Archive for the ‘Agitprop’ Category

Meanwhile, in the back of the bus. …

August 12, 2019

Have we got a job for you. …

Bus we mus’? Maybe not.

The two companies ’Burque has dealt with while trying to improve its mass-transit system are facing charges that they failed to follow through on their end of wage-and-benefit deals, according to The New York Times.

BYD we’ve discussed before. Now New Flyer, the outfit the Duke City turned to after its deal with BYD wound up on blocks, faces a fraud complaint in California.

Says the Times:

In a 2012 proposal to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority for an order of up to 900 buses, New Flyer said it would create more than 50 full-time positions that paid $11 to nearly $50 an hour.

New Flyer won the contract, worth about $500 million. But the company did not pay the wages it said it would and misrepresented the value of the benefits it was providing, according to pay stubs and corporate reports recently unsealed in the fraud case.

“It was a commitment — it matters,” said Madeline Janis, the executive director of Jobs to Move America, the nonprofit group that filed the complaint against New Flyer in California state court. “This case is about holding a huge company’s feet to the fire. … They make deals with public agencies and promise whatever, and think they don’t have to follow through.”

Is it just me, or does the invisible hand of the free market seem to spend a lot of time jerking off the rubes?

Paint it bleak

August 8, 2019

When you’re out of tune and singing off key, volume is not the answer.

Sounds like Fats Nightingale’s Healing Schmealing Afflict the Afflicted Tour went about like we expected.

He performed his greatest hits: “Be Quiet,” “Fake News,” and “Sleepy Joe Biden,” but if he’s been working on any new tunes, he kept them to himself.

There were just two stops on the tour, but some critics felt that was two too many.

Noted one observer: “Imagine Carrot Top in a suit, with a couple hundred extra pounds of blubber and a head full of ketamine. That shit wouldn’t even play in Vegas, much less Dayton and El Paso. He needs to get back in the studio and work on his act.”

The sky is crying

August 6, 2019

Look what snuck over the Sandias when
the weatherperson wasn’t paying attention.

The weatherman must have missed a memo while compiling today’s forecast.

That “20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after noon” turned out to be 100 percent, and by 7 a.m., too.

It reminded me of the Yiddish proverb, “Man plans, God laughs.”

Last week I logged nearly 150 miles on the bike, and come Sunday evening the legs were lobbying for a bit of R&R. So although Monday was a beautiful day for the old bikey ridey, I checked the forecast for the rest of the week and said, “OK, I’ll take today off. Haul the glass to the recycler, put a new chain and cassette on the Voodoo Nakisi, whip up a bowl of hummus. And tomorrow I’ll do a nice, long ride.”

Get bulletproof backpacks on the cats? Dream on. I can’t even get them to stop napping in front of a window. Worse than sitting with your back to a door.

Ho, ho, etc.

Tuesday dawned warmish, bleak and breezy, and soon I had to close all the doors and windows I had just opened because the vertical blinds were clattering like skeletons dancing the Charleston.

It was the flip side of Sunday, when, after Saturday’s deluge, I added fenders to Herself’s bike and a rack trunk full of rain gear to my own.

Naturally, the only water we saw on our ride was confined neatly to roadside puddles and ditches.

Man plans, etc.

Dark mornings breed dark thoughts, especially for a lifelong news addict. For example, did you know that the hot back-to-school item is a bulletproof backpack?

Look for them at big-box retailers everywhere. I recommend shopping online until you get one, and maybe even afterward. See if you can find a new congressperson while you’re at it, one of those action figures, not the kind that just sits there between massacres, cashing checks while the NRA pulls its string.

“Thoughts and prayers … thoughts and prayers. …”

Speaking of which, I could use a few of those myself. The sun has finally made an appearance, and even though I don’t have my bulletproof backpack yet, I’m going out for a ride.

Rumble thy bellyful

August 3, 2019

King Lear would be freestyling on this afternoon’s rain, yo.

There’s a whole bunch of the boom-boom-boom going on around here today.

But lucky for us, it’s only thunder. And the only thing raining on us is, well, rain.

Who was first to the “thoughts and prayers?” I had Ted Cruz in the office pool.

So many clowns, so few Volkswagens

August 1, 2019
Fear and Loathing, Campaign Trail style

The more things change, etc.

No, I didn’t watch the “debate.”

I didn’t watch “The Apprentice,” either.

Nor have I watched “American Idol,” “The Bachelor,” “American Ninja Warrior,” or “The Circus.”

I did, however, read Hank Stuever’s appraisal of the “debate.” And he said pretty much everything about it that I wanted to say, save for “You have got to be fucking kidding me.”

Somewhere in the Beyond, Hunter S. Thompson is fitting another cigarette into its holder, ordering another round of mescaline and margaritas, and chuckling to himself over having gotten it so right so long ago.

“Jesus! Where will it end? How low do you have to stoop in this country to be President?”

It’s Mueller Time

July 25, 2019

“Is your president, uh, a goer, eh? Know what I mean, know what I mean, nudge nudge, nudge nudge, know what I mean, say no more, know what I mean?”

OK, so Live Update Guy is no more, but it is Tour time, and goddamnit, I had to work a Monty Python clip into this mess sometime.

What a crock

July 24, 2019

I’d like a pot with a little less crock to it, please.

I made that slow-cooker taco recipe last night and it was a hit.

Alas, I think the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees will be less satisfied as they lift the lids on their Crock-Pots today. Neither side is going to find anything in there that Chef Mueller hasn’t served them before.

And it’s not going to taste any better after Ginger Hitler pisses in it.

So 15 minutes ago? How about 85 years?

July 18, 2019

Don’t let the clouds fool you. That’s steam boiling off my bald noggin.

Seventy-one at 5 a.m. No, not me, the temperature.

And that’s outside, mind you. In the office, it’s 78.

We have at least three days of the roast-a-rama ahead, so it’s ride early or not at all. Hunker down in the air conditioning like we did as kids at Randolph AFB outside San Antone. You were either marinating in poisons and pee at the O-club pool or camped out in front of the Fedders window unit, playing Monopoly. Venture outside and you’d sink into the tarry streets like a dinosaur at La Brea, later to mystify alien archaeologists.

The God of the Tar People, discovered when a skeleton was unearthed by Vulcan archaeologists sometime in the distant future. Historical note: Like many a cartoonist, F.O. Alexander got stiffed for his work drawing characters for Monopoly.

“Chlorine must have been an essential nutrient for these semiaquatic creatures. And their god appears to have been this fellow with the archaic headgear and outlandish facial hair, who seems possessed of astonishing wealth.”

The Masi Speciale Randonneur review for Adventure Cyclist has been shipped, as has the August cartoon for Bicycle Retailer. I’m been thinking not very hard about an episode of Radio Free Dogpatch, but it seems podcasts are so 15 minutes ago, just like blogs. Or phrases like “so 15 minutes ago.”

In other news, Ginger Hitler has taken his song-and-dance routine to another Nuremberg rally, where he debuted a new three-syllable chant (he’s a man of few words, which is to say he only knows a few). A new low? Not for long, according to Kevin Drum at MoJo.

And finally, Le Shew Bigge is heading into the Pyrenees, just in time for Zoom-Zoom Froome — who is absent while recovering from a nasty pre-Tour get-off — to be named champion of the 2011 Vuelta a España after Juan José Cobo rang the Dope-O-Meter®.

Yes, that’s 2011. We’re not all the way back to 1934 yet, but we certainly seem headed in that direction.

 

Roof roof roof

July 15, 2019

Behind the garage the sun is working its leisurely way up the east side of the Sandias.

Otro día, otro dolár.

Bicycle Retailer wants a cartoon, and Adventure Cyclist wants reviews. It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood. All is well, save for … well, you know.

Swear to God, this pendejo is gonna start strolling around with his little orange dingus hanging out, because why not?

Now, the Secret Service doesn’t have anything to fear from me, because I am renowned as a man of peace. But if some itty bitty brown woman with an interest in MMA were to start slapping all the rabies out of Orange Julius Caesar on CNN at prime time, well, I’d probably watch.

Speaking of spectacles, I am not watching Le Tour, though I check in from time to time via Cyclingnews or The Guardian. However, friends are over in Frogland for a closer look at La Grande Boucle.

One couple recently relocated from ’Burque  to Lyon, which enjoyed a ride-by during stage eight, from Mâcon to Saint-Étienne. Another is just visiting, but I forget which stage they get to see. One more than me, I expect.

As far as I know, neither couple is motoring around in a Citroën 2CV. But they could be.

Thanks, but no tanks

July 3, 2019

“Just another day on the set, people. Lights, camera, action!”

“Hey, you want to talk Mexican? Join another tank, a Mexican tank. This is an American tank, we talk American.”