Friday, August 29, 2008

Sarah Palin, Harbinger Of The Apocalypse

As someone who has sat back and watched US Federal politics for a long time, and as someone who has prayed for the change I had hoped Barack Obama would bring, I am now officially putting my hopes for a better world in the freezer for the next few years.

Why? For two reasons:

1) As one analyst after another on the tube today is saying-but-not-saying, White Woman trumps Black Man. Those Americans who simply can't stomach the notion of a black guy in the White House can make themselves feel better by voting for a white woman.

Of course, these are the same people who would have justified voting for a McCain/Mitt Romney ticket, or McCain/Pawlenty, or McCain/Sock Puppet for that matter. But because it's a woman, everyone can act like they're all progressive an' shit.

Trust me, no one with the Republican Party is going to bitch about Palin's lack of experience... a little under two years as a Governor. Sure, they bitched about Obama's "lack of experience," but of course he's playing for the wrong team.

If/when elected, Sarah Palin will be the least politically-experienced VP since Spiro Agnew.

(There's a line the Dems should play up. Just like Bush kept bashing away with "evildoers," "Spiro Agnew" should be the soundbite du jour. But do they have the imagination for it?)

...But I'm sure Sarah Palin has the naked ambition and pure inflexibility required to be a Republican Vice President. That, and a willingness to torture foreigners in order to save fetuses, or however the logic goes.

2) The Heavens Themselves have already declared Shenanigans on this upcoming election.

Or rather, The Heavens, via Diebold.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Friday, August 22, 2008

And The Obama VP Nominee Is...

Recently I have exposed myself (partly by choice, partly by circumstance) to more CNN than usual, and a lot more Fox News. I've learned a lot about the news this way. Apparently, all one has to do is get to the "facts" first and then have a couple of people shout at each other as to whether or not this is a "good" fact or a "bad" fact.

So, having just checked my e-mail, I'm going to sit here and scratch my head as to whether or not it's a "good" thing or a "bad thing" as to whom Barack Obama has chosen for his Vice Presidential nominee. Better yet: I can sit here with a couple of sock puppets, shouting at each other and calling each other idiots for holding the views they hold. Or appear to hold, rather. Sock puppets, like Fox News "consultants," will dance to whatever tune they're paid to.

See? I can do hard news too. Come back after the Life Insurance and Investment Company ads for even more hard-hitting "news"!

...Oh, right. The next Vice President of The United States? The nominee is Joe Biden. I almost forgot to mention that because I was so busy talking about myself and what a great job I'm doing of uncovering "facts."

I learned that from CNN and Fox News too.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Bill O'Reilly The Impaler Vs. Fictional European History

On today's, Bill shows off his historical knowledge (which is a momentary break from his utter mangling of current events) by comparing Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to Vlad Tepeş, AKA Vlad The Impaler, AKA Dracula.

Bram Stoker based the character of Dracula on the historical Vlad, who was notorious for his cruelty. Some examples:

-Vlad The Impaler got his nickname from his habit of impaling his enemies... men, women, children... basically anyone who pissed him off. Among other atrocities, Vlad was noted for "The Forest Of The Impaled," which consisted of thousands of impaled Turkish soldiers lining the roadways. This was done to scare off the Ottoman Empire. You know... Muslims. He was also once greeted by three Turkish diplomats, who refused to remove their fezzes at Vlad's court (not doing so being a cultural sign of respect for Muslims at the time). So The Impaler had their fezzes nailed onto their heads and sent the Turks home.

-Vlad also allegedly invited hundreds of the poor and indigent to a great feast. Vlad nailed the doors of the hall shut once it was full and burned the place down. Furthermore, in his capital city, Târgovişte, there was a fountain with a solid gold cup that anyone could drink from... and supposedly never got stolen, because Vlad was so tough on crime.

Dracula, was merely defending his land and way of life from Moslems and freeloaders. Vladimir Putin, on the other hand, is a very wealthy man in a position of power, who has a fondness for using force and having his enemies killed, often by sneaky and unusual assassination techniques.

Get your metaphors right, Bill. Vladimir Putin isn't "Vlad The Impaler"... he's a James Bond villain.

Based on foreign and domestic policy, Vlad The Impaler was obviously a neocon.

Monday, August 18, 2008

US Military In Iraq Votes With Their Dollars -- For Obama

The traditional logic is that veteran and Republican John McCain, simply because he is a veteran and a Republican, should naturally earn the vote of US military personnel, especially those serving in Iraq.

In fact, when it comes to campaign contributions, Obama has received five times the donation dollars that McCain has. And just to rub a little salt in the political wound, former candidate Ron Paul (who stood out among the Republicrowd as being firmly against the war in Iraq) raised four times as much as McCain. And Ron Paul stopped running in June.

So far, Fox news isn't touching this story. They're too busy with a tropical storm that might turn into a hurricane that might hit part of southern Florida, and a missing child who might have been murdered by her mother. CNN has given this story a brief mention, but are clear to report that this is in no way a proper, scientific opinion poll.

That's true. This is not the result of a carefully constructed theoretical proposition asked by glorified telemarketers during people's dinner: this is an actual study of how actual military personnel in Iraq have actually voted with their dollars. And next time you're talking to a soldier in Iraq, ask them how well the job pays. You'll find that these people generally don't have a lot of spare cash to throw around.

Ever wonder what the actual people doing the job know that The Republican Party and the talking haircuts at Fox News don't?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

43 Reasons To Not Care Who "Values Voters" Like

Barack Obama and John McCain will appear on the same stage for the first time this campaign Saturday, at the very posh Saddleback Church for a gathering sponsored by "TheCall," a collection of people who are in favour of Christian principles and opposed to leaving a space after the word "The." No one is expecting any profound policy statements: instead, it is more than likely going to be Obama and McCain trying to look more marketable to the shotguns and pickups crowd. Morality-wise, Americans want their leaders to be upright Christians, just like every upright Christian president that came before.

Let's have a look at the moral standards Barack and John have to live up to, President by President:

George Washington: Grew pot. Sure, it was "hemp," but he distinctly states in his diary that he separated the male from the female plants. There is only one reason to do that: ask your dealer about it.

John Adams: Spent nine years away from his wife in Europe, so could be considered a bad husband.

Thomas Jefferson: Legally owned his mistress, Sally Hemings.

James Madison: Fairly clean record, but at 5'4" unelectable by today's standards. Also, clearly un-American by today's standards: "If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy."

James Monroe: Notoriously silent on matters of religion. Never made any public statements on religion, and none of his friends and family recall him discussing the matter. Thought of by many as a Deist: one who believes in God but refusing to be bound by standard Christian dogma.

John Quincy Adams: Enjoyed dueling. Drank like a fish. As Minister To Russia, allegedly kept an American servant girl as a personal plaything for the Czar.

Andrew Jackson: Leading advocate of a policy called "Indian removal," motivated in part by the discovery of gold on Cherokee land, resulting in the death of about 4,000 Native Americans during the "Trail Of Tears" incident. Married his wife before she was technically divorced.

Martin Van Buren: Proposed to a woman in her mid-20s (granddaughter of Thomas Jefferson) not long after the death of his first wife.

William Henry Harrison: Only served for a little over a month, so no time for shenanigans. However, literally didn't have the sense to come in out of the rain, leading to his death by pneumonia.

John Tyler: Married a 22 year old "long time friend" mere months after the death of his first wife. Subject to an impeachment vote for misuse of veto powers.

James Polk: Fairly clean. Ongoing issues with kidney stones, resulting in (among other things) surgery that left him infertile. A classic candidate for painkiller addiction, in modern terms.

Zachary Taylor: Ignored orders as a general in the Mexican War. A northerner who owned slaves on his Southern property. Corrupt cabinet. Drank a lot.

Millard Fillmore: Scandal free, but painfully boring and uncharismatic. Thus, unelectable by today's standards.

Franklin Pierce: Raging drunk. Accused of cowardice under fire as a general. Ran over an old lady with his carriage. Died of cirrhosis.

James Buchanan: Never married, but spent an awful lot of time with Senator William Rufus King. Lived with King (whom Andrew Jackson called "Miss Nancy") for over two decades.

Abraham Lincoln: Poorly educated. Prone to depression. May have had syphilis. Married a crazy woman.

Andrew Johnson: Couldn't read or write until he was 18, when his wife taught him. Was subject to two impeachment attempts.

Ulysses S. Grant: Roaring drunk, by many accounts, for the bulk of the Civil War and his Presidency. Major financial scandals during his term.

Rutherford B. Hayes: "A third rate nonentity, whose only recommendation is that he is obnoxious to no one," according to a contemporary. Thus, unelectable by modern standards.

James Garfield: (Not to be confused with the gluttonous cat of the same name) Involved in the Crédit Mobilier of America scandal, sole bidder for many important railway contracts... kind of like Halliburton today. Had a fling with a married woman.

Chester A. Arthur: Forced to resign from his job at a customs house due to a financial scandal. May have covered up having been born in Canada, and thus would be disqualified from becoming President.

Grover Cleveland: His fling with Maria C. Halpin is resulted in the birth of an illegitimate child. Had Maria committed to an insane asylum, and their child was sent to an orphanage.

William McKinley: Involved in a major personal financial scandal, but was bailed out by his friends.

Theodore Roosevelt: Generally clean, but implicated in the Panama Canal Scandal. Daughter Alice was a notorious party girl.

William Howard Taft: Generally clean, but seriously overweight and a notoriously loud snorer. Thus, unelectable by current standards.

Woodrow Wilson: One wife died, and was engaged to another in less than a year.

Warren Harding: Two confirmed mistresses. The Republican Party bought off one (the wife of a friend) for $20,000 and a free trip to Japan. The other one gave birth to Harding's illegitimate daughter.

Calvin Coolidge: Generally clean. Was probably too busy gutting Federal control over the economy, thus setting the stage for The Depression.

Herbert Hoover: Generally scandal free, but oversaw the "Mexican Repatriation," which saw about half a million Mexicans and Mexican Americans "repatriated" via forced migration. Thus, still electable (if you're a Republican).

Franklin D. Roosevelt: Started an affair with his wife's 22 year old secretary. Broke it off later when his wife found out. They started up again later.

Harry S. Truman: Generally clean, but did bump a wounded WW II veteran from his flight home, so Truman could get home sooner.

Dwight D. Eisenhower: nearly ditched his wife for a 24 year old.

John F. Kennedy: Marilyn Monroe. Judith Exner. Blaze Starr. Mary Pinshot Meyer. Probably others.

Lyndon B. Johnson: Alleged longtime affair with Alice Glass, girlfriend of a newspaper publisher. Supposedly only broke it off because of her opposition to Vietnam.

Richard Nixon: Watergate. Also, Watergate. And let's not forget Watergate.

Gerald Ford: Pardoned Nixon. What, that isn't bad enough for you?

Jimmy Carter: Had a drunk brother. If you've made it this far down the list, Jimmy's probably looking pretty good right about now.

Ronald Reagan: Cheated on Wife Number One with Wife Number Two. Also, Iran-Contra, among others.

George Bush The First: Alleged long-term affair with Jennifer Fitzgerald.

Bill Clinton: Gennifer Flowers. Paula Jones. Monica Lewinsky.

George Bush The Second: will probably be sobered up enough by now, after his triumphant appearance drunk at the Beijing Olympics, to continue being the moral paragon that "Values Voters" elected last time.


Now, you were saying something about how a President has to be pious and upright...?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Gigantic Rampaging Turds Try To Destroy Infrastructure: Two True Stories

1) An installation by American artist Paul McCarthy (best known for such works as "Santa Claus With A Butt Plug") broke loose from its moorings at The Paul Klee Centre in Berne, Switzerland, taking out a power line and finally coming to rest next to a children's home, smashing a window.

The installation, "Complex Shit," is an inflatable turd the size of a house.

2) Republican Presidential candidate John McCain (you know, the maverick who doesn't vary from the neocon agenda any more)has begun to rant about getting rid of "pork barrel" budget items... things with special funding requests for specific projects attached to larger bills. The average cost for such earmarked items is 1.3 million dollars each... a pittance in Federal budgetary terms.

It will be a nice excuse to ignore crumbling levees and collapsing bridges, which after all aren't very sexy.

Monday, August 11, 2008

I Married A Mercenary: Welcome To!

There are so many obstacles on the path to finding One's True Love. You might think you aren't attractive enough, or have too much emotional baggage, or are hanging out in the wrong bars.

Of course, there is also the tragedy of being unable to attract a mate because you've got too much money.

Go ahead: step away from the computer, have another coffee, make sure you're really awake, and then re-read that last statement. Apparently rich folks have a harder time finding True Love than say, a typical blogger. This discovery comes courtesy of the Love Experts at a site called

Here is a statement from to boggle your mind a little more:

"Because the rich people have such a hard time finding dates, there's Actually, you don't have to be a certified millionaire to join, anyone who earns $150,000 and above annually qualifies for This dating site guarantees complete anonymity so you can be sure that your potential mate likes you for your personality and not your status in life."

It's time this repressed minority... the very wealthy... had someone stand up for them. Dating for rich folks, with rich folks. Although when I see a site like this, I can't help but wonder: how closely do they check out your bank balance if you want to join? Think there's any potential for fraud here? Nah. Rich people are, by definition, much smarter than you and I... and are thus immune to being duped if they're lonely.

Besides, we all know what a difficult time the wealthy and powerful have finding the kind of love they really want and need... regardless of how, um, wide a stance one takes on these matters.



Friday, August 8, 2008

Beijing Olympics Results, Day One: The 1500 M Smog Dodge


"The expert advice that we are getting is that the situation continues to improve."
-Simon Clegg, British Olympic Association (UK)


"Haze does not mean poor quality air."
-China Daily web site (CHINA)


"I haven't heard from any athlete that they're not going on with the job."
-AOC VP Peter Montgomery (before any events)(AUSTRALIA)


"Most of the smog here is evaporation. It's due to humidity."
-Arne Ljungqvist, chairman of the IOC medical commission (SWEDEN)


“The pollution levels are coming down."
-Jacques Rogge, AOC Chairman (BELGIUM)


"I suffer from asthma, and I'm having to take supplements to protect my lung lining"
-Alison Williamson, Archery (UK)


"The weather conditions aren't conducive to the dispersal of pollutants,''
-Guo Hu, Beijing Meterorlogical Observatory (CHINA)


"If Chinese officials do succeed in temporarily 'clearing the air' in Beijing for the Olympic Games, one is left to wonder what Chinese will say if . . . severe air pollution once again is allowed to return. Will they interpret this to mean that there can only be Potemkinized clean air for foreign visitors?"
-Orville Schell (US)

Now, please rise for the Olympic Anthem:



Thursday, August 7, 2008

Hasbro: Taking Scrabulous Away May Not Be Enough

Once, a long time ago, I was in a Labatt's Beer focus group. I got twenty bucks and a free beer out of the deal. I doubt that Labatt's took my answers to heart ("which of these abstract blue splashes makes you want beer more?") but I understood the process. In an effort to sell more beer, the beer company wanted to find out what beer drinkers really want.

Apparently, no one at Hasbro has that kind of corporate savvy.

In light of the hideous Facebook debacle over Scrabulous and/or Scrabble, I can only draw the conclusion that Hasbro, in raging stereotypical corporate style, is unintentionally bulldozing customer's goodwill in a short-sighted defense of their perceived interests.

(Unless of course this was one of those spooky "let's screw up the brand so the stock price drops and we can sell out" deals. Very few things surprise me anymore.)

Peter Fader, a co-director of The Wharton Interactive Media Initiative, says Scrabulous "has been such a fabulously good thing for the Scrabble franchise [that] Hasbro should have been celebrating."

Hasbro has made some improvements to their official Facebook version of Scrabble since its disasterous premiere... but it still (for the most part) sucks, and all the criticisms about its functionality are still valid. I know, because they fixed the ability to log into it in the forst place. And it still sucks. That's why I'm spending more time on, and less on Facebook. Thanks for helping to break that Facebook addiction of mine, Hasbro chumps!

So why the fresh ranting about all this? Because... just in case you were afraid common sense was going to suddenly start becoming a factor in Hasbro's decision-making process... the PR geniuses there are currently "declining to say" whether or not they intend to sue Rajat and Jayan Agarwalla over Wordscraper... their new and not-as-similar-as-you-might-think word game on Facebook.

Wow, Hasbro, you guys sure are... consistent. Just like I will be staying consistently away from your products until you show a few signs of smartening up and not being such pinheads.


Shakespeare, Sonnet XII, Reviewed By John McCain (Actual Quotes)

When I do count the clock that tells the time,
And see the brave day sunk in hideous night;

-"I spent five and a half years in prison. The worst part was coming home and finding out Green Acres had been canceled. What the hell was I fighting for?"

When I behold the violet past prime,
And sable curls all silver'd o'er with white;

When lofty trees I see barren of leaves

Which erst from heat did canopy the herd,

-"I believe America did the right thing by not joining the Kyoto Treaty."

And summer's green all girded up in sheaves
Borne on the bier with white and bristly beard,

-"I will veto every single beer... er, bill with earmarks."

Then of thy beauty do I question make,

-"Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly? Because her father is Janet Reno."

That thou among the wastes of time must go,
Since sweets and beauties do themselves forsake

And die as fast as they see others grow.

-"Presidential ambition is a disease that can only be cured by embalming fluid."

And nothing 'gainst Time's scythe can make defence

-"Do not yield. Do not flinch. Stand up. Stand up with our President and fight. We're Americans. We're Americans, and we'll never surrender. They will. "

Save breed, to brave him when he takes thee hence.

-"That's not too important. What's important is the casualties."


Monday, August 4, 2008

December 21st, 2012: The Day The World WON'T End

(I've taken the unusual step of posting this article both here and on my other blog because I believe this is a developing scam that is going to bilk a lot of people in the coming years, and that sort of thing really annoys me.)

According to many, the world is going to end on December 21, 2012. This is when the Mayan calendar comes to an end. Personally, I always thought the Mayan Calendar came to an end at that point because the Mayans weren't planning on going to anyone's birthday party or attending any business meetings hundreds of years after the collapse of their society, but I could be wrong. And many New Age-y types have decided that this is when civilization is going to collapse, because that's when Nibiru comes back.

"Nibiru comes back?" The miniskirt making a comeback, sure. But what the hell is "Nibiru"?

According to Zecharia Sitchin, who claims to be an expert in Ancient Sumerian studies (but got his degree in Economic History), Nibiru is a giant planet, the size of Jupiter or larger, on an eccentric orbit that brings it into the inner Solar System about once every 3600 years or so. His decoding of ancient Sumerian and Mayan texts apparently confirm this. The story is that Nibiru will be returning soon... making its closest approach to Earth on December 21, 2012.

Those ancient Sumerians and Mayans... they couldn't hold their empires together, but apparently they were waaaay better astronomers than we are.

I'm not fluent in Mayan or Sumerian, so I have no place Sitchin's archaeology. But others have, and there is a fairly exhaustive rundown of Sitchin's errors here. But astronomy and astrophysics? Those are subjects I do know. And I can tell you with great confidence that THERE ARE NO GIANT RAMPAGING PLANETS OUT THERE COMING TO EAT YOU. Honest.

Consider this: everything with mass in the universe has a gravitational field. The greater the mass, the stronger the field. That's why apples fall to Earth, and why the Earth doesn't fall towards apples. The Earth orbits the Sun. If the Earth were travelling faster, it would achieve "escape velocity": the speed needed to fly away from the Sun and off into the Cosmos. If the earth were to slow down, it would fall into the Sun. Every planet in the solar system has a gravitational effect on every other planet, though (relative to the huge mass of the Sun) the pull that, say, Neptune has on Venus is pretty weak.

Put another way: when you were born, the mass of the obstetrician had slightly more influence on you than the planet Mars did... but slightly less than that of Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system.

If two bodies of sufficient mass pass close enough to each other, they will have an effect on each others orbits around the Sun. Many asteroids have had their orbits affected by the occasional(relatively) close brush with Jupiter: picking up speed and moving out into more distant, less circular orbits around the Sun as a result.

Even though Niburu has such a long orbit, given the age of the Solar System (about 4.5 billion years), it would have passed by Earth (and all the other planets) about one and a quarter million times in the life of the Solar System. And yet despite all these close brushes with a giant planet, Mercury through Neptune remain in relatively stable, circular orbits. The odds of that being the case with a Niburu whipping through the neighborhood that many times is comparable to the odds of making your first break in a game of pool by throwing a bowling ball onto the table... and having all the pool balls drift elegantly back into their original triangular configuration. Try it sometime... with someone else's pool table, ideally.

Furthermore... you'd think that with something that big in our own Solar System, there would be some kind of observational clues... after all, we found Pluto, and it's a tiny, insignificant little thing compared to Uranus and Neptune. Uranus, in turn, is much smaller than Nibiru allegedly is; and Uranus was discovered in the 1700s. As far as observational data for Nibiru: there was a misidentified sighting of a distant galaxy by the IRAS satellite in 1984 that has gotten a lot of coverage as being "Nibiru," and the occasional misidentified sun dog.

The primary reason all of this bothers me... other than it being a sign of how damned bad public education really is these days... is that there seem to be a lot of people out there exploiting the fear of Nibiru Doom for profit.

Like these people. Or these people. Or this guy. But most of all: THIS guy.

And regardless of which religious tradition one follows, or which ancient texts on bases one's beliefs on... most faiths agree that hoodwinking the gullible for profit is a bad thing. And I agree.

So: no need to panic. The only threat to the world in 2012... or now... is human nature itself.

Okay, in light of that... maybe you can panic a little.



Friday, August 1, 2008 Didn't See This Coming


I love you guys. Really, I do. A lot of us do. But you've recently handed me (and it appears, hundreds of other bloggers) a real pain in the ass in the form of evil, rampaging robots. More specifically, you've apparently unleashed a horde of hungry 'bots designed to weed out the many "splogs" (spam blogs... if you've ever done a Google search for a given term and found a blog that consisted of hundreds of variations on phrases like "Lindsay Lohan Nude Lesbian Astrology Zone Viagra!" then you've seen one).

(I hope I just didn't turn my blog into a splog by talking about splogs, if you're out there reading this now, people...)

But guys, please, I pour out what little is left of my heart and brain into my two blogs, and thanks a lot for unlocking this one... but can I please, please have my other blog that I've poured my soul into back?


This all goes to prove an important point I made a while ago... ROBOTS SHOULD NOT SMOKE MARIJUANA. It makes them do crazy, irresponsible things.

And hey... ever had a look at my other blog? You really should before I move it away from here...

Oil Prices Change. Greed Remains The Same.

Consider this before you heave that big sigh of relief that the price of a barrel of oil is down a couple of bucks:

Chevron just announced a record profit of 11 billion dollars in the last quarter. Exxon is currently making over $89,000 per minute.

And you? Where is your piece of this juicy free-market pie?

Forgive my bitterness: it's probably just from my attempts to afford a loaf of bread and a bus ticket.

Absolutely no one... certainly not the experts, believe that screwing up the environment with more American drilling offshore and in the Arctic will do any good at all, any time soon. But of course that hasn't stopped the major oil companies from crying for it, using your suffering at the pumps (directly and indirectly... you don't think that loaf of bread got to the store itself, do you?) as ugly and cynical leverage to push for it anyway.

Who would be crazy, stupid, greedy, and nearsighted enough to support that sort of thing? Who would be vile enough to push that social, economic, and environmental suicide agenda?

This guy, that's who. You know, the guy who gave you this problem in the first place:

Angry yet?