Sunday, March 31, 2024

102-year-old Oakland man cited for graffiti left by others

How stupid is this?

the thing is finally done

Sorry it took until almost April, but the captioning of last year's walk blog is now done, praise Cthulhu. Everything about that blog is now done. I'm sure you won't want to, but feel free to wander through the blog at your leisure, knowing there are no more promised additions and adjustments to worry about. 

I've added captions—some of which tell you little, others of which add some information to the image—and I've appended occasional commentary here and there to flesh out each day's adventure. I also made a special effort to use Google's Image Search capabilities to find the names of various flowering plants. I'm going to try to learn all of these plant names and, once learned, I'll never be stymied by them again. (I realize it's not enough to learn the names: you have to learn where they grow best, how long they last, how they reproduce, etc.)

This is a load off my shoulders. Each day had hundreds of images, and researching flowers (as well as Korean and Sino-Korean expressions) took time as well. Enjoy!

do you think this horrible woman deserves death?

A mother—out of malice or a lack of common sense—leaves some bottles of formula for her 16-month-old daughter, then goes on a ten-day vacation. The child screams while alone in a playpen, then eventually starves to death. The mother is sentenced to life in prison. Should she be on death row? Or is it enough for her to be tortured forever by the memory of what she did? If she's like a lot of lowlifes, she won't have much of a conscience and will deny that what she did was truly that horrible. That right there is a reason for her to get the chair. But what do you think? Is she narcissistically sad for herself because she's going to prison, or is she truly remorseful about what happened to her child?

manual labor by robots

There's an oblique reference to Roko's Basilisk in the video. Be nice to robots. I always say "please" and "thank you" when dealing with ChatGPT.

Styx on Biden

Some of these video titles are hilarious. Do me a favor and really watch them instead of dismissing them.

Joe Biden is Melting Down and Losing His Marbles:

The Biden Administration is a Threat to Democracy:

The Biden Border Crisis on Full Display in El Paso:

He's an incompetent, law-breaking shit. And all this gets projected onto Trump.

food madness

Idiots and food:

The "world's most famous" sandwich (looks good):

he is risen

The legend of Bodhidharma's resurrection. Bodhidharma was kind of slow, though: his resurrected self wasn't spotted for three years. It reminds me of how Bodhidharma didn't achieve enlightenment until he'd meditated intensively for nine years, compared to the six years of austerity that the Buddha went through. This has been taken to mean that later writers didn't want Bodhidharma to be seen as equal to the Buddha, so he was portrayed as taking longer. Maybe the same goes for Bodhidharma versus Jesus: according to tradition, Jesus arose on the third day; then again, the linked story doesn't say when, exactly, Bodhidharma left that shoe in his tomb.

The Resurrection, Andreas Mantegna, late 1450s

Happy Easter, or as a friend used to say, "Happy Beaster." We've moved from the spiritual cannibalism of the Last Supper to the undead phase of God's plan.

Saturday, March 30, 2024

I still don't trust this

Ana Kasparian, left-liberal firebrand, ranter and raver on "The Young Turks" alongside the massive Cenk Uygur, seems ready to leave TYT because her personal ideology no longer aligns with the media outlet that's been her home for years. The video below seems to support the idea that Kasparian is very close to walking out. And yet... I think this is almost like watching a liberal Californian leave the state for some red state, only to vote for the same stupid blue policies that turned his blue state into a shithole. I'm just not convinced that Kasparian is truly sincere. But maybe I'm wrong. Time is the test of character. It's like watching Tulsi Gabbard's own metanoia about guns and gun control: she seems sincere about her new stance, but there, too, I'm not sure. I do know that I like Tulsi a lot more than I like Ana, but that may only be because I have a crush on Tulsi.

Anyway, here are two videos. Watch and decide for yourself: is Ana for real?

In this next video, the host claims Kasparian is the calmer of the two (her and Cenk). I've never seen that.

about that coming review

I'll be watching Seasons 1 and 2 of "Picard," then writing a review of both seasons, but I suspect that whatever I write has already been said better by Dave Cullen:

So much blame goes to Patrick Stewart himself. He wanted his character to be radically different. And like so many clueless people before him, he didn't respect his fans.

meeting friends at 6 p.m. today

I'm stepping out to California Kitchen this evening to meet with my buddies Charles (needs to update his site to https!) and Tom. So it's burgers, fries, craft beer, and God-knows-what-else on tap for dinner. While I didn't quite fast yesterday, I ate very little in preparation for today, and today thus far, I've had no more than a glass of milk.

I'd like to say that I'll be able to show off some fantastic increases in health and fitness when I meet my buds this evening, but my recent bout of COVID totally threw off my stairs-training rhythm, forcing me to rest and not work out (despite promises to do so). And I'm still feeling there's something wrong with my breathing: I'm easily short of breath, and not just because of several weeks' detraining. It's odd and feels wrong. That said, I'm going to start the stairs (and distance walking, and exercising-at-home) again this coming week—modestly at first, then more aggressively. April is likely going to be a thirty-day project, like January was. My goal is still to be doing three staircases in a row by the beginning of July. The weather's a lot warmer now, though, so this is going to become a sweaty endeavor.

Anyway, that's the future. I'm currently busy with finishing up several projects, then I have a meeting later in April with that hiking couple, so there's no lack of things to do. For the moment, I'm baking up what I hope will be successful keto "bagels," which I might foist upon my friends, and I'm meeting those friends this evening. A good time will be had by all. Or so we hope, Precious.

those were the days

When Democrats talked like Republicans:

There's any number of these old clips out there of people like Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and even Joe Biden talking about things like the need for border security to prevent US jobs from being taken, the need to clamp down on criminality, etc. Where'd all that go? I'll tell you. Donald Trump was marinated in that rhetoric, and despite the (R) behind his name, he's still basically a 90s Democrat at heart—something I've said over and over again, but which is conveniently ignored by my critics, who bizarrely seem to hate Trump's pre-woke Democrat rhetoric. It's all very mystifying. All of this should be music to my critics' ears, but it isn't. One thing I know about people not on my side of the aisle is that they're rarely ever happy.

Easter images

For anyone keeping track, it's Holy Saturday, and tomorrow is Easter Sunday. Yesterday was Good Friday, and these three days are referred to as the Triduum by the Catholic Church. Here's my humble celebration of this special weekend.

vocative comma, dammit

There might be another image tomorrow.

the "Fuck Joe Biden!" chant as Trump enters a stadium—hilarious

Let the hate flow through you!

an interesting video on maze-solving competitions

Friday, March 29, 2024

et tu, West Point?

Duty. Honor. Country. No more. From now on, it's a diet of wokeness.

when standards are lowered

Everything gets dumbed down eventually. It's a law of nature or something.

might Tiffany Henyard, mayor from hell, finally face the music?

dem noods agen

I made the peanut-sauce noodles a second time not long after I'd shaken my second bout of COVID, and I was thankful to have regained my sense of taste so quickly.

pic from about 11 days ago

he sucks at all of his jobs; it's why he's always getting fired

Don Lemon interviews Elon Musk—his host and patron—for his new show... and ends up getting fired. Probably for asking aggressively stupid questions, then turning around all wide-eyed while lamely claiming "Freedom of speech!" Idiot.

imagine dragons

Some examples of wood-carved dragons:

I'd never have the patience to do all of those individual scales.

Thursday, March 28, 2024

an "Inside Out" parody

Haiti en flammes

Things have gotten worse since this video.

woke thinking and unhappiness revisited

I did a truncated version of this before. Here's the longer version.

PJW with the quick coverage:

Matt Walsh on wokeness and unhappiness:


Senator Joe Lieberman is dead at 82, reportedly due to complications from a fall. I didn't follow the latter part of his political career, but there was one election where I wrote in my own presidential ticket, with Rudy Giuliani for president and ol' Joe for VP. So, some years ago at least, there was a time when I liked the guy, or at least hated him less than the other guys. His pairing-up with Al Gore always struck me as weird and awkward, but politics is nothing if not strangely recombinant. RIP, Joe.


Hollywood nonsense

Is the woke nightmare finally ending?

The Criticial Drinker on whether Hollywod has been humbled:

Hollywood elites, obsessed with Trump, can't stop talking about him:

I won't be seeing "The American Society of Magical Negroes":

What happens when you suck the woke out of modern movies? You get nothing!


When I'm down in the subway station, waiting to take the short, two-stop ride from Daechi to Daecheong, I often find myself staring at an enormous map of Seoul that clearly shows all the subway stations, but also clearly shows many other salient geographic features. My eyes trace the paths I've walked, and the map, somewhat therapeutically, takes me on a journey of the imagination. It's also a resource for scouting out new potential walking routes. Over time, it dawned on me that I wanted a map like this for myself. And since I can get over 90% of what I want via Coupang, I snapped a photo of the subway-station map and typed the map's title into Coupang's search window.


This map is a bit smaller than the one in the subway station.

When the above map arrived, it came with a free bonus map—physically smaller but showing a larger area: a map of South Korea. The map below is titled an "all-country administrative road map," whatever that means. Its contents are so scrunched together that it's hard to see even prominent geographic features like the Nakdong River. I can trace the Four Rivers route at only the grossest level of detail by connecting the dots between cities. But finding and following the Nakdong is frustratingly difficult.

frustratingly hard to read, especially as my eyes worsen

The big map is held in place with staples (it's a pressboard wall). The smaller map is held in place by double-sided tape. I tried to use double-sided tape with the big map, but that one's both huge and laminated, making it rather heavy. The boss suggested just stapling it to the wall. Now, I can stare at my maps to my heart's content.

some lighter bits

The craziness of English pronunciation:

Michael Rapaport—the leftie—excoriates the left. Has he been red-pilled?

I'm starting to like Jess of the Shire more and more. I might subscribe.

Veritasium: the oldest unsolved problem in math:

Funny testimony (this is a subgenre, I think):

The best handmade bagel in NYC (I showed this to my boss):

Why Matt Walsh is now against tipping:

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

"bloodbath" redux (in case you missed the rebuttal)

TDS about Trump's "bloodbath" comment:

Matt Walsh on the "bloodbath" comment:

Chris Chappell weighs in:

PJW on how Google quietly changed its definition of "bloodbath" to make Trump look bad:

If you call this media treatment of Trump fair, in which his words are deliberately taken out of context and wrongly amplified again and again, then you are not a serious person, and we have nothing to say to each other. There is no moral equivalence here. The alt-media and the rightie media don't act anywhere near this badly toward lefties and Democrat politicians, and if you can't see that, then you are blinded by your derangement.

Baltimore/Dali update

The Daily Wire has an article that says:

  • At least 8 people were on the bridge at the time of collapse.
  • 2 of the 8 have been found. One is uninjured; the other was taken to hospital.
  • Preliminary investigations point to an accident, not terrorism or other malicious action.
  • The ship's crew issued a mayday, re: power problems, before the crash.
  • The mayday probably saved lives as authorities were able to restrict bridge traffic.
  • There were contractors on the bridge, so the number of casualties may be higher.
  • The ship has the flag of Singapore, but is chartered by Maersk.
  • The ship was not being piloted by its own crew at the time of the crash.
  • It is customary for a local crew to pilot a ship out of local waters.
  • The ship had been heading for Sri Lanka.

My takeaway from this is that things could have been a lot worse. The bridge's collapse is dramatic, but loss of life will, in the end, not be too high. That said, it's a tragedy for the people who were killed, not to mention for the families of all who were injured or killed.

This wasn't mentioned in the article, but I saw it as a rumor, if you will, in the comment threads at Instapundit: the ship had been experiencing power-related problems from the moment it left port. Curious.

Ave, John Mac!

I've just stolen this meme from John McCrarey's place:

Funniest Anakin/Padmé meme I've seen thus far.

catching up on court-case news

Jim Jordan vs. Fani Willis:

Trump vs. Letitia James:

Trump vs. Jack Smith:

Kevin O'Leary on how the real-estate judgment is about so much more than Trump:

Jack Smith vs. Judge Cannon:

Trump vs. Stephanopoulos/ABC re: defamation:

Stupid AOC vs. Bobulinski and "RICO is not a crime":

A side story—more on the moron:

How Trump will beat Letitia James and E. Jean Carroll:

How bad is it for Trump vs. NYC?

Vivek on Letitia:

Mark Cuban, who hates Trump, is defending him in this context:

Unethical Judge Engoron tries to get ahead of the Truth Social merger:

CNN doesn't like the Truth Social merger... I wonder why.

Case delayed!

The appeals process has begun:

Details about the merger that ought to give Trump a windfall:

See the latest update here.

fighting the tar baby

They never learn. The more you flail at Trump, the more you end up stuck in a mire of your own making. Not only did Trump have his bond amount reduced in the James/Engoron court case (with more time given to pay it), but he also made Truth Social a publicly traded company, immediately netting him personally over six billion dollars. Previously, Trump's net worth had been around $2.6 billion, but now, he is at around $9 billion in one fell swoop. This makes any penalty from the bogus real-estate case negligible to him at best.

Some perspective, though: Trump is still only a small-fry billionaire, but as Doug notes above, he is now among the 500 richest people in the world, a fairly exclusive club. (That's not the sort of thing that matters to me as much as it might matter to Trump, of course.)

I need to do more research on this, but I think people are also finding out that Attorney General Letitia James, like Fani Willis, has some dirty dealings she needs to explain. More on that when I have something.

ADDENDUM: for my non-American readers who don't know the tar-baby reference.

nasty "bagel"

I left this on my boss's desk yesterday. He didn't come in, so he's now got a day-old bagel sitting there. I hope he enjoys the nightmare.

My boss is from New York, so he knows his bagels.

Something comes over from the West, and Koreans will generally try to reproduce it "their" way, which means making it smaller and less substantial. For cakes and cookies, that means being stingy with things like butter, sugar, and eggs, resulting in sawdust-like roll cakes and such. A Paris Baguette "bagel" might look like a bagel, but the texture is wrong, wrong, wrong. A true bagel has density and heft to it; no one describes a New York bagel as "light and fluffy." But you can squeeze a Paris Baguette "bagel" as if it were a sponge, and it'll spring back. Shudder. How can this huge bakery chain get so many Western breads and cakes and other confections so wrong?

To be fair, Paris Baguette isn't totally hopeless. They do have some good products. When I was doing the Newcastle diet in 2021, I survived on their salads, for example. They also sell a cakey muffin (vanilla and chocolate versions) that is just about perfect. So it's not as though they get everything wrong, but if you want something close to real Western bread, you should probably find a specialty bakery like Kim Young Mo (the founder, his sons, and some staff received their training in France). Overall, the bread situation in South Korea has improved radically over the past few decades, but Paris Baguette seems to have found the perfect formula for fairly consistent disappointment.

Speaking of specialty bakeries: a former coworker told me there's a spot in Seoul called Sweet Park that's full of bakeries, chocolateries, etc. Perhaps when I'm healthier, I'll have to swing by. I heard they're getting their own branch of Five Guys. I hope the portion sizes remain American (they won't), and I'd like for the prices to be reasonable (they won't be). I should just stick to making my own burgers, I think.

President Shambles: a detour

No transcript today—just a piece about Biden's obviously ersatz videoconference:

one data point does not a trend make, but...

These man-on-the-street interviews in urban areas seem to be revealing a surprising number of pro-Trump folks in the non-white community. Look at this one

Am I cherry-picking my data? Of course! Is there confirmation bias at work here? I admit it. Are there, conceivably, man-on-the-street interviews done by left-liberals that say exactly the opposite thing? Most likely, but YouTube's algorithm knows my preferences and thus never shows me those interviews. But here's the thing: I've seen a lot of videos like the one I just linked to, and the sheer number of such interviews is itself an important datum. 

I'm not a statistician; I haven't run the numbers, and I sure don't have my finger on the pulse of US minority communities. But I get a sense that, with Biden's presidential track record out there for all to see, people are making silent comparisons between Biden and Trump, and an increasing number of minorities are concluding Biden is not their man

I don't even know whether it's possible to get a trustworthy measurement of whether the tide is turning, but I sense that we're at least caught in a strong eddy.

ADDENDUM: Try this interview out for size, too.

more China news

Despite appearances, all is not well between Russia and China:

Chinese women don't want to breed:

China's gone "insane" about TikTok (and its possible ban in the US):

The sea of unemployed people:


The Dantean descent of Hong Kong continues:

Xi Jinping's "breakthrough":

Murder season in China—a heartfelt look at a social problem:

echoes of Laken Riley

Regarding Biden's lame apology for saying "illegal" about Laken Riley's murderer and Trump's contrastive and ballsy doubling-down on the term "illegal":

Could Laken Riley ruin Joe Biden from the grave?

Oh, and Styx sees Biden as not quitting at the convention. He's all in.


Tuesday, March 26, 2024

disaster at Key Bridge, Baltimore

A cargo ship named Dali, with a Singaporean flag, crashed into a supporting pylon of the Francis Scott Key Bridge (not to be confused with the Key Bridge connecting Rosslyn, VA and the Georgetown district of Washington, DC) in Baltimore, Maryland. The accident happened at around 1:30 a.m., and when I checked the news about two hours ago, reports said that at least seven vehicles had gone into the drink (the Patapsco River). Darkness had been hampering rescue efforts. This is an evolving situation, so watch the news for updates. There are many questions regarding how and why the huge seagoing vessel crashed into the bridge's pylon. Power loss? Drunkenness? Some other factor(s)? Video of the ensuing collapse is pretty frightening. The span was 1.6 miles long, and a large portion of it is now simply gone. As you might imagine, the loss of the bridge has severely disrupted local traffic patterns. Here's hoping the death toll is minimal.

the GOP and abortion

Styx's perspective on abortion is very close to my own:

The GOP won the battle to make abortion a states'-rights issue, which is what the GOP had long fought for. Some GOPers, hungry for more, are now trying to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory by pushing for a federal ban. This is ridiculous.

Leave the issue alone, guys. You won. Now, back off.

banana cream pie

From a week or so ago:

The closest thing I could find to Nilla Wafers were these tiny, nickel-sized "egg cookies." Overall, the banana cream pie was awesome, but the hard, grainy turbinado (this was a cinnamon/sugar mix) was a mistake because of the gritty textural clash with the soft, smooth pie. I should have melted the turbinado into a syrup as if I were making Bananas Foster... in which case, I should've just used brown sugar.

But overall, the result was great. I had recaptured the taste and mouthfeel of a pie given to us by a congregation member when Mom was sick. I remember that pie being amazingly addictive, fluffy as a cloud, and even though I'm usually a chocolate guy, that pie was so good that I completely forgot about chocolate and didn't miss it at all. My pie wasn't quite up to that mythical level, but it was pretty damn good. At the office, it was gone in two days.

Oh, yeah: the reason the bananas are on top of the pie is that I, like an idiot, forgot to put the bananas into the pie as I was making it. I did add banana extract to the vanilla pudding, though, so the whole thing was infused with banana flavor. All we were missing were the tarantulas that hide in banana trees—the banana spiders.

changes in "Dune, Part II" will affect "Dune Messiah"

The biggest change was definitely Chani. She was much more loyal in the books, and she had no idea about how the Bene Gesserit's Missionaria Protectiva had sown messiah legends as a way to protect its own stranded members. In the movie, Chani somehow knows, maybe via her conversations with Paul. I'm not necessarily against the changes that Villeneuve made to Chani, but the director did make things harder for himself in doing so.

I'm sure there's nothing to worry about

Alex Jones's InfoWars can be as unhinged as Jones himself is, so it's not a source I dip into very often. It's like the right's version of MSNBC. But in this case, the InfoWars article in question is largely quoting from a reliably leftie source: Rolling Stone Magazine.


Rolling Stone: Biden Building ‘Superstructure’ to Stop Trump From ‘Stealing the Election’
Democrats apparently very worried Trump working to overturn "democracy" — as they plotted to remove Biden’s political opponent from ballot, prosecuted him in 5 cases, and are threatening to seize his assets to deny campaign funding.

Rolling Stone published an article Sunday titled, “Biden Is Building a ‘Superstructure’ to Stop Trump From Stealing the Election,” describing how Joe Biden and his allies are “creating a legal network” designed to challenge a close election finish.

From Rolling Stone:

Over the past year, Team Biden has been conducting war games, crafting complex legal strategies, and devoting extensive resources to prepare for, as one former senior Biden administration official puts it, “all-hell-breaks-loose” scenarios. The preparations include planning for a contingency in which Biden’s margin of victory is so razor-thin that Trump and the GOP launch a tidal wave of legal challenges and political maneuvers to rerun his 2020 election strategy: declare victory anyways, and try to will it into existence.

“President Biden has been worried, for a while now, that Donald Trump is going to try to steal the election, if it’s very close on Election Day,” says a source familiar with Biden’s thinking. “If that ends up being the case, we are… also expecting the Republican Party to go into overdrive to help him steal it. We are continuing to build out the infrastructure to ensure that doesn’t happen — again — if President Biden wins and Trump and MAGA Republicans try to confuse [everyone] and sow chaos.”

Let's skip to the endgame, shall we? The right has proved overly tolerant and very wimpy when it comes to acting out violently, and the left loves to accuse the right of being the violent ones. Leftists project, after all. It's their stock in trade. Assume Trump loses and the right finally gets all apeshit-civil-war-let's-go-motherfucker. We'll finally have our long-simmering hot war, the left will cry "See? See? We've been saying this since forever!"—and in the end, the side with more guns will win. The left naively assumes the military will support it if there's any such violence, and while there's a chance of that, what's just as likely is that elements within the military, tired of all the woke bullshit, will side with the right. But let's assume Trump wins this November. The left will definitely go apeshit and try to burn things, but the right might be ready for looting and destruction this time, so again, the side with more guns is likely to win.

Civil war aside, let's review some chronology.

1. Before the 2016 election, Trump was asked whether he'd accept an electoral loss. He responded with something cagey like, "I have to think about it." The left went nuts and screamed that the electoral process was solid, inviolable, immune to cheating and fraud.

2. Then Trump won. The left immediately did a 180 and screamed (thanks to prompting by Hillary) that Trump had won with help from the Russians. During Trump's presidency, at least three Democrat-led investigations found no evidence of a Trump-Russia collusion, but wild-eyed left-Dems still cling to that narrative even now.

It was hilarious to watch the left turn on a dime like that. But they'll never again make the mistake of claiming the electoral process is trustworthy and inviolable. It probably hasn't been for a long time... which kind of makes you think.

I'm open to suggestions, sci-fi scenarios, etc., that show how it's possible to minimize rigging, cheating, and fraud from both sides. At this point, trust in the electoral system is broken. Conservatives bitterly joke that you can't vote your way out of a corrupted system. Left-Dems, meanwhile, have their rosters of the dead, the illegal, etc. to pad their voter rolls.

The people who cast the votes don't decide an election; the people who count the votes do.
—Stalin (one of several versions of this quote)

while I slept

It's Tuesday here in Seoul, but it's still Monday on the US east coast—the day that Trump is due to pay his bond in the Letitia James-Arthur Engoron real-estate case. And there has been at least one major development while I slept.

In the vid below, Styx mentions the idea that, if Letitia James is going to try to collect Trump's Mar-a-Lago property in Florida, that's going to be chaotic. How can New York grab a Florida property, especially when the Florida legal system (and presumably, Florida's governor) is much more sympathetic to Trump?

But Styx made the above video before a thing happened. An appeals court just agreed to cut the amount of Trump's bond way down, from $475 million to $175 million. This comes with a ten-day grace period and is a victory for Trump. Some righties are crowing that this is a major victory, but in the larger scheme of things, I see this as only a minor victory. We can all agree, though, that is represents a major frustration for ego-driven Letitia James.

The vid below covers the witch-hunt aspect of Letitia James's efforts:

Doug in Exile focuses on the corrupt nature of the judgment against Trump. The fact that the appeals court slashed the bond amount so extremely is evidence that the original amount was unconstitutionally unreasonable (8th Amendment):

haven't we seen this nonsense before?

The "sudden" arrival of more ballots at the eleventh hour. Nah, this couldn't have happened before, could it?

The gaslighters will, of course, say this isn't fraud: it's just a simple mistake. The video says as much! I guess we'll see how many such "simple mistakes" occur over the course of this year. And we'll also see how many of these "mistakes" end up breaking in favor of the Democrats. I'm sure it's all perfectly innocent, of course. We're the crazy ones for thinking anything else!

While we're at it, here's more suspicious stuff:

Nah, but that's nothing, right? What it is is exactly the sort of thing that happened in 2020. Go ahead, stick your fingers in your ears and chant La, la, la, but in the end, you can't run from this. It's not going away. And this is the very sort of thing that corrupt courts refused to countenance with their magical hand-waving and their "no legal standing" nonsense. And if you think the courts are perfectly fine, then you've either had your head up your ass for at least four years, or you're more naive than a newborn. Not even the Supreme Court is untouched, mainly thanks to that squish Justice Roberts. The above video does bring up an interesting critical point about Donald Trump, though: he backed Ronna McDaniel! Yet another poor staffing choice. And that's something I've criticized Trump about. 

what bias?

To all my friends and acquaintances who see only moral equivalence:

Monday, March 25, 2024

malfeasance: mishandling of ballots

Still think there're no shenanigans? Wake the fuck up. As I wrote earlier, it's little things like this, happening all over the country, that add up.

Unreal. Mark Provenza, the man guilty of negligent mishandling of the ballots, may not have done what he did maliciously; he was most likely just sloppy. But intentional or not, this is the sort of behavior that opens the door for election fraud. I'm glad the guy was caught, as well as caught on camera. He's been dismissed from his position and replaced. A search of news articles about the incident shows no indication of whether Provenza was a Democrat or a Republican. Guess what I think he was.

"Queers for Palestine"—the ultimate folly?

Some of these idiots really don't understand that traditional Muslims don't want their help. Some Muslims might, in fact, want to see queers thrown off a roof.

New rule! (with apologies to Bill Maher)

New rule!

You may punch in the mouth anyone who begins a sentence with "As a..."


As a person of color... 
As a woman... 
As an African American... 
As an East Asian... 
As an Indian American... 
As a Native American...
As a member of the queer/trans/LGBTQ+ community... 
As someone who is differently abled...
As a proud Irishman...
As a neurodivergent black lesbian...

Think of the punch as percussive therapy. Such people can't think beyond or see past their own demographic, so their reality-denying bubble deserves to be penetrated by a speeding fist. Try to knock out a few teeth. Make these people remember.

And before you look through my archives: yes, I'm hypocritically guilty of doing the "As a..." thing. I'm a work in progress, and this is a part of my past that I now reject and am ashamed of. Don't be a Demography is Destiny dickhead.

"Climate: The Movie (The Cold Truth)"

YouTube is shadowbanning this video, so watch it while you still can:

One of the most interesting scientific insights to come out of this video is that CO2 isn't driving temperature change: temperature change drives CO2 levels. In other words, climate alarmists have the cause-effect dynamic exactly ass-backwards. Also, even if things seem to be warming now, temperatures aren't where they were in the 1930s, and if you go back even farther in time, temps were radically higher thousands and even millions of years ago. Other drivers of climate that the alarmists don't like to talk about: clouds and the sun. The list of things the scientific "consensus" has gotten wrong is too long to repeat here; just watch the video. At 2X speed, it's about 40 minutes of your time.

the power of aggrieved thinking

PJW on why it doesn't pay to harbor woke beliefs. 

RFK Jr. with some rationality on gun violence

Lefties will say RFK Jr. sounds like a conservative (don't be fooled, righties: he isn't!) when it comes to gun violence, but the rest of us will say he's merely talking common sense—something the left abhors.

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Eva Vlaardingerbroek on immigrant violence against women in Europe

Eva's cute, but she's got an intimidating "resting bitch voice":

then again

Maybe Biden is just a "confused, demented liar":

will Joe run?

Could Joe Biden not end up on the 2024 ticket?

What's up with the weirdly ungrammatical thumbnail?

If you think Biden is a vegetable, or that his time in office is "elder abuse," then you can't blame the man for anything since he's obviously not in control. I think he's mentally deteriorating, but he retains enough of his marbles to be on the hook for major decisions, such as whether to campaign. You can't blame the brainless, as much fun as it is to call the man an idiot (which I admit I've done on multiple occasions).

I was wrong to think Biden would kick the bucket during his first term. He got the powerful drugs and embalming fluids, and he's somehow managed to push through despite it all—aneurysms, two bouts of COVID, and God only knows what else. I think he thinks he has it in him to run for a second term, and he just might. I'm not quite convinced he's dropping out.

But we'll see.

leftie TikTok video turns out to be an accidental Trump ad

Oh, noes! Trump!

the Hoof GP with more juicy hoof magic

As always—not for the squeamish:

"Road House" (2024): review

L to R: Conor McGregor as Knox; Jake Gyllenhaal as Dalton
[WARNING: spoilers.]

People will remember Patrick Swayze's "Road House" from 1989, a hilariously stupid movie with many accidentally funny one-liners, plenty of boozin' and fightin', with some quasi-Zen/Taoist/Stoic/pragmatist philosophy sprinkled in. It's the story of Dalton, who rambles into town, sets himself up in a farm loft by a local river, and gets in trouble with the tycoon-in-residence who, like a mafia boss, extorts all the local merchants. If the merchants fail to comply with the racket, he destroys their livelihoods through chaotic bar fights, firebombings, and—yes—monster trucks. Only Dalton stands in his way. The whole thing is tacky and unserious, and I'm here to tell you that 2024's "Road House," while having very little to do with the plot of the 1989 movie, carries that silly spirit into the twenty-first century.

Directed by Doug Liman ("The Bourne Identity," "Edge of Tomorrow") and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, "Road House" is still the story of Dalton, but instead of being something akin to Kwai Chang Caine from "Kung Fu," as Swayze's Dalton was, this version of Dalton is a champion MMA brawler—a quiet person who's slow to anger but, once he gets angry, becomes a force of nature. He's also got a dark past, having killed a friend during a championship fight in the octagon, with no one outside the event understanding why he was so brutal when his friend was already down for the count.

When we meet Dalton (Gyllenhaal), he's about to enter a local ring to fight a flabby champ,* but when Dalton steps into the ring and takes off his shirt, everyone—including the flabby champ—recognizes who Dalton is, and the champ, who had just won six bouts in a row against even flabbier locals, turns yellow and begs off the fight, leaving the fight purse to Dalton in return for not being royally fucked up. A lady named Frankie (Jessica Williams), watching the proceedings, finds Dalton as he's walking back to his car. Frankie tells him she's the owner of a bar in the Florida Keys called the Road House—deliberately spelled as two words. Her bar has been having trouble with people who constantly come in and stir shit up; the bar has already run through several bouncers; no one ever stays, and Frankie is desperate. Dalton initially says no to her offer of $5000 a month, but after he has a scary moment involving an oncoming train, he comes to his senses and makes his way down to Glass Key, part of the Florida Keys.

Once in Glass Key, Dalton befriends Charlie (Hannah Lanier), a local teen girl who works in a bookstore with her dad. In a meta/prophetic moment, Charlie fancifully draws a parallel between Dalton's arrival in town and some old Western novels where a heroic stranger appears and sets things right. Now working as a bouncer, Dalton gets into a tussle with a bunch of local bikers led by the surly Dell (JD Pardo, who was one of the cooler characters in "The Terminal List"). As the story unfolds, we find out that the people harassing the Road House, including Dell and others, are trying to scare Frankie away from her property so that rich scion Brandt (Billy Magnussen) can develop her property into a coastal resort. On Glass Key, old families are well established and have a lot of pull: they control businesses and at least part of the local police force, run by the corrupt sheriff known locally as Big Dick (Joaquim de Almeida). All of these bad guys see Dalton as in the way, and since the local muscle hasn't been able to scare Dalton out of Glass Key, Brandt's father, who is in prison, calls in muscle from Europe: an Irish fighter named Knox (true-life MMA champ Conor McGregor in his first movie role). Complicating matters is that the corrupt sheriff's daughter, Ellie (Daniela Melchior of "The Suicide Squad" fame), an ER doc, is starting to fall for Dalton.

In the 1989 film, Dalton rolls into town and ends up dispensing justice to all the bad guys, and the town is liberated from the oppression of Brad Wesley (Ben Gazzara). It's a simple story told in primary colors. In the 2024 film, the ending is a bit more murky and complicated: Dalton doesn't turn out to be the hero some people wanted him to be, but as Charlie cheerfully notes at the end of the film, he's not the villain, either.

Is "Road House" supposed to be a comedy? There are plenty of laugh lines, and Jake Gyllenhaal plays Dalton as a generally taciturn-but-likable fellow. Conor McGregor's Knox looks far bigger than McGregor normally looks when he's in the octagon, and McGregor—who, it must be said, can't act—plays the role with a cheerfully psychotic zaniness. Knox is merely hired muscle in this movie; he does what his boss tells him to do, but Knox has a weird dynamic with Dalton: he starts off as his enemy but, by the end, he almost seems to respect his opponent, having recognized a fellow berserker, a kindred spirit. With a little more tweaking to the writing, this aspect of "Road House" could have made the movie much more interesting. The movie's humor, though, is punctuated by a sort of deadly seriousness, but this may have been an homage to the 1989 film, which starts off fairly comical before becoming extremely dark when Patrick Swayze rips out the throat of Jimmy Reno (Marshall Teague), the other accomplished martial artist in town.

The romantic subplot with Ellie didn't feel as if it were going anywhere, and I didn't sense much chemistry between Gyllenhaal and Melchior. Dalton's interactions with fellow bar employees, his boss, and the locals, by contrast, felt natural and wholesome. The screenwriters definitely invested time in the world-building, although I found the villains' motives to be shallow at best, and Dalton's interactions with the bad guys were all very one-note.

In all, this was a movie that had potential, and it was hard to figure out just what sort of tone it was trying to strike. Was it a reboot of Swayze's movie, or just a remake? The plot of the 2024 film is so different from the original film's that I'm thinking this has to be a reboot. The script also showed occasional flashes of brilliance, and Gyllenhaal, who is a talented actor, delivered his lines in a wry tone that reminded me a bit of Toby Maguire. Conor MacGregor's first outing as an actor was awkward at best, but he obviously had fun in the role, and it must've been frustrating for him to play a heavy who loses to Jake Gyllenhaal. (That, or McGregor is just a very, very good sport.) So, as I feel about Keanu Reeves, I see Conor McGregor as a good physical actor but a terrible dramatic actor. He has potential, and if he snags more film roles, his acting ability can only improve. Perhaps he'll follow the path of fellow MMA star Gina Carano although I hope McGregor doesn't allow himself to go soft as Carano has done.

Another actor deserving mention is Hannah Lanier as the teenage Charlie. Lanier plays Charlie with an agreeable naturalness; I see good things happening in her future, and I liked her Charlie's dynamic with Gyllenhaal's Dalton. Charlie's dad Stephen (Kevin Carroll) doesn't get much screen time, but he makes a positive impression. Special props to Joaquim de Almeida, one of my favorite actors: his gravelly-voiced Sheriff Big Dick is a vile turd of a cop, but he loves his daughter. De Almeida plays the role with just the right level of cruelty. Billy Magnussen as Brandt isn't a very imposing presence, and he doesn't inspire much fear. His father, whom we only hear as a voice calling Brandt from prison, sounds a lot scarier. Arturo Castro plays one of the biker-gang members following Dell around, and as the timid, talkative Moe, he provides a good measure of comic relief.

The Florida Keys, as a setting, were practically their own character in the film. I appreciated the cinematography, especially the one scene where Dalton and Ellie go on a date, taking a boat out to a sunken sandbar and enjoying a picnic lunch in calf-deep water. I wish the two had had better chemistry together; that could have been a truly romantic scene.

Overall, "Road House" is a mishmash of comic and dramatic. Like the 1989 film, it's a weird fusion of silly and serious. The Dalton we meet in this version isn't quite as pure, self-possessed, and philosophical as Swayze's Dalton (nor does he have the bouncer's background of Swayze's Dalton), but he knows how to crack a joke, and Gyllenhaal plays the role with feeling. Elements of the story border on the ridiculous and the preposterous, with plenty of loose ends and unexplored legal implications. By the time Dalton rolls out of town at the end, the old, established families of Glass Key are still in power, as is corrupt sheriff Big Dick. As for loose ends: even the brutal Knox, who is defeated by Dalton, gets a mid-credits scene in which he fights his way out of a hospital wearing one of those ass-exposing hospital gowns. The hospital escape is played for comedy, but didn't Knox kill one or more people earlier, and wasn't he thus wanted for murder? At least one main villain dies, but we're left with the impression that this doesn't change much. And the biggest question, after all of this chaos and drama, is: will the Road House survive? Maybe, but Brandt's crime family isn't the only one developing land in the Keys. Predators abound. The story isn't over. And yet... despite the movie's numerous flaws and extremely messy ending, it's hard to hate because, like the 1989 story, it's good, stupid fun, not to be taken too seriously.


*The flabby champ was played by rapper Post Malone. Here's a short video of him paying homage to the recently deceased country singer Toby Keith. He's got a good voice. And as for acting in this movie... for the short amount of time he was on screen, he wasn't bad at all. He should've given Conor some lessons.

Saturday, March 23, 2024

Rand Paul en tête

"Neoconservative losers":

Oregon's failed drug policies: ha ha

As I've said before, I've been fairly libertarian about drugs: do what you want as long as you don't harm anyone else. But my vision of an America in which druggies have 24/7 access to care facilities has not come to pass as politicians in various states have instead simply voted to decriminalize or outright legalize drug use without implementing any sort of safety net. I can't condone that, so until people get serious about providing the safety I envision, I'm going to have to readjust my stance on drug use to something more... traditional.

Here's a more optimistic me in 2017.

terror attack in Russia


60 Killed, 145 Injured in Attack at Russian Concert Hall; ISIS Claims Responsibility
Several assailants opened fire on concertgoers in Moscow in one of the worst attacks in Russia in decades.

More than 60 people are dead and 145 wounded following a terror attack in Russia. Several attackers opened fire in a crowded concert hall in Moscow on Friday and triggered an unknown number of explosives.

The ISIS terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Russian security services are still responding to the incident and have reported multiple deaths.

Russia’s foreign ministry described the rampage as a “bloody terrorist attack”.

“The entire world community is obliged to condemn this monstrous crime,” Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said. “All efforts are being thrown at saving people.”

This is going to sound horrible, but I keep thinking that, for terrorists to truly be effective in America, they have to do something like this, but their specific acts of terror need to be uploaded (with clear sound and video) and shown to the public. Grab some big celebrities—actors, businessmen, journalists—and video them being tortured and killed. Such an act would horrify the nation, and by televising it all, the victims of terror can't be reduced to mere statistics (as the title of the above article did). The victims would have names and faces.

If we think more geopolitically, it's often the case that terrorists generally strike when and where they sense weakness. Could this be a side effect of Russia's efforts in Ukraine? Resources are being poured into that military effort, and even if the Russians are winning in Ukraine, the victories have been costly, so it'd make sense for some Muslim group to think that now would be a good time to strike at the very heart of the Russian bear.

By that logic, America has been projecting decrepit weakness for over three years now. It could be that our day is coming.

Musk: "far worse than 9/11"

Shades of Kurt Schlichter's The Attack: