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Member since: Sat Nov 30, 2013, 05:06 AM
Number of posts: 11,099

Journal Archives

Full Frontal with Samantha Bee: Facebook; Birth Control; Women's Pain; Iraq War

The View's Meghan McCain says about Cambridge Analytica: Obama did it too!

On his use of social media during the 2012 campaign: "So, the double standard I don't understand right now is, it happened under Obama and it was lauded by the media as being genius. And now the Trump campaign did it and it's a Cambridge Analytica scandal."

The other panelists did not seem to manage to convince her that Obama did not steal data and spread misinformation, etc. I feel the need to step outside and scream for a few hours.

The conversation is at the beginning of the show:

Full Frontal with Samantha Bee: Rex & Mike & Conor & Teens; Cy Vance

The Salvation Army Is Opening Cheap Grocery Stores in America's Food Deserts


"America's latest grocery disruptor? It's the Salvation Army. Baltimore today got the country's inaugural location of DMG (after the nonprofit's motto, 'Doing the Most Good.') Called the first-ever national nonprofit grocery chain, the goal is to bring good food to low-income residents in the country's food deserts. ... Baltimore's DMG features an on-site butcher, and premade meals and salads via partnership with the Maryland Food Bank. It's even got a house brand called Best Yet alongside other national brands."

The View: Joe Kennedy III Talks Gun Control, Bringing Back Bipartisanship

I hate the "Democrats had the majority in 2009 and 2010 and didn't do anything" meme. Wasn't it only about 30 days they had a veto proof majority? I wish someone would mention that.

ABC Nightline: Documentary sheds light on roots of the alt-right movement (sexual frustration)

Trump as Troll King.

Beethoven, Symphony no. 9 (the Freude one)

I've been doing a lot of last minute shopping for the New Year's holiday today, and here in Japan Beethoven's 9th is very popular at this time of year. Beethoven has been following me around all day. I love this:

Garrison Keillor's Christmas Dinner from "Leaving Home."

Al Franken touched someone's waist, Garrison Keillor touched someone's back. End of career. I think Garrison will leave the U.S. and I don't blame him one bit.

"Christmas. The exiles were home. It was pretty quiet, though you could hear the gritting of teeth, and there was a moment of poisoned silence at the Clarence Bunsen home that rang like a fire bell. Before the blessing, as they sat around the table and admired the work in front of them, a still-life Christmas Dinner by Arlene, before they ate the art, their daughter, Donna, in town from San Diego, said, 'What a wonderful Christmas!' and her husband, Rick, said, 'Well, if Democrats had their way, it'd be the last one.' Silence. ... He is her son-in-law and she doesn't know why. He is not raising her grandchildren right, he comes to Minnesota and talks too much about the advantages of southern California, he wears silly clothes, he makes fun of Norwegians, he makes fun of women including his own wife, and he says 'agenda' in place of 'plan' or 'idea' -- 'Did you have a different agenda?' he says. 'Let's get our agenda straight.' 'I sense a hidden agenda here.'

"He piled a plate with Christmas agenda and chomped a big bite of it. He said, 'Mom, this is the best dinner I ever ate. I really mean that.' She smiled her brightest smile, the smile she has used all her life on people she'd like to slap silly. She'd like to give him a piece of her mind, but she can't because he has hostages, her grandchildren. So she kills him with kindness. She stuffs him like a turkey. Fresh caramel rolls for breakfast, a pound of bacon and smoked sausage and scrambled eggs, and two hours later pot roast for lunch and big slabs of banana cream pie. He has gained four pounds since Tuesday. Her goal is twelve. All day he sits dazed by food. 'Fudge bars, Rick? I made them just for you. Here, I'll put the plate right beside you, where you can reach them.' 'Oh Mom ...' She's found the crack in his armor, and it's his mouth. His Achilles mouth. Her agenda is stuffing him so he becomes weak and pliable and goes into a calorie coma, and she takes the little boy and the girl for walks and tells them about our great presidents, our great Democratic presidents. And did you know they were all Norwegian? Yes, they were, a little bit, on their mother's side, and that little bit was enough to make them great."

The Republican tax scam reminds me of Al Franken's 2003 play, "The Waitress and the Lawyer."

The waitress says she likes Bush because "he cut my taxes a hundred percent." The lawyer explains that although the waitress only paid $365 in income taxes before, she'll pay much more after the tax cut because the government programs she now uses will be defunded: special education classes for her child with learning disabilities, after-school programs, subsidized housing, child care provided by Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, reduced eligibility in the SCHIP program (no more health care), cutting public transit funding and abandoning upgrading buses to cut down on toxic emissions ("Debbie does get asthma on bad smog days" ).

The lawyer says, "So, let's see. After-school -- $700. Medicaid -- $2,896. Housing -- $1,464. So, less your $365 tax cut, you're down $4,695." At least.

Writing about food: Anniversary of Japan's World War II surrender.

From John W. Dower's "Embracing Defeat":

"Based on a research report by local army officials, the emperor's loyal subjects were encouraged to supplement their starch intake by introducing such items as acorns, grain husks, peanut shells, and sawdust to their household larder. (Sawdust, it was explained, could be broken down with a fermenting agent, transformed into a powder, and mixed in a ratio of one to four with flour to make dumplings, pancakes, or bread.) For minerals, people were encouraged to introduce used tea leaves and the seeds, blossoms, and leaves of roses to their diet. Protein deficiencies could be remedied by eating silkworm cocoons, worms, grasshoppers, mice, rats, moles, snails, snakes, or a powder made by drying the blood of cows, horses, and pigs. ... The press reproduced these dietary recommendations shortly before the emperor's surrender broadcast ... . .... A young schoolgirl's first thought on hearing the emperor's broadcast was that she would not have to look eyeball to eyeball at frogs anymore -- a reference to the practice of sending children out to catch frogs to eat. As it turned out, her intimation of relief was premature.

"Defeat did not merely sever Japan from the food supplies of Asia. It also occurred in midsummer, when the previous year's rice harvest was running out. With the empire now cut off and millions of exhausted civilians and demobilized soldiers about to return, it was imperative that there be a bumper crop. Instead, due to adverse weather, manpower shortages, insufficient tools, and a fall-off in fertilizer production, 1945 saw the most disastrous harvest since 1910 ... .

"Many farmers engaged in a gratifying barter trade with once-condescending city folk who flocked to rural areas in search of food. Kimonos as well as watches, jewelry, and other treasured possessions were traded for food, giving rise to one of the most famous phrases of the time: takenoko seikatsu, the 'bamboo existence.' The edible bamboo shoot can be peeled off in layers, and the takenoko seikatsu phenomenon referred to city people stripping off their clothing, as well as their possessions, for food. ... Food-fixated activities and stories mesmerized the public. In September 1946, 'bread-eating races' became a fad in elementary-school athletic contests. Competitors in this popular event had to run up to a roll suspended on a string and then eat it without using their hands. In such a race, needless to say, there were no losers."
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