and speaking of guns…

Two separate incidents in different states, each of which reveals a different facet of how massively fucked up our firearm legislation is.

First — Back in December of 2020 and January of 2021, Zackey Rahimi of Texas was, according to court documents, “involved in five shootings in and around Arlington, Texas.” Five shootings in as many weeks. First, there was the time he “fired multiple shots” into somebody’s house after selling narcotics to the person who lived there. Then there was the car accident. Rahimi “exited his vehicle, shot at the other driver, and fled the scene.” A short time later, he returned to the scene of the accident and fired a few more shots. That’s three shooting incidents. The fourth time, he “shot at a constable’s vehicle.” The circumstances behind that aren’t discussed in the court’s order. Finally, Rahimi “fired multiple shots in the air after his friend’s credit card was declined at a Whataburger restaurant.”

About a year earlier, Rahimi had been subject to a civil protective order after he’d assaulted his girlfriend (and the mother of his child). The court order “restrained him from harassing, stalking, or threatening his ex-girlfriend and their child. The order also expressly prohibited Rahimi from possessing a firearm.”

Clearly, given five shootings in five weeks, Rahimi hadn’t paid much attention to the restraining order. But at least he was eventually indicted for possessing a firearm while under a domestic violence restraining order. Rahimi’s lawyers moved to dismiss the indictment on the ground that the law in question (18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(8)) was unconstitutional. The federal district court told him to fuck right off, so Rahimi pleaded guilty.

Later Rahimi appealed his guilty plea. A three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals also told him to fuck right off.

Zackey Rahimi can have his guns

But then SCOTUS decided the case of New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen, which (in my opinion) was a bugfuck insane decision. The court decided (6-3) that in lawsuits involving federal and states’ gun regulations, courts need to evaluate the regulation not in consideration of the public good, but in light of the “historical tradition of firearm regulation”.

Let me just repeat that. The court should NOT consider the public good, but instead should consider the historical tradition of firearm regulation. So the Fifth Circuit Court took another look at Rahimi’s argument, taking the SCOTUS approach that “greater weight attaches to laws nearer in time to the Second Amendment’s ratification.”

Again, let me repeat that. Courts are now supposed to give more weight to laws written around the end of the 18th century than to modern laws. And guess what. Both Massachusetts and New Hampshire had written laws closer in time to the drafting of the 2nd Amendment, laws that were virtually identical, and those laws stated:

[N]o man . . . [shall] go or ride armed by night or by day, in fairs or markets, or in other places, in terror of the country, upon pain of being arrested and committed to prison by any justice on his view, or proof of others, there to a time for so long a time as a jury, to be sworn for that purpose by the said justice, shall direct, and in like manner to forfeit his armour to the Commonwealth.

Armor includes weapons. You’ll notice something else in that law. Ain’t nothing there about protecting ex-girfriends. And even though the Fifth Circuit agreed that the modern law “embodies salutary policy goals meant to protect vulnerable people in our society…Bruen forecloses any such analysis in favor of a historical analogical inquiry into the scope of the allowable burden on the Second Amendment right.”

The court concluded the law protecting Rahimi’s ex-girlfriend–or anybody seeking a civil protection decree–by removing a violent offender’s firearms was “an outlier that our ancestors would never have accepted.” They overturned Rahimi’s conviction.

Five shooting incidents in five weeks, and the court said the motherfucker shouldn’t be prohibited from owning a gun.

Second — Last Tuesday (2-23-23) in Silver Creek, Indiana (a suburb of Louisville, KY) 23-year-old Devon Lyons was seen running along Highway 31 (a main thoroughfare in town) carrying a rifle. Two nearby schools were put on lockdown.

However, it’s perfectly legal in Indiana for folks to run around with a loaded rifle. The state doesn’t require a permit to carry a long gun. So nothing was done.

Devon Lyons can have his rifle.

It happened again the following day. The Clark County Sheriff sent deputies to monitor Lyons as he ran down the street carrying his rifle. When Lyons got into his car to drive away, he was taken into custody for driving while his license was under suspension.

You can’t operate a car without a license. Guns? Who needs a license for that?

Scottie Maples, the Clark Coutny Sheriff, said this:

“I got a job to do as Sheriff to protect people’s constitutional rights. My daughter goes to that school, a couple of my deputies’ daughters go to these schools so we’re going to take these things seriously but we’re also not going to break anybody’s Constitutional rights.”

We’re not going to break anybody’s Constitutional rights. Children? Battered women? Sorry, very sorry, oh so very sorry, but you’ll just have to take your chances. Because that’s how we do it in these United States.

EDITORIAL NOTE: We must burn the patriarchy. Burn it to the ground, gather the ashes, piss on them, then set them on fire again. Burn the patriarchy, then drive a stake directly through the ashes where its heart used to be, and then set fire to the stake. Burn the fucker one more time. And keep burning it, over and over. Burn it for generations. Then nuke it from orbit. Then have tea.

wait…the national what?

A couple of weeks ago, during National Gun Violence Survivors Week, in an act of singular tastelessness, Republican Congressman Andrew Clyde handed out lapel pins in the shape of an AR-15. The fact that the US even has a National Gun Violence Survivors Week is horrific enough without this loathsome, pus-brained fuckwit compounding the horror.

Representative Andrew Clyde (R, Mordor)

Who the fuck is this guy? He’s a millionaire gun store owner who was elected in Georgia’s 9th Congressional district, one of the most MAGA-centric districts in the entire nation. Clyde assumed office three days before the January 6th insurrection. Of course, his first real action in Congress was to vote against certifying the 2020 election results. He was one of twelve House Republicans to vote against honoring the US Capitol Police for their actions during the insurrection. He refused to shake the hand of Officer Michael Fanone (who was dragged out of the Capitol building, beaten and tased by the mob, and suffered both a heart attack and a traumatic brain injury as a result). He described the insurrection as a “normal tourist visit” despite the fact that there are photos of him helping barricade the House chamber door to keep the insurrectionists our and hiding behind an armed security officer. Clyde was one of fourteen Republicans who voted against making Juneteenth a federal holiday and one of only three to vote against the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act.

Andrew Clyde during a normal tourist visit.

In other words, Andrew Clyde is a lying racist asshole.

Of course, he’s not the only one. Barry Moore, the Republican Congressman from Alabama, comes from the same revolting mold. He also took office just before the January 6th insurrection, he also voted against certifying the 2020 election results, he says he has ‘questions’ about the death of Ashlii Babbitt (the MAGA drama queen killed while climbing through a smashed window into the House chamber where members of Congress were escaping the mob), and voted against honoring the Capitol Police officers.

Not to be outMAGAed by Clyde, Moore decided to (and I swear I am NOT MAKING THIS UP) introduce the AR-15 National Gun Act. This bill would make the AR-15 (and Jesus suffering fuck, I can’t believe I’m even writing this) the ‘National Gun of America’.

“If a specific firearm is synonymous to Americana then it would be the AR-15. My bill, the ‘AR-15 National Gun Act,’ would simply write that into law designating that AR-15 style rifles chamber in .556 or .223 as the national gun of the United States. The AR-15 has been a quintessential piece of Americana for over six decades and this bill would recognize its most common configuration as our country’s national gun.”

A a quintessential piece of Americana.

Rep. Barry Moore (R, Bottomless Pit) posing with quintessential pieces of Americana.

You may be wondering, Am I having a stroke? Why do we need a National Gun? And even if there was, in some alternate universe, some rational reason for having a National Gun, why in the popcorn fuck would it be an AR-15, the prom queen rifle of mass murderers everywhere, what what what?. Good question. Here’s Moore’s answer:

“Some pro-second amendment folks, who might not own an AR-15, might think that banning them is no big deal, but just like a camel sticking its nose under a tent, any watering down of rights already guaranteed will enable the anti-second amendment crowd to take away even more rights.”

Surely, any fool can see it’s just like a camel sticking its nose under a tent to water down rights. It’s hard to argue against logic like that. Hell, it’s hard to find logic like that.

This has absolutely no chance to become law, that goes without saying (at least it should go without saying–but the fact that I’m saying it is evidence that we’re living in a massively fucked up society). A few years ago, I’d have dismissed this as just more GOP performative bullshit to ‘own the libs’ but now I’m starting to think some of these rabid fuckwits might actually believe their own bullshit.

I don’t know which is more awful. I’m not sure it matters, because both options are awful down at the cellular level.

This is what the Republican Party has become.

quick note on tanks

An online acquaintance recently sneered at the UK for pledging to send 14 Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine, asking, “What possible difference can 14 tanks make?” It’s a good question, but a questionable sneer.

It’s important to remember that there are a LOT of different armored combat vehicles being used in the war in Ukraine. Most of them aren’t tanks; some are personnel carriers with heavy weapons, some are fighting vehicles designed to be fast and maneuverable, some are self-propelled artillery or rocket launchers. They sorta kinda look like tanks, but aren’t; they don’t have the same level of armor or armaments. Of the actual tanks, most are light or medium tanks. Very few are main battle tanks.

Light tanks are, obviously, lighter and smaller and faster. They’re mostly used for reconnaissance and skirmishing, probing enemy lines, getting in and out quickly. Medium tanks have better armor and guns, but aren’t quite as mobile; they pack a better punch and are designed to be used in groups, which means they use different tactics. Then there are the heavy tanks, the main battle tanks (MBTs). These are big, heavy bastards, not as mobile, but massively armed and armored. MBTs are designed to act as the hub of a combined force–infantry on foot, infantry in armored fighting vehicles, and medium tanks. They’re the centerpiece of group operations, the tip of the spear.

Challenger 2

How good is this Challenger 2 MBT? They’ve been in service since 1998 and, as near as I can tell, only four have been rendered inoperable in combat. Four. One was destroyed in 2003 in Iraq, killing two of its four-person crew. However, that tank had been hit while its crew hatch was open–and it was a friendly fire incident; it was mistakenly fired on by another Challenger 2 tank. Even then, it took two rounds to destroy the tank. Two other Challenger 2s were made inoperable when their front underbelly armor was penetrated–one by an RPG and the other by an IED. Since then the underbelly armor has been upgraded. And one Challenger 2 had been hit by an anti-tank missile PLUS 14 RPGS, and was still able to retreat; unfortunately, it backed into a deep ditch and lost a track. The crew was quickly rescued unharmed, the track was replaced, and the tank was back in action within six hours. That’s four times in 25 years. I’d call that a success.

This is a seriously badass tank. So when the UK is sending 14 Challenger 2 MBTs, they’re essentially providing Ukraine with the core unit around which a larger ground fighting force can be arrayed. The same is true for all the MBTs being sent by other nations. The US has sent/will be sending 31 M1 Abrams tanks, and a half dozen European nations have sent/will be sending 49 German Leopard 2 tanks.

Even without all these MBTs, Ukraine has proven adept at destroying and capturing Russian tanks. Oryx, the Dutch defense analysis website, can account for 1761 Russian tanks destroyed, damaged, abandoned, or captured in the last year. These are confirmed numbers, verified by photographic evidence; the true number of destroyed tanks is significantly higher.

Russian T-72

My online acquaintance says, “But Russia has something like ten thousand tanks in reserve, right?” Probably not. Russia may claim thousands of tanks in reserve, but who can rely on that? They also claimed they could take Ukraine in three days. But even if they DO actually have 10,000 tanks in reserve, they’d be mostly older models–not Russia’s primary MBT, the T-90. We’re already seeing the Russian Army deploying old T-62 tanks in Ukraine, and they haven’t been manufactured since 1975; that’s almost half a century ago.

Given what we know of the corruption in the Russian Army procurement system, we can be pretty confident many of those ten thousand tanks won’t be battle-ready. Not only are manufacturers producing military equipment and parts that don’t meet military specifications (and pocketing the cash), there are also multiple sources reporting Russian commanders selling parts and equipment necessary for vehicle maintenance (and pocketing the cash). We’re hearing about radical equipment failures; for example, cannon barrels (on both tanks and field artillery) need to be regularly replaced because of the tremendous pressure of repeated fire. If they’re not replaced, they…well, explode. That’s hard on the crew.

And if that’s not enough, remember that Russia has a LONG border and needs to keep a large chunk of its military defending that border. It’s not as though Russia can send ALL of its tanks to Ukraine.

So, what possible difference can 14 British Challenger 2 main battle tanks make in the defense of Ukraine? In conjunction with the MBTs and other armored combat vehicles NATO allies are sending, they can make a big difference. This is partly because of the tanks themselves, but also because the Ukrainian Army has proven to be incredibly creative and adaptable in their approach to combat. They’ve learned combined arms operation tactics, at which Russia has failed miserably.

The fact is, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been stalled for months. They not only lack the ability to advance, they lack the ability to sustain major combat operations at this same stalled level. The arrival of new, powerful MBTs will very likely allow Ukraine to advance into Russian-controlled parts of Ukraine by the end of the coming summer.

There’s no way Russia can win this war. The only questions are how they’ll lose and how much suffering they’ll cause as they lose. The most likely outcome (and, of course, this is just my opinion) will be Russia withdrawing from much/most of Eastern Ukraine, followed by the same sort of long, consistent, localized border war Russian and Ukraine have fought since 2014.

knuckles, back on the map

As some of you may know, Knuckles Dobrovic is the name under which I occasionally create photo projects on Instagram. This began back in 2013. I created the Knuckles alias to explore Instagram, to learn what it was and how it worked, and to do that without having my name associated with it. I thought it made sense to dissociate myself from the account back then; now it just seems silly. In any event, I created the account and began to compile a very simple project. I put a thing on a glass-topped table on my deck and photographed it.

South of Ulan-Ude, Russia

I did that for about a year, during which I realized how ridiculous it was to have an alias account. So I created an IG account in my own name. When Things on a Table was finished, I put the Knuckles account on a shelf and forgot about it. Except–and I realize this is also silly–I’d become attached to the name. So eventually I revived the Knuckles account for another project. And then another. This will be the seventh Knuckles photo project.

Arvik, Norway

Early on, I cobbled together some simple, flexible parameters for Knuckles projects:

  • It’s got to be simple (which means I won’t have to do a lot of planning or a lot of post-processing).
  • It’s got to be organic to my life (which means it’s something I can photograph during the course of an ordinary day — whatever that is).
  • It’s got to have at least one intellectual component (which is more accurately described as a pretentious bullshit element).
  • It’s got to be able to keep my interest over time.
Near Yotvata, Israel

Here’s a quick recap of the various Knuckles projects themselves with a link to a representative image from that project:

  1. Things on a Table — I put a thing on a table and photographed it.
  2. My Feet on the Earth — I took walks, stopping periodically to photograph my feet. I selected two or three of the images during a walk and created multiple exposure images.
  3. One Hundred Appropriated Google Street Views — This was sort of an homage to Hiroshige’s ‘One Hundred Famous View of Edo’. While playing the online game GeoGuessr (which involves finding a random location based on Google Street View), I made screen captures of interesting vistas. I converted those screen grabs into square black & white images.
  4. Slightly Dislocated — During the enforced isolation of the pandemic, I shot square format photos during my solo walks or masked errands. I diddled with the color a wee bit, digitally sliced the image in thirds, then re-arranged the pieces.
  5. Are Bure Bampot — I’d been playing Geoguessr again, and during a break I read something about Daido Moriyama, the godfather of a photographic style called are bure bokeh, which roughly translates as “rough, coarse/crude, out of focus.” That same afternoon, on Twitter, a Scots acquaintance referred to somebody as ‘a total bampot,’ which I was told means “an idiot, a foolish person, a nutcase”. For reasons I can’t explain, the phrase are bure bampot came to me, and I decided to follow through on it. As before, I made Google Street View screen captures of scenes and locations in Scotland. This time I modified them using the are bure bokeh style.
  6. A Red Wheelbarrow — This was another coincidental project. I’d encountered the early version of DALL-E, the AI application that generates an image based on a written sentence. I’d also recently seen a photo that fell into a genre I call Red Wheelbarrow photos. It’s not actually a recognized genre; it’s just a thing I’ve noticed. These are photos in which the emotional appeal relies heavily on a color/object element (this particular photo was sunlight falling on a green hat hanging on a doorknob). The name comes from the William Carlos Williams poem: so much depends upon / a red wheelbarrow / glazed with rain water / beside the white chickens. I entered that line into the mini Dall-E app, and it generated an interesting image. So I began a series of AI images of red wheelbarrows. That lasted until I was approved to work with the full DALL-E application. When I repeated the original text of the poem, the AI provided me with much more realistic image. At that point, it felt like the project was over.
Unknown location in South Africa

Now I’ve returned yet again to Google Street View with a new project: Bus Stops. I’ve always been intrigued by the bus stops I’ve encountered playing GeoGuessr, and I often pause long enough to get a screen capture of them. I’ve written about my fascination with bus stops before; lots of folks know about my interest. Recently an acquaintance sent me a link to a photo of a primitive bus stop in Turkey. It occurred to me that over the years I’d amassed a small collection of Google Street View screen captures of bus stops.

So I decided to do a quick search my old files and organize them. I found just over a dozen images of bus stops–enough to kickstart a new Knuckles project. It falls well within the Knuckles Criteria: simple, organic to my life, an intellectual component, and since I’ve been doing it haphazardly and thoughtlessly for years I’m not likely to get bored with it.

San Esteban, Chile

The intellectual component? A bus is the most democratic form of public transport. They’re most commonly used by the poor and working classes, but the bus stops for everybody. In cities it’s not uncommon to see people in business attire riding the bus to work. A bus network is fundamentally simple: a series of designated routes with consistent designated arrival/departure times and stable designated boarding locations with predetermined fees. It’s a predictable, reliable, efficient dynamical transportation system in which bus stops act as fixed point attractors. And if that’s not enough, bus stops are ubiquitous. They’re everywhere because a bus network is socially elastic–the design can be stretched to fit almost any community anywhere in the world. But stops are both local and global.

Outside of Petronys, Lithuania

You need more? Bus stops can tell you a lot about a community. Are the bus stops clean? Cared for? Are they in poor repair? Are they stylish or simple? Some bus stops have trash receptacles. Some are trash receptacles themselves. Some are shelters, designed to please the eye as well as keep riders dry and protect them from the wind. Some are purely utilitarian. Some are nothing more than a wide space in the road. You look at a bus stop, you learn something about the people who use them and the communities in which they live.

Bus stops are fascinating. But you have to look at them. So here…take a look.

balloons and the threat to national security.

Jesus suffering fuck. Republicans are terrified of everything but guns–the one thing we KNOW kills thousands of Americans every goddamn year. They’re terrified of gay folks, terrified of the entire concept of gender that’s not based on a toggle switch, terrified of people of color, terrified of beliefs that don’t fall within their wildly idiotic interpretation of Christianity, terrified government agents will break into their homes and seize their gas stoves, terrified of books they haven’t read, terrified of surgical masks, and now they’re terrified by a Chinese balloon.

“My concern is that the federal government doesn’t know what’s in that balloon. Is that bioweapons in that balloon? Did that balloon take off from Wuhan?”

This was no ordinary fucking idiot who said this. This was a special fucking idiot. This fucking idiot was Congressman James Corner, the Republican Chair of the House Oversight Committee. And he said it on FOX News, of course, the primary venue for fucking idiots. This fucking idiot has access to a massive amount of information; he’s a fucking idiot with a staff whose job includes researching issues of national concern and informing him so he won’t come across to the public like a fucking idiot.

I’m not a member of Congress. I don’t have a staff. But I have a Chromebook (I could have just used my cell phone, but the display is smaller and my eyes get tired). So let’s see if we can answer Corner’s concerns.

Did the balloon take off from Wuhan? Nope. Okay, first–because words matter–it’s a goddamn balloon. Balloons don’t “take off.” Balloons are inflated and released. It’s not a fucking missile. Beyond that, we can with a certain level of accuracy backtrack the balloon’s path based on its current height and known patterns of wind currents. And hey, a whole bunch of meteorologists did just that, and we can say with confidence it was released somewhere in west central China. Wuhan is in east central China. So, nope.

Do we know what’s in the balloon? Yes and no. I mean, yes we know what’s IN the balloon, since all high altitude balloons are filled with some lighter-than-air gas, like helium or hydrogen. But he’s talking about the payload. The stuff the balloon is carrying. And no, we don’t know what the payload is. However…

Is the payload a bioweapon? We don’t know, but almost certainly nope. First off, it would be massively stupid for China to attack the US. Secondly, even if China was stupid enough to attack the US, a localized bioweapon attack would be an incredibly weak opening salvo of a war. Thirdly, even if China was that stupid, a high altitude balloon would be a really inefficient and ineffective delivery system for a bioweapon attack.

Here’s a question this particular fucking idiot didn’t ask, but is being asked by lots of other fucking idiots: A) Could the balloon be carrying surveillance technology? Sure. But why? China launches a lot of rockets capable of carrying sophisticated surveillance technology–and by ‘a lot’ I mean they’re second only to the US in the number of rocket launches. If China wants to conduct surveillance of troops/bases/deployments, they have the capability to do it without resorting to a balloon.

The thing about balloons is they’re at the mercy of the wind. And yeah, we know general wind patterns at different altitudes, so while it’s possible (by changing the altitude of the balloon) to generally guide a balloon, they can’t be sent to spy on a specific target location. In addition to the wind, high altitude balloons are sensitive to the weight of the payload, to the amount of helium/hydrogen used for inflation, and even the air temperature at the time of release. Balloon guidance is largely a crap shoot; you know the odds, but you don’t know the outcome. To attach surveillance tech to a balloon and hope it drifts by something worth seeing is a really dumb surveillance approach.

Another thing. People keep saying “This balloon is the size of two (sometimes three) school busses,” as if that’s somehow threatening. The balloon IS A BALLOON. Even a really big balloon is just a latex membrane surrounding a lighter-than-air gas. The balloon may be really big, but that doesn’t mean the payload is really big. If the payload was the size of a couple of school busses, then the balloon carrying it would probably be the size of a football stadium.

But but but the military says they won’t shoot it down because of the risk of “debris could land on people or homes“. So doesn’t that mean the payload must be big? Nope. It means if you shoot a missile up in the air, the missile will come back down. That’s how gravity works. Could the US military shoot down the balloon over a rural area to minimize the risk? Sure. But the least expensive air-to-air missile (AIM-9X Sidewinder) costs US$430,818. Add in the cost of jet fuel (and that shit ain’t cheap) and we’re talking about spending maybe half a million dollars to take down a balloon. A balloon, for fuck’s sake.

So just what in the popcorn fuck IS the balloon and what’s it real purpose? I don’t know. But I wouldn’t be surprised if it turns out to be just an underinflated weather balloon. Underinflated because a properly inflated weather balloon is designed that as the balloon gains in elevation the gas inside it expands to a volume larger than the balloon’s capacity to expand, at which point it…pops. The payload then returns to earth on a parachute. An underinflated balloon won’t reach that height and so won’t expand beyond its tolerance. It can just wander along until the elevated UV light at that height degrades the latex and it pops on its own.

Is this situation a violation of US air space? Yes. It may be accidental, but yes. But it seems highly improbable that the balloon or its payload, whatever it is, is a threat to US national security.

The actual threat to US national security is the Republican Party.

UPDATE: Well, it seems I was wrong. Apparently this balloon (which has now been shot down) actually was some sort of low tech surveillance device. So far, the best possible explanation for deploying such a random pattern easily detectable surveillance balloon is that it allowed China to gather information on what kind of signal technology the US uses to track it. Knowing what sorts of tech the US uses could possibly help China to find ways to thwart that technology, which would come in handy if they ever decide to actually launch an attack on Taiwan.

Yeah, this is the balloon in question.

It still seems to me to be a phenomenally stupid use of resources, but there it is. At least I was right about the missile used to take down the balloon. Which means we spent at least half a million dollars to destroy what may be around ten thousand dollars of Chinese technology.

And the threat to national security remains the Republican Party.

idea for a hunter biden screenplay



A gotch-eyed, legally blind man, JOHN PAUL MAC ISAAC, stands behind a counter, peering through thick lenses at disassembled computer hardware. The door to the shop CHIMES. A PERSON enters. From MAC ISAAC POV we see a blurry figure approach the counter.

Greetings, comrade. I have laptop. Is damaged. You can recover data, yes?

Sure, I can do that.

Data is chastnyy. How you say…private? Boring email. Family photo. Not of interest.


You keep laptop, recover data. I return soon, pay you.

Absolutely. I just need your name.

Menya zovut Hunter. Hunter Biden.


MAC ISAAC stands at the counter of his computer repair shop, holding an external hard drive in his hand.

How very odd. It’s been eight months and Hunter Biden has not returned to collect his laptop. What shall I do? Should I contact Hunter Biden and remind him? Oh, I know! I’ll make a copy of the hard drive and…and give it to Rudy Giuliani!