(Semi) Respite Open Thread: Area 51 Storms Back

One the one hand, it’s sad we’ve got so much overtly political idiocy that there’s not enough space to mock mere ‘viral’ stupidity. On the other hand, Facebook ‘pranksters’ don’t need any more encouragement. Per Kotaku:

… “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us” began as a joke Facebook event earlier this year. “If we naruto run, we can move faster than their bullets. Lets see them aliens,” the post read. Two million people hit “Going.” There were plans for a music fest called “Alienstock.” But in the intervening months, the Facebook event’s creator has condemned the initiative, citing a lack of infrastructure and safety issues, and the event has been removed. A spokesperson for the U.S. Air Force told the Washington Post that Area 51 “is an open training range for the U.S. Air Force, and we would discourage anyone from trying to come into the area where we train American armed forces.”

Today is the planned date of the event, and according to 13 Action News, Rachel, Nevada, is still preparing for an onslaught of alien truthers and Naruto fans…

Original ‘organizer’ Matty Roberts actually disowned the event some days ago, per the Washington Post (Sept. 10)…

Dueling accusations of dishonesty and sabotage have derailed “Alienstock” — a Woodstock for alien watchers — which creator Matty Roberts promoted as alternative programming to any plans to storm the base on Sept. 20 despite officials’ warnings.

With just over a week to go until the event, Roberts and the host town’s website are both comparing Alienstock to the Fyre Festival, which was supposed to be held in April and May of 2017 in the Bahamas but became synonymous with “epic failure” and led to a fraud conviction. Roberts has pulled his name and support from the three-day gathering in Rachel, Nev., but the owner of a motel in the town who had signed up as a partner plans to go ahead…

For Roberts, it all fell apart unexpectedly. But the town of Rachel — where residents were reportedly less than pleased with the “Storm Area 51” media swarm — has expressed less surprise.

The outcome was “just as we had predicted,” the town’s website declares in red lettering. Officials in two counties prepared earlier to declare emergencies, unsure how many people might descend on rural Nevada.

Roberts and fellow organizer Frank DiMaggio blame their ex-partner on the ground in Rachel: the inn owner who they say was handling most of the logistics and became increasingly evasive about her preparations as the big date approached. Little A’Le’Inn proprietor Connie West accuses them of betrayal, saying she has lined up the necessary infrastructure and support staff, confirmed performers and sold 2,400 camp sites…

… Which didn’t prevent a couple of young Dutch YouTubers — veterans, no doubt, of the Dutch tradition of “dropping” — from getting arrested in the interim, per NYMag:

According to the Nye County Sheriff’s Office, vloggers Ties Granzier, 20, and Govert Charles Wilhelmus Jacob Sweep, 21, walked three miles (!) into Area 51 before they were detained and questioned. Upon their detainment, Granzier and Sweep granted the authorities permission to review their footage, which I have to imagine means that the footage is now gone forever.

In classic influencer style, Ties posted a photo to Instagram stating his plans to break into Area 51 before going on to break into Area 51. (Many of the comments now read #freeties.) Ties and Sweep told officials they had seen and understood the many “No Trespassing” signs posted at the site, but had “wanted to see the facility” anyway. Can’t argue with that!…

Per CNN, the government has no sense of humor about this issue:

The two pleaded guilty to trespassing and illegal parking, both misdemeanors, Nye County District Attorney Chris Arabia said. They were sentenced to a year in jail. But that sentence was suspended and the two will spend a total of three days in the county jail if they pay a fine of $2,280 each on Thursday — when they’re scheduled to be released.
They have additionally given up the electronic equipment found at the time of their arrest, Arabia said.

“It was important to us that these men serve jail time and pay a substantial financial penalty,” he said. “We take this crime seriously. And people need to understand that we will not put up with this kind of nonsense.”…

157 replies
  1. 1
    TenguPhule says:

    “If we naruto run, we can move faster than their bullets. Lets see them aliens,”


    Looks, us anime folks have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO with these morons.

  2. 2
    TenguPhule says:

    “It was important to us that these men serve jail time and pay a substantial financial penalty,” he said. “We take this crime seriously. And people need to understand that we will not put up with this kind of nonsense.”

    Irony is dead.

  3. 3
  4. 4
    Baud says:

    So no one inside Area 51 dressed up like an alien and “accidentally” let themselves be photographed?

    This government is no fun.

  5. 5
    patrick II says:

    “If we naruto run, we can move faster than their bullets.

    If I had known I would learn how to naruto run, I would have shown up myself. I assume there are lessons for novices because encouraging people to outrun bullets would otherwise be irresponsible.

  6. 6
    dexwood says:

    Two million are there in an alternate universe. For real!

  7. 7

    These nuts’ll get way more ink & pixels than all the climate protests put together *sigh*

  8. 8
    MattF says:

    @dexwood: An alternate universe stupider than this one? Inconceivable!

  9. 9
    stinger says:

    Attended my first naturalization ceremony this afternoon. Quite moving. The judge takes great pleasure in presiding. Overflow crowd. Reps read messages from both our US senators and from both US reps for this part of the state. Sweet Adeline’s grip sang a few patriotic songs. Then to my horror we were treated to a recorded message from the President. For a glorious moment I flashed back to our last real president but no, it was Trump. Astonishingly he didn’t screw It up, didn’t call anything beautiful and didnt even talk about himself.

  10. 10

    I hear the Wall Street Journal is saying that Individual One asked the Ukraine to investigate Biden. He asked them eight times. The implication is that he said he’d give them foreign aid if they did that for him.

  11. 11
    Gravenstone says:

    @TenguPhule: I’m just amazed that actual human beings attempting to run like that don’t just auger in and faceplant when they lose their balance.

  12. 12
    WereBear says:

    @stinger: Somewhere a film editor shudders in a corner…

  13. 13
    stinger says:

    @WereBear: lol. The judge announced it by saying that we in the overflow room were luckier than those in the auditorium because we’d be able to see as well as hear the president. Apparently without irony.

  14. 14
    Rob says:

    For this respite open thread: I went birding this morning, and saw a few migrating warblers. The prettiest was an immature male or female Canada Warbler (https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Canada_Warbler/id). It was a cool, calm, sunny morning; at 47 degrees it was the coolest morning in months. The rest of the day I took off from work and just did necessary things, at my own pace. Tonight we’re going out to dinner at a good Cuban restaurant.

  15. 15
    Rob says:

    @TenguPhule: Oh god not again! Something like this happened a few Fridays ago.

  16. 16
    germy says:

    Trump says “my crimes can’t be investigated while I’m the president of the United States”

    “My Crimes” What did he just say?#ImpeachTrump https://t.co/c3iQ86DThG

    — Stone 🥶 (@stonecold2050) September 20, 2019

  17. 17
    hells littlest angel says:

    @dexwood: Two million showed up in each of an infinite number of alternate universes. That’s got to be close to, like, fifty million!

  18. 18
  19. 19
  20. 20
    MattF says:

    @germy: Ahhh… but they’re his crimes, so they’re the best crimes.

  21. 21
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    @John Revolta: Thankfully not true. The climate protests were the headline story on the BBC tonight shoving the Brexit nonsense off the top spot.

  22. 22
    trollhattan says:

    “I can truly understand and appreciate why you would want to be a citizen of a nation with a fine a president as me. That’s some fine decision-making; congratulations on being both patriotic and brilliant!”

  23. 23
    trollhattan says:

    “Trade wars are the easiest wars to win.”

    So. Much. Winning.

  24. 24
    Jay says:

    If you wondered how in the blue hell Candace Owens was speaking at a hearing on white supremacist violence about how there’s no need to worry about white supremacist violence, here’s how the con went down. https://t.co/8A3MyvmzHV— Dave Zirin (@EdgeofSports) September 20, 2019

  25. 25
    WereBear says:

    In respite news, Abbott and Costello love the cat tree Mr WereBear placed next to my desk. They wrestle in that trough in the top and re-enact the cable car scenes from “Where Eagles Dare.”

  26. 26
    trollhattan says:

    BBC News website front page has it top, lefthand corner so their most prominent story.

  27. 27
    kindness says:

    Anyone who tries to storm that base is stupid. They defend it with high powered guns and they will use them. Don’t be stupid. Don’t make some poor Corporal who doesn’t want to shoot you because you are dumb.

  28. 28
    LuciaMia says:

    Trump says “my crimes can’t be investigated while I’m the president of the United States”

    Ya know, why doesnt he just take that gun and shoot somebody in Times Square already, so we can at last be assured that there is NOTHING he can do that will get himt hrown out.

  29. 29
    trollhattan says:

    Patriots [ptooey] release Antonio Brown [likewise] after he played one game. Awww.

    Raiders probably now dialing like mad.

  30. 30
    trollhattan says:

    “They [random Trump victim] had it coming!”
    –Fox et al

  31. 31
    Jeffro says:

    @trollhattan: Twitter is ablaze, noting that AB lasted “one Scaramucci”

    LOLOL – now at least there’s one trumpie who’s getting what he deserves

    Also, did I hear correctly that trumpov called the president (or whatever) of Ukraine EIGHT TIMES? Eight? THAT’s how worried he is about going up against “Sleepy” Joe Biden? What was it Chrissy Tiegen called trumpov again?

  32. 32
    trollhattan says:

    Aww, Amir, so sorry!

    A film about scheming strippers starring Jennifer Lopez has been banned in Malaysia because of its “excessive obscene content”.

    The country’s film censorship board said Hustlers’ naked breasts, erotic dances and scenes featuring drugs made it “not suitable for public screening”. Square Box Pictures, the company distributing Hustlers in Malaysia, confirmed the ban on social media. The film is currently riding high in both the US and UK box office charts.

  33. 33
    stinger says:

    @Baud: Ah, best explanation I’ve heard yet!

  34. 34
    TenguPhule says:

    @germy: Law and Order wasn’t this predictable and stupid.

  35. 35
    trollhattan says:

    I read it as asked eight times in a single call, but potato potahto, ya know?

    Believe it was #PussyAssBitch”

  36. 36
    TenguPhule says:


    A film about scheming strippers starring Jennifer Lopez

    Whatever crime we committed to deserve this, I’m sorry.

  37. 37
    trollhattan says:

    Some good Friday news? Yes, yes, okay, possibly. Larson hints at something.

    “Oh please, oh please, oh please.”

  38. 38
    rikyrah says:


    She is a slave catcher. Sadly, they have always been with us.
    Stephen from Django is real.

  39. 39
    Jeffro says:

    @trollhattan: I know it’s a Friday evening (so too late for this week) but hey Dems how about if on Monday morning you show up on the Capitol steps with a great big “HERE WE GO AGAIN” trumpov/Russia, trumpov/Ukraine banner.

    The guy is SO corrupt and he’s corrupt because he’s weak and stupid. What a #PABOTUS

  40. 40
    TenguPhule says:

    Chris Murphy

    We all need to think hard about what to do. Republicans need to put country, not party, first.

    If the President, in his official capacity, asked a foreign government to dig up dirt on a political opponent, Congress cannot let that stand. Our silence could doom the republic.

    10:12 AM – Sep 20, 2019

  41. 41
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Looking for reactions from the candidates to the latest revolutin’ developments, not seeing much. This makes Gore’s “no controlling legal authority” look like “Publish and be damned!”
    Johnny Verhovek @ JTHVerhovek

    NEW: @JoeBiden on Trump’s Ukraine comments today in Cedar Rapids, IA: “Not one single credible outlet has given any credibility to his assertions. Not one single one. So I have no comment except the president should start to be president.”

    though in fairness, Biden is in a tough spot, the other candidates should be stepping up, loudly

    and as a more-or-less Pelosi defender, her statements have been awful. She should let Schiff write them for her, or somebody

  42. 42
    Kent says:

    Since this is an open thread and today is climate protest day, I’m wondering if any lawyers or experts can comment on Trumps attempt to strip California’s ability to regulate auto emissions.

    I understand that the law seems pretty clearly on California’s side here. But with our current SCOTUS who the hell knows.

    But even if California loses, I’m wondering why they can’t just end-run around the EPA and implement the same exact policy through tax law. Every state has various sales taxes and fees on autos. Seems like California could just pass a 50% sales tax on all vehicles from auto manufacturers that don’t meet CA emission standards. So if say Ford backslides and decides not to meet CA emission standards on its fleet then everyone who wants to buy a new F150 in CA (or any other new Ford) gets to face a $20,000 sales tax. That would put the fear of God into Ford in a heartbeat.

    In other words, regardless of how this all comes out, it would seem that California has the leverage to keep regulating emissions at whatever level it wants to through indirect taxes. Am I missing something?

  43. 43
    TenguPhule says:

    Rep. Jared Huffman

    Colleagues in Congress: if this isn’t impeachable abuse of power, what is? I’m sick of the parsing, dithering & political overcalculating. We are verging on tragic fecklessness. Time to do our job! https://twitter.com/JoeNBC/status/1175131856620130304

    Joe Scarborough

    WSJ EXCLUSIVE: Trump repeatedly pressed Ukraine president to investigate Biden’s son, leaning on him 8 times to work with Giuliani on the investigation. https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-defends-conversation-with-ukraine-leader-11568993176

    10:03 AM – Sep 20, 2019

    So events are now starting to move beyond the carefully scripted “We must fully investigate and document all of the allegations.” into a “all cards on the table time”

  44. 44
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @WereBear: As much as they enjoyed meeting Dracula, the Wolf Man and Frankenstein’s monster?

  45. 45
    Jay says:


    What's stunning is that Trump didn't THREATEN to hold Ukraine security assistance hostage. He. Actually. DID. IT. He actually held hostage vital military aid to an ally AT war to pressure them to do a hit job on Dems.@ThePlumLineGS has a great overview https://t.co/cz603lrVv6— Max Bergmann (@maxbergmann) September 20, 2019

  46. 46
    TenguPhule says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    and as a more-or-less Pelosi defender, her statements have been awful.

    Would you like to sit next to me on this beach?

  47. 47
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @TenguPhule: I burn easy, is there a bar with a view nearby?

  48. 48
    mrmoshpotato says:

    Probe all these fuckers.

    “You get an alien prostate exam! You get an alien prostate exam! You all get an alien prostate exam!”

    Yo fucknuts! It’s probin’ time!

  49. 49
    JPL says:

    @TenguPhule: respite is not real. I wonder how Fox is covering this… ah never mind. trump was just being presidential. Presidents use leverage all the time.

  50. 50
    TenguPhule says:

    @Jay: This reminds me of that joke about the religious person trapped on their roof by a flood and who prays to their deity for relief.

    First comes a firefighter on a boat calling them to climb on board.

    But the person refuses, saying the lord will save them.

    Then a police officer on a second boat comes over to rescue them.

    But the person refuses, saying the lord will save them.

    Finally a helicopter arrives from the Coast Guard as the water is right around their ankles.

    But the person refuses, saying the lord will save them.

    And then that person drowns.

    Immediately they complain to their deity about why they were not saved.

    “I sent you two boats and a copter, what were you waiting for?”

    Concentration camps, Defiance of the law, Extorting foreign leaders. How much worse must it get to pull the trigger in the House?

  51. 51
    TenguPhule says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I burn easy, is there a bar with a view nearby?

    There are many bars by the beach or on it, in Hawaii.

  52. 52
    JoeyJoeJoe says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Go to the Kona Brewery, my recommendation. There’s two, East of Honolulu and in Kona on the big island

  53. 53
    TenguPhule says:

    White House counsel Pat Cipollone has also “been engaged in the matter since shortly after the whistleblower action surfaced”, according to the Post’s report, which said he identified “legal obstacles to the sharing of information that could be politically damaging to Trump”.

    A senior administration official told the paper: “At no time has Pat Cipollone personally directed the [director of national intelligence] to withhold information from Congress.”

    Weasel wording. Undoubtedly I am insulting honest weasels.

  54. 54
    Marcopolo says:

    Looking for a FP post on the global climate strike protests. We had a few hundred folks show up at StL City Hall for our local event (including a group of younger students who skipped out on their Waldorf School). I heard considerably more folks turned out in NYC & overseas.

    Anyways, a little attention towards a positive political action would be lovely.

  55. 55
    trollhattan says:

    Seconded–I want to know how much of the state-specific emissions-mileage standards rely on a waiver that Every President since the ’60s has simply gone along with.

    Secondarily, I want to know if there’s any possibility that the threatened administration anti-trust action against the four participating automakers could go forward. I mean, seriously?!?

    Further under the RADAR, Trump has decreed that the Central Valley Project will not adhere to wet-year water operations to reduce Delta salinity and promote fish population recovery. What it means is holding back Lake Shasta water instead of releasing it for fish flows, leaving the state holding the bag and/or releasing more from Lake Oroville. And speaking of Lake Shasta, Trump threatened state officials with arrest if they proceeded with salmon restoration efforts in the McCloud River.

    But threatening someone with jail time? That might be a new one.

    The threats came in a dispute over reintroducing winter-run Chinook salmon into the McCloud River, a pristine river above Shasta Dam, as part of a federal plan approved under the Obama administration to try to stave off extinction for the critically endangered fish.

    In preparation for the project, the California Department of Water Resources stockpiled netting, buoys and floating docks on a boat ramp controlled by the U.S. Forest Service at Shasta Lake, into which the McCloud flows.

    Before the equipment could be set out on the lake’s McCloud River arm, the Trump administration put a hold on the project — and then ordered DWR to remove the equipment under threat of fines and jailing.

    The Forest Service, in a Sept. 6 cease-and-desist letter, told DWR the lack of a special-use permit for the project could constitute a violation of a federal regulation.

    “Violation of this regulation is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by a maximum fine of $5,000 or up to six (6) months in jail, or both,” Forest Service district ranger Ben Sundal wrote in a Sept. 6 cease-and-desist letter to Randy Beckwith, a DWR senior engineer.

    Nobody’s being taken away in handcuffs, though.

    DWR spokesman Ryan Endean said the state had “put the project on pause” after another federal agency that manages Shasta Dam, the Bureau of Reclamation, backed off on its support for the plan. Then, after the Forest Service issued its cease-and-desist letter, the state decided to pull the equipment off the ramp “while we figure everything out,” he said.

    The state finished removing the equipment last Thursday, he said.

    Happy Fucking Climate Day, everybody.

  56. 56
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    I guess this was why people were tweeting about creepy pervert yesterday

    s Dweck @ TheDweck
    Imagine working for Mike Pence and that’s not even close to the worst life decision you’ve made

    The Week @ TheWeek
    Mike Pence’s new press secretary Katie Waldman is dating Stephen Miller.

  57. 57
    Jay says:


    CARB standards are the North American standard.

    If your vehicle doesn’t meet CARB standards, theres a bunch of States, Mexico and Canada, where you can’t sell your vehicle, period. There’s also a bunch of retrofit/test requirements if you want to re-register/lisence/insure your used vehicle if you move to one of those places, and no, they don’t take your word for it.

    When California first introduced CARB standards, some automakers tried making California Only models. Once places other than California started copying CARB standards, it made no logistical, practical or financial sense to not make all vehicles to CARB standards.

    So your coal rolling deplorable, buys a CARB standard F-450, strips off some $3-5 k worth of factory installed pollution controls, installs $5-10k worth of aftermarket parts, to be able to give the finger to the guy in the Prius or Leaf in his backwards, welfare sucking Red State only.

    It is in effect, an Oranmandius ploy to piss off the libs and incite his Minions against the eco libtard hippies that have made California unlivable.

    It is not going to result in Ford selling a F-450 Coal Roller Special.

  58. 58
    Kay says:

    I wish I believed people were organized and discrete enough to 1. pull off huge conspiracies 2. without blabbing, but I don’t.

  59. 59
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Kay: when it comes to UFOs, Bigfoot, even ghosts, I want to believe… but I don’t.

  60. 60
    Jay says:

    Over 3.3 million women’s first sexual experience was rape, according to a new study of U.S. women ages 18 to 44. 6.5% of these women (1 in 16) experienced a sexual initiation that was forced or coerced. The average age of this experience was around 15. https://t.co/x4fn5hBGYd— Amee Vanderpool (@girlsreallyrule) September 20, 2019

  61. 61
    Jay says:

    One year and one month apart pic.twitter.com/f2URDOVFm2— Natalie Wolchover (@nattyover) September 20, 2019

  62. 62
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @stinger: “Congratulations on becoming almost real citizens. Enjoy your time as Americans until Miller tells me to confiscate your papers.”

  63. 63
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @TenguPhule: I generally like Chris Murphy, but it’s not “dig up dirt” it’s “manufacture dirt.” Burisma Holdings and Hunter Biden have, in fact, been investigated, and no wrongdoing was found.

  64. 64
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @kindness: Doesn’t Black Water do security at Area 51?

  65. 65
    Jay says:

    (Colt Firearms just announced they're stopping production of AR-15s: https://t.co/wcIJ7U42dD) https://t.co/jmmqpdNLPf— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) September 19, 2019

  66. 66
    Baud says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Not the strongest statement, but I agree with the approach about not treating it as a substantive allegation that requires a denial.

  67. 67
    Mike in NC says:

    @TenguPhule: J-Lo’s next project is a bio-pic about Mother Theresa.

  68. 68
    Baud says:

    @Mike in NC:

    Wait, that’s not this movie?

  69. 69
    Jay says:

    Boston Police brutalized a 57-year-old woman protesting the Straight Pride Parade when she attempted to stop a far-right couple from attacking a counter protester.The city spent $600,000+ on barriers and police overtime to protect cryptofascists. https://t.co/Ydi5MXmGI5— AntiFash Gordon (@AntiFashGordon) September 20, 2019

  70. 70
    debbie says:

    A Venn diagram of these guys and incels, please.

  71. 71
    Steeplejack says:


    There was a post this morning: “#ClimateStrike.”

  72. 72
    Jay says:

    More children are dying at the border as the US sends more people back to Mexico. So far in 2019, 15 children have died at the US-Mexico border, the highest since @UNmigration started tracking deaths along migratory routes in 2014. https://t.co/n3uiT9xAU5— Adolfo Flores (@aflores) September 20, 2019

  73. 73
  74. 74
    Steve in the ATL says:

    Speaking of wine, we are drinking a red blend, which is normally too déclassé for me, but this Quintessa is quite tasty. Nice job, Rutherford, California!

  75. 75
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:


    So events are now starting to move beyond the carefully scripted “We must fully investigate and document all of the allegations.” into a “all cards on the table time”

    Here’s my question:

    What difference is there between sending articles of impeachment to die in the Senate and sending “messaging” bills to die there?

  76. 76
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @WereBear: I take that as a yes. :)

  77. 77
  78. 78

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷: Because quite a few Dem Congresscritters ran on doing stuff and not on impeachment.

  79. 79
    TenguPhule says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷:

    What difference is there between sending articles of impeachment to die in the Senate and sending “messaging” bills to die there?

    We get to stop blaming Pelosi and start targeting McConnell.

    one of the reasons she’s getting so much grief is that the House has to go first in this procedure.

  80. 80
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: don’t tell anyone—I like my white trash reputation!

  81. 81
    TenguPhule says:

    @Baud: Well played.

  82. 82
  83. 83
    Marcopolo says:

    @Steeplejack: Thanks. Apparently I missed it. I suppose this is what happens when I only pop round here every so often instead of giving the blog my full attention.

  84. 84
  85. 85
    mrmoshpotato says:


    So moving up from two buck chuck?

    How’s it still $2 in southern California?!

  86. 86
    Jay says:

    I’m proud of the 3+ years I worked at Kickstarter.After my best quarter at the company, I was wrongfully terminated for organizing a union. It’s time for Kickstarter to live up to its values- I demand reinstatement. https://t.co/sm7HA2grsp— Clarissa Redwine 🤝 Kickstarter United (@ClarissaRedwine) September 17, 2019

  87. 87

    @mrmoshpotato: Don’t know, I quite drinking 9 years ago.

  88. 88

    @Marcopolo: We’ll make a note of that in your blog performance review.

  89. 89
    J R in WV says:

    Headline from Google News, quoting Slate”

    Trump Administration Orders Changes to Duke, UNC Curriculum Because It’s Not “Positive” Enough About Judaism and Christianity

    Headline from Google News quoting FTFNYTimes:

    U.S Orders Duke and U.N.C to Recast Tone in Mideast Studies

    Welcome to our new Christianist Fascistic Theocratic Society my fellow Christianist Patriarchalist Nutjobs!

    Please be advised that everyone is required to be at your local MegaChurch promptly Sunday morning at 9:30 am to receive indoctrination into your new religious beliefs and to pay the annual 15% tithe for non-members! There will be no exceptions for any reason, failure to observe this historic Amurikan requirement will result in the loss of all Privileges of Citizenship, including freedom of speech, voting rights and the right to buy chicken sandwiches at Christian Chick-Fil-a!

    Ooh, Sorry, this was supposed to be a (Semi)Respite thread — but facts got in the way of that!

  90. 90
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @J R in WV: I’m wondering what authority the US Gov’t has over the curriculum at a private university?

  91. 91
    Jay says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷:

    In theory, the research/investigation/testimony phase, conducted mostly in public, to create the Articles of Impeachment, creates coverage, pisses off Orangmandius, informs the public, which moves the Overton Window, which leads to more votes to impeach.

    If Impeachment fails, the US is no longer under the Rule of Law,

    If Impeachment is not tried, the US is no longer under the Rule of Law.

    You are a Dictatorship, a plutocracy and a kaikistocracy.

    The experiment ends with a whimper.

  92. 92
    Jay says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Technically, certain standards have to be met to get Federal Funding.

  93. 93
  94. 94
    Martin says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Federal research dollars, as usual.

  95. 95
    TomatoQueen says:

    @Gin & Tonic: The square root of fuck-all, if I remember correctly.

  96. 96
    TomatoQueen says:

    In other respite news, my son’s caregivers, a lovely couple from Ghana, had their second boy today, by c-section. Mother and baby are doing well, and I have forked over for a “newest Arsenal supporter” onesie.

  97. 97
    Jay says:

    I thought trump would have tweeted something racist to win back the news-cycle but a war works too https://t.co/nXRdW3gaC0— Molly Jong-Fast (@MollyJongFast) September 20, 2019

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    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:


    We get to stop blaming Pelosi and start targeting McConnell.

    Maybe. But the media, the one you say is clearly not on our side, would go “oh well, both sides” and the Senate either refusing to convict or not bringing the articles for a vote would be overtaken by the next scandal and forgotten about

  99. 99
    Jay says:

    This morning's archival find — some amazing photos of the aftermath of the attack on the Freedom Riders' bus in Anniston, Alabama, in 1961. pic.twitter.com/7Pvx7Zcguv— Kevin M. Kruse (@KevinMKruse) September 12, 2019

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    Elizabelle says:

    Sounds like the East Coast can watch the Space Station whiz by just before 8 pm tonight. Even if you’re in an urban area:

    Looking for cool Friday night plans? How about watching the largest spacecraft ever created zip across the sky at 4.76 miles per second?

    The International Space Station is slated to make a bright pass over the Eastern Seaboard on Friday night, visible from cities such as Washington, Philadelphia, New York and Boston. In fact, anyone from Florida through Canada can enjoy the show.

    To make things even better, the weather is expected to be superb. Mostly clear skies will dominate the East Coast, with crisp, refreshing dryness sledging all the way down the Appalachians.

    For folks in Florida or Georgia, look to the south-southwest at 7:56 p.m. The space station will arc its way higher over the sky before fading off into the northeast about six minutes later. Farther north, it will be a touch later — 7:58 p.m. in D.C., 7:59 p.m. in New York, and 8 p.m. in Boston. It will be bright enough that folks in well-lit, downtown areas can enjoy the spectacle.

    I’m heading out to look for it. Let us know if you saw it.

    Thank dog for smartphones with compass function.

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    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    Can people in Ohio see the ISS?

  102. 102
    Elizabelle says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷: You will have to get out there and let us know. I hope so!

  103. 103
    Jay says:

    Last week, it was a Border Patrol retirement party at Trump’s Virginia club. Now, it’s a Marine ball being planned at Mar-a-Lago. We would label this as corruption in any other country. We shouldn’t stop calling it out here. https://t.co/EIa6IDPQPU— Chris Lu (@ChrisLu44) September 20, 2019

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  105. 105
    Immanentize says:


  106. 106
    Elizabelle says:

    @Immanentize: It’s always good to have something to look forward to. However minor!

  107. 107
    Jay says:

    Good burn,

    Well, you’re right that everyone’s talking about a New York mayor who’s having an amazing political meltdown right now. But it’s not this one. https://t.co/ypL6zxarcq— Kevin M. Kruse (@KevinMKruse) September 20, 2019

  108. 108
    TenguPhule says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷:

    Maybe. But the media, the one you say is clearly not on our side, would go “oh well, both sides” and the Senate either refusing to convict or not bringing the articles for a vote would be overtaken by the next scandal and forgotten about

    Actually the Senate either voting or failing to vote would be the next scandal. And the important thing would be we finally know who stands on which side.

    Which is very important when going into a civil war.

  109. 109
    Elizabelle says:

    I’ve seen it before. It was cool. WaPost again:

    The International Space Station will look like a swiftly moving airplane, although it won’t be blinking. Any light you see does not come from the space station. (After all, it’s not as if it risks hitting any errant deer in space, so the ISS doesn’t have headlights.) Instead, it’s reflected sunlight glinting off the station’s solar panels. Because the International Space Station is so high, it can catch the sunlight even after the sun has set for some on Earth below.

    From back when America could build things. When we were “can do” and believed in science. (Enough of us to fund this magic.)

  110. 110
    zzyzx says:


    That’s not something Trump said. It was a Vanity Fair headline. I think I’m more relived than anything that he’s not quite that gone yet.

  111. 111
    Jay says:

    Basically the NYT was suckered by Steve Bannon on Clinton Cash before and now its been suckered by Rudy Giuliani on Biden and Ukraine and they double down instead of admitting the obvious- they got played.— Neera Tanden (@neeratanden) September 20, 2019

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    Immanentize says:

    I see it! Streaking is a bit of the wrong verb. But it has a tail!

    PS. It does not seem to be naked

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    Rob says:

    Here’s the details for the Washington Monument in DC, traveling from southwest to northeast starting around 7:58 (or about 15 minutes from now). It will be pretty high in the sky (71 degrees)

    Fri Sep 20, 7:58 PM 6 min 71° 10° above SW 10° above NE

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  115. 115
    Rob says:

    BillinGlendaleCA: @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Your turn will come.

  116. 116
    Immanentize says:

    Not bias if it is factually superior

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    Jay says:

    The troll army is out in force today, responding to every major #ClimateStrike tweet I've seen with discouraging messages and disinformation.The youth are onto something and the powers that be are scared s🤬tless.— (((Tae Phoenix))) is on strike (@TaePhoenix) September 20, 2019

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    Amir Khalid says:

    The Wolf of Wall Street didn’t make past the Malaysian Borg Board of Film Censors either, and Malaysians’ tax money was spent to make that one.

  119. 119
    Jay says:

    DHS and ICE have just brutally attacked us after standing and chanting infront of their building for nearly a minute. No warning, nothing, and now 2 of our comrades have been arrested, one youth comrade was put into a seizure from the attack.WE NEED JAIL SUPPRT NOW.#Defendpdx pic.twitter.com/dda7g9Qg8m— PNW Youth Liberation Front (@PNWYLF) September 20, 2019

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    @Immanentize: I’ll remind you of that when y’all are freezing your butts off during winter.

  121. 121
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Elizabeth Warren @ ewarren
    After the Mueller report, Congress had a duty to begin impeachment. By failing to act, Congress is complicit in Trump’s latest attempt to solicit foreign interference to aid him in US elections. Do your constitutional duty and impeach the president.
    A president is sitting in the Oval Office, right now, who continues to commit crimes. He continues because he knows his Justice Department won’t act and believes Congress won’t either. Today’s news confirmed he thinks he’s above the law. If we do nothing, he’ll be right.
    Mitch McConnell is also complicit. The Senate must vote on the bill, already passed by the House, to help states and localities protect themselves from the foreign attacks on our elections that the President has previously welcomed.

    I wish she had focused more on “Rebublicans” and less on “Congress”, and how protecting trump is as corrupt as anything trump is doing, but I’m glad she said it

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    Immanentize says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: some of us like cold. Although I agree with you, most do not.

  123. 123
    Rob says:

    We just got back inside after seeing the space station pass almost directly overhead. It was a good viewing, and neighbors were out with there 5-8 year old kids watching it.

  124. 124
    Elizabelle says:

    @Rob: Thank you.

    That was so cool. I got to see it. In Richmond, it was close to 8 before I was tracking it, and could see it for maybe 2-3 minutes. It is very bright, very straight orbit, and actually slower than I had remembered.

    Go astronauts.

  125. 125
    Elizabelle says:

    @Rob: I remember all of our neighborhood in Hawaii going outside at dinner hour to see John Glenn’s capsule overhead. I don’t think any of us saw a thing (even the adults), but it was fun to think we might.

  126. 126
    Elizabelle says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I know.

    I get sick of everyone saying “Congress.” Be more specific.

    It’s like saying “Europeans” when you’re speaking of WW2. Uh, no. It is a specific set of Europeans.

  127. 127
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Jay: I’m not a labor lawyer, but that sounds like it should be illegal. Wait a minute—I AM a labor lawyer and that IS illegal. What will happen, though, is that Kickstarter will find a legitimate, non-discriminatory reason for the termination that somehow had nothing to do with her organizing a union.

  128. 128
    Baud says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    What will happen, though, is that Kickstarter Steve in the ATL will find a legitimate, non-discriminatory reason for the termination that somehow had nothing to do with her organizing a union


  129. 129
    Steeplejack says:

    I saw the space station go over here in Falls Church, VA. I went outside and stood on the sidewalk across the street from my apartment building—better view to the southwest sky between two trees and over the roofs.

    My street has a few streetlights but isn’t very “bright,” but a few cars came by with headlights on. And there is a lot of glow in the sky from a commercial strip to the west. Light pollution on the high end, I think.

    Anyway, the ISS was clearly visible as a point of light at first. I thought maybe I was seeing an airplane, but when it got to a certain angle it resolved into a tiny but distinct bar. Then as it passed over farther it went back to a star-like twinkle. Looked to be going WSW to ENE, based on my rough understanding of the neighborhood geography.

    Very cool! Thanks to all for mentioning it.

  130. 130
    Elizabelle says:

    @Steeplejack: Can you imagine how that would have looked away from the lights in Nevada? (Um, if Las Vegas was under its trajectory.)

    How is the mom doing? Woody probably misses you. A little. The housecat is relieved you are back.

  131. 131
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Betty Cracker is shaking in her boots (fashionable boots) at the thought of winter.

  132. 132
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @Jay: Kickstarter United – what league are they in?

  133. 133
    Steeplejack says:


    The night sky out there is amazing, even with the light pollution. I like driving north on Horizon Drive from Henderson toward Las Vegas proper. It’s a downhill run, and you get a phenomenal view of downtown Las Vegas at night.

    The housecat is doing well. Took her a while to get back into the routine, but she’s eating well and is dozing beside me at her workstation right now. She has an appointment at noon tomorrow for another subcutaneous hydration treatment, so I’ll get the vet’s update then.

    Not prepared to go into the whole mom saga right now. Suffice it to say that my brother and I dropped the “no more driving” bomb on her, and that went about as well as you would think. 😬

    I just started to feel somewhat “normal” this afternoon. Surprisingly deep nap around midday helped a lot.

    ETA: Woody was a little unsettled this trip. I think he was stressed from my brother’s schedule being disrupted the previous month with Mom’s problems. We got along fine, but he shied away a bit when I tried to say goodbye.

  134. 134
    Steve in the ATL says:


    isn’t very “bright,”

    Dossier updated.

  135. 135
    japa21 says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I really don’t get it. Apparently the phone call to Ukraine president was the day after Mueller’s testimony. How is the Dem House leadership complicit? I’ve heard the argument before that if the House impeaches it will keep Trump from doing things. I see no evidence that would be the case. He knows it would go nowhere so why would he stop doing things?

  136. 136
    Leto says:

    @Elizabelle: Avalune and I saw the ISS!!! It was soooo cooooool!!!!

  137. 137
    Steeplejack says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    Dude, over the years I have doxxed myself practically down to the street level, if anyone cared. Threadkill Lane is not hard to find.

    In more important news, I accidentally got Canada Dry tonic water instead of Schweppes. This is adversely affecting my Mount Gay and tonic. The horror!

  138. 138
    Elizabelle says:

    @Leto: Yeaaa! We are all off to a good weekend.

  139. 139
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Steeplejack: #FML

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  141. 141
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @japa21: I made the too frequent on my part error of reading a twitter thread

    Ryan @ tvisgreat
    The problem is that leaders on the left *are* Nancy Pelosi or they’re podcasters more interested in making money than protesting. Maybe AOC could spearhead something.

    So apparently the O’Bros could fill the streets with protestors if they wanted to, and AOC could make Jeff Van Drew and Max Rose and (just picking some of the more ambiguous) Mieke Sherrill, Colin Peterson, Abigail Spanberger, Elissa Slotkin, Richie Neal…. vote for impeachment if they didn’t want to.

  142. 142
    Ruckus says:

    We got mom to say she would stop driving if/when she flunked her license test. She did so I held out my hand for the keys. “I can take it again!” You flunked, keys, now. Damn if it didn’t work…. She knew, she just didn’t want to admit it. If they truly believe that nothing has changed and they can keep driving, call your state DMV and see if there is some way to request a test for a parent. I believe there is in CA. But CA does test seniors more often than they used to, and of course I’m not looking forward to that……

  143. 143
    Another Scott says:

    Respite? Al Jazeera:

    An official with the Houthi rebel movement in Yemen has said it will stop aiming missile and drone attacks at Saudi Arabia, warning that a continuation of the war could lead to “dangerous developments”.

    The announcement was made on Friday night by Mahdi al-Mashat, head of the Houthi’s supreme political council, which controls the rebel-held areas in Yemen.

    “We declare ceasing to target the Saudi Arabian territory with military drones, ballistic missiles and all other forms of weapons, and we wait for a reciprocal move from them,” Mashat said on the Houthi-run Al Masirah TV.

    “We reserve the right to respond if they fail to reciprocate positively to this initiative,” he said, adding that the continuation of the Yemen war “will not benefit any side”.



    I doubt that MBS and Pompeo and the rest are interested in the offer.


  144. 144
    Baud says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Yet they couldn’t keep Donald Trump from becoming president or take back the Senate.

    On the internet, power always exists in the conditional tense.

  145. 145
    Jay says:

    gab doesn’t shut down accounts because they are inciting violence. they shut them down when someone gets arrested so the press can’t see what kind of content gab was allowing that led to the arrest. https://t.co/IYvIUc2gtZ— molly 🐶 (@socialistdogmom) September 20, 2019

  146. 146
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Jay: what is “gab”?

  147. 147
    Jay says:


    The Union League.

  148. 148
  149. 149
  150. 150
    Steve in the ATL says:


    It’s a deliberately worse version of Twitter.

    I assume scientists around the world are hard at work trying to determine how that is even possible.

  151. 151
    Steeplejack says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    I would say go to gab and see for yourself, but I have some regard for your continued well-being.

  152. 152
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Steeplejack: thank you. I can’t handle that after drinking a red blend. Maybe after a bold cab or a Malbec.

  153. 153
    Jay says:

    The Department of Homeland Security is focusing on white nationalist extremism: https://t.co/LjJhYvWTKL— Jane Coaston (@cjane87) September 20, 2019

  154. 154
    Jay says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    So Jack has some rules about being a Nazi on Twitter. Basically you can’t talk graphically about killing someone, you can’t post your Mass Shooting Manifesto online, you can’t plot with your buddies on how to shoot up a Black Church, blow up a Mosque, or burn down a Synagoge.

    Other than that, Jack let’s you Nazi.

    Gab allows all that.

  155. 155
    Steeplejack says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    Yeah, Alabamians and a red blend?! Go easy on yourself, dude, go easy.

  156. 156
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Steeplejack: gotta pace myself. Golf in the morning, followed by the Alabama-Little sisters of the poor game (with our traditional bottle of Caymus), then kayaking, and the grand finale of the mighty Bulldogs versus the papists, where beloved B-J poster Raven will be the only sober person in the Athens-Clarke County metroplex.

  157. 157
    Steeplejack says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    Damn, that’s a tough schedule. But somebody’s got to do it! Be sure to allow time to accidentally insult or undertip at least one service staff member. But someone else in your group probably has that covered. You appear to have some dangerous liberal tendencies.

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