I’d two encounters regarding drones the other night.
One was an episode of Madame Secretary, wherein the female Secretary of State co-opts her own brother to obtain information to locate and assassinate an American-born Isis member.
Via a drone strike in a foreign land.
(I’ve an ongoing discussion regarding this TV show – a friend thinks it’s a stalking horse to put Hillary Clinton in the White House. I disagree. The protagonist is a former CIA officer, married to a religious ethics professor at The War College, who is a part-time NSA guy. Hardly The Clintons!)
The second encounter was a TV commercial showing a drone package delivery (Amazon? – I don’t remember, we have The Hopper and fast-forward through most of the commercials! :-) )
Now, I don’t know if this was a planned placement of drones on commercial television to get us used to the idea of them flitting about, or serendipity, or what?
I do remember this administration’s last attorney general not ruling out the idea of drone strikes against American citizens on our own soil(!)
Two drones and The Hopper in one evening? Perhaps it’s just coincidental? Showing us how far technology has advanced?
Let’s say your speech from a soapbox in the public park plays well in NYC’s Central Park. But, not as well in rural Missouri.
Should your right to free speech be restricted in Missouri.? But not in New York?
I don’t think so.
A Right is a Right is a Right. PERIOD.
How about your right to practice (or not) a religion? Or freely assemble? Or deny troops access to your home for quartering in peacetime? Or your right to not self-incriminate?
Different in the Big City versus the small town?
You know where I’m going.
(courtesy of David Codrea)
Jeb’s ridiculous and arrogant view of location-based rights is still not enough for Debbie, who expressed no objections when Obama said the same thing. They all know it’s a lie, and the edicts they’re going after, from the baby steps of “universal background checks” to the end game, will have no “home rule” regional limitations. They just use that term for the suckers.
Still, it wouldn’t be out of line to ask Jeb to explain in detail what specifically works for New York City. Matter of fact, those who have given him “A” ratings and endorsements in the past ought to be demanding it…
UPDATE: Not that I expect this will be anything but ignored…
Of course, old-timers like me remember when William Jefferson Clinton’s running mate (you know, the guy who invented the Internet, and global warming) was the guy who roomed at Harvard with Texan actor Tommy Lee Jones. And Mr. Jones (a Texas rancher and gun owner) ascribed to the same beliefs! That it was okay to carry firearms in Texas, but in D.C. and N.Y.C. (the big city) it was a no-no.
That argument didn’t hold for Tommy Lee Jones, and it doesn’t hold for Jeb and Barack, either!
JDZ (Never Yet Melted) waxed on (and off) regarding (H)oward (P)hillips Lovecraft, dark science fiction/fantasy author, bigot extraordinaire and photophobe. Below:
H.P. Lovecraft: Too Popular to be Ignored, Too Un-PC to be Acceptible
H.P. Lovecraft by Lee Moyer.
Philip Eil, in the Atlantic, contemplates with unease the posthumous rise to fame and pop culture ascendancy of the visionary horror pulp writer H.P. Lovecraft.
Lovecraft, you see, was not just a pulp writer. He was a passionate, nearly hydrophobic racist and anti-Semite, whose letters are absolutely filled with expressions of distaste for the presence, appearance, physiognomy, and even the odor, of Jews, Negroes, Asians, and persons of Southern European origin. The sight (and the smell), when encountered on city streets, of the result of 1900-era mass immigration could make the Mayflower-descended Lovecraft literally physically ill.
Hence, the dilemma troubling Mr. Eil: today’s American establishment culture faithfully worships at the altar of fame and success, but it simultaneously wants to cast out and obliterate anyone or anything incompatible with its own fanatically egalitarian ideology. Some pretty serious chin-stroking is in order here.
[N]o tale of posthumous success is quite as spectacular as that of Howard Phillips Lovecraft, the “cosmic horror” writer who died in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1937 at the age of 46. The circumstances of Lovecraft’s final years were as bleak as anyone’s. He ate expired canned food and wrote to a friend, “I was never closer to the bread-line.” He never saw his stories collectively published in book form, and, before succumbing to intestinal cancer, he wrote, “I have no illusions concerning the precarious status of my tales, and do not expect to become a serious competitor of my favorite weird authors.” Among the last words the author uttered were, “Sometimes the pain is unbearable.” His obituary in the Providence Evening Bulletin was “full of errors large and small,” according to his biographer.
Nowadays, it’s hard to imagine Lovecraft faced such poverty and obscurity, when regions of Pluto are named for Lovecraftian monsters, the World Fantasy Award trophy bears his likeness, his work appears in the Library of America, the New York Review of Books calls him “The King of Weird,” and his face is printed on everything from beer cans to baby booksto thong underwear. The author hasn’t just escaped anonymity; he’s reached the highest levels of critical and cultural success. His is perhaps the craziest literary afterlife this country has ever seen. …
My feelings on Lovecraft—as a bibliophile, a lover of Providence history, a Jew, a fan of his writing, a teacher who assigns his stories—are complicated. At their best, his tales achieve a visceral eeriness, or fling the reader’s imagination to the furthest depths of outer space. Once you develop a taste for his maximalist style, these stories become addictive. But my admiration is always coupled with the knowledge that Lovecraft would have found my Jewish heritage repugnant, and that he saw our shared hometown as a haven from the waves of immigrants he saw as infecting other cities. (“America has lost New York to the mongrels, but the sun shines just as brightly over Providence,” he wrote to a friend in 1926.)
I haven’t made peace with this tension, and I’m not sure I ever will. But I have decided that perhaps he’s the literary icon our country deserves. The stories he conjured, in many ways, say as much about his bigotry as they do his genius. Or, as Moore writes, “Coded in an alphabet of monsters, Lovecraft’s writings offer a potential key to understanding our current dilemma.”
Eventually also, we shall dissect Charles Beaumont, assuming I can get my soul essence back above ground, from whence Mr. Lovecraft’s character’s liked to dwell.
All hail Cthulu!
Personally, I like dark. I like intense. I like Poe. The works of Charles Fort. I don’t read as much as I should. And currently, I’ve been sticking to history and politics.
Now I will leave you, with homage to H.P. here in this Phoenician Sun, I remember the cool air…
(apologies to Monty Python fans who thought this post was about them!)
Long time readers (all 6 of you) probably remember I was once an amateur/semi-professional magician, and that magic is a memory of my youth that warms my heart. With that in mind, please enjoy the following:
(BTW, Harrison Ford uses language NSFW!)
h/t Doc in Yuma
(No, not the pulp magazine Robert D******* purloined from the convenience store when we had a sleep-over in my Dad’s camper, when we were in junior high! :-P)
We just finished watching Season Two of True Detective on HBO. Each season had it’s own story, characters, actors and themes. Season One was in Louisiana. This one was central and northern California. Both were in part produced by the lead actors from season one – Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey. Rest assured, this is no longer the Woody from the TV comedy Cheers. They are both consummate actors.
The theme carried over to Season Two is there is something larger, deeper, more sinister going on than first appears to the on scene investigators. It takes the season to unravel the mysteries. Both seasons consist of eight episodes each.
Season One took place over a number of years, following the rise and fall of career detectives in pursuit of a serial killer. Season Two was revealed in a much shorter time frame, involving murder, political power and blackmail. Both seasons were populated with extremely flawed, alcoholic, addicted and trapped detectives and career criminals, in extreme emotional pain.
Not exactly an evening of light television.
For the record, I liked both presentations. The critics were especially hard on Season Two, as over-complicated and not living up to Season One’s standards. It is still undecided if there will be a Season Three developed.
I’m certain both seasons are available on You Tube, Netflix, and the like.
The opening to Season Two, below…
Part of my ongoing, imperfect move toward self-improvement is to learn to ‘let go’ of others negative actions in the past.
And my own. As for me, I’ve been making amends. Mostly.
Other folks, well…
My roomie has been watching some comedy on our satellite TV network. Apparently everyone is in it – so she recommends I watch it.
One of the noted cast members is J*** F****!
You remember: that traitorous bitch actress who visited NORTH Vietnam while were
at war engaging in a ‘police action’ against them, demoralizing our own efforts and (in my opinion) giving aid and comfort to the enemy!
I’m sorry. She can rail against the capitalist system, all while making millions selling movies, and work-out videos. And continue to appear in films and TV shows.
I’ve no problem with that. (Hypocritical though it may be…)
Giving aid and comfort to the enemy, for me, is beyond the pale.
Then, there’s that (then) 23-year-old guy who broadsided my daughter Molly and I. (in 1995) I’m unable to forgive HIM, yet, either.
Frankly, I’m more likely to forgive HIM than Ms. F****. He was speeding, rushing to get to his job when he ran the light and T-Boned us. Accidents happen. (A co-worker reportedly said he bragged about ‘getting away with it!’ He paid an $800.00 fine. Stupidity and youth and all that.)
That traitorous bitch visited a country with which we were at war, actively supported them against us. There are even stories of her betraying POWs she visited to their captors – although theoretically those stories have been debunked.
Regardless, if she had protested at home, as many good Americans did, I’d have no problem. Protest is a fine American tradition.
Hollywood has produced some amazing talents. J*** F**** and Sean Penn amongst them.
Sean Penn hugged Hugo Chavez. While ridiculous and reprehensible, we are not at war with his country.
She should still be in Leavenworth. At least. The car guy should have served time for vehicular manslaughter, and would probably have gotten out by now.
She did issue an apology years later.
He has not, except a mumbled “I’m sorry” in court.
Accidents are, sadly, accidents. Treason is treason.
I’m still not watching that show.
Obviously, in the area of forgiveness, I’ve still work to do…
Famous (or perhaps infamous) deaths, that is.
(Of course, this all depends on how one defines fame or the starting point! And this is MY blog.)
Macnee, with Rigg
I am sad to report on the passing of Patrick Macnee, most famously known as John Steed of the British TV series The Avengers. At age 93.
The series ran in three permutations – the original British-only version (co-starring Honor Blackman), the import (with the most-lusted-after Diana Rigg), and a third version with Tara Thorson (later of Absolutely Fabulous).
Of course, most of us loved the series co-starring Ms. Rigg. Leather cat suits and all.
And how dapper was Patrick Macnee with his Edwardian clothes, bowler hat and lethal umbrella?
I remember an interview after the series, wherein Mr. MacNee quipped he had been approached about yet another remake. He responded, “What would they call it, The Geriatric Avengers?”
Retired, Mr. MacNee spent much of his time in his Rancho Mirage, California home, wearing Aloha shirts and shorts. He claimed doing so allowed him his privacy, as no one recognized him without his bowler and umbrella!
You will be missed, good sir!
the reaper the mechanic, NPR
The man who stood at the forefront to prosecute (and obtained convictions) against Charles Manson and his co-conspirators had died.
Mr. Bugliosi was 80.
Personally, he and I held some differing, and alike opinions.
He sided with the Warren Commission, even participating in a television drama ‘prosecuting’ Lee Harvey Oswald. (Gerry Spence was the defense attorney).
But he desperately wanted to reopen the RFK murder investigation, as there were so many unanswered questions.
But, he did ‘get’ Manson and company.
Remember the ‘cop-killer’ bullets that could penetrate a skip loader, but not a double-layer of ballistic vests in Lethal Weapon (Some-number)?
People believe this S***!
Fast forward to this:
Threaten to throw you off an 18th floor balcony
After a few hours of this, which involved an attempt to lure one of Cascioli’s suppliers to his building, the officers focused on Cascioli’s Palm Pilot, which they (correctly) believed contained the information they wanted. But Cascioli wouldn’t provide the password. He claims that police then tried to extract the password through intimidation.
Cascioli says [Officer Thomas] Liciardello asked him a question: “Have you ever seen Training Day?”
When Cascioli said yes, Cascioli says Liciardello looked him in the eyes and said: “This is Training Day for f—ing real,” and then instructed officers Norman and Jeffrey Walker to take him to the balcony.
According to Cascioli and the indictment, Liciardello told them to “do whatever they had to do to get the password.”
Out on the balcony, Cascioli says officers Norman and Walker lifted him up by each arm and leaned him over the balcony railing.
One of the cops involved has confirmed the story.
And the police (whom I generally admire) wonder why people continue to call them Gestapo and such. Even if 99 police officers follow their department policies to the letter, it only takes ONE STORY like this to sour the opinion for all.
Especially in the minority community, wherein people view cops as The Man, The Establishment.
Of course, media reportage regarding cops shooting, beating, tazing, torturing, and generally abusing minority suspects doesn’t help either!
PS – the story previously reported here regarding Freddy Gray having had recent back surgery (prior to his death in Baltimore Police custody) has allegedly been refuted. What about subsequent reports about him injuring himself after his arrest to claim brutality? Bueller? Bueller?
This just in (0754 MST) – Gray death ruled a homicide – police to be charged (Fox News)
Stan Freberg, whose freewheeling comic career in advertising garnered him worldwide acclaim and whose satirical entertainments abounded on TV, the radio and on records, has died. He was 88.
Freberg died of natural causes at a Santa Monica hospital, his son and daughter, Donavan and Donna Freberg, confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter.
“He was and will always be my hero, and I will carry his brilliant legacy forward as best I am able,” his son wrote on Facebook.
The godfather of humorous and irreverent commercials, Freberg lampooned cultural institutions and described himself as a “guerilla satirist.” TheNew York Times dubbed him the “Che Guevara of advertising,” and years later, “Weird Al” Yankovic called him a major influence on his career.
“Very sad to say that one of my absolute all-time heroes has just passed away,” Yankovic wrote on Twitter. “RIP Stan Freberg. A legend, an inspiration, and a friend.”
Freberg also was known for his musical parodies. “Wun’erful Wun’erful,” his 1957 spoof of “champagne music” — on which he collaborated with orchestra leader Billy May — lampooned The Lawrence Welk Show.
He also parodied Johnnie Ray’s hit “Cry,” which Freberg rendered as “Try.” (Ray was quite angry until he realized Freberg was fueling sales of his record.)
The Los Angeles native had hit records of his own, including St. George and the Dragonet, a 1953 send-up of the series Dragnet. His recordings were so popular that he landed his own radio program in 1954, That’s Rich. Three years later, he presented The Stan Freberg Show on CBS Radio, where he regularly mocked commercials by advertising bogus products.
You should really go and read the whole thing!
Stan was a true Hollywood success story. He actually walked off the bus, and into an ad agency and began writing copy. He wrote terrific ads, like many for Volkswagen during the Bug era.
And was hysterically funny without being lewd.
I hope you and Mel Blanc, June Foray, Bob Clampett and Daws Butler and the others are having a raucous time doing voices for The Supreme Being!