Sunday, July 19, 2015

History Lesson

All the pontificating about the Iran deal is so much bullshit. I read Juan Cole's recent article about Reagan's Iran-Contra scandal, and am freshly appalled. At the time, I was just a kid living in blissful ignorance and watching TV sitcoms. I found all news boring, and briefly was brainwashed by Texas's red atmosphere into liking George Bush, Sr. when he ran for President; thank God I grew out of that.

When I grew older I heard about the Iran-Contra affair vaguely as being something awful like Watergate; but I never realized just how diabolical and criminal it was. The President was playing so many countries against each other as if he were a dictator with unilateral powers. I can't believe that Reagan and his cronies got away with this stuff, and that Israel used to love making deals with Iran in the 1980s. So Netanyahu shouting about how evil Iran is now, and how they're so dangerous like ISIS, is such a crock. Israel has nukes already which it won't admit to; why don't they agree to be inspected by the UN? Why don't they disarm, to keep us from sanctioning them? Hypocrites. I definitely prefer Obama and Kerry's diplomacy to the illegal, villainous schemes that constituted Ronald Reagan's foreign policy. You're damn right I'm still boycotting Israel.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Unfulfilled Potential

The last two episodes of The Millers aired tonight. The first one was a Christmas episode, and it was awful. I was indifferent to Kip for a while, but they went too far with him. It's bad enough that Kip hangs around with Carol and her whole family, pushing to be included in an unhealthy way, but he appears to have no other friends at all. Apparently, when he divorced his husband Leon, he did not have any other friends or his own family to fall back on. So instead he's trying to steal Nathan's family in a really creepy and needy way. Strange is that only Nathan is bothered by this, not his other family members or even Ray. Plus the writers chose to have Nathan and Kip childishly fight, as if the fights were supposed to be funny. But they aren't; they're just cringe-inducing. I'd rather have seen an episode devoted to Nathan and Ray adjusting to being roommates, but no, we have to have Kip hanging around for all the holidays. What a crap episode.

The last episode was slightly better, but Kip still dominated way too much in his plot. I preferred the plot where Nathan was dating a teacher to try to help Mikayla get into a good school. He found out that his niece didn't want to attend that school or be a hippie, and he helped her tell her parents. (It might even have been a callback to when she discovered that she didn't want to be a vegetarian last season.) That was actually somewhat nice. I still liked the earlier episodes with the Pope and the scifi convention better. So I guess I do agree with CBS about cancelling the show. If it was going to continue in this vein, Kip would continue to throw the balance off and prevent me from seeing plots I actually cared about, like Nathan and Ray living together, or Debbie working and Adam being a house husband. Oh well.

In other news, I heard that Michael Cera is cast as Robin in Will's Lego Batman movie. That will be fun when it comes out. Season 2 of Bojack Horseman is out now, but I haven't watched it yet. I'm really missing Gob more than Bojack, and I'm getting tired of satirical shows that skewer Hollywood. (Or Hollywoo.) I'll save it for when I'm in the mood I guess.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Peace and equality

What a week it's been so far! I'm glad that the Iran deal was done, and I'm only pissed at so many Congresspeople acting outraged and licking Netanyahu's boots by pretending that it's a diplomatic disaster. As I understand it, five other countries, not just the US, also agreed to make the deal with Iran. I read some of the details on Vox and other sites, and they do seem like reasonable terms to me, given all the inspections. Some people will never be satisfied until Iran has zero nuclear stuff, even though the tiny amount they're allowed to keep can only be used for power; there is no way they'll be able to enrich it enough to weaponize it. (And meanwhile we let Israel have unknown amounts of nukes, despite their war crimes and human rights violations! Why don't we sanction them, huh?) I really hope Congress won't grandstand and try to reject the Iran deal.

In other good news, the Boys Scouts finally lifted their ban on gay adults and scout leaders, though it seems to be optional from troop to troop. Oh well. Baby steps I guess, and at least this will solve the problem for gay scouts who want to stay in the troop as they get older. I heard that the Pentagon will allow transgender people to serve as well, so things are looking up overall.

Anyway, I signed up for new insurance in the Marketplace (since I lost my previous coverage at my old job), and hopefully nothing will happen until my coverage starts. I'm going to a job fair later, and if I get hired and get benefits there (big maybe), I'll have to make changes afterward. But it's better to be safe than sorry. Gosh, it's so hot in Texas in July. No rain in sight either. That's what bothers me more than idiots panicking about Jade Helm conspiracies.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

TV blahs

Last night's episodes of The Millers weren't good. There was no mention of Ray moving in, so maybe the episodes were out of order. The Thanksgiving episode was silly, notable only for an attempt at a father-son love triangle. The other episode had Cloris Leachman guest starring as doddering Aunt Louise. There are two more episodes left this coming Saturday, and I hope they are better.

I'm getting kind of fed up with Masterpiece showing only period dramas that I'm not interested in. The only mysteries they've got scheduled now are repeats of past seasons of Sherlock through summer and September. PBS is going to air Arthur & George this year, but no dates are given yet. I hope they bring Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries back soon.

Today I also tried a new recipe for Panda Express's Mushroom Chicken, and I only realized too late that I didn't have any balsamic vinegar. It didn't turn out bad, though.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015


I'm so disappointed in Hillary Clinton. She wrote an anti-BDS letter to a pro-Israel billionaire donor, comparing the boycotts to anti-Semitism, even though many Jewish people support BDS. Fuck you, Hillary. Best case scenario, she doesn't mean it and is just pandering to this guy for money, but that would still make her a hypocrite (just like all other lying politicians). Worst case scenario is that she means it, and is a blind loyalist to Israel, a foreign nation.

BDS is non-violent, grass-roots action to protest a horrific regime. Of course we're trying to punish Israel. Just like the anti-Apartheid campaigns wanted to punish South Africa. South Africa still exists as a country, by the way, but Apartheid ended. That's all we're seeking. Israel can exist; it just needs to stop its occupation and make peace with the Palestinians (maybe through a two-state solution or whatever else is viable at this point).

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Religious Liberty Lawsuit

So the legal challenges begin about marriage discrimination in Texas. A gay couple was repeatedly denied a marriage license so they sued the county clerk. She finally issued their license, but they did not withdraw the lawsuit because they want to make sure she will not give this same runaround to any other couple that applies. Hopefully the lawsuit will also discourage other county clerks from defying the Supreme Court's ruling.

Also I came across this religious liberty quiz, lately, and it's still relevant. If only jackasses like the governor and attorney general would listen!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

The Millers suprise

Happy Fourth of July! Will Arnett's cancelled sitcom is back on CBS, at least for a little while. The Millers was taken off the air so abruptly, and there was no word that the remaining episodes would ever surface, but here they are, getting burned off against fireworks. (My Tivo says there are more episodes next Saturday.) I know lots of people hate this show and think it's stupid, but I enjoyed it while it lasted. I don't think the addition of Kip in season 2 really made any difference, but I liked that they continued the theme of Nathan's bromance with Ray. Apparently they're going to move in together now, so that's something to look forward to in the next set of episodes. My Tivo OnePass says that there are four episodes I haven't seen yet. I hope CBS airs them all, even if there's no real series finale.

I remember when the cancellation was suddenly announced, that the show substituted an episode that they had previously skipped; it was made to air after The Big Bang Theory, and they pandered by making the plot about a science fiction convention. The episode was full of meta references to their ratings and their lead-in show. Sure, it wasn't as great as Arrested Development, but it was still entertaining. I'll have to remember to watch season 2 of Bojack Horseman when it comes out.