Saturday, April 17, 2021

Moleman Messiah

 Oh, dear, it looks like actor Jim Caviezel, who played Jesus in Mel Gibson's religious torture porn film The Passion of the Christ (I'll put a fun fact in as a footnote), has decided to go full QAnon.  He was, via teleconferencing, a special guest at a COVID Conspiracy Convention featuring a coterie of QAnon and MAGA celebrities, many of them also rans who never quite made it as real stars:


 

I'm not exactly proud of this, but I recognize more of those names than I'd care to admit.

Caviezel did not disappoint, spinning a yarn about the adrenochrome harvesting conspiracy theory.  Cavaziel, will be playing Tim Ballard, a 'human trafficking expert' who is under investigation for sketchy practices, in an upcoming movie.  In a 'blink and you'd miss it' moment, Cavaziel goes full-on Mole Children conspiracy:

You have to know the lingo to understand what he's saying: "Because they're pulling kids out of the darkest recesses of hell right now, in DUMBs and all kinds of places." DUMBs are Deep Underground Military Bases, which in certain conspiracy circles are the sites of sinister goings-on, such as the breeding of Mole Children slaves, and meetings between high ranking officials and aliens/demons/Sleestaks. This is basically the Shaver Mystery with the serial numbers filed off, a pulp horror adventure bridging the gulf between fairy abduction lore and the modern UFO abduction urban legend. Also, I dig the way Caviezel turned 'adrenochrome' into a verb. 

Caviezel continued in very confused fashion, elaborating on the harvesting of adrenochrome:

The precious line here is: "It's the worst horror I've ever seen, the screaming alone, even if I never, ever, ever, ever saw it." Ho-Kay, he never ever saw the worst horror he's ever seen? Looks like somebody needs some pineal gland stimulation, or better yet, extensive counseling. Talk about dumbs!

How Cavaziel has fallen since the early days of the Oughts, when he played Jesus Christ on the big screen in a blockbuster movie. Now, he's got to be content with playing the Moleman Messiah in a straight-to-video crapfest... and he's going to blame the result of his poor life choices on some sort of sinister 'cancel culture', undoubtedly by (((those people))), by which I mean DEROs.

POSTSCRIPT: When The Passion of the Christ came out, I was dating a girl from Krakow.  She mentioned the movie, and I told her, "You really don't want to see it, it will only make you upset."  A couple of days later, I met her after work, and she asked me, "Are my eyes red?  I've been crying all afternoon."  Sure enough, she had gone with a friend of hers to see the movie after their English class had ended.  I immediately thought to myself, "Damn, it's not just a movie about an innocent man being tortured and murdered, but you kinda know the guy... if you're seeing it, you probably have a picture of him on your wall."

Also, Robyn Pennachia covered this item at Wonkette.

Friday, April 16, 2021

Inocelation

Yesterday, my mom received her first Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination, meaning that she will be eligible for her second one on May 6.  It was quite the production getting her this initial appointment- apparently, vaccine distribution in Virginia is on a county-by-county basis (unlike New York, where it is a statewide effort handled by the National Guard).  My sister-in-law, my brother Gomez' wife, did a yeowoman's work checking out the State Department of Health website, and even making a bunch of phone calls (she and Gomez also live in Virginia) until she spoke with someone who was able to render assistance and earmark a vaccination for Mom.

She reported no side effects when I spoke with her after her appointment.  This has come as a big relief to me, although Mom is strong and healthy, she IS 79 years old.  The post inoculation elation, the inocelation if you will, was palpable... there is an endpoint in site, and she should be able to travel to visit family by mid-May.  This is the best thing about receiving the vaccine, regaining the freedom to move about the cabin country.

 

Thursday, April 15, 2021

The Annual Tax Day Post

For the first time in four years, I actually felt good about paying my taxes again.  In contrast to last year, when I took advantage of the COVID-19 filing extensions and didn't send in my return until July, I prepared my return and sent it in in February.  For the record, I typically end up owing money, and last year, I wanted to give the gonif in the White House as little time to spend my tax dollars as was possible. 

A perusal of past years' April 15 posts will show that I am not the sort of person who complains about paying taxes.  Taxes are the membership fee we pay to live in a functioning society (when, of course, our society functions).  This year, I am optimistic that the $2.3 billion infrastructure bill will go a long way to improve the pay of essential healthcare workers, provide jobs that cannot be outsourced, increase the percentage of power generated by renewable resources, and improve roads, bridges, rail, broadband internet, and water purification and distribution.  While much of this infrastructure budget is supposed to be paid for with corporate tax hikes, I'm perfectly happy to pay my share.  I've often noted that I'd rather pay $500 extra in taxes to avoid a $600 bill when my car is damaged by hitting a pothole that could have been fixed by a competent administration.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Ending the Endless War

President Joseph Robinette Biden continues to exceed my expectations of him (I make no bones about being Team Warren during the primaries), and his decision to pull most of the American and NATO troops out of Afghanistan by September 11 is, I believe, the right thing to do.  The United States has had a military presence in Afghanistan for twenty years now, with little progress to show for it, I believe that it's 'magical thinking' to believe that a continued military presence would somehow start to work after two decades of stagnation and failure.

Personally, I was against a wholesale military invasion of Afghanistan (doubly so against an invasion of Iraq).  I remember at the time saying, "This is a job for a 'James Bond', not for a 'Patton'."  The campaign against Al Qaeda should have been a police action with a small footprint- a handful of CIA spooks backed by a unit of Special Forces should have been deployed against Bin Laden... one doesn't swat mosquitos with a sledgehammer.  As it was, the US military never got Bin Laden in the Afghan theater of war.

There is a role for UN personnel and employees of NGOs in Afghanistan, to carry out much needed development work, but this is not work for the military.   More than 2,300 American soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan, with about 20,000 wounded... it's time to end the seemingly endless war, enough blood has been spilled, American, NATO, and Afghan.


Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Northern Aggression

 I've been disconcerted by the recent uptick in violence in Northern Ireland.  I have ancestors from Roscommon, in the Republic of Ireland, and the subject of 'The Troubles' has fascinated me since I was a wee laddie.  My upstairs neighbor is an immigrant from Armagh, and her parents, both lovely people, still abide there.  

Thankfully, nobody has died during the current unrest, though youths are hurling bricks and Molotov cocktails, and a bus was hijacked and torched in Belfast.  The cause of the unrest seems to be complications of Brexit over customs and borders, and a failure to enforce masking and social distancing mandates during a funeral for a deceased Sinn Fein leader.  Politicians on both sides of the Republic of Ireland/Northern Ireland border have called for calm.

Me?  I have one thing to say... you don't want to live in a Stiff Little Fingers song.  The members of Stiff Little Fingers were the last people who wanted to live in a Stiff Little Fingers song:

The rioters are too young to remember the 1998 Omagh bombing, an indiscriminate terrorist attack that killed 29 persons and injured more than 300.   The horror of that massacre, committed by an IRA splinter group, was a major catalyst for the peace talks... even the main body of the IRA was appalled at the violence.  The kids trying to ramp up the violence need to be forced to meet with survivors of the bombing to get 'scared straight'.  Nobody needs a return to the bad old days.

Monday, April 12, 2021

The Big New Front in the Culture War

Those who follow right-wing pundits are familiar with the ramping up of the culture war against transpersons. The 'thought' leaders of Movement Conservatism march in lockstep, so this refrain has been loud lately. Brynn Tannehill has a good exploration of the new wave of anti-trans legislation, and it basically boils down to the fact that the Religious Right lost the culture war over same-sex marriage, so they had to find a more marginalized community to attack. 

Even some well-meaning liberals find gender nonconformity baffling, and the topic is not easy for many people to comprehend- much of what I know about trans-identity, I learned from Cerberus/Mazikeen of Sadly, No!... plus, I have studied enough biology to know that gender isn't strictly binary, and I listened to this in high school. My governing principle is maximizing human happiness and human potential for everyone whose desires don't limit the happiness and potential of others. If an individual needs to transition to another gender identity to live a full life, that person should be allowed to do so without hindrance. 

The kerfuffle about women's athletics is a bit of concern-trollery, right wingers have never had much use for women's sports to begin with. Personally, I think that a non-binary grouping of athletes according to muscle mass would be a better way to handle athletics going forward. The real truth of the current right-wing war against trans, non-binary, and gender-nonconforming individuals is that it's yet another 'holding action' being fought before a backlash... the right-wingers, if successful, won't be content with the status quo, and will try to roll back the gains made by gay and lesbian Americans:

The purported moral outrage is just so much blather, meant to obfuscate what these bigots really want to do. These people claim that they want to protect 'the children' by keeping Rachel Levine out of high school girls' bathrooms, but they are perfectly fine with Matt Gaetz being in there.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Biden and Science

 Last week was a busy one for me, which is reflected by my blog posts from the week.  Because of this, some news items almost slipped by me, such as the GOP outrage over the EPA chief firing almost 45 Trump-appointed 'science advisors' from the Science Advisory Board and the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee.  

Predictably, the Trump Maladministration ousted EPA scientists from academia and replaced them with fossil fuel and chemical industry flacks back in 2017, so this is a corrective measure.  Of course, when Republicans do this, it's not political- only Democrats are so churlish to politicize science (or morals, or 'family values' or...).  GOP representatives James Comer and Ralph Norman had the gall to write this to EPA chief Michael Regan:

“Traditionally science advisory boards are bipartisan panels used to provide advice to the administrator. Unfortunately, it appears the Biden administration is continuing to purge officials in the government who do not share its political beliefs.  The midterm firing of science advisory board members within the first months of a new administration .... raises serious concerns about the politicization of the EPA.”

Here is where I note that the same 'researchers' who are trying to cast doubt on the connection between climate change and the burning of fossil fuels were the monsters who tried to obfuscate the link between cigarette smoking and cancer.  There's no need to give these prevaricators a seat at the table when discussing such a crisis as global climate change.  They just aren't good faith actors, and they would do their level best to derail any discussion of climate crisis mitigation.

Joe Biden has the Herculean task of cleaning out the Augean Stable that Former Guy turned the government into, and thankfully he's willing to do the necessary work.  Starting with four dozen hired guns posing as scientists gives me hope that he is up to the challenge. 

Even more importantly, President Biden signaled his commitment to science by elevating the role of Science Advisor to a cabinet position.  The only thing that would make me more excited would be Biden's formation of a Science Ninja Team: