The TikTok hearing is about as fucking embarrassing as this country gets.
A bunch of bought-and-paid-for ignorant idiots who have zero concept of how technology works have jumped on the bi-partisan bandwagon to distract everybody from the fact that they're a bunch of useless pieces of shit, and American citizens are supposed to be cheering them on?
@otto_aguilera They sure aint old and out of touch… theyre all full of youth and knowledge 🙄🤦🏽♂️ #fyp #tiktok #tiktokban #politics ♬ original sound - Otoniel Rodriguez
And so TikTok will likely be banned, thanks to Facebook paying off politicians to be all angry about it and get rid of their business rival over shit that Facebook does ALL THE TIME!
What's amazing is how these fucking lobbiest taint-lickers ask questions of TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew, then don't allow him to answer and refuse to listen to anything he has to say. This is what counts as discourse in government?
We have fascists at the wheel deciding what we get to read by burning books. What we get to watch for entertainment by banning drag shows. How we identify by banning trans persons. Whom we get to love by banning same-sex marriage. And what websites and apps we get to use by banning fucking TikTok.
Didn't we fight wars against exactly this kind of bullshit?
And the fact that this is starting to become bi-partisan behavior is not lost on me. It just proves what I've been saying all along... politicians will do and say whatever they fucking have to in order to stay in power... even if it means selling out the country to do it... and it doesn't matter one fucking lick what team they play for.
All while telling us that they're doing it "for our protection."
What we actually need protection from is the fucking government.
Facebook can sell our private data to Chinese companies and Congress doesn't bat an eye. Because they're paid not to. But a Chinese company collects our data and suddenly Congress is outraged. Because they're paid to.
Until money gets pulled out of the equation, this is exactly the kind of stupid shit we vote for.
At this rate, it's only a matter of time before Blogography gets banned to "protect us" from my being critical of the government.
Our fascist distopian future is now.
With all due respect to Peanuts (widely considered the benchmark for comic strip exceptionalism), I think that Calvin & Hobbes is the greatest comic strip of all time.
Not only was it drawn in a style that flawlessly conveyed the energy of the strip, Bill Watterson created stories that are a master class in economy of words and images. I marvel at what he managed to accomplish within the constraints of a daily strip. His is a skill that has been sorely missed, and I keep hoping that he'll do another strip one day... even if it's limited in scope or duration. Anything Watterson does would be incredibly interesting to see.
I have re-read my The Complete Calvin & Hobbes set cover-to-cover many times, but that doesn't stop me from reading the daily online strips.
Today's strip is this...
Yet another triumph by Watterson.
But getting back to my marveling over his mastery of economy of words and images... look what happens when you get rid of the last panel...
Without the punchline, it is a much more ruthless skewering of today's "I'm Special and Deserve Full Credit for a Lackluster Job!" culture. It is what makes Miss Wormwood's response of drinking Maalox straight out of the bottle so funny.
And then look what happens when we remove the first panel...
Without the setup to soften the impending joke... Calvin objecting to his C-grade... the strip is considerably more vicious in nature. Calvin's demands are more of a direct attack. And if the words weren't accompanied by drawings of a cute kid, I'm note sure they would hit as funny, even though the concept of being recognized as "exceptional" for less-than-exceptional work could be seen as funny in any context.
Which brings us to the meat of the strip, which is this panel right here...
Now, to me, all of a sudden the strip (when stripped down to this single panel) is hilarious. All context has fallen away, so this becomes a scathing comedic commentary on government and industry. Congress excels at demanding exceptional recognition for doing a minimal, mediocre, crappy job. They run their re-elections on it! I look at this one panel so beautifully putting into perspective as to why our culture has been built around "American Exceptionalism," and here we are... it flows from the top. Congress demands exceptional recognition for less-than-exceptional work... people see this... people vote on this... and suddenly we're all about being "the best in the world" at everything, even though we're getting our ass handed to us by other countries in SO many areas.
Education being at the top of the list.
Forever moving the goalposts so we can be the greatest in everything is the real American Way.
It's a lot less work than putting in the actual work.
School teachers are sick of the shit they have to endure and are getting out of the profession for something less asinine and stressful... like bomb disposal, I'd imagine.
If communities keep this up, soon there won't be enough teachers to teach your kids. Which is by design, really. The wealth and power running this country want to keep people uneducated. Makes it easier to control them with stupid-ass misinformation.
Critical thinking is dangerous to the puppet-masters who are maintaining their wealth and power, so let's make sure people don't get the mental fortitude to threaten that. You don't need critical thinking to become a labor resource. Just fall in line, believe the bullshit you're fed, hate people different than you to keep the country fractured, and do the work. Everything will be just fine.
The guy quit teaching after 13 years to become a standup comedian.
Guaranteed he's happier now than he ever could have been dealing with school bureaucracy and having to deal with stupid-ass school board bullshit. He's also probably better-paid.
It's getting so that even people who want to be a teacher... it's their fucking calling in life... are hanging it up. And if you can't keep those people... what's left?
I'm back from my quick trip over the mountains, so you know what that means... an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Happy Father's Day! Here's your Sunday Morning Happy. Watch until the end...
All part of my job! ##babyphotographer ##mumsoftiktok ##momsoftiktok ##babies ##tipsformoms ##baby ##babyboy ##edinburghbabyphotographer ##ukphotographer ##😁♬ Pieces (Solo Piano Version) - Danilo Stankovic
And happy Father’s Day to the lucky dad of this adorable baby!
• Blame it on the Rain! Hope your Sunday weather is better than what these poor Guinnea pigs got...
After sunshine comes… ##rain ##pigtok ##guineapig ##fyp ##foryou ##foryourpage ##xyzbca♬ original sound - titorenogpigs
Yeah... there's yet another TikTok rabbit hole I fell down.
• Picard! The first season of Picard wasn't stellar, but good enough that I enjoyed it (despite not being a Next Generation fan). The second season, however? I am very interested in seeing what they do with it, especially since Guinan is returning...
Fascinating to see an 80-year-old Patrick Stewart playing a 98-year-old Picard. Even more fascinating? That an 80-year-old Patrick Stewart would want to. But, thankfully for whatever reason, he does.
• Luca! The sad thing about our pandemic world is that movies get sent to streaming services, which somehow makes them seem "less than" the big movie releases of years past. Like a cheap "straight-to-video" film or something. Take Luca, for example, the latest Pixar film. It is incredible... easily on-par with any other Pixar movie ever made. It's the adorable story about young sea monsters who long for something more on the surface world in 1950's Italy. And it is stunning. It's set in a fictional town, but it easily recognized as a mix of the five fishing villages of Cinque Terre (which you can read about here). And the voice cast has some real surprises that I won't spoil here. Love, love, loved this movie...
Even more amazing? Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, this entire film was made from home! Highest possible recommednation. If you have Disney+, it's a no-brain to add to your watch list.
• Citizencide! Holy. Shit. This woman is literally the worst. Her sublime ignorance, stupidity, and complete lack of empathy typifies the horrors of so many of our elected government officials. Unbelievable, yet entirely believable. Even expected...
##covid ##covid19 ##pandemic ##mask ##fyp ##facts ##vaccine ##doctor♬ original sound - Eric
You can label my political disdain all you want, but this is what has be convinced that our government is actively trying to kill us. And we're voting for them to do it.
• "Today in Christian Love..." And people wonder why Pride Month is important...
This is how we see Christians - NO LOVE HERE....JUST HATE. #lgbtq #lgbtqtiktok #lgbtq🏳🌈 #lovenothate♬ original sound - The Dude ✌️
• Snap Me! Ending on an LOL-worthy YouTube video seems like the way to go this Bullet Sunday...
THANOS WAS RIGHT!
=sigh= I suppose I really should clean up my house a bit since I was gone all weekend and have to go to work in the morning.
I was craving French fries when I left the house, so I called in an order at the local drive-thru when they opened.
Best lunch ever.
And yet I saw something disturbing me when I picked up my order.
When I was a kid I LOVED burgers from Rusty's (in my town) and Dusty's (in the neighboring big city). To give you a clue of just how much I loved my local joint, you should know that the last meat I ever ate when I stopped eating it back in 1986 was a Rusty Burger. Yep. When I made the decision to go vegetarian, that's the meat I wanted to go out on.
And it's tough dropping meat from your diet, let me tell you.
For years after I axed meat I would still crave it. I remember driving by Burger King where they blow the smell of flame-broiled beef out into the street and get triggered. Holy crap did I want a Whopper right then. Giving up bacon was also incredibly difficult. Any time I saw a piece, something deep inside me was suddenly willing to kill for it. Pepperoni was the worst though. Going from having an intimate relationship with pepperoni pizza... then downgrading to a cheese pizza... is what nearly broke me. It still might break me one day. Because while there are some pretty great burger and bacon substitutes, I've yet to find a truly great pepperoni substitute.
But I endure.
Partly because the allergies which plagued me as a kid vanished practically overnight when I stopped eating meat. Partly because the meat industry is literally killing our planet. But mostly because I am horrified by the inhumane, cruel, and disgusting conditions under which mass-produced meat is raised. In all honesty, I simply cannot understand how anybody could become aware of the abhorrent treatment of cows, pigs, lambs, chickens, and other animals before they're slaughtered and still eat the stuff. Which is why most people close their eyes to it, I'm sure.
Meanwhile, back at the drive-ins that are in my neck of the woods, Dusty's eventually added a GardenBurger. I was ecstatic at the time, but came to realize that I prefer a Grilled Cheese with Goop (burger sauce and fixin's), so it goes mostly ignored.
Rusty's, on the other hand, always held out. No vegetarian option for you. Fortunately, they have really good fries.
Then today, miracle of miracles, I saw that they are finally adding a GardenBurger to their menu. I was instantly elated because I'm sure it will be fantastic. Until I saw the price... NINE DOLLARS AND TWENTY CENTS?!?? Holy crap! AND THAT'S WITHOUT CHEESE!!! Keep in mind that this is not an "Impossible Burger" which is an expensive meat substitute (but worth it)... it's a frickin' GARDENBURGER! For contrast, a QUADRUPLE MEAT, QUADRUPLE CHEESE meat burger WITH BACON is just $8.75!
WHAT THE HELL?!?
Either Rusty's is jacking up the price to an insane degree because they don't want to sell many of them and only have it available because people ask for it all the time...
...government subsidies to the "Big Meat" industry are so massive that FOUR piece of meat are considerably cheaper than ONE GardenBurger. If that's the case, this is bordering on criminal. Let's check Google here... and... yep. THIRTY-EIGHT BILLION A YEAR props up the meat and dairy industry. This is despite the fact that the meat industry is literally destroying the planet. It's also widely regarded as unhealthy and should only be eaten in moderation. And yet, here we are. I guess Big Pharma is working with Big Beef to push cheap meat so they can sell more pills (eating beef daily makes you TRIPLE more likely to get heart disease). And we (and, more directly, the children) are paying the massive cost with our health and our world.
But that's our government for you. Killing us for the profit they make from being bought off by industries that don't give a shit about us.
I suppose I should be used to it, but the fact that US citizens continue to sign off on this kind of crap never ceases to amaze me. "YES! KILL US SO YOU CAN GET RICH! DESTROY THE ENVIRONMENT TO LINE YOUR POCKETS! BETRAY THE PUBLIC TRUST AT EVERY TURN FOR MONEY! WE SUPPORT YOU!"
Eventually, I'm guessing that I'll cough up the NINE DOLLARS AND TWENTY CENTS that this thing costs just to satisfy my curiosity. I hope it's horrible. I don't have that kind of money to be throwing at a burger. And apparently the government is doing it for me already anyway.
And... I had to cancel all of my March travel because there's no way to plan for a US Government shutdown that has no end date. If this thing is still going through February, I'm guessing I'll have to cancel my travel for April. This is extraordinarily bad. Both for the charity I'm trying to work with and the people who rely on that charity to, you know, continue living and stuff.
Not to mention all the people who are going to have a tough time surviving right here at home. If they have government jobs (or are in industries linked to the government) I'd imagine that money for things like rent and utilities and gas and food is going to be in short supply soon. It's really tough to see people posting their worries online only to be met with helpful comments like "YOU SHOULD HAVE SAVED MONEY IN CASE THIS HAPPENED! ARE YOU STUPID? Well, if they're like so many people, they're not stupid. They're just having to live paycheck to paycheck and don't have an opportunity to save. I paid $46 for two bags of groceries the other day. That'll cover me for about a week. If I didn't already have cat food, that total would have been higher. I can't imagine how much it costs to feed a family of four for a month.
What's difficult for me to figure is the non-stop political blame game that's currently going on. DEMOCRATS WERE FOR A WALL BEFORE THEY WERE AGAINST IT! Well, not really. They were for a "Secure Fence Act"... thirteen years ago... which was attached to a lot of concessions. Needless to say, a lot has fucking happened in thirteen years, so it's not the apples-to-apples comparison it seems. DEMOCRATS ARE WEAK ON BORDER SECURITY! THEY WANT WIDE-OPEN BORDERS! Well, not really. Any Democrat I've heard speak on the subject says that border security is a priority for them... they just want to invest money into something that's actually going to work (and not bankrupt the country over a pathetically inadequate budget projection). THIS IS ALL THE DEMOCRATS' FAULT! Well, not really. According to 2013 Donald J. Trump, weak presidential leadership is at fault for government shutdowns. NO, REALLY, THIS IS ALL ON THE DEMOCRATS! Well, not really. There are Republicans opposed to the stupid-ass wall as well. Enough Republicans that President Trump couldn't get it funded before Democrats took the House earlier this month. If Republicans can't convince Republicans when they are in control of everything, it's the Democrats' fault? Really?
What's even more difficult for me to figure is how people are okay with their very lives being nothing more than bargaining chips over a wall that's not even going to fucking work. I may loathe Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi in equal measure, but they've got one thing correct: border security should be debated apart from the livelihood of Americans just trying to get by. But Clownface VonFuckstick doesn't give a shit about people who aren't millionaires, which is all the justification he needs to carry on with his temper tantrum stand-off bullshit. And that's enough for his supporters to taunt, ridicule, and otherwise rip into people wondering how they're going to be able to afford food and shelter if things keep going as they have been.
I'll ponder all that while trying to figure out how I will find space in my calendar to fit the three trips I just canceled. They're going to have to be pushed to Fall where travel dates are already scarce. But since actual lives are at stake, I'll make it work somehow.
Assuming we're not still shut down.
Completely serious here.
This is essential viewing for every American...
This is what John Oliver does... distill complicated issues that nobody gives a shit about into something you may actually care for deeply.
Or at least have a laugh over.
And, while we're on the subject of John Oliver... holy shit...
Not angry enough? Alrighty then. Here you go...
I would have bet one million dollars that the special interest lobbyist pig-fuckers representing AT&T, Comcast, Time Warner, Cox, and all the other internet provider assholes buying off our corrupt politicians would have killed net neutrality by now.
So imagine my surprise...
Photo by Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler: This Is How We Will Ensure Net Neutrality
Of course, this is not to say that internet freedom has been won... I'm sure pig-fucking lobbyists representing internet conglomerate assholes haven't even begun to explore new ways to buy control of the internet from our corrupt politicians.
Where there's billions of dollars, there's a way, after all.
In the meanwhile, however... surprisingly good news on the net neutrality front. A public utility it is. For now
Not surprisingly, there's still a bunch of politicians with their lips firmly planted on Comcast/AT&T/Time Warner/Cox cock that have escalated their hand-wringing about how net-neutrality is bad for the internet. Remedial Senator and All-Around Dumbass Ted Cruz went so far as to label it "ObamaCare for the Internet." I have no idea what the hell that's supposed to mean... but apparently it's bad.
Well... the arguments seem to go like this...
And now we come to the NET NEUTRALITY DOESN'T LEVEL THE PLAYING FIELD... JUST THE OPPOSITE... IT MAKES IT MORE EXPENSIVE FOR SMALLER COMPANIES USING LESS BANDWIDTH THAN BIG COMPANIES LIKE NETFLIX AND FACEBOOK AND YOUTUBE! part of our blog entry...
I saved this for last, because it's just so outrageously stupid. It costs me $12.70 a month to have this blog hosted on the internet. If I wanted to turn it into a business website, it would still cost me $12.70 a month to get it hosted. Yes, if it became a hugely successful business website that got tons of traffic, I'd have to pay more than $12.70 a month to get it hosted because a successful business costs more to run... such is the price of success, but still... $12.70 a month to start.
I assure you that Netflix, Facebook, and YouTube cost more than $12.70 a month to get hosted. But back to the point...
For $12.70 a month, I have a blog that's every bit as accessible to people on the internet as Netflix, Facebook, and YouTube.
And no matter how many billions of dollars Facebook has, net neutrality ensures that they can't use that money to shut me out. They can't pay to have Facebook load faster than Blogography. They can't pay to have Blogography be unaccessible. It doesn't matter how big of a threat to their bottom line Blogography is, Facebook can't use their massive bankroll to manipulate the internet to make me go away*.
If that's not a level playing field, I don't know what is.
Thanks to the internet and net neutrality, a small startup company can take on companies millions of times their size... starting out at $12.70 a month. And there's nothing those massive companies can do to stop them from being on the internet.
Seriously... if that's not a level playing field, what the fuck is?
I can't for the life of me understand how people like Iris Somberg can sit there with a straight face telling me that it's the opposite of a level playing field. Something tells me her lips must be firmly planted on Comcast/AT&T/Time Warner/Cox cock, because this is so obvious as to be painful.
Yet net neutrality became a reality anyway.
I know. It shocked the hell out of me too.
*Of course, if Facebook wanted to pay me millions of dollars directly to make Blogography go away... well... my email address is at the top of the sidebar on every page here.
Well poop on a biscuit.
Nothing quite like needing to research something, finding out that the information you have to have is on a government-funded site, then going to the site only to find THIS staring back at you...
So... to sum up...
I need to make sure something is in compliance with government standards.
The government standards are made available from government-funded entities.
Now that the government is shut down, those government-funded entities are no longer available.
But I still have to comply with the government standards, even though I have no way of knowing what they are.
Just when I think things can't get any more fucked-up than they already are, the government has to come along and prove me wrong.
"With the president's signature, agriculture giants that deal with genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and genetically engineered (GE) seeds are given the go-ahead to continue to plant and sell man-made crops, even as questions remain largely unanswered about the health risks these types of products pose to consumers." — RT.com
So much for transparency in government decision-making... and transpareceny with the food you buy. I can only guess that Barack Obama will be taking a job at Monsanto at the end of his term. This is hard to see as anything less than a government conspiring against its citizens so that they are uninformed about the foods they eat.
I once again have to wonder what it's going to take for Americans to finally get fed up with a government that is BOUGHT AND PAID FOR by increasingly powerful corporations. No longer are we a government of the people, for the people, by the people... we're just up for the highest bidder. Republican... Democrat... whatever... political parties are just a tool to keep Americans at each other's throats while the real people in charge continue to shape the country to serve their interests.
And that does not include us.
This is exactly the kind of thing I was talking about just three days ago... politicians being bought-off in plain sight without consequence. Pieces of shit like Senator Roy Blunt who worked overtime to fuck the American people get to keep smiling and keep getting paid with taxpayer money with no mark of shame for the massive betrayal he's party to.
If it were up to me? I'd tattoo that shit on his fucking forehead...
I DON'T GIVE A FUCK BECAUSE I'M RICH, BITCH!!!
Seriously... go read that article on Blunt... it is far worse than you're thinking. He's sucked so much special-interest dick that I have to wonder how much Photoshop it took to erase the scabs from his lips. This shit-stain is neck-deep in special interest money that fucking BOUGHT AND PAID FOR HIS SORRY ASS. He doesn't work for the people of Missouri or American citizens... he works for the bio-tech industry and just happens to be a Senator on the side so he can be more effective at his real job.
What does it take to be hung for treason in this country any more? This worthless piece of garbage CONSPIRED AGAINST AMERICAN CITIZENS AND THE US GOVERNMENT! All with -zero- consequences, because that's how we roll in this pathetic joke of a "democracy."
I wish this bullshit could surprise me anymore.
But I digress...
Many happy congratulations to President Obama and Congress for once again fucking over the country and selling out its citizens! I wish there was some kind of award we could give all of you to recognize this unprecedented level of caving to the special interest lobby... but, apparently, you're just doing your job. I wouldn't want to embarrass you.