Monday, January 31, 2011

Lakin, Loughner, and Responsibility

lakin serious

As of this writing, it has been well over a month since I challenged Birthers to pay the former LTC Lakin back for his having dared, and lost almost everything, on their behalf. I told them they should fork over as much money as they feel comfortable doing to ensure that Lakin and his family are well looked after.

As of this writing, all we hear from those Birthers I name-checked (that would be Joseph Farah, Orly Taitz, Rev. Manning, and Alan Keyes) are crickets. Bumpkiss. Nada.


I haven't even seen them stump for the web site that someone else made to see to Lakin's welfare. It's unfortunately too-connected to site that now exists to raise money using Lakin for their own uses -- which Farah last fronted for -- for me to really front for it in good conscience, but at least it's there.

So I can, at this point, call the mega-Birthers on their perfidy. Lakin is in jail tonight because of them, and they won't help him out. Not at all.

Nice bunch of folks, huh? Quick tip: don't do any favors on their behalf -- they will literally hang you out to dry.

However, having said all that, I must revisit something else I said lately. This was concerning a certain Mr. Loughner of Tucson, Arizona. Maybe you've heard of him?

What I said was this: Even if it turns out (Loughner) was was Beckhead, and a Palinator, and thought W was Wonderful, it still would not be anyone's fault but his own.

The fault for our output does not lie in our input, but what we decide that output will be. In Loughner's case, the output was an atrocity. But whether he was into Beck, Lenin, or the Teletubbies, the output is clearly his own fault, and no one else's.

Contrast that with my pronouncement on the Lakin matter, though:

While the decision to act on what (Lakin) "learned" from them was his own, and therefore his own fault, these people bear no small responsibility to having helped turn him into a victim of his own gullibility.

Birthers, I accuse you.

Terry Lakin is in jail tonight because of you .

A mother and child are going to spend this Christmas apart from the man they love because of you.

His personal and economic future is in jeopardy because of you.

I even made similar statements, directly to Joseph Farah, himself, not long after.

Sir, Terry Lakin is in jail tonight because of you.

He will be in jail for Christmas, because of you. He will be in jail for up to six months because of you.

And if someone chooses to remove his license to practice private medicine because of his criminal record, that will also be on your head.

On the surface, that seems like quite a jump. Lakin listened to a bunch of Birthers, and ruined his career, but while he's at fault, they're still responsible. But yet, if Loughner listened to the eliminationist rhetoric of Palin, O'Reilly, Beck, et al, then while he's still at fault, they're NOT responsible?

I must admit that I was hoping to duck this seeming contradiction behind the blinds of time and distance. However, I received a letter from the Hobgoblin Society of America just yesterday, pointing out this apparent discrepancy. And, given that I don't want any more enmity between myself and the Hobgoblin-American community after the last time (for which I am still very sorry, by the way) I thought it wise to publicly ruminate on the matter.

You know what the big difference between the two levels of responsibility in these two cases is? That would be Cheerleading, my friends. Cheerleading.

There is, to date, no evidence that Mr. Loughner was a FOX News devotee. I don't have to hand any proof that he was into Palin, or saw that graphic with the targets. I'm similarly evidence-negative on Beck, Orielly, Limbaugh, and the like.

But even if it turns out that he was a fan -- and let's say he was a gibbering, buy everything, parrot even more fanatic -- we have to ask one question: did any of those people tell him he was right and correct to shoot a Congresswoman?

No, they did not. And I'm pretty sure that, if he'd written to them and said "hey, guess what I want to do," they'd have dissuaded him from doing so, and possibly even turned his correspondence over to the authorities. And if he'd gone on the web and stated his intentions, I bet they would have shuddered in fear and done their best to distance themselves from his homicidal plans.

Because, for all their stupidity, prejudice, and other various and sundry problems that act to separate them from wonderful people like thee and me, I remain convinced that Palin, Beck, OReilly, Limbaugh, and those folks are not monsters who want Lefties dead. They'd just rather we shut the hell up and moved away, somewhere, so they could get on with the business of running America their way. That it would run America into the ground is one of the many reasons I stick around and keep my mouth open... But I digress, as I am wont to do.

Now, let's contrast that with Lakin. Lakin shot to prominence after he taped a rather ill-considered video saying that he was going to disobey his order to deploy because President Obama had failed to prove (to Lakin's standards, anyway) that he was a Natural Born Citizen, and therefore eligible to be the Commander In Chief.

And what happened then? You guessed it. He became a Birther cause celebre. The Birther cognoscenti went "atta boy" and cheered him on. They called him an American hero. They called his detractors rude things. They rooted for him, and talked him up, and encouraged him to stay that mighty course, so that he might arrive in the safe harbor of truth, justice, and the American way.

That they have failed to help him after his failure to navigate his ship past the shark-infested reefs of the legal consequences of his actions is another matter, entirely. But I think we'd call that excessive and omnipresent cheerleading "abetting" if this was a court of law situation, wouldn't we?

Yes, I think we could.

So there, my friends, is the difference between the two subjects. In one case, the "encouragers" had no direct contact with the person who did the crime, and certainly did not cheer him on in his goals. In the other, they did, and they did. And that's why the Birthers have a special responsibility in the Lakin matter, whereas the FOXies do not in the Loughner matter.

I hope that clarifies matters up for my Hobgobliny friends.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Saul Anuzis - Still Dodging

this is where the party ends

Our readers might remember the attention we paid to Saul Anuzis -- who may be the next RNC Chairman, depending on how things go in the next few days -- and his interesting relationship with Kyle "White Apocalypse" Bristow.

In brief:

* Back when Kyle was just starting to make a total ass of himself, in 2007, Saul Anuzis defended him, calling him "exactly the type of young kid we want out there ... I've known Kyle for years and I can tell you I have never heard him say a racist or bigoted or sexist thing, ever."

* Saul apparently didn't know that Kyle had actually said numerous racist, bigoted, and sexist things on his group's blog, the Spartan Spectator (now locked down, so we can't show you direct evidence anymore. so much for conservative accountability!).

* Saul also didn't know that Kyle was making friends with people like Nick Griffin of the formerly Whites only BNP, anti-Islam MSU Professor Indrik Wichman, and Canadian Neo-Nazi Paul Fromm (all matters of public record).

* In the period of time after Saul defended Kyle, he apparently lost all ability to keep tabs on the "young kid we want out there," and entirely missed Kyle's slide into even worse shades of racism, bigotry, sexism, jew-hatred, and the like (again, locked down. Chickenshit).

* Saul also seems to have missed that, while studying law, Kyle had the time to crank out a racist Da Vinci Code knockoff, "White Apocalypse," and start a rather hideous blog that makes no bones about its White Nationalism.

So of course, now that he's trying to become the next Chairman of the Republican National Committee, a few of us are wondering what sort of relationship Mr. Anuzis still shares with Kyle Bristow. After a few news cycles of avoiding the question, Saul finally came out and officially dodged it.

In an e-mail exchange with Michigan Messenger Anuzis refused to say whether he still supports Bristow and he called reports of his 2007 comments in support of Bristow “an old story, out of context and irrelevant.”

“I have no idea what Kyle has been up to since he was MSU chair,” he wrote, “so I have no idea or comment on his current status or activities.”

*cough cough*

Of course, that could be true. But you'd think he'd keep better tabs on someone who impressed him enough that he publicly defended him against the bad press that he'd been getting -- bad press he clearly deserved.

So it's been some time since this connection has been brought up yet again, and so far no one in the mainstream, big time media really seems to want to make an issue out of it. Even the anti-Anuzis site that went up the other week doesn't bother to make any mention of it -- preferring to harp on perceived economic and policy-based irregularities in his past.

Is it really a deal-breaker? Maybe not. Maybe Anuzis didn't know what a total waste of DNA Bristow was when he defended him, all those years ago, and has been trying to dodge the damage ever since. That doesn't speak well of someone who's going to head the RNC, though.

All Anuzis would have to say is something along the lines of "look, politics is the game of strange bedfellows, and people I used to be associated with just a few years ago are no longer on my Christmas card list. I didn't know what a turd-burger the kid was then, and I'm horrified to see what he's become, now. I rescind all past praise and condemn his current excesses. Please do not think I share his warped beliefs. I repudiate them. They are not what the Republican party stands for, period."

So why doesn't he? Why does he cling to that dodgy dodge?

Maybe someone should ask the delegates.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Supreme Court Tells Orly No, One More Time

orly thumped again

Remember that little matter of the $20,000 Orly Taitz had to pay for wasting Judge Land's time?

Remember how she tried to get the Supreme Court to make the fine go away, and, after going through two different Judges, was told no?

Well, you have to hand it to Orly -- she gave it one more college try. But to no avail.

A fully expected announcement, since Taitz’s petition was dead-listed on the Miscellaneous Order List of cases which were discussed at the SCOTUS Conference of January 7; a day celebrated on The Fogbow as “No Cert Friday,” once the January 6 docket showed no call for response from the the government (hint hint).

The Money's already been paid, even though Orly said she wouldn't pay a red cent, before. Maybe they sent someone to harass her at her places of business? Who can say? I'd ask Orly, but I doubt I'd get a straight answer.

What's next for Orly? Hopefully a cranio-rectal reversal, but I don't know if Obamacare will help her with that one. All the same, it's Tuesday, and that means Music. So let's ask Orly a good question - Where's Your Head At?

(Basement Jaxx, by way of Gary Numan)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Whose Fault is it, Anyway?

come on, you know SOMEONE was going to do it, right?

Years ago, in the classic graphic novel Arkham Asylum (a work its creator considers a failure, oddly enough), a psychologist posited that The Joker was not actually insane, but instead possessed of "super-sanity" -- a state in which he, having no true personality of his own, could change himself from day to day, moment to moment, in order to best survive in a harsh and broken world.

Batman's reply was simple: "Tell that to his victims."

Of course, that Batman was a harsh and unyielding fellow, obviously in need of some loosening up (as the Joker himself pointed out in his own, unique way). But he was right: all rational explanations, psychological hand-wringing, and in-depth diagnoses aside, whenever the monster gets out of Arkham, people die. Lots of them. Badly.

And they keep dying until someone catches the clown and puts him back where he belongs.

So who's to blame for The Joker? There's been a half-dozen origin stories, and all or none of them may be true. As the fellow said in another, classic graphic novel -- Batman: The Killing Joke -- he prefers his past to be multiple choice.

The running gag in the latest movie where he keeps offering differing accounts on how he got those scars is both informed by this situation (comicbook continuity is often a contradiction in terms) and perhaps a window into his madness. He may not even remember what happened to him. All he knows is he's here, and he's got no plan, but he's got a lot of jokes to tell... so why aren't you laughing?

Maybe as Batman says in The Killing Joke, it's because we've heard it already, and it wasn't funny the first time.

So stop me if you've heard this before. A clearly deranged fellow gets a notion to do some harm to some people for reasons that only he can fathom. The deed is done, people are hurt and killed, and, as is our national custom, we rush to judgment as soon as possible. And only well after we've had time to reflect and cool off do we see that we were just a little hasty in our judgment, but by then it's usually too late -- people who were blameless were demonized, people who were possibly involved weren't even on the guest list, and, in the end, we have to admit that the only villain in the piece is the deranged fellow who did the damage.

Yes, Harley -- you HAVE heard this joke before.

Remember Columbine? Marilyn Manson, violent video games, and the mysterious "trenchcoat mafia" were clearly at fault. Well, okay, maybe not. But MM got badmouthed, video games got another strike they didn't need nor deserve, and kids all over the country got told to leave their lovely coats in the locker, lest they carry guns and bombs into the classroom.

It turns out the shooters didn't have anything to do with goth kids and their taste in clothing or music. They were idiots who wanted to kill and then die.

Remember the DC Snipers? We were told it was the militia, or icky Muslims out to get us. Well, one manhunt later, and it's a whack job and his underage accomplice -- something of a reverse Batman/Robin relationship, complete with a modified car and a big gun. Christian militia? No. Islam? Well, NOI, maybe, but that's clearly not the Islam they were thinking about. But I'm sure the Muslims in the DC area felt a lot better, especially after it turns out that the shooter was a total nut who had nothing to do with them at all.

He was an idiot who wanted to kill.

I could go on. Sometimes I do. I really do.

But let's jump ahead to why I'm here, tonight. There's been a tragedy. Maybe you've read about it. Maybe you think you know ALL about it.

I know some people really think they do.

Some of those who think they know all about it think they know enough to lay blame at the feet of the radical Right and its irresponsible hate anthems. It's Glenn Beck's fault for making his violent fantasies known. It's Sarah Palin's fault for putting up that graphic with the crosshairs, and that "reload" thing. It's the target's opponent's fault for letting would-be voters shoot an M-16 at his rallies.

It's this ass-clown with the clever sign, and all those like him.

It's their fault. Clearly. They made this young man go and kill. Their rude, irresponsible, eliminationist rhetoric sent him spiraling over the edge and WHAM - dead people. Guilty, guilty, guilty.

Simple, right?

Well, no. Not really. There's still so much we don't know.

Do we know he watched Glenn Beck? Do we know watched FOX News? Do we know he rooted for Palin, voted for W, or stood arm in arm with pro-war neo-con loonies as they demanded we bomb Iran? Do we know if he has a THERE ARE AMERICANS AND THEN THERE ARE LIBERALS bumper sticker on his car?

No, we don't.

What DO we know? We know he was seen with his hand on the gun. We know he had an envelope at his house that indicated prior planning. We know he's described poorly by people who knew him, or knew of him. We know he refuses to cooperate with the arresting authorities.

We know he takes a scary mugshot.

Past that, we don't know jack. Of course, that has not stopped people from playing that good old blame game. At least no one thinks he's a Leftist -- at least not yet.

But give them time....

But you know what? Even if it turns out he was was Beckhead, and a Palinator, and thought W was Wonderful, it still would not be anyone's fault but his own.

The fault for our output does not lie in our input, but what we decide that output will be. In Loughner's case, the output was an atrocity. But whether he was into Beck, Lenin, or the Teletubbies, the output is clearly his own fault, and no one else's.

Invisible forces do not make us kill. Rock and roll does not cause suicide. Halo does not make you shoot up your school. Internet bullying does not force you to commit suicide.

"Puff the Magic Dragon" does not make you drop acid.

And all the FOX News in the world can't make you do anything, except maybe believe outrageous things. But what you do with those beliefs are your own damn fault. Eliminationist rhetoric does not make us act on it. Crosshairs on a congressional district and admonitions to reload do not turn us from pulling levers to pulling triggers.

So why do we play this blame game? I think it's because we like to see the world as a place where things happen for a reason. We need there to be some kind of rational explanation we can hang on to when something really terrible happens. And we prefer to believe that there's something we can actually DO to fix it, so that terrible thing never happens again.

But what do you do when the terrible thing is done by some crazy person?

If you're realistic, you admit that insane people are just going to be insane, and that there's not a whole lot you can do. You can't ban everything that might set them off. You can't take freedom away from everyone because of the actions of a few. You have to be vigilant and brave, and hope you catch the bad things before they get through.

If you're forward thinking, you see to it that the states get more than adequate money for mental health. The way we look after our mentally ill is a disgusting joke, and has been for decades now. This needs to be a national priority, and now.

And if you're like most of the people out there in talky-talk land, you find something to blame it on, and don't let go until it's totally, absolutely, 100% clear that you can no longer use the facts to support your position. Then you don't apologize, hope no one calls you on your BS, and wait until the next time something terrible happens to get your two cents back out in the ring, again.

Anything to feel like we've got a handle on a situation you can't really have a handle on.

When the Joker gets out of Arkham, people die. Batman shows up, kicks the hell out of him, and puts him back in. He will never kill the Joker, and the Joker probably won't try to kill him, either, because Batman's part of the joke, too. It's the sort of absurd situation where you have to laugh, however ruefully, because there's no sane response.

Real life is often that way.

But we here in reality have an option. We can seek the real enemy -- mental illness, itself -- and try to control it. We can put the blame where it really belongs -- a system that does not work -- and try to fix it. We can stop putting the blame where it does not belong, and do what we need to so that we won't have to blame as often, if ever.

Because if we don't recognize that the real fault is that of the person who makes the terrible thing happen, and we would rather blame other people and things for their actions than take responsibility for the poor state of mental health in our country, then we, in fact, bear much more blame than the boogeymen we nominate for public enemy #1 at these terrible times.

Even if it is Glenn Beck.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

When Reality Replicates Humor, However Unfunny

Watching the news on the tragic shooting of Rep Gabby Giffords (pictured above by way of some weird fring-o website) I was struck by the eerie similarities between the reporting on Gifford's alleged would-be assassin, Jared Loughner, and John David Stutts, who shot Buckwheat on Saturday Night Live all those years ago (his life and times are at 3:04).

Is it just me or are the same scripts being followed, both in reality and humorous fantasy?


Loughner ranted about government brainwashing through grammar (not a far-out idea, really). Stutts said his dog told him to kill Buckwheat.


Loughner seemed to have been planning this, possibly for some time. Stutts spent his whole life preparing. He was even a member of the Future Assassins of America, according to his high school yearbook.


And in both cases, it would seem that no one noticed there was a serious problem. No one did anything about it.

In SNL's case it was part of the joke. With Loughner... not so funny.


But when Eddie Murphy shot himself, back in the early 80's, things were different.

For one thing, there was no internet. So there was no youtube for John David Stutts to rant on about his dog and how much he wanted to kill Buckwheat. No Myspace. No Facebook.

Maybe he could have done a fanzine, or written crank letters to the editor of various unfortunate local papers, but not a lot of people would have read that.

Maybe a guest column in "Soldier of Fortune"?


There was just THE News. Either you got on it or you didn't. And if you wanted to get on it, you had to do something pretty spectacular. Or really bad.

So that's why Buckwheat went into a coffin, soon followed after by John David Stutts. Publicity. And a homicidal, god-bothering Dalmatian named Petey.


There was also no culture of make-your-own-news that allowed millions of uninformed people to speculate about exactly what made John David Stutts kill Buckwheat in realtime. I suppose they could have called in to radio shows and let fly, but you really had to fight to get on the air on those things.

The internet lets you on no matter what, and there's no fact check. So Loughner's been career military, kicked out of the military, and never allowed in, all at the same time.

Something of a cat in a box, our alleged assassin. Even I can't help but wonder in public...

(Looks around nervously -- LAUGH TRACK)

So is this what Loughner wanted? Publicity? If so, for what? The "interesting" ideas on his youtube channel? His exercise in flag burning, complete with "more info" rant?

There's something important in this video: There's no communication to anyone in this location.
You shouldn't be afraid of the stars.
There's a new bird on my right shoulder. The beak is two feet and lime green. The rarest bird on earth, there's no feathers, but small grey scales all over the body. It's with one large red eye with a light blue iris. The bird feet are the same as a woodpecker. This new bird and there's only one, the gender is not female or male. The wings of this bird are beautiful; 3 feet wide with the shape of a bald eagle that you could die for. If you can see this bird then you will understand. You think this bird is able to chat about a government?

How about that? Just needs someone to do it to music and we've got the next club anthem right there, don't we?

His youtube page also plays host to his favorite books, which seem to indicate a rightward/libertarian bent, with some lip service paid to everyone's favorite right-wing dictator, and everyone's favorite left-wing revolutionary tract. Many of the books are diametrically opposed to one another. Synthesis theory? Likes to read all sorts of things?

Red herrings? Is he having a laugh as we run around and try to decipher every little clue to put together a larger picture?

Keeping his name alive, just in case something should happen to HIM?

Like Mutual Life says "you could die tomorrow."


One thing I am sure of, though.

This morning, on Reliable Sources, they had a token conservative on, and she was just aghast that all these liberals were jumping to conclusions about the shooting, and trying to conflate it with Sarah Palin and her precious targets in that now-infamous graph we've got to see all over again. The other two folks there were either gracious (Clarence Page) or smug in the face of her horror (the token liberal douchebag).

All I could think was, if the shooter's last name had been Mohammed, or Sanchez, we wouldn't be told not to jump to conclusions. We'd be told what our good patriotic conclusions should be, and verbally castigated for not jumping to them quick enough.

And that's not funny at all.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Letters from Lakin - Prison Not Too Fun

lakin in jail

It seems that the Terry Lakin Action Fund (apparently managed/owned/connected to the folks from Safeguard Our Constitution, which is Paul Rolf Jensen's questionable outfit) is now playing host to Terry Lakin's letters from prison, as well as notes from his wife.

A letter from December 21 was posted on Jan 2nd.

Reception status is mostly lock down in my cell. We now get two hours of 'rec time' in the morning and afternoon. Rec time is cell door open to a common pod area with a four-seat table, an exercise bike that does not work, a flat-screen TV that we cannot watch, and two showers. Activity is playing cards or a few board games, working out in my cell between meals, reading the rulebook, Bible, and now writing letters. Looks like the routine for the next several weeks. We have limited stamps, envelopes, and I am writing with a small, soft plastic (almost rubber pen) that is not to comfortable.

After getting more integrated in January (hopefully minimum security) we may have more privileges. There will not be much use of a computer, limited phone, news, or TV. We have to order our own health and comfort supplies from a small provided list. We are allowed one order request per month and not more than $35 per month. I'm hoping they will honor my first order on credit- we have not been able to get money into our account yet - not having any communication with Pili yet. I'm hoping to get a small radio with ear buds so I can get some news radio. Had to work hard to decide about how many batteries I could get by with vs how many rolls of toilet paper to buy.

Honey, can you spare a tissue? Sounds like no one informed him how much fun prison was going to be.

His wife's notes were also of interest:

* The kids were apprehensive. They had seen prisons in cartoons and TV clips and were concerned about their dad.

* After seeing Terry they felt better because they know where he is and that he looks good.

* We visited to discuss plans and the big ad in the Washington Times


* The prison experience has intrigued Terry.

* He is learning the stories of fellow inmate is stricken with the inequalities of justice.

Tell me about it. Lakin's in jail for having been the fall guy, but the bumpershoot who talked him into doing this ridiculous stunt is out free.

I found it interesting that, in his first letter, whatever repentance Lakin may have shown on the witness stand at his Court Martial has seemingly evaporated.

I hope I made a difference in a very important matter. It cost me a lot. But I now have to believe it turned out okay. There certainly are no do-overs. The important thing is for the work to carry-on so we never have this situation again.


After the trial I overhead someone say, "Well, he's no hero now!" Sorry, I was not in it to be a hero. Just thought I was doing the right thing. I spent enough of myself and my family's future for now. Others are going to have to continue.

"Others." "Continue." "The Work." I wonder who is going to pick up the hammer?

One telling and sort of frightening note from Terry's wife:

* One senior office(r), while delivering mail, said "These are from your fan club and you're famous." Terry told him, "I never wanted to be famous." He said if didn't work there he would be writing to Terry, too.


At any rate, it's Tuesday night, and that means music. We have been informed of the sad passing of Gerry Rafferty, who was the voice behind Stealers Wheel -- which you may remember from a certain Quentin Tarantino movie -- and also had hits with "Baker Street" and "Right Down the Line." This is one of his lesser hits, which seems appropriate for the whole Lakin imbroglio: Take the Money and Run.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

2010: The Birther Year in Review

birther year in review 2010

Once again, our friends at Oh For Goodness Sake have put together a great encapsulation of a years' worth of Birther silliness.

The only thing it seems to be missing is the rather humorous episode where Joseph Farah of World Net Daily got his undies in a bunch because Newsweek dared to call him a proponent of Birtherism. He demanded a retraction, and got a clearly unapologetic one:

Continuing to call for public officials to release personal documents even after they have been released—and continuing to dispute their authenticity even after they have been independently verified—is the very definition of fostering conspiracy theories. Nonetheless, a clarification is in order: Farah is correct when he claims that he has never explicitly stated that Obama was not born in the United States.

And that seems to have been the end of that matter... except that Farah the non-Birther then spent most of the rest of that year at bat for a birther named Terry Lakin -- then LTC Terry Lakin -- and cheer-leadered his unfortunate behind all the way into a court martial, and, unsurprisingly, the stockade.

An incident in which no one has been left laughing. No one with a soul, at any rate.

The episode taught us two things. 1: Joseph Farah is a shameless hack, and 2:, if you mention him in something there's a good chance your article will show up on World Net Daily's search engine. He seems to have caught Richard Poe's disease. But I digress.

When I blogged about 2009's Birther nonsense, last year, I mostly talked about Orly Taitz, but 2010 saw the rise of other "stars," like the unfortunate Terry Lakin. I see I was right that the issue would continue -- I just didn't expect it to cause damage to someone like that.

Another reason to keep an eye on this silliness -- it has now created at least one second-hand casualty. It will probably cause more in the next year, too, though I doubt it'll come from the armed forces, this time. Hopefully they all learned their lesson watching this fellow flail around under alien orders.

But you never know what the new year will hold... will you? I'd make predictions, but Doc Conspiracy beat me to it. Enjoy.