End result: an Israeli F-16 is shot down after Syria launches a barrage of anti-aircraft missiles in response.

Well, there’s $30M down the drain. Bibi is apparently about to be indicted for corruption. So he needed a distraction. But this was one helluva risky distraction, and could have cost lives if the pilots hadn’t ejected when they couldn’t shake the missiles off their tail.

I wonder if the supposed Iranian drone was as real as the imaginary poison gas that Assad used against his own people?

– Badtux the Skeptical Penguin


So, a kid attacked his teacher — and this was a pretty big kid, way bigger than his age — and after teachers restrained him, the police arrived and hauled him off for a Baker Act evaluation (a 72 hour mental health evaluation). And of course handcuffed him because he was still screaming and trying to hit people, and that’s what cops *do* when someone’s doing that.

Apparently this was the second time within three months that the kid had attacked a teacher. And the response of the parents?

“They’re being mean to my innocent little child!”

Uhm, no. Schools want nothing to do with restraining children or calling the police on children. The optics are horrible, there’s always a chance of lawsuit (and believe me they know this), and there’s a *ton* of paperwork that has to be done whenever something like that happens. Believe me, if there was anything else they could have done in that situation, they would have done it. But when a kid starts attacking people, they have a responsibility to their staff and other children to do something about that. And the way it used to be handled by schools — man-handling the kid to the principal’s office and the principal then gives the kids swats with a paddle until the kid stops trying to hit people because he’s crying too hard — is a) a horrible way of handling it, and b) not allowed by modern laws anyhow.

This is what happens when you have schools expected to act as mental health institutions. They’re just not set up for that. And denying that your kid has a problem when he’s attacked a teacher twice within three months as a seven year old? That’s just crazy.

Just sayin’.

– Badtux the Former Teacher Penguin


TMF being bookish.

I paid my Target Redcard bill the other day. $90 worth of IAMS salmon pate’ in the month of January. Bloody cat eats better than me! He refuses to eat the much cheaper Fancy Feast. Because. Cat. LOL.

Thus far his blood sugar is being controlled by his expensive diet, though, so ….

— Badtux the Cat-owned Penguin

I’ve been working 16 hour days the past few days fixing some stuff that needed fixing ASAP. Not going to talk more about that, other than to mention that Amazon has killed the performance of their platform with fixes intended to improve security, and move on.

So anyhow, we learned this week that Cheeto Mussolini doesn’t know the definition of the word “treason”. In case you’re wondering, it’s the one and only crime defined in the Constitution:

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.

So basically: If you’re giving aid and comfort to our nation’s enemies in some overt act, then it’s treason. So, let’s see what Cheeto Mussolini thinks is treason:

Not clapping along with the Republicans during the State of the Union address.

Err…. looking for that in the Constitution… not finding it….

But hey, the Constitution is just a piece of paper anyhow, right? Right?!

– Badtux the Snarky Penguin

Meatless steaks

There’s something about a meatless steak that’s just… wrong. These things have been created in a lab to fit an agenda — to taste like meat, to look like meat — but they’re not meat. They’re fake. They’re chemical concoctions made with protein extracts from various vegetables.

The Nunes memo reminds me of that. It promises to be a big juicy steak. Instead, it’s a huge nothing-burger concocted in a lab to meet an agenda. What it states, when you boil it down to its elements, is that the FBI followed normal investigative procedures when investigating reported money laundering, illegal lobbying, and espionage. Even the tip they followed to get a warrant to bug Carter Page — the Steele dossier — was more than enough to get a search warrant in any court in the nation.

At which point the partisan hacks say, “but what if the FBI was doing this to Hillary Clinton?” Well, if Hillary Clinton had a Russian money laundering ring being run out of one of her properties… if Hillary Clinton had close advisors on the Russian payroll… if some of Hillary Clinton’s advisors were illegally lobbying for a foreign government… I sure the hell hope the FBI would be investigating all of that. Because that’s their job. And if they don’t do their job, what’s the point of having them?

But I guess the fact that I want people to obey the law makes me a hopeless partisan hack… WTF?

– Badtux the “Where’s the beef?” Penguin

Well, everybody knows that Republicans hate unions, right?

I didn’t watch the State of the Uniom(sic) address tonight, or its followups (though I accidentally caught a bit of Bernie Sanders sounding like Grampa Simpson yelling at clouds while flipping around). I presume I didn’t miss anything?

– Badtux the Not-watching Penguin

Yes, the above quotes are accurate. John Wayne (real name: Marion Robert Morrison) really did say those things.

My father detested John Wayne. But not because of the above quotes in support of white supremacy, which my father likely agree with until the last decade of his life when my father realized he’d been wrong. Instead, he had a more personal beef with John Wayne: “He’s a goddamn coward”, my dad always said, and also regularly referred to him as “Marion”, implying that he was womanly.

Thinking more about it, I think it was the fact that John Wayne was this pro-war icon that most people thought was a war hero (though he never served) that chaffed my father most. My father volunteered and served during the Korean War, like his older brothers had volunteered and served during WW2. But my father never pretended to be something he wasn’t because of that. My father never pretended to be a war hero, he was quite clear that the reasons he joined the Navy were a) to avoid being drafted into the Army and sent to charge up Hamburger Hill, and b) to learn a skill for civilian life. He did his duty, he learned a skill, he got out at the end of his enlistment (and the papers I found say that they wanted to retain him and even offered him a sizable retention bonus for the time but he wouldn’t re-enlist), he even reported back for duty when called up as a reservist during the Gary Powers U2 war scare, but he never claimed to be a war hero.

Then there was this total *fraud*, John Wayne, who never outright stated he was a war hero but implied he was one without having ever served… my father wasn’t a fan of fakes and frauds. My father was a deeply flawed man, but that wasn’t one of his flaws.

So anyhow, basically the only time we ever saw John Wayne movies was when we went to other people’s houses. When a family friend bought the first color TV in our circle of friends, we all went over there to watch a movie, and it was a John Wayne movie. My father enjoyed chortling at the color on Marion’s face. “Look at that nose! What a drunkard!” he said. “And those rosy cheeks? What a little girl!” I have a suspicion that this family friend didn’t appreciate the color commentary (pun intended).

But anyhow, that’s my story of why I grew up not being an admirer of John Wayne. What I’ve learned since then has made me detest the man even more. Just out of curiosity… what was your impression of John Wayne when you were young? Just curious.

– Badtux the Curious Penguin

Added: An appropriate song by the Drive-by Truckers, Patterson Hood singing about his great-uncle George and the sands of Iwo Jima.