Monthly Archives: July 2018

The 1960s Called: They Want Their Product Back

When you buy products from certain online sites that you’re aware are still selling plenty of stuff by catalogue you realize that you’re opening yourself up to a potential deluge of materials in your mail box – your home mail box, that is, not just your email in-box.  A few years back, for example, The Curmudgeon’s mother asked him to buy something for her from the Carol Wright web site and the only good thing to come from the onslaught of catalogues that followed for about five years was the inspiration for the piece “Carol Wright, Dildo Queen” that was, until the past six weeks, the most frequently read piece on this blog.

While The Curmudgeon doesn’t generally order from such sites for himself his father ordered from their physical catalogues, and while dad has now been gone for nearly five years his mail continues to arrive in The Curmudgeon’s mail box frequently – even though The Curmudgeon has moved since dad’s passing.  Rarely will as many as three days pass without something for dad, and sometimes several pieces arrive in a single day.

Last week, though, The Curmudgeon received a catalogue for dad from a company he’s never heard of called collectionsetc.com.  Its catalogue looks pretty much the same as most of the rest of the catalogues addressed to dad, suggesting that it’s probably just another name under which some of those other companies also operate.  As he always does, The Curmudgeon flipped through it briefly just, well, just because.

Okay, because he was heading into the bathroom.

And he was stunned when he ran across the following product: a real anachronism in this day and age.

The Curmudgeon has no further comment.  He just can’t believe someone’s selling this kind of thing in 2018.

Behind the Curve

The U.S. is often a little ahead of the curve when it comes to adopting new social policies or embracing social practices that at one time were considered unacceptable.

But then there’s transgender rights.

We’ve come a long way here when it comes to transgender rights, but not as far as…

Pakistan.

Yes, Pakistan.

Seriously.

Last month, NPR reported that

Pakistan’s parliament passed a landmark bill…that gives the country’s transgender citizens fundamental rights.

The Transgender Persons (Protect of Rights) Act allows people to choose their gender and to have that identity recognized on official documents, including national IDs, passports and driver’s licenses. The bill prohibits discrimination in schools, at work, on public modes of transit and while receiving medical care.

 The measure also says that transgender people cannot be deprived of the right to vote or run for office. It lays out their rights to inheritance, in accordance with their chosen gender. And it obligates the government to establish “Protection Centers and Safe Houses” — along with separate prisons, jails or places of confinement.

 Meanwhile, here in the U.S. we still have people concerned that men are getting their schmeckles cut off and growing breasts just so they can go into women’s rest rooms and leer at the only women you can see in women’s rest rooms:  those who are fully dressed because they’re not in a stall doing their business.

Pakistan.  Pakistan is more progressive than us on this subject.

Amazing.

 

Behaving Badly in Tennessee

Civility, tolerance, and respect for others appears to be a lost cause among at least some residents of the state of Tennessee, as the online publication Roll Call reports.

His parents must be proud

A Tennessee hardware store owner is celebrating the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of a bakery that refused to bake a cake for a gay couple’s wedding by placing a “No Gays Allowed” sign in front of his store. 

Jeff Amyx, who owns Amyx Hardware & Roofing Supplies in Grainger County, initially posted the sign in 2015 after the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage but later removed it following intense backlash. 

But in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling, Amyx apparently decided “Backlash be damned!”

The sign returned this week, however, after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, according to WBIR 10.

Amyx told the local NBC affiliate that the ruling came as a shock to him, calling the decision a victory for Christianity.

 “Christianity is under attack,” Amyx said. “This is a great win, don’t get me wrong, but this is not the end, this is just the beginning. Right now, we’re seeing a ray of sunshine. This is ‘happy days’ for Christians all over America, but dark days will come.” 

The only “dark days” coming will be if people decide Amyx’s shenanigans are perfectly fine with them and continue to patronize his store.

 

 

 

 

 

Real Short TV Reviews

Now that The Curmudgeon is living in a home where all of the available television programs don’t originate with networks that trace their roots to the Truman administration, he is being exposed to a whole new world of television programs.  Many seem to revolve around a few common themes.  Some he and Mrs. Curmudgeon watch together; some they sample together and decide not to watch; some they sample together and Mrs. Curmudgeon ends up watching alone; some they sample together and The Curmudgeon ends up watching alone; and some, the previews and descriptions are about as enticing as garlic and a cross are to a vampire.

Still working to keep a promise he made to himself, The Curmudgeon is trying to say no more about this garbage

Now, as a public service, The Curmudgeon would like to offer mini-reviews of a few of these series.

  • Succession (HBO) – rich family that owns a business together behaving badly.
  • Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO) – sleazy stoner with greasy hair behaving badly.
  • Big Little Lies (HBO) – women with too much time on their hands behaving badly.
  • Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO) – old Jewish guy who makes The Curmudgeon seem like an absolute delight behaving badly.
  • Divorce(HBO) – Sarah Jessica Parker, whom The Curmudgeon inexplicably keeps referring to as Sarah Jesse Raphael, behaving badly.
  • John Adams (HBO) – Paul Giamatti acting badly. Seriously, can you think of any reasonably successful actor or actress who isn’t getting by on their looks alone who is as profoundly bad an actor as Paul Giamatti?
  • Silicon Valley (HBO) – young, seemingly intelligent people behaving badly.
  • SMILF( Showtime) – single woman with child behaving badly.
  • Billions (Showtime) – rich people and government officials behaving badly.
  • Ozark (Netflix) – nice guy Jason Bateman behaving badly.
  • Bloodlines (Netflix) – Ewing family wannabes behaving badly.

The Curmudgeon trusts you see the common thread.

Is your favorite – or least favorite – missing from this list? Probably because it came to The Curmudgeon’s attention and he decided “Hell, no,” but theme-conforming additions are welcome:  The Curmudgeon can’t possibly be aware of ALL of the crap that comes our way.

Is This Guy Serious?

Larry Fedora is the football coach at the University of North Carolina and he wants you to know he’s none too pleased with recent efforts to protect the brains of people who hit others with their heads purely for sport and pleasure.

The ESPN web site tells the story:

North Carolina coach Larry Fedora is no fan of the rule changes in college football, suggesting altering the game is an overreaction to injuries and will, in the end, have a profound effect on the entire country.

Wow: changes in college football rules are going to have a profound effect on THE ENTIRE COUNTRY?

ESPN continues:

“Our game is under attack,” Fedora told reporters. “I fear the game will be pushed so far from what we know that we won’t recognize it in 10 years. And if it does, our country will go down, too.”

Our country “will go down” if 250-pound teenagers are required to tackle with their oversized arms instead of attempting to impale opponents with their under-endowed skulls?

And there’s more.

Fedora said he’d talked to military personnel who’d suggested the success of the U.S. military was due, in part, to the number of football players who went on to join the armed forces.

Seriously?

Oh, and he also questions the legitimacy of research that connects football and certain brain injuries and insists that all of the people playing football nowadays understand the risks (of the brain injuries he himself questions) and choose to play the game anyway.

There’s more lunacy, too, which you can see for yourself here, but from The Curmudgeon’s vantage point, it looks as if the rule changes designed to give young men a chance to become old men have come too late for poor Larry Fedora.  That brain is already pretty much pickled.

 

 

 

Uncle Sam Wants YOU!

Unless you’re a legal immigrant.

In which case, Uncle Sam wants you…not nearly as much as he did before the Trump administration took office.

Well, maybe not ALL of you

Legal immigrants have long been welcome in the U.S. armed forces.  In fact, it’s a well-established, formal path to citizenship, and in the aftermath of 9/11, President Bush even ordered expedited citizenship for legal immigrants who chose to serve their country at such a crucial time.  Today, about 10,000 legal immigrants serve in the armed forces – a miniscule proportion of the nearly two million active duty service members and current reservists.

But now the Trump administration has apparently set its sights on getting rid of legal immigrants.

These non-white LEGAL immigrants.

The Associated Press reports that dozens of immigrant recruits and reservists have been sent packing from the service –  discharged, and in many cases without explanation. Those who have received explanations have been told they’re security risks, either because they have relatives abroad – how dare them! – or because the Pentagon never bothered completing background checks on them.

The Pentagon, meanwhile, says it hasn’t changed its policy about legal immigrants.

Then why are all of these people being tossed out of the service?

Hey, Sarah Sanders (continued)

When questioned on Monday about reports that the Trump administration is considering revoking the security clearance of six past national security officials, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders explained that

Not only is the President looking to take away Brennan’s security clearance, he’s also looking into the clearances of Comey, Clapper, Hayden, Rice, and McCabe.  The President is exploring the mechanisms to remove security clearance because they’ve politicized and, in some cases, monetized their public service and security clearances.

The president is concerned about them monetizing their public service?

“I took this job to help people and, well, I’m people, too.”

So, Sarah, how does the president feel about the seven new trademarks his daughter Ivanka registered with the Chinese government in May, making it 13 new trademarks in three months, pretty much at the same time he had second thoughts about his previously stated intention to ban imports from ZTE, the Chinese telephone and telecommunications equipment company? These 13 new trademarks – seriously Ivanka coffins? – come on top of 25 more trademark applications currently under review by China’s government, 36 that government has already awarded, and eight more that have already received provisional approval.

“Unless you’re willing to be called stupid and told a bunch of lies, don’t bother asking me any questions.”

Or, Sarah, how does the president feel about the three trademarks Ivanka’s company has gained in the Philippines since her daddy was elected president?

Or, Sarah, how does the president feel about the decision of a state-owned Chinese company to invest $500 million of that government’s money in a new theme park in Indonesia for which the Trump organization has licensing agreements?

Or, Sarah, how does the president feel about the two U.S. embassies that have promoted Mar-a-lago on their web sites?

Or, Sarah, how does the president feel about Kellyanne Conway going on national television and urging viewers to purchase his daughter’s products?

Or, Sarah, how does the president feel about the Republican National Committee and the U.S. Department of Defense renting space in Trump Tower? Or about Qatar spending $6.5 million for an apartment in Trump Tower, where its other new neighbors include the governments of India, Saudi Arabia, and Afghanistan?

Since it’s clear that public service has created a feeding frenzy for Donald Trump and his family to use their work in public service (if that’s what one can call what Ivanka and Jared are even doing) for personal financial gain, one has to wonder why anyone who’s not related to the president by blood or marriage doesn’t have the same right.

So by all means, Sarah, please enlighten us.

 

 

 

 

 

Hey, Sarah Sanders

When questioned yesterday about reports that the Trump administration is considering revoking the security clearance of six past national security officials, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders explained that

Not only is the President looking to take away Brennan’s security clearance, he’s also looking into the clearances of Comey, Clapper, Hayden, Rice, and McCabe.  The President is exploring the mechanisms to remove security clearance because they’ve politicized and, in some cases, monetized their public service and security clearances.

The president is concerned about them monetizing their public service?

So, Sarah, how did you like Sean Spicer’s new book?

Your Honor: “If it Please the Court, Goo Goo, Ga Ga”

Kaiser Health News offered the following information last week about the continued effort by the Trump administration to deport infants who were brought into the U.S. illegally by their parents:

The Trump administration has summoned at least 70 children under 1 year old to immigration court for their own deportation proceedings since Oct. 1, according to new Justice Department data provided exclusively to Kaiser Health News.

These children, who may be staying with a sponsor or in a foster care arrangement, need frequent touching and bonding with a parent and naps every few hours, and some are of breastfeeding age, medical experts say. They’re unable to speak and still learning when it’s day versus night.

What, no teeny, tiny handcuffs? Aren’t these kids already proven to be a flight risk?

Also,

The Justice Department data show that a total of 1,500 “unaccompanied” children, from newborns to age 3, have been called in to immigration court since Oct. 1, 2015.

The Curmudgeon wonders if:

  • they’ve been read their rights
  • they understand the charges against them
  • they’re able to contribute to their defense

The sheer mean-spiritedness of this continuing crusade is getting out of hand.

Pickled…What?

The Curmudgeon found himself driving past a Kentucky Fried Chicken store the other day – oh, now they call it KFC, but we all know it’s still Kentucky Fried Chicken – and he found himself rendered momentarily speechless by the message on the marquee:

Try our new pickled fried chicken

And he must confess he almost ran off the road.