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Big, Big Things

Jupiter 2010Like when Jupiter turned into a star on 2010 – big, big things are happening.

To properly do what I need to do to prepare, posts will be suspended for 2-3 weeks. Then there will be a big flurry of them. Then, probably cake.

In the meantime, please enjoy perusing through any of the four hundred posts already sitting up here, or of course, there is the rest of the Internet to enjoy. I think you’ll be okay, blogosphere, but don’t think I won’t miss you.

And yes, all proper Curse-related documentation has been filed at the Courthouse, everything’s cool. (Not really, some stuff right now is really, really not cool.) But the blog-related stuff is, which is all you need to worry about.

 

 

 
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Posted by on May 31, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Let’s Hang Out With Parker This Weekend

Statham ParkerYou might know Parker as Jason Statham, from the new movie Parker, which I haven’t seen yet. It’s based on Flashfire, the 19th Parker novel. I can tell you from the preview that it looks a bit like the book, but that it looks nothing like Parker. It’s had some sort of protagonist transplant.

Which is fine – you shouldn’t go around making movies out of Parker novels, because Parker’s too dark to appeal to a wide enough audience. Parker does not, for instance, live by any dumbass “code” like the preview for Parker says he does. Apparently this incarnation of Parker never hurts innocent people and never steals from the poor, which might make you like him more, might make it more likely that you’ll buy some movie tickets, but it isn’t Parker.

Parker’s assessment of whether or not he should kill you or steal your money is entirely risk-reward based. He is a sociopath. In the first novel, he breaks into a beauty salon right around closing time, ties up the woman who runs the place, and uses the window to watch some mob guys he’s interested in. Later he goes back to check on her and she’s dead. Parker doesn’t care.

I’m not saying – “Go Parker!” But I am saying, if you’re wanting to pretend you’re a criminal, you can do it Ocean’s Eleven-style, where they’re not actually bad people, just hot, lovable scamps. Or you can be grittily realistic. There’s no correct way, now, settle down – literary morality is not a race.

I AM saying that’s the character, he’s completely amoral, and that’s who he is. Very quickly in the series, author Donald Westlake softens the character up, but if that entails knocking off the accidental murder of innocent hairdressers and getting him a steady girlfriend later on, well- you’re really overreaching when you claim he’s Robin Hood.

The only reason – the ONLY reason – Parker isn’t killing you right now, is that it’s a pain in the ass and there is no compelling reason to do it. He doesn’t care who you are or what you did or whether or not you’re nice.

Here’s another modern incarnation of Parker:

Payback

In Payback, Parker’s name was Porter, and they softened him up in hilarious ways, like they made him goof around with a big, silly puppy dog and made him a former driver for a Super Hot Prostitute named Rosie, whom he was apparently in love with, because that makes sense, driving a prostitute from John to John and thinking, if only me and her could skip through the park together eating ice cream.

That movie was based on The Hunter, the first of the Parker novels, and so yes, that’s the one where he killed the hairdresser. Did you see Porter kill any hair dressers? Me neither, and Parker is to be clear, MUCH larger than Mel Gibson.

Rosie, who is Mel’s love interest in the movie and runs off with him at the end, is in the book for approximately seven pages, as a chubby, drug-addled prostitute who Parker knocks around a little bit until he gets some information out of her. I think she tells him she hates him when he stomps away with the name he needed, and we never see her again in twenty-three novels.

I actually like Payback. They kept it pretty dark, and it’s all retro-technology, since the original book was written in 1962, and this was before Mel Gibson parked a fertilizer truck in front of the Crazy Town Courthouse and started threatening the Queen and getting his Anti-Semite Groove going. Before that, he was very mainstream and the ladies dug him. Going dark was playing against type, and it worked for him.

It was as close to actual Parker as I think we’re likely to get on screen, but again – that’s okay. The books were practically designed to be read with a six pack of beer. They’re short, and they’re lean, and they come in two categories.

Either Parker is planning a job, and at the end they’ll execute it and we’ll see how it goes, or we join him in mid-job, and something goes horribly wrong, and we’ll watch him get clear.

The Usual SuspectsThat’s it. We’re just sociopathic criminals for a few hours, without hurting anybody and without going to jail. We don’t have to watch him fall in love with a beautiful and brilliant safecracker, or a beautiful and brilliant stunt driver, or a brilliant and beautiful police detective or anything like that. There’s no mute kid who says something at the end, making it really meaningful and softening the grizzled heister’s cold heart.

No. You’re going to pull off a heist, and you get to leave your conscience at home, and if you don’t like it you get out of the car.

So here’s why we’re going to hang out with Parker this weekend. Of the twenty-three Parker novels, I’ve read twenty-two of them, missing the tenth simple due to being unable to find it. There are more coming out, from what I hear, but Donald Westlake is dead. The last Parker novel, Ask The Parrot, was very clearly the result of a stooge being handed the beginning of a first draft which Westlake left behind, and being told to write a Parker novel out of it. I guess it isn’t terrible, but I know when Westlake’s writing and when he’s not. That wasn’t him.

In fact, it was him, for the first sixty pages. Then suddenly all the characters decide, let’s think of a whole new plan, these last sixty pages aren’t doing it for me, then Parker does something else, acting nothing like Parker at all.

Parker why do you suddenly sound like a thirty year-old English major with a second glass of whiskey in your hand? Sigh.

So anyway, the one Parker novel I haven’t read is The Green Eagle Score. It comes right after The Rare Coin Score, in which Parker meets Claire and she becomes the greatest criminal girlfriend ever, asking zero questions about what Parker does, putting zero requirements on when he should and shouldn’t be away, and being able to use her brain if the shit hits the fan and the cops show up. You know what Claire knows, officer?

Nothing. Beat it.

Green Eagle ScoreSuddenly, back in my world, it was 2013, and I realized that instead of combing local used bookstores for the remaining Parker novel, I could use Amazon Technology and have it in my hands overnight. Fair enough – that’s what I’ve done. Now I’m off to sit on my ass, drink a few beers, and read it. There’s a good chance you’ll get to hear all about it tomorrow, because what else am I going to write about if that’s all I’ve been doing all day?

And if you are wondering about Heinlein’s The Number of the Beast, I’m still going to finish it, but Parker doesn’t like to wait in line, so he gets to go first. You can take it up with Parker if you don’t like it.

That’s the best thing about Parker novels – you don’t have to wait for stuff to happen. Westlake – who writes the novels as Richard Stark – drops you right into the shit from the very first sentence. In fact, my favorite opening line ever is from Firebreak, a 2001 Parker novel:

“When the phone rang, Parker was in the garage, killing a man.”

I’ll tell you the first line to this one tomorrow, once I’ve finished it. Until then, blogosphere.

 

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Star Trek And The Conservation Of Dialogue Principle

thank you for smokingThere was a movie called Thank You For Smoking, and it had Robe Lowe in it as a Hollywood movie executive, and Aaron Eckhart as a lobbyist for the tobacco industry. In one scene, Eckhart’s character is trying to work a deal with Lowe’s character to get cigarettes placed more prominently and positively in upcoming blockbusters, and Lowe describes a scene he has in mind.

It’s set in space, and the idea is that two superhot A-List actors like say Johnny Depp and Scarlett Johansson have sex in a room with zero gravity, and it’s all sexy and graphic, and then they’re floating there afterward smoking cigarettes, and the smoke is spiraling around them and that’s exactly what Eckhart’s talking about.

“But,” he asks. “Wouldn’t the whole thing blow up, lighting up in an oxygen rich environment like that?”

“Well, yeah,” says the movie producer. “But that’s just like, one line of dialogue. ‘I’m so glad we got the whatever installed so we can smoke in space.'”

Very matter-of-fact, because it’s often that simple, and as far as watching the new Star Trek movie goes, don’t go complaining that they didn’t add the extra lines of dialogue for you. They’re already talking plenty. Some things just aren’t going to make sense, and they’re going to spare us the token explanations as to why.

Like you might be wondering why the Enterprise, which can teleport a grown Vulcan male out of the center of the volcano, can’t remotely operate whatever device he’s got down there with him. I think they may have even muttered something about how they can’t be seen by the natives – but you know, they’re usually teleporting from orbit, where the natives wouldn’t see them.

Well, the crust is rich in radioactive isotopes, and they’re screwing with the sensor array, and the device Spock has is too sensitive – the interference could reverse the polarity and then it wouldn’t work. Only way to do it is by hand.

Star Trek 1Or something like that. On the television show, they get pretty bogged down explaining stuff all the time, acting like this is science and not silliness with science stickers on it. I think the new Star Trek movie makes a pretty good decision realizing that it doesn’t need to explain everything.

Like why they could stun Khan briefly on the Bridge, but Uhura unloaded on him about eight times and he supershrugged it off, even with one Metric Vulcan Asskicking in him. That’s how the action needed to flow, don’t make them explain that. Maybe he took a bite out of a tribble before he left, who knows?

We could quibble about how they were beaming folks out of midair in the last one, and this time they can’t get a lock during the final fight scene because “they’re moving around too much!”

It was already awkward enough when Bones is suddenly had a dead tribble next to him and sort of stretched and said, “Yep. Better inject some of Khan’s weird ass blood into this dead tribble while you guys proceed with your action movie. See what happens.”

Everybody even sort of turns to look at him. Sure, Bones. You do that. Right here, why the hell not?

And of course a little dialogue tap dance regarding the need for an extraneous bra-and-panty shot for Dr. Marcus. Because she’s hot, and her agent said so, that’s why.

The problem always comes in when there’s no line of dialogue that could save them from the problem – like when Iron Man doesn’t have any extra suits. That’s dumb, Iron Man. You’re not dumb. Last time you had an extra suit in your car. Keep extra suits somewhere, you big ding dong.

A fine line I’m drawing there, I guess. Star Trek silliness is cool and you shouldn’t ask questions, Iron Man silliness is questionable but still cool, just not as cool as Star Trek. Also, did you notice that Star Trek wouldn’t even have happened if everyone would have just listened to Scotty with regards to seventy-ish torpedos which no one can see inside, and with regards to taking said torpedos on board?

ScottyHe basically had the whole movie beat if everyone had just said, “Hey, Scotty’s right, like he usually is about engineering and missiles. We usually do all right without mystery torpedos, anyway – right?”

All right, well, that’s my advice, and I’ve thought it through carefully for well over twenty-six minutes, so I can’t imagine there is anything inconsistent or hypocritical about it. I was going to bag on the Pope for a little bit, but I was too tired, and he really does seem nice. I guess just being a Pope freaks me out, that’s all.

Cool, now I’m going to use the gravitational pull of the Sun as a sling shot and go land on my couch. You have a nice evening, blogosphere.

 

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The Man And Your Name

CosbyMuch like Bill Cosby, when I was a child I thought my name might actually be “Dammit” or “Jesus Christ,” because folks were always screaming those things at me. Put that down, Dammit! Jesus Christ, where are your pants?!

That sort of thing.

And when I grew up and had a baby, I thought an awesome name for her would be “Weapon X.”

No last name, just Weapon X. Then at school, they’d have to call her that and it would be badass. I’d come in and say, “Hey, what seems to be the problem here? I have her birth certificate here and I’d like you to please address her by her legal, given name.”

Got vetoed – no big deal. She’s still pretty badass. It’s cool.

Similarly, back in 2008 when Sarah Palin stormed onto the political scene like a giant pitcher of Kool-Aid wearing moose antlers, an admirer of hers in Tennessee named his daughter Sarah McCain Palin, without checking with his wife. Surely there can’t be a law against naming your kid after a hilarious nut, but this article explains that the wife actually did have a year to fix it, if that’s what she wanted to do.

I couldn’t find anything as to whether or not they kept the name. Who knows?

But it turns out that biological mothers are not the only ones who can veto your child’s name. Here’s an article about it called New Zealand Releases List of Banned Names, and don’t worry, it’s not just about New Zealand.

In it, for instance, we learn that right here in America – where in 2008 an Illinois bus driver was allowed to change his name to In God We Trust – a judge struck down an attempt by a New Mexico man to change his own name to Fuck Censorship.

All sorts of hilarity going on in that little tidbit. For example, the grownups at CNN don’t think you can stand seeing the word “Fuck” so they show it as “F— Censorship.” I didn’t even know what the hell they were talking about. Why couldn’t the guy change his name to Fred Censorship?

And then it turns out the guy’s real name was Variable – what made him think he could change it, I wonder?

PrinceThis is the same country where Prince was born, and we were cool with naming him Prince and cool with him changing his name to an unpronounceable symbol, even though it meant that Warner Bros. had to send out a mass mailing of floppy disks (already funny) because there was no typesetting or font for the symbol he had pretty much invented by jamming two other symbols together.

Cool, said America. Just don’t name yourself Fuck Censorship, that’s all.

Interestingly, in New Zealand, they wouldn’t even have been allowed to name him Prince. It’s a title, and they wouldn’t want anyone to confuse him with the actual Prince of New Zealand or the Prince of Wales, or whatever. They’ve denied Justice (BS – you could always say Justice was coming, like in Tombstone), King, Prince, Princess, Lord, Duke, Major – goodness, New Zealand. What’s going on over there?

You want to name your kid Lucifer? Too bad. Christ? Nope.

Messiah? T:2? No, and no.

How about Mafia No Fear or any hiphop-type variations of the word “Justice”, like Juzztiz – No.

Name your kid something normal, that’s what New Zealand, home of an actual, working Hobbit town says.

New Zealand seems to have the most extensive rules on the matter, but they’re not alone:

“Sweden also has a naming law and has nixed attempts to name children “Superman,” “Metallica,” and the oh-so-easy-to-pronounce “Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116.”

Like that last one’s not easy to pronounce, just sound it out. Brifsixclimpkickqulib Eleven Thousand One Hundred Sixteen. Just call the kid Briff, don’t worry about it.

Whoa, here’s another article about banned names, also from CNN, which says that in Germany, you must be able to ascertain the baby’s gender by his or her name. I guess that’s for budding online relationships or something. So no Pats over there, no Leslies or Jeans.

And hold on, Denmark has everybody beat. They really do take it to New Zealand’s extreme – you get a real list of 7,000 names and you’re choosing from that. Exactly what kind of crazy baby-naming bullshit do you think was going on in Denmark to make that law necessary?

babiesLuckily, here in America, you can pretty much name your baby whatever you want, the court only steps in and shuts down “Fuck Censorship” if you’re trying to call yourself that as an adult. It’s a very odd line of reasoning – you can name someone else anything that floats your boat, but if you’re the one who has to actually walk around with that name the rest of your life, they’re going to have to restrain you, so you don’t offend people.

I wonder what they’re going to do when the thwarted Mr. F. Censorship decides to have a baby of his own. Can the Man stop him then, here in a world where George Foreman can name five kids George Foreman? We’ll have to wait and see.

 

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Let’s All Calm Down About Doctor Who

Futurama Doctor WhoThat should be easy for most of you, the ninety percent of you who not only are unaware there’s a modern incarnation of Doctor Who, but who seem to instinctively want nothing to do with it. Most folks think of the curly-haired dude from the seventies and they could maybe identify the T.A.R.D.I.S. if you showed them an image of it, but that’s it. Their eyes glaze over within several words – not only is this show about a time traveler, it’s freaking British.

Why must they have their own version of everything? And why do they always have to come up with their version first?

Anyway, I love that about Doctor Who. It seems to me, you need to get on board the show about a centuries-old time traveler who regenerates into different bodies as each actor gets tired of playing him, or you need to not get on board. If Doctor Who were a boat it would be a big, silly, outrageous boat with tea and ferris wheels and a Trekkie Convention on crack for a crew, and it would be very obvious to you just by looking at it if it was the kind of boat you would enjoy riding around on.

Don’t get on the boat and start bitching about the silliness. You get yourself a cup of tea and enjoy, or you get off the boat.

So most people stay away from it – cool. I don’t blame them, it’s utterly ridiculous. I can’t imagine how one could ever enjoy the show if one were to approach it with even a hint of cynicism. And so when I’m hanging around on the various Doctor Who Facebook Pages (you heard me), I’m always a little freaked out by all the bitching, especially with regards to the upcoming 50 Year Anniversary Episode.

I can’t imagine anyone reading this far and not knowing what the 50 Year Anniversary episode’s all about, but what the hell, some people are reading about my coffee and my car rides. Real quickly, the show has been off and on for fifty years and they’re on the Eleventh Doctor, meaning that’s how many different actors have played him. In the show, The Doctor gets injured really badly and as a Time Lord his body gets regenerated into a new actor by the vast and mystic energy that powers The T.A.R.D.I.S. Which again, the T.A.R.D.I.S. is his sentient time machine, shaped like a blue emergency Police Box, which is huge and possibly infinite inside. Has a swimming pool, for instance.

Okay, now that you are up to speed, all you need to know is that for the 50th Anniversary episode, they’re going to have various actors who have played The Doctor all interact, or possibly not, or possibly some of them. Here’s an article on The Guardian about all the rumors – Digging the dirt on the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Episode – and it seems clear that the producers are very cleverly dishing out a slew of conflicting rumors so as to render all rumors unreliable. That’s just the British, being smarter than us as usual.

But back to the actual Doctor Who fans. Good lord, you guys have to calm down and quit bitching about everything. Given how so many people find it simply impossible to even discuss the show, and given how culty and low-budget it used to be, we should kissing Steven Moffat’s ass, and BBC’s ass, and anyone else’s ass who is keeping this train running.

Yes, I know, we’re the viewers and we keep it running too. But they don’t always listen to us – have we forgotten all about Firefly? We need to Get. Behind. Our guy.

Comic Book GuyInstead it’s like the Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons used the Immortality Gate that The Master hijacked in “The End of Time” to turn everyone on Earth into himself, you know, when the Tenth Doctor got to spend a bit strolling through a Green Day video before regenerating into the Eleventh? Except instead of everyone turning into the Master and mocking The Doctor, you’re all turning into the Comic Book Guy, and you’re mocking me.

Honestly, how do you watch the show, come up with a laundry list of things you hate, and then watch it again? River Song is long gone, you’re still bitching about River Song?

Oh, I hate the new Companion because she’s too young and cute (just admit it, that’s what you’re all saying, I see you).

It’s not dark enough. It’s not scary enough. It makes my eyes roll. It’s too dark. It’s too bright.

Pretty soon, I’m hearing complaints that sound an awful lot like “Yeah, like that could ever happen” or “That doesn’t make any sense” or “That was dumb.”

I mean again, the whole show is utterly ridiculous. The cheerful lunacy of it is what I like, that’s part of the appeal. They can go anywhere, do anything, there are no boundaries to the show at all. Here’s how I approach it – the writers tell me what happened, and I say, “Oh. Huh. How about that?”

I honestly don’t know how you can watch the show without pretending you’re a sheep and simply following the wacky goat. The goat does fail me sometimes, but I love that goat. We’ve had some awesome times together, me and the goat.

John Barrowman, for example, who plays omnisexual immortal Captain Jack Harkness, has reported that he won’t be in the 50th because he wasn’t asked. And he really, really wants to be in the episode. Again, we have no idea if this is part of the rumor manipulation they’re doing, no idea. He could pop up in the episode or he could be telling the truth.

LaForgeBut you know, it’s like a Star Trek movie where the only way the whole cast will agree to be in it is if their characters all get equal screen time, so they have to think up shit for Geordi LaForge and Deanna Troi to do. Let’s have them turn LaForge’s contact lenses into Google glasses! Deanna, you take a bath and then get drunk down on Earth!

It gets clunky and in the way, and it seems to me they know what they’re doing. They have enough problems trying bring various Doctors and Companions together, and I don’t want to demand they include certain characters having no idea what they’re up to.

Whatever you’re cooking, make sure it has trout in it! And marshmallows! And it better be good!

That doesn’t make any sense. They’re working, in there. You guys got to shut up and give them a little room.

It seems silly to have to point out that the Fifty Year Anniversary Episode you are attempting to micromanage from your couch is the Fifty Year Anniversary Episode. Why don’t you go tell the boys at Jameson how to make Irish whiskey? Settle down, all right?

Okay, now I’m sorry I hollered at you. Let’s just all remember that words hurt and folks are busy. Mmm-kay?

Mmm-kay.

PS – if you want a bunch of hilarious Doctor Who links on your newsfeed, then go to this guy’s Facebook page right here. Now keep your bitching to yourself, the new episode is on in a little bit, and if you’re going to yell at me in the comment section, do so with a British accent or I shall ignore you.

 
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Posted by on April 28, 2013 in Television/Movies, Uncategorized

 

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Coffee and News, Volume One

coffeeHave to do some Actual, Publishing-Related Writing today, so we’re just going to drink coffee and check out the news and then skedaddle. Believe it or not, nobody wants to publish a book of me being silly and taking pictures and driving cars. Fifty Shades of Tom? Nope – no takers, and a pretty misleading title, is the consensus.

Okay so on over to CNN, where we learn that the Bomber Whose Name I’m Not Going To Memorize And Who I’m Not Going To Call “Alleged” is moving to a different hospital. This one’s in a prison, I think, and he had some oatmeal and farted a little. Later we’ll watch him go to the bathroom, and then we’ll call his mom again and ask her if she ever saw him make any bombs. Maybe she’ll crack.

Anything not bomb-related? Well, sort of. Here’s a helpful article called Signs Your Loved One Has A Secret Life. I’ll bet that one’s going to come in handy. It’s chock full of helpful tips like:

“These (signs) include, but are not limited to: moody outbursts, paranoia, hidden financial transactions, increasing extremism, emotional abandonment and complaints of feeling victimized.”

HeisenbergAwesome. Thank God we read this article, or we wouldn’t know what to do with perplexing signs like “increasing extremism” or “hidden financial transactions,” which I guess aren’t quite so hidden that you don’t know about them. I think they forgot to put Secret Bomb-Making on the list, but still very helpful. Thanks, News Dudes!

Later they talk about Ruth Madoff, who extra super definitely did NOT know her husband was running a multi-billion dollar shell game. If I were writing headlines, I think I would have called this one On Plausible Deniability or What To Expect When Your Loved One Is Indicted.

Everyone’s all mad at Gwyneth Paltrow either for being too pretty, for not being pretty enough, for being mistaken for the Prettiest Girl In The World, or something. It seems like people have been mad at Gwyneth since I first saw her. I’m sure she’s used to it.

An odd concept, this Prettiest Girl In The World. Like when someone asks you, “What’s the best movie ever?”

That’s dumb. Because you can take your favorite movie, watch it ten times, and unless there’s something wrong with your brain, you’d rather watch something else now. It’s not your favorite movie if you’d rather watch something else. Which is why everyone’s mad at the magazine, and then the folks who are mad at Gwyneth are just mad because she’s Gwyneth Paltrow.

Wiggum undercoverOkay, let’s go on over to The Huffington Post, see what they’re leading with. It’s a story called Dial M For Messed Up, and it’s all about police posing as stolen iPhone vendors. They walk around telling people they have stolen iPhones and then if you buy one, a couple other cops arrest you.

I’m not sure why that’s messed up, let me just read further. Okay, the cops say that people wouldn’t “apple pick” if there was no market for the stolen iPhone. Apple picking is when you get your iPhone yoinked right out of your hand while you’re looking at it, someone just snags it and then hops off the subway car just as it starts moving, or bolts off into a crowd.

“We’re cutting the head off the serpent!” Says one cop. Shut up, dude, you guys say that about everything, it’s your favorite thing to say.

Still, I don’t think you should buy stolen iPhones, I’m kind of for this. Ah, the defense attorneys say that people are just looking for good deals on iPhones and have no intention of committing a crime until the cops create one. Yes, of course, buying an iPhone on the street from a stranger with a bag full of them – innocent as Judy Garland and a box of cookies.

Well, whatever. We’ll let the courts sort that one out, they’re good at doing that very, very slowly.

Meanwhile, let’s see what local news website 10tv.com is reporting. Ah – 16 Charged as part of Drug Crackdown on OSU Campus.

Hmm, undercover cops managed to buy pretty much every drug I can think of from not-very-well-trained drug dealers, who apparently just break off a chunk of meth to whoever walks up to them and asks for it.

She's the SheriffI remember when I was at OSU the cops had this terrifying undercover female cop who was very cute and also twenty years old. She’d just walk up to keg parties, ask the dudes for a beer, and once she got one (approximately one hundred percent of the time) the cops would swarm the place Miller’s Crossing-style.

Say boys, what’s the rumpus?

And notice their big sting was right around Earth Day. Good work, boys. Nothing trains people to be good drug dealers quite like rounding up the careless ones.

All right, and that’s it, coffee’s gone and I’m gone. See you tomorrow.

 

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A Word About Drone Strikes

televisionIf the way you approach news is, you let your television barf into your brain and then you run around rebarfing whatever collection of sounds you heard out into the ears or onto the screens of anyone within your actual or digital reach, then you’ve probably been doing a lot of hand-wringing and lamenting about how Obama thinks he can drone strike you while you play cornhole.

Or perhaps you think that background checks would be a violation of your Second Amendment rights. (No, and I dare you to make me explain that to you).

Both of these things are clearly, demonstrably false. If you’re still saying them, then you’re wrong (best case), not very bright (sorry) or lying (Why?).

Most of the people I know fall under the first category – you’re simply uninformed. But you know, in the Internet Age, you shouldn’t be staying uninformed very long. Your convictions are pretty meaningless if you aren’t checking into them to verify their validity, or if you simply stick your fingers into your ears when someone calmly and efficiently explains to you that you’re wrong. That’s how convictions turn into lies and delusions.

Here’s an article on Forbes entitled Rand Paul Shockingly Now Supports The Use Of Drones On US Soil To Kill Americans-So What Was That Filibuster Thing All About? I’m not crazy about the unreasonably long title, but there, we get some quotes from Rand Paul, who famously filibustered old-school about Eric Holder’s announcement that sure, it was POSSIBLE Obama could order a drone strike on US citizens on US soil.

PresidentOf course, if you continue Holder’s paragraph, you’ll find that he was talking about extraordinary circumstances in which there’s not only a clear and present danger to national security, but also one in which all levels of local, state and federal law enforcement have somehow failed or are unable to address the threat, leaving the President in the weird, barely-precedented position of having to command the US military to enforce the laws. Holder specifically held up 9/11 and Pearl Harbor as instances of extraordinary circumstances.

So Rand Paul filibustered – not the normal Republican way, where they hold up a Filibuster Card and then nobody filibusters, we all just agree they extra super duper would have – but actually by talking. Admirable, except a great thing to talk about would have been the end of Eric Holder’s pargraph, which addresses every single problem Rand Paul has with drone strikes on US citizens.

In fact the article lays out clarifying statements by Paul to Fox News (surprise) in which he says, well, I never said drones were bad, I would love to see a drone shoot a liquor store robbery suspect just as much as I’d love to see a cop shoot one. Cause he’s all for the Second Amendment, not so much for the Fourth. The Bill of Rights is like a salad bar, yes?

And then later he clarifies his situation by explaining:

““My comments last night left the mistaken impression that my position on drones had changed, Let me be clear: it has not. Armed drones should not be used in normal crime situations. They only may only be considered in extraordinary, lethal situations where there is an ongoing, imminent threat. I described that scenario previously during my Senate filibuster.”

Which. Is. What. Holder. Said. In. The. First Place.

Rand Paul was the one talking about drones-n-liquor store robberies.

Nonetheless, millions of Americans are still carping about how Obama wants to drone strike them. And it’s in on this leg of our journey that one moves from “mistaken” or “uninformed” to “not very bright” or “lying.”

You know what’s funny is, I am all for drone strikes in the outrageous scenario Holder was talking about. We know the President can order nuclear strikes for instance, missile strikes. He can send a team of Navy SEALs to put a bullet in your head.

Ah, but not US Citizens – not on US soil, right?

Well, why not? I mean, certainly not under normal circumstances, but Holder and Paul both agree, in extraordinary circumstances like 9/11, where there is an imminent threat, things change. What if terrorists hijacked another airplane full of civilians and they were headed for downtown New York again. We had six minutes to shoot it down before it got over the city.

Don’t you think the President can have that plane shot down? Don’t you think he should? Or do you figure – post 9/11 – that the terrorists are bluffing?

Suppose the Boston bombers were holed up somewhere, still lighting off bombs like Dr. Claw. They’re US citizens on US soil – can we drone strike them, or do we have to lose a few SWAT guys getting in the door? Why would Obama be ordering such a strike – well, Holder explained that he wouldn’t be, unless somehow every other branch of law enforcement failed.

A zombie apocalypse erupts in Hawaii, and there’s no way to contain it – isn’t it time for a nuclear strike on civilians on US soil? I mean, zombies are technically possible, they’re just very, very, very unlikely.

Holder’s problem was he answered the question too accurately – Sure, it’s technically POSSIBLE in the right set of crazy ass circumstances – when he should have realized he was talking to a vast army of flipper-whacking seal people and simply said “No! Never forget 9/11! Go Bucks!”

Mission AccomplishedLike when Bush told us the terrorists “hated freedom” and that’s why they attacked us. Yes, talk to us like we’re toddlers, we love that.

Now suddenly Paul’s saying drones are cool for shooting robbery suspects, then clarifying that he was not, then agreeing with Eric Holder. In his filibuster, he was bullshitting us, plain and simple, and millions of people slurped it up like pigs at a trough.

I hate to be blunt, and I hate to call so many people morons, but the information is right in front of you, and you’re choosing to bark out the lies. You’re choosing to, so that’s on you.

I’m not even going to argue about it. Go on over and yell at the Forbes article – I just think it’s funny. The last election showed very clearly what happens if conservatives keep running the same play. Even with a struggling economy and billions upon billions of dollars against him, Obama handed Romney his ass in the most humiliating and hilarious way.

What we have here in Rand Paul is a nice new Tea Party Ralph Nader, eager to hamstring the right-wing and hand over the House to the liberals in 2014. Is that really what you guys want? Or do you think maybe you ought to start giving your fellow citizens a little more credit, and dialing down the jackassery a little bit? If Romney couldn’t win, there’s no way this guy will – ah, but he’ll drag the rest of you down, even the ones who are smart.

Well go right ahead, that’s my thinking – I’m certainly not going to stop him.

 

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