The Liquid In The Chicken Bag Isn't Water. Learn What Your Family Must Do Today. Tabs, Tues. June 16, 2020

US of America News

Yes, that's a real clickbait headline, complete with a graphic of skinless chicken breasts. No we did not click it. No we did not grab a screenshot. Yes it will curse our dreams.


Donald Trump will issue a police-friendly executive order on policing today. It's expected to include only the mildest of actual reforms, if any. Or it may just be a box of paper with LAW AND ORDER printed on every sheet, over and over. (Politico)

The CDC, which is apparently still in business somehow, announced that people with underlying health conditions were six times as likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 than generally healthy people, and 12 times more likely to die of the disease. Remember the pandemic? (USA Today)

Mike Pence urged state governors to repeat the administration line that rising COVID-19 infections following the reopening of businesses is merely the result of increased testing. This is bullshit, or as the New York Times puts it, a "misleading claim." (New York Times)

The Texas State Fair is going ahead as planned, but don't worry, it's not until this fall, and by then everything should be just peachy. (KDAF)

OK, one more 'rona and we'll move on: Texas Monthly has this profile of "The 29-Year-Old Bodybuilder Behind the Armed Effort to Reopen Texas." Why, yes, he does believe the pandemic is a massive hoax, because don't shadowy conspirators shut down major economies and pretend there's a health crisis from time to time? Have I read the whole thing? Don't be silly, it's TABS! (Texas Monthly)

West Virginians are campaigning to replace Confederate statues with Mothman, the locally famous-ish cryptozoological thing that is more moth than man. Or he's more man than moth. (Mel Magazine)

A protester in Albuquerque is in critical but stable condition after being shot during a protest aimed at removing a statue honoring conquistador Juan de Oñate, a murderous bastard. Protesters were trying to pull down the statue with a chain when a guy started waving a gun around; he was tackled by protesters but then fired four shots, hitting one person. [Update: video of the fracas does show the guy was hit in the head with a skateboard and chased by protesters] Shooter appears to may or may not have been affiliated with a local "militia" bunch. Mayor Tim Keller said the statue would be removed "until the appropriate civic institutions can determine next steps." (KOB-TV / longer Wonkette story here).

Also in Albuquerque, Mayor Keller announced Monday the formation of a new "Albuquerque Community Safety Department" that will be set up to respond to 911 calls for substance abuse, homelessness, and mental health, instead of sending police. The new agency "will deploy unarmed personnel made up of social workers, housing and homelessness specialists, and violence prevention coordinators," and will be funded in part with money from the police budget as well as other city departments. The Albuquerque police department, which has been under Department of Justice monitoring since a consent decree in 2014, will continue to exist, but will eventually have a smaller footprint. (Washington Post)

At 99, MAD comics artist Al Jaffee — creator of the Fold-In back cover and "Snappy answers to Stupid Questions" —is retiring, with a special "all-Jafee" issue of the magazine being published today, featuring reprints and previously unpublished comics by Jaffee, as well as tributes from other MAD artists. It'll have one last Jaffee fold-in, and a lot of us will feel old, once again. (New York Times)

Sens. Cory Gardner (R-Colorado) and Steve Daines (R-Montana) have both voted for every bit of Donald Trump's anti-environment, pro-oil agenda. Suddenly, now that they're in trouble in an election year, they've decided they're big fans of conservation. (Mother Jones)

Laura Ingraham wants to know why the Food and Drug Administration would even "inject itself" into the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19. Her guest explained it's because the FDA is "corrupt to the core." Fact Check: The FDA is snorted, not injected. (Media Matters)

Flannery O'Connor's frequently bigoted views on race (or as she called it, "That Issue") can be hard for her admirers to reckon with. But they're a part of who she was, so they can't be brushed away. Darn good essay, as far as I've skimmed it. (New Yorker)

You may remember this 1970 local TV story, on the misguided attempt to blow up a stinky dead sperm whale that washed up on a beach near Florence, Oregon. It was one of the first viral videos on the interwebs, and Dave Barry memorably wrote about it in 1990, in a story that required two reminders that "I am not making this up."

I am probably not guilty of understatement when I say that what follows, on the videotape, is the most wonderful event in the history of the universe. First you see the whale carcass disappear in a huge blast of smoke and flame. Then you hear the happy spectators shouting "Yayy!" and "Whee!" Then, suddenly, the crowd's tone changes. You hear a new sound like "splud." You hear a woman's voice shouting "Here come pieces of… MY GOD!" Something smears the camera lens. (The Exploding Whale)

Yep. Here's a slightly gooder-quality version of the video:

Oregon's Exploding Whale - 2012 KATU AM Northwest (KATU's 50th Anniversary) youtu.be

Now, 50 years later, the City of Florence has named a new park to honor the anniversary, although the park isn't at the actual site of the odiferous detonation. Say hello, America, to your newest must-visit-for-a-photo-with-the-sign tourism destination, Exploding Whale Memorial Park.

Why yes, a public naming contest WAS involved. (Tacoma News Tribune)

The kids may well grumble, "This blows," and you can reply, "SPLUD!"

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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