Butterball Helps American Idiots

Happy Thanksgiving American disinfonauts. For some light relief amidst all that heavy eating, salivate over the idiocy of callers to the Butterball help line, courtesy of the Guardian:

Turning a 12lb bird into a meal for 10 while juggling friends and in-laws is a task that would have a St Lawrence, patron saint of chefs, reaching for the Xanax. People need help. Last year, about five million home cooks reached out to the talk line through 1-800-Butterball, butterball.com, live chat, email and social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. On Thanksgiving day alone, the talk line answered more than 10,000 calls.

Thanksgiving Turkey

Photo: Patrick Fitzgerald


In the weeks leading up to the big day, the phone lines at the Chicago-based center are busy with callers wondering what type of turkey to buy, how to prepare it and most often how to defrost it.

People can get quite creative with their thawing solutions, said Johnson.

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Anonymous ‘Anti-Islamic State List’ Features Obama and BBC News


Grace Dean reports for the BBC:

Anonymous “declared war” on so-called Islamic State (IS) after the jihadist group claimed responsibility for the Paris attacks on Friday 13 November.

Hackers said they would take down “IS-linked” social media accounts.

A list, shared online by Anonymous, claimed it detailed more than 20,000 accounts which had already been disabled.

But among the thousands of Twitter names the list features Barack Obama’s official account and even BBC News.

The list has been stored on Pastebin, a web app commonly used to anonymously publish text online.

Who else is on the list?

Newsbeat has looked through the list and discovered many more unlikely targets.

Obama’s right-hand woman is there, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton), as well as the White House (@WhiteHouse), the US State Department (@StateDept), a Twitter “help” account for people trying to get verified and America’s most famous newspaper, the New York Times (@nytimes).

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What Are Animals Thinking and Feeling?


Have you ever wondered what animals think and feel? Let’s start with a question: Does my dog really love me, or does she just want a treat? Well, it’s easy to see that our dog really loves us, easy to see, right, what’s going on in that fuzzy little head. What is going on? Something’s going on.

But why is the question always do they love us? Why is it always about us? Why are we such narcissists?I found a different question to ask animals. Who are you?

There are capacities of the human mind that we tend to think are capacities only of the human mind. But is that true? What are other beings doing with those brains? What are they thinking and feeling? Is there a way to know? I think there is a way in. I think there are several ways in. We can look at evolution, we can look at their brains and we can watch what they do.Read the rest

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To Forgive: An Ongoing Conversation with My Apocalyptic Fundamentalist Grandmother

tanakawho (CC BY-NC 2.0)

tanakawho (CC BY-NC 2.0)

In February of this past year, I had an interesting conversation with my grandmother about ISIS, God, and the nature of forgiveness. She is an apocalyptic fundamentalist of the Christian persuasion and that is how I was raised, though I now consider myself to be agnostic. I wrote about the conversation and shared it with a few friends, as well as with my family, most of whom are also Christian fundamentalists. Barring a few Bible verses that were texted to me by an aunt (described in more detail, below) no one else in my family bothered to respond, which is fairly typical of my clan. Anything that challenges their beliefs is usually seen as a threat, and instead of engaging with me in these sorts of conversations, they often retreat and just pretend like I never said anything. I considered publishing the piece here on Disinfo, but ultimately held off…it felt very personal and I was apprehensive about it getting back to my grandmother, who might view it as some sort of betrayal.… Read the rest

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Fujita’s Itch — The Best Book About Fascist Tornado Chasers You Will Read This Year

FI cover

Joseph Souza has been cranking out excellent horror and mystery novels for a while now. But with Fujita’s Itch, Souza takes the reader on a wild ride of absurd proportions. Joe was kind enough to meet me for a couple drinks at the Downtown Lounge to talk about his new book.

Fujita’s Itch is a kind of tripped out book, it reminds me a bit of George Saunders, but underneath it all there seems to be a bit of a message about corporate America. Is that true or am I reading too much into it?

I wrote Fujita’s Itch to be like a very bad dream that one can’t wake from. A sort of Wizard of Oz meets Frank Booth in Blue Velvet. And yes, I love George Saunders. The man writes like no one else does today, so I owe him a nod of gratitude.

It would be too easy for me to go all soft and say that Itch is anti-corporate story.

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Monitoring Mosques? Fine, but Don’t Forget about Our Own Homegrown Christian Extremists

Kevin Swanson spews pro-murder hate speech at the National Religious Liberties Conference

Kevin Swanson is a fundamental extremist of the Christian persuasion. On November 6th and 7th, he hosted a pro-murder hate speech rally which was billed as the “National Religious Liberties Conference” in Des Moine, Iowa. Three GOP candidates attended this pro-murder hate speech rally, including Mike Huckabee, Gov. Bobby Jindal, and Sen. Ted Cruz.

Swanson used an archaic interpretation of the Bible as justification for imprisoning and executing homosexuals: “Yes, Leviticus 20:13 calls for the death penalty for homosexuals. Yes, in Romans Chapter 1, Verse 32, the Apostle Paul does say homosexuals are worthy of death — his words, not mine. And I am not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ. And I am not ashamed of the truth, of the word of God. I am willing to go to jail for it…”

Well that’s encouraging to hear, Mr.… Read the rest

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Where are Freddie Mercury’s Ashes?

Freddie Mercury, flamboyant front man for the rock group Queen died from complications of AIDS on November 24, 1991. Where his remains remain (ahem) are a mystery.

Mary Austin (right) was trusted with the location of Freddie Mercury's ashes. She has said that she will never tell anyone where they are, as was his wish

Mary Austin (right) was trusted with the location of Freddie Mercury’s ashes. She has said that she will never tell anyone where they are, as was his wish

The Daily Mail tells the tale. Sorry for the rhyming.

No, I’m not. Read on, True Believers:

In the days before his death, his once lithe body now  rendered extremely frail by Aids, Freddie Mercury made one final request of the woman he described as ‘the love of my life’. That she, and she alone, should collect his ashes after his cremation and dispose of them at a private location never to be disclosed.

For more than two decades Mary Austin has abided by Mercury’s wishes and kept the whereabouts of his ashes a secret. Not even his elderly parents were told.

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