Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Adam West RIP

First Gene Cernan and now Batman. Are there any heroes left?

Adam West died on Friday, June 9th. I realize West did a great deal more than just play Batman for a couple years. I was only three or four years old on the the show's first run, so I probably remember them when they were reruns on Channel 50, when it was operated by Kaiser Broadcasting. It was pretty cheesy stuff, even back then, but I was hooked. It doesn't matter how many posers have tried to play Batman since, Adam West will always be THE BATMAN.

I love this:

I assume this was West's idea. Someone who played himself on such shows as The Simpsons and Family Guy probably didn't take himself very seriously.

Speaking of fallen icons, America's "Newspaper of Record" has about as much credibility as that former mainstay of American journalism, The Weekly World News. This is from an article written by comedian Lee Camp demolishing a Times article about himself:

This past Thursday the New York Times vomited up a hit piece on little ol’ me – a guy who has been doing stand-up comedy for nearly 20 years and thought maybe that comedy could be used to inform and inspire audiences, rather than just make fun of the differences between men and women.

At first when you’re the center of a smear job, you’re annoyed and frustrated. But as I read further through the piece, I realized it was a master class in how to write propaganda for one of the most “respected” news outlets in our country. I’m actually grateful it was written about me because now I can see with my own eyes exactly how the glorious chicanery is done. I count no less than 15 lies, manipulations, and false implications in this short article, a score that even our fearless prevaricator-in-chief Donald Trump would envy.

So here now is a “How To” for writing propaganda for the New York Times – using the smear piece against me as an example.

It really is worth it to take five minutes and read the entire article. 

Personal update:

I'm back to a sort-of normal. I cannot do any real physical activity for more than a few minutes, and I can't take direct sun at all. But I'm able to get to work and make it back home to watch TV, so that makes me better off than most of our neighbors. I'm on some drug that Johnson & Johnson thinks is worth $110 a pill wholesale. (At three pills a day, that comes to $10,000/month.) Of course, I'm not paying that. In fact, I'm not paying anything. J&J has a program for poor sots like me so I can get it for free. When I read up on the drug's side effects, I wondered if I would even be able to continue working. But so far, they've been mild to the point of non-existent. In fact, I'm wondering if the stuff is even working as many of the side effects are the result of the destruction and flushing of all the defective white blood cells floating around in my bloodstream. My last round of blood work was inconclusive; the blood work I had done today will show if I'm one of the lucky few who will not experience any of the common side effects, or if I'm one of the unlucky few for whom the drug does nothing. I have no idea what happens if it's the latter. Everyone seems to have placed all my eggs in one basket.

Central Florida had one of the worst droughts ever over the winter. The wet season seemed like it would never get here. Most of our plants were dead or nearly so; even some of the trees in the woods behind us died completely. About two weeks ago, we finally got some rain. Now we wish we were back in the drought. So far, flooding has been minimal because the ground is so dry, most of the water is soaking in as fast as it can come down. But that won't last forever. The good news is that most of our plants came back. We lost a few and I will likely replace a couple others that are so beat down and deformed that even if they recover, they will never be anything but ugly. I'll do a little trimming and give them one last chance, then if they don't shape up it's off to the compost bin.

Well, that's all I have for now.

Saturday, June 03, 2017

This Place Sucks

If you want to know why where you live sucks dead bunnies and, more importantly, why you can't even force yourself to care that it sucks dead bunnies, watch this:

Someday I'll post some pictures from around town. Which sucks.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Quick Update

My CLL kicked in big time around the first of February and has me completely beat down. I'm sleeping 14-16 hours a day and have absolutely no energy whatsoever, which is why this place has been so neglected.

One thing we are learning first-hand is that James Kunstler is right; the entire medical industrial complex is a criminal racket. From where I sit, I can see no practical or moral difference between what we've been put through the last couple months and Al Capone's reign in Chicago a century ago. The main difference is that at least Uncle Al had a fairly competent organization. These asshats around here can't get anything right. The lab can't figure out how to run the test the doctor ordered. When I ended up admitted to the hospital, I had to correct the nurse on duty every hour on the hour as to what medications I was on, how much I take and when. Some stupid bitch PA tried to kill me by prescribing 40mg of prednisone twice a day. It took me a month to get my blood sugar down low enough that my meter would display something other than "HI", not to mention that my immune system was already in complete collapse and I have an irregular heart beat. At least my hematologist seems to have his crap together. He's the only reason I'm still alive.

Anyway, things will likely be quiet here as I have to wait another two weeks or so before possibly starting on some drug that is supposed to help. Of course the side effects of the drug will have me puking up my guts, crapping my pants and possibly bleeding to death because I shave with a blade instead of an electric razor. Sounds like good times.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

The Coup Continues

I sincerely hope everyone in the US understands that we are in uncharted territory here. There is a faction buried in the alphabet soup of the dozen+ federal security agencies that are actively attempting to over-throw the duly elected president of these united States:

1. June 2016: FISA request. The Obama administration files a request with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) to monitor communications involving Donald Trump and several advisers. The request, uncharacteristically, is denied.

2. July: Russia joke. Wikileaks releases emails from the Democratic National Committee that show an effort to prevent Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) from winning the presidential nomination. In a press conference, Donald Trump refers to Hillary Clinton’s own missing emails, joking: “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing.” That remark becomes the basis for accusations by Clinton and the media that Trump invited further hacking.

3. October: Podesta emails. In October, Wikileaks releases the emails of Clinton campaign chair John Podesta, rolling out batches every day until the election, creating new mini-scandals. The Clinton campaign blames Trump and the Russians.

4. October: FISA request. The Obama administration submits a new, narrow request to the FISA court, now focused on a computer server in Trump Tower suspected of links to Russian banks. No evidence is found — but the wiretaps continue, ostensibly for national security reasons, Andrew McCarthy at National Review later notes. The Obama administration is now monitoring an opposing presidential campaign using the high-tech surveillance powers of the federal intelligence services.

5. January 2017: Buzzfeed/CNN dossier. Buzzfeed releases, and CNN reports, a supposed intelligence “dossier” compiled by a foreign former spy.... [Pissgate]

6. January: Obama expands NSA sharing. As Michael Walsh later notes, and as the New York Times reports, the outgoing Obama administration “expanded the power of the National Security Agency to share globally intercepted personal communications with the government’s 16 other intelligence agencies before applying privacy protections.” The new powers, and reduced protections, could make it easier for intelligence on private citizens to be circulated improperly or leaked.

7. January: Times report. The New York Times reports, on the eve of Inauguration Day, that several agencies — the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Treasury Department are monitoring several associates of the Trump campaign suspected of Russian ties... though it is unclear how they found out, since the investigations would have been secret and involved classified information.

8. February: Mike Flynn scandal. Reports emerge that the FBI intercepted a conversation in 2016 between future National Security Adviser Michael Flynn — then a private citizen — and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. The intercept supposedly was part of routine spying on the ambassador, not monitoring of the Trump campaign....

9. February: Times claims extensive Russian contacts.... and the Times admits that there is “no evidence” of coordination between the campaign and the Russians. The White House and some congressional Republicans begin to raise questions about illegal intelligence leaks.

10. March: the Washington Post targets Jeff Sessions. The Washington Post reports that Attorney General Jeff Sessions had contact twice with the Russian ambassador during the campaign.... The Post suggests that the two meetings contradict Sessions’s testimony at his confirmation hearings that he had no contacts with the Russians, though in context (not presented by the Post) it was clear he meant in his capacity as a campaign surrogate.... The New York Times... adds that the Obama White House “rushed to preserve” intelligence related to alleged Russian links with the Trump campaign. By “preserve” it really means “disseminate”: officials spread evidence throughout other government agencies “to leave a clear trail of intelligence for government investigators” and perhaps the media as well.

Emphasis is mine. Some random thoughts of my own on each of the above point:

1. A sitting president requests permission to spy on an active presidential candidate and his staff. He becomes only the 13th person denied a warrant by the FISA court out of 35,000+ requests. Just how over the top was that first request that even the damn FISA court told Obama to stuff it deep and on a slant?

2. The news media stops editorializing against Trump and begins telling straight-up lies. They've never stopped.

3. RUSSIA DID IT!! Again, this has been endlessly repeated to the point of nausea, never with a shred of evidence.

4. Obama gets his FISA warrant on the second go 'round, can't find anything incriminating, then just keeps spying. Because RUSSIA!!

5. Pissgate: a story concocted by a former spy. Former because he was completely incompetent, was pulled from the field, then stuck in Mulder's old office.

6. Let me get this straight; Obama signs an executive order literally hours before the end of his presidency that will essentially guarantee that anything juicy the NSA hoovers up in its data center will be leaked to the press...

7. ...which happens immediately.

8. Probably the only thing the "intelligence" community has said in the last year that isn't a complete lie.

9. The "White House" (meaning Obama) creates a situation that virtually guarantees leaks, then tries to act surprised when they occur. Obama's estimation of the IQ of the average American must be seriously low. Oh, wait....

10. We've saved Russia so much money. They no longer need to play Spy vs. Spy with the CIA. They just need to subscribe to the Washington Post.

And mere days later, Julian Assange received what looks to be the entire hacking manual that the CIA uses, including code. The current assumption is that while passing the thing around to all the private, for-profit contractors, it escaped into the wild. So basically, the entire planet now knows, down to the code level, how the CIA has been hacking into their systems (or simply paying software and/or hardware companies to write back doors for them). The best bit is a little thing code-named UMBRAGE:

As Wikileaks notes, the UMBRAGE group and its related projects allow the CIA to misdirect the attribution of cyber attacks by “leaving behind the ‘fingerprints’ of the very groups that the attack techniques were stolen from.”

In other words, the CIA’s sophisticated hacking tools all have a “signature” marking them as originating from the agency. In order to avoid arousing suspicion as to the true extent of its covert cyber operations, the CIA has employed UMBRAGE’s techniques in order to create signatures that allow multiple attacks to be attributed to various entities – instead of the real point of origin at the CIA – while also increasing its total number of attack types.

Sorta puts that whole Sony-hacked-by-North-Korea thing in a different light. From where I sit, it looks more like a trial run. When the report first came out that there were Russian "fingerprints" on the hacked DNC e-mail server, I said then that the last people who should be blamed for the hack (well, hacks, actually; it had been compromised at least a half-dozen times) were the Russians. If it had been the Russians, the "fingerprints" would have pointed directly to some 27-year-old college drop-out living in his mom's basement in Elksnout, Montana.

In any case, good to see the CIA destroy what little credibility the US "intelligence" community had left. The problem now is that with their brilliant plan to Ukraine the US lying on the floor in pieces, I wonder how long it will take them to just Kennedy our president and be done with it.

On the home front, my dad is still in hurry-up-and-wait mode. The original surgery was canceled at the last possible minute because the surgeon looked at all the various tests and scans and discovered much more grave problems than a mass that may or may not (but so totally could be!!!) cancer. So now it's back to round after round of tests, scans, x-rays, etc. with a much more involved surgery maybe next week. That means that even if everything goes perfectly, my parents will be stuck here in Florida for at least a couple weeks longer than they would prefer. Good thing they got a couple air conditioners up and running last winter.

The dry needling thing seems to be slowly making some improvements to Debbie's arm and wrist. She can at least make it through a week mostly pain-free. Between that and her alien sex toy, she seems to be turning a corner after five or six years of steady decline.

I, on the other hand, am completely falling apart. Whatever was up with my feet a couple weeks ago is now hokey-pokey-ing around my entire body. Left foot, right foot, left knee, right thumb, left pinkie, left hand, right hand, left wrist, left shoulder. I finally had time to get to my primary, Dr. Ken. He freaked and order up all sorts of blood work. (After whingeing about how it would be so much easier for him if I would just go to the ER, have them check me in for a couple days and they would be able to run all the blood work. Um... isn't that what I pay you for??) He had them checking for everything from AIDS to TB. The problem is that somehow my CLL was left off my medical records. I know damn well I put it on the forms, but it didn't get entered into the system. Which I got bitched out for by Dr. Ken. Anyway, now I'm waiting for the blood work to all come in, make a follow-up with Dr. Ken and a hematologist and a rheumatologist. The current theory is that instead of tissue infection or gout, I actually have RA, which almost makes some sort of sense. The CLL flared up, which landed me with a bunch of nuisance infections (like thrush) and also caused the RA to go nuts. The problem is that I've already been tested for RA and it came back negative. I guess science ain't an exact science with these clowns.

Well, Debbie just got back from the store, so we better start in putting the tinfoil up on all the walls....