Friday, August 31, 2007

In Defense Of Michael Vick

A lot of people have been piling on Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick over those dogfighting allegations. Quite frankly, I'm sick and tired of it. Give the man a break. If anything, Vick deserves a medal.

Dogfighting has a long and proud tradition in the United States. It's time for ALL Americans to embrace the practice. After all, if it hadn't been for dogfights, we never would have beaten the German air force.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Movie Idea

If Larry Craig were to leave the United States Senate, move to Hollywood, and do a remake of 2001: A Space Odyssey, the movie's tagline would be "Open the bathroom stall doors, Hal."

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

In Defense Of Senator Craig

A lot of people are branding Senator Larry Craig a hypocrite after his arrest for "inappropriate behavior" at the Minneapolis Airport. The reason is that rumors about Craig's, er, "gender preferences" have popped up several times before, yet he remains a staunch opponent of gay marriage.

So how does that make him a hypocrite? He only wanted to blow the cop, not marry him.

Did They Pee Oil Afterwards?

Two brothers trapped in a Chinese coal mine collapse for six days survived by eating coal and drinking.... Well, you probably don't want to know what they drank.

Those damn Chinese will be the death of us all. It's not enough that they're all buying cars and industrializing their society at a breakneck pace. Now a billion of them are going to start eating fossil fuels?!? I'm no dietitian, nor do I play one on TV, but I don't see that helping the planet's carbon dioxide levels.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Not That There's Anything Wrong With That--Unless It's In The Bathroom

When I first heard that a congressman had been arrested at Dulles Airport, I was initially overjoyed. I just knew, deep in my bones, that it was going to be another self-righteous holier-than-thou Republican lawmaker in trouble.

Needless to say, I was profoundly disappointed when I learned that the offender was Bob Filner, a Democrat from California. Even worse, it was a boring offense involving an argument over lost luggage. It's the type of thing that pretty much all of us can identify with.

I spent the next several days licking my wounds. To tell the truth, I would have preferred to spend my time licking something else, but I can't quite bend my neck that far.

However, I am glad to report that my faith in humanity has just been restored!!! And to whom do I owe this deeply personal spiritual rebirth? Why, none other than Senator Larry Craig from Idaho!!! And what did this Senator do that was so darn wonderful, you ask? Well, he got himself arrested. By coincidence, his arrest also took place at an airport. Unfortunately for Senator Craig, however, it had nothing to do with his bag.... Then again, perhaps it did.

It seems that Craig was arrested by an undercover officer in the men's room at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport. No details, except that the Senator is denying that he engaged in any sort of "inappropriate conduct."

Hmmmm.... Any time the terms "United States Senator," "men's room," and "inappropriate conduct" show up in the same paragraph, it can't be good news for someone's political future.

Oh, and have I mentioned the best part? Craig is a self-righteous holier-than-thou Republican!!!!

Last Seen

In what many consider a surprise move, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has resigned. This removes a major lightning rod for controversy from the Bush administration; on the other hand, that lightning may now start striking closer to the President himself. It remains to be seen who Bush will name to replace him, and whether that nominee will be able to get approved by the Senate.

A Matter Of Trust

A new controversy of sorts has erupted in Afghanistan.

The Taliban claims that as many as 18 civilians were killed by NATO forces during a recent battle. NATO, on the other hand, claims that the Taliban is vastly exaggerating those numbers. So who's right?

I'm inclined to believe the Taliban. After all, they have traditionally shown great concern about harming innocent civilians. More importantly, if you can't trust a deeply religious group such as the Taliban, who can you trust?

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Would Someone Please Do This To Michael Vick?

Ever wonder how Bob Barker will be spending all his free time now that he's retired from The Price Is Right? Well, to be perfectly honest, neither have I.

Can Lunar Sushi Be Far Behind?

A dramatic new space race is poised to begin, pushing the limits of technology and engineering, and inspiring all of mankind to look at the stars above with renewed awe and wonder. And guess what? The United States ain't part of it.

Oddly enough, it's China and Japan that are about to embark on a series of missions to remotely map and explore the lunar surface, with the ultimate goal of landing another man on the moon.

But with George W. Bush as its President, the United States is also busy pushing the boundaries of science. For example, we have made important strides in questioning the validity of evolution, in deciding that the preservation of embryonic stem cells is more important than finding a cure for cancer, and that the effects of global warming can be overcome through the power of prayer.

Oh, and don't worry about the Chinese and the Japanese. During the course of the last 40 years or so, our space program has mastered the art of germinating tomato seeds in low Earth orbit.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Comcast Strikes Again

I'm guessing this is the conversation that took place earlier this week at Comcast Cable's offices:

Comcast's Head Honcho: Hey, you know what we haven't done in a while?

Sniveling underling: What's that, sir?

Comcast's Head Honcho: We haven't f*cked with that Lugosi guy.

Sniveling underling: Gosh, you're right sir. Not only will I get right on it, I'll make sure we devote the company's full resources to pissing him off!!!

Comcast's Head Honcho: Have I told you lately what a wonderful ass kisser you are?

That's the only possible explanation for this oversize envelope I got today from Comcast. Upon opening it, I discovered their new channel line up. And it's not simply a matter of adding a few channels; no, they moved just about ALL their channels around! And there really doesn't seem to be much rhyme or reason to what they did.

For example, they used to have all their HD channels grouped together in the 700 range. That apparently made too much sense for the braniacs at Comcast. While local broadcast channel 4's HD signal used to be at 704, now it's at 211; channel 7's was at 707, now that's at 210; HBO HD was 750, now it's 228.

Even less popular channels got shifted around. The History Channel moved from 54 to 41. So who got the new 54 slot? The Travel channel, which used to be at 51. But I guess they had to move because now Animal Planet is at 51. And where was Animal Planet before, you ask? Patience, my young Padwan. Animal Planet used to be at 60. But of course it couldn't stay there, because MTV was moving to 60 from 48, and MTV had to move because the Disney Channel was moving to 48 from 68!!!!

Jesus H. Freakin' Christ!!!!!! There is absolutely no possible logic to this except that Comcast was trying to piss everyone off.

Ah, but it gets even better: If you have a DVR from the cable company, you now have to reprogram every single program you were previously planning to record. And while you can use the "EDIT" setting to change the times of a scheduled show, you can't do that to change the channel. I had to sit down with a pad of paper and list every single program that I had each of my two DVR's set to record and copy the information down. Then I had to look up the new channels and schedule them from scratch.

However, I could only do that with the shows that are scheduled to air during the next seven days. Bones and House are NOT, so I have to keep an eye on the TV schedule for when they do show up again.

What the hell is the deal? Are all those White House staffers who recently resigned getting jobs at Comcast? Because all these damn changes make about as much damn sense as invading a country that never attacked us.

To be fair, there is one nice thing I can say about these changes: Comcast has finally added the HD broadcast of WDCA channel 20 here in DC. That's important, because channel 20 has been airing the remastered episodes of Star Trek. Now I can finally watch Kirk make out with those olive-skinned Orion slave girls in true high definition! Now I just have to remember to put the Vaseline next to the recliner.

Do I sound overly bitter? Well, yes. I've been that way ever since Comcast dropped HDNET and HDNET Movies. If they had at least returned those two channels to their lineup, then I could have stomached the rest of these bullsh*t changes.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Surefire Signs That You're Living In 2007

1) You accidentally enter your PIN on the microwave.
2) You haven't played solitaire with real cards in years.
3) You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of three.
4) You e-mail the person who works at the desk next to you.
5) Your reason for not staying in touch with friends and family is that they don't have e-mail addresses.
6) You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if anyone is home to help you carry in the groceries.
7) Every commercial on television has a web site at the bottom of the screen.
8) Leaving the house without your cell phone, which you didn't even have the first 20 or 30 (or 60) years of your life, is now a cause for panic and you turn around to go and get it.
10) You get up in the morning and go on line before getting your coffee.
11) You start tilting your head sideways to smile. : )
12) You're reading this and nodding and laughing.
13) Even worse, you know exactly to whom you are going to forward this message.
14) You are too busy to notice there was no #9 on this list.
15) You actually scrolled back up to check that there wasn't a #9 on this list.

-------------From an email

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Dean Fizzles

Mexico apparently lucked out with Hurricane Dean. Most of the country managed to escape the storm relatively unscathed. Part of it was pure dumb luck, with Dean's path avoiding major cities. It was also a fast moving storm, so heavy rains never lingered over any particular area. Serious flooding was thus avoided.

More importantly, the Mexican government moved quickly to prepare for Dean before it hit. Warnings were issued, evacuations ordered, and emergency shelters prepared.

On the other hand, if the United States had been responsible for the hurricane preparations, bodies would no doubt be floating in the streets of Mexico City today.

Mexico's oil industry also got off with light damage. Production at the nation's offshore platforms should be back up quickly, thereby minimizing any price disruptions in world markets.

Shipments of illegal aliens across the border are also expected to resume in the next few days.

I Did NOT Just Say This

Guess someone's been tapping some of that Bush bush.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Run, Forrest! Run!

Scientists have long debated whether the fearsome Tyrannosaurus Rex was a fast, agile animal, or a lumbering, clumsy giant. Well, a group of experts fed data about the endangered (only a few, owned by Steve Spielberg and periodically used in movies, survive on isolated islands in the Pacific) dinosaurs into computers. Their conclusion? T-Rexes could run faster than humans.

This would seem to be a blow to believers of intelligent design. After all, it has long been their contention that humans and dinosaurs lived at the same time. But if that were true, the new findings would seem to indicate that Adam and Eve, unable to run fast enough, would have been eaten. And with no original humans around to reproduce, mankind wouldn't exist.

On the bright side, we wouldn't have an illegal immigration problem.

Dean Update

Congratulations are in order to Dean, who was the third strongest hurricane on record at the time of landfall. Only 1988's Gilbert and an unnamed storm in 1935 were stronger.

Deprived of its warm ocean water, Dean has now been downgraded to a tropical storm. It's still very dangerous, however, as it is in the process of dumping as much as 20 inches of rain on parts of Mexico. Severe flooding and mudslides are expected to result.

With any luck, Dean's remnants will now turn north towards Texas and punish the state that gave us George W. Bush.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Does A Bear Poop In The Woods? Yes, If It Eats A Hunter

I have never particularly understood the appeal of hunting (unless you're hunting illegal aliens)(yes, as a matter of fact I DO enjoy pushing my luck).

So you go out with a gun and shoot some helpless animal. Big freakin' deal. Unless the poor creature is also armed and prepared to defend itself, where's the challenge? And DON'T even get me started on Dick Cheney, who goes to private hunt clubs to shoot farm raised birds with clipped wings. Now THAT'S a challenge!!

That's why I read with interest this story about a hunter in Finland.... Or Sweden.... Or Norway.... Or one of those other really cold countries. Anyway, the guy shot and wounded a brown bear. He began tracking the poor creature with the intention of finishing off the defenseless animal when suddenly the tables turned. The bear, apparently still unarmed, turned on his pursuer and attacked. The hunter did survive, but only because his buddies finished off the bear.

Again, where's the justice in this tale? It was one-on-one at first. A fair fight, but the moment the bear began winning, the odds changed to three-on-one! Was the bear given the opportunity to call in reinforcements? Another bear, perhaps, or a couple of moose? Maybe a pack of rabid wolves?

No, probably not. But it's a safe bet that the hunters are still feeling smug in their sense of superiority.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Good News/Bad News

Hurricane Dean hit Jamaica earlier today with category 2 winds. Buildings were flattened and roofs torn off. The island's ganja crop also took a serious hit, sending marijuana futures sky-high in the world's major commodities markets.

The storm is forecast to strengthen tonight and hit the Cayman Islands tomorrow, possibly as a category 5 monster.

Dean is now expected to stay south and hit Mexico instead of Texas. With its 150 mph winds and heavy rain, the storm will no doubt cause massive flooding and scores of mudslides. Thousands of Mexicans will no doubt perish as they are buried under tons of muck or swept out to sea, thereby suffering indescribably horrible, painful deaths.

With a little bit of luck, this will at least temporarily cut back on the flow illegal immigrants into the United States.

Get The Lead Out

A California Condor has died of lead poisoning at the Los Angeles Zoo. Wildlife officials are trying to determine how the endangered bird came to be in possession of a Chinese made toy.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Muskrat Love, Digital Style

Congratulations to our old friend, the compact disc. It turned 25 today. Yes, it was on August 17 of 1982 that the first CD's began rolling off an assembly line in Germany. The shiny little discs, each containing millions of bytes of digital audio information, would soon come to dominate music sales. And even as those initial pressings of Richard Strauss' "Alpine Symphony" were preparing to make their debut, engineers were hard at work developing an impenetrable cellophane wrapper in which to put the discs.

Always an early adaptor, on August 17 of 1982 I was debating whether to replace my 8-track Captain and Tennille collection with cassettes.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

"How many additional dead Americans is Saddam worth?"
-----Dick Cheney, 1994

There's an interesting backstory on what is now being called the "Dick Cheney Quagmire Video." That interview was unearthed quite accidentally by a C-Span staffer named Emmanuel Touhey who was putting together a Cheney marathon (apparently they also show horror movies on that channel).

Anyway, Touhey stumbled across a tape labeled simply "Life and Career of Dick Cheney." He watched part of it (though not the quagmire part) and decided to add it to the pile. The rest, as they say, is history.

If you haven't seen the interview in question, you can find the video under my "Newsflash" post from yestrerday. It's an absolute hoot!! Well, at least until you realize that Cheney decided to answer his own question: 3,666 American lives (and counting).

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

I Am The Walrus, Koo-Koo-Ka-Aaargh

Dozens of headless walrus carcasses have washed up on Alaska beaches this summer. While native Alaskans are allowed to hunt the animals for subsistence purposes, it is illegal for anyone else to kill the animals. Consequently authorities are investigating to determine if poachers are responsible.

This is certainly understandable. We've got a headless President down here in DC, and everyone's investigating him, too.


In what can only be described as a stunning admission, Dick Cheney has said in an interview that Iraq is a quagmire. Seriously, he really, REALLY said it!!

Well, out of fairness to the Vice President, it's not like he suddenly experienced some sort of epiphany and just now admitted it. No, he actually said it back in 1994. In the interview, Cheney is asked why the United States didn't continue on to Baghdad during the first Gulf War and take out Saddam.

In his response, Cheney says that U.S. forces would have been on their own. And if we were to remove Saddam, who would we put in his place? And without a strong central government, Iraq would quickly frament. Western Iraq would fall under Syrian influence, eastern Iraq would ally itself with Iran, and the Kurds would likely join with the Kurds in Turkey to destabilize that country. The situation, according to Cheney, would have become a "quagmire," and that's why we elected not to invade Iraq.

Too bad Cheney didn't consult himself back in 2003.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

According to new stats released by the U.S. military, major attacks in Iraq have declined by almost 50% since the troop buildup began six months ago. For example, there were 130 high profile attacks against civilian targets in March; last month, on the other hand, there were only 70. This is great news and provides solid proof that our new strategy in Iraq is working.

However, due to some sort of communications breakdown, Al Qaeda forces apparently failed to receive the memo. Four suicide bombers in northern Iraq succeeded in killing at least 250 people in coordinated bombingss yesterday. The bloody assault is being described as the entire four and a half year old war's deadliest attack.

It's All In The Engineering

A bridge in China has collapsed. At least 22 people are dead, and another 46 are still missing.

There has been a lot of talk lately about China's rapidly growing economy, and some have even suggested that the communist country is overtaking the United States in terms of manufacturing and technological know-how. That may or may not be true, but this incident clearly demonstrates that at least in one area, we still beat the Chinese hands down: We know how to how to engineer OUR bridges so that fewer people die when THEY collapse.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Mammal Or Fish? The Science Is Still Out On That

In a surprise move, top Bush adviser Karl "Lord Voldemort" Rove has announced he is leaving the White House. He claims this has nothing to do with the various investigations underway. Rove also admits that he doesn't think his departure will end those inquiries. In fact, Rove even said of his situation, "I noticed the other day some Democratic staffers were quoted calling me the big fish. Well, I'm Moby Dick and they're after me."

Someone needs to tell him that whales are actually mammals.... Or would such criticism amount to giving in to the terrorists?

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Brother, Can You Spare A Dime? How About A Billion?

A few years ago mortgage lenders greatly loosened their lending standards. It eventually got to the point where even people with bad credit were able to buy houses with no money down. Many of those loans were structured so that for the first few years the payments would be low, then eventually increase.

As those increases have begun to kick in, people have found themselves unable to keep up. As they began defaulting, the sudden increase in bad loans began to drag lenders under. Several have, in fact, failed entirely because of those bad loans.

The situation has now gotten to the point where the crisis is no longer just affecting the housing market, but spreading to the economy as a whole. Over the last few days even the stock market began to suffer as this mess reached crisis proportions.

So how was a total financial meltdown finally averted? FOREIGN banks stepped in yesterday and put up a total of $323 billion to shore up America's banking system.

WOW!!! If that's not embarrassing, I don't know what is. Well, aside from vowing to "go it alone" in Iraq, then blaming the rest of the world for the mess we made because they don't want to get involved.


Some farmers have begun raising experimental "yattle" as an alternative to traditional cattle. Yattle are actually a cross of cows and yaks. The hybrids have oddly angled horns, thick coats, naturally low cholesterol meat, and run on electric motors part of the time.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Into The Fire

For anyone who still has their head up their tuckus about global warming, the United Nations has just issued a report that's worth taking a look at. Basically, it says that all the wild weather we've seen around the world this year is only going to get worse. From the recent flooding in much of England, to the extreme heat waves that have hit central Europe, to the severe storms that have wreaked havoc in China, to the melting ice caps, and to the drought that is affecting much of the United States, it is becoming obvious that the Earth's climate is undergoing major changes.

Recently compiled statistics show that 11 of the warmest years on record have occurred since 1994. And things aren't improving in that regard, as January and April of this year also set global temperature records.

So what can we do at this point? According to a book by James Lovelock, it's already too late. According to him, even if man somehow succeeded in ending all carbon emissions as of tomorrow, it wouldn't matter. The effects of global warming are simply irreversible at this point. At best, says Lovelock, we can only hope to slightly mitigate the effects. Interestingly, he argues that the only hope we have of accomplishing even that much is a heavy investment in nuclear energy.

Yep, nuke power. Lovelock says that the danger posed by nuclear power and the resulting waste is actually far less than the damage that would be caused by the release of that much more carbon into the atmosphere.

Nor is Lovelock a big fan of wind farms or ethanol. His argument there is that by cutting down forests to make room for wind turbines and crops, we're actually cutting our own throats because we're reducing the Earth's capacity to convert CO2 back into oxygen.

So what to do at this point? Despite Lovelock's objections, I plan to invest heavily in alcohol.... Just not for my car.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Monday, August 06, 2007

Bridge In Troubled Waters

It now looks like the death toll in that Minnesota bridge collapse will end up being about a dozen. That's great news.... Unless, of course, you happen to be one of the dozen. Then it's probably not going to matter a whole lot to you on a personal level.

Authorities say that one reason for the new figure is that the river level was much lower than normal due to a prolonged drought. Also, the fact that the bridge was being worked on--only two of the four lanes were open in each direction--limited the number of cars that were actually on the structure when it gave way.

One of the most memorable images of the disaster was that of the stranded school bus. Here's an account of what it was like on the bus when it went down, and how everyone managed to get out.

Although the lower death toll may have come as a relief, not all the news from the scene of the collapse is good. In a disturbing development, President Bush has given his word to "make sure... that bridge gets rebuilt as quickly as possible."

Given this administration's track record in rebuilding Iraq and New Orleans, the people of Minneapolis should have their new bridge around 2075 or so.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Time To Send A Message To Exxon

Even though the price of crude oil is at near-record prices, the cost of gasoline has been falling. Experts say this apparent contradiction is because refineries that were down earlier this year due to maintenance or--in some cases--flooding, are now back online and functioning at capacity.

So where are all the pontificating politicians who emerge from the woodwork whenever gas prices are spiking? Why aren't they out there hunting down camera crews and dramatically calling for investigations of price fixing?

I for one am sick and tired of Big Oil taking advantage of the ample supplies of gasoline to unfairly lower prices. I propose that on Thursday, August 9, we show our disgust with the current state of affairs by unnecessarily driving around and filling up our tanks.

Please pass this along to your friends.

Too Bad Steroids Shrank His Testicles To The Size Of Peas

Congratulations to Barry Bonds on his 755th home run. With that hit in San Diego last night, the 43 year old slugger tied Hank Aaron's record and assured his place in the Pharmaceutical Hall of Fame.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Sometimes It Doesn't Take A Rocket Scientist

The first concerns about the I-35W bridge that collapsed in Minnesota were raised by inspectors back in 1990. Those early problems were either dismissed or said to be under control. Warnings continued to be ignored until the bridge failed during Wednesday's rush hour, killing dozens of motorists.

Who the hell was in charge of the bridge's safety? NASA management?

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Just Don't Piss Them Off

Many public schools and universities are granting Muslim students special treatment. At George Mason University in Virginia, Muslims using a so-called "meditation space" laid out prayer rugs, then separated the male worshipers from the female ones. Even non Muslim students using the facility were asked to abide by the gender separation rule.

Some argue that the use of public facilities for such things violates the separation of church and state rule, and is nothing short of sexual discrimination.

On the other hand, you really can't blame the administrators at George Mason. They're probably just afraid of getting blown up.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

By The Numbers

Seventy six American troops died in Iraq in July, the lowest in eight months. A number of supporters of the war have pointed at that statistic as evidence that the troop surge is working.

On the other hand, the number of Iraqi civilians killed last month is up 33% compared to June. For some reason, the war's supporters are NOT citing that particular total as evidence the troop surge is working.

Meanwhile, at least 142 Iraqis were killed yesterday in a pair of suicide bombings in Baghdad. In response, a large Sunni bloc has quit the Iraqi cabinet and sent the country's government into an even worse state of disarray.

Was A Two Person Minimum Required?

Busy perverts posing as researchers have come up with 237 reasons to have sex. Surprisingly, "I was attracted to the person" was number one for both men and women.

Oddly enough, my Rosie O'Donnell fantasy didn't make the list.