Hip 7th grader knows more about existential cartoons than BuzzFeed


Max – in a Mad Bomber hat [of course]

❝ Max, the seventh-grader…started a meme at her high school that has spun completely out of control in the best way.

The meme is really easy — all you have to do is say “Save $500 on bread this year. Click here.”

Or in this case, click on CLICK HERE and go to the BuzzFeed article which misses the point entirely. The meme is a Non Sequitur. Which is exactly what I’d expect from someone named Max wearing a Mad Bomber hat.


Click to enlarge

Thanks, gocomics.org

Oz says “YES” to marriage equality — the fight for human rights continues

❝ The results of the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey are in. Despite the voluntary nature of the survey, 12,727,920 (79.5%) eligible Australians voted.

By a margin of 61.6% to 38.4%, Australians have said “yes” to the proposition:

Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?

❝ To permit same-sex marriage, parliament must amend the Marriage Act 1961…

The definition of marriage can be simply changed by removing the words “a man and a woman” and replacing them with “two people”.

Such a change will have flow-on effects throughout Australian society. For example, celebrants will be free to officiate at legal wedding ceremonies for same-sex couples. State and territory authorities will be empowered to register same-sex marriages.

❝ Most significantly, same-sex couples will have equality of choice in how they want to formalise relationships. Those who choose to marry will be entitled to the legal benefits of marriage.

This will engage much of the usual anti-democratic sophistry and histrionics beloved of bigots and True Believers. One can only hope that the Australian Parliament will recognize the forward-looking spirit of this poll as meaningful – and predictive of the spirit of voters come the next election.

Most folks hope the bill sorting things out in legalese will be kept simple and to the point. Human rights are for all humans. Spirits in the sky are entitled to have their opinions voiced by folks who believe in such. They have no standing in civil liberties, civil rights.

Colorado Legalized Weed — Opioid Deaths Fell

❝ “Marijuana legalization in Colorado led to a “reversal” of opiate overdose deaths in that state, according to new research published in the American Journal of Public Health.

“After Colorado’s legalization of recreational cannabis sale and use, opioid-related deaths decreased more than 6% in the following 2 years…”…

The authors stress that their results are preliminary, given that their study encompasses only two years of data after the state’s first recreational marijuana shops opened in 2014.”

❝ Pretty clear:

Even if one doesn’t replace the other there is no medical doubt the cannabis effect aids anxiety, withdrawal symptoms of lots of addictive substances. Probably helps rid your mind of political sophistry. 🙂

Bullying Can Wreck Your Day

❝ We know 2017 has been a dark year when a fast food chain is suddenly one of the most principled public figures in America. But, bear with us. Burger King put out an anti-bullying PSA that’s surprisingly moving and effective. Yes, the company that made the super-creepy plastic-headed king mascot. Yes, this is basically a three minute Burger King ad. And, yes, it’s not subtle. But this PSA is better than it has a right to be, and is certainly more than you’d expect from a restaurant that doesn’t really have an ethical obligation beyond selling burgers.

And, let’s be frank, this is a serious issue. So if it takes Burger King of all places to shame more adults into intervening, we’ll take it.

Thanks, UrsaRodinia and others

Hertha Berlin Players, Officials Kneel in Solidarity with American Athletes


Click to enlargeAP Photo/Michael Sohn

❝ Players and coaches from Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin kneeled prior to Saturday’s game against Schalke in a stand “for diversity and against violence.”

“Berlin is colourful,” the public address announcer at Olympiastadion Berlin said, according to ESPN FC’s Stephan Uersfeld. “Hertha BSC stands for diversity and against violence. For this reason, we are joining forces with the protest of our fellow American athletes to take a stand against discrimination. For a tolerant Berlin, both now and forevermore.”

❝ …Ivorian forward Salomon Kalou told reporters Hertha Berlin got the idea to kneel from NFL players who have protested social injustice and racial inequality during the American national anthem.

“As Hertha we always fight against racism,” he said, per Uersfeld. “For us, kneeling down is a way of fighting against this kind of behaviour. It should not exist in any kind of sport. Not in NFL, and not in football or soccer, like they call it in the U.S.—it shouldn’t exist in any sport, period. For us, it’s a good example to show.”

Meanwhile, individual gutless owners of American sports teams, NFL officials and candyass politicians kissed Trump butt. They have taken a constitutional symbol of protest and tried to turn it into an act worthy of the sort of pseudo-patriotic witch-hunt we haven’t witnessed since the inglorious days of McCarthyism.

I’ll take constitutional guarantees over quasi-religious breast-beating any day

N.F.L. Protests Across the United States, Across the Atlantic

❝ N.F.L. players across the country demonstrated during the national anthem on Sunday in a show of solidarity against President Trump, who scolded the league and players on Twitter this weekend. With the support of team owners, some of whom joined their teams on the field, dozens of players knelt in silent protests, while Tom Brady and others opted to stand and lock arms.

❝ The Seattle Seahawks and Tennessee Titans both stayed in their respective locker rooms prior to their matchup in Nashville.

The young woman who sang the national anthem for their match – also took a knee in solidaruity.

Solar = 6¢ per kilowatt-hour, beating Obama’s goal by 3 years


Formerly the largest piggery in Massachusetts

❝ The Department of Energy has announced that utility-grade solar panels have hit cost targets set for 2020, three years ahead of schedule. Those targets reflect around $1 per watt and 6¢ per kilowatt-hour in Kansas City, the department’s mid-range yardstick for solar panel cost per unit of energy produced (New York is considered the high-cost end, and Phoenix, Arizona, which has much more sunlight than most other major cities in the country, reflects the low-cost end).

Those prices don’t include an Investment Tax Credit which makes solar panels even cheaper. The Energy Department said that the cost per watt was assessed in terms of total installed system costs for developers. That means the number is based on “the sales price paid to the installer; therefore, it includes profit in the cost of the hardware,”…

❝ The National Renewable Energy Laboratory, a DOE-funded lab that assesses solar panel cost, wrote that, compared to the first quarter in 2016, the first quarter in 2017 saw a 29-percent decline in installed cost for utility-scale solar, which was attributed to lower photovoltaic module and inverter prices, better panel efficiency, and reduced labor costs. Despite the plummeting costs for utility-scale solar, costs for commercial and residential solar panels have not fallen quite as quickly — just 15 percent and 6 percent, respectively…

❝ Now that utility-grade solar panels have crossed the finish line almost three years early, the DOE says that it’s setting a new goal line for 2030…Through the DOE’s Solar Energy Technologies Office, the federal department says it will start funding early stage projects focusing on “grid reliability, resilience, and storage.”

Too bad – for the moment – we’re saddled with an administration, White House, Congress and all – wholly committed to pimping for fossil fuel extraction and energy industries. Hopefully, the American electorate will learn to skip over idjits who prefer pimps to progress and elect some useful folks in 2018 and 2020.

Trump fiddles while China leads World Trade Recovery

Bloomberg’s Tom Keene displays the performance of the renminbi against the U.S. dollar in 2017. He speaks with Carl Weinberg, chief economist at High Frequency Economics, on “Bloomberg Surveillance.”

Often appearing on Bloomberg TV, Dr. Weinberg is one of several economists who wastes no time on the ideological blather coming out of the Washington Beltway. Regardless of which of the two Tweedledee/Tweedledumb parties we’re allowed – is in power.

I think if you asked the average American college graduate about the Silk Road or the Silk Route – you’d get a profound silence. Listen to what Dr. Weinberg says in passing about the increase in trade this year. Understand that this is a startup barely in its beginning. Understand that regardless of Trump’s compounded ignorance and lies, the United States isn’t China’s biggest customer and consumer of goods exports. The European Union is. And they don’t consider his whines and wailing important enough to be anything more than a footnote to American electoral gullibility.

The Europeans, workers and investors alike do not suffer the disparity in income and distribution we have in the United States. Europeans get income – not fear and trembling – from global trade. Their trade with China is leading to greatly expanded trade for all the Euro nations with all the nations in between China’s hubs and the industrial centers of the European Union.