re Sutherland Springs

Yaaaawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwn.

Apparently some “madman” took an assault rifle into a church and killed a buncha people.

Again.

Whatever, right? The act of mass murder (and why the authorities have not labeled this ‘incident’ an act of terrorism is beyond us) has become as American as mom and apple pie. Who cares; flip the channel and let’s watch supposedly mature men do permanent damage to themselves, right? Listen to Texas AG Paxton double down on teh stoopid:

Riiiiiiiiiiiiight.

Again with the litany:

If we’re down with killing kindergartner’s, double-fuck a buncha CW fans.

See here.

See here.

And here.

And here.

And here.

And here.

Or here or here or here or here or here or…you get the idea.

There’s no sense in writing anything new about America’s insane love affair with guns; we’re not Australia, we won’t do the right thing. 1 2

re Sutherland Springs

Show 2 footnotes

  1. Instead we’ll continue to ignore the situation, hoping it will just go away. Hey – it’s worked so far… Right?
  2. It’s a crying shame Steve Scalise and his ilk weren’t present at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino; maybe being shot multiple times at multiple venues would wake those fuckers up.

Tupperware Happenings

Social media analyst Jonathan Albright got a call from Facebook the day after he published research last week showing that the reach of the Russian disinformation campaign was almost certainly larger than the company had disclosed. While the company had said 10 million people read Russian-bought ads, Albright had data suggesting that the audience was at least double that — and maybe much more — if ordinary free Facebook posts were measured as well.

Albright welcomed the chat with three company officials. But he was not pleased to discover that they had done more than talk about their concerns regarding his research. They also had scrubbed from the Internet nearly everything — thousands of Facebook posts and the related data — that had made the work possible.

Never again would he or any other researcher be able to run the kind of analysis he had done just days earlier.

Well, that’s convenient.

Tupperware Happenings
Meanwhile over @ Twitter:

Twitter pledged to do better in such situations, noting “we will be clearer about these policies 1

For close observers of Twitter’s opaque harassment rules and its inconsistent enforcement of them this is a familiar dance. That’s because Twitter wants everyone to know it is committed to transparency. It is also committed to committing to being committed to transparency.

Twitter was committed to transparency last month when it refused to clarify its stance toward president Donald Trump’s tweets about North Korea, which the country said it viewed as an “act of war.”

Twitter affirmed its commitment to transparency 4 times last month in a blog post summarizing its Russian election interference testimony before congress. Sen. Mark Warner described Twitter’s presentation as “inadequate” in almost every way.

In January of this year, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey pledged to be more open and transparent about addressing the company’s decade long battle with systemic harassment on its platform.

This summer — despite reports that repeat harassment victims were still finding their abuse reports wrongly dismissed — Twitter affirmed its commitment to greater transparency.

That same month, when BuzzFeed News presented the company with 27 explicit examples of harassment, Twitter replied with its boilerplate statement. And company co-founder Biz Stone promised the company would be more transparent.

This is likely because Twitter has a history of committing to being more transparent.

Like in 2015, when Dorsey apologized to developers for Twitter’s past restrictions of third-party apps and pledged to be more transparent.

Similar to the kind of transparency the company promised in 2015 when Twitter began making federal campaign contributions.

Transparency, you see, is part of Twitter’s 10-year plan.

But Twitter is committed to openness and clarity. Pledging a commitment to transparency is one of the things Twitter does best.

Perhaps that’s because the company has been doing it since 2008.

Hmmmm… Was Twitter committed to “transparency” when it refused to clarify its stance toward president Donald Trump’s tweets about North Korea, which the DNK said it viewed as an “act of war?”

Jeez, people – the new Tupperware corporations don’t respect us enough to even pretend we’re not being played.

Tupperware Happenings

Show 1 footnote

  1. We just gotta say – it appears that Twitter’s idea of “policy” is “magic spell to make people stop complaining.” And if one spell doesn’t work, they cast another, in hopes that it works for all future decisions. In this regard they’re not unlike a certain president*.

Après L\’abattage

Après L'abattage

“‘This is not the time to be talking about guns.’ Sometimes I wish I had used this logic as a kid when I’d done something wrong. You know, my mom wanted to ground me. I should have just said, ‘Is this the time, Mom, that we politicize what is happening right now? This is not the time to talk about my lack of discipline. This is a time for us to unite as a family, to focus on the fact that I’m stuck in the kitchen window trying to sneak back in. Come on, Mom. This is not the time.’”

“Just to give you an idea of how far away America is from actual gun control, this week Congress is going to vote on deregulating gun silencers. Because I guess Congress is thinking, ‘Gun violence is out of control — how can we make it quieter?’”TREVOR NOAH

Après L'abattage

The below was published December 14th, 2012; waiting on the latest response…

Après L'abattage

Oil Wars

It appears our Manchurian President-elect has already managed to initiate the trade war he all but promised while campaigning: Get set for a rising tide of oil and gas prices:

OPEC clinched a deal to curtail oil supply, confounding skeptics as the need to clear a record global crude glut — and prove the group’s credibility — brought about its first cuts in eight years.

OPEC will reduce production by 1.2 million barrels a day to 32.5 million a day, two delegates said Wednesday during a ministerial meeting in Vienna, asking not to be identified as the decision isn’t yet public. Benchmark Brent crude rose 8 percent to $50.07 a barrel in London at 1:37 p.m. local time.

After weeks of often tense negotiations, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ three biggest producers — Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran — resolved differences over sharing the burden of cuts. Notably, it appears the Saudis accepted that Iran, as a special case, can raise production to about 3.9 million barrels a day. The agreement is also likely to include an additional reduction of about 600,000 barrels a day by non-OPEC countries.

“This should be a wake-up call for skeptics who have argued the death of OPEC,” said Amrita Sen, chief oil analyst at Energy Aspects Ltd. “The group wants to push inventories down.”

The deal promises to revive the tattered finances of countries from Venezuela to Libya and restore flagging confidence in the producer bloc that controls 40 percent of the world’s oil. But the consequences will reverberate far beyond OPEC, giving a boost to U.S. shale drillers crippled by a two-year price rout and oil giants such as Royal Dutch Shell Plc, which have cut spending to the bone to weather the prolonged downturn.

Suddenly after eight years of stable (when not falling) oil/gas prices, OPEC looks at our Clown Prince, smirks and screws down production. This will immediately benefit countries like Iran, Venezuela, Libya and, yes, Russia. The Sauds, of course, will make billions. Anyone see a pattern?

In addition, as the Manchurian President-elect has reiterated time and again, he intends to boost drilling/fracking in the US by gutting the environment 1 rather than lower demand through alternative energy.

So how does all this benefit the US? Why, we get the satisfaction of accelerating global warming AND a an oil price war. 2 3

Wake up, people.

Oil Wars

Show 3 footnotes

  1. And now that the EPA administrators are playing down the water pollution issues of fracking that will be easier to do one the Manchurian President-elect takes office. If, indeed, the Clown Prince doesn’t kill that agency’s budget all together.
  2. We can hardly wait to see how the Manchurian Candidate-elect handles coal!
  3. Oops! And US shale producers will benefit, which of course means US insurance companies will also make money hand over fist due to all the new earthquake coverage policies they’ll write.

Trump: Après l\’abattage

A long-time reader posted an email our way last night; he was commenting on the continuing (if not escalating) intransigence of those both left and right, as evidenced by the comments regarding a recent post by local blogger Ms. Patton.

The post itself was the usual weak tea (milk and sugar added) served up as reasonableness 1: let the ‘winners’ gloat; don’t go off half-cocked; figure out what “went wrong”, stay involved and maintain one’s perspective. Strictly middle-of-the-road, both in terms of tenor and advice. As our email correspondent pointed out, however, the comments were combative, both sides at least as entrenched as before the election.

Trump: Après l'abattage

Another email, this from a friend:

I’m so fucking mad and disgusted about the election. I always felt Americans aren’t the smartest lot, but this makes me worry how far we could slide into the far-right abyss. The economy is in decent shape and we’re already showing early signs of post WWI Germany fear mongering.

If there’s any bright side, I hope it pushes liberals and younger people into public service and actually paying attention. The anger/fear after this election makes 2004 look like a sunny episode of the West Wing.

It also frustrates the hell out of me that white women voted for that monster, plus 1/3 of Latinos. WTF??!?! And, 23% of people who wanted “policies more liberal than Obama” voted for him. I honestly don’t get it.

Alas, we fight on

Trump: Après l'abattage

Meesha awoke from his massive slumber to post information and maps concerning the region’s fallout shelters.

Is that classic Russian understatement or what?

Trump: Après l'abattage

From another friend:

As I’ve always maintained, when America destroys itself it will be through thoughtless emotionalism. I figure less than 1% or less of this past Tuesday’s voters went into the election booths weighing the proposed policies of one candidate against the other’s. Indeed, I’ve been hard pressed since to discover anyone who can outline for me, even in the broadest sense, exactly what the candidates’ policies were.

Trump: Après l'abattage

Another friend, ex-Cali now dragooned-Texan, from down Houston way:

It appears to the executives that Trump is willing to slit his own throat to spite the Chinese; the executives are worried, already we’re seeing oversees investment money (she works at JP Morgan) being pulled back home. If this continues the US won’t be able to finance itself. And the Chinese, who have been getting out of Treasuries, announced they’re going to start their own global free-trade organization, which will allow international investors to more easily profit from developing global trade by putting cash in other countries that agree to the Chinese trade pact… Trump sold his voters on the notion that he will get the better of the Chinese, but judging by the outflow of capital the reality is already the other way around. You heard President Xi the other day, right? “President Trump is going to have to compromise.”

Trump: Après l'abattage

And on and on and on. So it goes.

Frack You!
The Great Lakes will drain into the Gulf of Mexico through the Mississippi River.

Personally we’re at least as worried about what Myron Ebell will undo/roll back over at the EPA than what any other Trump appointee will get up to. 2 Trump has indicated he wants to downsize the agency, repeal all federal spending on clean energy and pull the US out of the Paris climate accord.

Trump has also stated he wants to scrap every major regulation President Obama put in place to reduce US carbon dioxide emissions, including the Clean Power Plan.

Trump: Après l'abattage

Morning After Analysis abounds; herewith follows ours, and then we’re done with the subject. And with Trump.

The fact is the Confederacy Party turned out in droves for Trump, all their leaders’ public posturing to the contrary. The “decent” republicans also voted Trump. And a main reason for that is the Right’s pathological hatred of Clinton.

No matter – the same hatred would have existed for Sanders (He’s a New York, socialist Jew!) 3. In fact though few US leaders appeal more to the world as a whole than Barack Obama, back here the hatred toward him has been scary: a recent poll showed 57% of Republicans believed him to be a secret Muslim, and 24% thought he might be the Antichrist.  The actual Antichrist. 4

One might postulate The Deplorables don’t actually believe the tripe they’re uttering, that these phrases are convenient conversational quips to carry around from bar to work and bar again; instantly recognized flags among like tribe members. As was voting for Trump.

And ultimately Trump’s willingness to not settle for the same tired old dog whistles, but to actually incite the very worst of the racists among them, to baldly slander and demean women (as a real man would), to sling his wrinkled lil’ 70 year old dick around as a threat to China and anyone else in the world who doesn’t believe Amurika Is #1, all that counted for far more with the Confederacy’s True Believers than the embarrassingly overt facts of Trump’s narcissistic sociopathy, or his stunning unfitness for the office, not to mention his total lack of interest in actual governance. 5

So there’s that.

We shudder at the seemingly immeasurable damage of which a Trump presidency is capable. At a bare minimum Trump’s taking office will immediately put the US presidency on a par with that of Rodrigo Duterte’s. And if think that hyperbole, you haven’t been paying attention.

But the worst of Trump’s policies will come at the expense of The Deplorables who voted for him, the poor/working class who eagerly gave the rest of us the finger.

We expect the next 4 years to be more than grim.

And, frankly, we’re not going to participate. After this post we will not write the word ‘Trump’ again, or comment on his antics, even though he prance around naked and gibber. 6 Life’s too short; good night and good luck.

“The fault dear Brutus, is not in our stars but in ourselves…”

Trump: Après l'abattage

Show 6 footnotes

  1. Ms. Patton would have felt right at home on the erstwhile Star editorial board, though we suspect her POV will be too reasonable for the future conservative Star editorial board.
  2. the way Oklahoma continues to rock the Midwestern world with their unabated fracking makes at least one of Edgar Cayce’s prophecies more and more likely….
  3. Trifecta!!!!
  4. Which speaks very, very poorly about the education system in this country. The ‘antichrist’? Seriously? What the fuck is WRONG with these people?
  5. We won’t speak of what laughably passes for his deportment.
  6. We mean, some more.