Archive for Wastes of Oxygen

Quote of the week

Nary a statesman in the bunch, says Mike Hendrix:

When was the last time you heard any of these contemptible cretins referred to as a “statesman”? The very idea of comparing any of the villainous poltroons currently in Congress to, say, James Madison, James Monroe, or, for that matter, Peter Muhlenberg of the first Federal Congress is risible on its face. The kind of people drawn these days to “serve” in Congress couldn’t be trusted to walk your damned dog. You certainly wouldn’t dream of hiring them to babysit your daughter, even for five minutes.

The profligate treachery and self-serving arrogance of John McCain; the addled witlessness of Maxine Waters; the complete mendacity and dishonesty of Nancy Pelosi; the smug double-dealing of Harry Reid; the slimy disingenuousness of Mitch “Yertle” McTurtle — these aren’t exactly ringing endorsements of the caliber of people in charge of government in the modern era. Some of them — most, probably — might be vain and presumptuous enough to think they’d fare well in a comparison to the true statesmen of an earlier age. But that only adds “delusional” to the litany of their inadequacy.

The character traits of those attracted to national elective office effectively guarantee that they’ll be the very type of person we wouldn’t want there. An overblown sense of self-importance; a desire to lord it over others, and an unswerving belief in their competence to do so; a monstrously and unjustly inflated ego; a mania for attention and affirmation; a near-sociopathic lack of interest in the needs or desires of other people; dishonesty and shamelessness; short-sightedness and disinterest in long-term consequences; basic fiscal greed — these pathologies, crippling disqualifications in just about any other field, are now requirements for success as an American career politician.

Nor are these traits reserved solely to persons named on ballots; the last few administrations have had an unerring knack for finding underlings at commensurate levels of fatuity. Deluged by smears and countersmears, those of us who have better things to do than play Fantasy Despots all week have a tendency to lose interest — which, of course, makes life easier for those who would rule us.


But this is important

There’s always one asshat like this:

Yahoo Answers screenshot: How do i comment when comments are disabled on Youtube?


Is there any kind of software to bypass this?

This guy needs to die in a fire, and if someone can make it happen, I’ll donate two gallons of gasoline. Regular, of course.

Comments (4)

Unsmooth criminal

If you’re intent on robbery, consider the possibility that those being robbed might actually recognize you:

Dressed in black clothes and wearing a black ski mask, the man entered the Baton Rouge, Louisiana KFC. He pointed a gun at the employees and demanded money.

Employees emptied the cash registers and gave the man the $612 inside. But two employees noticed something familiar about the robber’s voice and facial features “visible through the holes” in his ski mask.

“Cleveland, is that you?” one of the employees asked, according to East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s police records of the Oct. 3 incident.

“No, it’s not me,” Cleveland Willis, 28, the suspected robber replied, according to police records.

What you talking about, Willis?

Willis worked for the KFC for “several months” with the same coworkers he’s suspected of robbing. He was also seen seen driving away from the crime scene in a silver Nissan Altima, the same car he used to go to work in, according to police records.

“Sheer criminal genius!” says Peter Grant.

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Quote of the weak

I mean, you’d have to look to find a weaker argument than this:

Yahoo Answers screenshot: I’m being defriended on Facebook over a post, can I sue for First Amendment violation?

It gets sillier:

I hate to say it but…

The Nazis were such handsome and strong looking men who deserved to win the war with their dreamy faces and bodies. I am being defriended on Facebook for saying this and that violates my free speech.

Show me where in the Constitution it says that Facebook friends can’t drop you.

After some unsympathetic answers, she tacked this on:

Well people are calling me a brainwashed little girl and saying stuff like “Kill yourself Nazi” so yes I think this counts as harassment

I need hardly point out that you are not required to kill yourself on request.

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Quick feedback

“Instant karma’s gonna get you,” said John Lennon. It definitely got this guy:

An embarrassing video has surfaced in which an attempted road rage incident is cut short as a driver bizarrely manages to hit himself with his own car.

The video shows the motorist stopping his car abruptly before the driver behind honks his horn. He opens his door and gets out of the car — but he forgot one crucial step — putting his car in park.

As he begins to walk towards the people who honked their horn at him, he is hit by his driver’s side door as the car rolls backward. The car continues down the hill, ploughing into the car behind him.

The man is dramatically knocked to the road with his feet up in the air before he manages [to get] back up.

I figure six months before he does something lethal to himself.

(Via Margo Howard.)

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Someone is wrong on the Internet

And, well, that’s just intolerable:

i see many people getting away with posting stupid, untrue- ridiculous comments online and many of these idiotic people get away with it unchallenged and uncorrected.

if its a subject im passionate about like 80’s, 70’s or 60s music and someone posts an untrue,ridiculous comment about a song or singers from those eras , then i really lose my temper.

if many of these internet idiots were stood in front of me, woe betide they should say something false about subjects im passionate about, because something unpleasant would happen to them if they did.

ps im a man from the uk, in my late 30s.

By that age he should have learned that nobody gives a shit what he’s “passionate about,” and that nowhere has he been granted the authority to do anything about it other than answer back.

Mass murderers start out with “logic” very much like this, and escalate it beyond their ability to cope. The real tragedy is that they don’t kill themselves first, before taking it out on the rest of the world.

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Perhaps if it were funny

It isn’t, though:

The president of Cleveland State University initially wanted to steer down the middle of the road:

[Ronald] Berkman released a statement saying CSU “remains fully committed to a campus community that respects all individuals” but “also is committed to upholding the First Amendment, even with regard to controversial issues where opinion is divided.”

Following the backlash to Berkman’s response, he released a follow-up statement in which he said he “failed to express” his “personal outrage” over the flyers in his previous statement.

“While I find the message of this poster reprehensible, the current legal framework regarding free speech makes it difficult to prevent these messages from being disseminated,” his statement said.

Yeah, that’s about as long as anyone can hold out in the center.

Great tragedy of our times: fewer than two percent of our committed assholes take their own lives.

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Tip of the Weinstein

Eric S. Raymond’s take on the the unwinding of Bill Cosby versus the implosion of Harvey Weinstein:

It looked to me like the first couple of women coming out against Cosby were likely genuine, but a lot of the later ones were obvious trash looking to score a quick buck by making claims that Cosby at that point could not credibly deny.

I don’t think we’ve reached the point where we’re starting to see trash making false claims about Weinstein. I have little doubt that will occur.

I think the allegations against Weinstein are both more serious and more credible than those made against Cosby. I’d still assign a very low but nonzero probability to the hypothesis that Cosby was entirely framed. I don’t believe that for a second about Weinstein.

Part of the reason for that evaluation is my read on both men. Cosby seemed to want pretty normal things, sexually speaking. Weinstein, on the other hand, seems to be a a sick, paraphilic creep who got off as much or more on humiliating and disgusting women as he did on having them service him.

I look at Cosby and I see a man who had enough decency in him that if and when he went over the line with women he was probably ashamed about it. Weinstein, on the other hand, ugh. He’s ugly all the way down. Not only is his remorse obviously fake, he doesn’t really seem to care that the fakery is obvious. He’s going through a cynical parody of contrition because he can’t imagine that anyone could actually mean it.

How about those other horndogs in the news?

This morning I was reading some tell-all about Hugh Hefner’s sex life in the comments on Ann Althouse’s blog. I gotta say that compared to Weinstein he seems to have been almost innocent and charming. He wanted to fuck lots of beautiful women, he recruited them without pretense, and he kept his compensation promises. No rape or roofies for him.

Bill Clinton, on the other hand … well, I won’t say he was as bad as Weinstein, but he’s always manifested a kind of sociopathic indifference to the women he used — and of course, there were the credible rape accusations. Like Weinstein without the paraphilia. Or at least without more than a relatively small trace of it.

“Men and women, women and men. It will never work.” — Erica Jong

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You can hate both the player and the game

Robert Stacy McCain, on the recent unraveling of Harvey Weinstein:

Permit me to note, in regard to Weinstein’s defense that he “came of age in the 60’s and 70’s,” that he seems to have made a made a mistake common among high-profile sexual harassers, i.e., he stayed in the game too long. Back when Weinstein was a young man promoting rock concerts in the 1970s, yeah, “all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different.” There were basically no rules at all in the world of rock music back then, nor were there any such rules in Hollywood when Weinstein started making movies. But the main problem is that Harvey Weinstein kept chasing skirts when he was in his 40s and 50s, and even as recently as 2015, he was reportedly still at it.

Guys, don’t do this. At age 45 or 50, you may want to believe you’ve still got it, but you don’t. No matter how much success you had with the ladies when you were 20 or 25, you’re going to look ridiculous if you’re still trying to play the same game when you reach your 40s.

I’m pretty sure I didn’t have it then; I obviously don’t have it now.

What I really want to hear, though, is the tale of someone ravaged by both Weinstein and Roger Ailes, assuming such a person exists. Just to compare notes, of course.

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Spiritual beggars

“Please, please, please, let me get what I want,” sang Morrissey. Now it’s fun to dump on Morrissey, but at least he’s not declaring himself entitled to anything; I mean, he did say Please. Morally, this makes him several standard deviations better than your choice of mass killer:

In their minds, they’ve been wronged by the world; the world owed them something, and it refused to give it to them. The Isla Vista shooter believed he deserved pretty women; the Alexandria shooter who tried to kill GOP congressmen believed he deserved a world where his party was in charge. The Columbine killers believed they deserved a world where they would never feel ostracized.

What they actually deserved, of course, is an eternity of pain and torment.

Take it away, McG:

Those are the kinds of sins that can get one’s soul consigned to hell, sins even the perpetrators know are monstrous, and can only commit by convincing themselves it’s somebody else’s fault.

This makes me worry too about people who never actually do anything monstrous, but who believe when monstrous things happen the victims had it coming. Because they were stuck up, or they voted the wrong way, or they belonged to the wrong faith.

At best, what they deserve is a hot, steaming cup of STFU. In their shorts, if need be.

When people tear down the institutions that make civil society seem normal, we discover in horrifying ways what this world’s real default looks like.

Thomas Hobbes called this one correctly:

In such condition there is no place for industry, because the fruit thereof is uncertain, and consequently no culture of the earth, no navigation nor the use of commodities that may be imported by sea, no commodious building, no instruments of moving and removing such things as require much force, no knowledge of the face of the earth, no account of time, no arts, no letters, no society, and which is worst of all, continual fear and danger of violent death, and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.

Doesn’t matter to them, as long as they get what they want.

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There’s always another jerkoff

Sometimes, literally so:

Parents were warned Saturday that a music teacher with a nonprofit group may have handed out flutes to schoolchildren that were tainted with his own semen.

A state and federal investigation was under way into whether youngsters at schools around Southern California may have received tainted flutes.

The Los Angeles Unified School District said it was cooperating in an investigation of alleged “inappropriate sexual conduct involving a musical performer” that affected at least 13 school districts.

A veritable Spooge-O-Matic, he is.

Several other Southern California districts notified parents by email on Friday and Saturday that a performer associated with the nonprofit group Flutes Across the World was being investigated.

“The performer distributes a flute-like musical instrument made of PVC pipe or bamboo to students during a music lesson, and the allegation is that he contaminated some of these instruments with semen,” Joan Lucid, superintendent of the Saugus Union School District, notified parents on Saturday, the Orange County Register reported.

This is the part that hurts: the obvious response, which would involve one or several flutes introduced to his nether regions at high speed without lubrication, is probably something the miserable little prick would enjoy.

(Via Holly A. Bell.)

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His safe word is “douchecanoe”

Furthermore, the guy claims to be an anarchist. Does this mean he objects to authority figures? Of course not:

He hates law and order on the streets — but he loves it between the sheets.

The anarchist John Jay College professor who tweeted “it’s a privilege to teach future dead cops” says publicly that he despises authority and punishment, but privately he’s seeking a dominatrix to rule him with an iron fist.

Michael Isaacson’s personal profile on FetLife — an online social network for people interested in bondage, domination, sadomasochism and all manner of kink — proclaims “I need a domme” to choke, waterboard and smother him.

The naughty professor, who was suspended a few weeks ago from his job at the CUNY college for future criminal-justice professionals, proudly posts photos of himself shirtless and hogtied.

A vision of his future, perhaps. I mean, if even Bill de Blasio finds you objectionable, you must be pretty bad off.

(Via Kathleen McKinley.)

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Dumb upon dumb

I can certainly understand why this jagoff preferred to remain anonymous:

So my friend who is under 18 he is 16 actually well his dad let him take one of the cars from his house and let one of his friends drive because that person is recently licensed but he is not so he had two people in the car on top on my friend and the driver. My friend let his other friend drive who only has a permit they tried to drift the car and crashed it into the curb and I think a tree and the driver left the scene immediately after getting out of the car. What will the consequences be for my friend and more importantly for the driver who left the scene and was not licensed only had a permit? Thanks for any answers and please no rude or disrespectful comments/answers please just keep your opinion to yourself and provide answers only on the basis of the law. Thanks

The phrase that pays here is “they tried to drift the car.” As Judge Radar down the street has been known to say, “INSTANT GUILTY!”

And how many of you suspect that the “friend” is purely a phantom?

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Really unclear on the concept

If I’m reading this correctly, this doofus fears his car will fail state inspection and wants to know if he can bring a ringer in its place:

I need to take my car in for inspection … the problem is recently the check engine sign popped up.which sucked because i just invested around 800$ in repairs and a wreck i had pryer.from what auto zone told me its a problem with the exaust n while the car is driveable … i cant pass inspection now .. without whippin out another 500 on repairs..

If i was too use another vehicle for just the inspection is there a chance i can use that paper work at thr place u get registration stickers for my own car..

HOW exactly does it work..because i really want too try this rather then trying too spend 500$ right now!!!

Didn’t do so well on his placement exam for English as a First Language, either.

And I assure you, having recently spent $3,700 on repairs and a wreck I had “pryer,” that I’m not about to call that little expenditure an investment.

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Technical distort

It began with an email:

We would like to purchase this plugin from you and take complete owner ship [sic] of it and take away the stress from you.

We are trying to build one of the largest wordpress plugin companies and in doing this we are trying to purchase some rather large plugins like yours.

I am wondering if me and my team would be able to purchase this plugin from you and then take over the complete development of it and push out a new update to make it work better with the latest wordpress.

The author of that plugin thought about it; in the end, she said Yes, and the buyer sent $15,000 via PayPal.

And then this happened:

On June 21st, the first release of Display Widgets under the new author went out. Then on June 30th there was a second release, version 2.6.1, which included malicious code … which allowed the new plugin author — Mason Soiza, in this case — to publish spam content on any site running Display Widgets. There were approximately 200,000 sites using Display Widgets at the time.

Mr Soiza apparently did acquire other plugins for nefarious purposes. Some of those purposes:

Our team has assembled a lot of data on Mason Soiza from public sources. He has interests in a wide range of online business that include payday loans, gambling and “escort” services, among others.

He has been active on black hat forums and has been banned from “Black Hat World” (username LinkRocket) and from (username MasonSoiza). Soiza is active on Reddit as IIRR and moderates a subreddit called /r/paydayloansnowcouk.

Oh, and the current version of Display Widgets (2.7.0) has been thoroughly disinfected.

(Via Dan Gillmor.)

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Grounds for expulsion

This gall admits of no mitigation:

Yahoo Answers screenshot: Does anyone know how to wipe an iPad?

And why, you ask, would he want to do that?

My school issued me an iPad and I want to make it so that this iPad isn’t on their server. They block everything and I want to use an iPad that works with every site/app. Thanks.

In my idea of a perfect world, this jerk wouldn’t have been born, but I’m not in a position to be that picky. So let the school throw his butt on the street and send him a bill for $900 or so to cover the equipment he’s so eager to ruin.

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Subprime specimens

There are times when jail time just doesn’t seem like enough:

Sometimes I think the brutal tar and feathers practice of our forebears should be brought back into fashion. If anyone needed a ride on a rail it is the top executives of Equifax. Not for the massive security breach, but that they took the time to sell off some stock before they announced the breach, knowing the value of the company would take a deserving hit. These executives make capitalists everywhere look bad. I’m not advocating brutal mob violence, but I would give a small cheer of approbation in this case.

And should they survive this journey out of town, their credit scores should be permanently fixed at 499.


Nazi, schmatzi

Our present-day “Nazis” are a rather poor imitation of the real thing, saith Thales of Florida:

No, not even the Swastika-bearing Stormfronters are proper Nazis. They are more akin to Nazi LARPers, role-playing or reenacting an ideology that died a long time ago. Even if they suddenly multiplied by several orders of magnitude, and became a real threat, their ideology while still being evil would not be actual Nazism, no matter what they may claim. Their evil is not Nazism. It’s like an absurd parody of Nazism. I mean, come on, Tiki Torches? They are the JV backbench of evil. And if they ever gained any measure of power, they would spend most of their time arguing who was whiter than thou while pretending they didn’t all have fetishes for Asian women.

Make no mistake, they are evil. But, again, evil is not coextensive with Nazism. Even though the Antifas are becoming a lot like the Nazis in some ways, they aren’t really Nazis either, though like the Stormfronters, they are evil. They, too, are a farcical form of evil. Unlike the Stormfronters, they have a measure of funding, media support, and popular support, which may make them a more prominent threat. And they are much larger, as a group. Quantity, of course, has a quality all of its own. Still, my suspicion is that if you put the Stormfronters and Antifas in a gladiator fight to the death, you would need two or three Antifas per Stormfronter to balance out the betting odds. Your mileage may vary.

The true measure, I suspect, is how much that battle royal would command via pay-per-view. At the moment, I can’t imagine it being more than about 89 cents.

(Title swiped from Professor Tom Lehrer.)

Comments (9)

Ethical treatment

I mean, you can’t get much more ethical than this, can you?

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is going to pay a Virginia family tens of thousands of dollars after it was found that the animal activists euthanized a 9-year-old girl’s Chihuahua well before the state’s five-day waiting period.

Wilber Zarate sued PETA for taking the dog, which was at a mobile home park in Norfolk, unleashed and unattended, and for putting the dog down before the end of the state’s five-day mandatory grace period, The Associated Press reported.

How soon before?

PETA had been tasked with rounding up wild dogs and feral cats in the mobile home park where Zarate’s dog was captured. The dog, Maya, was killed later that same day. PETA was fined $500 for not waiting for the required five days.

PETA will pay Zarate $49,000 and will donate $2000 to a shelter in the area other than PETA’s own.

At least they didn’t eat the dog. That would be heinous. Unethical, even.

Comments (3)

Hey, buddy, can you break a mil?

From the What Was He Thinking files:

Authorities say a man who tried to deposit what he presented as a $1 million bill has been charged with drug possession in Iowa.

A criminal complaint says Sioux City police officers were called to a Northwest Bank branch Thursday to talk to a man who tried to deposit the bill into his account. The officers asked 33-year-old Dennis Strickland whether he had any more of the bills and that a baggie fell out when he emptied a pocket. The complaint says the baggie contained methamphetamine.

Quelle surprise.

Anyway, they can’t bust him for counterfeiting: there has never been an official $1 million bill from the Treasury, and therefore the bill he tried to deposit does not meet the legal standard for counterfeiting.

Comments (4)

Have we got a cucumber for you

First hint — it’s not sliced:

A Pennsylvania man is charged with aggravated assault on a police officer stemming from an incident at a Wendy’s in New Holland, Lancaster County. Police say 58-year-old Theodore Gunderson threatened people inside of the restaurant and admitted to being upset because the salad he ordered did not have cucumbers on it.

You may not even need that second hint.

Comments off

Sometimes it’s just that simple




Why am I not getting any likes on my posts on Facebook? And, what am I doing wrong?

Short answer: you are an asshat.

Somewhat longer answer: You’re asserting that you’re entitled to the kind of response that validates your exaggerated sense of self, both on and off Facebook. This is more than sufficient cause to write you off as an asshat.

Comments (5)

Perhaps too dumb to live

This guy doesn’t really get stupid until the last two sentences:

Yesterday i purchased a preowned 2014 volkswagen passat. In the blue book, it shows that the car is worth 13,000 but after signing everything, on the paper it boosted up to around over 17,000 total for payoff because some how they charged me a warraty that is 2000.00. Have you heard about a salesman charging that much for a warranty? I thought that i dont have to pay for one since its a used car.

I dunno about you, but I wouldn’t take this yutz to a roadside fruit stand.

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These are not my Pringles

I have had it with these melonfarming snakes in these martyrfanning cans [warning: autostart video]:

A Monterey Park man faces charges Wednesday of smuggling three live king cobras hidden in potato chip canisters into the country from Hong Kong.

Rodrigo Franco, 34, was arrested Tuesday by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. He was named in a criminal complaint filed on July 21 on one count of illegally importing merchandise into the United States.

Federal authorities say a package sent from Hong Kong was inspected by the customs and border agents who discovered three two-foot king cobras — a protected and highly venomous reptile. The parcel sent through the postal service also contained three albino Chinese soft-shelled turtles, according to Department of Justice spokesman Thom Mrozek. The dangerous snakes were seized by federal officials.

And oh, about that warning: I left the tab open for a while just to see how many video clips KCBS/KCAL would shove at me. Apparently they quit at ninety-two, some of which were heard twice.

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I should be so disabled

A lot of folks complain about those worthless scum on welfare, as though those people were, um, worthless scum. Maybe a few of them are. But few are worthless at this level:

Mark Lloyd, of Ynysybwl, Rhondda Cynon Taff, claimed £6,551.80 in Personal Independence Payments, saying a slipped disc in his back left him in agony.

At the same time, the 33-year-old competed in races, climbed Africa’s highest peak, went wing-walking and skied in the Alps.

He was convicted of a fraud charge at Merthyr Tydfil Magistrates’ Court.

Chris Evans, prosecuting, said: “He said he can only walk between 20 and 50 metres, can’t walk on uneven ground, suffers pain when walking long distances and needs to sit down every 20 minutes.”

He claimed the cash between October 2014 and February 2016, but the court was shown photos of Lloyd competing in the HSBC triathlon in September 2015 — a race he won in the adult taster category.

That month, he was also pictured posing with an African guide during his five-day trek to the peak of Kilimanjaro in Tanzania which involved walking between eight and 12 hours a day.

He also took part in the World Powerboat Championships in Malta.

Counsel for the defense was reduced to statements like this:

“When climbing Mount Kilimanjaro he said he pushed himself and was in agony.”


Lloyd will be sentenced in August.

(Via Fark.)

Comments (10)

Dead woman stalking

An obsession that will last a lifetime — or longer [warning: autostart video]:

A South Florida woman accused of stalking a local doctor for more than 30 years told police she will never give up when she was arrested Wednesday, police said.

Tamarra Nichols, 67, violated a restraining order protecting the doctor, who the suspect has stalked for the past three decades, police said.

Nichols has been arrested numerous times in the past for persistently calling the victim and showing up to his Aventura clinic.

Bond was set at $2 million, which made her laugh:

She also called her arrest a “complete scam.”

“It’s been a hostage situation, and I’ve been taken under to confront you and tell you the truth about what has happened. I have mastered immortality with two others. Two very brave men,” Nichols told the bond court judge.

She added that she’s been dead for 30 years.

The doctor, whose name we shall not mention, says he has no idea what Nichols’ problem might be, and that she’s never been a patient of his. Not that he’d have any incentive to keep her alive or anything.

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Dumbass with the heart of a smartass

The operative word, of course, is “ass,” and this is what this particular ass wants: “I’m not getting the answers I’m looking for …?”

The last time I asked these questions, everybody ignored them. I asked these questions so people could answer them, not ignore them.

I’d ignore this jerk myself, but I feel the need to make an example of someone.

Sometimes when I’m using my computer, it’ll freeze, and I’ll get a caption that says “A script on this page may be busy, or it may have stopped responding. You can stop the script now, open the script in the debugger, or let the script continue.” This caption features buttons that say “Continue”, “Debug Script”, and “Stop Script.” What does this mean? What do I do when this happens? By the same token, sometimes my computer will freeze, and I’ll get a caption that says “Not Responding.” Can I get a repairman to come in and change things around somehow to where these things never happen again until the end of time? Thank you in advance for your answers.

Jeebus. It means what it says it means: a script is not responding properly, and these are your options. You have no others. And pretty much everyone who’s gotten beyond Windows 3.1 has seen this before and has learned to deal with it, though not exactly happily.

Then again, this is how this dimwit identifies himself:

I hate being single

You got to figure he’s been living with that for a long, long time.

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In lieu of crucifixion

If you ask me — and I’m pretty sure you didn’t — I’d say this sorry sack of slime is getting off easy:

The Federal Communications Commission has proposed a $120 million fine for a Miami resident said to be single-handedly responsible for almost 97 million robocalls over just the last three months of 2016.

Officials say Adrian Abramovich auto-dialed hundreds of millions of phone calls to landlines and cellphones in the U.S. and Canada and at one point even overwhelmed an emergency medical paging service.

Did he spoof Caller ID? You damn betcha:

According to the FCC, the robocalls made by Abramovich through his ambiguously named companies (Marketing Strategy Leaders or Marketing Leaders) would show up “spoofed” as if they came from a phone number with the same area code and the same first three digits of the recipient’s number.

If the recipients answered, they’d get a recording offering an “exclusive” vacation deal from prominent travel companies such as Expedia, Marriott, Hilton or TripAdvisor — instructing them to “Press 1” to learn more. But pressing 1 would instead land people on a line with a call center hawking “discounted” vacation packages and time-shares unaffiliated with any of those brands.

According to FCC documents, TripAdvisor investigated some of the robocalls that purported to offer that company’s deals and found call centers that it said were based in Mexico.

Interestingly enough, the $120 million is just for the spoofing; the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau is issuing a separate citation for criminal wire fraud, which I suspect carries a heavier penalty.

(Via Fark.)

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They think they’re so clever

Bill Clinton made a big fuss over the definition of “is.” I have to believe that the Republican National Committee yearned for a lexicographical insult of their own, and this may be it:

[T]here’s possibly a new way to annoy us being reviewed by the FCC. The Republican National Committee is pushing the agency to adopt a new technology that would allow telemarketers to leave prerecorded messages on our voicemail without the phone ever ringing, Recode reports. We would simply get a notification that a voicemail was received, mixed in, of course, with more important voicemails.

Current laws prohibit calls by telemarketers if the recipient has signed up on the do not call registry. While many ignore it, most reputable organizations and companies abide by the rules. But, apparently, they feel left out from the right to annoy us. So they want to use this new technology that avoids ringing. Their logic is that this should be legal because if the phone never rings, it’s not a call. As a result, they are now petitioning the FCC to allow this new form of messaging. They argue that they shouldn’t need our permission to auto-dial our mobile voicemail inboxes directly to leave an advertising message.

The rationale for this? Highly dubious, of course:

In a comment filed with the FCC on Friday, the RNC said it felt the telecom agency should clear the way for organizations — including, apparently, itself — to auto-dial directly to voicemail inboxes with prerecorded pitches. Failing to permit the practice, the RNC warned, could threaten the First Amendment rights of political groups.

If this thing actually becomes A Thing, the Democrats would be wise to hang it on the GOP. The electorate will never forgive them.

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A new low for Florida Man

As fuzzy thinking goes, this is some of the fuzziest:

A Florida man killed his fellow neo-Nazi roommates after he converted to Islam and they did not respect his new faith, police said.

Devon Arthurs led cops to the bodies of his former friends on Friday, but not before he also allegedly held two customers and an employee of Tampa’s Green Planet Smoke Shop hostage with a pistol before he surrendered.

Jeremy Himmelman, 22, and Andrew Oneschuk, 18, were discovered dead of gunshot wounds to the upper body and head, police said.

Arthurs said that he and the pair had “shared a common neo-Nazi belief,” but that he recently converted to Islam.

If anyone ever deserved to be buried in six feet of chitterlings, it’s this guy.

“You’d have to kill him first.”

Your point being … ?

(Via Daniel Tobin.)

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