I missed half of this crap. It's just so unreal.
Which is saying something given the nature of our current reality...
Didn't know that Ireland wasn't a part of the UK?!? It just keeps getting worse and worse and worse.
Within the span of a 45 minute press conference! This is a perfect snapshot of the bigger picture and how there' no bottom to hit when it comes to our president.
I'm just going to come out and say it... health care in the United States of America is a festering pile of shit that is impossible to navigate and increasingly impossible to pay for. I'm sure this will come to a surprise to absolutely nobody, because we've all needed medical attention at some point in our lives... if not for us, for a loved one.... and then had to deal with the fallout.
Health care is a monolithic, byzantine maze of bullshit and corruption that's enough to make even the smartest person insane.
Take where I'm at, for example.
My health insurance deductible is huge. Thousands of dollars. I never get out of my annual deductible because I'm relatively healthy and, apparently, lucky. What this means is that I have to pay for absolutely everything medical-related out-of-pocket. But apparently I do get some kind of discount that's been negotiated between my insurance and my local clinic. What is this discount? Who the fuck knows. I've been trying to find out the cost of making a consultation appointment FOR TWO DAYS and have gotten nowhere.
This is how the system is designed.
The clinic doesn't want you to know the cost because you might not schedule an appointment if you knew. The insurance company doesn't want to commit to coverage for a future appointment, because they might need to increase their profits by reducing (or eliminating) their coverage before you see the doctor.
Which, if you live in an underserved region like I do, could take months to get an appointment.
What amuses me about this bullshit is that these are the bad things that people who don't want universal healthcare try and scare people with! It'll take forever to see a doctor? It takes fucking forever right now. We can't determine how much it will cost? We can't determine how much it fucking costs right now.
My issue isn't life-threatening. Well, I suppose it could end up there, but no... not really.
But what if it were life-threatening?
Well, the way it works in The United States of America is that you just have to sign on for treatment blindly and hope you don't have to declare bankruptcy so you can live.
And don't get me started about people who get sick and could be easily and cheaply treated in the beginning... but they can't afford it... so they wait and wait until they are near death and it's horrendously expensive to treat (if it's treatable at all) so taxpayers ends up paying for their bills because they end up losing everything. What fucking sense does that make? Give everybody healthcare so everybody is healthy and problems are fixed when they're cheap! As a taxpayer, I'd rather pay for what's cheap than what's horrendously expensive!
Maybe one day politicians will take a break from sucking lobbyist cock long enough to figure out how to make health care affordable for everybody.
Because the only people benefiting from the system we have now are insurance companies. And the politicians being paid off by insurance companies. Considering their health care is free and they don't give a fuck about anybody else, I don't expect them to stop sucking that lobbyist cock any time soon.
This is also how the system is designed.
As anybody who has read this blog for any length of time already knows, I support the Second Amendment. This may sound weird coming from somebody whose faith doesn't believe in the handling or owning guns, but this isn't about me or my personal choices or beliefs. If it were up to me, nobody would have guns and everybody would live together in peace and harmony... amen.
But the world is a bit more complicated than that, so eliminating gun violence is not a simple problem to solve. And, as much as we'd like to think that there is something to be done about preventing mass-shootings, our options are not as cut-and-dried as people like to think.
The reason things are so complicated when it comes to gun violence?
It's the technology.
No, I'm not going to bore you with an endless diatribe about how guns are a God-Given American Right* or that Guns Are Guaranteed By Our Constitution So We Can Protect Ourselves From Our Own Government If They Become Corrupt And Abusive**... partly because I think that is a load of horse shit... but mostly because it honestly doesn't matter.
Because it's the technology.
It's being reported that the reason the mass-murderer in Las Vegas was able to harm and kill such a huge number of lives is because he had a "bump stock" which allows a semi-automatic rifle to fire like an automatic rifle. Naturally, a great many people are calling for "bump stocks" to be immediately banned. Which may actually help curb mass shootings like this in the future. At least for people who don't already own one.
But only for a short while.
Or no while at all.
The thing about "accessories" like this is that we are quickly getting to the point where you won't need to buy a "bump stock" from a manufacturer... you'll be able to download plans off the internet and 3D print one in the privacy of your own home. I don't know if current 3D plastics are strong enough for such a thing, but 3D printing with metal or super-tough polymers is just one technological step away and it's not irrational to imagine a day very soon when somebody will be able to print out whatever they want from whatever material they desire. Including "bump stocks." So ban away. It will ultimately make very little difference (which is why the piece-of-shit-NRA is actually supporting the idea). The people who probably shouldn't have them will never turn them in. The black market for them will appear within minutes. It would take decades before you could collect them all (as if you ever could). In the meanwhile? Technology.
And "bump stocks" are not the end, of course. 3D printers will eventually get larger and more accurate and be able to produce stronger, more durable prints. And that technology will eventually trickle down to ordinary citizens, as all technology eventually does. 3D printing your personal copy of an AK-47 "assault" rifle in the privacy of your own home is really not that far away. Whatever weapon you desire, from a Klingon bat'leth or a BB gun to a .45 Magnum pistol or a fully automatic rifle... it will all be within reach.
Ah, but what about gunpowder! You can't 3D print gun powder! How about we let everybody keep their guns, but ban the bullets? It's a nice thought, but gunpowder was invented by a 9th century Chinese chemist and we've gone way, way past those days. Cooking up an explosive to propel a bullet is a relatively simple matter... probably using everyday items you can find under your kitchen sink.
So... what then?
If a ban on guns won't work because there are too many out there that will never end up getting confiscated and technology is quickly getting to the point where it won't matter anyway, what's the solution?
I don't know.
But, very soon now, it won't be about the guns, no matter how badly we want it to be.****
Which is where we get to the part of the story where I put in my 2¢ on stuff...
I could go on. This is a long, difficult, complicated subject. But I think you get where I'm coming from. Banning guns outright... whatever kind of guns they may be... is a very short term solution for a long-term problem that is not going away. Not in this country where guns are as prevalent as staplers. Not in this time when technology is going to be arming people in ways we can't even dream of yet. By focusing money and effort on what makes somebody want to murder masses of people... by developing a healthier take on mental health problems... by coming up with reasonable attitudes towards what gun ownership should be... these are all things that should be obvious steps. But clearly they are not. Partly because Americans seemed content to be conditioned to think that mass shootings are "the price of freedom"... partly because we are driven to treat the underlying problem as shameful and worthy of ridicule... partly because our country's political system is corrupted by lobbyists... and partly because our politicians are sucking cock for cash.
Don't think for a minute that anything will ever change without action. Don't think for a second that our politicians will stop sucking cock for cash on their own. They've got re-election to think about. This has to come from us. This. Has. To. Come. From. Us.
Otherwise, we get the country we deserve.
And that's true no matter how you feel about guns, no matter what politial party you ascribe to, and no matter how many people die.
*Using a gun to hunt or protect yourself is absolutely a right in this country. So is collecting guns. So is trading guns like bubble gum cards, if that's your thing. For now. Because the amazing thing about the American Constitution which spells out these rights is that it can be amended or even tossed out and replaced. Not by God, but by the American people. Given it's the Second AMENDMENT to The Constitution that we're talking about here, you already knew this, right?
**Bwah ha ha... "IF" they become corrupt or abusive? That ship has certainly sailed! The reason it's horse shit to think that you'll be able to protect yourself from a corrupt and abusive government is that you won't be firing at soldiers with guns who are "coming to get you"... not by a longshot. Those days are long gone. You'll be facing endless waves of tiny armed drones. Drones that can react faster than a human and are far more difficult to hit. Not to mention being expendable.*** And this is assuming that a rogue American government wouldn't just send a missile up your ass.
***Not that our government hasn't treated the men and women serving in our military as expendable... don't even get me started.
****Lets set aside the debate over whether it's currently about the guns, since my argument is that it just won't matter in the near future. That debate gets us nowhere, because we (as a country) will never agree on it. In my opinion? OF COURSE IT'S ABOUT THE FUCKING GUNS! The whole "Guns don't kill people, people kill people!" argument is about the stupidest shit I've ever heard. Do you think the lunatic that killed 59 people and injured hundreds of others could have done so from the 32nd floor of a hotel a block away without a fucking gun? Yes, a gun is a tool to be used and abused like any other. But give me a fucking break.
UPDATE: Sadly, I've had to disable comments for this post. If you disagree with me (and many people from both sides of the debate do) that's fine. Everybody has an opinion and this blog is where I share mine. But I am getting an absurd amount of over-the-top comments, and having to delete uncivilized discourse at Blogography is getting to be a full-time job.
"I'm not going away." — Hillary Clinton
"Well, shit." — David Simmer II
Look, I don't like Hillary Clinton's politics for a litany of reasons... not one of which have to do with her being a woman... most of which has to do with her being a notorious warhawk who ignores sage advice to devastating effect. And though I thought she would make a horrible president, I ended up voting for her because I thought Trump would be far, far worse. Then, thanks to her dumpster fire of a campaign, Trump won anyway and now we're all fucked. So... while I would never say that she shouldn't be allowed to voice her opinions and share her story... and while I would never say that she should go away while she feels she has something important to contribute to political discourse in this country... YOU'VE WRITTEN YOUR BOOK NOW... PLEASE, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, LET SOMEBODY ELSE WITH AN ACTUAL CHANCE TO BEAT TRUMP IN AN ELECTION HAVE THE SPOTLIGHT SO WE CAN BE RID OF THE CHEETO SHIT-STAIN COME 2020.
Photo by Reuters/Andrew Kelly
Assuming we're not in the middle of World War III by 2020, of course. In which case it hardly matters.
Autumn is here and it's going to be a great, great season, because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Cassini! Okay... two things concerning the live broadcast of the NASA-assisted suicide by the Cassini space probe last Sunday...
1) NASA engineers singing as Cassini takes its suicide plunge into Saturn is the sickest fucking thing I've seen in ages...
2) NASA divided an hour-long program into two pieces, so I didn't get to see the ending because my DVR didn't know to record it. Assholes!
• Just a Bill! It looks like the heinous "Graham-Cassidy Healthcare Bill" is likely dead. Which is probably a good thing since NOBODY and, by nobody, I mean "nobody except wealthy old white male politicians who have their lips in a death-grip on insurance lobby cock"... wanted this bill. Except... NOW EVEN INSURANCE COMPANIES ARE WARNING THE BILL IS BULLSHIT?!? WTF? Look, something has to be done as Insurance companies pull out of ACA exchanges thanks to Republicans sabotaging them before having an alternative in place... Something has to be done. But it has to be something actually sensible instead of all the insurance lobby capitulation that ruined "Obamacare" and the same massive insurance lobby capitulation that is fucking up any GOP alternative. Fuck the insurance company profit margins... Congress needs to do their damn jobs and start saving American lives!
• Smooth! Sean Spicer's appearance at the Emmy's was abhorrent. Forget all the people in the audience laughing it up, there was nothing funny about Sean Spicer cashing in on his notorious tenure as White House Press Secretary for award show schtick. He's a fucking liar who misled American citizens every fucking day he took that podium as Trump's mouthpiece. He deserves to disappear, not cash in on such heinous notoriety. And yet... here we are. And Jay Smooth totally called it...
It didn't even take years... it took weeks. The garbage that it America's political system is alive and well in 2017. If anything, it just keeps getting worse.
• Num Noms! If you want to get your kid in the habit of sniffing nail polish, here's a good way to encourage that...
Totally won't lead to kids sniffing ADULT nail polish laying around the house. And it's impossible that will lead to kids sniffing nail polish REMOVER, right?
• Hobby Lobbyist! Let us all recite the American prayer: "You must suckle at the teat of your overlords and thou shalt not have no other teats than theirs. Disobey and you shall be cast out, fined, and imprisoned so as to discourage others from the free thought and action that leads to ruin. Profit be unto our overlords forever and forever, amen."
THIS is fucking politics in the USA... read it and weep: Thanks To Lobbying, It's Illegal To Power Your Home With Solar Panels In Florida
Honest to God, I cannot figure out what is keeping American citizens from initiating open revolt against those who have enslaved us.
And now... that garage is not going to clean itself, and I've got a car that I'm really not wanting to scrape frost off of each morning.
The seventh season of Game of Thrones is over... but all is not lost, because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Thrones! Welp... that was a riveting finale. At the very end, I mean. Despite having some great moments (I LOVE YOU ARYA!), it was actually kind of slow until that point.
I was disappointed we didn't get more Beric in this episode. He is my favorite character on Game of Thrones by a wide margin, and it was this scene that made it thus...
The fact that he can ignite a sword in flames with his blood is just icing on the cake...
Here's hoping he somehow manages to survive the show. Because...
• Grrrace! I never watched "Will & Grace" when it was on TV because Deborah Messing plays characters that are neurotic messes, and this looked to be more of the same. Then I saw the Election Special, liked it, and decided to buy the first three seasons when they went on sale at iTunes to prepare me for the return this Fall. Karen Walker is one of the best comedic characters to ever appear on television. Without Karen and Jack, this show would have been a total bomb.
I despise Will and Grace, finding them selfish and uncaring... yet seemingly unaware of how horrible they behave. They think themselves to be better people than they are. Karen and Jack are selfish and uncaring too, but have no illusion about it. Hard not to respect that. Especially when Karen is so damn funny.
• Never Gonna Give You Up! Probably the best thing I've seen all week...
As if I didn't have enough reason to already love The Foo Fighters.
• Assholery! If I don't know somebody's gender or how they identify, I use "they" and "their" and "them." It's not hard, it's not a big deal, and I'd rather be unspecific than be wrong. If your way of referring to people in this situation is to use "he-she" then you're an asshole. What do you get out of being an asshole to people you don't even know? Seriously, I'm dying to know. People are just trying to get through life as best they can with the cards they were dealt. They don't need your bullshit assholery heaped on them too.
• Rich and Powerful! HEADLINE: A Federal Judge Put Hundreds of Immigrants Behind Bars While Her Husband Invested in Private Prisons. This should surprise absolutely nobody. This is the way our corrupt system works. Wealthy, powerful people continue to exploit their privilege and position at the expense of everybody else. Just as they've bought our government, they're buying our freedoms, our liberty, and our justice. Because if we actually HAD justice, this judge would be FUCKING EXECUTED and her husband IMPRISONED FOR LIFE. But, by all means... continue to buy into the system that gives ZERO SHITS for you and allows people like this to prosper. This hasn't been a country "of the people, by the people, for the people" for a long time now. It perished from the earth the minute money became more important to us than ideals.
• Still More Assholery. Even if you are willing to put aside his many, many atrocities against people... Joe Arpaio is still a fucking inhuman piece of shit that deserves a hell of a lot worse than jail.
For Nat'l Dog Day let's remember the time Joe Arpaio's Deputies set a puppy on fire, laughing at its sobbing owner as it died a ghastly death pic.twitter.com/4bGuwUIR9u— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) August 26, 2017
And here's Trump pardoning him from a mere six months of jail time. HE WON'T EVEN DO SIX FUCKING MONTHS.
• Violence! I really do try not to advocate violence... but sometimes you need to take out the fucking trash, know what I'm sayin'? "A racist lady made some disparaging comments about black people and Colleen, who has a biracial child, decided to beat the brakes off her..."
Garbage is as garbage does.
And enough of that mess. See you next week!
In a time where a woman is killed by Nazis on American soil, I am finding myself at a loss to deal with the evil that assaults us day after day. In a time where our president condemns Nordstrom for discontinuing his daughter's purses in two minutes but waits two days before he is shamed to condemn the white supremacist cancer eating at the heart of this country, I am finding myself at a loss to want to try.
Now, more than ever, I understand why some people just want to watch the world burn.
It would seem we deserve nothing better.
It's tough to shake the feeling that people in general... humanity, as it were... has a potential for goodness that makes us something worth saving.
Despite it all...
And the Red Sox beat the Yankees 2 games out of 3. If that doesn't make you believe in the power of good triumphing over evil, I don't know what will.
Keep hope alive, everybody.
Time to get busy living... or get busy dying, because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Sweet! Today is National Cheesecake Day! The odds of me finding decent cheesecake in the wilds of Maine are probably slim considering there aren't any Cheesecake Factory restaurants in the entire state. I'd have to drive to Boston, which is nearly five hours round-trip! But who knows? Perhaps there's some awesome blueberry cheesecake to be found 'round these parts. The question being... will I have enough energy to seek it out given that I haven't slept in two days?
• Sweeter! Also not available in the entire state of Maine? Pinkberry. Which is a major bummer, because they just added a delicious-looking Black Raspberry to their flavors list...
So not fair.
• Sweetness! Awwww...
This could be one of the best meet-cutes in history... or the beginning of a horror story to end all horror stories.
• Sweetest? In a move that I can't wrap my head around, I'm seeing posts to social media about people finding Halloween candy being put out. When it's not even August and the holiday is still three months away. Given how the leftovers go on close-out sale for the month of November, we might as well leave it out year-'round. One third of the year devoted to Halloween is absurd... and I like Halloween.
• Unsweet. Since politicians would rather tax people to death than reign in spending, we're inundated with taxes every damn day, and new taxes are never far away. Take, for example, the "Sugary Drink Tax" which adds to the cost of every soft drink (or pop, or soda, or Coke) you buy. Chicago's takes effect on Wednesday... and Seattle's takes effect in January. More cities are looking to follow suit so they can be a part of a crash-grab disguised as a way of saving citizens from obesity. It's shameless and pointless (politicians will never be satisfied with one new revenue stream when there are dozens more to be had!), but... easier than cutting spending, that's for sure. Which leads me to wonder exactly when the tax burden of everyday citizens is going trigger revolt. Could this be the one? Stay tuned.
• Sour. And speaking of bullshit taxes... Washington State's legislature is devoting $300,000 to a feasibility study of building high-speed rail from Portland to Seattle to Vancouver. Something which would undoubtedly be funded by putting a tax on the tax that's on the tax you're already taxed! And undoubtedly be run by the Washington State Department of Transportation... an organization which regularly takes projects which should be able to be completed in months, and dragging them out for years (all while creating the biggest inconvenience possible for everybody). It's a total recipe for fucking disaster. But let's spend THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND FUCKING DOLLARS to study it anyway.
Which, in itself, is fucking stupid. We don't need a study. All we have to do is look at California and the way their high speed rail is coming along. The project is hemorrhaging money and taking much longer than originally budgeted. As if that wasn't bad enough, the projected top speed of their "high speed rail" keeps dropping below the 220mph benchmark they set. But even better? Even at the outrageous price of $86 a ticket to go from San Francisco to L.A. ... IF they manage to get a whopping 10,000 passengers to ride per day... it will STILL take 203 years to pay for itself. And that doesn't even include maintenance costs?!?
Apparently the Washington State legislature has been taking advantage of our marijuana legalization before deciding where to throw away THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND FUCKING DOLLARS! And here's the best part... people like me who live in the Eastern half of the State and would rarely use the thing will undoubtedly be included in the taxation required to build it. Yay.
• Bitter. Holy crap where do I even start after the week in politics we've had?
Annnnnd... welcome to Shawshank.
Today is Net Neutrality Day. Which you'd think would be redundant since we have it, but apparently that may not be for long.
Pig fucker assholes like Chairman of the FCC Ajit Pai are once gain trying kill net neutrality so that big business can control the internet. Never mind that they have to tell lie after lie after lie to sell it to the American people... the money involved is massive, the people involved are all-powerful, and telling lies is not something they really give a fuck about.
I have written about how crucial net neutrality is to a free and open internet many, many times (like here, for example).
And I'm just one voice of many, because the American people have backed net neutrality many, many times.
But it never seems to matter, because the people trying to kill it have an endless supply of money to throw at the pig-fucking assholes who keep assaulting it.
It's at times like this that I sincerely feel we should burn this fucking shithole of a corrupt piece of shit country to the ground and fucking start over. What The United States of America is supposed to be all about is lost when its citizens no longer have a say. People with money are ultimately the only ones allowed to have a voice now. Because they are the only ones with the means of buying off the politicians who make the decisions for all of us...
If Pai and his bought-and-paid-for pig-fucking asshole confederates actually manage to kill net neutrality, I might as well take down Blogography. Because it's only a matter of time before Very Important People decide they don't like me calling them pig-fucking assholes and shut it down for me.
The pig-fucking assholes.
Visit the FCC and tell them that you support Net Neutrality.
UPDATE: And... Mr. Trae Crowder, everybody...
Holy shit what a cluster-fuck.
If President Obama had disclosed classified information to the Russians under any circumstances, he would have been viciously attacked by the Conservative press until the end of time.
If President Obama had said "I have the absolute right to share information with Russia" after disclosing the classified information to them, a lynch mob would have formed outside The White House within the hour. Hell, there would probably be rioting as the building was set on fire.
And President Obama didn't even have accusations about colluding with the Russians hanging over his head.
But a Republican president with all kinds of sketchy Russian ties discloses classified information to the Russians and says he has the right to do it? The Conservative press is falling all over themselves to claim that the real problem is not President Trump sharing sensitive information with Russia... but that White House staff is undermining the president by leaking classified information on his dealings with Russia to the press.
So leaks are good.
I dunno. It's most certainly bad when Hillary Clinton is careless with classified information. We all know that. THAT was enough to cost her the presidency!
So I guess it all depends on what day of the week it is.
And that you're not a Democrat, not black, and not a woman.
Or something like that.
I'd ask questions, but I don't want to be arrested. Because bend me over the Lincoln Memorial and fuck me with a tightly-rolled copy of The Constitution... this happened.
Welcome to fascism.