filkertom: (whodoyouthink)
Dunno why everybody's so shocked, shocked! that a 67-year-old duck call maker from the backwoods spouts racism and homophobia.

Nor am I surprised that Rush Limbaugh defends him on the grounds of FREEDOM OF SPEECH!

I'm not even piqued by the stance of the rest of his clan, that their fatigues-and-whittlin' Simple Country Honesty™ cannot possibly move forward without their patriarch.

However, I am slightly annoyed that Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) is jumping on the FREEDOM OF SPEECH! bandwagon. But then, he's only supposed to be one of the new breed of conservative intellectuals (which I'm sure we all remember from his Mr. Rogers-style SOTU rebuttal in 2009).

And I'm rather annoyed, and simultaneously bemused, at the FREEDOM OF SPEECH! outcry from the same people who boycotted the Dixie Chicks for saying they were embarrassed to be from the same state as Pres. Bush, the same folks who followed Ari Fleischer's despicable lead in warning people to "watch what you say".

Let's remind everyone, especially Jindal and Rushbo, of a little basic law: The First Amendment, guaranteeing freedom of speech, does indeed guarantee anyone the right to say anything (within the obvious limits of "fire" in a crowded theater, etc. Let's not cloud the argument with bullshit). This even extends to outright lies -- goodness knows enough of them have gone unchallenged.

And it guarantees that the government cannot legally suppress your speech.

It does not guarantee you an audience.

And, if you are a representative of a private company -- in this case, the A&E Network -- it does not guarantee you a job if you say shit that said company thinks is damaging to their image.

You'd think that someone who started from nothing and built his hand-carved duck calls into a fairly big corporation and a reality TV show would have people to mention these things to him. At least someone in his immediate family.

Ah well. I'm gonna continue to stay off his lawn.
filkertom: (whodoyouthink)
Ahhh, DC Comics. Always with the maturity and good clean fun.

I don't think it's any secret that I've had it up to HERE with what the writers and editors at Marvel and especially DC Comics consider to be cutting-edge material, mostly because their material tends to include lots of cutting edges. But this is just frickin' nuts.

And I see the stuff in the comments on that page about the potential meta and meta-meta context. Nope, sorry, no biscuit. DC's animated wing is doing just fine without this crap; Marvel's animation is nearly as good, and of course the movies are great. No, the people in charge at DC Comics these days are the sad, repressed damaged goods people used to think were caused by comics.

I can certainly deal with violence in comics (said the guy who loved Frank Miller at the beginning of his career, long before most people had heard of him). Absolutely sexuality (said the proud owner of the three-volume hardcover Lost Girls, every issue of XXXenophile, and lots of other smutty goodness). But there are... not limits. Standards. There's an old adage about rules, and how they're made to be broken... but sometimes they're made to be followed, because they work.

Every once in awhile, someone posts an old page from the earliest days of Spider-Man or Fantastic Four, or even Superman during the Curt Swan heyday. And it's wonderful how much story and characterization Stan and Steve or Julie and Curt crammed into six or nine panels... and how there actually was story and characterization going on.

Remember the chest-burster scene in Alien? Ridley Scott famously didn't tell the cast what was going to happen, to make sure that their reactions were all believable... to force everybody in the film, and thus everybody watching the film, into a new and unknown realm of horror.

Sometimes I feel as if modern comic creators are trying to do that all the time.

It ain't the medium -- it's the people who have forgotten, or never learned, storytelling... and, possibly, how to have fun.

filkertom: (whodoyouthink)
Just... just look at this. Besides the context, the damn costume doesn't look jack shit like Superman's.
filkertom: (mst3k_itstinks)
71% on Rotten Tomatoes. First shows are at 12:01 a.m. Thursday.

I'm looking forward to it. I hope it's good. Gotta say this, though: When a movie reviewer complains about the science in a Superman film, it'd better be really, really hosed science.

Because, Superman.
filkertom: (enoughalready)
Breaking news this morning: Five dead in Illinois shooting.


Enough with the goddamn guns.

Enough enough enough.

I haven't even had my fucking Egg McMuffin yet, and a half-dozen people have been shot.

Y'know what, gun-rights-über-alles folks? You're correct. Guns don't kill people. PEOPLE WITH GUNS KILL PEOPLE. A lot more easily than they do with pretty much any other method short of WMD.

When I can't get through my freakin' morning web pages without a bunch of people being shot, that's fuckin' it.
filkertom: (jawdrop)
Overnight, things apparently went completely berserk in the Boston area. Information is obviously sketchy (here's a good aggregate at dKos), but two men suspected of being the Boston Marathon bombers killed an MIT police officer, robbed a 7-11, hijacked a Mercedes SUV, and then got started.

One of the suspects is dead, the other is considered armed and dangerous, and a number of communities around Boston (as well as Boston itself) are on no-fucking-around lockdown.

If you are anywhere in the area, keep your doors locked and your heads down. This is serious.

ETA: Liveblog from the Boston Globe.
filkertom: (jawdrop)
About a block-and-a-half and ten or so seconds apart, right near the finish line. Two dead, two dozen injured, lots of emergency vehicles. Aggregated info and lots of links here and here, with the newest info here. And you can watch live streaming video from WBZ-TV here.

If you were down there, please sound off so we know you're all right. If you know someone there, you can check on their last checkpoint here. You can also check for people here (h/t [personal profile] jannyblue).

This is less than two hours old; there will be a lot of confusion and potentially some misinformation. Hold tight and stay calm.

Horrible. Simply horrible.

ETA: WBZ-TV is reporting that, besides the two explosions and one controlled explosion, there are two more devices that have been found and are being dismantled. There was apparently no buzz through the intelligence services of any terrorist activity of this nature, which leads one in the direction of a home-grown terrorist or group.

ETA2: Okay, in case you somehow think you should be down there for any reason at all, the police and the Federal officials are bluntly saying STAY THE HELL OUT OF THE AREA. Boylston Street in particular. Just don't go down there.

ETA3: Third explosion at JFK Library at around 3:00. Again, DON'T GO TO DOWNTOWN BOSTON, especially the Copley Square area. Cell phone service has been cut off, to prevent remote detonations. Logan Airport is still open, but the Bruins game tonight has been cancelled. And there is supposedly surveillance footage of a man with "backpacks" who looked suspicious. On top of all that, when the first explosions went off, everybody bolted -- many leaving their belongings, backpacks, etc. Every one of which has to be checked.

Son of a bitch.

ETA4: Logan Airport is still open, but emergency protocols are gearing up, so expect lots of delays.

ETA5: As we figured, lots of speculation, very little certain. Unknown whether the JFK Library explosion is related; here's their Twitter feed (h/t [personal profile] scifantasy). A couple of the hospitals have been sealed off; dunno why. At least one report mentions a "Saudi" man in custody, but that is completely unconfirmed.

ETA6: JFK Library spokesperson Rachel Flor told WBZ-TV that there was some type of fire, no one was injured, everyone got out okay, and the investigation is continuing. No clear connection to the explosions.
filkertom: (headdesk)
Alabama state representative Mary Sue McClurkin, who is of course sponsoring anti-abortion regulation, says a baby is the largest organ in the body.
filkertom: (Default)
Perhaps you've heard of the proposal to mint a trillion-dollar coin to take care of the debt ceiling woes. (Click here for a more detailed discussion.)

No matter which side of that proposal you are on, I think you'll find this (from Steve Benen at the Maddow Blog) really, really worrisome:
This morning, the [National Republican Campaign Committee] argued, apparently in all seriousness, "The amount of platinum needed to mint a coin worth $1 trillion would sink the Titanic." To help drive home the point, the campaign committee even created an image of a President Obama platinum coin weighing down the Titanic.

Making matters slightly worse, the NRCC says the coin would "pay for [Obama's] spending," which suggests Republicans still don't understand that the White House cannot legally spend money that hasn't already been approved by Congress.

But even putting that aside, the problem with the image and initial argument is that the NRCC appears to have forgotten how money works. A $20 bill does not have $20 worth of paper. Indeed, the paper and fibers that go into a $50 bill do not have five times the value of a $10 bill. And as such, a $1 trillion coin would not need $1 trillion worth of platinum.
For a number of years now, one of the most pressing currency issues has been whether we should stop making pennies, as they are literally worth less than the metal made to create them.

A ten dollar bill weighs exactly the same as a hundred dollar bill, except for that extra zero, which adds nothing and yet multiplies by ten. (Or somethin'.)

We have currency precisely so we don't have to lug around hunks of metal, or anything else.

How about a credit card with a value of $1 trillion?

I see where the NRCC is trying to make a symbolic point... but, for cryin' out loud, if they don't know the basic rules of how an economy based on currency works, how can they possibly have any credibility at all on policy?
filkertom: (cookie_wth)
Every once in awhile, we are reminded that the law is not perfect. Today we have an excellent example:
A California appeals court overturned the rape conviction of a man who authorities say pretended to be a sleeping woman's boyfriend before initiating intercourse, ruling that an arcane law from 1872 doesn't protect unmarried women in such cases.

A panel of judges reversed the trial court's conviction of Julio Morales and remanded it for retrial, in a decision posted Wednesday from the Los Angeles-based court.

Morales had been sentenced to three years in state prison. He was accused of entering a woman's bedroom late one night after her boyfriend had gone home and initiating sexual intercourse while she was asleep, after a night of drinking.

The victim said her boyfriend was in the room when she fell asleep, and they'd decided against having sex that night because he didn't have a condom and he had to be somewhere early the next day.

Morales pretended to be her boyfriend in the darkened room, and it wasn't until a ray of light from outside the room flashed across his face that she realized he wasn't her boyfriend, according to prosecutors.

"Has the man committed rape? Because of historical anomalies in the law and the statutory definition of rape, the answer is no, even though, if the woman had been married and the man had impersonated her husband, the answer would be yes," Judge Thomas L. Willhite Jr. wrote in the court's decision.
Okay, first things first: If you have to lie to someone about who you are to have sex with them, DON'T HAVE SEX WITH THEM.

If someone drunkenly thinks you're their S.O. and you're not, DON'T HAVE SEX WITH THEM.

If you are in the legislature or judiciary, and you have this sort of law end up in front of you, STRIKE IT DOWN OR CHANGE OR NEGATE IT. Declare it unconstitutional. There are plenty of reasons why, the first and most obvious being privacy rights and discrimination based on marital status. Don't just say, "Well, gosh-darn it, the law as written gives the guy a loophole on this." NO, IT FUCKING DOESN'T. If you can talk yourself into that, you do not deserve to be in the legislature or on the bench. (And, [personal profile] scifantasy, [profile] admnaismith, [profile] old_fortissimo, my friends, who know the law better than I do, I'll fight you on this one tlll the sun dies, and I may not be correct but by damn I'm right.)

If you are in the legislature or judiciary, and you have, y'know, interns whose job it is to review laws on the books to see if they're outdated, MAKE THEM DO SO.

filkertom: (jawdrop)

No, seriously, this is a thing. A very wrong, very bad thing, continuing Mr. Murphy's collection of -- how shall I put this? -- utter cinematic shit. And the Marvin....

In a number of ways, mostly related to televised media, I had a perfectly good childhood. Leave it the hell alone.
filkertom: (takei_ohmy)

'Sfunny. I'm curious... but I'm not intrigued yet. Except by Zoe Saldana. Whew. One of the hottest kissers I've ever seen.

filkertom: (toolate)
At least 27 dead, including at least 18 children, in Connecticut elementary school shooting.

Peace and condolences and whatever cold comfort may be taken by the families of the dead and wounded.


Anybody want to say they should have open carry at a FUCKING ELEMENTARY SCHOOL!?

You know. Elementary school. Kindergarten through fourth grade.

Anybody want to bring up the fucking Second Amendment rights to goddamn arm yourselves under every possible circumstances? Anybody want to tell me the teachers and secretaries at a fucking elementary school should've been packing, and then, by God, they woulda taken him down right quick? Anybody want to suggest Rambo or Chuck Norris are better role models than Elmo or Mr. Rogers?

Four weapons on this guy. Possibly a second shooter.

An elementary school.

I don't want to hear about goddamn gun rights for a long, long time. I ask those who have argued in favor of firearms in the past, please understand. I am not attacking you, I am not attacking the Second Amendment.

Huh. I feel I have to say that, because some of you will go off on me about constitutional rights and protect ourselves from the government and guns don't kill people, people kill people and on and on and on. If I mention gun control, you'll freak out.

Well, then, freak the fuck out.

I am horrified, and disgusted with the goddamned fucking NRA and the spineless bastard lawmakers -- all of them, Dem and Repub -- that kowtow to them.

Because something was drastically wrong with this guy.

And he got guns anyway. Several of them.

Our lawmakers, and the ones who lobbied them, made sure he could get them.

And he shot up an elementary school.

ETA: added a bit about my cowardly disclaimer.
filkertom: (i_has_a_sad)
I am getting beyond sick and tired of assholes shooting up places.

If you are anywhere near this, please please please be careful, be safe. Check in, so we know you weren't there.

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