Like the result of a rusty guillotine…

This is poorly executed, but I can at least move on now to other ideas.

Update!

He was missing a part, so I fixed it. Can you guess what it was? If you said, “his soul,” I’m sorry– that’s not it. “His sense of empathy!” I hear you cry. Well, no. He doesn’t have either of those, to be sure, but I wasn’t able to add them. As a dyed-in-the-wool Republican, there’s nothing I can do about him missing those. He’s accurately rendered as far as anything resembling compassion or self-awareness, too. No, I just forgot to draw his nose.

Nature Sounds

“Whabbuja!” Christine jumped off the log she was sitting on and slapped at herself furiously, jumping around like someone had jolted her with a cattle prod.

Nelson laughed. “What the heck is wrong with you?” he asked.

“A bug just landed on my arm!” She shivered again.

Nelson flicked on his flashlight and played it over his friend’s body, then on the ground around her. “Are you sure? I don’t see anything.”

“Yes, I’m sure! It probably flew away. Buh! Gross. I told you we should have brought one of those portable bug zappers.”

“Well, I’m glad we didn’t. Otherwise I would have missed the Great Phantom Bug Jig of the Year.”

Christine bent over to carefully inspect the log she had been on before sitting down again. “Oh, you’re funny. Are you sure this camping trip is really necessary? I’m getting really tired of feeling like I’m going to be someone’s lunch.”

Nelson nodded emphatically. “Yes, this is absolutely necessary. You heard the director. The key to understanding this character is to experience life as she did. That means we have to spend some number of days fending for ourselves, surviving the wilderness.”

“I hardly think a long weekend at the state park qualifies as ‘surviving the wilderness,’ Nelson.”

He shrugged. “Well, it’s only for community theater. There’s only so far I’m willing to go for our art.” He leaned sideways and pulled out a pair of arrows from a quiver next to him. “Are you ready?”

“Oh, hell yes.” She reached into the backpack next to her and pulled out a handful of marshmallows, raising them over her head. “Let’s get some s’mores all up in this beeyotch!”

They each took a pair of marshmallows, poked them onto their arrows and held them over the campfire. The fire popped and crackled happily. Christine shivered again. “You’re not about to do another jig and lose your marshmallows, are you?” asked Nelson.

“No, I’m just cold. You mind sharing that?”

Nelson lifted up one side of the wool blanket he was under. “No problem, there’s plenty of room. We can share body heat, too.”

They sat together for a few minutes, toasting marshmallows and crafting snacks. Their faces reflected the warmth of the fire, and they leaned together contentedly. As the fire slowly died down, the pops and cracks of the coals were slowly replaced by the burbling of a small brook behind them.

Suddenly, Christine scooted out from under the blanket. “Dang it!” she muttered as she started walking away.

“What’s your problem now?”

She waved back at him in annoyance. “I’ve been listening to that stupid water, and now I have to pee. I’ll be back!”

First Contact

Just wanted to try a quick exercise while I heat my cocoa.

The visitor crash landed its craft just outside of the city, and stumbled outside. It had seen the giant pyramid shaped building from orbit and assumed that was where it could find the planet’s high priestess. At least, that’s how it worked where it came from.

Unfortunately, in the rough landing, all the ground transports were broken. That meant it would have to walk. It was mid-morning, and the sun was already scorching its pale grey skin. The visitor tried to gauge how long it would take to get where it was going. By its calculations it would be maybe two hours? Maybe more? It decided to chance it, and headed towards the city.

It was more than two hours. By the time it reached the pyramid it had seen from the skies, the sun had turned its skin to a dry, cracked brown. It entered the building and scanned the area. The room it was in was filled with bipedal creatures mindlessly pulling levers in front of glowing screens. There was a sunken floor where other threw small cubes and occasionally cheered or threw up their appendages in dismay.

A creature approached it and said…well, something. The auto-translators would take more time to calibrate. It seemed friendly, though. Apparently sensing the visitor’s confusion, the creature escorted it to a wide desk. More words were exchanged, and they handed it a small plastic rectangle. The visitor looked at it in confusion. As the creatures continued to try and explain, the auto-translator pinged with a key phrase: Welcome to the Luxor. Your room is 536.

Same, same

Okay, so I don’t know that I have GOP relatives plural who are into Ms. Owens, but I know there’s at least one based on being a follower of her on Twitter. So…yay?

Shutdowns no more

So…found this on the NY Times, about legislative efforts underway to essentially ban future government shutdowns. Sort of a “save us from ourselves” law, I guess. Personally, I’m for the idea, but then there was this:

Under his [Senator Rob Portman (R)] plan, which has 18 co-sponsors and rising, funding at existing levels would continue for agencies covered by an appropriations measure that was not signed into law by the beginning of the fiscal year on Oct. 1, preventing any lapse that incites a shutdown. To spur a resolution, funding would be reduced by 1 percent after 120 days if no agreement is reached and by 1 percent more every 90 days.

This is exactly the wrong kind of incentive, especially when dealing with Republicans. Budget cuts are like porn to those people. The only reason automatic funding decreases would bring Republicans to the table would be to hide the raging boners they’ve got for them.

If you want to incentivize Republicans, make them meet with their constituents. Every week there’s no budget agreement, they have to hold a town hall meeting in their district or state, each week in a different precinct (for reps) or district (for senators). I guarantee we’ll have a budget on time every year.

Information Quality Act

Came across a piece on The Intercept today, arguing that instead of the usual fact-checking of the Trump administration we should be taking them to court.

The Information Quality Act, sometimes referred to as the Data Quality Act, is an obscure law enacted in 2001 as a rider in a spending bill. The initial idea behind the legislation was to guarantee that agencies of the U.S. government are held to reasonably high information-quality standards as more and more of their reports and data were made available on the internet.

The legislation directed the Office of Management and Budget to establish standards for information distributed by U.S. government agencies. The guidelines require information published by U.S. agencies to be objective and honest, with any analysis based on clear and transparent methodology.

I hadn’t heard of this law before, and there are apparently already a few lawsuits leveraging it. However, I would imagine they’re only going to be able to target official documents coming from the government. That’s all well and good, but it won’t do anything about the garbage coming from the man himself, let alone the right-wing media that supports him. For that, we’ll still need the media to do its job.

Yup

If you had any hopes two terrible years ago that Donald Trump would govern as anything other than the rank dick he has been his entire life, you know better now. If you had any hopes that Republicans would rise to the occasion and hold Trump to the same standards they held Democrats, you know better. You know the only way to slow Trump down is to elect Democrats. The only reason to vote Republican is because you want the America Trump and the GOP want.

Because of that, you deserve our contempt and our rage. You are the thugs. You are the gangs. You are the terrorists. You are anti-American.

Link

Which side is that, again?

President Trump’s Enemies List

One side has a President repeatedly ramping up racist incitement, attacking the press as the “enemy of the people.” One side has a President who routinely leads cheers about imprisoning political opponents. His congressional supporters accept his rhetoric and now increasingly ape it. One side has a President who routinely fabricates outlandish falsehoods intended to generate outrage, fear and hate. One side has a group of rightist paramilitaries operating in various parts of the country. One side has mass ownership of high capacity firearms as a central part of its political ideology. The same side frequently focuses on private weapons ownership as a hedge against “tyranny”. In other words, they focus on the need to stock firearms for the potential need to use them against government officials and civil servants.

Left unsaid, but I’ll say it— one side is proto-Fascist at best. One side runs on bullshit and lies. One side is a danger to the country and the world. The sole motivating principle of one side is power. One side lives for cruelty. One side lacks all empathy.

Two years ago if you supported that side I might have forgiven you for misguided, ill-informed tribalism. If you still support that side, with everything that has happened over the last 24 months? “Deplorable” doesn’t even begin to cut it. You are evil. You are a degenerate, and a sociopath. You deserve nothing but scorn.

You know, normally I would tag something like this “Politics,” but at this point that’s the wrong label. This isn’t a “reasonable people can disagree” kind of thing anymore. We’re in black and white, right and wrong territory. The only grey here is in the ashes of Republican souls.