Archive for Satire
Unmute in lower right corner. Then stand back.
So much I miss by going to bed early:
One hears repeatedly that questioning people’s motives is rude. Impolitic. Impolite. Paul Waldman a few years ago posted that motive questioning is toxic because it is akin to calling people liars and bad people. Then again:
I’m not saying that on certain occasions it isn’t reasonable to question someone’s motives. In fact, voter ID laws offer one such case. The idea that all these Republican legislatures set out to address the non-existent problem of people impersonating other people at the polls just because they care so deeply about the integrity of the ballot, and did so in a way that purely by accident has the potential to significantly reduce turnout by some of the people most likely to vote Democratic, is more than a little hard to swallow. I’ll absolutely grant that Democrats dislike voter ID laws primarily for the same political reason, because it means their voters may find it difficult to vote. But on the substantive merits, Democrats also happen to be right.
Perfect example. In fact, on several occasions federal courts have questioned the stated rationale behind passing these laws as without substance, including just days ago in the Texas case. But one of the most frustrating things about attempting to engage “a Republican argument” is precisely how often the arguments seem disingenuous. It is not as if rank-and-file activists are actively lying about their motives. It is that they have never questioned them themselves. They have simply heard and regurgitated the talking points so often that they believe their own bullshit and are beyond questioning it. The frustrating thing is not that they are lying to you. It is that in effect (to borrow a Colbert construction), they are lying to themselves at you.
Comedy writer and playwright David Castro shared some impressions of Thursday’s Republican presidential debate:
Some final thoughts on the 10 Guys at Open Mic Nite at the Chuckle Hut in Cleveland:
1. How did Ben Carson operate as a neurosurgeon when he can barely open his eyes?
2. I want to see Trump and Rand Paul in a wind tunnel.
3. Jeb Bush isn’t even the kind of guy his brother would want to have a beer with.
4. Marco Rubio says he knows what it’s like living paycheck to paycheck. What else does he know?
5. Mike Huckabee said the Supreme Court isn’t the Supreme Being. Is this that Cthulu I’ve heard so much about?
6. Chris Christie is clearly running to be the head of the Five Families.
7. Mike Huckabee believes in DNA so his finally accepting the heliocentric view of our solar system is not out of the question.
8. This Kasich guy – he arm-wrestled Carly Fiorina and won the right to be here, right?
9. Ted Cruz – look up the etymology of decimated. You were decimated tonight.
10. Scott Walker looks like the church group youth leader that parents know not to leave their kids with.
“Man’s Dominion,” David’s show about a 1916 lynching in Erwin, Tennessee drew great reviews at the Hollywood and Toronto Fringe Festivals. The good people of Erwin once lynched a circus elephant. No, really.
“Man’s Dominion” is at the Chicago Fringe Festival – Sept 3 – 13, 2015.
Now there’s a phrase to give one pause. This just came in over the transom:
MENLO PARK, Calif. (AP) — Facebook says it will begin test flights later this year for a solar-powered drone with a wingspan as big as a Boeing 737, in the next stage of its campaign to deliver Internet connectivity to remote parts of the world.
Engineers at the giant social network say they’ve built a drone with a 140-foot wingspan that weighs less than 1,000 pounds. Designed to fly at high altitudes for up to three months, it will use lasers to send Internet signals to stations on the ground.
Facebook’s engineers at engineers at Connectivity Lab are designing a laser-based communications system to deliver the Internet to remote regions of the world the NSA cannot currently monitor from ?Fort Meade or Bluffdale.
The plan calls for using helium balloons to lift each drone into the air, Parikh said. The drones are designed to climb to 90,000 feet, safely above commercial airliners and thunderstorms, where they will fly in circles through the day. At night, he said, they will settle to about 60,000 feet to conserve battery power.
Each drone will fly in a circle with a radius of about 3 kilometers, which the engineers hope will enable it to provide Internet service to an area with a radius of about 50 kilometers.
Facebook drones at 90,000 feet. Amazon delivery drones below 400 feet. Large military drones in between — commingled with your Aunt Millie’s flight to Omaha. Amateur idiots anywhere, anytime. And one FAA NextGen air traffic control system to rule them all. (They’re only having a little trouble meeting the September 2015 deadline for writing those rules.) And c’mon, Zuckerberg, right? No worries. Not until one takes down an airliner or crashes into a school.
Yeah, yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should. — Dr. Ian Malcolm, Jurassic Park (1993)
And instant communications. Anywhere. Anytime. It’s been a dream of techies since at least George Orwell.
But, you know, all that hardware to maintain. So much needless expense. TPC had a better idea for handling that little problem back in 1967:
And there’s this from the Citizen-Times:
ASHEVILLE – In Savannah, Georgia, a policeman has an extra incentive for being nice to tourists: They’re helping pay his salary.
A move to raise the Buncombe County hotel-motel room tax has members of Asheville City Council saying something similar should be happening here — with police or with other services that benefit city residents.
Naturally, the hoteliers are not fond of the idea, as this recent op-ed from a hotel marketer proves:
I have great respect for county and city leaders and understand some of them would like to have a portion of the hotel occupancy tax. However, a hotel occupancy tax used for promoting tourism and funding local projects that benefit both citizens and visitors is an occupancy tax properly used. In fact, going back to the WCU study previously cited, without the current level of tourism in Buncombe County, the typical resident would pay $646 more in taxes each year.
So take a flying leap at the moon, county and city leaders. You too, AC-T editorial staff.
You know, rather than the knee-jerk protests Ashevillians love so much, locals could have a go at acting like jerks to tourists instead. Promote a city-wide “Rude Week” directing local ire at hotel patrons (you know, like those rude restaurants with surly waiters). Get the buskers and Asheville’s bicycle and Segway police to join hotel maids and bellmen to really sell it. I hear the last weekend in July is open these days.
Think that would get anyone’s attention at the Tourism Development Authority, Convention and Visitors Bureau, or the Chamber of Commerce? They could even use their shiny, new room tax to promote it.
Go ahead, Michele Bachmann. Break out your “THE END IS NEAR” sign. You know you want to. She came close in a radio interview:
Michele Bachmann says the rapture is coming, thanks to President Barack Obama’s policies on Iran’s nuclear program and marriage equality.
In a radio interview last week, Bachmann, the former Minnesota Republican congresswoman, told “End Times” host Jan Markell, “We need to realize how close this clock is getting to the midnight hour.”
“We in our lifetimes potentially could see Jesus Christ returning to earth and the rapture of the church,” Bachmann said. “We see the destruction, but this was a destruction that was foretold.”
Yes, she’s serious. In the westernmost mountains of North Carolina, for example, one of the most frequent questions congressional candidates will be asked is what version of the Bible they read.
Eschatology has been quite the rage among Bachmann-like believers pretty much forever. They take Revelation very seriously. Especially the “Rapture,” a word that appears nowhere in the New Testament. They’ll even argue over whether the Rapture comes before, during, or after the Great Tribulation that precedes the Second Coming and the Millennium. A preacher I knew was once asked whether he believed in a pre-Trib, mid-Trib, or post-Trib Rapture. He answered that he was a pan-Millennialist. He figured it would all pan out in the end.
I’m not sure Michele Bachmann would get the joke.
(Cross-posted from Hullabaloo.)