Shitkraken: A Quarterly Report

I didn’t want to post anything more about this seemingly interminable saga of ineptitude and batshittery. But I am a collector of various things. And collectors value completeness. So here we go.

An Ex-Member of the “Elite Strike-Force Team” says “reasonable people” wouldn’t really believe her bullshit so please don’t sue her for a billion and change:

Pro-Trump attorney Sidney Powell asked a federal court to dismiss a roughly $1.3 billion defamation suit filed against her by Dominion Voting Systems, arguing that her claims the company’s voting machines rigged the election for Joe Biden represented her opinion, not statements of fact.

[…] In its Monday motion, Ms. Powell’s legal team argued that “reasonable people would not accept such statements as fact but view them only as claims that await testing by the courts through the adversary process."

Pro-Trump Lawyer Sidney Powell Seeks to Dismiss Defamation Suit Over Election Claims”, The Wall Street Journal (cached)

The Fearless Leader of the verysame “Elite Strike-Force Team” is in some trouble:

Federal agents executed search warrants Wednesday at the Manhattan apartment and office of Rudy Giuliani, his attorney said, advancing a criminal investigation by federal prosecutors that has been underway for more than two years.

Giuliani […] has been the focus of an investigation concerning his activities in Ukraine, including whether he conducted illegal lobbying for Ukrainian officials while he pursued an investigation linked to Trump’s primary political rival, President Joe Biden, CNN has reported.

[…] Giuliani is also facing other legal exposure for his role in the 2020 election. The election technology company Dominon sued Giuliani in January for defamation after he spread baseless conspiracy theories about election fraud on his podcast and during TV appearances.

[…] Guiliani is also likely to face scrutiny from Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who is investigating Trump’s efforts to influence Georgia’s election results. […] One area Willis is exploring: whether Giuliani may have violated the law by making false statements about voting in Georgia in front of the state legislature, according to a person familiar with the investigation.

Federal agents execute search warrants on Rudy Giuliani’s Manhattan home and office”, CNN

As this article notes: The man hadn’t practised law since 1992, “basically he’s a novice” at state election law, and is considered a “gift to legal ethics professors that just keeps on giving” because “Charging astronomical rates for work–especially work for which the attorney does not have deep expertise or ability—is an ethics violation.” Probably a good thing, then, that he most likely hasn’t been paid for his expertise.

The Best People ♥️

Update

Rudy Giuliani’s press conference at Four Seasons Total Landscaping, between a dildo store and a crematorium, is still appropriate because Rudy is somewhere between fucked and dead.

@Sundae_Gurl

The Sand Octopus

Octopus kaurna lacks chromatophores like other octopuses. So it just burrows instead 😍🐙. It’s the only known octopus to bury itself completely like this.

The process begins with the octopus using its siphon to inject water into the sand, creating quicksand-like conditions which enable burrowing. Then, it uses its arms to burrow into the sand. Two arms will be extended to the surface, creating a ventilation shaft. At the same time, O. kaurna will use mucus to stabilize the shape of the burrow. Finally, the octopus will retract its two arms and push out loose sand with its siphon, creating a mucus-lined, ventilated burrow to rest in.

Octopus kaurna, Wikipedia

Lady Snowblood (1973) · IMDb · A

The OG “roaring rampage of revenge.” Watched with LD. Endlessly creative and I imagine way ahead of its time. “Oh so that’s what Tarantino was paying homage to.” 🙏

On Doing Things Right and Doing the Right Thing

There’s a difference between doing things right and doing the right thing. Doing the right thing is wisdom, and effectiveness. Doing things right is efficiency. The curious thing is the righter you do the wrong thing the wronger you become. If you’re doing the wrong thing and you make a mistake and correct it you become wronger. So it’s better to do the right thing wrong than the wrong thing right. Almost every major social problem that confronts us today is a consequence of trying to do the wrong things righter.

Peter Drucker

WandaVision (2021) · IMDb · B+

Wonderful, wonderful stuff with the TV Eras. So creative! Slightly disappointing in how an intriguing and promising Twilight Zone-like plot was resolved via a good old Marvel laser shootout1. Can’t wait to read an analysis of how it was a ‘triumphant exploration of Grief’ (which it really was.)

  1. Or whatever. Energy Beam. Aura Projection. I don’t know. ↩︎

On Privatizing Gain and Socializing Loss

Though capitalism has had a longer lease of life than some of us would’ve predicted or that many of our ancestors of the socialist movement did predict or allow, it still produces the fax machine and the microchip and still able to lower its costs and still able to flatten its distribution curve very well. It’s central contradiction remains the same; It produces publicly, it produces socially, it conscripts and it mobilizes and educates whole new work forces of people, it has an enormous transforming liberating effect in that respect but it appropriates privately. The resources and the natural abilities are held in common, the earth belongs to us all. You can’t buy your child a place at a school with better ozone. You can’t pretend that the world is other than what it is which is one and human and natural and in common. Though capitalism must do that because it must make us all work until the point when the social product is to be shared. When suddenly the appropriation is private and suddenly Donald Trump outvotes any congressman you can name and anyone with a vote because of the ownership of capital and its that effect, that annexation of what we all do and must do — the influence of labor and intelligence and creativity on nature; the same air, the same water that we must breathe and drink. That means that we may not have long in which to make this critique of the system sing again and relevant again and incisive again.

Christopher Hitchens, Is Socialism Obsolete? (Recorded in Washington DC on October 11, 1989)

“Hypocrisy is the Vaseline of Political Intercourse”

Somoza called himself “president”. The Sandinistas called him a “dictator”. They called themselves “freedom fighters”. He called them “Commie terrorists”. So they kicked him out then they were in charge. Ronald Reagan called them “Commie oppressors” and he sent in the Contras, whom he called “freedom fighters” and they called “mercenary terrorists.”

So basically, what you’re called depends largely on who’s doing the talking because hypocrisy is the vaseline of political intercourse. They didn’t like what they saw, so they changed it to make it sound better. Just like in these personal ads. It sounds great; but it’s all lies.

Billy Connolly

Operation Odessa (2018) · IMDb · A

A Russian mobster, a Cuban spy and a smooth operator from Miami scheme to sell a Soviet submarine to a Colombian drug cartel for $35 million.

Everything leading up to this sale is crazier than the tagline above. What a ride.

Pages Full of Links to Cool Things

Terra, Gossip’s Web, and Marijn’s Linkroll remind my (oldass) self of a more innocent time when one would ‘surf the internet’, come by a list of links another human being liked, and discover all sorts of strange and wacky handmade things. I think I’m saying I really miss how fun something like Geocities was.

God this is really happening

Update

Blogsurf.io is another blog aggregator managed by a human being.

The Diabetic Racist

Matt Rowan is a family man, a Christian, and a former youth pastor (so we’re off to a fantastic start.) At a high school basketball game, this pillar of the community called children “f****** n******s” for that grave sin of actually kneeling during the national anthem.

On the video, Rowan is heard to refer to the players as “f****** n******.” He added, "I hope Norman gets their ass kicked,” and then "I hope they lose. C’mon Midwest City. They’re gonna kneel like that? Hell no.”

Brian D. King, “Local man apologizes for racist remarks caught on hot mic at basketball game”, Tahlequah Daily Press

Now in what has to be the most shameless excuse for reprehensible behaviour I’ve read to date, he blames his MAGA1 outburst on his blood sugar!

I will state that I suffer Type 1 Diabetes, and during the game, my sugar was spiking. While not excusing my remarks, it is not unusual when my sugar spikes that I become disoriented and often say things that are not appropriate, as well as hurtful. I do not believe that I would have made such horrible statements absent my sugar spiking.

He helpfully adds:

While the comments I made would certainly seem to indicate that I am racist, I am not, I have never considered myself to be racist, and in short cannot explain why I made these comments.

I think most reasonable people would have a simple one-word explanation. And to quote Conservative Hannibal Lecter: “While the body parts in the fridge would certainly seem to indicate that I am a psychopathic murderer, I have never considered myself to be one.”

No word has been issued as far as repercussions for the Hulbert employee.

In Rowan’s statement, he said he believed the microphone to be off, but “that is no excuse; such comments should have never been uttered.”

Like almost all this-is-really-not-who-I-am people, he’s only sorry he got caught.

  1. One guess as to who Mr. Rowan voted for. ↩︎

Taboo (2017) · IMDb · B+

Saw with LD. Eight-episode miniseries, with Season 2 in the works. Could’ve been at least two episodes shorter. Trippy, wonderful cinematography, just unbelievable production quality, and backed by (yet another) amazing score by Max Richter.

Especially great if you, like me, are a fan of Tom Hardy. His character growl-mumbles his way through Regency-era London as a traumatized 5-D Chess-playing badass with a vendetta who takes on the East India Company and the Crown, and who may or may not have supernatural powers that allow him to commune with the dead.

And when I say “growl-mumbles”…

My favorite character was Brace (😭😭😭), played to perfection by David Hayman.

On a Program’s Scope

“Every program attempts to expand until it can read mail. Those programs which cannot so expand are replaced by ones which can.” Coined by Jamie Zawinski (who called it the “Law of Software Envelopment”) to express his belief that all truly useful programs experience pressure to evolve into toolkits and application platforms (the mailer thing, he says, is just a side effect of that). It is commonly cited, though with widely varying degrees of accuracy.

Zawinski’s Law

The Chrome Dino

Here’s a fairly recent (Dec 2018) interview with the creators of chrome://dino. It was called Project Bolan (which I had to look up), had 270M games played every month1, with most users coming “from markets with unreliable or expensive mobile data, like India, Brazil, Mexico, or Indonesia” and took quite a bit of development to work on all platforms.

We built it to max out at approximately 17 million years, the same amount of time that the T-rex was alive on Earth… but we feel like your spacebar may not be the same afterwards.

  1. I suppose they know this thanks to the “I agree to everything” button one clicks while installing Chrome… ↩︎

“The Water’s So Great That It Won Awards”

Was discussing water quality in Des Moines with DL. Told her that our city couldn’t hold a candle to Ames, that their water was the “cleanest around.” Wanted to prove this but couldn’t find the 2014 viral hit “Hooray for Ames” video anywhere on the internet. GN, blessed datahoarder that he is, luckily had a copy ❤️🚰

Whatever. 🤘 Go Hawks 🤘

Good Old Iowan Common Sense

As of the 4th of February 2021, and under its Governor’s wise, prescient, expert and data-driven leadership, Iowa ranks 47th in the nation for the number of vaccines administered 💯

Iowa has received 446,825 doses of vaccine and has administered 266,777 doses, or just under 60% of vaccines received, the CDC reported Thursday. The state has the sixth-lowest rate of administered vaccine per capita in the nation.

“We’re averaging about 60% in getting the vaccines administered and that’s not where we need to be,” Reynolds said. “We want to do better. We know we can do better.”

AP, “Iowa’s vaccination rate is 47th in the US

We certainly can. The number of COVID-related deaths in Iowa stood at 5,033 as of this date. The very next day, our fearless Governor signed a Public Health Disaster proclamation that, compared to its predecessor, ended mask mandates and removed all limits on public gatherings.

In time for the Super Bowl, of course.

All of these relaxations at this stage of the pandemic make about as much sense as wearing underwear constructed out of nails and thumbtacks. If anything, Iowa should be enhancing precautions during the next several weeks, as long as the colder temperatures and drier air may be driving greater transmission of the virus. What is the scientific justification for what Reynolds has declared in the emergency declaration? It’s unclear. Seems like someone may owe Iowa an explanation.

Bruce Y. Lee, “#CovidKim Trends After Iowa Governor Reynolds Lifts Covid-19 Coronavirus Precautions

Other the the usual bullshit conservative pabulum about freedom and small businesses and bootstraps and moochers and handouts, I don’t expect any explanation that makes sense.

On A Good Burrito

I remember the very first burrito I had in the Mission District in San Francisco. My friend warned me that it would be “around the size of your forearm” and that, if I tried to finish it in a single sitting, I would be an idiot. It was, I did, I am 🙏

i do not fuck with any burrito without heft. if your shit is convenient and portable, take it elsewhere. i want a burrito that is burdensome. unwieldy. when i raise it to my mouth, i should feel the weight of the mistake i am about to make. no child should be able to eat this.

if your burrito doesn’t make me hate myself both physically and spiritually, what’s the point? grow up. don’t waste my time.

@mnateshyamalan