atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#783: Saturday headlines and such

Principal charged with possession of child pornography. But I'm wondering about the charge, because what he actually had was adult women with the face of a former student of his Photoshopped onto the woman's body.

I'm not sure that's actually "child pornography" (CP). There was a big stink a few years ago over some federal laws which made "virtual" CP illegal, and this kind of stuff is what the laws were meant to prevent. But as I recall the Supreme Court found such provisions unconstitutional. No idea if that has anything to do with this, as he may have violated Florida State law.

The federal virtual CP laws could also have made a lot of anime and manga illegal, too; any image of a nude underage person could have fit the definition. This would have made all sorts of things in my anime collection illegal, from Ranma 1/2 to--believe it or not--My Neighbor Totoro.

I don't know the particulars of this case, except for what's explained in the article. The guy's a moron and a pervert--for making the stuff they said he made and carrying it around with him--but has he actually committed a crime? I mean, an actual, punishable crime? Guess that's for the Florida court system to decide.

Ha ha Kwanzaa! Kwanzaa is a made-up holiday. It's not really religious in the sense that it celebrates a religious event or ritual.

It was invented in 1966 by Ron Karenga. That's right: Kwanzaa is one year older than I am. The point behind it? To generate "...conditions that would enhance the revolutionary social
change for the masses of Black Americans."

"Revolutionary social change for the masses" is, by the way, Marxist code for "make America a communism".

Kwanzaa is centered on seven principles, each of which gets its own day: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith.

"Unity", "collective work and responsibility", and "cooperative economics" are Marxist code for "socialism". "Self-determination" is code for separatism.

It's not a religious holiday; it's a shill for Marxism. As such it falls outside the separation clause in the First Amendment.

Still, it's interesting that people are suing to prevent a Kwanzaa celebration in a public building on grounds that other holiday celebrations have been banned. But what the hell--if the Shelby County Commission (Memphis, TN) won't allow Christmas or Hanukkah, why should they allow a Kwanzaa celebration? It does reek of discrimination, doesn't it?

What a surprise: Gore camp suggests global warming skeptics are on Big Oil's payroll. Don't I wish it were true! I'd love to get money for blathering about what I actually believe to be the truth anyway. C'mon, Big Oil! Cut me a check!

Unfortunately, this is largely a baseless charge from a group of people who have no other arguments.

* * *

True fact: one year, as I was doing some last-minute shopping, I saw a sandwich board at the mall outside of a store which sold "African-American" products, which has since gone out of business.

The product it advertised? "'Never forget' slave shackles".

And the sign said it was a great holiday gift.


* * *

The first year we had a wreath on our garage, I had a great idea: buy some battery-operated lights to put in the wreath, which would be even more festive. So I got the lights, and put them into the wreath, and all was well.

...except that it was about 8° F outside. The batteries froze. *sigh*

* * *

In 1984 my parents bought their first microwave oven. It was, for its day, quite a nice machine.

One day shortly before Christmas someone wanted to defrost a whole chicken. It was the kind that was wrapped in plastic and rock-frozen, and it had only just come out of the freezer that evening; so it got put into the microwave and the unit was turned on, at "defrost".

After about ten minutes of this a putridly acrid smell began to issue from the microwave. The plastic had melted off part of the chicken, puddled at the bottom of the microwave, and burned. It was another bitterly cold pre-Christmas week that year, but we opened the doors despite the fact that it wasn't warmer than about 10° F outside, because that stuff stank. Fortunately, both chicken and microwave were still usable.

* * *

The Chicago Sun-Times had an article, sometime in the past couple of weeks, about a woman who was losing her home because she couldn't afford to make the mortgage payments. She was a "victim" of "predatory lenders" who had made her a subprime loan, you see, and she had had a string of misfortunes which kept her from being able to make the payments, particularly after the low-rate period was up and the payments went up by about 70%.

One such "misfortune" was that she got into a car accident which totaled her car, and she "still owed money on the car", so she had no transportation and still had to pay the car loan.

What? Wait a second! What about car insurance? Do you mean to tell me she had liability-only insurance on a car she was still paying off? Or did she have no insurance at all? Either way, that's a "misfortune" of her own making; if you owe money on a car you are stupid not to have full coverage on it. In fact, if your car is worth more than about $2,000 you're stupid not to have full coverage on it, even if it is paid off. (IMHO.)

Well, I'm getting sick and tired of people blaming the lenders for this crap. The reporters act as if the lenders went out and kidnapped people and forced them to fill out loan applications. But that's not the case, and if you are asked to sign something you should read and understand it before you sign it. If you don't understand it, pay a lawyer to explain it to you, especially if it's something as major as a freaking mortgage.

If you've ever bought anything big on credit--like a car--you know how much painstaking care the loan officers take to make sure you understand what you're going to be paying. At least, in my case they always did, and I fail to see how it can be different in the case of a mortgage. In any case, it's not the lender's fault if the borrower makes a bad decision.

* * *

I had a chance to hear some of the old George Carlin routines. I used to listen to his records back when I was 15 or so, and I thought he was hilarious. But when I recently heard, again, some of his routines, they just left me cold.

This is stuff from the 1970s, of course. "The Seven Words You Can't Say on TV"--it's just not all that damned funny, especialy since you can now say "shit", "piss", and "tits" on TV. Now it's only four. (I also maintain that "motherfucker" is a derivative of "fuck", so technically it was never more than six words in any event.) The one funny line in the whole bit: "Well, sheriff, we're gonna fuck ya now; but we're gonna fuck ya slow." And mostly it's because of the voice he uses to say it.

The anti-war stuff is just insipid; the anti-authority stuff has never been very funny; and whatever is left is not all that insightful or entertaining. It was very funny to me when I was an adolescent; but as an adult, I see it for what it actually is: anti-establishment claptrap. Carlin did these routines in front of people who agreed, at least tacitly, with his politics; and so many of his "jokes" were screamingly funny to those people because he was goring the Establishment and Conservative oxen and none of theirs.

Example: "'I have tried to be a mother and a father to you.' 'Go fuck yourself!'" Laughter.

Yeah, real classy, there, George.

* * *

One of the funniest lines in Seinfeld--the entire series--is when Jerry and George go out to lunch with Elaine and her father. Her father is this taciturn, dour man, and he says something like the following to Jerry:

"Back in the war, I knew a fella like you. He was a real comedian, always making jokes, always making people laugh. Then one day he blew his brains out over the Pacific. You can't laugh at that."

I am probably misquoting it, but that's the essence of it--and every time I remember that line--every time--I get a chuckle out of it. The actor playing Elaine's father delivered it perfectly in this grumbling voice, utterly deadpan and serious.

* * *

In the "it tastes really good but it's really bad for you" department, we have the cheeseburger omelet.

Loose hamburger, three eggs (scrambled), and cheese--kind of like a quesadilla only with egg instead of a tortilla on the outside. It's tasty and filling.

And probably really bad for you.

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