They never thought he had a bomb.

A conversation from Democratic Underground today.

I said: it’s sad they thought that kid had a bomb.
She said: they didn’t think he had a bomb.
I said: yes, they thought he made a bomb and even called the police.
She said: They just wanted to humiliate a little Muslim boy. They didn’t think he had a bomb.
I said: Don’t be a conspiracy theorist. They might be a little prejudiced, but I’m sure they thought he had a bomb.
She said: Okay. But they didn’t evacuate the school – like you do when there’s a bomb.
They didn’t call a bomb squad – like you do when there’s a bomb.
They didn’t get as far away from him as possible – like you do when there’s a bomb.
Then they put him and the clock in an office – not like you do when there’s a bomb.
Then they waited with him for the police to arrive, and then they put the clock in the same car as the police.
Then they took pictures of it.

I said: Damn…..They never thought he had a bomb.

Apparently Burger King has decided it’s cheaper to headquarter its business in Canada than the US.

Image from

Image from

* cough* single-payer health care * cough *

Add: So… corporate taxes are lower in Canada, even with single-payer health care?!

Kind of puts the lie to the right-wing anti-Obamacare bullshit, doesn’t it?!

Maybe someone ought to tell the Reeps about this.

Infinite facepalm.

Image from Twitter

Image from Twitter

At a protest this week before the Indians’ home opener, a white fan explains to Robert Roche of the Apache Nation that Chief Wahoo is “all about Cleveland pride, not racism.”

Yeah. He went there.

Infinite facepalm.

Image from Lalo Alcarez

Image from Lalo Alcaraz

I try not to hate anyone. Really, I try. That said…

There are a few people who, if they were on fire and I had water…

Well, you know how thirsty I get.

“Guilt trolling.”

Image from blogspot

As regular readers know, I am a follower of the political website Democratic Underground. And if you participate in any online community, you know there is usually a high incidence of “trolls.” For those unfamiliar with the term, Wikipedia defines a “troll” as “someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.” You know the type: we run into them in the three-dimensional world too. Nothing you experience is anywhere near as profound, tragic, or traumatic as something they are going throughor someone they know of is experiencing. A shit-stirrer, as my dad would say.

Now, in the wake of the Boston Marathon tragedy, there’s been a marked increase in what’s being referred to as “guilt trolling” on DU. An awesome DU’er by the name of GA YellowDog posted something so profound about this that I will post it here verbatim. Don’t be a guilt troll.

– –

Already seen it.  You know guilt trolls.  Whenever you’re feeling sad or upset about something, they’re there to remind you that someone somewhere has it worse, so you should feel guilty about your feelings.

If you’ve lost a foot, they’ll tell you someone’s lost two.

If you are paralyzed from the waist down, they’ll tell you about a quadriplegic.

If you’ve lost a pet, they’ll tell you about someone who’s lost a parent.

If you’ve lost a parent, they’ll tell you about someone who’s lost two.

You get the idea.  If you send your meal back at a restaurant, they’ll tell you how people in x country don’t have meals to send back.

If you’ve just lost your job, they’ll tell you about someone who’s been out of work for a year.

Lost a child?  They know someone who’s lost two.

Do you have cancer?  They know someone who has three different types.

Had the flu?  They know someone who died of a worse variant.

Had a wreck?  Well, you’re lucky you weren’t decapitated like this other person.

And if you’re horrified at the bombing in Boston, well, they’ll tell you that the same kind of carnage is happening in Pakistan.

Yes, it’s the truth.  No matter what happens to you, it’s a sad truth that someone somewhere has it worse.  But you know what this person is doing to you when they remind you of that someone worse?  When they try to make you guilty for your pain, or your grief, or your sorrow?  They are telling you that you basically don’t have a right to feel the way that you do.  They are devaluing your emotion.  It is a terrible thing to do.

Yes, carnage is happening in Pakistan.  It’s happening with drones that have our country’s name on it, from our country’s military.  The idea that the majority of people on DU support it is ludicrous and offensive.  The idea that we went into the voting booth with drone slaughter in mind is ludicrous and offensive.  The idea we support the killing of innocents, especially children, is ludicrous and offensive.  You need not remind this board of the horror or the carnage half a world away.

And it has nothing – nothing – to do with how we should feel about the bombing in Boston.  If you want to feel sad, or angry, or upset about this bombing, you have every right to do so.  Another country’s pain does not cancel your country’s pain out.  Another person’s pain does not cancel your own out.  Tragedy over there does not cancel tragedy over here out.  You have a right to your grief, and horror, and pain about Boston, and no one has any right to tell you otherwise.

And to those of you who have already guilt-trolled:  I know you don’t have the decency to stop devaluing others’ feelings, but couldn’t you have at least waited until the bodies cooled?  Even a troll should know when to stay under the bridge.

Young supergenius drives drunk, hits a car, posts about it on Facebook.

Image from

From The Oregonian:

“Drivin drunk” Facebook post gets Astoria teen booked into jail

Some things just aren’t meant to be shared –  not even on Facebook and especially not when you have 655 – ahem –”friends.”

That’s the New Year’s lesson for Jacob Cox-Brown, 18, who wound up in Clatsop County Jail after posting a message on Facebook, complete with emoticons, admitting he’d been driving drunk and apologizing for hitting someone’s car.

Astoria police were already investigating a hit and run on Fifth Street involving a Scion that received significant damage after being sideswiped, police said. A second car was also damaged.

That call came in at about 1 a.m. New Year’s day.

Later that day, an Astoria officer got a phone call from someone who wanted to share Cox-Brown’s message, which read: “Drivin drunk … classic 😉 but to whoever’s vehicle i hit i am sorry. :P”

A second “friend” also called police. At Cox-Brown’s Astoria home, police found a vehicle with damage consistent to the damage done to the two vehicles involved in the early morning hit and run, police said.

They also found pieces belonging to Cox-Brown’s vehicle left behind at the scene of the crash. He was arrested and taken to the Clatsop County Jail where he was accused of two counts of failing to perform the duties of a driver.

He was released on his own recognizance.

Tired of this argument.

I’ve heard it lately, even from some reasonably insightful people. Reasonably insightful, but disingenuous:

“You can kill someone with a knife. You can kill someone with a hammer. You can kill someone with a baseball bat.

Will Cutco be limited on how many knives they can make? Will Stanley be limited on how many hammers? Will Louisville Slugger be limited on how many baseball bats?”

False equivalencies annoy me, especially on this topic. My immediate response: Aw, get real fer crissake. You can’t win a reasoned debate with facts about guns, can you? No, you can’t, so you resort to trotting out anything and everything that was ever used as a weapon in all of history. G’wan, scram. Go back to your mom’s basement.

My more reasoned response, when I feel like dumpster-diving:

In “The Untouchables,” Sean Connery’s character points out that you don’t “bring a knife to a gun fight.” That was for a reason. You can run away from hammers and bats and knives. You cannot run away from nor “rush” an assailant using a gun with a high-magazine capacity. If someone comes at you with a blunt object, you might have a chance to run away or to fight back; not so with guns. How many people can be fatally wounded in a matter of seconds with a hammer, or a club, or a gun: that’s the big difference. Weapons that can injure and kills scores of people within a few seconds: that’s the problem.

Knives and baseball bats and hammers are not guns. Knives and baseball bats and hammers have a purpose other than to kill people.

Christmas In Kentucky, Chapter VII: Preparing To Embark

monopoly devil

Image from

Wherein weather conditions are not trifled with, adorable niece is introduced to The Infinite Game, and plans are in motion for a Great Meeting Of Clan McKinney at Christmas 2013

The snow has stopped, but Indiana still has glare ice on the roads and strong winds. I’m not willing to chance it. So another day here. Will set out for home tomorrow (Friday).

A quiet day with Mom, followed by pizza with Pete and Nolia. I’m stunned at the ruthlessness that the game “Monopoly” reveals in my family. “Aggravation” is like “Candy Land” in comparison.

Image from

To make up for it, I taught  Nolia the finer points of the game of backgammon. Seems safe, right? Nobody ever gets nasty in that game.

It will be hard to say goodbye and return home. I’m glad that Mom has Mary and Pete and Nolia so close by. And good dog Lady is ever watchful.

Plans are in the works for a big traditional Christmas in Minnesota next year with the entire family. This is something that we haven’t been able to pull off for more than a decade, for a number of arcane reasons. We shall see what we shall see; we won’t know till we find out.

Once again: shower the people you love with love this holiday season.

Christmas In Kentucky, Chapter VI: Held Over For One More Day

Image from

Wherein I stay put

I came here to get away from this.

I ain’t driving home in this.

That is all.

Image from

Image from

The Rude Pundit on gun laws.

Image from Warner Bros

He makes a lot of sense as usual. Excerpts:

Countries that have banned guns have not become lawless wastelands where dictatorial Kenyan Muslims put them in forced labor concentration camps. One oft-cited statistic is that Japan only had two gun deaths last year. Let’s put that in perspective. We have about 2.5 times the number of people as Japan in the United States. That means 5-6 gun deaths for our 310 million people. Twirl that around your brain for a minute or two.

You own a weapon. You own a thing that is meant to kill people. Respect that. Respect that society has a stake in making sure that your mechanism of death isn’t used stupidly or criminally. Statistically, you will never get the chance to be a hero. You will never stop a mass shooting. In fact, pretty much everyone who ever did stop one was a trained police or security officer or ex-military.

You might hate speed limits because you know you can drive fast safely. But all it takes is one person not as skilled as you believe you are to spin out and kill a whole bunch of us. If you speed a lot and get caught, you get your license taken away.  All you gotta do is respect the speed limit, and you can drive as much as you want.

Gun laws exist not to deny you anything, but to protect the rest of us.