Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Could You Scratch This For Me? Thanks.

Scientists have found that global warming may cause poison ivy to grow faster and become more potent. It seems that the nasty vine loves carbon dioxide, and as the levels of the gas in the atmosphere continue to increase, so will the prevalence of the plant.

This news is particularly disturbing to me. I once picked up a nasty rash while having a sexual encounter in some bushes. It wasn't really my fault, though. It just happened to be where I finally caught the sheep.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Perverts Can Be Cute

A swan in Germany has apparently fallen in love with a paddle boat shaped like, well, a swan. Peter Overschmidt, the owner of the business that rents the two seat boat, says the bird has not left the boat's side since it arrived earlier this month.

This is just another example of what can happen in those permissive countries that are so typical of Europe. They claim to be proud to be secular, but it's that sort of godless attitude that gives rise to such disturbing and unnatural behavior among the lord's creatures.

We would never tolerate that sort of thing in the United States. That's why we're proud to be led by a godfaring man like George Bush. He believes in the Bible, agrees that evolution is an unproven science, and isn't afraid to lie through his teeth in order to justify the invasion of Iraq. That's why we'll follow him anywhere.

And if that stupid swan had started behaving unnaturally here in America, Bush would have immediately ordered Cheney to shoot it.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Holy Anticipation

For anyone who cares, Angelina Jolie has given birth to a baby girl. She and Brad Pitt had been staying in Namibia. The government of that nation, which is located, um, overseas somewhere, went as far as to threaten to expel any celebrity photographers that tried to take the couple's picture.

To say that this is big news among the tabloid crowd would be to put it mildly. In fact, one magazine went as far as to say of the child, "It is the most anticipated baby since Jesus Christ."

Say what?

Now I'm the first to admit that I'm not overly religious, and I've never even read the Bible, but I'm fairly certain that none of the Gospels talk about Mary and Joseph fleeing to some stable in Bethlehem to escape the prying eyes of photographers.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Friday, May 26, 2006

Beyond Bad Taste

So I'm sitting at a traffic light earlier a couple of hours ago and I see this car in front of me with some campany logo in the back window. It says "Let's Roll Painting" and there's an American flag below the words. My first thought, of course, is what one of the guys on flight 93 said just before they rushed the cockpit back on 9-11. But as I continued to take in the full logo, it suddenly dawned on me that there is also a set of twin towers to the left of the words, sticking up out of the flag.

Am I the only one finds this absolutely repulsive?

The resolution in the photo isn't all that great, but I was able to track down their website through Google. You can get a clearer view of the logo there.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

And At Some Point He Will Use A Chopstick To Kill A Man

So I guess this means that next year Jack Bauer will spend his day trying to escape from a Chinese cargo ship.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Hey Baby, Can I Buy You A Banana?

A new study suggests that before chimpanzees and mankind's ancestors parted ways 6.3 million years ago, the two groups interbred a lot. This sinful behavior apparently went on for over a million years before the two eventually distinct species parted ways for good. Scientists reached these surprising conclusions after careful study of DNA from both modern humans and chimps.

The implications of the study are actually much broader, suggesting that such crossbreeding between otherwise distinct groups is what eventually gives rise to all new species.

Creationists will, of course, pooh-pooh the idea. That's to be expected, but the scientific evidence supporting this theory certainly seems strong. Besides, such mating practices occur even today between humans and farm animals in West Virginia.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Monday, May 22, 2006

Time Management

Well, tonight is the two hour season five finale of "24," and it promises to be exciting. Or at least it better be, since I haven't watched the show all year.

But Lugosi, if you haven't been watching it, why would you possibly bother watching the final two episodes of the year?

Well, if you stop and think about it, the previous 22 hours have been a total waste of time. So the real question is why anyone would have bothered watching those earlier installments. After all, what really matters is how Jack Bauer finally ends his day.

Look at it this way: If you go on vacation to, say, Baghdad, will you really care about the flight to Iraq? No, of course not! What ultimately matters is your stay in the city itself, what happens while you're there, visiting the local sights, enjoying the native cuisine, getting kidnapped by insurgents, and wondering whether you'll eventually get to return home with your head still attached to your body. So by tuning in to the finale and ONLY the finale, I'm basically eliminating the boring downtime spent on the airplane.

The same principle also works with books. By reading only the last couple of pages of a book, I can go to Border's and knock off the entire New York Times bestseller list during my lunch hour!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Big Hill Go Boom

The Mount Merapi volcano in Indonesia has been showing increased levels of activity, and scientists fear it may be nearing a major eruption. Should that happen, searing clouds of hot gas and debris will race down the mountainside and destroy everything in its path.

Most residents of threatened villages have heeded the government's advice and fled. Nonetheless, there are some who have stayed behind and taken a unique approach to the danger:
In one of the nearby villages, hundreds of people lit incense and set rice, fruit and vegetables floating down a river in a ceremony they believed would appease the spirits and prevent an eruption.

Sounds like they've been listening to one of Bush's "science" advisors.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Two Weeks, Two Funerals

For the second Saturday in a row, northern Virginia was the scene of a Fairfax County police officer's funeral. Michael Garbarino, seriously wounded in an ambush shooting on May 8, died of his wounds this past Wednesday and was laid to rest this afternoon. Detective Vicky Armel, who was killed in the same attack, was buried last week. Both services were held at McLean Bible Church.

While the 18 year old killer's parents continue to refuse to talk to police, they did issue a statement offering their condolences to the families. One thing that became clear about the killer during the past week is that his parents and friends all realized he was becoming increasingly delusional. Numerous attempts were made to get him treatment, but all were for one reason or another unsuccessful. However, no one seemed to realize that he was dangerous, and that apparently limited treatment options.

The ploy for sympathy, however, still does not explain why the family had 16 guns in their house, including an AK-47. An AK-47!?!?!? And just why the hell would someone need a freakin' machine gun in the suburbs? To deter squirrels from getting into the bird feeder? What's even more frightening about this is that apparently all the weapons were legally owned. Any system that allows that sort of accumulation of weaponry in private hands is seriously flawed, regardless of what the National Rifle Association may say.

It remains to be seen who or what is most at fault in this tragic situation. Was it the parents, for allowing the weapons in the house? Was it the mental healthcare system, for failing to recognize the danger posed by a sick teenager? Or was it absurdly lax gun control laws, constantly pushed by the NRA, that allowed a deranged individual access to such deadly weapons?

Regardless of who or what failed, two officers are dead, four children have lost a parent, and an entire community has been left in mourning.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Monkeying Around

In a startling discovery, scientists have discovered that some apes can actually plan ahead.
Both orangutans and bonobos were able to figure out which tool would work in an effort to retrieve grapes, and were able to remember to bring that tool along hours later, researchers report in Friday's issue of the journal Science.

In a series of laboratory tests the apes were shown the tools and grapes, allowed to retrieve grapes, and then removed from the area where the treats were available.

They were allowed back from one to 14 hours later and most were able to bring along the correct tool to get the treats....

So there you have it: Scientific evidence that a bunch of monkeys could have a done a better job planning the invasion of Iraq than the Bush administration.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Another Falls

Last Monday officer Michael E. Garbarino was sitting in his cruiser outside a Fairfax County police station, filling out paperwork at the end of his shift. That was when a heavily armed 18 year old gunman walked up and opened fire. Garbarino, 53 years of age and a 23 year veteran of the force, was hit five times. Despite his wounds, he was able to radio for help. As other officers emerged from the building, a furious gun battle erupted. Detective Vicky Armel was killed in the exchange, as was the gunman. She was buried in an emotional service on Saturday.

For the last eight days, the wounded officer had been in Fairfax Hospital in critical condition. Despite some early optimism about his prognosis, Garbarino's fight to live came to an end this morning at 2:47 A.M.

Michael Garbarino is survived by his wife, two children, and his parents.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Monday, May 15, 2006

Stopping Illegal Immigration

President Bush is speaking tonight and is expected to say that we do not have full control of our borders. Controlling our southern border and stemming the tide of illegal immigration is important, especially since so many of the 9-11 hijackers were Mexicans.

As part of the effort to secure the border, Bush is expected to announce that he will send in the National Guard to assist border patrol agents.... Assuming, of course, that he can find any troops that haven't already been deployed to Iraq.

Ultimately though, all this talk about stopping the flow of illegal aliens is futile. Deploying more manpower is not likely to help since there's a 2000 mile border with Mexico. Those seeking to enter the U.S. will simply find an unprotected spot and cross there.

And that plan about building a massive wall along the border? It's stupid. First of all, has anyone stopped to think how much a 2000 mile long wall would cost? It has to be astronomical. Looking at it another way, 2000 miles is almost 10% of the Earth's circumference. Does anyone seriously think we can do that? Hell, we can't even build a simple dirt wall to protect a city from the ocean, and we're supposed to build one across the entire freakin' continent!?!? And how long would it be before the Mexicans figure they can lean a ladder against the thing and climb over it? Then we'll need to hire Border Patrol agents to guard the wall that's protecting us, and we'll be right back to square one.

And even if we do build the stupid thing, who do you think is going to perform the actual manual labor? Ultimately it's going to be subcontractors using--yes--undocumented workers!!!? And anyone who doesn't think that's how it's going to work needs to get their head out of their butt.

But don't despair, America, for I have come up with the perfect solution to solving the problem of illegal aliens: We invade Mexico, annex the entire country, and VOILA!!!! All the Mexicans will automatically become American citizens!!!

I don't call myself a genius for nothing.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

A Final Journey

Fairfax Police Detective Vicky Armel was laid to rest earlier today in a solemn ceremony. An estimated 4500 officers, many from out of town, attended. The service itself took place in the heart of Fairfax county at McLean bible church, followed by the procession to the cemetery some 50 miles away. Over 700 vehicles and motorcycles participated. Along the way, Armel paid one final visit to the police station where her life ended so abruptly last Monday.

Meanwhile, the 18 year old shooter's parents continue to refuse to talk to police. They are in seclusion somewhere, and their only communication has been two statements issued through their attorney. But what really makes this case so frightening is that the seven guns (including the AK-47) carried by the killer--as well as the nine other firearms found in his home afterwards--were all apparently legally owned. Even worse, Fairfax county Prosecutor James Horan says that at this point, it doesn't appear that the parents have done anything wrong.


What the hell is wrong is wrong with the laws of this country if a mentally unstable teenager is allowed to own guns? Or the family, for that matter? Granted, in one of their statements the parents said that the weapons were locked up and that their son must have broken into the cabinet. But that explanation still begs the question of why the hell these people had 16 guns in their house in the first place. It's the suburbs, for God's sakes! It's not like you routinely get grizzly bears and packs of wild wolves wandering through the backyards of the townhouse development.

Even the AK-47 machine gun used in the attack may have been legal. A ten year ban prohibiting the sale of such assault weapons was allowed to expire in 2004 thanks to President Bush, the Republican controlled Congress, and the National Rifle Association.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Big Brother Calling

There are plenty of people in this country who see no problem with illegal surveillance by the Bush administration. "I have nothing to hide," they say. Then they promptly go bury their heads back in the sand while the United States Constitution crumbles around them.

The problem with such surveillance is that it's a symptom of unchecked power. When one branch of government begins breaking the law--and the other two branches are oblivious to it--such unchecked power leads to an arrogance of power. Of course, Bush, Cheney, and the rest of the Big Brotherhood say it's for our own good, that they're just protecting us from terrorism. Then they'll remind us about 9-11, and how they're just trying to prevent another attack.

The only problem with that argument is that there were, in fact, plenty of opportunities to prevent what happened five years ago, and it has nothing to do with unauthorized wiretaps or collecting the phone records of tens of millions of American citizens. The truth of the matter is that the 9-11 attacks could have been prevented if FBI supervisors had simply read the damn memos from field offices warning about suspicious activity at flight schools, or if the President himself had acted on the warnings provided in his own security briefings.

And if some people continue to doubt that an Arrogance of Power has now taken over the White House, they need only look at what Alphonso Jackson, the Secretary of housing and Urban Development, said in Dallas recently:
"He had made every effort to get a contract with HUD for 10 years," Jackson said of the prospective contractor. "He made a heck of a proposal and was on the (General Services Administration) list, so we selected him. He came to see me and thank me for selecting him. Then he said something ... he said, I have a problem with your president.

"He didn't get the contract," Jackson continued. "Why should I reward someone who doesn't like the president, so they can use funds to try to campaign against the president? Logic says they don't get the contract. That's the way I believe."

So there you have it: If you're trying to get a government contract, it no longer matters if you're the lowest bidder or what your other qualifications may be. What does matter is what you believe.

Actually, that's really not all that surprising. After all, Bush himself once famously said that if you're not with us, you're against us. It's exactly that attitude of stifling dissent and debate that leads to the loss of the very liberties and personal freedoms Bush insists he is protecting.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Paging the NRA

I drove by the area of Monday's shooting on the way home, but the street immediately in front of the police station was blocked off. Not because of any ongoing investigation, but rather as a crowd control measure. People were constantly streaming across the one main road that was open, parking their cars at a nearby shopping center and walking to the station to pay their respects. Meanwhile, officers were directing traffic to allow the pedestrians to safely pass.

It has often been said that DC and its surrounding suburbs are highly transient. People move in, briefly take government jobs, then move away again with each election cycle. But the outpouring of grief that is now taking place shows that not to be true. The people of Centreville and Chantilly are taking this outburst of violence almost personally, and that only happens when one has a sense of having put down roots in a community.

Meanwhile, police searched the home of the gunman and discovered another nine rifles inside, along with several boxes of ammunition, hunting knives, and a bayonet. That's in addition to the seven guns--including an AK-47--that he had with him when he began shooting.

This accumulation of weapons begs the question of how a troubled 18 year old could possibly have accumulated that much firepower. It also raises another point: What about his parents? Did they happen to notice anything unusual about their son, like his hobby of collecting deadly assault weapons? Shouldn't that sort of thing have sounded some warning bells?

So far police have been unable to question them. The couple has reportedly gone into seclusion, though they did issue a brief statement yesterday through their attorney.

So far the National Rifle Association has been strangely silent on this incident. That's surprising, since their national headquarters is located in Fairfax a mere eight miles from the scene of Monday's violence. You might think they would have something to say, explaining why they continue to support the right of any and all Americans, regardless of their mental health or lack thereof, to own machine guns.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

When Nowhere Is Safe

There was once a time when people in DC wanted to spend an afternoon in the country, they'd head for Fairfax County. Many considered it to be out in the boonies of Virginia.

Over the years, though, that has changed. Two years ago Fairfax passed the one million mark in population, making it the largest single jurisdiction in the DC area and one of the largest in the nation. It's school system is the 12th largest in the United States. Over the last ten years the county has become a leader in the high tech industry. It's Tysons Corner area has more commercial office space than downtown Atlanta. Indeed, an argument could be made that the city of Washington is the one that's a suburb of Fairfax county.

The job of keeping its people safe falls to the Fairfax County Police. Remarkably, the department has never had an officer shot to death in the line of duty during its 66 year history.... Until yesterday.

It was shortly before 4 in the afternoon when a heavily armed 18 year old man drove a stolen van into the parking lot of a police station in Chantilly, just a few miles from Dulles Airport. He then opened fire on unsuspecting officers during a shift change. During the ensuing gun battle, a passing motorist was caught in the crossfire and two officers were wounded. A third officer, detective Vicky Armel--a mother of two--was killed.

Monday, May 08, 2006

May They Be Damned To The Eternal Fires Of Hell

A biologist in Michigan is studying the relationship between Moose and wolves.

WHAT!?!?! Wolves and moose are actively engaged in relationships!?!? Holy crap!!! Is this one of those horrible "committed relationships" that liberal city dwellers keep having with one another? If so, this ungodly behavior flies in the face of everything the Bible teaches us. What's next? Dogs and cats living together?

On the other hand, I suppose as long as the moose and the wolf are of opposite sexes, it's not that bad.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Friday, May 05, 2006

Cultural Lesson

Most people don't know that back in 1912, Hellmann's mayonnaise was manufactured in England. In fact, the Titanic was carrying 12,000 jars of the condiment scheduled for delivery in Vera Cruz, Mexico, which was to be the next port of call for the great ship after its stop in New York.

This would have been the largest single shipment of mayonnaise ever delivered to Mexico. But as we know, the great ship did not make it to New York. The ship hit an iceberg and sank, and the cargo was forever lost.

The people of Mexico, who were crazy about mayonnaise, and were eagerly awaiting its delivery, were disconsolate at the loss. Their anguish was so great, that they declared a National Day of Mourning, which they still observe to this day.

The National Day of Mourning occurs each year on May 5th and is known, of course, as Sinko de Mayo.

---From an email....

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Illegal Means Illegal, Folks. Don't Abuse Your Priviliges.

Until recently, I really wasn't bothered by the whole illegal immigrant thing. Despite the arguments of wackos like the Minutemen volunteers who have taken it upon themselves to patrol our borders, I just don't see illegals taking jobs from Americans. Hell, as much as it pains me to say this, I actually found myself agreeing with President Bush when he said they do the jobs Americans won't do.

However, events during the past several weeks are starting to make me re-evaluate my position. During a series of massive rallies last month, many immigrants took it upon themselves to proudly wave their own countries' flags. Hey, if you want to come to the United States and run our leaf blowers, fine. But if you expect to fit in as Americans, don't go around showing off the Guatemalan flag or some other such nonsense. If you're so damn proud of your heritage, go back home and wave the flag in your old poverty-stricken, rat-infested third world neighborhood.

Then last week some idiot decided it would be a really good idea to record the Star Spangled Banner in Spanish. Huh? And how is that supposed to win over paranoid Americans who are already worried about foreigners taking over the country?

In another ill-conceived plan, yesterday immigrants decided to show off their economic clout by holding a "boycott" of sorts. Instead of showing up for their jobs, they held more demonstrations around the country. The goal was to demonstrate that America can't function without them.

Who the hell is advising these people? The way to win friends and supporters is NOT by pissing everyone off! Acting like a bunch of spoiled brats is only going to give more ammunition to the people that want to crackdown on illegal immigration. If you want to show that you're proud in this country, you should try your best to assimilate by learning English and adopting American culture. You do NOT do it by becoming obnoxious pests.

As I've said, I'm all for giving a break to illegal immigrants who are willing to work. But they should also keep in mind that they are still illegal. That means that like children, undocumented aliens should be seen and not heard. To do otherwise and try the patience of one's hosts is not a good idea.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Your Turn To Be Saved

Thanks to Danny, who forwarded me a pretty funny site he found at Cehnehdeh. The first four links on the site are to a series of inspirational podcasts from a guy who calls himself the Reverend James Z. Sabbath. For example, the All-Purpose Grace contains the line, "Lord, crush their heathen testicles into barrenness in the merciful vise of thy wrath." In fact, pretty much all four messages contain lots of references to violence against heathens.... Kind of like what you would get if you crossed the Bible with Grand Theft Auto.

The last three links are future news stories from the days leading up to the second coming.

If hearing these doesn't give you religion, well, then you're beyond salvation.