Friday, May 14, 2021

Hard Cyber


We're glad to report that Google (or whoever) has apparently taken down the scary big red warning page that this is somehow a dangerous website, so we can all take a deep breath and get back to our normal business of complaining about the world going to Hell (grin).

Many thanks for the many messages of support, all of which we're reading (and we'll try to respond if we don't get overwhelmed). We now return you to our regularly scheduled problems...


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Following the successful cyberattack (thought to be tied to a criminal group called "Darkside") which forced Colonial Pipeline to shut down 5500 miles of pipeline, Joe Biden has taken forceful action to show computer terrorists that the United States won't stand for this. Rather, it will continue to sit on its well-padded rear end.

Oh sure, the attack caused filling stations to run out of gasoline and plunged the stock market into despair, but Biden's response has been to sign an executive order which will create committees that will eventually compile a playbook of suggestions about possible responses to future such attacks. Such as creating larger committees and thicker playbooks, almost certainly at a cost of $2 trillion. 

Were Donald Trump still in the Oval Office, we would likely have seen all of this play out much differently. For starters, the media would have blamed the President personally for the utter failure of cybersecurity measures and then cite the failure as smoking-gun proof of collusion between the Russkis and the White House. Under Biden, the media's response was more measured, largely amounting to a collective "ho-hum, nothing to see here."

We also expect that Trump would have skipped the committee approach and just launched some "beautiful, beautiful Predator drones" which would fire "Hellfire missiles which are, and I've heard this personally from some of our top generals, you'd know their names, the best missiles anywhere," after which, when the clouds of red mist cleared, the computer hackers would look like cans of Spaghetti-Os which exploded violently in a hot car.

Such an action would be a considerable disincentive for those planning future cyberattacks on our nation's infrastructure, although we're sure that any terrorists with a pathological fear of "playbooks" are also reconsidering their career options about now. Or not.

But for now, the Colonial Pipeline crisis has been resolved and gasoline will soon be trickling back to the pumps. And is the crisis over because our laughingly-named intelligence agencies tracked down the miscreants and undid the computer mischief? Nope. It's over because Colonial Pipeline, rather than wait for the Government to act, paid the hackers a $5,000,000 ransom to get the password which would unencrypt the data on their frozen computers.

Which, in fairness, proves that their playbook is working just fine.

From The Cyber-Vault: Joe Byte 'Em

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Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Art For Heart's Sake

When the news bums us out, which is a daily occurrence lately, we like to take solace in the arts. Whether an image created by the sure hand of a painter or the sounds resulting from divine inspiration of a music composer, these are transcendent experiences which briefly but thankfully distract us from the frenetic madness around us.

Which is why we're sharing some of our favorite art with you today. Specifically, movie poster art from Ghana. The small theaters there are forced to paint their own movie posters, often with only a very vague idea what the movie is about or how human anatomy is supposed to work. Still, we'd happily watch ANY of these movies if they gave us half of what the posters promise...

Can't you just feel your stress melting away as you reflect on these images and the theatrical delights they offer? What a balm the "willing suspension of disbelief" can be when applied to entertainment rather than the news and politics.

And to round out today's enthusiastic endorsement of escapism, we'll share a few musical numbers which we swear we actually love and listen to on a regular basis (and you can too)!

Monday, May 10, 2021

From the Vault: The M-Word

(originally published 5/8/15)

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Rather than dwell on the unpleasantness of current news, Hope n' Change would like to take this opportunity to reflect on Mother's Day (the most sacred of all Hallmark holidays). And who better exemplifies all things maternal than Hillary Clinton?

Sure, she once denigrated women who do things like staying home and baking cookies for their families. And she humiliated her young daughter during the White House years by dragging her around as a prop to pose with her cheating, DNA-spewing dog of a husband. And she underpays her female staffers who may themselves be moms.

But Hillary has a soft, sentimental motherly side, too! 

Although you'll just have to take her word for it since - by her own proud declaration - she decided to go into her private server and erase every email and computer document related to her daughter's wedding, the birth of her first grandchild, and her own mother's final months of life and memorial service.

Come to think of it, Hillary doesn't exemplify anything good about Mother's Day. But maybe our current first lady does...

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Then again, maybe not.

Still, Hope n' Change thinks the world of most mothers and wishes them all the best this Sunday.  And while their love and lessons last forever, sadly, our mothers themselves are here for all too short a time. Be sure to hug 'em if you got 'em.

BONUS: One Bad Mutha (from the HnC vault)

Friday, May 7, 2021

Visitors Day

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Owing to language which President Trump forced to be inserted into a Covid relief bill, the agencies that monitor reports and investigations of UFOs are supposed to offer a report detailing all they know by June 1st.

And there's at least a possibility that we could hear some cool, scary, mind-blowing stuff...although if we do, it will surely be no more than 1% of the real story. In drips and drabs, military and intelligence agencies have already affirmed the existence of some weird kind of flying objects in our skies that not only far transcend any technology known on Earth, they seem to violate the laws of physics as we (perhaps primitively) understand them.

If we had to guess - and it's only a guess - our instinct is that a lot more of this stuff is real than we've been previously told. And that while extraterrestrials may visit from time to time, they seemingly don't want to interact with us much (let alone conquer us) because as a species we're comparatively stupid and boring.  Seriously, would you want to cross half a galaxy just to spend time getting lectured by Greta Thunberg?

But if there were a huge social upheaval coming when New Neighbors arrive and the government wanted to prepare us for it psychologically, what would that look like? Well, we imagine there would be preemptive policies like:

• Destroying the notion of borders, national sovereignty, and even property ownership. 

• Efforts would be made to erase and rewrite our national history. Hey, why fight to protect what's yours when you don't even know or believe in what you're fighting for?

• Muddle the accepted definitions of what "people" are. Male? Female? Whales? Dolphins? Who needs labels to self-identify as "human?" Or humanoid?

• Prepping for the Big Meet-and-Greet would take trillions of dollars, but it's money that would never realistically ever have to be paid back. Seen any budget proposals like that lately?

• In case of a complete social upheaval, pretty much no one will be showing up for their shifts at McDonalds, meaning the government would need to create plans to feed, clothe, and house everyone from cradle to grave...and supply them with an income even though there are no jobs to go to. And gosh, Biden is pushing all of this right now. Probably coincidentally.

• If Intergalactic visitors show up, we probably don't want to piss them off by implying that they can't do whatever the hell they want. Maybe it would be a good idea to undercut the citizenry's respect for police authority. 

• Just in case Cosmic Tourists would bring Cosmic coronaviruses with them, it would probably be smart to first condition the public to wear a mask or two at all times, indoors and out, for the rest of their lives.

And so on and so on. Mind you, we're not saying any of this is actually happening. We're just saying that, with Joe "Mumbles" Biden sitting in the Oval Office, stranger things have already happened.

It's okay - they're just here to do the jobs that Earthlings won't.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

The Spies of Life

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Showing a surprising lack of foresight, our Founding Fathers somehow forgot to add language to the Constitution which would make it easy-peasy for future governments to crush anyone who criticizes their flagrant abuses of power. 

But showing creativity and initiative that, frankly, seems lacking from most other programs, the Biden administration is looking into the possibility of paying private companies (with your money) to have them spy on you in ways which are entirely illegal for our police and intelligence agencies to do. 

Oh sure, they say they'd only use these tools to go after really dangerous extremists like people who question the fiscal sanity of setting six trillion dollars on fire, or people who regularly attempt to overthrow the government by voting for non-Democrats, and those loathsome scoundrels who dare to talk about such things with their friends under the belief that "Freedom of Speech" still offers protection.

Sadly, if not terrifyingly, this isn't the first attempt by a Biden-related administration to spy on (and harass) ordinary citizens in explicitly fascistic ways.  Recall (as we always do) Obama's Stasi-inspired "" program and its parasitic twin "Attack Watch"...


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 So it's come to this. An office in the White House set up specifically so people can turn in their friends and neighbors who are suspected of thoughtcrime against Obama (and if you don't know what "thoughtcrime" is, go read "1984" right now, before it disappears from the shelves!) 

Who is being paid to read these emails, and by what authority? Once the names are collected...what next? Audits? Threats? A burlap bag over the head? Or maybe just a note in your "permanent record" about how much healthcare you should or shouldn't get... Keep in mind that this is the President who praised the run-up to the Iranian "election" for its "robust debate." Is that what you're trying to encourage with this program, Mr President? "Robust debate?" And will you follow the Iranian model for silencing critics who "could have calibrated their words better?" 

And say, what about that catchy address: "Flag@Whitehouse.Gov" Flag? FLAG?! If this isn't the most obscene defilement of the flag in our history, we don't know what is. Meanwhile, it's safe to assume that people will have a lot of mischievous fun with that address; not just reporting suspected conservatives, but also cranky neighbors, ex-spouses, schoolteachers, your a**hole boss, the person who turned you down for a date...the list goes on and on.

Why not just address the mail to ScrewAnyoneYouWant@Whitehouse.Gov? 


Happy Cinco de Mayo, everyone! Today marks the festive occasion when Mexicans (and on Cinco de Mayo, aren't we all Mexicans?) celebrate what Wikipedia calls an "unexpected victory over the French" in 1862. Although how a victory over the French could be "unexpected" is a good question for another day. 

Cinco de Mayo is traditionally celebrated with guns fired into the air, ambulance runs to the hospital when victims are hit by falling bullets, mariachi music, margaritas, and a game in which children get treats and treasures by beating the daylights out of a hanging figure called a pinata (which, roughly translated, means "taxpayer"). 

So enjoy the holiday - but please, don't make too much noise! You might wake the immigration officials in Washington from their long, long siesta.

Remember: lick the salt, toss down a shot of tequila, bite a lime, and THEN beat your head on the wall.


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National Cartoonist Day is held annually on May 5th so that cartoonists, those lonely outcasts, can make believe that everyone is drinking and partying in their honor rather than because every watering hole with a liquor license is serving half-priced margaritas on Cinco de Mayo.

Unsurprisingly, here at Hope n' Change we hold cartoonists past and present in the very highest of regards. And we're talking about actual ink-stained wretches here, rather than simple pixel-pasters like ourselves.  Genuine artists who are in it for the love of what they do - because there's surprisingly little money to be had, especially as print goes the way of the Dodo (a large bird upon which the natives of Mauritius once tattooed cartoons).

We won't list our heroes here as there are way too many of them and we wouldn't want to leave anyone out. But we will give special recognition to the cartoonist who introduced us to so many others, and inspired us as no one else could: our own father, who passed away in 2006 on National Cartoonists Day. We love and miss you deeply, Pa, and are grateful that you can still make us laugh with cartoons like this one...

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Monday, May 3, 2021

Meating Out Justice

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It only seemed appropriate to add a canine element to today's offering, since the Department of Homeland Security is now officially chasing their own tail.

Having announced that the greatest security threat to our nation comes from "domestic violent extremism" and "white supremacists," the DHS is now looking into its own ranks to make sure none of these omnipresent instruments of terror are lurking behind desks, computers, or badges.

In order to sort out these extremists, they're looking for individuals with telltale signs of anti-American radicalism like a record of military service, any expression of concern about border security, respect for the Constitution, the unacceptable belief that "all lives matter," or any similar attributes which look dangerously like patriotism.

Also, being white is a significant and nearly infallible predictor of being a white supremacist (because duh!) as is denying that you're a white supremacist.

We're not really sure that this is either the most efficient use of our metastasizing tax dollars or the best way to head off an often-predicted but never-occurring 9/11-style terrorist attack on our nation by, um, Trump voters. Many of whom (unlike Al Qaeda, Antifa, and BLM) have never harmed a building in their lives.