talks about…

Lees and Orts

Show 2 footnotes

  1. For your edification, the generally agreed upon definition of a public editor: “The job of the public editor is to supervise the implementation of proper journalism ethics at a newspaper, and to identify and examine critical errors or omissions, and to act as a liaison to the public.”
  2. I suspect that some Millennial barista/app-coder could retire on the billions of dollars earned from an app allowing One Million Moms to throw cartoon bricks at cartoons they don’t approve of on teh TV.

Oh to be gay and Republican in Cleveland

Yet another instance of the ReThug’s Family Values:

It’s been a great week for gay escorts in Cleveland.

Male prostitutes contacted by The Post said business is booming and Republican National Convention attendees — most of them married — are clamoring for their services.

“Business has been way better. I’ve seen 10 clients so far,” one male escort said.

“Most of them were first-timers. You could tell they were nervous, but once they became more comfortable, they seemed to be having a good time.”

Another escort said he had already earned $1,600 since Monday — over six times the amount he usually makes…

One gigolo who charges $250 an hour said he’s been making about $800 per day since the convention kicked off — all from men visiting from Florida, Louisiana and Washington, DC.

“Usually I need to go out of town,” he said with a chuckle.

Most men paid to have sex, but one client requested to “do his business in the corner” while watching his wife in bed with the escort…

“The Republicans have a lot of delegates in the closet, let’s put it that way.”

Oh to be gay and Republican in Cleveland

Au Courant

This week’s au courant links:

And finally, Neil Armstrong narrates the Apollo 11 moon landing:

Au Courant

Tim Kaine

So. Tim Kaine.

My preference, given it’s Hillary as the nominee, would have been Tom Perez.

I don’t suppose Kaine is a bad choice; He speaks fluent Spanish, he’s a moderate well-liked by the media and he’s qualified to be president. Most importantly, Hillary is comfortable with him, which is another way of saying he’s willing to stay in the background except when he’ll have to step forward to be thrown under the occasional bus.

I doubt this will cause any significant bump in the polls ne way or another; Kaine won’t be setting policy, so his beliefs on hot-button issues are already null and void.

Even then, should Hillary take ill and pass away with Kaine sitting in the VP slot, it appears that the make-up of Congress will allow no significant bill to make it through, what with the ReThug’s continued guerrilla actions and the Dem’s likelihood of gaining seats in the Senate.

One of the reasons I like Perez –besides his obvious intelligence– is it would not put a Senate seat at risk. Yes, Virginia’s governor is a Democrat, but…You know.

Also, it means a lily-white ticket in November. A Perez choice would have been stronger in that direction.

Meh – no one asked me, but I suspect the ticket will suffice in November.

Tim Kaine

Kris Kobach’s RNC Platform

Shortly after Il Douche finished up with his dystopian ranting last night, I went back and perused the 2016 GOP platform.

Kris Kobach, at least as much as Brownback, is responsible for the majority of Kansan’s pain and suffering. And he’s been attempting for over a decade to expand that misery to the rest of the nation: He was a member of the GOP platform committees back in both 2008 and 2012. But this was the first year Kobach was part of finalizing the planks and he made the most of it, knowing full well that Trump could care less what’s in the platform. The entire document is a scary right-wing fantasy, but, again,  you can read it for yourself; I’m just going to touch on the “drug” portions here. The first comes under the Criminal Justice portion:

The progress made over the last three decades against drug abuse is eroding, whether for cultural reasons or for lack of national leadership. In many jurisdictions, marijuana is virtually legalized despite its illegality under federal law. At the other end of the drug spectrum, heroin use nearly doubled from 2003 to 2013, while deaths from heroin have quadrupled. All this highlights the continuing conflicts and contradictions in public attitudes and public policy toward illegal substances. Congress and a new administration should consider the long- range implications of these trends for public health and safety and prepare to deal with the problematic consequences.

The misuse of prescription painkillers — opioids — is a related problem. Heroin and opioid abuse touches our communities, our homes, and our families in ways that have grave effects on Americans in every community. With a quadrupling of both their sales and their overdose deaths, the opioid crisis is ravaging communities all over the country, often hitting rural areas harder than urban. Because over-prescription of drugs is such a large part of the problem, Republican legislation now allows Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage plans to limit patients to a single pharmacy. Congressional Republicans have also called upon the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to ensure that no physician will be penalized for limiting opioid prescriptions. We look for expeditious agreement between the House and Senate on the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, which addresses the opioid epidemic from both the demand and supply sides of the problem.

And that’s it, folks! No prescriptive language, much less acknowledgment that the above issues could easily solved by finally legalizing drugs at the federal level – we just posted an item on the efficacy of marijuana and the causal relationship between that and a drop in prescription opioids. ReThugs aren’t into actually solving America’s problems, they just want to nag…

O.k., o.k., o.k. – there’s a couple more after thoughts elsewhere (dealing with veterans and Mexico, of all things.

Over-prescription of opioids has become a nationwide problem hindering the treatment of veterans suffering from mental health issues. We therefore support the need to explore new and broader ranges of options, including faith-based programs 1 2 that will better serve the veteran and reduce the need to rely on drugs as the sole treatment…

Seriously, didn’t I just cover that?

We thank our neighbors in Mexico and Canada who have been our partners in the fight against terrorism and the war on drugs. The Mexican people deserve our assistance as they bravely resist the drug cartels that traffic in death on both sides of our border.

Were I Mexican I would be beyond affronted; since 2007 more Mexicans have died for America’s drug habit than have died fighting in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

And that is the extent of the GOP’s drug policy. All in all the rest of the document reads like a evangelical Christian Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei’s repressed sex fantasy.

Legalize drugs, work on the concomitant medical and social issues surrounding it (like alcoholism) and end 40 some-odd years of regressive and idiotic policy. Not to mention the needless deaths. Fucking morons.

For the nonce someone should horsewhip Kobach and all his ilk, tar and feather them and run them out of public life for good.

Kris Kobach's RNC Platform

Show 2 footnotes

  1. I’m sure the AMA will quickly endorse faith-based programs to relieve pain, having solid data on faith-based abstinence and faith-based MS relief to draw from.
  2. And…hey, wait a minute! Doesn’t Trump, along with 45% of ReThugs favor medicinal marijuana? Why, yes, Virginia, they do! Though Trump’s opinion varies dependent on the time and day you ask him, as well as how thoroughly baked he is.