Saturday, December 31, 2016

If We Can't Have A Giant Meteor For New Year's...

...Maybe a nice tidal wave can fill the bill?
Now THAT'S how you start the New Year off with a bang. 
Or a big, wet gurgle...

Friday, December 23, 2016

We Do Have One Winner For 2016...

While we're painstaking recounting the votes for 2016 Apple Roller of the Year, we can all REJOICE in the fact that this bumper sticker is the clear winner, out of a crowded field of sarcastic bumper stickers featured in this election cycle.  In fact, with the election over and the dust starting to settle, it's STILL the perfect message as far as I'm concerned.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Breaking Apple Roller News!!!

I heard on the radio today that there may be a MUCH BETTER couple of candidates for Apple Roller of 2016.  The  New York Times has released the Internet handles of a couple of Russian hackers -- Cozy Bear and Fancy Bear -- who appear to have very effectively hacked into the information needed to change the results of the 2016 US presidential election.  They wanted Donald Trump to win and he DID win.

And the American voters followed them, like lemmings into the sea...

Saturday, December 10, 2016

So What's With The Robins This Winter, Anyway?

I just looked out the window to see a group of songbirds plucking crabapples off a tree outside.  There was a pair of cardinals, a couple of those spotty female starlings, a waxwing or so, and -- much to my surprise -- not one, but 8 robins.  It's mid-December, and robins are normally very hard to find in Michigan this time of year.  And you hardly ever see them travelling in packs, no matter what time of year it is. 

When I looked more closely, it got weirder.  All the other birds looked completely typical of their species, but fully half the robins were what I've thought of for some time as "pastel."  Instead of being dark brown along the top and back and brick-red in front, these have pale silvery-brown heads and wings, and their fronts are watercolor tangerine.  I've learned to call these "leucistic" robins because that's the birdwatching term for them.  And one robin, that looked pretty average at first glance except for a dusting of snow, proved on closer inspection to have white spots, like a reverse Dalmatian.

So all I'm saying is that there's something up with the robins this winter.

And The Apple Roller Of the Year for 2016...

Man, this was a tough decision. For most of the year I thought sure the only possible candidate for Apple Roller of the Year was going to be Boris Johnson, the man who led the charge to make Brexit happen.  He was the loudest voice in the chorus demanding that the UK leave the Common Market, and then when the votes showed that Brexit was -- by about 51% -- what the British public wanted, he immediately bailed out.  He left the Eurozone, all the countries that have dealings with the Eurozone, and of course his home country thoroughly destabilized. He even made newscasters wonder aloud whether it meant there would be another vote in Scotland to secede from the UK. BoJo took the Prime Minister with him when he left, and I don't know how many other steadying hands that used to be firmly on the rudder of Britain. It was really quite an achievement.  It's still totally up in the air whether this apple-rolling is going to HELP or HURT.

I didn't want to use Donald Trump, but as the year came to a close I thought, man, it's gonna hafta be him.  It's not exactly a Cinderella story, because he was BORN RICH and used his wealth and his status as a reality-TV star to bluster his way into the White House.  But it IS one of the unlikeliest outcomes in American political history.  In an earlier blog entry I compared him to Jefferson Davis, noting how he's used completely un-American ideas, particularly a string of irresponsible racist comments, along with campaign promises so ridiculous that they border on the DELUSIONAL, as a kind of pry bar to jimmy open the front door of the White House, his voting constituency cheering him on every step of the way.   But going with Trump seemed so obvious, you know?  Jeb Bush even CALLED him "the Chaos candidate."  And their hair is so similar, I was worried that my adoring readers would have a hard time telling The Donald from BoJo:

But then it occurred to me:  a major reason this ultra-close presidential race ended with Trump winning is the fact that many, many voters simply hated his opponent, Hillary Clinton.  Someone said to me the other week that she didn't care enough to vote and wasn't going to bother, but when she heard her daughter was voting for Hillary, she cast her ballot for Trump "to cancel her out."  I know that's common practice in this country -- voting against the candidate you dislike and choosing what you see as the lesser of two evils -- but the way this campaign has gone, I wouldn't be surprised to hear that it happened a lot more this time than usual.  Are Hillary's divisive, ugly-natured, out-of-touch-with-the-people tactics -- calling half of Trump's fans "deplorables" springs to mind -- the reason we now have an unbalanced real estate broker with a string of bankruptcies on his record, who refuses to show anyone his tax returns, packing his bags to move to the White House?
But then it hit me.  Whether you're talking about BoJo, Hillary or The Donald, the real power broker in the picture is someone else.  In Britain, that power broker looks like this:
In the US of A, the person I need to nominate this year looks very, very similar to the one in Britain:
Yeah, baby.  The same power broker was pulling the strings in Italy when Beppe Grillo, a comedian by profession, made his own splash in the Italian government.  He is currently working on getting enough signatures together to make it possible to hold another referendum, to get Italy out of the Common Market the way BoJo got the UK out.  Like the Joker in the USA, Grillo is known in Italy as the Clown Prince. 

But again, Beppe Grillo is not the most powerful man in Italy, any more than Trump is here or BoJo is in the UK.  This is the most powerful person in Italy:

So here's the winner for 2016.  Every voter who uses that right -- whether that's happening in Libya, Germany, Japan, or Burkina Faso -- is the one who rolls the apples this year.  Congratulations, everyone!  You're doing an incredible job spreading Chaos.  I mean that sincerely.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

...And Galactically Stupid Wins!!!

>> A candidate not endorsed by more than a few members of his own political party.

>> A candidate planning to jail his competition as soon as he gets into the Oval Office
*cough* Idi Amin *cough*

>> A candidate who's denounced large numbers of his own constituents as "rapists" on the grounds that they're Mexican.

>> A candidate who's vowed to repeal the Affordable Care Act, kicking 22 million of his constituents off their healthcare plans, reinstating the use of the pre-existing condition clause for everyone else and allowing healthcare premiums to go back to skyrocketing by hundreds of dollars per year per person they way they were doing before the ACA passed.  What's he going to replace it with?  He has no plan.

>> A candidate who sat in the courtesy briefing with the sitting president, asking "Why can't we just nuke 'em if we don't like 'em?"

>>A candidate who may very well be in bed with President Vladimir Putin.

>>A candidate endorsed by the Ku Klux Klan.
*cough* David Duke *cough*

>>A candidate who's never even been mayor of Outer Woonsocket, let alone a congressman, Cabinet member or senator.

>> A candidate who flip-flops so much on every position that we have no idea where he stands on any issue -- we aren't even sure he's really a Republican.  

>> A candidate known for his groping, grabbing, sexual harassment, and shitty comments directed at women wherever he can find them, not to mention serial dumping of trophy wives.

>> A candidate who's left a trail of multimillion-dollar bankruptcies behind him wherever he goes.

>> A candidate busted by the U.S. Department of Justice for discriminatory property rentals -- when they looked into it, they found he totally refused to rent to anyone who was African-American.
*cough* Jim Crow *cough*

>> A candidate known to have evaded paying taxes in the past, who totally refused to hand over his recent tax returns for inspection by qualified accountants.
*cough* Spiro Agnew *cough*

Apparently this is what the American people want.

Buckle your seatbelts, everyone -- this is going to be a bumpy ride.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Election 2016 -- Here We Go Again???

Well, this is the tightest race we've had in a while, and I'm frankly expecting a repeat of the 2000 election foofooraw when the hanging chad ruined everyone's lives for a number of weeks -- and in more than a few cases, it wrecked everything for the NEXT EIGHT YEARS.  Donald Trump has announced in advance that if he loses, it'll be because the election was RIGGED and I'm aware of two Trumpettes who have attempted to vote more than once "to make sure my vote counts" and "because the election is rigged."  I fear, frankly, that this is a pretty large section of the Trump voting bloc; they try to undermine the electoral process by voting more than once, and then when they're hauled away in handcuffs they kvetch that they HAVE to because others are rigging the election.  And apparently these same people are TOO DUMB to notice that when they come in to vote, someone carefully crosses their names off a list of registered voters to make sure they CAN'T vote twice. 

I guess someone has to represent the galactically stupid. This year that man is Donald Trump!

And may I add:
With that said, I HATE this part of election day.  I have one of those screens up showing me the LATEST ELECTION RETURNS  and of course it's BLANK.  It will be for HOURS and HOURS. 

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Just A Typical Saturday in Michigan

So all morning I was trying to reach the service department at my auto dealership so I could set an appointment for an oil change. The phone rang and rang and rang and nobody answered. I tried again and once, after reaching the main number and pressing #3 to talk to the service department, I got some guy at his house who had no idea what I was talking about. I tried again from scratch, and again got no answer.  I then tried the receptionist at the front desk, who said they only had one guy working at Service today so they must be too busy to get to the phone. She said she would go find him personally.  She never came back. After a while, the dealership's on-hold music became a ringing phone and it went to the receptionist's voice mail. I finally said forget it, the place is a mile away; I'll just drive there. When I arrived, the place was stone silent and they were not busy at all. The phone was not ringing. The guy manning the phones was unaware anyone had been trying to reach him.  I informed him that the dealership's phones were apparently on drugs, told him about my experience with them this morning and he said thank you for the feedback. I set the appointment for the blasted oil change and came home to discover that my red primroses, which only bloom in April, are mysteriously blooming in September. This all happened 2 days after I saw that my Mockorange bush, which only blooms in June, is blooming this week as well.    

Another Embarrassing Terrorist Flop!

SAYS HERE that the latest attempt at jihad, in and around the Big Apple, was an embarrassing clusterfunk on a par with the exploits of the Underwear Bomber.  See this guy?

This is Ahmad Khan Rahami. Thanks to his terroristic behavior over the last week or so, he will hereinafter be known in perpetuity by all three names, like his criminal fellows Dayton Leroy Rogers and Coral Eugene Watts.  I want you to notice that in the news photo above, he has his pants pulled down for the camera.  This is the way I want you to remember him.  Because he was, in fact, caught with his pants down.  Now, see these guys?

They are the deeply flawed HEROES of this sorry story.  Last I heard they were still being sought by the police, but we may have their names by the time I am writing this.  They were captured on this security-cam video around the time they accidentally found a pressure cooker bomb built by Rahani, hidden in plain sight in a suitcase left where anyone might stumble over it.  Which is exactly what these guys did.  They said, hey, a suitcase! and opened it up and found an odd-looking device with a cellphone fastened by a bunch of wires to a pressure cooker.  They sort of shrugged, tossed aside the device -- breaking it as they did so -- and walked away with their prize, the suitcase.  Later, someone apparently came across the pressure cooker, realized what it was, and alerted the police.  The coppers discovered that the cellphone used to make the device was the personal property of Ahmad Khan Rahani, and full of information that led the police straight to him.  Oh, and he left fingerprints.  Which is how he ended up on that gurney in the photo above, riddled with bullets, with his pants down.

This is ultimately going to be one of the great stories of the Golden Age of the Jihaddist.  I just want you all to bear firmly in  mind that for every Beltway Sniper or Anwar al-Awlaki there are DOZENS of guys like the Underwear Bomber and Ahmad Khan Rahani.  These are the true footsoldiers of the global jihad.  You can recognize them by their flaming underwear and by the fact that they are already in police custody.


This intriguing book by Michael D'Antonio, ISBN 978-0743245135, makes clear that despite all the well-meaning statements in the media decrying the violence in places like Ferguson, Missouri and Charlotte, North Carolina, well, sometimes A RIOT IS JUST WHAT YOU NEED.

This book is about a particularly shameful period in this nation's history, when "eugenics" was a perfectly acceptable word to use in polite company. (It mentions in the first few pages that Adolf Hitler considered a book on the subject, published by an American "scientist," to be his Bible.  Wow.)  The State Boys Rebellion is about one of the manifestations of the American eugenics movement. Apparently, in the Thirties, Forties and Fifties in this country, HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of children rescued from bad homes -- or just not wanted by their parents for various reasons -- were herded into state-run institutions called "schools" where they were (usually incorrectly) labeled "feebleminded," warehoused, worked like dogs at menial jobs, denied proper schooling (again, because of that incorrect label), beaten, raped and generally exploited.  More than half of these kids were perfectly normal mentally (despite the lousy treatment they were getting!), and they put a lot of energy into against-the-rules learning about the outside world, saving money, and breaking out of the jails their state government put them in with NO HOPE OF PAROLE. 

Now, most of these kids just hunkered down and tolerated what the adults dished out to them, but some of them got really fed up and did what I would count as some very creative RIOTING.  The hijinks they got up to make for great reading, and FILLED ME WITH ADMIRATION.

And here's the thing:  I fully expected the powers to be to react to this by hiring more, meaner turnkeys and making the kids' lives WORSE THAN EVER.  What they did instead was admit that these kids did not really belong here and NEVER HAD.  They starting routing them into a special program to get them ready for the outside world.  Where they SUCCEEDED at living perfectly good lives.

It's an incredible message of hope for people like me, who look at what's going on outside the window and want to SET FIRE TO SOMETHING.  This book shows that sometimes that's the right decision.