Most Dangerous Games: Slip ‘n Slide

by kara on July 26, 2016

Wham-O’s The Slip ‘N Slide held such promise. Such high hopes for the pool-less. Slip ‘N Slide was like a dangling promise of cool, wet summer fun for us hot and disgusted kids in the 1970’s who didn’t have a pool. For us, water sports were relegated to hopping back and forth over that stupid sprinkler on burning hot days.


The idea of cooling off and having fun at the same time by running up to – and then belly-flopping down on – a water-slicked length of slippery vinyl seemed, well, AWESOME. The roll-out backyard slide seemed like the answer to our prayers. “Easy Fun! Just Run and Slide a Mile! It’s Crazy! People Scoot Like Seals!” it boasted.

People Scoot Like Seals. I wanted that. I wanted to scoot like a fckng seal.

The Slip N’ Slide Deconstructed:

An upholsterer named Robert Carrier invented the Slip ‘N Slide and sold the idea to our friends at Wham-O Toys, who released the first ones way back in 1961.Untitled

Robert Carrier’s 1961 patent for what became the Slip ‘N Slide. (U.S. Patent and Trademark Office)

The toy was a long sheet of thin yellow plastic with a lengthwise heat-sealed tubular fold running down one side.

The tube attached to an ordinary garden hose so that water would project down the surface and supposedly create a slippery surface.

Robert Carrier called his idea “a portable aquatic play device for body planing.” Body planing, Carrier explained, referred to the practice of hurling oneself into shallow water then gliding (like a seal),  across a slick coating of muddy earth.

The biggest problem with this piece of junk was that the the ideal natural environments for body planing and sliding did not exist in anyone’s backyard. If you were lucky enough to have a grassy yard, they tended to carry sharp and abrasive things sticking out. The Slip N’ Slide was perilously thin and didn’t have any padding, so we were basically hurling themselves onto a thin piece of plastic over pretty hard grass, rocks, mounds and sticks.


You also needed several other factors to successfully navigate the treacherous Slip ‘n Slide journey: Enough room for a good running start, and a soft landing for the end of the ride. Without the first, you wouldn’t travel very far. Rather, you’d end up with a hard thump on your ass a few feet from the start of the slide. Without the latter, and you are just flinging yourself to your doom out onto the sidewalk pavement or across the driveway, or onto a cement patio.  I suffered all these. I skidded to a short stop onto the plastic, I overshot the end of the plastic, I scorched my ass on burning plastic, I ripped open skin on rocks hidden underneath the plastic. Still, I was one of the lucky ones…I careened into the metal brackets used to staple it to the grass, acquiring bruises all over my body while bumping over uneven divots of dirt.

The death merchants at Wwhamoham-O sold millions of Slip ‘N Slides over the years, and if a kid broke a toe on one of the stakes that secured the mat to the ground or punctured an ass on a rock hiding under the mat, left most of their epidermis on the driveway because they slid too far, or a teenager broke a neck, well it was the 1970’s. It wasn’t until the more litigious 1990s that words like “spinal cord injury” and “death” started appearing in the lengthy list of warnings included on the Slip ‘N Slide instruction sheet. Between 1973 and 1991,  Slip ‘N Slide injuries included neck injuries, bone fractures, quadriplegia, and paraplegia. It is kind of amazing – and a testament to the time – to learn that this dumb toy was not recalled until 1993.

Thanks, mom!

Viva La White Privilege Revolution

by kara on July 25, 2016

Today we were treated to a loud, white, rageful fucking contingent of  Revolutionaries chanting “NO TPP!” like fucking parrots all through Congressman Elijah Cummings speech about his sharecropper parents and how to make “progress”.  Over and over they shouted, without an iota of shame at the fact that they thought they knew more about “fair” trade than THE MAN WHO WAS TALKING ABOUT HIS PARENTS BEING SHARECROPPERS, WHILE HE WAS TALKING ABOUT IT.


bIt’s not funny, it’s not cute,  it’s not cool, and if YOUR democracy “looks like” this, go be a fucking Trumpkin and you can be the anti-democratic authoritarian you so clearly wish to be while shouting down your fucking betters. Tea+Party+Activists+Hold+Tax+Day+Rally+Washington+Z2UiZJOiAR4l

“Revolutionaries” are willing to sacrifice for the cause. The TPPbaggers are mad because they lost, they aren’t getting their own way, and it feeds their egos and costs them nothing to act like common Teabaggers, or the Ron Paul fringe of “muh purity”, “muh banks”, “everyone’s corrupt”, “muh war” assholes.  I do not see Bernie or his followers as champions of social justice. I see a group of dumbbells with no context, no respect for history.

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by kara on July 25, 2016


via New Yorker

PHILADELPHIA (The Borowitz Report)—In an unorthodox departure from tradition, the Democratic National Convention will kick off its prime-time schedule on Monday night with what a D.N.C. spokesman called “three hours straight of booing.”

The booing, which is slated to begin at 8 p.m. and end promptly at eleven, will give those assembled at the D.N.C. an opportunity to “get it out of their system,” the spokesman said.

The decision to schedule three hours of booing came after rancorous negotiations between the Clinton and Sanders camps, with the Clinton side originally offering half an hour of booing and the Sanders side demanding twenty hours.

Reportedly, the Clinton camp also vetoed a demand by the Sanders camp that the definition of booing be expanded to include throwing things.

While the D.N.C. hailed the three-hour booing session as a compromise that was acceptable to both sides, many Sanders delegates reacted angrily to the agreement, arguing that the negotiations had been rigged against them.

“Once again, we’ve been screwed,” Carol Foyler, a Sanders delegate from New Hampshire, said. “Three hours is barely enough time to boo Debbie Wasserman Schultz.”

Andy Borowitz is a New York Times best-selling author and a comedian who has written for The New Yorker since 1998. He writes the Borowitz Report for MORE

i wish…..

by kara on July 25, 2016

I wish sometimes that I lacked a moral compass and could make a lot of money by taking advantage of the stupidity and gullibility of other people without the potential downside of lying awake at night worrying about the hideous consequences of my actions. And a future fiery afterlife destination.

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Nationalism, Fear, and Blech.

by kara on July 22, 2016

Who DOES this? Can you imagine how Fox News would run this shit over and over from multiple angles if this were a Democratic candidate? It’s positively European.

Eugene O’Donnell: “People Of Good Faith Should Be Calling [Giuliani] Out” On His Attacks Against Black Lives Matter

EUGENE O’DONNELL: It is important to say Rudy Guiliani is in a special category. This is a person that made a study out of the most divisive, inflammatory rhetoric with the African-American community, and sadly, is a two term mayor. So we’re not talking about crazy people speaking in the recesses of social media or somebody saying, you kill one of us, we’ll kill two of you in a crowd, we’re talking about somebody who every time he speaks on race hits a new low. I’m not even an African-American, I find one of the things — because I know his playbook — that I find particularly offensive is when he pretends to be talking to the African-American community when he’s really talking at the African-American community, and has nothing to say to them. He poisoned race relations in New York City almost irreparably. We’re trying to get a handle on this. He is one of the most extremist, divisive people, I think I remember when he contemplated running for Senate against Mrs. Clinton, I believe the poll showed the African-American community, he had zero percent. David Duke would have 1 percent. That’s the kind of mayor he was. And people who saw him in action — we can talk about how he destroyed the police profession as a labor mayor — but people of good faith should be calling this guy out. And what’s scary is — we have people running for high office here. If they said what they’re saying out loud on Facebook as cops, they’d be terminated tomorrow morning.

Blacks are so lucky to have Rudy Giuliani explain what being black is like, ammiright? Am I the only one who wants to pour bleach in my ears whenever I have to see the crown prince of 911’s fat ass on on national teevee, with his thumbs up his asshole, bitching, unchallenged about this crap as millions of slackjaws across the country nod in agreement? In the next segment, a panel of Republican strategists wring their hands wondering why Trump is winning the nomination.

343 firefighters, 60 police officers and 8 paramedics died because that bloviating ass-clown joker-face bigot prince of 911 decided to cancel the acquisition of new radio equipment and ignore the warnings of terrorism experts by placing New York City’s emergency response command center at a high-profile terrorist target like the World Trade Center complex.

So who’s actually killed more cops, Rudy? The BLM folks?

by kara on July 10, 2016

“They won’t mention that the most ruthless campaign of paid hatred in American political history started when Hillary Clinton rallied to reform health care in 1989. And that enjoining that hatred remains an act of solidarity with the founding legacy of Fox News.”

via dailycaller

Bernie, Berners go Bust

By Michael Dannerbeck


Sanders speaks during a June 14 news conference outside his campaign headquarters in Washington. (Alex Brandon / AP)
“It’s a hard rain that’s gonna fall.”

— Bob Dylan

This summer the Democratic Party will give Bernie Sanders a stand-offish hug goodbye. They will praise him for his activism and watch him bask in the blue-hued lights of the convention and wag his finger at America one last time.

There will be a mix of respectful applause and, obviously, unscheduled outbursts from his fans. His vilified rivals, who defeated him by every measure of democratic process, will wait politely for his exit. The mainstream will remain civil, if tight lipped, as the disruptive tumult that defines Bernie Sanders rises to a clamor, then fades one last time. They will leave him alone in that great dance hall of history until every clap condenses into a tear and the adulation settles a hammering din that fades like windless rain at dusk. They will give him that.


But no more.

They won’t complain that he used the “mainstream” party as a free buffet of national political infrastructure. They won’t mention that Bernie discounted the organization of President Clinton and President Obama as a cheap tool box overflowing with the product of other people’s labor. Tools he looted, then used to gut-job the party.

They won’t mention what he left steaming in the box.

They will allow him a coda of red faced “passion.” And he might use it to further blame not just the party’s mainstream but America’s main street itself for stealing his political capital. Capital he earned, not by being the most competent Democrat but by being the most old, white and male. Unlike his followers, they will not interrupt his speech.

They won’t mention that the most ruthless campaign of paid hatred in American political history started when Hillary Clinton rallied to reform health care in 1989. And that enjoining that hatred remains an act of solidarity with the founding legacy of Fox News.

They will intone that Bernie pulled them leftward (and that this helps Democrat’s electoral reality). But they will also drop code words to remind broader audiences that while being as equally far from perfect as any campaign in the field, they are uniquely far from crazy — terms like “realistic” or even “fiduciary.” They won’t mention that the mainstream party Bernie attacked remains the only thing standing between the Koch Brothers and ownership of all three branches of government.

Alas, they won’t change the delegate system. But they also won’t mention that Bernie almost proved a buffered delegate system is justified. They certainly won’t point, out as an aside, that if the GOP had a super delegate air bag system on their bus they wouldn’t be watching themselves go through the windshield right now.

Bernie Sanders’ revolution was not a case of too little too late, it was a cause that was too small minded and too impulsive. The proof is in his lack of acumen at the end game of his campaign. He had a moment that offered him serious political capital, but he tempestuously refused to cash his chips and now the table has closed out. The Democratic Party was there before he joined it last year, and it will be there after he goes. He exits as an incredibly shrinking man.

The brutal truth is that while the Democratic Party welcomes Bernie’s kids it doesn’t need them. The GOP has become its own defeat.

The “mainstream” exists for a reason, and that reason is called the real world. In the real world, leaders leave room to lose elections (and in Democracy they owe a duty to take it like a grown up). Professionals never wager everything on the little patch of green felt that reads: “Victory or Bust.” Bernie Sanders rejected this adage. He extended his defeat until he had nothing left to pawn. He has a gentle stink about him now. He is old, so it makes sense that he did not save any art of war for the future. Still, just as he made his supporters relevant by their anger, he made them irrelevant by his own. He squandered the moment he created.

Bernie raised a legion then slammed their entire stake against an “all-in” spin for personal glory. He put 22 million votes of political coin on “Bernie or Bust.” But there’s only two sprockets on that wheel.

They won’t rub it in at the convention, but they won’t pretend that he won.

Michael Dannerbeck lives in Boulder.

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by kara on July 9, 2016


I read this somewhere and it cracked me right up.