Monday, June 27, 2016

Dealing With Telemarketers

I got a call today from a crowded call center explaining in a thick, Indian accent, "Windows is alerting us you have several hacking events on your computer. I am calling to show and help you how to fix that."

This is a common scam: Say "Windows," be exempt from the no call list as you're in Calcutta, and scare someone into buying a product or allowing them remotely into your system where they can make a damn mess. It is dangerous and targets, for the most part, elderly folks who can barely check their email. So fuck those callers.

Me? I animatedly enjoyed the conversation, injecting many "oh yeah?" and "wow!" celebrations while making absolutely sure the very detailed instructions would not directly hurt me. She sent me to the Event Viewer and showed me common errors and warnings not important even enough to show up on my screen. I was very nice and very patient, and when she lied about what those warnings were and the dangers they presented, I asked her to "wait" when she gave me the next instruction, carefully cupped my hands around the mouthpiece, and in my best demon voice said:

So... to much? What have you done to play with telemarketers?

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Tragedy in Orlando: Bars, Blame, and Bullshit

Trump says the Orlando shooter was born in Afghan, and revved up the media with a renewed dedication to keeping out the Muslim immigrants. Bullshit. This was a natural-born American man.

Some people are calling for confiscation of weapons of anyone under investigation by the FBI or on the No Fly list. Bullshit. I'm liberal as hell, but that would be an insane infringement on rights, not to mention easily and often abused. Besides, after several interviews, the FBI cleared Omar Mateen and he was removed from the watch and no fly lists.

[That said, holy shitballs did you see the piece Omar was packing?

Sig Sauer MCX
Sig Sauer MCX

SIG SAUER developed the MCX rifle for America’s special forces. Their goal: a firearm that’s as quiet as an MP5, as deadly as an AK-47, and more modular than anything ever designed.

So, uh, maybe that weapon shouldn't be commercially available.]

Many, many conservatives are dredging the river again for the "Obama won't say Islamic Terrorism!" And that's bullshit. Obama is passive-aggressive trolling here. ISIS is all "Hey, we're The Islamic State!" and Obama grins and says "nope." He's not afraid to call it what it is, or catering to the PC crowd, he's refusing to give any legitimacy to ISIS by not recognizing what they are doing as Muslim in nature. Somehow, the conservative internet brigade that regularly incorporates mild invective with "The Democrat Party" and "Moslem" doesn't get that.

And speaking of insane bullshit and anti-anything-Obama-says, a Missouri county has refused to fly their flags at half mast. Grumble grumble Obama sucks. Hey, let's pull out the Flag Code and be dicks about a tragedy because Obama and gays.

This was a horrible tragedy, but the emerging story appears to be that American-born Omar Mateen was a very conflicted individual. He was Muslim with a hard homosexual lean. And he hated it, hated it in himself, and in that conflict found vindication for his hate in some radical online materials. He gave a shout-out to ISIS through 911, as a cry for help or attention or both. Of course, ISIS saw the carnage and was like "Ooh, yeah, that's all us, man! We totally had a part in that!"

This is not about immigrants because Omar was born here. This is not about Islam because religion was a bystander to rage. This isn't about terrorism because it was not an act planned to create fear for an agenda. And this isn't about guns or laws because there is literally no rational policy or legislation that could have been in place that would have stopped this from happening.

If anything, this is about the stigma and taboo our society still places on homosexuality. Despite a victory for same sex marriage, our society as a whole is still sopping with hate and fear and ignorance when it comes to the LGBT community. Perhaps if Omar felt comfortable in the world around him, felt at home with what was inside, a calm would have taken root instead of his ultimate decision. And that's the fault of his religion - most religions - and lingering ignorance and, in some way, every single one of us.

Be peaceful.

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Dr. Seuss's Wife

Helen Palmer Geisel, the wife of the famous Dr. Seuss, had a bad run through a series of illnesses, including cancer. Dr. Seuss began a relationship with another woman, which broke Helen down even further. Distraught, she decided on an overdose of barbiturates.

This is her suicide note:

Dear Ted, What has happened to us? I don't know. I feel myself in a spiral, going down down down, into a black hole from which there is no escape, no brightness. And loud in my ears from every side I hear, 'failure, failure, failure...' I love you so much ... I am too old and enmeshed in everything you do and are, that I cannot conceive of life without you ... My going will leave quite a rumor but you can say I was overworked and overwrought. Your reputation with your friends and fans will not be harmed ... Sometimes think of the fun we had all thru the years ...

I just found this out today an needed to share the despair it made blossom inside me.

Although, as I am happy and in love, the very existence of that dedication and passion for someone can be seen as a celebration of the human spirit - if you ignore the horror of the situation. :/

Monday, May 23, 2016

The Restroom Debacle: A Summary

The restroom debate continues, most recently with the response to the Departments of Justice and Education releasing guidelines instructing schools to treat transgender students according to their gender identity. The battlefield is not so much a warzone as it is wells of ignorance residing in the comments sections of conservative copypasta sites, a circle-jerk of OMGz.

Since some of the newer talking points erupting from conservative megaphones is "Libs are creating this as a smokescreen" and "Why can't we just let people decide this city by city?" [Hannity for the latter], I thought it might be instructive to take a step back and see how this actually went down.

Charlotte, NC

On February 22nd, 2016, Charlotte's city council passed an ordinance (7-4) which expanded protections to the LGBT community, effectively treating sexual orientation and identity as a protected class within Charlotte. Yes, the transgender bathroom accommodation was a part of that, but only a small part. Much of the ordinance dealt with business practices and not being able to discriminate based on sexual orientation when it came to serving customers and in hiring practices.

There was some news coverage of the ordinance, but it was generally quiet and passed under the radar. It was Charlotte's business.

NC State Legislature

On March 23rd, 2016, just days before Charlotte's ordinance went into effect, the North Carolina General Assembly called both houses back in for an emergency session. They opened the circus tents, piled in front of cameras, and explained why this needed to be done. It's for the children!

NC conservatives took one piece of the Charlotte ordinance - allowing trans people to use the bathroom of the gender with which they identify - and confounded it with perversion, pedophilia, and molestation to proudly build their straw man. They said and repeated something to the effect of: "This will allow any man to 'identify' as a woman and walk into a women's restroom for a peepshow whenever they like - and think of the children!"

Of course, that's not anywhere near reality, either of what the Charlotte ordinance would have done or why the state had to stop it.

They passed a law shutting down Charlotte's non-discrimination policies and forbidding any other municipalities from attempting to do so in the future, claiming it was a state issue.

Deptartment of Education

On May 13th, 2016, The Departments of Justice and Education released guidelines stating transgender students could not be discriminated against, as it violates Title IX's provision prohibiting discrimination based on sex.

This is still in it's beginning stages, but the Administration has said that schools blatantly violating the guidelines could see their federal funding dollars disappear.


Pervs are going to perv. Period. They'll get caught sneaking a peak or hiding a camera, and the law will deal with them. Anyone thinking treating the trans community equally is going to suddenly make perverts realize this one new trick is naive and foolish - they're already dressing like women and getting caught in the act.

Realistically, dozens of schools and municipalities have been doing this for years. Increase in perversions or problems? None. Actually, since Target's policy on restrooms emerged and DoE came out with their guidelines, there has been one large increase in behavior: creepy conservative men, sometimes in wigs, have loudly protested and wildly barged into women's restrooms to prove it could be done. As if there was previously a police officer or gender force field keeping them from being an asshole for their YouTube Channel.

This issue, for me, has really shown a blatant hypocrisy in yet another facet of the conservative facade. They're presenting a completely unrelated story - say, girl gets choked by pedo dude in bathroom - and then uses that as a reason for more laws and more restrictions. It's kind of like what conservatives say liberals do when it comes to gun control. In this case, zero legislation would have stopped this predator from following a little girl into a restroom to choke her. That's already illegal. Making up new laws that will harm the rights of others in order to make a show for morality and old-timey values doesn't help anyone.

But the final reality of this issue and how it's playing out takes us back to where we started: Charlotte. Charlotte's ordinance was NOT just about bathrooms. Conservatives seized upon that because it could be exploited and blown large with misinformation and fear. The bigger picture is that conservatives are afraid of actual LGBT equality. Marriage was a big hurdle, and they see the avalanche. A federally-protected class is on its way, and when that happens, they will no longer be able to use the go-to excuse of religion to trump the rights of the LGBT community and justify discrimination.

And when that day comes, it will be a good one indeed.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Limbaugh Math

Rush Limbaugh today said that Hillary won in Iowa because she won 6 coin tosses, and the odds of that is 7.5%

Sean Hannity is polling his employees on the odds and screaming she stole it.

(The odds of flipping either all heads or all tales in 6 consecutive tosses is 1.5625%.)

Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity are morons.

That is all.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Trump and the End of the Current Right Wing

I've never seen it before. Or heard it, I should say. I listen to local guy Brian Thomas, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and many others on a daily basis, and for the last few years, it's a very direct, right-wing talking point script: Obama bad, Hillary bad, America in ruins, Christian persecution, etc. I could hit Brian Thomas in the early morning and if I happened upon Limbaugh or Hannity at some time during the rest of the day, the talking points and formula was the same; they were literally getting all their material and opinions from the same websites like Drudge or National Review.

It was incessant, predictable, and obvious. But then Trump joined the race, and I truly enjoy the madness that has followed. The script has changed. Every local show is looking for the angle and not quite sure where to go based on the differing views of the bigger names. And the RNC is going through the same mess. The convention is going to be a circus - and it's right here in Ohio.

Here's a quick overview on the strange split in the AM talk show hosts' opinions.

Brian Thomas

Brian leans a little nutty and grabs onto outlier talking points at times, but he's not hard to listen to. Brian is all conservative, and he is not in for Trump. An interaction on his show from yesterday tells it all:

BT: You're on, go ahead

Call: You're all backwards, man. You're just mad Trump's going to build a wall and send the bill to Mexico and fix America.

BT: Well, that's you're opinion.

Call: Yeah, you're all backwards.

BT: I never addressed Trump on immigration except to ask about the logistics of it: how is he going to build a wall and get Mexico to foot the bill? I'm just looking for a substantial answer.

Glenn Beck

Glenn's insufferable, sanctimonious, and awful at times, but can be entertaining, especially when he's dumping on Trump.

Glenn, by his own report, has never endorsed a person for POTUS. He has now endorsed Ted Cruz because he not only doesn't like Trump, but he thinks Trump is outright dangerous for our country. He is now daily bringing out every awfulness about Trump, things I haven't even heard from liberal voices, and if he becomes the nominee, the Democratic Party has only to look at his archives for every dirty bit to attack him with.

Today, he threw out a Hitler bone on unqualified but strong and feeding a need from the people.

I have to say I kind of agree with Glenn Beck on this one.

Rush Limbaugh

Dude's old, weak, and it scrambles my brains to listen. He spends just a little more time swearing he's not in the bag for Trump than he spends explaining how Trump is winning and he respects the guy. He also respects Cruz, and Rubio, and ...

Limbaugh is on the fence so hard he has ass splinters. He doesn't want to offend anyone, will not commit, and wants to play nice and objective, but he's got a bit of a Trump bug if you listen for more than 20 minutes.

Sean Hannity

I honestly do not know how he speaks through 3 hours of radio and 1 hour of television every day with Trump's cock that far down his throat.

Hannity is a goddamned Trump Worshiper. Church of Trump. If you could register Trump in the primaries, he'd jump on it. He's riding the Trump Train, the Trump Pony, and the Trump Wave all at once. He probably has Trump sheets and curtains and a Trump throw on his couch.

I don't like Hannity. I don't even respect what he does in any way. I am embarrassed for him and his family. I don't know if Trump is paying him under the table, but the fawning and pawing and exaltation makes it a serious question, and his claims that he hasn't made up his mind between Trump and Cruz false on its face.

Hannity is somehow an even sadder man than I thought possible.

So that's the roundup. If you've heard any others mention Trump, feel free to comment. The man is a monster and he's made it this far.

I'll be posting all next week on different aspects of this run and the terror of Trump. Next up? Trump the Bully