Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Besides, It's Not The Managers Who Have To Fly In The Damn Thing

With a week to go before it is scheduled to lift off, NASA engineers are analyzing an air leak in the space shuttle Endeavour's crew cabin.

It is not clear if NASA's upper management--who have in the past dismissed as unimportant reports of foam hitting the spacecraft's wing and exposure of rubber o-rings to cold temperatures--will consider the absence of breathable oxygen an acceptable risk to the crew.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Can I Pet Your Cock?

One of the by-products of having a lot of immigrants in your community is the exposure to other cultures. This is not necessarily a good thing, especially if it involves your upper middle class pool party being interrupted by the neighbors' farm animals. Such is the case in Prince William county, Virginia, where many recently arrived Latinos insist on raising chickens because it reminds them of home.

Has it occurred to these people that this is precisely the type of thing that is causing many communities to crackdown on illegal immigrants? There's a lesson to be learned here: Don't piss off your neighbors or you may get your ass shipped back to Guatemala.

If you feel an insatiable desire to raise chickens because it reminds of you of home, well, then maybe you need to think about going back there. But if you're going to insist on coming to America--legally or not--then you need to be prepared to make certain sacrifices and adapt to the new culture. Letting your hens and roosters wander into the neighbor's begonias is NOT the way to do it.

I have a cock just like the next guy, but at least I keep it in my pants where it belongs.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Pass The Donuts

A new study from Concerned Scientists With Too Much Time On Their Hands Who Like To State The Obvious In An Effort To Justify Their Funding (CSWTMTOTHWLTSTOIAETJTF) has determined that obesity is "contagious" in social circles. The cause is not a virus, but rather just a peer acceptance of the condition.

For example, if a man starts putting on weight, his wife may subconsciously decide, what the hell, I guess it's okay if I put on a few pounds, too. The same holds true in larger groups. If your best friend puts on weight, you do as well. The next thing you know, your entire circle of friends is like a heard of rampaging elephants stampeding down the street to the soft ice cream stand.

But the reverse holds true as well. If a close friend starts losing weight, you are much more likely to do the same.

This certainly seems to make sense. I know whenever one of my friends starts a diet or begins going to the gym, I'm much more likely to go out and find new friends.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Coming Soon.... Or Maybe Not

The mystery about 1-18-08 has only deepened further with the release of the below poster (Click the image for a bigger version; see my July 17 post for the trailer). Supposedly it is NOT a live action Voltron movie, which had been one of the early rumors. Whatever the movie finally turns out to be, it's amazing that the filmmakers have succeeded in keeping it secret this long.

Some are speculating that this so-called Cloverfield project (Cloverfield is the name of a street in LA where Abrams has offices) is actually part of some new alternate reality game, in which a series of fictitious websites all lead players to new clues. Abrams has certainly done a lot of that with Lost; there are websites for the non-existent Hanso Foundation, Oceanic Air, and a number of others. They don't do anything to further the show's plot, but they do add to the "Lost experience." It's the type of diversion that appeals to 27 year old virgins living in their parents' basement. That said, the Cloverfield creature's roar sounds a hell of a lot like the cloud monster's roar in Lost.

HBO's Entourage has also done the same thing, creating a fake trailer for the fake movie Medellin (July 19), complete with a fake website, and starring the fake actor Vincent Chase.

The only problem with this theory is that this is an actual movie trailer that's showing in theaters along with other trailers. Theater owners--and the studios--are not likely to give up that valuable time for something which won't eventually have a direct financial payoff.

My personal guess? We finally withdraw the last of our troops from Iraq on 1-17-08, and Bush turns out to be right: The terrorists end up following us home!!! In the poster, you can even see them splashing ashore.

Anyway, with all this anticipation, the damn thing had better turn out better than that stupid Snakes on a Plane movie.


Update added 1-17-08
Here are some more links:
A brief Q & A session from the Washington Post

WaPo review

Entertainment Weekly review

Seattle Post-Intelligencer review

A Canadian review

USA Today review

The Bad Astronomy review, complete with some "nitpicks" about the movie

And last but hopefully not least, my review

Not that I would ever fall for all the hype....

Did They At Least Wear Panties?

NASA, which has been plagued by jealous diaper-wearing homicidal maniacs in the past, now has a new set of problems. Allegations of astronauts flying drunk, as well as a reported case of sabotage, have surfaced.

The sabotage involved someone tampering with a computer bound for the International Space Station. The dastardly culprit deliberately installed Windows Vista on the unit, leaving it highly vulnerable to crashes, incomprehensible error messages, viruses, worms, and 27 year old hackers who still live in their parents' basement.

Even more stunning were the allegations of drunk astronauts going into space. Who even knew that Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, and Britney Spears had joined NASA?

Thursday, July 26, 2007

About Damn Time

Perhaps one of the most disturbing aspects of the entire Iraq fiasco has been the treatment of returning wounded soldiers. The lack of proper care, the horrible conditions at Walter Reed Army Hospital, and the bureaucratic hurdles thrown at the patients, become downright disgraceful when our President--the man most responsible for their wounds in the first place--repeatedly claims that he cares about the troops.

If George W. Bush really did care, he would not have allowed recuperating soldiers to stay in roach infested hospital rooms. He would not have waited until the Washington Post exposed those conditions for the entire world to see.

But the President didn't do any of that. Instead he left it to a presidential commission--set up only after the Bush Administration was embarrassed by the revelations--to come up with the necessary solutions.

That commission, headed by WWII veteran and former Senator Bob Dole, has finally issued its report. And it's only taken a little over four years into the war to take care of the problem.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Hit & Run

President Bush is becoming increasingly desperate to justify the Iraq war. Today, for example, he cited intelligence reports that showed a link between Al-Qaida's operation in Iraq and the terror group that attacked the United States on 9/11.

Well, duh.

The only problem with Bush's logic is that Al-Qaida had no operation in Iraq prior to our invasion, the toppling of Saddam, and the ensuing anarchy that engulfed the country. In other words, Bush's actions are the very reason Al-Qaida is in Iraq. It's a battlefield of his own creation. And using his own mistake to justify our continued presence in Iraq makes no damn sense.

It's kind of like running over a pedestrian, repeatedly driving over him to make sure he's really run over, kicking him a few times to make sure he's dead, and then telling the gathering crowd of witnesses, "Hey, this guy's been run over!"

Monday, July 23, 2007

Harry Potter Meets The Simpsons

Sunday, July 22, 2007

No Ifs, Ands, Or Butts About It

Well, it seems the world survived President Dick Cheney's brief term in office. In case you missed it--or fled to a bomb shelter when you heard of it--Cheney was actually President for about two and a half hours yesterday while President Bush underwent a "routine" colonoscopy at Camp David.

Doctors were able to successfully remove five polyps from Bush's colon but said his head was "just too far up there" to reach with conventional surgical tools.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

The Same Old Line

Last spring, as the big troop surge in Iraq was getting underway, it was decided that General Patraeus would appear before Congress on September 15 to give an assessment of the situation in Iraq. That date was agreed upon by the White House because by then we would be seeing all kinds of wonderful progress in the war.

Now comes word that some generals are saying that September is too early, and that assessment should instead be made in November.

Even more troubling, the general in charge of American forces south of Baghdad now says the troop surge needs to last into NEXT summer for it to be effective.

This constant feeding of bullshit to the American people has to stop now. We have been fighting in Iraq for over four years now. We've been there six months longer than it took us to win World War II.

And what do we have to show for it? Well, there's that wonderful new White House intelligence report that says Al Qaeda is as strong as before 9-11, and that Osama bin Laden has benefited greatly from Bush's decision to invade Iraq.

The people running this war have been repeatedly wrong in the past. As a result of their ineptitude, 3632 American soldiers are dead, thousands more have been maimed for life, tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians have been killed, and terrorists around the world are more inflamed than ever before. And now these very same geniuses responsible for this mess are telling us they just need a few more months? They have been repeatedly wrong about everything for the last four and a half years. Why on Earth should we start believing them now?

I need a drink.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Just For Kicks

This week saw the arrival of Beckham and his wife Posh Spice in California. There has been a lot of media coverage of this event, and Beckham is being touted as the savior of soccer in the United States.

Let's settle that argument now: Regardless of what the rest of the world thinks about the sport, Americans find soccer.... Boring. Sorry, but that's the truth. Even the success of the Women's soccer team back in the '90's--featuring hot chicks running around in shorts--didn't turn the public's opinion of soccer around. The league eventually went bankrupt.

Yeah, yeah, I know that the rest of the world considers soccer to be the most exciting sport in the known universe. But the rest of the world has also periodically been conquered by Japan and Germany, so so much for the rest of the world's credibility.

Beckham is somehow expected to change that? I think not. Most Americans don't know who he is. That won't change unless he does something like climb into the stands and beat up a heckler, takes up steroids, kills his wife, or starts a dogfighting ring.

And if we start deporting all the illegal aliens, that will eliminate the few fans soccer does have in the United States. Beckham's going to feel kind of silly playing in an empty stadium.

And what's the deal with his Spice Girl wife? There was a special on NBC earlier this week intended to introduce her to America, and it bombed in the ratings. Again, not surprising, since no one knows who she is. In fact, it's kind of a Catch-22 for her: No one watched her show because no one knows who she is, which is why she did the show in the first place.

Posh needs to adopt some of the traits that we Americans love in our native celebrities: Climb in & out of limos while not wearing underwear, go out clubbing till 4 A.M., get a DUI, and check into a rehab clinic for a month. Hell, even if she doesn't have a drinking problem, she should pretend to have one. And maybe bribe a judge into making her wear an ankle bracelet.

Oh, and dump that stupid soccer player husband.

A Snortin' Good Time

There are those among us who would argue that this movie doesn't actually exist. To them I say it is every bit as real as Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.

Hmmm.... I wonder if the release date is 01-18-08?

Hypocrisy Alert

You gotta love the Republicans. They're always talking about things like "family values" and "the sanctity of marriage." One of the chief practitioners of such self-righteous blather has been Senator David Vitter of Louisiana.

While Vitter was a member of the House of Representatives in 1999, he sponsored a bill "recognizing the importance of strong marriages." Then in 2004, when he ran for the U.S. Senate, he urged local governments in Louisiana to enact a pro-marriage proclamation as part of Marriage Appreciation Week. And just last year, this champion of the religious right said there was no issue before the Senate more important than
"a strong two-parent family.... Some folks in Washington may not get that, but certainly a lot of folks in the real world, including Louisiana, get it."
Speaking of getting it, it turns out Vitter has been getting plenty on the side. Vitter's name turned up on a list of phone numbers belonging to the DC Madame. And the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that the Senator was a regular client of a Canal Street brothel in the mid '90s.

On the other hand, perhaps Mr. Vitter has merely been spreading his seed of family values among those who most needed a dose.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Honey, Did You Pack The Trunk?

A DC man is accused of locking his two daughters, ages 9 and 11, in the trunk of his car. The incident took place on a 90 (32.2 Celsius) degree day in Massachusetts while 48 year old Michael Fekete was visiting his mother in a nursing home. Fekete was arrested and charged with child endangerment after witnesses called police.

In his defense, Fekete says that his daughters being locked in the trunk of the car because it gives them a chance to play with the glow-in-the-dark emergency release handle located inside.

Why are people so upset by this? The man locked his own kids in that trunk. It's not like he kidnapped someone else's children and lured them into the trunk. Besides, playing with a glow-in-the-dark plastic handle while trapped inside an oven sounds like a fun game. Heck, I may even try it myself this afternoon!

And why was it even the business of those "witnesses" to get involved in a total stranger's parenting methods? Shouldn't they instead be looking for carloads of exploding Muslim doctors headed for the local airport?

Besides, it's not like The guy took his daughters to Spain and forced them to run with the bulls.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

AC In A DC World

I had really been looking forward to seeing Transformers in the theater. I even took out a small business loan so I could buy popcorn and a soda. And I'm sorry to say that I was horribly disappointed in the film. I sat down in that theater expecting to see Michael Moore's scathing exposé of the electric power industry, and instead it turned out to be some sort of crap about robots from outer space!!!!

Admittedly, once I got over the emotional letdown of not seeing Michael confront the CEO of Consolidated Edison, the robot thing turned out to be pretty cool. Between the action and the special effects, Transformers may well turn out to be the top movie of the summer. In fact, I'll go as far as to say that Optimus Prime could kick Harry Potter's ass any day of the week.

It's not really a family film, however. There was a rather explicit scene involving the blowing of a transformer that may not be suitable for children.

The other highlight was in the 27 or so movie trailers they showed before the main attraction. There, among the previews for things like the upcoming Simpsons Movie and Yet Another Stinkin' Bourne Sequel, was one for a mysterious, as yet untitled film from JJ Abrams (he's the brains behind Lost and Alias). The only information it gives you at the end is the release date: 01-18-08. Even IMDB doesn't seem to have any meaningful information on what the movie will be about. And while the below preview may start off slow, stick with it. If you're anything like me, you'll end up crapping your pants when the Statue of Liberty's head comes rolling down the street.

By the way, that crapping of my pants thing? Let's just leave that between the two of us, okay?

Monday, July 16, 2007

A Bid For Peace

Someone is offering a "solution" to the Iraq war on eBay.

No word on whether President Bush has placed a bid.

Unload Your Sony Stock While You Can

Northern Japan was the scene of a large earthquake earlier today. At least eight people are known dead, hundreds are injured, and countless buildings are damaged beyond repair.

But the worst effects of the temblor may be yet to come. The world's most powerful nuclear plant was seriously damaged, resulting in a spill of radioactive water into the ocean. Based on Japan's past experience with nuclear accidents, it's only a matter of time before a giant mutated prehistoric beast emerges from the sea and devastates downtown Tokyo.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Short And The Long Of It

New data suggests that Americans are no longer the tallest people in the world. The typical American male now stands at 5'10". In contrast, the "tallest country" in the world today is Holland, where men are an average of 6 feet tall.

Well, we may no longer be the tallest, but we got everyone else beat when it comes to width.

Pass the Whopper.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

New Math Is Alive And Well

According to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Peter Pace, the number of Iraqi army battalions able to operate on their own has dropped from ten in March to six now.

Huh? Wasn't one purpose of the U.S. military's surge to buy time for Iraqi army units to improve their training so that they can become capable of defending their country? Now I'm no math expert, nor do I play one on TV, but shouldn't that number be going UP instead of DOWN!?!?! Isn't this tantamount to driving up a mountain by going in reverse downhill!?!?!

Pace tried to downplay the significance of the dropping numbers by saying the decline was driven by casualties, worn-out equipment and the need to pull units from battle so they can be resupplied. Um... How is that an excuse? Because the soldiers are getting killed, it shouldn't count?

Pace then told reporters, "The fact that a number may be changing in a very narrow band shouldn't be overly a concern."

Eh? A drop of four battalions--from ten to six--is a decline of 40%, and he dismisses that as falling within a very narrow band?" That's like Bush declaring that his less than one percent majority in 2004 qualified as a "mandate."

Perhaps it's time for the American people to start sending calculators to the White House.

Friday, July 13, 2007

So Much For Swatting Them There So We Don't Have To Swat Them Here

Giant turban wearing killer wasps have invaded the State Department building in DC. This is a terrifying turn of events, and demonstrates yet another profound failure of George Bush's policies. In what is an obvious admission of guilt, White House officials are remaining suspiciously silent on the crisis.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Hu's On First

According to a new intelligence report, Al Qaeda has established training camps in western Pakistan and is using those secure havens to further strengthen itself.

Huh? How is that possible? Isn't that whole reason we've been fighting in Iraq for the last four years? To defeat Al Qaeda? And haven't we repeatedly been told that we have them on the run? Then how can they be getting stronger if we're winning? And has anyone bothered to tell President Bush that Al Qaeda is in Pakistan and NOT in Iraq? Or is he still trying to figure out Hu's the leader of China?

In Case Anyone's Counting

Last January a group of Iraqi insurgents infiltrated an American base in Karbala. They killed one American in the initial assault and kidnapped four others that were eventually executed. The attack had been worrisome to Pentagon officials because of its sophistication. The insurgents got onto the base by using official looking black SUV's, and seemed to know the layout of the buildings.

The Pentagon has now concluded that assailants also had the help of local Iraqi police who supplied them with uniforms, equipment, and inside information. It also looks like Iranians may also have been involved.

The Iraqi police!?!?! These are the people that we are training to supposedly take responsibility for the security of their country. If they can't be trusted, then who's left?

It should be pretty obvious to anyone who doesn't have their head up their ass that this so-called "war" is lost. We have now been fighting in Iraq six months longer than it took us to win World War II. And what do we have to show for it? Not a damn thing.

Oh, wait. My mistake. Actually, we now have over 3600 flag draped coffins to show for it.

I wonder if President Bush is proud of that?

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Decades.... Centuries.... Who's Counting?

Last week President Bush delivered an inspiring Fourth of July address to a group on National Guardsmen in West Virginia. Naturally, he compared the war in Iraq to America's own fight for independence.... Which coincidentally involved a group of people trying to expel an occupying foreign power.

Then Bush went on to deliver thise memorable words: "More than two decades later, it is hard to imagine the Revolutionary War coming out any other way."

Great.... So not only does our President not speak English, but he can't tell time either?!?!


I'm not a big fan of filmmaker Oliver Stone. He's a little too into conspiracy theories for my taste. Still, he did recently get off a great line about President Bush.

Stone had been hoping to make a documentary about Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but the Iranian President turned him down. Why? Well, apparently Ahmadinejad considers Stone to be part of the "Great Satan" establishment and thus refuses to associate with him.

Stone's response to the rejection was both classy and classic: "I wish the Iranian people well, and only hope their experience with an inept, rigid ideologue president goes better than ours."


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

And If You Act Now.....

A couple of years ago I vowed never again to buy anything from some inane offer on TV. That was after I ordered some ridiculous floor sweeper with rubber bristles. When I called the 1-800 number, they offered a second one for like a dollar (plus shipping & handling, of course). When the items arrived a week later, I was the proud owner of not one but TWO worthless pieces of crap that fell apart the first time I tried to use them. Hence my promise to myself and the world to never again get suckered by some wonderful new gadget I just couldn't live without.

While I'm not married, I still forgot my vows. The seduction came in the form of an ad for something called the Infinity Razor. It's made from the same steel used to make those knives that never need sharpening. Consequently, it's the last razor you will ever need to buy! How freakin' cool is that!?!? So cool, in fact, that I ordered a second one for some ridiculous low price (plus shipping & handling, of course). And please don't ask why I ordered two if the first one was supposed to last forever....

So now I'm the proud owner of.... TWO worthless pieces of crap.

This stupid thing barely cuts my whiskers. In fact, it mostly scrapes at your facial hair, so it hurts like hell to shave with it. Then you get to do it all over again because the first pass only gets about half the stubble.

So once again I vow to never again fall for one those asinine infomercial things. And if I really, REALLY get the urge to waste $19.95 (plus shipping & handling) on some wonderful new gizmo, I'll just take a twenty dollar bill and toss it into the middle of the street. At least that way, I won't have to pay shipping & handling.

In the meantime, here are some wonderful new products I'm considering:

Nearing The End

As of today, there are 560 days left in the Bush presidency. No word on what George W. will do after he leaves office, but Vice President Cheney reportedly has a job as a Wal-Mart greeter lined up.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Turmoil In France

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has been in office barely a month and already his office has been rocked by a major scandal. Indeed, the people of France are in such an uproar that they may actually fight back if someone tries to invade.

And what is the nature of this scandal, you ask? Has he been caught boinking his secretary? Accepting bribes from the foie gras industry? Hosting pajama parties with Michael Jackson? Starting a war under false pretenses?

No, no, just rumors, and no.

The truth is actually much, MUCH worse: Sarkozy has been caught (GASP!) jogging!

Yes, it's true. President Sarkozy exercises. In shorts. And it is for this reason that the French Republic may fall.

Apparently, such things just aren't done in France. One intellectual appeared on a news show and declared jogging to be an "undignified" exercise, and suggested that exposing the boss's naked knees is something that never would have occurred in the time of (former President) Mitterrand or Louis XIV. And Charles Bremner, the Paris correspondent for the Times of London, says that Sarkozy has fueled a French suspicion that running is for self-centered individualists like Americans.

Excuse me? What the hell is THAT supposed to mean? There is nothing I hate more than the perpetuation of ignorance fueled stereotypes, especially when it comes from cheese-eating French surrender monkeys.

Besides, I don't run.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Good news just keeps pouring out of Iraq like raw sewage from a broken sewer line. The latest is word of a massive truck bomb explosion in the small farming town of Armili north of Baghdad killed an estimated 100. The blast came just hours after another explosion in Zargosh claimed 22 lives. That particular attack occurred during a funeral, which made it convenient for the victims.

Separately, eight American soldiers have died in the last two days.

Meanwhile, President Bush celebrated his 61st birthday with a party.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Maybe He'll Get Paris' Old Cell

Al Gore's son, Al Gore III, has been arrested in California on a number of drug related charges. He was initially pulled over by police for doing over 100 mph in a Toyota Prius. Officers smelled marijuana, and a subsequent search of the vehicle also revealed a number of prescription drugs, including Xanax, Valium, and Vicodin.

This startling news has left much of the civilized world stunned beyond words. Who would have thought a hybrid could go that fast?

Anyway, police were not impressed by Gore's argument that he uses the Xanax, Valium, and Vicodin to combat global warming.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

What's The Co-Payment?

For the last couple of decades, villagers in central China have been digging up dinosaur bones and using them for healing. In some cases the bones were boiled to make soup (presumably in really, REALLY big pots), or grinding them up into powder. The powder was then used in the preparation of food, or else applied directly to things like broken bones and other injuries.

As it turns out, the whole thing was just a simple case of mistaken identity: The Chinese believed the bones "were from the dragons flying in the sky." Evidently flying dragons (not to be confused with the flightless ones found in parts of Europe) are indigenous to central China. If so, that may explain why pandas are on the verge of extinction

Sure, it may sound crazy, but at least those villagers had a better health care plan than a lot of Americans.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Why It Burns When I Pee

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Stop & Listen

The investigation into the failed terror attacks In the U.K. has taken a frightening turn. It had long been assumed that most radical Islamic loonies are disaffected young adults. However, the conspirators arrested in England, Scotland, and Australia are freakin' doctors!!!

What the hell is the deal with that!?!? Doctors are supposed to heal people, not kill them.... Well, unless your name is Doctor Jack Kevorkian. How does the willful killing of women and children in fiery bombings fit into the whole Hippocratic Oath thing? Is there some loophole that we're not familiar with?

And one of the London bombers turned out to be from Iraq! How's that for gratitude! We try to free his nation and how does he thank us? By trying to blow up an airport!!

Maybe it's a cultural thing, like belching at the dinner table being a compliment in some societies.

And why was the Iraqi guy trying to blow up crap in England anyway? Aren't we fighting the terrorists in Iraq so we don't have to fight them here? Or doesn't England count as "here?" That guy broke the rules and should be thrown out of the game.

Three attempted bombings, and the devices didn't work in a single one? What are the odds? In fact, in one case, the car simply caught on fire and seriously injured the bomber. That's gotta hurt: Not only do you not get the virgins, you end up with six months of skin grafts!

Maybe it's time for the terrorists to stop their killing, take a deep breath, and think about whether Allah is trying to tell them something.

High Beams

I made the mistake of stepping outside this morning without a jacket and my nipples about ripped through my shirt! Not that I'm complaining; July is normally insufferably hot in DC, so if you suddenly get a 52 degree outdoor temperature reading, it's best to just savor it.... Even if it does ruin a shirt or two.

I'm suddenly feeling pretty darn good about this global warming thing.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Lost And Not Found

Today marks the 70th anniversary of the disappearance of Amelia Earhart. She and her navigator, Fred Noonan, were trying to fly around the world when their twin engine vanished somewhere over the South Pacific. Their fate has long fascinated the world and has been the subject of much speculation, ranging from alien abductions to being captured by the Japanese.

My personal theory? Well, Earhart's a woman, so she landed the plane to ask for directions and was eaten by cannibals. That's why you never see us men stopping for directions: We don't want to get eaten by pygmies.

On the other hand, don't be surprised if Earhart and Noonan show up on next season's Lost. In fact, it will probably turn out that The Others are their descendants.

And if you think such an outrageous plot development would be absolutely preposterous and totally beyond belief, you obviously haven't been watching the show.

Why Cuba Is Doomed

President Bush recently talked about what will happen in Cuba once Fidel Castro dies, and what the United States' approach should be to a post-communist government. Said Bush:
"My attitude is that we need to use the opportunity to call the world together to promote democracy as the alternative to the form of government they have been living with."
Uh-oh. Isn't that kind of what Bush said about his vision for a post-Saddam Iraq?

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Drive Like Uranus, Pay Out The Nose

A number of new laws effecting motorists took effect in Virginia today. Among them is a measure making it illegal for drivers under 18 to talk on a cellphone while behind the wheel. The state is also restarting a program allowing photo enforcement of red lights. That measure was surprisingly controversial, with rural lawmakers vehemently opposed to it. Those representing the more urban areas of the state such as Northern Virginia--where traffic is a constant concern--were in favor of cameras to catch red light runners.

But nothing has the people of Virginia as riled up as the so-called "abusive driver" fees. Under the program, which was adopted to increase highway funding with raising taxes, the cost of serious traffic offenses will greatly increase. For example, a conviction for reckless driving (which includes exceeding the speed limit by 20 or more miles) will now cost an additional $1050 on top of whatever the regular fine is. A first offense DUI will carry a $2250 surcharge. And if you accumulate eight or more demerit points on your record during the course of two years, that will cost you $75 a point.

During a recent radio call-in show, Virginia Governor Tim Kaine caught an earful over the fees. Callers claimed the higher costs will hurt the working poor and amount to a tax increase. Some people are even threatening to move to Maryland to avoid the surcharges.

As someone who routinely racks up 200-250 miles a day on the mean streets of Fairfax County, I welcome the new fees. If you are the type of driver who routinely drives recklessly, then by all means PLEASE move somewhere else. And don't let the state line hit you on the ass when you leave.

Seriously, why are people upset about these new fees? If you don't want to pay them, then don't drive like a f*cking asshole. Then you won't have to pay the new charges, and you'll even avoid having to move to another state. Or is easing off the gas peddle that much of a challenge for some folks?

On the other hand, these new fees are designated to go to the state's highway fund for the building of new roads. That's certainly a worthy cause. Heck, maybe an argument can be made that driving like a freakin' maniac is a civic duty.