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Friday, August 18, 2017

Earworm of the Afternoon -- No Quarter


 
 
Inspired by this:
 


GET HIM!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

When Fascist Bear Comes...



Introducing Trumpy Bear (h/t Bob Cesca)... this is real. This is real!





I'm a little surprised we haven't seen any of these at the neo-Nazi rallies. Though not all of these bears are Neo-Nazis. Some are fine bears.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Joy Reid Speaks for All of Us


This guy, too....

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Are We On Timeline 191?




Between yesterday's tragedy/travesty at #Charlottesville and the talk of David Benioff and D.B. Weiss's ill-conceived upcoming Confederate series on HBO, I'm reminded of Harry Turtledove's alternate history book series entitled "Timeline 191," or "Southern Victory."

The Southern Victory series or Timeline-191 are fan names given to a series of eleven alternate history novels by author Harry Turtledove, beginning with How Few Remain (1997) and published over a decade. The period addressed in the series begins during the American Civil War and spans nine decades, up to the mid-1940s. In the series, the Confederate States of America defeats the United States in 1862, thereby making good its attempt at secession and becoming an independent nation. Subsequent books are built on imagining events based on this alternate timeline.
The secondary name is derived from General Robert E. Lee's Special Order 191, which detailed the Confederate States' Army of Northern Virginia's invasion of the Union through the border state Maryland in September 1862. Turtledove creates a divergence at September 10, 1862, when three Union soldiers do not find a copy of Special Order 191, as they in fact did historically. Historians believe their find helped General George B. McClellan of the Army of the Potomac prepare for his confrontation with Lee, and contributed to the Union's eventual victory at the Battle of Antietam.

The two nations remain separate right into WWII, and the Confederates are genocidal Nazis.

Make that series, HBO.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Some Light Weekend Reading



This is the creepiest thing I've read about Russia's cyberwar against the U.S. and its allies:

One night in mid-March, Alan Malcher, a British military veteran, dropped into the Queen’s Arms, a working-class pub in north London. He took a seat at the bar and ordered his customary pint of Foster’s. Within a few minutes, a stranger sidled up, ordered a drink and started a conversation. He soon brought up Russian President Vladimir Putin and began saying positive things about the Moscow-backed separatist civil war in Ukraine.
“He was going on about Putin being a strong leader,” Malcher recalls. “Somebody to admire.” The stranger’s comments, delivered with a thick Slavic accent, made Malcher’s security antennae vibrate: He had recently joined a Washington, D.C.–based think tank involved in combatting Russia’s stealthy infiltration of American social media. So when the stranger made passing reference to Malcher’s army service, he felt a twinge of apprehension. “There’s no way he could have known that except via LinkedIn,” Malcher says, referencing the professional online networking site where he and other critics of Moscow had been active in international affairs discussion groups. An expert in information warfare, Malcher reasoned that the Kremlin had dispatched the stranger to the Queen’s Arms with a message: We know everything about you. Watch your step.

I guess this hits close to home because so many of us need to keep a LinkedIn presence for professional purposes. I'd also recently been wondering when Putin might start to deepen his attacks, going after more of his and Trump's online critics in person rather than just online. Obviously, Putin has a history of killing journalists and dissenting politicians, but this feels bigger than that.

Read the whole thing.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Friday Morning Twitshit



Tons of really gloaty tweets and retweets this morning from Trump after last night's rally in Nuremberg, WV, and some OK job news. But what I noticed was this:


It's his predecessor's birthday and the only thing he's sending birthday wishes to is a boat. Yeah, that's not deliberate.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

I Don't Think You Can Call It Diplomacy...



The Washington Post has released leaked transcripts from the calls Trump had soon after his inauguration with the leaders of Mexico and Australia, and they're even worse than we originally thought. A taste:

Now getting back to the taxes for second, I have been given as President tremendous taxation powers for trade and for other reasons – far greater than anybody understands. The powers of taxation are tremendous for the President of the United States and if you study that you will see what I mean. That is why I did not want to have the meeting, I just wanted to tax the border. With all that being said, I would love if you want to reinstitute the meetings between Luis and a staff that I will assemble in the United States. Our Secretary of Commerce, Mr. Ross, will be approved very soon and we have a great team of people – Gary Cohen and lots of others – we have lots of great talent. And talent that wants things to happen. They are dealmakers, they are not obstructionist. We have some of them, but so do you of course. With that being said, if you would like to try and work a deal, that is okay. But if we cannot work a deal, I want to tell you we are going to put a very substantial tax on the border coming into the United States because, honestly, we will not want your products unless your products are going to be taxed. I do not want the products and lesser tax. And what that will mean is factories and plants will start to be built in the United States because the taxes will be too high in Mexico. I do not want to do that if we can work out a deal, so Jared Kushner and Luis can have the teams work out the deal. The only thing I will ask you though is on the wall, you and I both have a political problem. My people stand up and say, “Mexico will pay for the wall” and your people probably say something in a similar but slightly different language. But the fact is we are both in a little bit of a political bind because I have to have Mexico pay for the wall – I have to. I have been talking about it for a two year period, and the reason I say they are going to pay for the wall is because Mexico has made a fortune out of the stupidity of U.S. trade representatives. They are beating us at trade and they are beating us at the border, and they are killing us with drugs. Now I know you are not involved with that, but regardless of who is making all the money, billions and billions and billions – some people say more – is being made on drug trafficking that is coming through Mexico. Some people say that the business of drug trafficking is bigger than the business of taking our factory jobs. So what I would like to recommend is – if we are going to have continued dialogue – we will work out the wall. They are going to say, “who is going to pay for the wall, Mr. President?” to both of us, and we should both say, “we will work it out.” It will work out in the formula somehow. As opposed to you saying, “we will not pay” and me saying, “we will not pay.”
Because you and I are both at a point now where we are both saying we are not to pay for the wall. From a political standpoint, that is what we will say. We cannot say that anymore because if you are going to say that Mexico is not going to pay for the wall, then I do not want to meet with you guys anymore because I cannot live with that. I am willing to say that we will work it out, but that means it will come out in the wash and that is okay. But you cannot say anymore that the United States is going to pay for the wall. I am just going to say that we are working it out. Believe it or not, this is the least important thing that we are talking about, but politically this might be the most important talk about. But in terms of dollars – or pesos – it is the least important thing. I know how to build very inexpensively, so it will be much lower than these numbers I am being presented with, and it will be a better wall and it will look nice. And it will do the job.

Read the whole thing. Each conversation features an adult speaking to a monstrous, stupid, lying child. And I'm not even sure that's fair, because I've never encountered a child that monstrous, stupid, or patently dishonest.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Earworm of the Afternoon -- Warm Fuzzy Feeling


The Hubris of the "Before Time"



I'm working on a project with my friend, "S," that we were planning to get to right after the election. One of the reasons I'm not writing here so much these days is because I wanted to take the time to get back to it.

Last night, I was transcribing our conversation from what turned out to be a fateful night in mid-October...

J: My friend just texted me that Donald Trump did something else outrageous.
S: No, shocking.
J: Well, he’s been great the last 24 hours, let’s see what he’s up to.... Something with Billy Bush. He insulted another woman, apparently.
S: Oh, no, shocking.
J: Oh, this looks like something really good, actually. “The video that was leaked and obtained by the Washington Post, revealing a lewd and sexist conversation with Donald Trump and a former Access Hollywood host. That host, Billy Bush, deleted his Twitter account after  it was released. Apparently, the pressure of knowing, of the world knowing what you really think about women was too much for Bush. It was a cowardly move for Bush, who so easily made comments about a woman being ‘hot-ass shit’ and enthusiastically responded to Trump after he bragged about his constant and incessant pursuit of women. Trump told Bush that because he’s a celebrity, he can do whatever he wants. Whether, that’s when Trump wants to grab women by the pussy… Trump said that! Wanting to grab women by the pussy. Or just kiss woman without asking or waiting for consent.
S: Mmmmm….
J: “It’s a disgusting way for men to even think about interacting with women that way, and hearing Trump and Bush saying these things out loud made the entire conversation as lewd as I’d feared. By deleting his Twitter account, it’s quite literally hiding from his problems, trying to evade accountability for his very sexist actions, he certainly was not shy about participating in a crude conversation about women’s bodies with Trump while he was on that Access Hollywood bus in 2005…” So it’s not really that long ago. “Seems things have changed, and he’s not quite as manly as he thought he was in that video.” Oh boy. THAT’S AWESOME.
S: That is just…
J: That is gonna stick.
S: I really want that to be true… but I don’t know...
J: Aside from the fact that Hillary jumped six points after the last debate…
S: (SIGHS)
J: She got this.
S: I wish more people would watch it.
J: She got this.
S: I couldn’t even watch it all in one shot.
J: I loved it.
S: She, like…
J: I loved it loved it loved it so much. She’s gonna crush him. I’m so excited about this.  I can’t wait until Election Day. I just have to hear this clip, because I want to hear Trump say he’s grabbing someone by the pussy.
 
Yikes and more yikes. Well, that was the day it became OK to say "pussy" on the news. So that's something.