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However you may have arrived here, this is the old Not Not Silly Newsroom.

It's a long story -- hardly worth going into here -- but after this place was declared a Brownfield Site, we abandoned it for the NEW! IMPROVED!! Not Now Silly Newsroom.

Feel free to stay and read what you came here to read, but when it's time to leave go to the new place by clicking HERE.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Nostalgia Ain't What It Used To Be ► The Electrocution of Topsy

Dateline January 4, 1903 - On this day a circus elephant named Topsy was electrocuted to death by The Wizard of Menlo Park, Thomas Edison. The death sentence was carried out, ostensibly, because Topsy had killed 3 trainers in 3 years. However, the real reason for Topsy's cruel death was commercial.

Trained elephants were a big attraction around the turn of the last century and Topsy had once belonged to the Adam Forepaugh Circus, just one of many traveling circuses working the large and small towns of 'Merka. Topsy was later retired to Luna Park in Coney Island. However, Topsy wasn't as well-trained as other elephants of the day and had killed 3 trainers, including the last one who, while drunk, tried to feed a lit cigarette to her. Topsy wasn't happy and trampled the man to death. Go figure!

Originally Topsy was to be hanged for her crimes. However, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals stepped in and other methods of putting Topsy to death were contemplated. Thomas Edison won the day with his suggestion that Topsy be electrocuted. Edison's plan had less to do with killing Topsy humanly, as electrocution was considered to be. At the time Edison was locked into a commercial battle with George Westinghouse which has come to be known as The War of Currents.

The War of the Currents was the Beta vs VHS battle of the day and the prize was the ability to wire 'Merka for electricity. Edison was pushing the Direct Current [DC] method of electrical distribution and lighting, which required a much lower voltage. Westinghouse was pushing for Alternating Current [AC] because he had licensed the patents to Nicola Tesla's competing system. For Tesla hooking up with Westinghouse and competing with Edison was something of a pay-back. Tesla had worked for Edison at one time and told Edison that he could redesign a motor that Edison had created. Reportedly Edison said he's pay $50,000 to Tesla if he could pull it off. When Tesla did, Edison claimed he was merely joking and the newly emigrated Tesla just didn't understand 'Merkin humour. A thousand laughs that Edison.

The real reason Edison wanted to kill Topsy with electricity is that he wanted to demonstrate how dangerous Westinghouse's AC power was. He had already created a disinformation campaign against AC current. According to the WikiWackyWoo:
Edison carried out a campaign to discourage the use of alternating current, including spreading disinformation on fatal AC accidents, publicly killing animals, and lobbying against the use of AC in state legislatures. Edison directed his technicians, primarily Arthur Kennelly and Harold P. Brown, to preside over several AC-driven killings of animals, primarily stray cats and dogs but also unwanted cattle and horses. Acting on these directives, they were to demonstrate to the press that alternating current was more dangerous than Edison's system of direct current.[29] He also tried to popularize the term for being electrocuted as being "Westinghoused". Years after DC had lost the "war of the currents," in 1903, his film crew made a movie of the electrocution with high voltage AC, supervised by Edison employees, of Topsy, a Coney Island circus elephant which had recently killed three men.

Edison opposed capital punishment, but his desire to disparage the system of alternating current led to the invention of the electric chair. Harold P. Brown, who was being secretly paid by Edison, built the first electric chair for the state of New York to promote the idea that alternating current was deadlier than DC.
Executing Topsy was a two-fer for Thomas Edison. Not only was he able to make another powerful statement against Alternating Current, but he also was able to film the event with his latest invention: the movie camera. His movie "Electrocuting An Elephant" toured around 'Merka and Edison made money off its distribution and ticket sales.

WARNING: Not for the squeamish! 


BTW: In all likelihood Topsy was named after the character of Topsy in Harriet Beecher Stowe's famous anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom's Cabin, published in serial format in 1851 - 1852 and in book form in 1853. It's from the Beecher Stowe book that we get the expression "grows like Topsy" or as Topsy put it, she just "grow'd."

While looking for pics to illustrate this blog post I came across Topsy: the Electrocuted Elephant, a series of comic strips that make one think, or at least they do me.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Fox "News" Spin Cycle ► Episode 32

As the year ends, and 2013 begins, it's time to compile the last Fox "News" Spin Cycle for 2012. 

It was a hell of a year for Fox "News," having been caught out by the presidential election to be the Opposite Network: If Fox says something, the opposite must be true. Now that Fox "News" normally brain-dead viewers have realized they were being lied to, they are turning off the Propaganda Network in droves. The Fox "News" ratings are now in free fall.

Before we get to this week's snark, I want to clear up a matter from a few weeks ago. When Fox "News" took what appeared to be an unprovoked shot at Matt Damon I wrote:
Matt Damon is another Hollywood star that Fox "News" delights in attacking. If I cared why I could research it. I would probably discover that Damon said something against Fox "News" or one of its pet projects. Or, he starred in movies with George Clooney, another Hollywood star Fox "News" attacks with regularity. The reason doesn't have to make sense. Suffice to say Fox "News" has a hate-on for Matt Damon (and George Clooney, among others).
While I still don't care and didn't bother to research it, the following graphic came across my cyber-desk this week:

Add caption
So, that explains that! Matt Damon supports unionism and (presumably) teachers, both of which are sworn enemies of Fox "News." No wonder Fox "News" attacks him without provocation.

Now that we've cleaned up that matter, here's the last Fox "News" Spin Cycle for the year:

The optics are much better for President Obama if we go off the Fiscal Cliff. The GOP will get all the blame. However, I don't think that's what the president wants. I'm sure he'd much rather sign a deal.

This is the newest Fox "News" tactic on guns: Attack the messenger. Fox "News" is pointing out what it feels is hypocrisy on the part of those who are for some form of control on some weapons for some reasons.

There's only one religion, as far as Fox "News" is concerned. Therefore, there's only one holiday worth talking about.

Once again Fox "News" uses Libertarian hero Penn Jillette to make fun of "Liberals." However, Penn Jillette has also come out strongly AGAINST the Fox "News" Phony War on Christmas and did it over at CNN to boot. However, Fox "News" simply ignores that.
Penn Jillette's recent OpEd at CNN, which slammed the Fox "News" Phony War on Christmas.


Did anyone at Fox "News" tell you that this gunman used the same weapon as the gunman in the Newtown Massacre? I thought not.

It may have been a "good war," but it has an expiry date. Is KKKarl Rove advocating we stay in Afghanistan or is he just looking for stuff to spew at President Obama because he's a sore loser?

Fox "News" made this its singular success story for the year, since it was unable to get Mendacious Mitt elected to the White House.

Bully Boy Bolling jumps onto the Hate Gregory Bandwagon.

This is the solution to gun violence that Fox "News" has been advocating, so any instance where guns are in schools will be trumpeted from this moment on.

More proof, if it was ever needed, of the vacuity of the 'Merkin public and, especially, the Fox "News" brain-dead audience.

Still no leg cheesecake from Ainsley Earworm. Marriage really changed that gal.

Because there is no other holiday.

Because there is no other holiday.

Because there is no other holiday.

Because there is no other holiday.

Because there is no other holiday.

Because there is no other holiday.

You can see the Fiscal Cliff from Sarah Palin's porch.

In truth the Fiscal Cliff is barely an escarpment. [See: Hamilton, Ontario.]

Because there is no other holiday.

I would love that for my neighbourhood. It would tell me which neighbours to avoid getting into an argument with.

Calling it the Fiscal Cliff is making a mountain out of a molehill.

What's really got Fox "News" freaked is the fact that President Obama has better leverage both before and after January 1st. The GOP are in a terrible position tactically, and they know it . . . so does Fox "News."

Obamacare is the program Fox "News" loves to hate, so anything negative that can be said about it MUST be said about it.

Once again Loofah Lad is using his silly quiz for propaganda purposes.

Fox "News" can't leave the Benghazi story alone, especially after its wholly fictitious conspiracy theory has fallen apart.

One person's historical revisionism becomes a national story at Fox "News" because it's critical of President Clinton, another president Fox "News" loves to hate.

On the other hand, George W. Bush was the president Fox "News" loved to love. Fox "News" supported all of Dubya's policies, until the second he left office. Once the 'Merkin public realized Dubya was an abject failure as a president, Fox "News" dropped him like a overused cliche. Now the so-called news channel barely speaks of him. This is a rare appearance of his name over the last 4 years.

It's a reverse Oreo Cookie. While Ainsley Earworm stopped showing off her legs ever since she got married, these two Heathers are happy to pick up the slack. Your male viewers than you, Heathers.

No one points fingers better than Fox "News." Here it points the finger at Harry Reid for saying the obvious.

If one were forced to compile a list of Fox "News" sworn enemies, Michael Moore would have to be at the top of the page. Barely a week goes by that there's not at least one attack on Moore.


When The Falafel King FINALLY apologizes for accusing U.S. troops of the Malm├ędy Massacre, then I'll take him seriously on matters of the military. Until then: Phhhht!

Do I detect some tension between the First Amendment and the Second Amendment? "Some people say" the newspaper had the RIGHT to print the map, but shouldn't have done so to protect the gun owners. Protect them from what? They've got all the guns.

The Heathers are never afraid to give their brain-dead followers a little morning cheesecake. What's Ainsley Earworm afraid of? Her husband?
It's always stunning, no matter how many times it happens, to see Bully Boy Bolling proudly display his utter stupidity. He's so proud of this stupid thing he said that when Mediaite quoted him, he was thrilled to pass it along.

First of all, Eric, President Obama didn't create this mess, the House did. Secondly, Bully Boy is only fooling himself if he feels the 'Merkin people will blame the president if the House and Senate fail to get an agreement. It will be the GOP's fault in the eyes of the public, and rightly so. Therefore, "GOP Cliff" would be far more accurate. Lastly, why would you cheer for failure, Bully Boy? Don't you want 'Merka to succeed? Doncha still believe in 'Merkin 'Ceptionalism?

There are more upper-lip sneers in a single Michelle Malkin segment on Fox "News" than in Elvis' entire musical career.

Kraut the Hammer is just one of MANY Fox "News" personalities that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was faking her concussion to get out of testifying before Congress. After it was revealed that the bump to her head resulted in a blood clot next to her brain and she had to be hospitalized, there was no apology from Fox "News" for its despicable reporting, as usual. Down the memory hole.

The only solution to too many guns is clearly more guns. It's the "hair of the dog" solution to 'Merka's gun violence.

Michael Moore, the Liberal Fox "News" loves to hate.
This was Bully Boy Bolling at his worst this week. He was clearly angry at Michael Moore (yeah, this is a continuation of the above) and his remarks. However, when Bully Boy is angry it decouples his brain from his mouth. In other words: He runs his mouth without thinking and winds up saying something stupid. I thought Michael Moore made a good point about some of the emotions that drive gun owners and a fear of Black people IS what motivates some gun owners. However, according to Bully Boy Bolling, White people aren't afraid of Blacks. White people are afraid of Michael Moore, and others like him, who use their First Amendment Rights to express an opinion. Because we all know that opinions are scarier than Black folk.

You just have to get right back on that horse, right Bully Boy? [Why am I thinking of The Great Santini right now?]

When fake ammunition belts are outlawed, only outlaws will wear fake ammunition belts.

The guy broke the rules imposed by his employer not to possess a weapon. It's not that he defended himself, but that he used a weapon he carried 'just in case' to do so. Maybe Fox "News" would have preferred he used a gun.

It's always fun 'til somebody pokes an eye out, right Eric Chase?

It was "Bring the Briggs to Work Day" on the Curvy Couch, just in time for Dave Briggs to leave Fox "News" on the last day of the year.

Fox "News" also loves to attack welfare recipients and the social safety net.

Of course Brent Bozo's Media Research Center is disqualified from being awarded its own prize, otherwise it would be a runaway winner every year. They may as well retire the category.

TRANSLATION: We will allow equal access to healthcare for all, including contraception, even if one works for a religious organization, including Christians.

Because 5 hours a week of this bullshit is clearly not enough.
Once again Brent Bozo's Media Research Center doesn't disappoint. Fox "News" uses the MRC to say things it would never say. That's the only reason Brent Bozo appears on the Fox "News" Channel.

TRANSLATION: Because we have more lies in us than can be contained in 5 hours of tee vee per week.

Now that former-Marine Jon Hammar has been released by the Mexican government, Fox "News" has started a new campaign to get Russia to reverse a law concerning foreign adoption. Can you imagine the outcry from Fox "News" if Russia tried to meddle in the 'Merkin legal system? Loofah Lad would be manning the battle stations and Sean Scammity would start up a new series of Freedom Concerts from which to siphon off proceeds.


Spinning a new Benghazi story out of a shred of a quote.

Mine is the Fox and Friends theme song:


I guess we'll have to wait until next week to find out.

And that, folks, is how Fox "News" accounted for itself in the last week of 2012. As we enter 2013 there will be more Fox "News" silliness to expose, counter, and ridicule. Be sure to join The Fox "News" Spin Cycle for the journey.