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Oh... it's over?

We enjoyed Netflix's Voltron despite the fact that they only say "And I'll form... the head!" once the entire season (and mostly as a joke). But i do agree with this from IGN's review (warning: video will autoplay):

It's also worth mentioning that Legendary Defender is tailor-made for binge-watching, and feels less like a TV show and more like one, big movie. Like a lot of Netflix Original Series, Voltron's episodes don't really have "endings"; they just kind of stop and go into the next one, which really makes the season fly by. Unfortunately, that's also a byproduct of the finale, which cuts off right in the middle of a big action scene. The ending is so jarring, in fact, that I had to double-check to make sure it was the last episode...

I've been thinking a lot about how decompression has increasingly affected television the way it's already affected comic books, and we now seem to be a post-season finale society, where the final episode of a season doesn't necessarily have to result in a climax or, in this case, even really feel like an ending at all. Unlike, say, Walking Dead, the Voltron series did have an actual plot each episode, so the fact that the season ends on a cliffhanger doesn't feel like as much of a cheat as shows like, again, Walking Dead, where things only seem to happen in the first and last episodes and things still end on a cliffhanger.

By fnord12 | June 21, 2016, 9:58 AM | TeeVee | Comments (1) | Link

Cheese 3-PO

C-3PO's tell-all memoir about the prequels is out:

By fnord12 | June 21, 2016, 9:45 AM | Star Wars | Comments (0) | Link

Feminist Frequency - Lingerie is Not Armor

Just yes to all of this.

And not just in video games. Fnord12 and i just watched the Batman: Assault on Arkham animated movie and the outfits for Harley Quinn and Killer Frost were ridiculous when compared to what the male team members were wearing. An acquaintance tried to make the argument that they needed to be half undressed for ease of movement. Right. Because Deadshot and the Black Spider didn't also rely on agility. And that's in addition to the plan that for some reason required Killer Frost to be nude from the waist up and the various shots of both women from behind as they employed extra hip movement to their walk. There's a FemFreq video on that, too, btw.

By min | June 21, 2016, 8:52 AM | Comics & TeeVee & Video Games | Comments (3) | Link

Action Figures Nobody Wanted

They made a special edition Walking Dead 2-pack of Negan and Glenn which includes a "Smashed Glenn head".

Why? WHY???

By min | June 21, 2016, 8:47 AM | Comics | Comments (0) | Link

Thank you Bernie

By fnord12 | June 8, 2016, 11:10 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0) | Link


By fnord12 | June 3, 2016, 12:28 PM | My stupid life & TeeVee | Comments (0) | Link

More Super-Deformed Marvel Horrors

They're not playing in an orchestra, but they're still pretty darned cute. I'll take these guys over the X-Babies any day, and a crossover wouldn't be unwelcome either. I'm still not sure about the long haired non-monster, but maybe the wolf insignia on his belt will be a clue for someone. Or the fact that he's on a dinosaur. Or the fact that it's now clear that he's not wearing a shirt under that harness thing. Update: It's Gullivar Jones, Warrior of Mars. See the comments.

By fnord12 | May 26, 2016, 2:11 PM | Comics | Comments (4) | Link

Defensive Flooding

This is something i've almost worked into an entry or category description on my Marvel Timeline project a few times, but it's too big for the category pages and too general for any specific entry, so i figured i'll just put it here. This is from a coffee table book called Marvel: The characters and their universe, published in 2002 for Barnes & Noble:

In 1987 Marvel was bought by an entertainment company called New World, and that same year Tom DeFalco took over as editor in chief, replacing Jim Shooter. Marvel's fortunes at this time were greatly improved by the success of two movies, but ironically they were not Marvel movies.

"The Batman movie and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movie came out and helped to promote comics by bringing people into the comic book stores," explains DeFalco... "Marvel didn't have any movies coming out, so we came up with a defensive publishing plan, figuring that everybody's going to be coming into these comic book stores looking for Turtles and Batman. DC didn't do a lot of publishing behind the first Batman movie, and Turtles didn't have a lot of extra publishing either, but we got a lot of stuff out, so when people came into the comic book stores, having seen the movies, the only thing they could buy was Marvel product."

This flood-the-market strategy may have started specifically in reaction to the Turtles and Batman films, but it clearly remained in effect, with Marvel's output continuing to expand each year. 1987 was peanuts compared to 1992, which saw the launch of over a dozen new titles. There was always something to be "defensive" about, be it additional movies or the new line of Image books. But i'm sure Marvel realized they could use this strategy offensively too. When we wonder why Alpha Flight never got canceled or how Silver Sable or Nomad merited their own books, this is probably a big part of the explanation. This of course wasn't a surprise, but it's nice to got confirmation from the editor in chief at the time.

By fnord12 | May 19, 2016, 2:40 PM | Comics | Comments (5) | Link

They Made a Babelfish


The device is called The Pilot system and Waverly Labs is the company behind this brilliantly simple yet potentially groundbreaking idea. When it hits the shelves in September, the system will allow the wearer to understand one of several foreign languages through real-time in-ear translation. A handy app will allow you to toggle through the languages you want, and the selection includes French, Spanish, Italian, and English. It'll retail for $129, and you can pre-order one here. Or you can just keep talking to people really loudly and slowly in English. Good luck with that.

Is it as good as Google Translate? Cause if it is, i foresee the ensuing of hilarity. Or better yet, is it as good as the Hungarian Phrase Book?

By min | May 17, 2016, 10:24 AM | Science | Comments (0) | Link

Recap 73

It was a disappointment to all that we faced Takos, Not Tacos.

By min | May 13, 2016, 3:26 PM | D&D | Comments (0) | Link

Can we agree that they're terrifying?

Somehow, the Gin-Gins never caught on like the California Raisins. And are they eating ginger candies? I'm pretty sure that's cannibalism, and against the rules.

By fnord12 | May 10, 2016, 8:27 AM | Ummm... Other? | Comments (2) | Link

We're doing what now?

Fight drug dealers AND bullies with candy!

I'm not sure if i ever saw Shock Tarts, but if i had known they were sent from the future i might have tried them, and i certainly would have worn those sunglasses.

I'm not sure what i like better, the idea of sending kids out on the streets to fight drug dealers (excuse me, "dealer types"), or telling kids to eat little round pill-shaped candies as a way to convince them to NOT get into drugs.

By fnord12 | May 3, 2016, 10:19 AM | Comics | Comments (0) | Link

Rescue Wolverines


A pilot project out of the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center and the Kroschel Wildlife Center aims to replace rescue dogs with rescue wolverines in the search for those buried under the snow.

Clocking in at about the size of a standard poodle, the stocky animals are known mainly for their ferocious natures and remarkable hunting abilities - deer, caribou, and lynx are standards on the wolverine menu, and there have been reported incidents of the creatures tussling with black bears over kills. All in all, it might not sound like the furry face you want to see digging you out of a snowbank, but it's partly the tenacious predator's hunting skill that makes it a good candidate for rescue duty.

A good candidate until the hunting instinct takes over the rescue training, that is...

By min | May 2, 2016, 1:22 PM | Ummm... Other? | Comments (1) | Link

Frank Cho is Gross

Also, having made the mistake of actually reading some of his Facebook posts, i've decided he's an idiot douchebag.


As you know, straight men are the most persecuted group in the world today. They used to live in a utopia where everything was tailored to meet their needs, but that's changed. There's a female Ghostbusters movie coming out! The video game Rust randomly assigns gender! Two different Star Wars movies have female leads! And also, sometimes there are naked women on Game of Thrones that they don't want to bone!
Thankfully Frank Cho was on hand to protect the struggling marginalized voices of men who want women's bodies to be used to sell products regardless of intended audience. And though that Manara cover came out two years ago, Cho hasn't given up the fight.

Cho started paying tribute to Manara's Spider-Woman cover early in 2015, first with his own version of the original, and then with a cover that presented a teenage girl from an all-ages book -- Spider-Gwen -- in the same sexually objectified pose. This drawing of a teenager's elevated buttocks was not well received by the character's co-creator or many of the character's fans.

But Cho is a maverick, and when people step to him to say, "this is creepy and weird," he fights back by drawing more pictures of women with their butts in the air, and selling them on eBay and at conventions. Cho has now reproduced this pose -- and generated others like it -- over and over and over again for the benefit of paying fans, because he will not cave to the PC police.


But Cho has not been content to fight back in the trenches of sketch covers. He recently created a new cover for a publisher of video game comics, which again features a female protagonist in the same butt-up pose. You can see it on his Facebook page. Cho claims that the company's art director wanted Cho to recreate this pose (yet again) because he, like Cho, is "anti-censorship".

Thank God for these brave men, willing to risk everything -- or at least risk someone on Twitter saying they're gross and sleazy -- to ensure that there will still be women's butts on comic book covers.

Because only an idiot douchebag would think this is a valid argument (FB post about his Cami sketch):

HA! This is too funny.

Some of the overly sensitive people are upset that I drew a sexy image of a sexy highly popular video game character who runs around in a thong. Talk about hypercritical and being upset over nothing.

It's like you buy a Superman comic and you're upset that he's flying on the cover.

I wish people would stop giving him money to draw comic porn. Especially comic porn of a teenaged character. Skeeve.

By min | April 29, 2016, 12:43 PM | Comics | Comments (3) | Link

There Used to be a Museum of Menstruation

And i totally missed out on visiting it!

Finley, 73, and I are in his New Carrollton basement, which from 1994 to 1998 housed the Museum of Menstruation.
The collection, which by Finley's count has more than 5,000 individual pieces, is an interesting intersection of history and function and societal expectations. Amassing the collection and running the museum remains for Finley the most important thing he has done, and his efforts have garnered praise and vitriol alike. A story in the New York Times from 1998 called the museum's website "an odd, funny and well-researched site (created by a man) on the history of menstruation as told by women around the world." An anonymous letter writer from Wyoming was less enthralled: "The anger it stirred in our circle is enough to burn you at the stake figuratively speaking," she wrote.

Not really sure why people would be quite so upset about this museum. I think it's pretty awesome. The products advertised to women for "hygiene" are pretty horrifying. Lysol and borax! In the hoo-hah! *shudder*

My favorite is the ad for Pristeen way at the bottom of the page.

Oh, look! A forlorn girl, sitting in a decimated patch of grass. What ever could be the matter? Pristeen knows: "The trickiest deodorant problem a girl has isn't under her pretty little arms," the ad warns, capitalizing on the fear of "feminine odor."

Totally worth risking death with some Lysol to avoid that odor problem. Yup.

By min | April 27, 2016, 10:34 AM | Ummm... Other? | Comments (0) | Link



The City of Cleveland announced on Monday that it will pay $6 million to settle a lawsuit by the family of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old boy who was tragically killed by police officers in 2014 while holding a toy gun.

The Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association released a statement responding to the settlement. Rather than acknowledging any error on the police's part, the association suggested that the Rice family use the funds to "educate the youth of Cleveland in the dangers associated with the mishandling of both real and facsimile firearms."

I think when you get away with shooting a 12-year old kid, you should prolly just shut the fuck up for forever and not issue asshole statements.

By min | April 26, 2016, 8:20 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0) | Link


I'm not the only one! This lady has an inguinal hernia, too!

The thing is, the hernia itself wasn't really ever painful. An inguinal hernia is basically just a lump of fat or intestines that decides to break through a weak layer in the abdominal wall. It ends up looking like a weird, soft lump on your groin that can easily be pushed back in -- or at least, mine could -- and it didn't exactly stop me from living an active life. I still went to gym classes two or three times a week, jogged, played sport, and skied or hiked on the weekend. There is an excellent chance that this active lifestyle is what caused Henry to show up in the first place.

But because inguinal hernias (there are many many other kinds of hernias) are generally considered more of a men's health issue than women's, it took awhile for me to figure out what was even wrong. In the last few months, Henry started to show himself more, and I felt a dull sense of discomfort every time he popped out. Because of the general region of my discomfort, googling symptoms (never a good idea) made it seem as though I had anything from ovarian cysts to cancer, until I finally spoke to some people IRL who suggested it might be a hernia.

It is really difficult to get a doctor to realize you have a hernia if you're female. I had to tell the first 2 doctors i saw that it was a hernia. I diagnosed myself using Google. How sad is that? You should have seen how confused the urgency care doctor was when the lump disappeared when i was prone and reappeared when i was standing.

The first surgeon i saw was focused on getting me open and repairing the hernia. Right away! I was like "Whoa! Can we talk about it some more first?". And when i asked him if i should cut back on my weight lifting, he just stammered and seemed to be confused by the question entirely. I felt like i needed to enunciate more slowly - "Ex-cer-cise? Lift-heavy-things-with-body?". So, needless to say, not filled with confidence.

Which led me to my second surgeon who understood my question about lifting (he said i didn't need to change anything) and wasn't in a hurry to cut me. He said that since it wasn't currently causing me pain and because it was very unlikely to become strangulated (where the intestine gets trapped so that things inside can't pass through), i should wait on the surgery. Once i had the surgery, i would forever feel some discomfort from the scar tissue and whatnot, so why do that to myself if i wasn't currently in pain, was his reasoning. But he was willing to repair the hernia for me if i wanted it done.

Obviously, this was the answer i wanted to hear, so how much did that influence my feelings about his judgement? But at the same time, it's been nearly 3 years and things seem fine. I do wish i could just squish the stupid thing back in and hold it there until my muscles knit themselves back together and closed the hole, but apparently, that isn't how things work. Balls!

By min | April 22, 2016, 8:36 AM | My stupid life | Comments (0) | Link

Well, first of all, i would've rebranded

I appreciate the tagline at the bottom.  It's issue #78 but they're still sticking very specifically to the Strange Tales theme.

I have no idea why this guy decided to call himself the Worm Man. He shrinks and grows and runs around! Like a worm!

Worm powers activate!

His original name was Surprise Naked Man

To continue to answer the question of what i would have done if i were the Worm Man, first, i would have sued the hell out of Henry Pym. This story was in Strange Tales #78, with a Nov 60 cover date, over a year before Tales To Astonish #27. Maybe we need to see the Worm Man's origin story. Ant-Man's first adventure involved him falling into an ant colony. Maybe this guy first fell into a pit of worms. Maybe he even developed a way to talk to worms, but realized talking to worms isn't very productive.

Second of all, i would stop storing my growing pills in my crotch.

Listen, unstable molecules hadn't even been invented yet.  You can't imagine how tight my underwear gets when i grow again.

By fnord12 | April 21, 2016, 7:33 AM | Comics | Comments (3) | Link

Netflix's Sub-Category Codes

Why can't these categories just be available thru their UI?

The codes are actually Netflix's way of categorizing movies into various sub-genres, which it then uses to surface suggestions for subscribers. But if you're willing to do a little manual labor, the payoff can be pretty big.

"We categorize our content into thousands of subgenres to help match the right content to the right member based on their viewing history," Netflix spokesperson Marlee Tart told Mashable.

To view the categories, go to http://www.netflix.com/browse/genre/ and enter the category code (listed below) at the end of the URL (example: http://www.netflix.com/browse/genre/2676).

By min | April 20, 2016, 8:46 PM | Movies & TeeVee | Comments (0) | Link

Unbemused Groan at the Coen Brothers

Old news because the Oscars happened ages ago, but it's new news to me, so here you go.


When Joel and Ethan Coen were asked about #OscarsSoWhite they responded with "matching bemused groans" and commented that while "diversity's important," "the Oscars are not that important."
By making such a big deal, you're assuming that these things really matter. I don't think they even matter much from an economic point of view. So yes, it's true--and it's also true that it's escalating the whole subject to a level it doesn't actually deserve.

The Coen brothers themselves have been nominated for 13 Academy Awards, and won four so it's possible that they're a bit more blasé about the whole affair.


Their most recent movie, Hail, Caesar!, set in 1950s Hollywood, has a huge star-studded, and mostly white cast. When asked why the main cast lacked diversity, Joel responded:

Why would there be? I don't understand the question. No--I understand that you're asking the question, I don't understand where the question comes from.

Not why people want more diversity--why they would single out a particular movie and say, 'Why aren't there black or Chinese or Martians in this movie? What's going on?' That's the question I don't understand. The person who asks that question has to come in the room and explain it to me.

The groan escalated to mentally smacking my head on my desk as i continued reading the Coen brothers' quotes.

I, like the Mary Sue, especially appreciate black people and the Chinese being lumped in there with Martians. They've now ruined my enjoyment of their movies with their diarrhea of the mouth. Thanks a lot.

By min | April 20, 2016, 3:43 PM | Liberal Outrage & Movies | Comments (1) | Link

Who Wants to Go to Vegas?


What happens in Vegas won't be staying in Vegas, if companies like VR Bangers have their say. The charmingly named company is behind the latest amenity offered at some Las Vegas hotels, where guests can shell out just $19.99 to use a headset programmed with interactive, virtual reality sex scenes, billed as the "VR Bangers Hotel Experience."

"You will then choose a girl or guy of your choice, and see your hotel room replicated in the VR headset, making the experience much more realistic," VR Bangers said in a statement. "Next you will hear a knock on the door (in the virtual reality world), and the girl or guy will come into your room in order to enjoy an erotic or sex experience with the viewer."

Yup. 3-D porn. The next frontier. I'm pretty sure there's not enough disinfectant in the world to sanitize the visor enough for the next patron to use safely. Will it come with a tarp? There should be a tarp.

By min | April 20, 2016, 2:47 PM | Science | Comments (0) | Link

More Democracy, We Deliver


In the 2002 speech against the Iraq War that helped propel him to the presidency, then-state Sen. Barack Obama denounced not just the looming invasion of Iraq, but also human rights abuses by our "so-called allies" in Saudi Arabia...

And he spoke out against the U.S.' role as weapons supplier to the world...

But arms sales in general -- and specifically to Saudi Arabia -- have been a consistent element of Obama's tenure.

"Many Americans would be surprised to learn that his administration has brokered more arms deals than any administration of the past 70 years, Republican or Democratic," said William Hartung, a senior adviser to Secure Assistance Monitor, a progressive group that tracks arms sales.


To put that in context, in his first five years as president, Obama sold $30 billion more in weapons than President Bush did during his entire eight years as commander in chief.

So, it's really no wonder that Obama would be concerned about opening the possibility of lawsuits against the U.S. by people in foreign countries.

Rose also asked about legislation that would allow the relatives of 9/11 victims to sue the Saudis, which passed the Senate Judiciary Committee in January, but has yet to be voted on by the full body.

Obama has said that he doesn't support the bill, due to the possibility of foreign citizens - presumably victims of US wars and drone strikes - suing the government.

"If we open up the possibility that individuals in the United States can routinely start suing other governments, then we are also opening up the United States to being continually sued by individuals in other countries," the commander-in-chief said.

Between our arms sales and our drone strikes, we'd be buried in lawsuits. Is that really the best answer he could think of? He couldn't come up with one that sounded less self-serving?

By min | April 20, 2016, 2:27 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0) | Link

Tubman on the $20

This is pretty awesome:

Former slave Harriet Tubman will replace former President Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew is expected to announce on Wednesday.
Alexander Hamilton, who created the Treasury Department, was originally targeted for replacement, but will remain on the $10 bill after public outcry.

Critics called for Jackson to be replaced based on his decision to violently remove Native Americans from their ancestral lands. He is likely to remain on the back of the bill, according to Politico.

Hamilton has gained popularity recently, thanks to the Broadway hit musical based on his life. Lin-Manuel Miranda, who created and stars in 'Hamilton', was a leading lobbyist for the former Treasury secretary to remain on the $10.


Although, if they keep changing what our money looks like, i'm going to be so confused. As it is, half the time i don't think the new quarters are real currency.

By min | April 20, 2016, 1:27 PM | Ummm... Other? | Comments (0) | Link

Meat-Eaters: Contributing to the Superbug Problem


Antibiotic-resistant "superbugs" are on track to kill more people than cancer, the UK's chief financial minister will warn Thursday.
Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch, for example, said in 2013, "Right now, 80 percent of the antibiotics used in the U.S. are used for industrial agriculture, and most of these drugs are routinely fed to animals to make them grow faster and compensate for filthy conditions. This is done to help the meat industry execute on its highly consolidated business model for profit. And the American public pays through antibiotic-resistant infections."

Plus, there are still doctors who prescribe antibiotics to "see if this works" when someone shows up at their office sick. Stupid doctors.

By min | April 18, 2016, 3:25 PM | Science | Comments (1) | Link

Changing the debate

I find the "Bernie has already won because he's changed the debate and pulled Hillary to the left" comments to be subtly self-defeating, because it takes the urgency away from fighting to win the primary (yes, yes, however unlikely), which is how the debate is being changed. But i really was struck watching last night's debate about how much the conversation really has changed. It hit me on social security. Eight years ago, i was shouting at the television for Obama to challenge the moderator's framing that social security was going broke and does he have the strength to stand up to his base and make the cuts that are necessary. Last night, Wolf Fucking Blitzer was pressing Hillary Clinton on whether or not she was on board to expand social security, and she was tripping over herself to say that she is, despite her past and current equivocations.

The fact that Bernie has found his footing on foreign policy has made a big difference, too, as Hillary was entirely on defensive on that subject, having to defend her interventionist policy. And i think we had a serious conversation about Israel for the first time ever on national television.

It's also been true in proxy appearance on cable news. We've had people like Nina Turner, Michelle Alexander, Jeffrey Sachs, Robert Reich, and others repeatedly on television pushing views that would not have gotten the attention otherwise. It's also given Tulsi Gabbard a spotlight, and if she can't be my vice president next year there's now an opportunity for her to become a Senator and beyond in the future. So i do think the debate really has been changed, and not just in a 'Hillary might endorse more moderate versions of Bernie's positions for now and then pivot back to the right for the general' sort of way. The cable news pundits now have new ideas bouncing around in their empty heads.

On that last topic, though, one tangential thing i want to get off my chest, about Hillary's strange parsing of her minimum wage position. By definition, the minimum wage is a floor. Saying you are for a $12 minimum wage as a floor but that you're ok with local areas going higher is a truism, designed to mislead. I was glad to see her flailing to explain that last night, and getting booed.

By fnord12 | April 15, 2016, 7:17 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (2) | Link

Our Building Runs on Witches

This might explain why the temperature in this place is never reasonable and consistent.

By min | April 14, 2016, 10:12 AM | My stupid life | Comments (0) | Link

Big Donors Provide "Oversight" to Those They "Invest In"

Sorry. It's an Intercept morning.


In a USA Today op-ed headlined "Big Donors Can Save Democracy From Donald Trump," Hoffman tries to make the case that Trump has gone off the rails because he doesn't have people like Hoffman telling him what to do.

Here's how Hoffman puts it: "Large donors ... often serve as an executive board of sorts, challenging campaigns to act worthy of their investment."

Hoffman writes, "Trump brags that he is without big donors. That may be true. But it also means he is without restraint. ... In business and politics alike, oversight is a good thing."

If you're not paying close attention, that makes the whole process sound public-spirited and inspiring. If you are, however, you realize Hoffman is telling us that he and his cohort see their money as buying them seats on the board of a corporation they ultimately control.

Hoffman acknowledges a possible downside of the system: "Raising seven figures for a candidate grants you access that the average voter will never see. This unfairness has been a source of major voter ire this cycle. Injustice makes people angry. And it is angry voters who have been pulling levers for Trump."

But he dismisses it in favor of an even loftier goal. Big donors aren't just backing a candidate, he says; they're also investing in their ideology.

"Even his critics would agree that Jeb released the most detailed set of policies and reforms in the race," writes Hoffman. "Seeing these ideas thrive and live beyond the candidate makes for a worthy investment. In my heart, that is a proper and just use of big money in politics."


That's one reason why money in politics matters even when it's backing a loser. Al Hoffman is telling us straight up: Big money in U.S. politics isn't just about buying individual elections, or individual candidates. It's also about buying space in our minds.

So, tell me again how having Wall Street and Big Pharma donors doesn't influence a candidate's policies cause it sure sounds like that's exactly what they believe they are buying.

By min | April 8, 2016, 9:29 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0) | Link

Pirate Party Leading in Iceland's Polls After Panama Papers Leak


Opinion polls suggest that the government would be trounced in any immediate election, and most likely replaced by Iceland's branch of the Pirate Party, a pan-European movement founded in Sweden in 2006 to fight for internet freedom and direct democracy. The Icelandic branch currently holds just three seats in the nation's parliament, the Althing.

By min | April 8, 2016, 9:15 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0) | Link

Invasion of Privacy for Those in Public Health System


Because clearly, if you're poor, you must be a criminal.

IF YOU'RE RELYING on the public health care system, you're living your life under surveillance, says Khiara Bridges, a law professor and anthropology researcher at the Boston University School of Law.

All sorts of incredibly invasive details about your life, including sexual experience, eating habits, and job history, are stored in databases that are accessible not only to your caregivers, but potentially to law enforcement, too, she says.


These "case management services" are officially there to provide help in "gaining access to needed medical, social, educational, and other services."

But Bridges argues that the questions sometimes stray into the unnecessary, invasive, and non-medical territory. She calls it "a gross and substantial intrusion by the government into poor, pregnant women's private lives."


Bridges is particularly concerned about exceptions in the law that allow for incredibly personal information to be shared with law enforcement. As she writes in a section of her forthcoming book:

Crucially, the Privacy Act contains exceptions that allow for the nonconsensual disclosure of collected information. Intriguingly, one of those exceptions "allows disclosure to other jurisdictions for law enforcement." The result of this exception is that when a population is imagined to be inclined toward criminality, then that population exists in a state of exception under the Privacy Act: Its information can be disclosed as long as it is for law enforcement purposes. ...

... Undeniably, welfare beneficiaries are one of those populations that are thought to be comprised of criminal elements. The irony should be apparent: The act that provides protection from the disclosure of information, and thereby saves the constitutionality of information-collecting regimes, itself provides for disclosure.

Other researchers and groups, such as the Stop LAPD Spying Coalition, are concerned about the surveillance of people who enroll in Electronic Benefit Transfer programs to buy groceries, or take advantage of other public benefits.

By min | April 8, 2016, 9:05 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (1) | Link

Thank you Wisconsin

I know He Can't Win™, but Bernie sure is doing a good job of pretending, winning 7 of the last 8 contests with 57% or more of the vote, digging about a third of the way out of his delegate gap while polling 10 points down in New York (with two weeks to go), 6 points down in Pennsylvania, and 10 points down in California. 538 was giving Bernie a 17% chance of winning Wisconsin a week ago.

By the way, if you've heard about a "disastrous" interview with the New York Daily News, here is some pushback on that. I read the transcript and wasn't sure what the fuss was about, but the media have been happy to jump on the narrative that Bernie doesn't know what he's talking about. But Peter Eavis at the New York Times, Ryan Grim at HuffPo, and good old Dean Baker all say it's nonsense.

After trying to pivot away to the general, the Clinton campaign has now spun back to the primary, and is reportedly getting ready to get nasty:

Jeff Zeleny, senior Washington correspondent for CNN, was with the Clinton campaign as the news of Sanders' Wisconsin came in, and he described a Clinton campaign staff that was "running out of patience."

"They're going to be deploying a new strategy. It's going to be called 'disqualify him,' 'defeat him,' and they can unify the party later," he explained. "Now they're going to go headlong into him, I'm told, beginning here in the New York primary on his gun record, among other things."

Click the "nasty" link to see the Clinton campaign lying about guns to the point where one of their own superdelegates had to shoot them down. I guess it's going to get ugly. If He Can't Win™, why not take the high ground?

By fnord12 | April 6, 2016, 8:04 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (2) | Link

New Superman

I haven't been paying attention. What happened to old Superman? I also just read Geoff Johns said, "Rebirth is not a reboot." and that struck me as funny.

Anyway, remember when i posted that thing about Superman being Asian? Well, now he will be.

New Super-Man, launching in July, follows a Shanghai teenager named Kenji Kong who must learn to be a hero when he suddenly gets infused with the powers of Superman. The new monthly title will be written by Gene Luen Yang, with art by Viktor Bodganovich.

Gene, of course, is the award-winning graphic novelist behind such books as American Born Chinese, Boxers & Saints and The Shadow Hero. However, he's also no stranger to the Man of Steel, having been writing for DC's ongoing monthly Superman title for the better part of the past year.

Ofc, he's a Chinese kid in Shanghai, so the whole "in a world not my own, just trying to fit in" thing is lost. That just makes him a Chinese guy with super powers. I mean, sure, that's awesome, too. Hope he comes up with a better name than "New Superman". It's not even a good name for a series title.

By min | March 31, 2016, 1:43 PM | Comics | Comments (0) | Link

Was going to come up with a clever title, but got bored and played with my phone instead

Click here for more Super Fun Pak Comix. I was able to post this image thanks to the instructions in the How To Draw Doug feature.

By fnord12 | March 31, 2016, 1:39 PM | Comics | Comments (0) | Link

Book Review: Boy, Snow, Bird

Sort of. Mostly, i'm just using this space to archive some quotes.

This is a novel written by Helen Oyeyemi. Here's the back of the book plot synopsis:

In the winter of 1953, Boy Novak arrives by chance in a small town in Massachusetts looking, she believes, for beauty--the opposite of the life she's left behind in New York. She marries Arturo Whitman, a local widower, and becomes stepmother to his winsome daughter, Snow.

A wicked stepmother is a creature Boy never imagined she'd become, but elements of the familiar tale of aesthetic obsession begin to play themselves out when the birth of Boy's daughter, Bird, who is dark-skinned, exposes the Whitmans as light-skinned African-Americans passing for white. And even as Boy, Snow, and Bird are divided, their estrangement is complicated by an insistent curiosity about one another. In seeking an understanding that is separate from the image each presents to the world, Boy, Snow, and Bird confront the tyranny of the mirror to ask how much power surfaces really hold.

Mirrors and identity are definitely significant in this story. An English major could prolly write up an interesting analysis of it. Me, i just read the book.

Some parts got a little crazy in a "are you high or did this book become a paranormal?" sort of way. The book is in first person, which was kinda annoying, but i got over it. The first half is from Boy's perspective. The second almost half is from her daughter Bird's perspective. And then for a very brief time, we're taken back to Boy's POV. In the end, nothing is actually resolved, so if you're like me and that sort of thing drives you nuts, you've been warned. I kept trying to find more pages i could flip to. Then i IM'd fnord12 in outrage over the entirely nutty ending.

But despite that, i did find the characters and the writing style to be interesting and wouldn't be opposed to reading more by this author.

And now, the quotes.

Boy about Mrs. Fletcher:

I thought she was terrific, and hoped she liked me, but she was clearly very precise in the allocation of her affections, so she probably didn't.

Boy about Webster:

I'd fasted before, so I knew how being hungry can make a girl get a little bit enigmatic. Webster's psychology was one short straw away from abnormal.

Boy about how creepy bride and groom cake toppers are:

Each tiny bride and groom had this beseeching smile painted onto their face. The kind of smile that suggested dark magic was afoot, a switch had been made, the couple leading the first dance were not who they claimed to be, and wouldn't someone please intervene?

When i read that one to fnord12, he pointed out that it was furthering the theme of identity. I was the one reading the book, but he was the one understanding the subtext based on random quotes i threw at him. All i got from reading this quote was "She's so right! Those cake toppers are creepy!". I told him this was why i hated English class.


I'm mean. Dad's warned me about it; I know the risk I run when I find fault with people more often than I look for something to appreciate. It's like having grit in your eye; you see less and less of the real person standing right in front of you and more and more of the grit in your eye.

Holy crap! Semi-colons!

I'm still confused about some things in the book in the "but what does it mean???" sort of way, but since fnord12 didn't read it (cause he's too busy working on his comics chronology project!) i'll prolly never know. *sigh*

By min | March 31, 2016, 8:34 AM | Boooooks | Comments (0) | Link

I can't stop watching this

Nothing implied politically (by me, at least), i just find this hilariously absurd.

By fnord12 | March 30, 2016, 9:30 PM | Ummm... Other? | Comments (0) | Link

Bernie wins bisexuals in a landslide!

Ok, i assume that's just based on a small sample size. But for that and more breakdowns of Bernie's support, see this post by Carl Beijer which is actually kind of a follow-up to this media criticism post.

Beijer's data comes from the Reuters tracking poll and there are various caveats about that which i won't get into, but Beijer's broad point should still stand no matter how the data is sliced.

By fnord12 | March 30, 2016, 4:12 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0) | Link

Why i stopped about halfway through Dark Souls I

I guess i didn't have the proper training.

There are only so many times you can die and lose EVERYTHING before you say, "You know, i think i'm going to do something else.".

By fnord12 | March 30, 2016, 2:09 PM | Video Games | Comments (8) | Link

Bacon Jam

For those times when just eating your bacon becomes too much. Link

From the author of this recipe:

Connie shares, "Bacon Jam will win you legions of fans. Use the power wisely. I know of one marriage proposal after this jam was served with breakfast." Don't limit this jam to breakfast, try it as a sandwich spread or mixed with cream cheese as a party dip. Get creative.

Oh, Connie, i think you were creative enough for all of us.

By min | March 30, 2016, 9:26 AM | Ummm... Other? | Comments (0) | Link

Bunny Butt Cake

vegan chocolate cake

The bunny is an upside down cupcake with cut marshmallows for the feet. All vegan, ofc.

vegan chocolate cake
You can see the buttercream tail on the butt a little better from this angle.

By min | March 27, 2016, 6:16 PM | Vegan Vittles | Comments (0) | Link

Yuge wins

Thank you Washington, Alaska, and Hawaii for voting 70 to 80% for Bernie. At this point we have to ask ourselves why Hillary Clinton won't drop out. She's just forcing Bernie to spend resources that he could be using to unify the party against the Republicans in November.

By fnord12 | March 27, 2016, 2:47 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (4) | Link

And don't piss on their hospitality

The AD&D 1st Edition Fiend Folio was like the Monster Manual's poseur cousin, full of really weird and dumb monsters. There is some good stuff in there too, but it's not a book that i often flip through. So i was pretty amused to come across this for the first time, or at least the first time since i've seen Troll 2. As is often the case with Fiend Folio monsters, the creature is pretty dumb and i don't see how i could actually use them in a campaign. So don't worry, players. Nilbogism is not an epidemic in your world.

It's weird how it says nothing about how they are vegetarians that try to get around their vegetarianism by trying to turn you into plants so they can eat you.

By fnord12 | March 25, 2016, 9:16 AM | D&D & Movies | Comments (4) | Link

No need to stop here. There's plenty more SuperMegaMonkey where that came from.