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Member since: Fri Feb 14, 2020, 07:34 PM
Number of posts: 4,742

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The Gabby Petito case fascination? Murder is entertainment.

I came across this SNL sketch from a year or so ago. Given the pandemic and the rise in streaming, I laughed my head off because of how true it is.

People are really into real life murder shows and mysteries. From the Carol Baskin question in Tiger King to the entire Making a Murderer phenomenon. Shows about true crime have always had their niche, but they seem to have exploded during the age of streaming and people being stuck at home. On my personal social media, I don't see too much about politics. However, I damn well know what murder shows my friends are all watching.

It's engaging and entertaining for a lot people, and they watch them at a remove.

I'm not following the Petito case super closely. But what I see of it on social media, how every clue and excruciating detail is shared and discussed. A lot of it isn't about solving the case - not really. So much information comes out that is less "Hey, help us find this guy, figure out what happened, etc," as it is, "Hey, come rubberneck at this human car crash this week. Don't worry, next week we'll have a new one!"

The media does this with a lot of things, of course, but the Petito case just really struck me with how many people are kind of . . . preoccupying themselves with it. It feels almost like unseemly entertainment at this point.

One of the predominant questions about this case in the past week is, "Why is this getting so much attention?" And a lot of things have been discussed. But I haven't seen one obvious answer noted in the articles I've seen in passing:

This whole thing looks like a Netflix show.

No judgement. I disappear down these rabbit holes, too. For example, I know way more about Andrew Cunanan than anyone ever needs to.

Just seems like kind of where we are as a culture these days.

Fun Joe Rogan incident

Was working with a classmate this morning on a project. He said he was under the weather. The J&J shot was kicking his ass. I asked if he was just getting it now.

“Yeah, I didn’t know this comedy show I’m going to requires vaccination.”

“Oh, what show?”

“Joe Rogan.”

Miraculously, my eyes did not roll directly onto my desk before leaping out the window.

At least he got the shot, though.

My school's idea of Covid safety is non-existant.

So I up and decided I wanted to get a master's. Boredom, working full time from home, thinking about a change of career. That sort of thing. Before tossing down some bucks at the majority university down the road, I'm spending a semester or two knocking down some other courses first at the local comm. college that has a transfer program.

First off, it's in person. Really not what I wanted. No, there wasn't an option for the classes I need online.

Guess what's not in person? The entire administration.

Library? Closed. Well, the doors are open, but there's no one working there. Cafeteria? Closed. Counseling? Closed. Financial aid office? Closed. Anyone who is not actively teaching? Poof. Gone.

You know who is there? 26 students and a teacher crammed into a windowless room without ventilation. Social distance isn't even possible.

Do we need proof of vaccination? Nope! We do have this neat little phone app where we answer symptom questions once a day and get a little green pass on the screen. Only one of my teachers is even checking for the thing.

So let me get this totally clear. Covid and the surge with Delta is so uncertain that the administration doesn't have to take risks. Doesn't have to be on campus. Doesn't have to interact with anyone in person. But cramming the students into rooms haphazardly is totally fine? Oh, and they take strict, mandatory attendance.

What kind of Marie Antoinette bullshit is this?

My partner has a heart condition. I am not ok with this. On Monday morning, there will be phone calls.

This is in California to boot. We're supposed to be one of the sane states.

FIL is on a California recall mission

This is kind of cute. Partner's dad is a retired elderly Filipino immigrant. Very Democratic. They live in the same town, so he stops by once a week to drop off food and leave comments about our prowess (or lack thereof) at lawn care and gardening.

He came by yesterday, and the first thing he did was ask if we'd gotten our ballots. He is all kinds of pissed off about the recall. Yep, got them, mailed them.

So, this is a big family, and most of them either live in the same town as us or nearby. He apparently spent yesterday hopping around to everyone's home and collecting ballots.

Got everyone to fill theirs out, collected them, and mailed them off.

14 in all.

Not too shabby.

(We all voted no, of course)

Biden administration increases food stamps by 25%

This story will easily get lost as the media focus on Afghanistan this week, but it's significant and should be highlighted. There are a lot of people going hungry in the country. It's the biggest increase in the program in history.


WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration has approved a significant and permanent increase in the levels of food stamp assistance available to needy families—the largest single increase in the program’s history.

Starting in October, average benefits for food stamps (officially known as the SNAP program) will rise more than 25 percent above pre-pandemic levels. The increased assistance will be available indefinitely to all 42 million SNAP beneficiaries.

The aid boost was first reported by The New York Times and the details were confirmed by a spokeswoman for the Department of Agriculture. They will be formally announced Monday by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

The aid boost is being packaged as a major revision of the USDA’s Thrifty Food Plan. In concrete terms, the average monthly per-person benefits will rise from $121 to $157.

Today I learned everyone was against the Afghan war from the beginning

I mean, 88% support when we went in.

But yes, everyone knew right from the start it was a bad idea and wanted nothing to do with it.

I wonder if people are just muddling Afghanistan with Iraq in their memories.

Because the American people, Republicans and Democrats, very much wanted in there after 9/11. Now, even journalists, who are getting called out left and right, are going, "We knew it was a bad idea and opposed it . . ." Johnny, roll the tape.

People do know the Internet exists, right? That there's video and posts and web pages that go back to 2001?

This is like me going growing my hair out and declaring I have always been against short hair. There are, you know, pictures.

Hoo boy, just got 8 California ballots in the mail. Not great.

Two of them are legitimately ours.

Two are right house number, wrong street.

Two are right street, wrong house number.

Two are people who don't (no longer?) live here.

The four in my neighborhood I'll be walking over in the morning. Our two will get mailed when I do that.

Still. Eesh, USPS. Good thing it doesn't matter, eh?

A Republican could easily become California governor

If Newsom is recalled in Question #1 of the ballot, the person selected in Question #2 will replace him.

Here's the thing. Last I checked, there are 46 names listed on the second question. Whoever gets the most votes wins. Doesn't need to be a majority. There will not be a run-off. If the vote is divided all over, someone with 10% of the vote on Question #2 can be governor.

All the Republicans have to do is coalesce around someone. Looks like Larry Elder is it at the moment.

Here's the absolutely totally crazy thing.

Newsom's campaign is telling people to leave Question #2 blank.


In a statement, Nathan Click, Newsom’s advisor wrote,

"Leave it blank. Voting NO is the only way to block the Republican power grab and prevent the Republican takeover of California."

"They've made a strategic choice to solely focus on that first question because anything in their minds is a loss,” said News 8 political analyst Laura Fink.

It is so, so important for people to vote on this. If you're Californian - or even if you're not and know some - get your ballots filled out and mailed, and make sure everyone you know in the state is doing their part.

This situation can go to hell real easily. And then everyone will act all shocked and surprised. It's a heavily blue state. We have no excuse here.

President Obama's birthday party was a bad idea

The Right is having an absolute field day with it. Of course photos and videos got out. That was inevitable. People crowded together around the dance floor. No masks. Social distancing non-existent.

You know who was wearing masks? The staff. What a great optic.

Sigh. This was totally foreseeable.

People don't like this stuff. "Rules for thee but not for me." That's a nice chunk of why Newsom got himself in trouble in California. I don't think people from out of state understand the pure rage people had when he and London Breed got nailed for their behavior. Not just Republicans, either. Nearly everyone. Certainly everyone I know.

This stuff hurts us. It hurts our efforts.

The politicians and famous people on our side need to abide by the rules and recommendations given to everyone else. If you give someone an order, then you yourself don't follow it, it pisses people off. Even the ones who are inclined to be on your side.

I know we don't like to call out our own, but why this completely predictable chum thrown into the water for our opponents?

This was stupid.

Smoke and ash moving into Sacramento and Bay Area

Now it feels like summer.

Winds shifted overnight, and smoke from the fires has started moving south. It had been getting blown east the past few months, as I know many Americans can attest. We're finally transitioning back to what much of our summer was like last year. Blocked sunlight. The house smells like a camp site. Just brushed ash off my car.

Lovely. Probably just the beginning, as fire season goes well into Oct/Nov now. Around here, it's a total tinderbox. The hills were dead brown by April after a rainy season with no rain. That is not a good sign.

We're probably in for a repeat of last year, which was pretty bad.

What climate change?
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