Monday, February 5, 2018

Primary season in Illinois: where the nuts get harvested early

It's not the fault of the entire 3rd Congressional district, really; they weren't the ones who adequately failed to housetrain Art Jones or his Adolph Hilter-worshipping political instincts, but if you're going to blame someone for putting him in a position to snap up the Republican nomination in that district I suppose it's whoever wasn't paying attention to assorted unpleasant facts like these before letting him run as an uncontested primary candidate:

Arthur Jones, a 70-year-old retired insurance agent, told the Chicago Sun-Times he once led the American Nazi Party and heads up a group called the America First Committee, which excludes Jewish members. On Jones’ campaign website, under a section titled, “The ‘Holocaust’ racket,” he insists the murder of 6 million Jews was the “biggest blackest lie in history” and that the Holocaust amounted to “propaganda, whose purpose is designed to bleed, blackmail, extort and terrorize, the enemies of organized world Jewry.”

Jones is running unopposed in a highly Democratic district that includes a part of Chicago and is expected to be easily defeated in the general election.

According to his website, Jones is campaigning to, among other things, “bring our troops home NOW to defend our borders”; to end “amnesty” for undocumented immigrants and sanctuary cities; to make English the official language; and to fight an agenda he believes, that the federal government has to “change” neighborhoods “found to be too White, too Christian, or too straight.”

The Chicago Tribune reported that he opposes interracial marriage and school integration and was unsure when asked whether black people or Latinos should have the right to vote.

Ah, well. We don't have Andy Martin to kick around anymore, so we end up with Jones instead.

In other local electoral news, someone actually came up with a way to make Bruce Rauner look practically warm and fuzzy in comparison:

The latest example of this phenomenon comes from Illinois, where Republican state Rep. Jeanne Ives is challenging incumbent Gov. Bruce Rauner for the gubernatorial nomination. Like Trump against Jeb Bush, Corey Stewart against Ed Gillespie in Virginia, and Roy Moore against Luther Strange in Alabama, Ives hopes to upset a more established Republican by fanning anger and prejudice.

“Thank you for signing legislation that lets me use the girl’s bathroom,” says a deep-voiced male actor wearing a dress, in a new ad released by Ives’ campaign. The ad attacks the incumbent governor for purportedly backing liberal policies and uses a procession of conservative boogeymen to mockingly “thank” Rauner for his aid. A black woman in a Chicago Teachers Union shirt thanks Rauner for a “bailout” of teacher pensions, a white woman in a pink hat thanks him for “making all Illinois families pay for my abortions,” and a man dressed as antifa thanks the governor for making “Illinois a sanctuary state for illegal immigrant criminals.”

State Republican leaders condemned the ad. “There is no place in the Illinois Republican Party for rhetoric that attacks our fellow Illinoisans based on their race, gender or humanity,” said party chairman Tim Schneider in a statement. A Republican candidate for attorney general, Erika Harold, called on Ives to “immediately” take the ad off the air.

But Ives still has considerable conservative support for her message. A member of the Illinois GOP central committee, John McGlasson, called it “a clear, unambiguous message about what Rauner stands for,” and Politico notes that a former Rauner ally, Republican strategist Dan Proft, has jumped ship to Ives’ campaign. It’s unclear how Republican voters will respond to Ives’ message, but the 2016 presidential primary provides clues: 39 percent of Illinois Republicans backed Donald Trump for the nomination, beating out Ted Cruz by 8 percentage points, and swamping both John Kasich and Marco Rubio.

So if you're from here, don't make the mistake of assuming that the racist and xenophobic yahoos are just running amok in places like Alabama, Texas, or South Carolina; there are plenty of them up here as well. They just don't run the entire political operation here like they do in those aforementioned states.


Wednesday, January 31, 2018

"Big Game", big pick, big deal

People not interested in the upcoming Super Bowl can skip this, unless they're actually interested in reading my immortal prose (what? I repeat, what?) concerning the upcoming Super Bowl.

Two things are rather obvious at this point:

1) Outside of his little football world, Tom Brady is a woo-promoting jackass;

2) That's still no reason to go after his daughter in public, though, like one radio host did.

That being said, I'm under the impression that if anyone's going to upset The Belicheck Machine That Ate The AFC it might be Philly. The Eagles are every bit as capable of making life tough for opponents as the Pats are, and the fact that they mercilessly pounded the Vikings 38-7 in a game where the Vikes were favored by Vegas is proof of that. Even so, the Pats have more experience. And they have a quarterback who's incredibly skilled and pulling off last-minute wins even if he is a quack medicine-promoting idiot off the field.

So Pats by 2.


I have shit luck picking Super Bowl winners since I started doing it again in 2006. Last year was a rare exception (Pittsburgh beating Arizona in 2008 was the other one, and I didn't even cover my own spread that time), but considering my lack of luck picking winners in - which years were they, now? - 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 you can at least rest assured that just because I was right about the Pats in 2016 I might not be this year considering my Monopoly money-worthless 2-9 record.

So, Pats haters? Don't give up hope.


Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Dave "Sherlock" Freer, Super Detective

The entire issue of Dave Freer's apparent obsession with the idea that Camestros Felapton is Toby Meadows (another hint that pseudonyms are practically mandatory when dealing with certain types of people online) has been written about more adroitly elsewhere (by Camestros himself, namely here, here and here, and Jim C. Hines, among others), the one thing that caused this to devolve from a almost comical wild goose chase to something repulsive and ugly is the borderline libelous statement that Freer makes (which is quoted in the Hines post) that Foz and Toby Meadows are involved in a relationship "reminiscent... of the situation between MZB and Breen" (i.e.,convicted pedophile Walter Breen and his wife Marion Zimmer Bradley, who was also accused of sexual abuse by her children and several others after her death). This was nothing but a crude, downright despicable personal attack on Meadows and her husband that was made because Freer is apparently so vewy, vewy angwy that he has no problem coming off as Elmer Fudd incarnate in human flesh in terms of emotional self-control.

This would all seem exceptionally pathetic, except that he accused two people he doesn't know personally of being in a relationship that promotes pedophilia. Without a single bit of proof to back that assertion up, of course. And all because one of them had the audacity to disagree with something he wrote. Apparently, Freer thinks that's so much of a crime that it's worth using the rhetorical equivalent of a tactical nuclear warhead to kill a fly. Foz Meadows has responded to this drivel herself, but here's a point I'd like to make:

If anyone can come off as the perfect combination of a paranoid conspiracy theorist and a sadistic turd with a truly fetid imagination, it's someone who turns to defamatory personal attacks when he has no proof for the former but plenty of proof as to the latter. And this, by the way, is over something as trivial and pointless as who the pseudonymous author of a blog devoted to science fiction really is.

If anyone can come up with an example of something as inane as this they've seen online recently, please post it in the comments. I need a cheap laugh. I'm certainly not getting one writing about this.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Mark E Smith, 1957-2018

Damn it, it's almost as if someone is trying to destroy the soundtrack of my formative years piece by piece.

Luckily, they won't succeed.


Now reading

The Courts of Chaos by Roger Zelazny.

Nassar Gets Dropped Hard

I wasn't expecting anything other than this, really, but the man remained an utterly grating asshole throughout the trial and especially in the wake of the victims' collective impact statements:

But before delivering her sentence, Aquilina read aloud a letter Nassar wrote to the court recently in which he defended his medical care, said he was "manipulated" into pleading guilty, and accused the women of lying.

"I was a good doctor because my treatments worked, and those patients that are now speaking out are the same ones that praised and came back over and over," Nassar wrote. "The media convinced them that everything I did was wrong and bad. They feel I broke their trust. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned."

The letter "tells me you still don't get it," Aquilina said, tossing the letter dismissively.

"I wouldn't send my dogs to you, sir," she added.

I would, however, send dogs at him. Attack dogs do need their practice, after all.

He needn't worry too much, though. There are some things even dogs won't eat.

In other news - and in contrast to what the not particularly bright Joel Ferguson had to say on the subject earlier - MSU President Lou Anna Simon did indeed resign from her job.

Win-win in my opinion, but that's of little consolation to Nassar's victims.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

In Memoriam: Ursula K. Le Guin, 1929-2017

From the New York Times:

Ms. Le Guin’s fictions range from young-adult adventures to wry philosophical fables. They combine compelling stories, rigorous narrative logic and a lean but lyrical style to draw readers into what she called the “inner lands” of the imagination. Such writing, she believed, could be a moral force.

“If you cannot or will not imagine the results of your actions, there’s no way you can act morally or responsibly,” she told The Guardian in an interview in 2005. “Little kids can’t do it; babies are morally monsters — completely greedy. Their imagination has to be trained into foresight and empathy.”

The writer’s “pleasant duty,” she said, is to ply the reader’s imagination with “the best and purest nourishment that it can absorb.”