Wednesday, June 2, 2021

The big ones are beginning to bite off their own.......

“What I want to fix your attention on is the vast, overall movement towards the discrediting, and finally the elimination, of every kind of human excellence – moral, cultural, social, or intellectual.  And is it not pretty to notice how ‘democracy’ (in the incantatory sense) is now doing for us the work that was once done by the most ancient Dictatorships, and by the same methods? 
You remember how one of the Greek Dictators (they called them “tyrants” then) sent an envoy to another Dictator to ask his advice about the principles of government.  The second Dictator led the envoy into a field of grain, and there he snicked off with his cane the top of every stalk that rose an inch or so above the general level. 
The moral was plain.  Allow no preeminence among your subjects.  Let no man live who is wiser or better or more famous or even handsomer than the mass.  Cut them all down to a level: all slaves, all ciphers, all nobodies.  All equals. Thus Tyrants could practice, in a sense, ‘democracy.’ 
But now ‘democracy’ can do the same work without any tyranny other than her own.  No one need now go through the field with a cane.  The little stalks will now of themselves bite the tops off the big ones.  The big ones are beginning to bite off their own in their desire to Be Like Stalks.........” 
- C.S. Lewis - Screwtape Proposes a Toast  

Monday, May 31, 2021

A Perfect Metaphor for What's Happened to Journalism Over the Past Few Decades.

The Gilded Temple to Themselves "The Newseum" Fails and is Stripped of it's Facade 

It was the Gilded Monument to Journalistic Vanity. A museum immortalizing their Courage and Virtue in Pantheon-esque marble, created upon the premise that the news media weren't boastful enough of their accomplishments, that reporters weren't egotistical enough about their importance that a monument to their mighty works was to be.

Dubbed by even the Washington Post in 2018 as "A Slow Motion Disaster" for the hefty price of $24.95 a head.  You didn't get to witness such historical media exhibits such as a 5,000 year old cuneiform clay tablet announcing Sargon I ascension to the Throne, nay!  But what the few who wandered in did get to see was the Watergate break-in door, props and costumes from the movie 'Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy', a mock-up of Tim Russert’s office, posters and reporters’ notebooks from the Ferguson protests, Andy Rooney‘s typewrite, a Boston Globe reporter’s running shoes, hundreds of press passes, and for some strange reason, even Bono’s jacket, and much more.

There was a time when the American News Media was who most of the world looked to for the best example of unvarnished truth as could be had.  But then came the advent of 24 Hr. news broadcast and with it the rise of the overly self-important media reporters, high payed on-air talking heads celebrities and an undeniable political bias.

So when we see such arrogant people who deem themselves higher then us because they, and they only hold the cup of truth, can we not feel a bit triumphant when they stumble and fall into a pile of their own excrement and their temple to themselves fails and raised to the ground. 

"They should replace it with a monument to the stunning and brave journalists who stood up against Trump! Who risked their lives to give us nothing but the facts!! Heroes, all of them."

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Open Thread

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Amazen and the Claustrophobic Broom Closet of Despair

For years, one of the largest companies in the world has been criticized for the way they treat their workers. Yes, they did up the salaries of their warehouse workers to $15 an hour, but are still under constant video and audio surveillance, and there's the stories of the notorious pee bottles, etc., etc.  But Amazon is hoping to change all of that. No, not by paying people more or actually listening to workers about what would make things better for them. But by installing dystopian despair booths, about the size of a phone booth or old timey police box, at their warehouses where employees can go to scream their lungs out do "mindfulness exercises', and likely while being monitored by central scrutiny, as they always are.

And what could possibly be more calming than a small, windowless confined space?  Not to mention the fact that everyone can see you walk into it and will probably be going, "Oh guess who is losing their shit and needs to do some mindfulness exercises," and that would be literally all you could think of while in there, other than the possibility of the door getting stuck and you running out of air and dying of asphyxia. 

The original tweet featuring the 24 sec. video below was met with such horror and mockery on social media that the company deleted it after a day.

It's cute that they're "trying," but perhaps they could start instead with not requiring employees to pull 10 and a 1/2 hour shifts, allow them bathroom breaks so they don't have to pee in bottles and giving them breaks longer than 30 minutes when it takes some that long to walk to and from the break room.

And maybe, just maybe pay drivers a better wage so they aren't pissed and in a hurry all time and don't act like Tom Brady dropping a dime to his favorite receiver in the corner of the end zone when delivering my new coffee maker to my porch!!!!

Having 7 of my own employees, I can tell you those things would certainly be of more help to workers than shoving them into a claustrophobic broom closet of doom with sky and clouds painted on the ceiling where they can do "mindfulness exercises" as their supervisors watch the clock like a hawk.........

Friday, May 28, 2021

Middle Finger Symphony Theater


Brought To You By BluesJunky - Middle Finger Symphony Chair of Music

Thursday, May 27, 2021

If a Tree Farts in the Forest, Does it Make a Sound?

Ecologist Melinda Martinez Measures “Tree Farts” with Gas Analyzer

I gotta say, you really have to believe in yet to be proven pseudointellectual theories and endeavor to save mother earth from natural climate change to attend university for 4 to 8 years only to find yourself voluntarily slogging through a snake infested marsh in the middle of nowhere, knee deep in mud toting a gas analyzer to measure tree flatulence. 

According to experts on the subject, gases released by dead trees — dubbed “tree farts” — account for a good portion of greenhouse gases. While these emissions pale in comparison with other sources, an accurate accounting is necessary to get a full picture of where those climate-warming gases are coming from.

A team of ecologists in North Carolina went sniffing for tree farts  which form when saltwater from rising sea levels sinking shorelines poison a woodland, leaving behind a marsh full of standing dead trees called 'Ghost Forrest". They tell us dead trees decay and stop taking up carbon dioxide through photosynthesis so the results are going to be a major greenhouse gas source.

In the grand scheme of carbon emissions, ghost forests role may be minor. Tree flatulence has nothing on those dangerous cow farts.  A single prolific gas spewing bovine fart machine can emit up to 27 grams of methane, a far more potent gas than CO2 per hour. But we are told accounting for even minor sources of carbon is said to be important for fine-tuning our understanding of the global carbon budget, what ever that is.

~ Thank You MJA@IOTWReport for the Linkage! ~

Throwback Thursday - 'Oh Yeah, NOW I'm Convinced'

From the Dank Archives of DMF 'Great Moments in History' :

Everyone's favorite caricature of their slightly mentally disturbed Middle School General Science Teacher, Bill Nye the Science Guy. 

Caution: Strong Language

The rhetoric on environmental issues from the Left is as astounding as it is dishonest. When you hear the statements about how close we are to the brink of no return with global warming, ever hear them speak about stopping countries like China and India from pushing us over this supposed brink?

(Liz Wheeler Tweeter Box)

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Obama Commerce Dept. Holdover Ran Very Own Illegal Spy Agency During DJT Administration

With all the nonsense we'd learned about the corruption and illegal activities during the Obama Administration, like spying on AP and Fox reporters and family, nothing should really surprise us about what comes to light out of the Obama years in the WH.

And now we have the Washington Post revealing a real life version of a movie mall cop gone mad with his very limited power, with a little Watergate burglar intrigue mixed in.  A supervisor of an "obscure security unit" in the Commerce Department who got some funny ideas about what his job was supposed to be.

The "Investigations and Threat Management Service" (ITMS) is supposed to be concerned with keeping "Commerce officials and facilities safe".  But under supervisor George Lee, ITMS morphed into a kind of counterintelligence outfit, but without any actual legal authority to do covert spy stuff and shit, routinely overstepping its legal limits without meaningful oversight from within Commerce since the mid-2000s.  Under Lee, the unit did investigations of Commerce employees and regular Americans social media, based mostly on whatever whims Lee might have.

This has the potential to make a really good dark farce, with the right director and screenplay. Almost everything about Lee's attempt to build his own personal KGB seems ploddingly amateurish.  One former supervisor told WAPO that the outfit's operations seemed like "someone watched too many 'Mission Impossible' movies."

ITMS agents did nighttime searches of offices, including looking in storage areas without permission, and even picking locks.  They were all kitted out in Gordan Liddy spy gear, too!
The unit’s equipment for covert searches, kept in duffel bags, included latex gloves, shoe coverings, hairnets, balaclava-style face masks and a lock-picking set, according to a current Commerce employee, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss unit operations.  During some covert searches, investigators wore the face masks and avoided or blocked the view of security cameras.
OK, but did they pretend they were dodging lasers, like Tom Cruise??

Lee even design his own Derp State training program some said felt as if he learned it all by reading a book on it the day prior to class.  

Former investigators offered all sorts of charming examples of ITMS doing investigations for which it had little or no authority, like monitoring Commerce employees' emails to see if they were in contact with any foreign types, and opening files on people who sent completely nonthreatening mail to the Commerce secretary.
In one instance, the unit opened a case on a 68-year-old retiree in Florida who tweeted that the census, which is run by the Commerce Department, would be manipulated "to benefit the Trump Party!"  In another example, the unit searched Commerce servers for particular Chinese words, documents show. The search resulted in the monitoring of many Asian American employees over benign correspondence.
Now that DJT is gone and Mr. Lee relieved of his duties, the Biden Administration ordered ITMS to pause all investigations on March 10, and on May 13, ordered the suspension of all activities.  46* may not want any further stories about the activities of Lee and any activities during the last administration that may have enriched, or embarrass the democrat party in any way to come to light.  But if it does, it promises to be equal parts hilarious and cringeworthy.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Note To Readers:

My usual robust & dependable interweb connect seems to not be itself since early yesterday morning. Not sure if it's my end or the internet provider or server, but the situation in under intense investigation. I'll be back posthaste as soon as there's suitable resolution and the bodies are buried.