Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Bucha mayor: Russian soldiers raped Ukranian men

Fedoruk: "The number of victims is large,
unfortunately. But not only women.
The guard of the children's sanatorium,
the man was even raped. I say this because
it [sic] does not exist. After all this bullying,
he could not stand it and died."
Both Time and The Guardian have reported that Russian soldiers raped more than women and children in Bucha.

On April 17, the mayor of Bucha, who had recently been liberated from Russian occupation, recounted horrific details of Russian sexual violence against women and men.
     In an interview with Ukrainian journalist Dmytro Gordon, [Mayor] Anatolii Fedoruk said that a security guard at the Orlyatko children's camp had been raped in Bucha. The man could not stand the physical damage and moral abuse and died.

Monday, September 13, 2021

ICYMI: Rock-blocker Tiffany ended its 135-year ban on men's diamond engagement rings last May

For most of its history Tiffany has refused to sell any men's diamond rings, including engagement rings—it considered them to be in bad taste. The firm introduced diamond engagement rings for women in 1886.
     Walter Hoving, who ruled Lord and Taylor, and then Tiffany for 25 years, firmly enforced the policy.
     Once, a customer  tried to buy a man's diamond ring from Hoving himself, whose flat refusal was: "What you want is your business. What we sell is our business."
     (Hoving wouldn't sell silver plate or provide charge accounts to customers who had been rude to his employees, either)
     He explained his stance to told Women's Wear Daily.

"Sometimes you mustn't pay too much attention to your customers. That's the best way to mess up your merchandise.
     He meant it, and no one, not even President Kennedy, got a pass.
     In 1962, Kennedy, a fanboy of all things space age, directed Tiffany to supply 32 acrylic calendar mementos for those who had been close to him during the Cuban missile crisis—mementos made of then-new Lucite (Poly(methyl 2-methylpropenoate)).
     What the Leader of The Free World received instead of the goods was a terse letter from the Chairman of Tiffany informing him that his firm did not execute objets d'art in plastic.
     Kennedy change the order to silver.
    Even in 2015, when Tiffany ran its first ad for rings for gay male couples, they couldn't have anything heteros couldn't have — just gemless bands.
2015 Tiffany print ad for gemless rings for male couples

But last January Tiffany's sale to French-owned LVMH Mo√ęt Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE (which also owns Bulgari, Christian Dior, Givenchy, etc.) was completed, and three months later, diamond engagement rings for boys went on sale—for $15,600 to $278,500, each.
     And no BOGO, homo. (Sorry, we couldn't resist.)

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Arrested by FBI: Rep Don Bacon's radical right wing #Walkaway ally, Brandon Straka

Rep. Don Bacon speaking at Omaha Walkaway
Rally last Fall. Photo: Matt Johnson
Brandon Straka, who founded the Walkaway movement to urge fellow LGBTs and people of color to abandon the Democratic party, has been released from the Douglas county jail after being arrested by the FBI Monday.
     ThinkProgress considers the Walkaway organization a grifting operation.
     Straka faces federal charges of entering restricted grounds and impeding a law enforcement officer during a civil disorder.
     He cannot now leave Nebraska without permission, and has made his twitter account, with its half million followers, private.

Kirk, with Bacon

     Don Bacon, who votes against LGBT interests in Congress, but unabashedly solicits gay support, spoke at Straka's event.
     In 2018, Bacon showed up at Creighton to pose for a selfie with Charlie Kirk, of Turning Point USA. Kirk bragged on Twitter about sending 80 busloads of people to a Trump Rally in DC. (After it turned into a a violent insurrectionist mob, Kirk tried to bury his role by deleting the tweet.)
     In 2019, Don Bacon told a constituent outraged by his relationship with the Family Research Council, that the DC pressure group was not an antigay hate group, even though the Southern Poverty Law Center has been saying exactly that for decades.
     FRC's president, Tony Perkins, has a sordid political history; he once purchased Klansman David Duke’s mailing list for use in a Louisiana political campaign he was managing.

Rep. Don Bacon receiving a good behavior trophy for his 100%
support of the homophobic FRC's legislative agenda.
     In 2001, Perkins gave a speech to a Louisiana chapter of the Council of Conservative Citizens, a white supremacist group. In 2017 the FRC presented Bacon with a trophy to acknowledge his 100% voting support of its legislative agenda.
From Wikipedia:
      News sources have debated the extent to which WalkAway is an example of astroturfing rather than a genuine grassroots movement. David A. Love of CNN condemned the campaign as "pure propaganda [and] a psychological operation." The website Hamilton 68, which tracks Russia's interference on U.S. elections, reported that WalkAway was "connected to Kremlin-linked Russian bots to manipulate voters into thinking the movement was more popular and active that it actually was."
     Abby Ohlheiser of The Washington Post claimed that "[t]here’s little actual evidence to suggest that #WalkAway represents a mass conversion of millions – or even thousands – of Democrats" and contrasted the broad appeal of true viral videos with the "Conservative Internet viral" nature of the WalkAway video. ThinkProgress characterized the WalkAway campaign as "a grifting operation," noting efforts by the organizers to sell dinner packages priced in the hundreds of dollars to march attendees.

     Slate journalist Mark Joseph Stern accused Straka of presenting royalty-free stock images from Shutterstock and claiming they were of people who had left the Democratic Party, though Straka has denied that any such material originated from the WalkAway campaign. Fact-checking website Snopes stated that it could not determine whether this use of stock images had originated from campaign organizers.
     Straka has stated that WalkAway does not receive major donations and that "everything is grassroots support from Americans who send us $5 or $100." As of May 2020, the Center for Responsive Politics reported that of the $20,104 donated to WalkAway in 2020, $7,521 were contributed by nine large ($200 or more) donors, of which Straka is one.
     Soon after its founding in 2018, WalkAway received a $10,000 donation from Alex Jones and InfoWars. Straka has stated that he is grateful for the donation.
     On January 8, 2021, Facebook closed the WalkAway group page, which had more than half a million followers at the time. The page was replaced with a message from Facebook saying the page had violated its terms of use. The shutdown came in the wake of the 2021 storming of the United States Capitol, when Facebook and other social media platforms increased their enforcement of terms of service that ban the incitement of violence.


Friday, January 8, 2021

Seth Meyers to Ben Sasse:
What a-the fuck are you a-talking about?

Ben Sasse, who holds a doctorate in history from Yale University, insisted on the floor of the Senate this week that the center of America is not Washington, D.C. and that Americans should be shoveling their neighbors' snow instead of, presumably, staying glued to their screens watching his party's leaders egg on vandals attacking the Capitol Building of the United States.
     On "A Closer Look," Seth Meyers was having none of Sasse's bizarre redirection.

Quick follow-up question for you, Ben Sasse: What a-the fuck are you a-talkin' about?
      Violent separatists just ransacked the Capitol in an attempt to overthrow Democracy, forcing lawmakers and staff to lock down and shelter in place and you're solution is to shovel your neighbor's driveway? This isn't Lake Wobegone.
     You're not the host of Prairie Home Companion. You're a United States Senator and insurgents just breached the Capitol.

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Free Webcams for owners of the following cameras: Canon, Nikon, Fuji, Panasonic Lumix, Sony, GoPro and Olympus

Now that Zoom participation has, well, zoomed during the pandemic, decent webcams have become scarcer and more expensive — but millions of people already have digital cameras far superior to most webcams.
     Most can connect to computers to transfer photos and video, but live video output from most DSLR or mirrorless cameras is not in a streaming format.
     Not to worry.
     At least six of the world's biggest camera companies offer FREE software to turn their products into very high quality webcams. Below are the links. You're welcome.








Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Guest Post: Hate in the Time of Cholera

Margo Howard is a journalist and author, known by
many as
Dear Prudence under Mike Kinsley,
who started
Slate Magazine.
“Cholera” is my name for COVID-19, even though one is bacterial and the other viral. There is, however, a more important difference between our pandemic and all its predecessors than nomenclature. We’ve had the misfortune of a “leader” (that really must be in quotation marks, for obvious reasons) who’s made it more lethal than it had to be; more divisive and more political. As early as the 5th century BC, people in the Ganges River delta wrote about cholera. Then on it went through the ages. No one — until now — has ever tried to put out demonstrably false information about a plague.

A basic tenet taught to children by most parents and, I am reliably informed, nuns, is that, “One should not hate. Doing so damages the vessel more than the object.” I have lived with this belief all of my life — until now. That I’ve made an exception I find astonishing. I remember being glued to the televised Army-McCarthy hearings and feeling disgusted by drunk, old, double-gaited Joe, but I don’t recall hating him; just being revolted by such an obviously opportunistic, destructive, and dishonest Senator playing to a gallery of the gullible.

Donald Trump’s despicable, if not deliberate, approach to COVID-19 has precedent. He is culpable in the preventable deaths of tens of thousands of Americans due to the evisceration of environmental protections. The deregulatory attack against the standards of mercury, soot, and carbon dioxide alone will lead to 245,500 preventable deaths over a ten-year period – a calculation based on EPA staff estimates. This is more than the population of the city of Norfolk, VA., or Boise, ID.

OK. Once you’ve made peace with the fact that there is someone worth hating, you get busy and start imagining (OK, wishing for) certain punitive outcomes. I gave myself permission to inflict imaginary damage on the disastrous and unfit Mr. Trump because a psychiatrist told me years ago that no thoughts or fantasies were unacceptable because they were just … thoughts or fantasies. So, for Trump I have selected an LIS, also known as “pseudocoma,” or “locked-in syndrome.” It is the condition in which a patient is aware but cannot move or communicate verbally “due to complete paralysis of nearly all voluntary muscles in the body except for vertical eye movements and blinking.” (It is the kind of stroke old Joe Kennedy had.) I felt this would be suitably frustrating because it would make his rages impossible … not to mention, of course, that it would end his tweeting.

My second choice would be for a patriotic Secret Service agent to have his gun go off, seemingly by accident, with the bullet striking the president somewhere significant. That is, no kneecap or shin injuries. As motivational speakers put it, “Aim a little higher.” You are certainly welcome to imagine your own choices, because, really, who amongst us does not want to punish evil?

Editor's note: Even the throes of her most vehement disgust, Margo has never encouraged actual mayhem and isn't here, obviously. We hope Google's content algorithms are smart enough to make that distinction, though we have our doubts.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Douglas Co. GOP now promoting quack hydroxychloroquine video banned by Twitter, Facebook and YouTube

     On its six o'clock news tonight, Omaha's KMTV reported that the Radical Republican nutballs who run the Douglas Co. GOP are now promoting on Twitter a "debate" about hydroxychloroquine, the discredited COVID-19 "treatment."
     The GOP send two tweets today, the first reading simply HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE!!! and the second containing a retweet of the video made by quack doctor Stella "deliverance from demon sperm" Immanuel.
     That video is now been banned on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
     Derek Oden, the wet-behind-the-ears, Don-Bacon-sticker-wearing Executive Director of the Douglas County Republican Party told reporter Jon Kipper:
"I’m just saying clearly studies have shown there’s something to look at there."
     Dr. Mark Rupp, chief of the division of infectious diseases at UNMC, had this to say about the bonkers video spread further on the Internet by Douglas County Republicans:
"I think this is unfortunately a disservice to the public, to patients, this is something that is very dangerous."
Watch KMTV's report here

Sunday, July 26, 2020

One degree of Don Bacon!

Left: Don Bacon; Right: Augusto Pinochet
You don't have to go through all that 6-degrees-with-Kevin rigamarole with this game—it's easy!
    The photo on the right is of Augusto Pinochet, pal to Henry Kissinger but not so much to the mothers of the thousands of Chileans he "disappeared" and the tens of thousands he had sadistically tortured.
    What does any of this have to do with Don Bacon, youse of little faith may well ask! Well, piglets... Don and Augusto have/had the same sugar daddy—BAE Systems!
    The British merchants of death secretly paid Pinochet (and Pinochet-linked groups) more than $1,000,000 through a front company in the British Virgin Islands as recently as 2014—even though Pinochet was arrested (in London!) in 1998 and died in 2006
    Bacon hasn't yet collected $1,000,000 from BAE's U.S. tentacle, but he is on the take for $8,000 so far—enough to pay for about 8 attack ads on KETV during its evening newscast. Every penny helps!
Click above table to enlarge