This is your President speaking.

Number 185 in a series

And now a few words from the President of the United States:

Remember, Michael Cohen only became a “Rat” after the FBI did something which was absolutely unthinkable & unheard of until the Witch Hunt was illegally started. They BROKE INTO AN ATTORNEY’S OFFICE! Why didn’t they break into the DNC to get the Server, or Crooked’s office?

My president has finally gotten down to language I can understand. A “rat” is an accomplice in crime who “squeals” to the police. Now we know that Michael Cohen is one of those. Thank you, Mr. President.

Abusing Science

Number 3 of a series

This series is inspired by Philip Kitcher’s book of the same name.

Your grandfather’s creationist was a Bible-thumping absolutist: everything in the Bible was as true as the sun coming up in the morning. The universe and this planet plus everything on it were created by a supernatural being over the span of six days.

That didn’t sell after a while. Modern science came aboard like a hammer, demonstrating that accommodation for creationism in public schools was an extra-legal imposition of religious dogma. Enter the new creationists about 30 years ago. Unlike Carl Baugh and preacher Don Patton, both from Texas, these creationists sport real college degrees, Ph.D. degrees even, and some work at real institutes of higher learning and do basic research. And they do not publicly profess biblical inerrancy. However, their abuse of science is no less egregious.

The Discovery Institute (DI) is the center for promoting the new creationism in the United States. Their Center for Science and Culture (CSC) hosts a blog site titled Evolution News, where can be found daily Intelligent Design propaganda and exhibitions of the abuse of science. Here is a recent posting:

Gecko, Fairyfly, Manta Ray: Animals Push the Limits of the Possible

December 14, 2018, 4:12 AM
I’m going to pass by the fairyfly and the rest and concentrate on the Gecko, which is enough of a story. Here’s a sample:

But adhesion is not the only trick for these lizards popularized in car insurance commercials. Geckos can also walk on water! Believe it or not, geckos are among the few animals (including basilisk lizards and grebes) that can skitter across the surface of water without sinking. Scientists at the University of Oxford filmed them in slow motion to see how they do it.

That is for starters. The author (not identified) works toward the argument that something has endeavored to give geckos this remarkable ability, and there may be an intelligent cause in the background.

Watch the video from The Conversation, where Jasmine Nirody from the Rockefeller University in New York describes how her team figured out the unique way geckos solve this problem.

Yes, read the posting and watch the video. Here comes the message:

The two-minute clip shows several “superpowers” of the gecko beyond climbing walls and walking on water. Geckos are shown gliding through the air, landing upright like a cat, and inverting under objects while running at full speed. Show this video to your kids — that is, if you are prepared to have to buy a gecko for the holidays to satisfy their pleadings afterward. Indulge their curiosity about animals with superpowers while you can, because it might inspire them to become design scientists.

This Evolution News posting takes the reader through some basic background and into a glimpse at cutting-edge science before dropping in a conclusion unworthy of consideration. Fostered by the new creationists, abuse of science continues without letup.

Bad Movie of the Week

Number 250 of a series

A new month means a new lineup on Amazon Prime Video, so I browsed the movies available. I can’t be sure this one wasn’t there before, but this is the first time I ever heard of it. It’s Odd Thomas, from 2013, and it’s based on the first of the Odd Thomas novels by Dean Koontz. There are several.

But first we are introduced to the Odd Thomas (Anton Yelchin) character. He relates for us his origins. His name really is Odd, and there is some dispute as to how that came about. However, it is not unwarranted. Start with his family life. His mother was, herself, odd, to say the least.

When Odd was 12 they carted her off to an asylum.

Now he’s on his own, early 20s and already collecting a reputation for being odd in the desert town of Pico Mundo (Peak World). For example, he can see dead people. The girl in the picture is Penny Kalisto (Ashley Sommers), and she is dead, murdered. And Odd has just realized that the guy in the car, Harlo Landerson (Matthew Page) is the person who killed her. For some reason the killer saved a piece of white felt with her blood on it, and that evidence is now in the killer’s pocket.

Confronted with the devastating accusation, Landerson bolts, and Odd chases him down and takes him prisoner.

Two police officers, Bern Eckles (Kyle McKeever) and Simon Varner (Nico Tortorella) haul the murderer off to the slam.

The town police chief, Wyatt Porter (Willem Dafoe) is keyed in on Odd’s mystical power. As Odd converses with the dead girl, Porter approaches, and she saunters back across the swimming pool, fading into a cloud of dust as she goes. Porter helps Odd keep his special powers under wraps. He advises Odd to claim seeing the evidence when examining the perp’s wallet.

At night Odd is set upon by a host of visions of people who beg for his help. They are being shot by a mysterious figure wielding an automatic weapon, and they are all wearing the same, strange attire.

Break to further character development, as Odd explains he keeps his life simple, for example by choosing to work as a short order cook at a diner.

He is visited by his girlfriend, Bronwyn “Stormy” Llewellyn (Addison Timlin).

Chief Porter drops in, as well. Also a swarm of bodachs, spirit creatures from Gaelic mythology. Only Odd can see them. Bodachs kill any being that they know can see them, so Odd keeps it cool, working hard at pretending they are not there.

But he notices they swarm a patron named Bob Robertson, referred to thereafter as “Fungus Bob,” due to his moldy appearance. Odd becomes alarmed as seeing the bodachs swarming Fungus Bob, because such a swarm is indicative of massive death portending.

Skipping over the vast body of the plot, Stormy works with Odd as he narrows his investigation of the coming doom. In the interim, Fungus Bob is shot by a person unknown and left in Odd’s bathtub. Odd borrows a car and disposes of the body in an abandoned military base.

Then he tracks the plot to a planned attack on the shopping mall, where Stormy works at an ice cream parlor. By now he knows that Varner and Eckles are in on the plot with Fungus Bob. They are cult members who have moved to Pico Mundo and infiltrated the police force. He tracks Eckles to the security room at the mall, where Eckles has just murdered the guards. He ambushes Eckles with a baseball bat as he comes through the door. Then he goes looking for Varner.

Too late. Varner appears inside the mall with an automatic weapon, spraying patrons with bullets. One fusillade sweeps through the ice cream parlor.

Odd confronts Varner and kills him with the pistol he has taken from Eckles.

But Bob’s van is parked at the mall entrance, and it is packed with explosives, set to go off in seconds. Odd takes over the van and drives it out of town. Eckles grabs on and enters the cab in an attempt to kill Odd, who jumps out just before the van plunges into a drainage channel and explodes.

Odd is hailed as a hero, and he and Stormy make plans to spend the rest of their lives together. But the vision of Stormy is just that, for she was killed in the hail of bullets aimed at the ice cream parlor.

Odd exits Pico Mundo on foot to start a life of adventure that will develop into six additional Odd novels.

Production costs of this movie were high ($12 million), possibly owing to the extensive incorporation of CGI. I could not detect any top-tier talent involved, although all roles were adequately executed. And the plot is interesting, but apparently the concept did not connect well. The box office came in at $1.1 million. I’m thinking there will not be a bunch of sequels coming out.

This is your President speaking.

Number 184 in a series

And now a few words from the President of the United States:

I never directed Michael Cohen to break the law. He was a lawyer and he is supposed to know the law. It is called “advice of counsel,” and a lawyer has great liability if a mistake is made. That is why they get paid. Despite that many campaign finance lawyers have strongly……

….stated that I did nothing wrong with respect to campaign finance laws, if they even apply, because this was not campaign finance. Cohen was guilty on many charges unrelated to me, but he plead to two campaign charges which were not criminal and of which he probably was not…

So, that’s interesting. Michael Cohen and David Pecker tell us that Donald Trump collaborated with them in a plan to violate federal law, and Donald Trump claims he’s innocent of any such action. Somebody is not telling the truth. I wonder who it could be.

Somebody is lying, and it’s hard to tell just who is.

Only kidding.

Bad Joke of the Week

One of a series

Madelaine inherited her parents’ fabulous wealth and flowered into a maid of stunning beauty. She decided to devote her life to purity, and she repaired to her stately home and waited for the right man to come. He never did.

The flower withered, and Madelaine, alone and facing the inevitable, held to a life of purity. The end approached.

It was a dark night, and Madelaine lay in her bed and wondered at life’s choices. Out of the darkness a light glowed and a vision appeared. “Madelaine,” a voice spoke to her. “You have lived a pure life, and you should be rewarded. I can grant you two wishes and the opportunity to reconsider. What is your first wish?”

Madelaine grasped a the chance for redemption, and she spoke her first wish. “I desire to be young and beautiful again,” and the room brightened, and she saw once again the seductress of years past.

“For my second wish,” Madelaine told the spirit, “I want my faithful cat Brutus to be transformed into a young and strong-hearted man who will come to me in my bed.

There was the sound of a gong being struck, and Brutus, who had grown startled at what was transpiring, was instantly replaced by a strapping youth of obvious vigor. He gazed at Madelaine in surprise, seeking an answer.

“Brutus,” Madelaine asked him, “you appear puzzled. Is there something you want to ask me?”

Brutus spoke. “Yes, my dear Madelaine. Do you now regret having me neutered?”

LOCK HER UP!

It’s going to be a fun series.

I can tell when something has gone wrong, and this has got to be one of those times, because I am having absolutely too much fun, more fun than is allowed by common decency. So let’s get started.

Yeah, “Lock her up!” Where have we heard that before? Not so much today. In earlier times:

Subsequently:

Again in times past:

And now:

Let’s hear it one more time:

LOCK HER UP!

LOCK HER UP!

LOCK HER UP!

All right, that was three times, but who’s counting?

There’s more coming. Keep reading.

Your Friend The Handgun

Number 142

Another encouraging story about a good guy with a gun:

3-YEAR-OLD BOY ACCIDENTALLY SHOOTS, KILLS 4-YEAR-OLD SISTER

This series concerns itself only with issues related to handguns. Additional search confirmed that a handgun was involved.

This is your President speaking.

Number 183 in a series

And now a few words from the President of the United States:

Fake News has it purposely wrong. Many, over ten, are vying for and wanting the White House Chief of Staff position. Why wouldn’t someone want one of the truly great and meaningful jobs in Washington. Please report news correctly. Thank you!

Nobody seems to be able to explain why Donald Trump is having trouble filling this slot. There must be something we don’t know.

Mike Pompeo is doing a great job, I am very proud of him. His predecessor, Rex Tillerson, didn’t have the mental capacity needed. He was dumb as a rock and I couldn’t get rid of him fast enough. He was lazy as hell. Now it is a whole new ballgame, great spirit at State!

We are still having trouble getting to the bottom of this. All suggestions will be considered.

Hey! Hey! NRA! How many kids did you kill today?

This will not go away.

As previously mentioned, the NRA does not kill kids. Kids are killed by people using guns, some of which people are supporters of the NRA. The above is from a video posted by the NRA on 5 July 2016, and you are encouraged to watch it. The image shows Wayne LaPierre, CEO of the National Rifle Association. It is short, only a minute. Here is some of what Mr. LaPierre has to say:

This nation is run by elites—media figures, Hollywood celebrities and politicians—who decide on where the country is headed by making deals in back rooms without consulting the voting public. It’s time for ordinary Americans to reclaim our future, to stand up and take our country back. We are the NRA, and we are Freedom’s Safest Place.

Here is more regarding Freedom’s Safest Place:

I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling safer already.

Bad Movie Wednesday

One of a continuing series

All comes to those who wait. Finally Deliverance popped up on Amazon Prime Video. It came out in 1972, and it stars Jon Voight and Burt Reynolds. It’s based on the book of the same name by James Dickey, who also wrote the screen play. Details are from Wikipedia.

It’s a hair-raising tale about four Atlanta city slickers off for a white water adventure on the Cahulawassee River. The deal is the power company is damming the river, and the gorge will be shortly flooded for several lifetimes. This is their last and only chance.

As they motor into the Georgia mountains, they feel themselves going back in time and into a world bereft of culture. They have a low regard for the mountain locals, and this begins to set the stage for subsequent encounters. They stop their two vehicles to fuel up, and Bobby Trippe (Ned Beatty) gets into an awkward conversation with one of the locals. Bobby is a salesman and the softest of the four.

Another newcomer to the out of doors is Drew Ballinger (Ronny Cox), who gets into an impromptu musical duel with a banjo-playing teenager. The musical number is a signature feature of the movie. Viewing the kid, a remark is made about the region’s shallow gene pool.

The four set off on the river adventure that will change their lives forever.

Early the following day (Saturday) Ed Gentry (Voight) and Bobby get ahead of the others, and the two put ashore, where they encounter two characters from the backwoods. The tough guys have a dim view of the city guys and proceed to abuse them. They strap Ed to a tree, and the toothless one on the left forces Bobby to strip and then corn-holes him. That job finished, the two approach Ed and make plans for him. Just then Lewis Medlock (Reynolds) and Drew come in quietly through the woods, and Lewis puts an arrow through the chest of one of the toughs. the toothless one gets away in the woods.

Figuring they are in deep trouble for killing a local, the four bury the dead guy in the woods and make their escape down the river, ever watchful for the dead man’s accomplice, who they figure might be stalking them from the bluffs above.

Suddenly Drew pitches forward and disappears beneath the surface. Bobby, who has been sharing the canoe, thinks Drew was shot. They immediately encounter some white water, and one canoe is demolished. Lewis is severely injured, and he sits out the remainder of the movie.

Fearing another sniping attack, the three survivors hunker down on the shore Saturday night while Ed takes a bow and some steel-tipped arrows and climbs the bluff. There he waits out the night, ready to pounce if the surviving mountain man appears.

Come morning, and a man appears nearby on the bluff carrying a rifle. In the ensuing exchange the mountain man is killed by Ed’s arrow, and Ed manages to wound himself with one of his arrows. The dead man does not have the missing teeth of their antagonist from the previous day. Ed has killed a random hunter.

Ed attempts to lower the dead man to the bottom of the gorge at the end of a line, but he ends up falling into the water when the line snaps. The three adventurers sink the body in the water, and then they discover Drew’s body. They cannot confirm that Drew has been shot, but they fear that an coroner’s examination will reveal a bullet wound and trigger an investigation. They weight the body of their friend with stones and sink it into the river.

Back at their downstream pickup point the survivors spin a fabricated story to keep investigators from looking upstream and finding Drew’s body. Evidence does not support this story, but the sheriff (played by author James Dickey) has no evidence to hold them. The last we hear about Lewis is that he might possibly lose his leg.

Settling back into his home life, Ed dreams of a human hand rising above the surface of the new lake.

This production received considerable push back due to its condescending depiction of the local characters. There is not much evidence that Georgia mountain people are as backward as depicted.

The first thing I noticed about the plot is that the four rational individuals would head into such treacherous white water with two of them apparently experiencing their first ride in a canoe. Any sane outdoors man would recognize this as a recipe for disaster. Even without the attack by the mountain rapists, this expedition would not have ended well.

Uh, Ed climbs to the top of the bluff, and he takes along with him enough line to lower a body to the bottom of the gorge. That is an amazing amount of forethought, and I have to wonder, “Why?” I mean, if you want a dead body down at the bottom of a cliff, the way to do it is to roll the body off the cliff. That is essentially what happens in the end. I have not read the book, so I don’t know if Dickey employed this element in the book or if director John Boorman figured the plot needed some extra drama.

Voight shot to fame for his portrayal as a would-be gigolo in Midnight Cowboy, He also received acclaim for his role in Runaway Train. I previously reviewed Burt Reynolds in Smokey and the Bandit.

This was the first feature length role for both Beatty and Cox.

Abusing Science

Number 2 of a series

This series is inspired by Philip Kitcher’s book of the same name.

Back when Kitcher published this book, creationists were of the worst kind. They wanted to convince people that the story of Genesis was true, the universe and all life forms were created by the God of Abraham in the course of six days about 6000 years ago. Furthermore, the story of Noah and a worldwide flood was for them a part of world history. It was tough sledding.

Modern science, starting around 200 years ago, began to undercut these fables. The science of geology pointed to an ancient Earth. Darwin’s explanation of biological evolution abolished the human species’ special place among living things, and studies of radioactive elements in the earth’s crust pointed to a planet over four billion years old. Finally modern cosmology accounted for the formation of the universe over 13 billion years ago—and by natural causes.

In a landmark court case, Federal Judge William Overton ruled in an Arkansas case in 1982 that “creation science,” as creationists then called their theories, is not science. Rather, it is religious-based conjecture. Subsequent attempts to get around this finding terminated in a subsequent loss in Louisiana in a case termed Edwards v. Aguilard. A proposal to require teaching alternatives to the theory of evolution was found to be religiously motivated and in violation of the Constitution.

The response from the fundamentalist religious community was to usurp the Young Earth Creationists with a new breed of ecclesiastical scientists and a fresh approach. These creationists were, and still are, real scientists with valid Ph.D. degrees in related fields, and they largely avoided mention of biblical stories about the age of the earth and the God of Abraham. They revived William Paley‘s concept of Intelligent Design. They insist that the complexity of modern life forms is evidence of a higher intellect behind the world we see today. In future installments I will touch on the activities and the writings of the various individuals involved, but to get things going I will delve into something recent.

The organization in this country that most prominently advocates for Intelligent Design is the Discovery Institute, based in Seattle. More specifically, the DI’s Center for Science and Culture is the focus for ID, and they host a blog site titled Evolution News.

A principal talking point used to support ID is the source of novel information. The contention is that for novel life forms to develop, some additional information must be supplied. For illustration purposes, imagine an animal like a fish. It is generally agreed that the ancestors of present day land animals, lizards, for example, were fish. The proponents of ID will point out that fish have no legs, and for land animals to walk around, given that lizards evolved from fish, then new information about legs had to be supplied from somewhere. Or from somebody. Novel information cannot come out of thin air. There must be a supreme intellect behind the development of land animals with legs.

Novel information, and information in general, is a large part of ongoing arguments for Intelligent Design. The CSC person charged with developing and supporting this connection between is mathematician William Dembski. To illustrate how far the modern creationists buy into the relevance of Dembski’s work, he has been dubbed to be the “Isaac Newton of information theory.”

William Dembski is the Isaac Newton of information theory, and since this is the Age of Information, that makes Dembski one of the most important thinkers of our time. His “law of conservation of information” represents a revolutionary breakthrough. In Intelligent Design Dembski explains the meaning and the significance of his discoveries with such clarity that the general public can readily grasp them.He convincingly diagnoses our present confusions about the relationship between science and theology and offers a promising alternative.

[Robert C. Koons, Professor of Philosophy, University of Texas at Austin—from the dust jacket of Intelligent Design: The Bridge Between Science & Theology, InterVarsity Press, 1999.]

Being compared to Isaac Newton is a dab of adulation that Dembski has never disavowed.

So we have it. Information theory continues to crop up in items aimed at supporting Intelligent Design, and that brings us to this:

Bacteriophages, Budding Yeast, and Behe’s Vindication

Ann Gauger is a senior research scientist at Biologic Institute. Her work uses molecular genetics and genomic engineering to study the origin, organization and operation of metabolic pathways. She received a BS in biology from MIT, and a PhD in developmental biology from the University of Washington, where she studied cell adhesion molecules involved in Drosophila embryogenesis. As a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard she cloned and characterized the Drosophila kinesin light chain. Her research has been published in NatureDevelopment, and the Journal of Biological Chemistry.”

Specified complexity is an argument proposed by Dembski and used by him in his works promoting intelligent design. According to Dembski, the concept is intended to formalize a property that singles out patterns that are both specified and complex. Dembski states that specified complexity is a reliable marker of design by an intelligent agent, a central tenet to intelligent design and which Dembski argues for in opposition to modern evolutionary theory. The concept of specified complexity is widely regarded as mathematically unsound and has not been the basis for further independent work in information theory, complexity theory, or biology. Specified complexity is one of the two main arguments used by intelligent design proponents, the other being irreducible complexity.
Abuse of science did not end with demise of the Young Earth Creationists. This series will continue to turn over such cases until I run out of ink.

This is your President speaking.

Number 182 in a series

And now a few words from the President of the United States:

Leakin’ James Comey must have set a record for who lied the most to Congress in one day. His Friday testimony was so untruthful! This whole deal is a Rigged Fraud headed up by dishonest people who would do anything so that I could not become President. They are now exposed!

More on the rigged fraud.

Bad Movie of the Week

Number 249 of a series

Another James Bond flick and a most unusual one. It’s The Spy Who Loved Me from 1977, and the back story is worth retelling. The title comes from an Ian Fleming novel unique among Bond stories. This one is told from the perspective of a third person, hence the title. Its being unique in this way gave the story a trajectory like no other. Fleming refused to release the plot for reuse, so the producers of the movie took the title and Fleming’s Bond character, and they concocted an original plot. This is streaming on Hulu, where I obtained the screen shots. Details are from Wikipedia.

To appreciate the total disconnect from the original, here is how the book starts:

I WAS running away. I was running away from England, from my childhood, from the winter, from a sequence of untidy, unattractive love-affairs, from the few sticks of furniture and jumble of overworn clothes that my London life had collected around me; and I was running away from drabness, fustiness, snobbery, the claustrophobia of close horizons and from my inability, although I am quite an attractive rat, to make headway in the rat-race. In fact, I was running away from almost everything except the law.

And I had run a very long way indeed – almost, exaggerating a bit, halfway round the world. In fact, I had come all the way from London to The Dreamy Pines Motor Court which is ten miles west of Lake George, the famous American tourist resort in the Adirondacks – that vast expanse of mountains, lakes and pine forests which forms most of the northern territory of New York State.

Fleming, Ian. The Spy Who Loved Me (James Bond – Extended Series Book 10) (p. 1). AmazonEncore. Kindle Edition.

So the woman, Vivianne Michel, relates her troubled coming of age, passing through two demeaning relationships with men before setting out on a cross-country tour on a moped. She stays a few days at a remote motel and gets sucked into a scheme by its gangster owner, who plans to have her killed and blamed on the arson that will send some insurance money his way. In the nick of time James Bond drops in and spoils the crooked scheme, ending up in the sack with Vivianne. And that’s the story.

Screen writers Christopher Wood and Richard Maibaum had something more adventurous in mind. Their story begins with major-power submarines being captured by a technology that takes command from the crew.

And thus begins the standard James Bond (Roger Moore) plot, which includes the obligatory chase down a snowy mountain range.

We meet Anya Amasova/Agent Triple X (Barbara Bach), being given the assignment to recover the technology.

We meet the evil mastermind behind the plot, Karl Stromberg (Curd Jürgens), here paying off the two scientists who developed the technology. Sitting at the other end of the table is his disloyal secretary (Marilyn Galsworthy), soon to meet a ghastly fate.

When the double-dealing secretary departs the room and enters the elevator, the doors close, and the bottom opens, dumping her into a pool with a hungry shark.

Stromberg does some double-dealing himself. As the two scientists depart in a helicopter it is blown out of the air.

The chase is on, and the scene shifts to Cairo, where a delightful wench sets a trap for Bond. She relents at the last moment, taking the bullet meant for him.

Bond captures the gunman and questions him on the roof top before letting him go.

The setting moves to the pyramids of Giza, where we meet Jaws (Richard Kiel). He’s called Jaws because he’s a Herman Munster stand-in, and all his teeth have been replaced by steel ones. He kills by biting people.

Such as this Soviet operative.

Bond meets Amasova. There will be sex before this movie is over.

They meet Jaws, and Bond defeats him by collapsing scaffolding on top of him. The ruffian survives. In fact, throughout he demonstrates to be indestructible.

Romance begins in a boat ride on the Nile, right before she knocks Bond out with trick cigarette smoke.

Eventually we get around to Stromberg’s super oceanic research vessel, where the final action will take place.

The movie is two hours of wacky attempts at assassination. Here a motorcycle with a side car sets out behind Bond’s Lotus. But the side car is really a homing road missile, which the driver releases to chase down Bond’s car.

Of course all this fails, and the rider exits the movie.

That failing, a conventional motorcar gives chase, but Bond’s Lotus opens up a compartment behind the license plate and sprays oil on the killers’ windshield. Off the road it goes.

Next, Stromberg’s personal pilot and accomplished assassin goes after Bond with murderous, but inaccurate machine gun fire from a helicopter. The problem seems to be the twin guns are set too far apart, and when the pilot centers on the Lotus, the rounds strike on either side of the car. We can see that watching the movie, and we wonder why the person who up-armed the helicopter did not detect this problem.

A close look.

Bond dives the lotus into the sea, where it converts to a submersible vessel.

From below the surface, Bond spots the circling helicopter and fires a missile. Goodbye helicopter.

Bond joins with an American sub crew in an attempt to track down the source of the mysterious technology, but that boat also gets captured and drawn into Stromberg’s fake tanker ship, where the crew are forced to surrender.

But Bond breaks free using the second oldest trick in the book—upsetting a stack of gas cylinders.

There ensues a massive fire fight within the bowels of the tanker. Many are killed on both sides.

Meanwhile, two of the captured subs are sent off onto missions to annihilate world class cities. The navy guys prevail and take the remaining sub out, nailing Stromberg’s tanker with a torpedo as they depart. The ship goes down with the remainder of Stromberg’s team.

Bond confronts Stromberg at his elegant dining table, where Blomberg prepares to eliminate him by means of an under-the-table rocket launcher, which is apparently standard for such tables. Bond dodges the rocket and retaliates by firing his Walther PPK back through the empty launch tube, several times, right into Stromberg’s crotch. That has got to hurt.

Bond initiates the destruction of the research vessel, and he and Amasova prepare to save themselves. Jaws is last seen swimming solo to a distant land mass. We also see the sole reason Bach was cast for this movie, because acting was never one of her accomplishments.

Again, for your viewing pleasure, Steve.

As standard, the film runs slightly more than two hours. It shovels out a string of capers highlighted by novel ways of killing somebody, ways Bond can make it into bed with some seductive wench, professionally executed stunts and special effects, all held together by a Saturday matinée plot.

Richard Kiel is “best known for his role as Jaws in the James Bond franchise, portraying the character in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and Moonraker (1979); he lampooned the role with a tongue-in-cheek cameo in Inspector Gadget (1999). His next-most recognized role is the tough, but eloquent Mr. Larson in Happy Gilmore (1996). Other notable films include The Longest Yard (1974), Silver Streak (1976), Force 10 from Navarone (1978), Pale Rider(1985) and Tangled (2010).”

Bach also appeared in Force 10 from Navarone. She is married to Ringo Starr.

Hey! Hey! NRA! How many kids did you kill today?

This will not go away.

The title, of course, derives from a chant used by protesters of the Vietnam War 50 years ago. Of course, the implied accusation was not totally fair, since the president didn’t actually kill any children, but it was not a time for being fair. That’s where I’m coming to now. The NRA is an organization that quit playing straight decades ago. It’s time to start playing their game. Take the video above, for example.

That’s NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch, and she’s telling a bunch of people what they want to hear. It’s not exactly truthful what she’s telling them, but that hasn’t nattered for some time now. Here’s a transcript:

They use their media to assassinate real news. They use their schools to teach children that their president is another Hitler. They use their movie stars and singers and comedy shows and award shows to repeat their narrative over and over again. And then they use their ex-president to endorse “the resistance.”

All to make them march. Make them protest. Make them scream racism and sexism and xenophobia and homophobia. To smash windows, burn cars, shut down interstates and airports, bully and terrorize the law-abiding — until the only option left is for the police to do their jobs and stop the madness.

And when that happens, they’ll use it as an excuse for their outrage. The only way we stop this, the only way we save our country and our freedom, is to fight this violence of lies with the clenched fist of truth.

I’m the National Rifle Association of America. And I’m freedom’s safest place.

Watch the video if you need to, but I have captured some screen shots, and they are posted below along with the approximate text from the video. Full disclosure: I have photo shopped the screen shots to make the captions stand out.

And some more.

What is now apparent is that for a long time the NRA has not been about sport hunting and gun safety. It has morphed into an institution devoted to promoting right wing propaganda in support of a dysfunctional and corrupt administration, one that gained their favor by kowtowing to their base and promoting their agenda. The measure of the depth this organization has plunged to is evidenced by the ideals they now espouse. Here is a view.

The only way we stop this, the only way we save
our country and our freedom, is to fight this
violence of lies with the clenched fist of truth.

I know that the NRA did not direct Nikolas Cruz to stalk and kill 17 people at a Florida school last February, but I’m going to blame them anyhow. For decades this organization has used their money and their sanctimonious pleading for the Second Amendment to support opportunistic politicians and to thwart efforts to take effective action against gun violence in the United States. All the while they have never flinched, never conceding an inch to the fact that the ready availability of guns is responsible for this country’s horrendous record for gun deaths. And there is more.

The NRA wields considerable political clout, and their strength is underwritten through public donations. The problem is, a sizable fraction of their monetary support now comes from a foreign country—not just any foreign country, but a foreign country at odds with the democratic ideals of the United States, that country being Russia.

Thinking the NRA is all about the Second Amendment has not made sense for years. Since liberal politicians are at the forefront of efforts to curb the proliferation of guns, the organization makes liberals and liberal ideals the target of their propaganda. This is apparent in the Dana Loesch video, where no mention is made about the Second Amendment. Disregarding that I have a number of liberal friends who own guns, many being strong supporters of the Second Amendment, the NRA is now at war with liberal America. To that I say, “Bring it on.” This series is going to be dedicated to taking down NRA propaganda at every opportunity.

Keep reading. And may Jesus have mercy on your soul.

The Government You Paid For

Number 48 of a Series

This series of posts is dedicated to that elite cadre of American citizens who don’t like to trifle over details and who made the decision to vote for the person who told them what they wanted to hear. Some recent screen shots from ABC World News Tonight with David Muir will serve to illustrate.

The image at the top shows President Donald Trump and his then Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. I have added a quote from The Washington Post published 30 August 2016, when candidate Trump was vying for your vote:

When Donald Trump (sort of) ostracized longtime adviser Roger Stone last August, he made a commitment that has stuck with him ever since.

“I’m going to surround myself only with the best and most serious people,” he told our Robert Costa in a phone interview at the time. “We want top of the line professionals.”

Last month President Trump fired Secretary Tillerson, leaving the former secretary extra free to share his thoughts. From a CBS interview replayed on ABC:

He is a challenging individual, a man who is pretty undisciplined.

Doesn’t like to read. Doesn’t read briefing reports.

Doesn’t like to get into the details of a lot of things.

And this, Trump fans, is the type of person you hold up to be the people’s choice. Apparently you now have the government you paid for.

Bad Joke of the Week

One of a series

Herbie was born and grew up in Queens, more properly Queens Borough, New York. His friend Nathan from time to time pestered Herbie with wacky ideas. One day Nathan came in all excited.

“Herbie,” he exclaimed. You have got to come to see this woman I met yesterday. Her name is Miss Yarna, and she tells me fantastic things. She tells me things about myself that only I know.”

Herbie was nonplussed. He told Nathan that kind of business was fake and nonsense. But Nathan was persistent. “Herbie, she can put you in contact with your grandmother, your Bubbe.”

Herbie figured he needed to get Nathan clued in, so he went along with him to visit Miss Yarna. Miss Yarna was properly impressive. She wore a long, flowing gown, and her hair was stacked almost to the ceiling. Nathan introduced Herbie, and he told Miss Yarna that Herbie wanted to communicate with his Bubbe, who had been dead five years.

Miss Yarna told the two she would enter a trance and would speak to them in Bubbe’s voice. She closed her eyes and rocked back and forth. Finally she began to speak. She reminded Herbie how she told him to always eat his vegetables and to not run around with fast women. And much more. Finally Bubbe asked Herbie if he had a question he wanted her to answer.

Herbie, obviously entranced, thought for a moment and then spoke. “Bubbe, when did you learn to speak English?”

This is your President speaking.

Number 181 in a series

And now a few words from the President of the United States:

“We’re bringing manufacturing back to the U.S. bigly, we’re reducing taxes, very substantially, and we’re reducing unnecessary regulations,” Trump told reporters Tuesday, seated between the CEOs of General Motors Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and across a table from the head of Ford Motor Co.

That was General Motors then. Here is General Motors now:

People, you need to get real. Corporations don’t care about you and your family. What CEO is going before stock holders and tell them they are going to take a hit in their pension fund so people they might not even like if they met them will continue to be paid for making a product nobody is buying? A CEO who does that might soon find himself floating to earth under a golden parachute.

And this woman, who we can surmise voted for Donald Trump, is complaining about the lack of humanity. I am guessing that when she heard Hillary Clinton promise that some hard choices would have to be made, she voted for the guy who never kept a promise in his life.

Welcome to the real world, Trump voters.