Attack ships burning

Welcome, this is a place called earth and it is good.

An old-school pharmacy hand-delivers drugs to Congress, a little-known perk for the powerful – Stat News

“At first it’s cool, and then you realize, I’m filling some drugs that are for some pretty serious health problems as well. And these are the people that are running the country,” Kim said, listing treatments for conditions like diabetes and Alzheimer’s.

🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨

A L Z H E I M E R S

🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨

Very cool very cool. I also want to give a to that lowkey drop of Alzheimer’s second to diabetes.


Citing marijuana ‘overdoses’ in Colorado, Bevin says he will never legalize pot in Kentucky Insider Louisville

“THC content in marijuana is not like it was even a generation ago,” said Bevin. “There are people overdosing based on ingestion of products that are edibles and things. You have that state being sued by at least two of their border states. You have law enforcement people in emergency rooms being overrun by problems. You have homelessness spiking in that state. It has not been good for that state, and states like us would be wise to look at that and realize that’s a sucker’s bet.”

Bevin knows a sucker’s bet when he see’s one. He will not have people over oh-deeing on their marajuana cigarettes or their drug pills just to make sure state employees keep, like, any amount of their promised retirement.

As Joe states, there are some health concerns around the move, but it’s hard to tell whether Big B’s concern-trolling is cynacle or ignorant.

But don’t worry he’s got this pention things figured ou…

Report says Kentucky’s proposed pension ‘reforms’ could make everything worse Herald Leader

From the viewpoint of public employees, the loss of pensions means an end to financially secure retirements, Fornia wrote. Even if state workers and school teachers contribute the maximum sums allowed to their 401(k) account every pay period and enjoy an unbroken string of good fortune in their stock market investments, which seems doubtful, they are likely to run out of money if they survive into their 80s, he wrote.

… In which the KYGOP intends to solve the pension crisis by just cutting everyone loose with a🖕.


TOP TRUMP OFFICIAL JOHN KELLY ORDERED ICE TO PORTRAY IMMIGRANTS AS CRIMINALS TO JUSTIFY RAIDS The Intercept

But while dozens of undocumented immigrants were detained, the administration sought to shape the narrative that “by removing from the streets criminal aliens and other threats to the public, ICE helps improve public safety,” according to statements by the agency.

On February 10, as the raids kicked off, an ICE executive in Washington sent a directive to the agency’s chiefs of staff around the country. “Please put together a white paper covering the three most egregious cases,” for each location, the acting chief of staff of ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations wrote in the email. “If a location has only one egregious case — then include an extra egregious case from another city.”

Since this is the dude ostensibly charged with keeping the WH on the rails, I’m here to offer a friendly reminder that a successful Trump admin is exactly this shit.


It’s hard to be snarky about this extremely real and dangerous stuff, so let’s turn our sites to our large adult sons.

The Land of the Large Adult Son New Yorker

The galaxy of large adult sons contains many constellations, and sons don’t necessarily have to be adults to belong. In November, 2014, the parody Web site Clickhole posted a BuzzFeed-style quiz called “Which One of My Garbage Sons Are You?” “I’ve got some shit boys,” the intro read. “My huge beautiful wife gave me children who think and speak like the toilet. I have four garbage sons: The first son is named Royce, the second son is named Preston, the third son is named Lance and Blake (two names for just one son), and the fourth son is the dreaded Laramie. Which one of my toxic sons are you? Take this quiz to find out!” My result: “You are a real trash mountain of a son who came marching out of my huge beautiful wife on the worst day to ever happen.” I was working at Gawker Media when this quiz was posted, and it derailed all operations for about an hour.

It is said a meme is dead as soon as it is defined by Buzzfeed, but this I say: a meme will live forever when it is a meme discussed at length in the New Yorker and is our beefy boy.


In less bad news, Blade Runner 2049 is super fun and you should see it in the theater.

Bevin mad

The president has been under plenty of scrutiny lately. So, lest we run out of breath to yell, Gov. Matt Bevin is really doing his best to either hide in that shadow, or eclipse the prez himself (depeding on how much credit you give the carpet bagger).

Consultant recommends dramatic changes to pension benefits for public workers; Bevin makes case on Facebook Insider Louisville

Asked whether pension legislation would cause a mass exodus of workers such as teachers retiring to maintain their current benefits before changes were made, Bevin said that wouldn’t help the pension system, “but it wouldn’t hurt either.” Noting that he did not think the legislature would pass any legislation that caused a worker to wish they had retired early, Bevin took aim at any teacher that did make such a move, saying they don’t belong in a classroom in the first place.

“If you happen to be a teacher who would walk out on your classroom — in order to serve what’s in your own personal best interest at the expense of your children — you probably should retire,” said Bevin. “I’m being completely serious. If that’s truly where you are at this stage in your career, I wouldn’t suggest that being in a classroom is probably the best use of your time. Yet, I know for fact that almost all of you teachers that are watching this don’t think that way.”

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that the anti-union governor is against any teachers collectively taking a stand on an issue their of compensation and benefits. But usually you’d be a little more discreet about your bully tactics so as to not draw even more public pressure.

Teacher Says Governor’s Public Scolding ‘Felt Like A Threat’

“He had to initially get sympathy from his scarce supporters and show them he’s a ‘victim’,” Ellis said.

“He then chose to call out my full name and profession, which felt like a threat to me and my job. This was a Q&A, a place for people to ask questions about him cutting pensions. I sent a statement, which he publicly addressed because he wanted to make an example of me and shame me just because I hurt his feelings.”

Bevin’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Matt Bevin is a guy whose style even Mitch McConnell couldn’t abide, so his tactics are expected to be less than conventional. But it shouldn’t be overlooked that the president and Bev seem to have a common propensity to single out and bully individuals with their power platform.


I was asked the other day, as a person who has a degree in History, how I felt about the issue of Confederate statues. While I think the “nuance” most people claim in the issue is much more of a copout than an actual attempt at dialog, I do think it’s important to make clear the actual context of the topic of the Confederacy in American culture.

As you’ve probably heard in a thousand autoplay Facebook videos by now, the statues and the confederate apologist culture that admire them them are not exactly what they appear.

The Making and the Breaking of the Legend of Robert E. Lee NY Times

Reconciliation excised slavery from a central role in the story, and the struggle for emancipation was now seen as a minor feature of the war. The Lost Cause, a romanticized vision of the Old South and Confederacy, gained adherents throughout the country. And who symbolized the Lost Cause more fully than Lee?

This is the best, most concise explaination of The Lost Cause ideology and confederate hero-worship. And from a great historian in Eric Foner. Worth your time.


✌️ Stay safe.

Throw your hands in the air

Texas under water, N. Korea launching missiles over Japan, Donald Trump pardons racists, and Game of Thrones sn7 is over.

So, with all that water, it’s hard to place full blame on dumb politicians. But …

Houston’s Big Dams Won’t Fail. But Many Neighborhoods Will Have to Be Flooded to Save Them. ProPublica

Thousands of homes and structures surrounding the reservoirs have indeed already flooded. Some of them are flooding because they’re along creeks and bayous that have also been overwhelmed. Some are flooding because of bad drainage in the neighborhood. But many are flooding because they are in an area that the Army Corps actually considers to be inside the reservoirs. (See map.)

The Army Corps says that as water goes around the auxiliary spillways, the flooding close to the reservoirs may get worse for homes that have already been affected. But officials don’t yet know how much worse.

Zoning laws are good.


It’s a good thing the President is there.

Trump relishes role as chief executive of Harvey response Politico

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — It was a presidential trip to a deluged state where the president didn’t meet a single storm victim, see an inch of rain or get near a flooded street.

But the daylong visit, during which President Donald Trump spent far more time in the air than on the ground, gave the optics-obsessed president some of the visuals he wanted, as he checked in on the government apparatus working on relief efforts and was buoyed by a roaring crowd of locals.

Folks.


Why the Arpaio Pardon Matters The Atlantic

But the main difference was the nature of Arpaio’s crime. While he is not the first official whose offense involved abuse of public powers—from Nixon on down, others fit that category—his is the first case I’m aware of where someone is pardoned for using state power toward racist ends.

The actions speak, articulately, for themselves.


On a lighter(ish) note ATLiens turned 21 last weekend. Bomani Jones shared a pretty killer piece he wrote on them back in 2010.

GROWING UP WITH ATLIENS Bomani Jones

I didn’t really start picking up on all these things going on in ATLiens until a couple of years ago. I’m not sure how much run I gave it before, but think about this — I had to turn 27 to begin to get something they wrote when they were 20 and 21. And it wasn’t because they didn’t say it clearly. It was because ATLiens was that much more mature than I was.

This is how I feel with basically all hip-hop – it may always go over my head. But OutKast has always met me where I am. It speaks to me even when I can’t hear. That’s what good art does.


Do good this week, y’all.

We Don’t Do The Same Drugs No More

Ohhhhhhhh we back. Sorry kids, I’ve been in a coma but was revived by a dope, and extremely American eclipse 🇺🇸. Where were we?

McConnell, in private, unsure Trump can salvage his presidency Herald-Leader

McConnell, while baffled at Trump’s penchant for internecine attacks, is a ruthless pragmatist and has given no overt indication that he plans to seek more drastic conflict. Despite his private battles with Trump, McConnell has sent reassuring signals with his public conduct: On Monday, he appeared in Louisville, Kentucky, with Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, for a discussion of tax policy.


Interview: How Corey Long fought white supremacy with fire The Root

“Long said the only weapon he had was a can of spray paint that a white supremacist threw at him earlier, so he took a lighter to the spray paint and turned it into a flame thrower. And a photographer snapped the photo.

But inside of every photograph there’s an untold story. If you look closely at Long’s picture, there’s an elderly white man standing in between Long and his friend. The unknown man was part of the counterprotests too, but was afraid, and Long and his friends were trying to protect him. Even though, Long says, those who were paid to protect the residents of Charlottesville were doing just the opposite.”

Make a statue of this man.


Fire Steve Bannon Rolling Stone

Kuttner also noted that Bannon, as media-savvy a person as there is in that White House, didn’t even bring up the issue of whether or not the call was on the record.

Was that an oversight? It seemed unlikely, given that exactly such an impromptu on-the-record phone call just got Anthony Scaramucci guillotined.

I reached out to Kuttner and asked what he thought.

“I honestly think he messed up and forgot to put the conversation off the record, and treated it as a candid strategy talk with a comrade,” Kuttner said. “It came across as part candid strategy session and part stream of consciousness.”

And so he was fired.


But don’t worry, the state and local level is where real meaningful policy is m …

Kentuckians sue Gov. Matt Bevin for blocking them on Twitter and Facebook CJ

His official Facebook page has blocks on more than 300 accounts, and on Twitter nearly 300 accounts have been blocked from following the governor’s official @GovMattBevin account.

❄️


Anyway we were told that dark times produced the greatest in artistic expression and baby here it is.

The Cold War and why we’ll never willingly get rid of guns

Another dude walked into a public place an shot at people today. This time it was lawmakers. So it goes.

I’ve given up on gun debates. If the senseless killing of innocent children at their elementary school doesn’t move people to change, a watershed moment is not coming for gun regulation.

The problem isn’t really about gun ownership either. It’s about gun access. Even the ones we already own. I don’t own a firearm, but I can get behind eccentric hobbies. And if all you ever want to do is participate in shooting sports with assault weapons, there are ways to make that safe for everyone. If guns are kept in guarded, secure, centralized locations, own as many as you want. Enjoy your marksmanship games. Hold up your paper with the bullseyes and smile for Facebook. Then lock your rifle up at the gun bank. (I don’t suggest locking every firearm in a third locaiton, which is why I don’t mention hunting rifles and the like. But assault weapons that can cause such devastation should have a home that is not yours or mine).

The catch: Americans will never agree on whom should be the neutral third party to hold weapons. Ain’t no way the American electorate will ever willingly hand over their guns to their government. And who can blame us, right? As much as I’d love to keep guns off the streets, a Trump administration seizing all the weapons (while telling us that no personal digital information is private) is the prologue of a ham-fisted attempt to cross Kurt Vonnegut with George Orwell and McSweeney’s for a tired sci-fi novel.

Admittedly, “never trust your government,” is sort of the whole raison d’être of the constitution. But what can’t be discounted is the effect Cold War administrations had on public trust of the systems that lead. The first half of the twentieth century was defined by patriotism, civics, and general bipartisan cooperation to make the world better – at the very least, it was these things to white people who, by and large, are the ones so skittish now. But the Cold War poisoned all of that. Rampant delusional idealism, toxic paranoia, and a run of bad presidents led to the revelation that the guy in the foil hat was right. They were listening to conversations. They were toppling governments. They were killing innocent people. They were lying to us. 

You can’t put that woke back into Pandora’s lockbox and pretty soon you have chemtrails, flat-earth truthers, and Pizzagate. If anything can be a lie, everything can be a lie. It goes all the way to the top, man. We live in the Matrix and whatnot.

And now, we have a world where Americans base their trust not on whom they can believe, but on whom they definitely will not believe.

News media, politicians, religious leaders, parents – there’s no one.

In other words, it’s going to be a slow, difficult grind toward gun safety. There won’t be one, or two, or ten, or fifty-eight thousand five hundred ninety-five moments that change the hearts and minds. It will only happen with long-term, consistent effort from those in the trenches, who need our support. 

Because the day is not coming that paranoid, gun-lovin’ white people again trust that their government has their interests first in mind. If it does, it’s not in the kind of world that gives two shits about gun regulation.

Radiohead is good.

Light beams from the stage of Phillips Arena.
Last weekend I saw Radiohead play an arena show in Atlanta. I sat in the back-right nosebleeds. The stage was barely visible. And it was incredible.

I shy away from the idea of favorites generally, but Radiohead is a group that consistently speaks to me on an artistic, an emotional, and an intellectual level. This was only my second time seeing them, and I’m thankful for each. They don’t tour often nor for long and they aren’t cheap when they do.

Radiohead shines at adapting their art from studio to stage. All of their albums have been heavily produced, but the later ones reflect a level of meticulous, hands-on production that becomes its own character. Every segment has more layers than one could count. Every single sound sample, riff and effect is painstakingly precise. And it’s so heavily lacquered with processed sound that even the most common instruments sound like bizarro versions of themselves from the Upside Down.

So how to you make all of this work on stage? There aren’t 75 people on stage managing all the variations of production effects, so ultimately you’re left with the basic tools that every other rock band in the world has at their disposal.

The difference of sound is stark, but poetic. Each variation of each line, each riff, each beat is a statement that the music is living and that its creators are ever innovating on the art they create. A bit that is lacking is compensated for by another, keeping the balance and the soul of the music alive. A song is a strange new iteration of itself, while completely whole. It’s a profound feat, but it’s especially impressive when the degree of difficulty is so high with all of the precious, neurotic little details.

Of course, studio to stage adaptation is the challenge of all performing artists. Radiohead just does it better than the rest of them.

Neil Gorsuch is handsome and also very conservative

The GOP has been pitching this dude like he’s a moderate, Merrick Garland lovin’ dude. So now that the Schumer and the pips are saying they’re gonna filibuster, might as well know why, yeah?

This is what you should know about Neil Gorsuch – Prez. T’s appointee to the SCOTUS.

What Neil Gorsuch’s faith and writings could say about his approach to religion on the Supreme Court – Denver Post

In Hobby Lobby, Gorsuch argued that the requirement would force business owners “to underwrite payments for drugs or devices that can have the effect of destroying a fertilized human egg,” despite arguments from the law’s supporters that an exemption would allow owners to impose their faith on employees.

Then, in a case on assisted suicide …

He wrote that “human life is fundamentally and inherently valuable, and that the intentional taking of human life by private persons is always wrong.” The argument, he continued, is based on “secular moral theory” and consistent with “common law and long-standing medical ethics.”


One of the more legal-need tells from Gorsuch has been his opinion regarding the Chevron deference.

Neil Gorsuch and the “Frozen Trucker” – Slate

Instead of considering such possibilities, Gorsuch concluded that the statute did not protect Maddin from his firing and that he did not find the word operate ambiguous at all, declaring that no possible meaning beyond drive is reasonable. Since Maddin drove his truck, Gorsuch agreed with TransAm that he should not be protected by the whistleblower statute. In a long footnote to its opinion, the majority writes that Gorsuch has decided to change the text of the law from operate to drive, and they quote Gorsuch back to him from oral argument: “Our job isn’t to legislate and add new words that aren’t present in the statute.”

Basically, he used the authority of the court to redefine the language of certain claims in the case. It’s an important caveat.


Does the Likely Next Supreme Court Justice Support Pregnancy Discrimination?

“[H]e asked the class to raise their hands if they knew of a female who had used a company to get maternity benefits and then left right after having a baby. … He then announced that all our hands should be raised because ‘many’ women use their companies for maternity benefits and then leave the company after the baby is born. … Judge Gorsuch told the class that not only could a future employer ask female interviewees about their pregnancy and family plans, companies must ask females about their family and pregnancy plans to protect the company. … Judge Gorsuch continued to steer the conversation back to the problems women pose for companies and the protections that companies need from women.”

Hey it’s me, extremely free speech guy, telling you to judge this dude for classroom discussion topics.

He denies this, of course, so take it as you will. It is pretty disconcerting if it’s even remotely legitimate.


This dude is what he is. What he is may actually be one of the most conservative judges the bench has seen this century. And it’s a position for life and he’s got a lot of that left.

God save the Filibuster ✌️.

Nvrmnd

I tried the Tumblr model and though it may have been good for y’all, I couldn’t keep up with it. The thing I like about this is that it forces a through line. It makes me tell the story of the day, week, what-have-you that I’m focusing on. And it’s better for me.

If you like that too, cool.

Anyway …

Swedish ambassador, Volvo dispute Gov. Bevin’s claim that company would have opened plant in Kentucky if it had ‘right-to-work’ law – Insider Louisville

In his address last Thursday, Bevin praised legislators for passing the right-to-work bill, which bans workplaces from making union membership a condition of employment and allows workers to decline paying union dues while still receiving the benefits of contracts negotiated by that union. Kentucky was the last state in the South to pass such a law, which Bevin said will attract large employers who had been reluctant to consider locating in Kentucky.

And then a hero comes along … 🎶

Responding to a tweet about Bevin’s Volvo comments in his address last week, the official Twitter account of Volvo Car USA replied that “We have never confirmed which locations we considered, but a ‘right to work’ bill was not a requirement.”

Cuck’d by Swedes.


Trump vs. the Very Fake News Media – The Atlantic

Frustrated by the fusillade of tough questions, Trump scanned the room: “Let’s see,” he said, “I want to find a friendly reporter.” Even for a press corps that long ago ceded normalized relations with the White House, it was a gasp-worthy moment. “Are you a friendly reporter?” Trump asked, shamelessly, to a reporter near the front of the pack. “Watch how friendly he is. Go ahead.”
The reporter, Jake Turx, who writes for the ultra-Orthodox Jewish publication Ami, asked about an increase in anti-Semitic hate crimes since Trump’s inauguration. The president was upset—this was not a friendly reporter kind of question! “He said he was gonna ask a very simple, easy question,” the president complained. “And it’s not. It’s not a simple question, not a fair question.” The audacity.

Journalism loves talking about how much Trump hates Journalism, which is true. But also, almost all major news sources have seen a spike in subscriptions so ¯_(ツ)_/¯.

The interesting bit has been the open hostility, as opposed to veiled, cynical opportunism.

Still really interested in the idea of Nixon as ‘anti-establishment.’ 👀


Aaaaaannnnnddddd …

Are Liberals Helping Trump? – NY Times

“The name calling from the left is crazy,” said Bryce Youngquist, 34, who works in sales for a tech start-up in Mountain View, Calif., a liberal enclave where admitting you voted for Mr. Trump is a little like saying in the 1950s that you were gay. “They are complaining that Trump calls people names, but they turned into some mean people.”

lol.

It’s really unbecoming to say “I made a bad decision, please accommodate me because you need me.” If you really care, humble your own ass, then put your boots on. Don’t expect someone to court you.


Laterz.

what’s next

Blue Vesper is a year old now. Actually, a little more than that. I’m still feeling it out, and anyone who has read any of it, s/o and thank you.

For the past few months, I’ve been doing these aggregate posts full of articles from all over the internet. Those articles were primarily a coping mechanism for me in the wake of the election and inauguration of #45. It’s a cool thing that I’ve enjoyed, but I’ve been rethinking why I started and what is the best way to accomplish that goal.

Today, I started up a Tumblr at flyover.news. Now, instead of a single post at midnight or whenever the hell I have time, I’ll hopefully be shooting stuff out throughout the day. I’m hoping that a more fluid process will help me stay on it a bit better, and make it all come out in times that people can actually read it. If you’ve enjoyed these posts over here, you might like it over there.

I’m also rethinking what the future is of this blog. I’m finding that, while it’s really nice to have my own hosted space to write and such, platform is lacking. That could mean sacrificing autonomy for more ease-of-access and syndication to more people.

So keep this site in your routine. Or add it to your routine. But check out flyover.news, and smash that follow button.

guns n coffee

Hello America. Hot damn.

TERRIBLE PUN HL WARNING🚨🚨🚨.

CJ Terminal Velocity? McConnell skips airport protest

Alas, U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, who was on the same flight, said someone stopped McConnell as he got off the plane and told the Senate majority leader to wait. He didn’t leave through the airport terminal like everyone else, unless he waited for a really long time. (You can maybe do that if you are the Senate majority leader, or if your wife is secretary of transportation, apparently.)

Lame.


So Sunergos decided to stop carrying the LEO Weekly this week, apparently deciding coincidentally (or not) right before a Valentine’s Day issue featuring content of a number of newly married LGBT couples, with one couple featured on the cover.

LEO Dark coffee: LEO’s expulsion from Sunergos, the facts and why you should care

While we disagree and are disappointed with the coffee business’ decision, we feel it is important to defend its right to carry, or not carry, any publication it chooses. We also want to make sure that the business is not unjustly criticized for dropping us because of this issue, or the beautiful cover.

NO SHADE HERE MOVE ALONG.

Regardless of which or any issue that Sunergos decides is the final straw, it’s a bad look. The fact is that the conservative post-denomenational radical-baptist hipsters are the cornerstone of the local coffee business (which is 💯  wrt quality).


Insider Louisville Bill would allow concealed guns in Kentucky schools and on college campuses

It’s not yet clear how that bill would intersect with Senate Bill 7, which would allow people as young as 18 to carry concealed guns without any permits or training. That bill faces opposition from some law enforcement and might be changed, legislators have said.

Even R’s are fighting to prove just how much more they love gun.

Betsy DeVos
Betsy DeVos

Also: clapback of the week

*places hand on heart*