Jon Cazares

Jon Cazares

Much has changed since yesterday when authorities were saying the gun fight started in a cemetery and moved several blocks away to randomly selected kosher market. Now, after viewing video footage of the attack authorities are saying that the gun fight in Jersey City, NY between police and two armed men holed up in a bodega was a targeted attack on that specific bodega (a small grocery store).  The neighborhood the attack occurred in is mainly orthodox Jews, and authorities now believe the shop was specifically targeted. Video evidence clearly shows the attackers exiting a van and firing into the store. Two local police officers happened to be very close by, called the attack in and then rushed to the scene within seconds. Officers Ray Sanchez and Mariela Fernandez placed themselves between the attackers and civilians. Both officers, were shot and wounded but it pushed the attackers back into the bodega instead of allowing them to remain on the streets and fire indiscriminately at civilians. Within seconds more police arrived, pulled both wounded officers out of the line of fire and the long standoff gunfight occurred between the police and the shooters.

Both Sanchez and Fernandez have been released from the hospital. Another officer, Detective Joseph Seals was killed but it's still a little unclear where or when. Authorities are saying he was "ambushed," which seems to imply he was killed elsewhere but as of yet, I'm unable to find out more.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said:

Although there is no credible or specific threat directed against New York City, I have directed teh NYPD to assume a state of high alert. Tonight (this would be yesterday), NYPD assets are being redeployed to protect key locations in the Jewish community. Tommorow, we will annouce additional measures." 

As of yet, I haven't seen what the "additional measures" are or will be. 

Both shooters are dead and authorities have not released their names, nor do they know that exact specific motive for the attack beyond the fact it was "targeted," and it was probably targeted becauase it was a Jewish shop in a Jewish neighborhood. 

Jersey City schools were on lockdown yesterday but, opened back up Wednesday morning. 

 

 

Juice Jacking, apparently, is a real thing. But at this point it doesn’t sound like it’s a widespread threat. What is it? Well, it involves someone loading malware on public charging stations so that when you plug your phone in via USB, it uploads the malway which might be able to lock your device, or worse - export data and passwords to a scammer. USB, as you may or may not know charges your phone but is also able to upload and download information. Which is exactly what the threat is all about. 

LA has warned the public of the threat but when asked by reporters if they knew of any known cases on its books, officials couldn’t come up with any. It really does sound like, while it technically might be possible for someone to hijack your cell phone data in such a way, it’s unlikely to ever happen. After a round of Googling, security researchers across the web do say that they’ve seen proof-of-concepts in regards to such malway, but haven’t yet heard of a working public JuiceJacking prototype. 

Finally, the major phones have upgraded protection software to protect against this kind of malware so … again, while it’s possible to get JuiceJacked - you’re probably safe. 

That being said, there are a few things you can do to protect your phone: 

  1. Bring and use your own cord. By using your own cord you don’t have to use a public charging station, instead you can just plug your phone into any socket. 
  2. Have an external battery pack available. Battery packs work as portable chargers, are fairly inexpensive and will give you a good 50-75% charge. You won’t need to plug into the wall or use a charging station.
  3. Turn off your phone. You can turn your phone off and plug it in to a public station to charge. This will protect some (but not all) phones.

With ten candidates still in the running we have three obvious front runners and two additional wildcards. Biden, Warren and Sanders are at the top. Mayor Pete (Buttigieg) and Harris round out the top five. Yang, Klobuchar, Booker, Gabbard and Steyer should pack it in. I mean, after something like fifteen debates if you’re not in the top 3-5 you should, you know - move on. 

In fact, I’m willing to bet most of you went - “Steyer? Who is Steyer?” I know, right? There are too many people running. Let’s get rid of some of the candidates on the bottom. Also, Tom Steyer is a non politician, progressive billionaire who wants term limits for Congress, wants to decriminalize illegal border crossings and wants to expand the Supreme Court. Well, term limits for Congress is a fantastic idea! I’m all for that. Unfortunately, he’s polling at less than 1% so I’m not sure what he’s still doing in the race. 

Anyway. Sanders is out raising them all, but seems to be consistently in the number three spot in terms of news coverage and polls. Warren, just a few weeks ago was the clear front runner but she took a huge slump, for some reason. And now it’s good old “Uncle Joe” back as the front runner. Which, you may remember, is Biden’s unofficial nickname. 

Well, all of them were at it again last night at another debate that had way too many people on stage. And, I thought it was pretty clear that Mayor Pete came out on top. No one is attacking him because he’s not a front runner and so he was able to get his points across. And man o’ man Mayor Pete comes across poised, intelligent and filled to the brim with common sense and reason. 

Warren did her Warren thing - Medicare for all, tax the rich. I don’t think she gained or lost ground. Same with Sanders. Biden pushed civility, which is great but I’m not sure that will help him surge up in the polls. All three of them kind of pushed their brand name. Harris, who has fallen so far behind the other front runners was more aggressive than I have seen her in the past few months and even called out President Trump for getting “punked” by North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un. 

I don’t think last night’s debate changed the way anyone views the democratic candidates, with perhaps the exception of Mayor Pete. I know Pete is surging in Iowa, which is a critical caucus to win, but too many people don’t know him. But that’s the thing about him, the more people hear about him the more people are clearly like, “I don’t know who this guy is … but I like him!” 

Yeah. Me too. He’s a great candidate. But … can he beat Donald Trump in the popular vote? Perhaps. But perhaps he’s too much of an underdog to win. Perhaps the Democrats need a big name to win. And they have three big names in Biden, Sanders and Warren. Mayor Pete just might have to wait four or eight more years for a legitimate shot.  

And, I know we are still miles away from the finish line but sometimes I just wonder what is taking some of these politicians so long to drop out. Senator Harris is a decent progressive candidate but she’s clearly, and I mean clearly - too far behind. Drop out of the race and get back to the Senate - you know, the job you were elected for. I guess one could say the same about Senator Warren; however, she’s actually on top so there is reason for her to stay in the race. But Klobuchar? Gabbard? It’s not happening, maybe it’s time to get back to the Senate / House for your elected jobs. Booker? I mean, Booker had a great closing speech but this is just not your year. There is, as they say - a snowball's chance in hell the nomination will go to any of the folks on the bottom.

Unless some catastrophic event happens, it’s clearly going to be one of Biden, Sanders or Warren. Or, if they get really clever - a Biden / Warren ticket. Or a Sanders / Warren ticket. Or a Warren / Sanders ticket. 

Or, heck - a Warren / Mayor Pete ticket. Think of that. Wow. I like it. (Probably won’t happen). 

Any combination of the above will probably mount a decent challenge to President Trump. Just as long as Hillary Clinton doesn’t enter the race, which she (probably jokingly) hinted at a few days ago.

Ugh. She just won’t go away. Please, please Hillary - you lost to Obama, you lost to Trump. Leave it alone. The Dem’s don’t need more candidates.

In Michigan, a 33 year old man named Alex Lavell Rawls (our suspect) kicked down a door in search of his ex-girlfriend. Perhaps obviously, he wasn’t there to rescue her. After a series of harassment and threats of violence against her, he decided to go kick her door down. So, Rawls goes over to her place to due her harm, not knowing that - she had already moved to another state in order to get away from his lunatic ass! Cut to: Rawls gets to her apartment and pounds on the door. 

Enter Ben Ball, 36. Ben is a regular kind of guy who likes regular kind of things - he goes to work, he plays video games, he watches cool things on TV and … oh yeah, he collects and practices in the use of medieval weaponry! You see, on the weekends, Ball and friends choreograph and video live re-enactments of savage Viking-esq warrior combat. Ball has a wide collection of medieval weapons in his apartment up to and including, as he puts its, “my baby,” and in this case, his baby is a replica double headed carbon steel battle axe.   

By “replica” I don’t mean fake. I mean, it’s an exact recreation of a battle axe that had been specifically designed to injure an armored knight. Or cut off limbs of an unarmored person. 

Keep that in mind. 

Back to Rawls. He heads over to his ex-girlfriend's house for some more harassing and threatening. He pounds on her door. Ball answers and recognizes Rawls as the guy who used to date his roommate. Ball explains to Rawls that his roommate no longer lives here and tells the irate exboyfriend that she moved to Florida. 

Rawls doesn’t believe Ball, but leaves; however, he returns a short time later and kicks the door open, shattering the doorframe. Then Rawls rushes into the apartment to attack Ball. 

It’s now a full on home invasion. 

So, Ball does what any of us would have done. He picks up a weapon and defends himself. You might use a gun. I might use a knife. But Ball uses his baby. He picks up that carbon steel axe and chops Rawls right in the chest cutting him wide open. 

But Rawls was in mid charge and his momentum kept him going forward until he slams into Ball. In a chaotic melee, the two of them smash through the apartment. Ball drops the Axe, the apartment is demolished and both men go for the weapon. 

Eventually, the wound on Rawls’ chest is too much and he flees in terror. Neighbors call the cops. Police and K9 units arrive, follow the trail of blood and eventually capture Rawls. 

Ball is a little banged up, but he’s in good shape. Rawls, already a felon, is arrested and faces up to 20 years in jail for first degree home invasion. 

As for the ex-girlfriend in question? Well, it sounds like she totally knew what she was doing when she moved to another state in order to get away from lunatic Rawls. 

I’m glad she’s safe. I’m glad Ball is relatively unharmed. I’m glad Rawls is in custody. 

This has been another entry in “Weird, (but awesome) news!”

A recently leaked ABC “hot mic” moment has “Good Morning America” co-host, Amy Robach, seriously spilling the beans that she and her team broke the Epstein sex trafficking news three years ago, but executives at the network killed the story. (Editor’s note: That link goes to the same video linked to the front page)

Anchor Robach goes on to say that their news story “had everyone,” and specifically name drops Bill Clinton and Prince Andrew then claimed that Buckingham Palace threatened them a “million different ways,” and that the network was worried they would never have access to Kate Middleton or Prince William and so bowed to pressure from the palace (and from others) to kill the story. Robach says she tried to get it aired for three years to “no avail.” 

Well, that was indeed three years ago and now the story is everywhere. Epstein was not in jail at the time Robach claims to have had the story. He was a free man, still trafficking underage girls to extremely rich and powerful men via his private plane, private island and exclusive Manhattan apartment.    

Robach claims that she interviewed Virginia Roberts Giuffre three years ago and that the woman had pictures, names, she had everything and gave it all to ABC. Robach’s quote, “It’s unbelievable what we had.” 

Epstein was arrested July 6th, 2019 on sex trafficking charges, which led to the media frenzy surrounding him and the coming out of several woman reporting decades worth of allegations against him. Robach is kind of like, “Man! I’m so angry! We could have done something about this years ago! I could have run this story years ago! And now everyone has it!” (Not an exact quote from her, more of like me, interpreting her comments).  

The Epstein allegations, for those who are not quite clear on the matter, are this: That he (Epstein) and his “madam,” Ghislaine Maxwell, recruited and trained under age girls to be a personal sex slave for Epstein, then passed Epstein in turn passed the girls around to other powerful men including Prince Edwards and Bill Clinton. And we’re not talking the “legal shady area” when a girl is 17, but will be 18  tomorrow, and if you have sex with her today it’s illegal, but if you have sex with her tomorrow it won’t be. That’s a little weird. 

No, we’re talking about girls as young as 14 years old who are recruited and trained for sex up to and including brutal sadomasochistic dungeon sessions. 

Obviously, after the allegations hit and names dropped, the accused came out and said the same thing, their oft repeated quote was that the allegations were “categorically false!” But, I mean, what else are they going to say?

Epstein, as we all know by now, died via strangulation while in jail awaiting trial in which he was about to name drop really powerful, influential rich men, who frequented his under age girls and again, it wasn’t just sex, some of the women claim the men used them as slaves in brutal S&M sex dungeon rooms. Now, Epstein is dead, so he won’t be naming any names. 

The first coroner says, Epstein died by “suicide,” the second coroner says, “Nope. Homicide.”  Robach had an opinion on this too. From the leaked video: 

“So, do  I think he was killed? A hundred percent! Because, do you want it? He made his whole living blackmailing people. There were  a lot of men in those planes, a lot of men who visited that island, a lot of powerful men who came into that apartment.”

Okay. This seems clear. Robach is claiming that Epstein invited powerful men to have sex with his underage sex slaves and then, Epstein may have pictures and / or video of these men in order to blackmail them. 

Finally, Robach talks about Ghislaine Maxwell, the woman who was Epstein’s long time friend, associate and “madam.” Maxwell was the woman who found and trained the under ages girls for Epstein to use. Robach says: 

“Ghislaine Maxwell. I had all sorts of stuff on her too. I love it. I really, I’m like, it’s so funny to hear everyone say her name. Excellent. Like, I had all of that. And everyone’s like, “Who’s that?” “Who cares?” I kept getting that. Um, she knows everything!” 

And that would make sense. The madam who found and trained the girls clearly knows all about it. ABC did respond to the leaked video and basically said, “Yeah, we didn’t publish the story then because it didn’t meet our editorial standards but we’ve never stopped investigating Epstein and no one ever pressured us to drop the story.” 

No one pressured you to drop the story? You think that’s a believable response? You can read their lame response here.     

Anyway. Epstein was arrested for underage sex trafficking. He’s dead. Maxwell, a British citizen, knows all about it. She hasn’t been charged with any crimes.

Monday, 28 October 2019 20:47

Weird News: Hesitant Wholesale Hitmen!

In one of those, “no one would believe this if it was in a movie,” stories we bring you “Wholesale Hitman!” Over a real estate dispute gone sour & a lawsuit in China, mogul Tan Youhui hired a hitman to kill a rival developer. 

You see, in 2013 Tan Youhui hired Xi Guangan for $2m Yuan (approx. $275,000 with all further money being translated into US dollars) to kill his business rival. But, um … well, Guangan kind of … didn’t do it. He hired a second man to do the job for him!

Xi Guangan hired Mo Tianxiang for half the sum he had received up front. Now we have a second hitman on the job! Only, um … the second hitman didn’t do it, either. He paid a third hitman to kill the developer and that’s how Yang Kangsheng got the contract. Kangsheng, the third hitman was offered about $38,000 up front and promised an additional $71,000 upon contract completion.  

But, plot twist (that you probably saw coming from a mile away)! The following year, which brings us to 2014 - Yang contracted Yang Guangsheng, a fourth hitman and offered him $28,000 up front and a promise of an additional $71,000 upon completion of the contract. So, by now Yang Kangsheng (the 3rd hitman) was anticipating the $38,000 up front and the additional $71,000 which all would go to the fourth hitman leaving the third hitman with only a $10,000 profit. Okay. I guess it’s still $10,000 right? Nothing to shake a stick at. 

Well, as the fates would have it, the fourth hitman - also didn’t want to go through with it. Several months later, the second Yang hired Ling Xiansi for $14,000 to, you guessed it - kill the developer! 

Ling finally spilled the beans to the actual target about the assassination plot and then, in another bizaarre plot twist the two of them faked his murder up to and including staged photos attempted to collect the cash and, presumably evenly split it. 

Which didn’t work. So, the developer, who was the target, finally went to the police and reported the plot. As one hitman led to the next, each spilled the beans on the person that hired them and soon enough, all of them, including the original man who hired the first hitman, had been arrested. 

The initial developer who started the plot, received five years in jail. All the hitmen involved received between two and four years in jail. 

Seriously, though. Can you imagine sitting in a movie theater watching this plot unfold? By the fourth hitman hired I’m sure most audience members would be like, “Really, he hired a fourth hitman! This is starting to get a bit much!” By the time that fifth hitman was hired audience members would be eye rolling their disbelief in movie theaters everywhere! 

But, as they always says, “Truth is stranger than fiction.”

Well, the Hillary “Lock her up!” Clinton email conspiracy has finally come to an end. I hope. I hope it’s finally come to an end.  In a multi year investigation by the State’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security, run by Republicans and led by President Trump just what did they uncover? Well, are you guys old enough to remember when Geraldo Rivera opened Al Capone’s vault?  It was hilarious! You know why? Spoiler Alert: Because it was empty. 

So what did the investigation into Hillary’s emails find? Well, I’ll let the report speak for itself, “ … there were some instances of classified information being inappropriately introduced into an unclassified system in furtherance of expedience, by and large, the individuals interviewed were aware of security policies and did their best to implement them in their operations … there was no systemic or deliberate mishandling of classified information by (Clinton) or department employees.” 

That’s it. That's the entirety of it. 

And this isn’t the first time an investigations said all this. Remember, the FBI came up with the same conclusion two years ago. Not that facts and investigations seem to matter these days. 

I mean, there are people living in 2019 that argue the earth is flat. We literally have pictures, from space - disproving them. We also have science, common sense and reason to disprove them, but they ignore all that, so, you would think … actual pictures of the Earth being round would persuade them. Right?  

But, nope. They just pretend the pictures are fake. 

*sigh*

Just like this email investigation! It was clearly nothing. Multiple investigations have now said, ‘It’s nothing. No, seriously. It’s nothing.” But too many people are just going to pretend that the investigations are all fake and that Hillary Clinton, once again, got away with another devious scheme! 

You can dislike H. Clinton as much as you want. I’m not a huge fan of hers, either. But, I can’t help but notice the stony silence from the WH about the investigation findings. I mean, if they had found anything … and I mean any dirt on Hillary at all … don’t you think they would have screamed it from the rooftops, by now?

Instead … crickets. 

You can read the full ten page unclassified report here.

For better or worse, it seems clear that Senator Elizabeth Warren is the frontrunner to become the Democratic nominee in the 2020 election against President Trump. It’s not just me saying it. Pretty much every website that covers politics says it too. And the other candidates certainly believe it, because on Tuesday evening (the 15th of October) at the CNN debate they all went after Warren the way you do when there is an obvious front runner. Most of it didn’t stick, although I do think Warren needs to answer some specific questions about her Medicare plan as in, who’s paying for it? Because lots of folks ask her and so far, she kind of dodges. 

Other than that, I think she’s a fine candidate. Warren does not have the negative baggage that Hilary Clinton had and conservatives seem to be overly, “meh” about Warren. It’s not like the targeted conservative rage that men seem to have for AOC or Representative Omar. It's more of a dismissive dislike against Warren and they seem to regard her as nothing special outside of being another “stupid libtard.” 

But Liberals love her. They really do. But, can Warren win over undecideds and moderates? Well, that there is the winning ticket, ain’t it?  And … well … I don’t know. Again, she doesn’t have the Clinton baggage, I mean, there were lots of folks that hated Hilary! Some of the reasons to dislike Hilary Clinton were warranted, most were not. I think Warren is generally going to be recognized as a much more likable Hillary. If you’ve heard any of Warren’s speeches she actually just comes off as honest and good natured. That’s a huge plus.  

Moody’s doesn’t seem to think it matters much, though. Their analytical department has been fairly accurate predicting presidential races since 1980 and they see Trump winning in all scenarios except for one - extremely high voter turnout. (On the other hand, it should be noted that they had Hillary Clinton winning against Trump. So, there’s that). But that’s interesting. Their fairly accurate analytics department is pretty sure Trump is going to win, unless, of course, a HUGE number of people turn out to vote, and then they’re pretty sure the Democratic nominee will win. 

I’ve been hearing this my entire adult life. If more voters turned out, it becomes less likely that modern Republicans would win. I am making no judgement one way or another I’m just saying that I think that’s interesting. And it’s nothing new. 

So far I don’t see the fear mongering against Warren that usually happens in elections. You know what I mean, attack ads with scary music that say things like, “She’s the most liberal nominee ever and she’s coming for your guns, your bibles and your dinosaurs!”  =)

Of course, she’s not the nominee yet. She’s just the front runner, which may or may not change. Once the actual nominee is in, I’m sure the fear mongering attack ads will come. 

But they really don’t need to because, here’s the thing, the fear mongering ads, on both sides of the aisle - very, very rarely, if ever - come true! I hesitate to say never but in all honestly it’s probably a lot closer to never than rarely. They do seem to scare folks though. They just never come true. (Hardly, ever). 

Look, Warren is smart. She’s an academic, she’s a former professor and she’s been in the Senate for several years. In the same way that McCain defended Obama at one of the republican rallies from a voter who said she couldn’t trust Obama because he’s an “Arab,” conservatives should be pretty okay with the idea of an incredibly smart, academic politician in the oval office. She’s not some Lex Luthor-esq super villain looking to turn the U.S. into 1970’s communist Russia.

No one, and I mean NO ONE wants to turn the entire country into a communist socialist regime. There are people that want some socialized programs. Considering we already have a bunch of them - the police department, emergency rooms, the fire department, the DMV, public libraries and even, get this … the NFL.

That’s right, except for the Dallas Cowboys who bought themselves out in the 1970’s, all the other teams evenly split money that goes into the NFL, so that no single team has a money advantage over any other team. Which, is kind of like socialism and it’s not scary. It actually makes sense to do it that way.

I mean, it’s not exactly socialism, but close enough that any reasonable person who watches the NFL but rages against any kind of government program being socialized, should at least go, “Hmmm. Maybe a couple government programs could be socialized without the country going to hell in a handbasket.” 

Here’s a fun thought, how many republican NFL fans do you think will actually stop watching the NFL, if they were to find out that NFL is pretty socialist? 

Probably, not many. Mostly likely, none. But that’s just a guess. 

Anyway, all I’m trying to say is that Elizabeth Warren is not some scary socialist loon that’s going to strip away all your private rights and hand them over to the government. Keep in mind that there was a time when Democrats said things like, “We should try out Social Security & a G.I. Bill” and Republicans lost their minds and said the country would fall apart if you did either of those treasonous, libtard socialist programs! 

Looks like they were wrong. While it's true that the Baby Boomer generation is putting social security at risk, can you honestly tell me that it’s been a bad idea and /or that the G.I. Bill is a crazy socialist plot? I mean, think about that, there were once Republicans that raged against the idea of FDR’s G.I. Bill. 

If universal health care passes in the United States, I have almost no doubt that fifty years from now, when most of us are gone, the vast, overwhelming majority of the country will be like, “Can you imagine that people used to rage against the idea of universal health care? I mean, if you tried to take my universal health care from me or my family, they would have to pry it out of my cold, dead hands.” 

Indeed.

Tuesday, 08 October 2019 17:46

Joker, a spoiler free review.

I know that everyone is endlessly reporting Impeachment news and we weighed in on it too here at GCN. We have an “impeachment is reasonable” moderate blue take, and an “impeachment is unreasonable” conservative red take. But I’m already sick of reading Ukrainian connected impeachment news and that story has only been around for a few weeks. So, instead - let’s talk about comic book movies! 

Joker. Directed by Todd Phillips. Screenplay by Todd Phillips & Scott Silver. Starring Joaquin Phoenix.  

According to some, mainly liberals, Joker is an incel friendly, dangerous film that humanizes the most infamous psychotic lunatic mass murderer in all comic book history. In fact, it’s so dangerous that, again - according to liberals - it will incite incels to armed violence everywhere! (Editor’s note. Incels are men who are “involuntarily celibate,” as in “women won't have sex with them but it’s not their fault that women don’t want to have sex with them - it’s society’s fault. And women’s fault, too. But not theirs at all.”) All over the country, for the realese of Joker, security was beefed up in preparation for the inevitable armed incel rise up!  

An excerpt from Stephanize Zacharek’s Joker review from Time:  

“In America, there’s a mass shooting or attempted act of violence by a guy like Arthur practically every other week … And yet we’re supposed to feel some sympathy for Arthur, the troubled lamb; he just hasn’t had enough love … the movie lionizes and glamorizes Arthur even as it shakes its head, faux-sorrowfully, over his violent behavior.”

Fair enough. I do agree that the character of Joker should not be presented as a heroic figure because … well, he’s not. He’s a lunatic mass murderer. The comics really attempt to clinically explain Joker’s behavior and, to be honest, they shouldn’t. He’s a comic book villain. And that’s one of the reasons I generally feel that some things do not cross over well from comic books to live action film. Being lonely, unloved and mentally ill does not realistically create an unkillable, ever escaping from prison comic book super villain. But in live action film, depending on the tone of your story being a ridiculously over the top super villain does not exactly make a realistic looking lonely, unloved, mentally ill human being. 

I mean, if you added up the comic book deaths caused by Joker it wouldn’t make sense that he would ever escape any kind of prison. After murdering hundreds of people, well, the fourth, or fifth, or sixth time he was captured, Joker would be over medicated into comatose form and locked away in a deep, dark hole - and no one would ever hear from him again

But, that’s not exactly drama. And comic books don’t need to live in the real world and they shouldn’t have to. The medium that comic books exist in allow Joker to escape over and over so Batman can heroically triumph or occasionally, tragically fail against the antagonist. That’s drama. 

And so now we have the new film, Joker. Which attempts to give reason to the “why” of the Joker's mass murdering madness. While I find the film compelling and Joaquin Phoenix is quite good in the lead role I keep going back to the “But, Joker isn’t a realistic super villain - he doesn’t need a realistic … ohh, never mind!” 

The tone of Joker is dead serious. Sure, the film perhaps pays a bit too much homage to Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy (especially with that DeNiro casting) but, so what? General audiences would probably be shocked to realize how often film directors steal from each other. Paying homage to other film sources is not exactly the cinematic crime that cinephiles are pretending it is. It’s a film that drips with believable pathos and realistic character motivation but I’m not exactly sure I bought the societal folk hero angle as Gothamites embraced the crimes of Joker. I mean, IF something like that happened in a city it could very well be a realistic motivation for a Batman figure to rise up to fight that level of city wide injustice. But, as told in Joker, city folk rise up in riot for Joker I just didn’t find it very plausible. On the other hand, the Joker is a very unreliable narrator and much of the movie, especially the last fifteen minutes or so are wide open to multiple interpretations. My personal interpretation is clearly more accurate than most others, obviously.  =)   

BUT - I don’t really want to go into further detail about it because, spoilers. I guess I’ll just say that Joker is worth seeing; and lots of folks feel that way too as it broke box office records around the world.  It received an eight minute standing ovation at the Venice Film Festival where it won the top award even though critical opinion is mixed landing currently at 68% on Rottentomatoes.com. Joker is neither as dangerous or as dull as critics are portraying it. And, I guess I didn’t find it to be the masterpiece a few are claiming. 

As for the armed, violent incel revolt? Meh. Probably won’t happen. Don’t get me wrong. Some self absorbed lunatic somewhere might pick up a gun and go on a murder spree but, as we all know, they would have done it without Joker ever getting involved.  

And now, I will leave you with the greatest Batman / Joker knock-knock joke, maybe - ever. 

Joker: Knock knock. 

Batman: Who’s there. 

Joker: Not your parents.

AOC was holding a town hall meeting in Queens, when a woman stood up and … well … ranted crazy person stuff. The video (linked on the front page) captures the entire thing. The woman acts agitated because no one is taking climate control seriously but then she quickly switches gears to throw out these oddities:  

“I’m happy that you are really supporting a Green New Deal, but it’s not enough … we don’t have enough time … we have to get rid of the babies … even if we were to bomb Russia, we still have too many people, too much pollution. So we have to get rid of the babies. That’s a big problem. Just stopping having babies is not enough. We need to eat the babies.” 

She even had a t-shirt that said, “Save the Planet. Eat the Children.” At first it appears the woman is mentally ill and you feel kind of sorry for her. AOC keeps her cool through the rant, ignoring the crazy stuff and repeats to the woman a few times, “it’s okay,” in an effort to try and calm her down. AOC clearly assumed what we all did - this woman is ill! Alas, by the end of the crazy rant you can tell she’s trolling AOC.

I mean, “eat the babies?” My spider sense exploded. There is no way this woman is legit. 

Turns out, she isn’t! The woman was posing as an AOC supporter but was actually a member of LaRouchePAC, a far right climate change denying group that supports Donald Trump. Thursday evening they posted the video on Twitter and wrote “It was us. Malthusianism isn’t new, Jonathan Swift knew that. Sometimes, only satire works.” (Editor’s note: Malthusianism is the idea that population growth is potentially exponential while the growth of the food supply is linear and in theory cause massive food shortages and starvation.) 

Lyndon Larouche Jr, who died in February, co-founded the LaRouche group sometime in the mid 70’s so he could, well - troll politicians. He was kind of a kooky guy who was a cult leader and convicted fraudster, and filled to the brim with conspiracy theories and shady connections. He was paranoid and was super convinced that everyone from the CIA, the FBI, the KBG up to and including the Queen of England wanted to have him killed. Despite that, he was a fringe political activist for many decades and died at the age of 96. 

I give the LaRouche team points for the trolling effort but AOC was unflappable during the event so I’m calling this one a tie.

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