Five Tornadoes Hit Maryland In February

Five tornadoes (confirmed) hit Maryland in a line of storms totally uncharacteristic of February weather.

While this month has been known for heavy snowstorms near Valentine’s Day, the weather is mild and often wet. Where I live we’ve only just seen an inch of snow, and with temperatures during the day ranging wildly from the upper 30s to over 60, I don’t expect any snow. The projected temperatures for the next ten days are going to be much the same.

In January I saw a magnolia grow flower buds. They didn’t bloom, but it takes several days of really mild weather to do that. I’ve seen it before, premature budding, but never that soon. In fact, one day the grounds crews brined the parking lot for no reason. Nothing happened, yet the complex was billed.

Meanwhile, this article adds more proof of oceanic temperature rise owing to greenhouse gas in the atmosphere. See more proof here, but look, another chunk of glacier just broke off, and as the articles linked here point out, there’s more to come. I’ve said, and I hold to it, the tipping point has already been reached. Temperatures only rise from here. More freaky and out of season weather is coming. By ordering the repeal of environmental regulations, Trump has put the time ahead by years, time when we will see massive cataclysms and many will die. The tornadoes in Maryland may have been EF-One, but soon, in an area that rarely saw such weather, there will be more and they will be much stronger. There’s no way to stop it. It really, in the end, isn’t freak weather at all. It’s just the new normal.

Life is changing. Even as I predicted it, vintners were already planting and moving vines to the north of France. It’s happening as I knew it would. The best chance we have is to kick out the jackass in the White House. It’s our only hope.

The Mob

I’ve written a bit on the Mafia before. The stories I’ve been told by more than one person who was either in or was harmed by the Five Families never end well. I know of some who made it out and lived to ripe old age, but they usually broke the omerta, the Sicilian codes of silence. They talked and became members of a different group: families in the government witness protection program. A bunch got murdered, and I feel that weight at times; thewy murdered, ordered hits, then got hit. But it is men like this who become extraordinary. He walked away for the woman of his dreams. Every day he had to look over his shoulder. For that one guy with a hand in the pocket of his overcoat, walking with his head down.

He managed his escape. He became a devout Christian, and the video in this link (above) is awe inspiring; his message that we have the chance to resist, fight and win.

On This Day

Last year I posted something on Facebook. It turned out that Harris pretty much sunk her own boat, not because of her race, but one statement about race to Joe Biden, a policy, a statement which was later debunked. From then on, she was always on the defense. I cannot say if it hurt the Democrats very much; no one talks about her now. But our choices of candidates should be based on the character we see and hear, the work they’ve done. Never on preconceived ideas of race or gender. Some still do. Well those in the Republican party want you to be biased. They sit and read and watch Fox News and they’re told that white people are under siege by every other race, and in the end, it scares the hell out of people. The lies and propaganda only get ramped up from here. This is because they’re insecure and the whole party has been caught dirty. The way they fight that is manipulating the news you get. The people you hear make no sense; there’s no way to make the whoppers they tell believable without emotional manipulation. They’re playing us.

In the year since this day in 2019, I’ve heard and read more ugliness, and now in our own Senate, we have a president on trial by men who have already said out loud that they have no intention of being fair and impartial. They’re hiding some really deep shit, stuff none of them ever want to be seen by the light of day, and that should piss you off. Because it’s not their country hanging in the wind, it’s yours and mine, and that means every day for the rest of our lives, we reap whatever they sow. Sure, there’s still an election coming up. Sure, we’ll get our say. But first, consider this: it’s not known how many voters have been electronically kicked off the registered voter’s lists. It’s a shitload, so you need to make sure you aren’t one of them. What the government is doing is illegal. The power play continues, but we can stop it. They just don’t want us to; their bullshit is desperation.

Prejudice and racism are part of what the Trump administration does, but graft, theft, money laundering, gutting important government agencies, reversing environmental policies, spitting on every allied nation we have, and much more, are well entrenched, and doing more damage every day. Dystopian horrors loom, and who among the Republicans will stand up to that? Well of course, you already know.

I saw Bill Nye attempting to be reasonable and explain the really basic facts concerning climate change. When Tucker Carlson kept interrupting him to say “you won’t answer the question”, Nye produced his cell phone and said, “Six seconds. That’s how long it takes for you to interrupt me, and sometimes less.”

Preconceived ideas about climate change: Carlson sort of admitted it was real, but clung to that conservative lie that it’s not caused, or accelerated by, human activity. The reason that’s key to Republicans is obvious. They cannot go against the orders of their masters, the men behind corrupt, illegal corporate megalopolies.

Democrats have their own problems to straighten out, but these are minor, policy differences which can and must be overcome before the next few months. Here’s the simplest way to work out who you’re going to vote for: you want your grand kids to live a daily nightmare?

Or would you rather they have their share of problems, but still be free, have healthcare, and jobs, and everything the Trump and Republican parties are systemically fucking them out of right now?

I say they underestimated us. And they always will. We’re not living under jackbooted goons, we’re the United States of America. And we all will always do battle with all enemies, foreign and domestic, who threaten this country.

One year ago I wrote this. I didn’t see what was next…

2019-

Oh. Now Kamala Harris is under it, accused of ineligibility for the presidency because she’s not a natural citizen. Put your guns down, assholes. This crap again? And her chance of winning isn’t that great to begin with, and you’re doing this? Shut yer traps. Bigotry isn’t as fashionable as you think it is. We have YouTube, assholes. We see everything you do. And guess what?

Yeah, it turns out that you look really stupid and evil with your Nazi salutes, your taunts to Native Americans, and all that bullshit. But here’s the thing. You blew it so badly that next year, you’re going see how many people hate everything you do. So. She’s not qualified?

That guy who plays Victor on the Young And The Restless? Still around. But he was never qualified for the show. Know why? And it’s not because he’s British, either. Oh, no, you know better than that. British actors are in. Always were. Give up?

He once guest starred as a werewolf on an especially dreadful episode of Kolchak: The Night Stalker. Really. And Kolchak killed him by melting down stolen silver buttons off the cruise ship Captain’s uniform and somehow finding a mold to use to pour into the proper size caliber of bullet. But it was 70’s TV and we looked past it. Besides, actor Darren McGavin would return to supernatural TV in an episode of the X-Files, a particularly scary episode that creeped even me out. It took place during a hurricane.
There have been several films titled “Hurricane” through the years. One starred Frank Sutton as an idiot who lost his wife by throwing a hurricane party. But he was improbable in that role because this was just after his days as Sergeant Carter on Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. and that should have been it, right?
Typecasting is real. It hurts. Christian Bale broke his Dark Knight image by playing Dick Cheney, and I tell you, it’ll blow you away. So take your prejudiced bullshit and pound sand. You don’t know who’s qualified to do what, and you’re gonna listen to Rush Limpbaugh (the guy who got caught with illegal prescription meds, including Viagra, which he used to bed his maid or some shit, I don’t remember so don’t quote me). And Fox news and what have you. And you’re gonna hate everyone except the guy who’s chaotic and evil vindictiveness is in the process of taking your country, as you have known it, and crushing it under the heel of a jackboot.

So you think you’re qualified to determine who’s qualified. But you base the first prerequisite on race.

Sigh

Shut up.

Banned In Boston? No, Missouri!

Here’s some scary stuff. Really fucking scary, worthy of more attention than its getting. If this doesn’t scare you, it should.

This puts a tremendous threat and unfair burden against and on librarians, and threatens our very freedom at its most valuable: expression, speech, thought, learning, recreation.

Probably the work of Christian fundamentalists who usually don’t shrink from a fight for “God”, this bill has seen many like it in the Bible belt and beyond. It’s always been like that. When I was very young, kids’ books were so vanilla that they avoided reality in some pretty bizarre ways, with exceptions like the end of Mike Mulligan and his Steamshovel, but even that ended with kids not so sure if living the rest of his life in a basement with an obsolete Steamshovel was really all that happy. Then in the 70s things began to change. Hunter Thompson’s Hell’s Angels described the “statutory rape at Bass Lake” with enough detail that this title would be gone forevermore. Bills like these would throttle the progress we’ve made culturally. Because nobody knows what’s next once censorship begins. It hurtles like a snowball down a hill in a cartoon. It gathers more momentum and it sucks up anything in its path.

Here’s a bill which would cause a librarian jail time and the library to lose funding if anything mentions in its text the subjects of sexual assault and gay rights or even books by gay and lesbian authors. Because you know if the content gets banned, so too will be the authors.

By the late 1970s I could buy any paperback I could find. Buy it cheap, and if it was good, it stayed on the shelf to be reread many times. Books by diverse authors such as Joseph Wambaugh and nonfiction greats. If anything was banned by libraries, and I know there were, then I’ve forgotten the titles. An old saying went, “If it could be banned in Boston, it’ll be a blockbuster”. Some classic titles were and still are banned depending on location.

We were not the better for it. Except for Disco, there was a time when I was naive enough to believe we’d made progress. At 7-eleven you could buy Hustler Magazine, but Reader’s Digest was still there, too. One could be found in library mag sections, the other surely not. In one issue of Reader’s Digest, I read an article titled “The Terrible Trauma Of Rape”. Guess what? It was incredibly enlightening at the time, and that is what I believe is really what most censorship aims to stop.

Keep in mind that most shitty bills like this are penned by Republicans, who often feel threatened by knowledge. Because the more people know about the LGBTQ population and lifestyle, the more they know what constitutes rape and sexual assault and harassment, the more republican politicians will face their own danger of public disgrace and scandal, and perhaps prison time. The repressive are the ones who are most dangerous as a rule; they fight their own demons. They doth protest too loudly, you know?

Now protecting children is always our job. Yeah. For everyone. But I don’t give a damn for anyone sponsoring a bill for draconian Gestapo-style bullshit in the name of protecting kids when over 5,000 children of Latin American heritage have been kidnapped, put in cages and trafficked for sex and domestic slavery. Come on! Republicans did that ghastly shit! They’re still unable to answer questions truthfully about it. Folks, that’s over five thousand children! Don’t you fucking dare tell me republican assholes in Missouri care about children. If they did, they’d be screaming at Washington, they’d be against this shit, and they would tell their constituents the fucking truth.

I got pissed when libraries banned the Harry Potter books. Being a liberal Christian, I’d read the books and found that, yes, they grew more dark and more complicated in vocabulary and theme as they progressed. And yes, I knew that the Bible forbade witchcraft.

But this was a fantasy world. Rowling created a whole world, and it’s intricate and has quite the backstory. It’s also brilliant and magnificently done. Some libraries didn’t think so.

And then came the hacks like Pat Robertson and others. “Real witches claim that the Harry Potter books are their best recruiting tool” they said, and what’s funny is, it’s a lie. Firstly, because Rowling’s world is fantasy. If someone looks to become a witch after reading the books, they quickly learn that they won’t be fighting dark wizards. There’s no adventure. No stunning spells, although “avada kedavra” was supposed to once be a real spoken curse, but it certainly didn’t strike people dead by shooting green lightning from a stick.

No, Rowling’s work is a showcase for bravery, altruism, loyalty and the constant fight for what’s right. It safely exposes readers to issues like love, coming of age, having convictions that are good and defended for against all odds. And the books progressed as a child would grow and be able to actually feel the stories and what characters endured. From overcoming fear to losing loved ones to bigotry and learning that people are not always the way one perceives, it’s all there, packed with comedy and growing pains and deep regret.

Rowling herself is a Christian, and the books reflect this. There’s Christmas, trees, gifts, and of course sacrifice, all themes not associated with witchcraft by the religious right. She was telling a story, one that was long and complex, and with a delicate touch for honesty and goodness. It’s one big masterpiece.

One thing I liked which was not in the films, was Hermione’s activism over the rights of the house elves. This you don’t get much of in these times. Reading news articles, which kids to the older end of childhood can access on their phones and tablets, is a horror. These are terrifying times we’re in, and parents need to be there and paying attention to what their children are exposed to, not because they should stop all web browsing, but because the kids have questions and concerns. Together they can find answers and hope. That’s what being a parent is about. However, it is up to a parent, not a librarian or a political idiot to monitor their children’s activity on the web. Or in a library, or with cable TV. It’s a job so many utterly fail at; families rarely sit down together for evening meals, don’t turn off their cell phones, don’t ask what’s going on, don’t even talk. That’s the real problem, not books.

Hey, I gotta tell you before I go that hell yeah, I read some fucked up books growing up. Of course I did. But I learned from them. I had insights into what was going on in my own fucked-up life, and I wanted to be a better person than what I was headed to become. You take away the horrible, and kids can’t respect the good. As Horace Slughorn said, “There can be no light without the dark,” and that’s the God’s honest truth.

I’m gonna leave you with something done by Samuel L. Jackson which I happen to agree with. Don’t let freedom die. If it does, we die.

If You Thought He Was A Moron Before, Well, Now You Really Know.

Still think Trump is harmless, do you? Still going to vote for him, no matter what? It’s time to get a bit more serious. Because both India and China play such influential roles in world affairs, you may think it doesn’t matter much that there could be conflict between the two, but you would be really fucking wrong. And both are nuclear powers, making the politics between the two of them rather a delicate matter. Donald Trump doesn’t think so.

Not that I ever thought Trump was particularly brilliant or even remotely intelligent, mind you; but how can anyone be so lazy and stupid as to have a cell phone in his hand constantly and not even consult Google maps before saying anything like this bullshit?

This ain’t angry and incoherent tweets. This is exactly the man you voted for, the one whose bumper stickers you put on that rubber shit they call a bumper. This is the guy, the idiot, who told stupid lies, I mean really stupid things, and told tens of thousands of lies since riding his escalator like Lord Voldemort coming back from the near-dead.

Here’s why cell phones can give you answers about world geography.

And, really? Like, when it’s your job to deal with foreign leaders, what the fuck, people!

He does have plenty of people who are educated giving him advice; you’re absolutely right. But you didn’t notice all the good aides and advisors who have been fired, or fled the White House? He doesn’t listen. It’s his demented world view, diplomacy by the mind of a stricken and afflicted man, and this time, you’re best off voting for any democratic nominee.

At least they passed 7th grade geography…

Did The Ravens Throw The Tennessee Game?

It was a lock. A sure bet that the heavily favored Ravens would beat the Titans.

That’s not what happened.

They never had the lead in a game where it looked suspiciously as if they were not trying to do anything but lose. This is why I never bet on professional or collegiate sports.

First, we’ve known for years that college sports are loaded with cheaters, betting and fixes. Mostly basketball.

But major league sports, I’ve seen proof with my own eyes for decades. Once, in a Monday night game against the New York Jets, the great Dan Marino had recently had some harsh words for several teammates. I watched as passes were dropped, missed, the WR ran an opposite route on a timed throw, and it got so obvious that I wondered if the league would investigate. Of course if they did, it was never made public. The whole league’s corrupt.

I’ve seen tackles missed honestly and deliberately. I’ve seen quarterbacks in ridiculous situations throw a pick-6 when he was looking right at a defender just standing there.

I don’t believe the Ravens lost that game by any honest means. I think players found influence in Vegas. For some financial compensation, key players tanked that game and Vegas won big.

Don’t be surprised if this leaks. Vegas has corrupted every fucking sport there is. Don’t think people are honest, noble or free of temptation when big bucks can be had. This corrupt country isn’t above anything anymore.